Salon.com's Scores

For 3,085 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Coriolanus
Lowest review score: 0 Hannibal
Score distribution:
3085 movie reviews
  1. A compendium of every cliché from every bad boxing melodrama ever made, Million Dollar Baby tries to transcend its cornball overfamiliarity with the qualities that have long characterized Eastwood's direction -- it's solemn, inflated and dull.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Sayles speaks the language of cinematic formula so automatically -- his reunited lovers slow dance to a jukebox in a dark, deserted cafe and wait unannounced outside each other's workplaces when they want to talk -- that he's forgotten that real people don't do this stuff.
  2. One of those movies that you continue to pull for even after it becomes clear that it isn't very good.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A 3 hour fusillade of cliches.
  3. A bad movie -- really a terrible movie -- with a daring idea behind it. And it's had the sort of crummy luck that, no matter what you think of it, can get you steamed.
  4. Cameron manhandles the real story, scavenging it for his own puny narrative purposes. It's a film made with boorish confidence and zero sensitivity, big and dumb and hulking.
  5. It's not badly made, but it's a drag. Leconte's virtues can't overcome the plodding glumness that prevails.
  6. Extravagant in movie terms but stingy in emotional ones, it embodies all of Spielberg's bad impulses and almost none of his good ones: It's a grand display of how well he knows how to work us over, and yet the desperation with which he tries to get to us is repulsive.
  7. It's not just our emotions that are being played on here, it's not just our intelligence being insulted because of Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman's presumption that we won't have any interest in a character whom it's not always possible to like. It's John Nash's life, being turned into an Oscar machine and an easy way to jerk tears.
  8. An academic exercise driven by adolescent ideas that never shape themselves into a narrative: in short, a movie that can never dislodge the art fatally wedged up its butt.
  9. Cinderella Man is ostensibly the kind of old-fashioned drama that sends audiences home with a satisfied glow. But like so many of Howard's movies, there's something canned and phony about it -- it left me feeling cooked and dehydrated, as if I'd fallen asleep on a tanning bed.
  10. LaBute is some kind of find: an auteur for people who don't like movies.
  11. Kubrick's much-anticipated final film boils down to the most elaborate monogamy lecture ever.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A thoroughly bland and mediocre movie about the Cuban missile crisis.
  12. Moore's supporters are quick to impugn the liberal credentials of anyone who criticizes his presentation of the information he digs up (or, in some cases, makes up). For them, Michael Moore is the issues he talks about, so his detractors must be enemies of democratic principles. It's an old trick, akin to the way Pauline Kael was accused of being insensitive about the Holocaust when she didn't like "Shoah."
  13. I hated this movie; I wish I could unsee it and will it out of existence. But that’s not the same as thinking it’s worthless or corrupt or entirely inept. It’s more like a massively self-indulgent prank, inflicted on the world by some reasonably intelligent young men, which makes it the most bro-tastic project of all time. Mo’ bro than this, no es posible, amigos.
  14. It's an English movie doing its best to masquerade as the shallowest kind of Hollywood romantic comedy, as if somewhere along the way someone had made a calculated supposition that would be the only kind of comedy American audiences would buy.
  15. It's supposed to be visually exciting, but the result is more like a corpse-strewn Gap khakis ad than a triumph of technique. At least, based on the film's grainy texture and amber lighting, it's nice to know that the guy who shot every porn movie released in the '70s appears to be working again.
  16. There's something offensive about how Mamet continues to win praise as a serious filmmaker with such a joyless picture, a picture that -- intentionally -- gives the audience so little.
  17. Klapisch wants his characters shiny bright, and winds up making them excruciatingly dull in the process. Watching L'Auberge Espagnole is like seeing the young Maoist revolutionaries of Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 "La Chinoise" body-snatched by the international touring company of "Up With People."
  18. An art-house horror movie, and like most art-house versions of genre films, all the vitality and juice of genre conventions have been sucked right out. The irony of the movie is that it puts you into the same torpor that's supposed to be afflicting the characters.
  19. Middlebrow kitsch, but kitsch straining for respectability and therefore without the energy that can make kitsch entertaining.
  20. It's a shame when an actor like Sylvester Stallone, who's always at his most appealing when he just hunkers down and lets himself be a big galoot, feels he has to make a bid for respectability.
  21. Because the movie never fully engages us, it never quite manages to allay our queasiness about watching the boy's distress.
  22. It pretends to examine how self-absorbed we are as a culture, only to be consumed by its own self-absorption. It's also badly constructed, humorless and emotionally sadistic .
  23. A little like looking at pictures without a text to unify them… Prestige filmmaking bereft of inspiration -- sometimes even of the nuts and bolts of craft.
  24. Unless you're a lover of tigers, there's probably no reason to see Jean-Jacques Annaud's Two Brothers. And maybe not even then.
  25. Fitzgerald’s influence could have crept in there by osmosis, and whatever other charges you want to level against Spring Breakers – such as incoherence, plotlessness, salaciousness and mind-numbing monotony – it has no lack of high concept.
  26. Scorsese is pushing, I guess, for something that combines a '40s horror-thriller with a contemporary psychological tragedy. What he ends up with is more like a Hardy Boys mystery directed by David Lynch.
  27. There's so little sexual chemistry between the actors in this film that it seems like a kind of accomplishment. I've seen shows on C-SPAN that were hotter than this.
  28. The Negotiator slogs on for two hours and 20 minutes, and there's hardly a real laugh or a genuine thrill in it.
  29. May be the shoddiest and most incoherent piece of big-budget action moviemaking since "Armageddon."
  30. Bug
    A humorless picture, a somber, arty exercise in deep denial of its exploitation roots. The dialogue is stiff and mechanical and the performances are too.
  31. If you've ever sat in a jet waiting on the runway, feeling it lumbering along in place and then bucking and shaking when it's cleared for take-off, you know what it's like to sit through Air Force One.
  32. Actually, the wonder The Polar Express induces feels something like a coma.
  33. Rarely has a film with such a great cast and so many moments of terrific writing and such high dramatic goals been so messy and disorganized and fundamentally bad.
  34. This is a love story, all right, but it has less to do with the flaws of capitalism than it does with Moore's unwavering fondness for the sound of his own voice, and for what he perceives as his own vast cleverness.
  35. The sex scenes -- intense, affecting and emotionally raw -- are the best thing about this frustratingly limp movie.
  36. The picture starts off slick and amusing, gets convoluted, draggy and strange round about the midway point, and ends up just plain ludicrous.
  37. Edward Norton's dopey directorial debut gives interfaith romance a bad name.
  38. The movie works neither as a comedy nor as a lame melodrama -- its entertainment value is embarrassingly feeble.
  39. It would be destined for the trash heap of Shakespeare adaptations, if not for its female lead, and its heart, 17-year-old Claire Danes.
  40. Anti-Americanism is a small matter when a movie is anti-human. Dogville is as total a misanthropic vision as anything control freak Stanley Kubrick ever turned out.
  41. There's some sort of gross egotism involved in linking great music to visuals that are so unabashedly kitschy.
  42. All Only the Strong Survive has to offer are scraps, and it's a sad thing to sit through a movie billed as a tribute to a group of terrific performers and to come away with nothing more than scraps.
  43. The most gutless and naive political drama of recent memory.
  44. J. Edgar turns out to be one of the worst ideas anybody's ever had, a mendacious, muddled, sub-mediocre mess that turns some of the most explosive episodes of the 20th century into bad domestic melodrama and refuses to take any clear position on one of American history's most controversial figures.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A colossally dumb epic that happily traffics in third-hand imagery and ideas while feeding its audience maintenance level doses of humor, adrenaline and spectacle.
  45. The point, I think, is the sheer callous inappropriateness of comedy existing within the physical reality of the camps -- even the imagined reality of a movie.
  46. This might be the edgiest film of the year -- if the year were 1982.
  47. There's nothing offhand or spontaneous-feeling about Nanny McPhee; it's a highly mechanical piece of work, and its potentially delightful details are wasted.
  48. Stoker, which plays something like a remake of “The Addams Family” mixed with “The Paperboy” — but without the laughs of either – belongs in a special category of movie badness, or perhaps two different but overlapping categories. It’s a visually striking but fundamentally terrible film made by a good or (some would say) great director.
  49. Director Cook and screenwriter Anthony Frewin were both intimates of the real Kubrick, which I guess counts for something. But for what, exactly? Does it uniquely qualify them to make a mean-spirited, trashy and intermittently funny film about a guy who wasn't Kubrick?
  50. Like so many self-conscious directors, Julie Taymor wrecks Shakespeare's already disastrous play with her own horrific vision.
  51. Hannibal, which is very likely the worst film of this year and quite possibly the next, achieves what no movie I can recall ever even attempting: It somehow manages to be both repugnant and boring.
  52. It's about as phony and manipulative as a movie could be. That Polley seems true every second is maybe the strongest testament yet to her acting. It's exasperating that this movie doesn't have the courage to go places where its actress plainly has the guts to follow.
  53. When the movie isn't hitting us over the head, it's spooning out the material to us like broth to an invalid, drop by flavorless drop. The excruciating pace mirrors the sluggishness of Morrison's sonorous prose.
  54. As The Muse chugs along, it becomes more apparent how tired and pointless it is.
  55. His scattershot and ad hominem attacks against many different forms of religious hypocrisy don't add up to a coherent critique, and he's not qualified to provide one.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    If you're dragged to the theater to be someone's not-dumb date, pack a crossword and a light pen. It'll be the only puzzle worth solving.
  56. A movie that's laughable without, alas, even being enjoyably awful.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    "Bambi" meets "Godzilla": Disney goes for the goo in a by-turns gory and sappy new epic of computer-generated images.
  57. I felt like dropping to my knees in the theater and praying for this smug, irritating fake-reality-TV show to go away, leaving these three terrific actors (and characters) in something resembling a real movie.
  58. Probably the worst-directed film Spielberg has ever made. A peculiarly rhythmless piece of work, it seems to go on forever, though nearly every one of the scenes is cut off before it has been dramatically developed.
  59. Disposable crap.
  60. A stodgy, moribund plodder loaded with stock characters that wouldn’t have felt edgy in 1983 and has about the same contemporary urgency as your average late-night rerun of “CSI: NY.”
  61. Watching The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, it struck me that weaving a touching little tale about a death-camp friendship is actually a pretty bad way to teach kids about the Holocaust.
  62. At under two hours, the movie crawls by; at four, people would become fossilized to their seats.
  63. It takes a very clever schoolboy to make a movie as elaborately empty as Guy Ritchie's Snatch.
  64. The movie is an unpleasant slog, the gruesomeness working in concert with humorlessness to lend the whole picture a queasy deadliness.
  65. Cruise pedals hard through The Last Samurai, and the exertion shows. In fact, the whole picture is belabored and lumbering.
  66. There's no doubt we need more movies for grown-ups, with jokes that don't hit us over the head, but The Men Who Stare at Goats doesn't fit the bill. At best, it might hypnotize you into a stupor.
  67. The Hulk goes on for two hours and 20 minutes and there's not a stirring or exciting moment in it...At last, a comic-book movie that National Public Radio listeners can be proud to take their kids to see.
  68. I can't remember ever feeling so glad that a movie was finally over. Lucas may have held my imagination hostage for two hours, but reclaiming it afterward wasn't hard at all.
  69. A brain-dead version of a dark and complex work.
  70. It's possible Hill has a style, of sorts. But he doesn't work from the heart, or from the gut, as a good comedy director generally needs to. He operates from one guiding question: "How disturbing can we make this sh**?"
  71. Pulp needs a pulse -- without one, it's DOA. No matter how hard some of its actors work to resuscitate it, Assault on Precinct 13 is as lifeless as a corpse on a slab.
  72. The movie not only approaches a level of shamelessness you have to see to disbelieve, it does it in a manner that's both inept and crass.
  73. Stay away from this cautionary tale about the gay porn industry -- it blows.
  74. There may be filmmakers whose own vision is vast enough to take on Thackeray's, but Mira Nair isn't one of them. Her new film of Vanity Fair is a disaster. Scene by scene and moment to moment, it's a woeful misreading of the book.
  75. I've never seen anything crazier than Palindromes. You can read that as praise if you're that sort of person, but I don't mean it that way.
  76. O
    The film is a plodding, earnest adaptation that strips the source of its richness and ambiguity.
  77. It's too mild to be crass; it's clumsy. Lehmann has made what amounts to an anti-sex sex comedy, the first youth sex comedy made to be enjoyed by those creepy abstinence teens.
  78. A pallid, mediocre tale that treacles its way through well-worn channels.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    As you sit through the interminable two-hours-plus that constitute The Fifth Element -- a colossally stupid, overbearingly pompous new movie by Luc Besson -- you can expect to become acquainted with boredom on the most elemental level.
  79. Such weak medicine. Sure enough, it goes down. Keeping it down is another matter.
  80. Doesn't seem geared to kids at all: It's so adult that it's massively boring.
  81. The embodiment of every conservative paranoid's slathering fantasies about Paula Jones, Vince Foster and Whitewater.
  82. It's exactly the sort of movie that Hollywood specializes in, the kind which seems on paper as if it ought to be entertaining, but winds up a massive and chaotic drag.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    In this bizarrely discordant mixture of ultraviolent action footage, bad acting, crisp special effects and futuristic camp, the remnants of Heinlein's rhetoric of military pride stick out like a grimy Marine uniform at a high-toned Hollywood party.
  83. Watching Streep and her two BFFs, played by Christine Baranski and Julie Walters, grinning and giggling their way through Mamma Mia! I felt I was being thoroughly, and unenjoyably, punished.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Without a genuinely charming central character to pull it together, the movie is a shamble of tedious passages punctuated by a few desultory chuckles.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The result is a bombastic, flashback-ridden farrago of skulking villains, scenery-chewing actors, sub-"Ivanhoe"-style dialogue and what seems like a dozen pretty, flaxen-haired men storming in and out of rooms in snits.
  84. I have to assume that Russell Crowe and Warner Bros. did not deliberately set out to insult and anger the Armenian diaspora and its friends around the world, or to participate in covering up a monumental 20th-century crime that shaped the world we live in and remains swathed in too much historical shadow. They disgraced themselves by making this movie the way they did, and then redoubled the disgrace by releasing it this week.
  85. A would-be tween-oriented hit so scrubbed and sanitized and not worthy of paying attention to that it can barely be said to exist at all.
  86. This premise could, just maybe, make for a decent thriller, but everything about Murder by Numbers is so flavorless and rote, so devoid of real suspense and human interest, that you never suspect for a moment that the answers are likely to be engaging.
  87. The most sterile of bodice-rippers, a genteel soap opera in which the sex and intrigue are so muted, so tasteful, that they practically blow off the screen in a scattering of dust.
  88. Hoary epic of British Empire valor and cowardice, remade for seventh time, remains rot, old boy.
  89. An uninspired, recycled Mafia gags caper.
  90. Cassandra's Dream, an earnest meditation on greed, desire, murder and class struggle, is one of Woody Allen's funniest movies in years -- except Allen doesn't know it.

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