San Francisco Chronicle's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,946 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Quinceañera
Lowest review score: 0 20 Dates
Score distribution:
5,946 movie reviews
  1. The self-consciousness that made the director's "Love Actually" a love-it-or-hate-it film is dialed way down. About Time is more of a love-it-or-like-it proposition.
  2. A gentle comedy, offbeat but never cute, never lewd and never going for shortcut laughs that might diminish character.
  3. A first-class genre entry stacked with dandy performances and some crackerjack action to boot.
  4. An action blockbuster extravaganza that's sadder than sad and never pretends otherwise.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of First Position is the relationship between aspirant and teacher.
  5. It's all very melodramatic, but the Jouberts accompany this story with incredible visuals, with an exceptional level of access. Considering how close they get to the animals, it's a wonder none of the filmmakers got mauled.
  6. It's fascinating.
  7. It's an intriguing portrait, but it makes no pretense at objectivity, erring on the side of hero worship.
  8. As good as family entertainment gets.
  9. It's probably the only love story you'll see this decade that will make you half-expect the camera to swerve and pick up the sight of Rod Serling, standing there in a black suit.
  10. There's an Impressionistic feeling to all this, and sometimes it plays like a travelogue -- Bush is trying to do an awful lot at once. But the material is so compelling that we keep watching.
  11. Much as she did in "Little Miss Sunshine," Breslin imbues Kit with joy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    An experiment that rarely works this well.
  12. It's a lovely film that grows along with the characters. At first, it seems like a pleasing but inconsequential comedy. But it deepens as their connection deepens and opens up into a place of poignancy and insight.
  13. Hyper-violent yet emotionally powerful.
  14. One can argue the movie's finer points, but in the end, there's no escaping its creeping pile-up of evidence that Mother Earth is critically dehydrated - and we need to do something, fast.
  15. Has some faults, but it manages to keep its audience either angry or jumpy from start to finish.
  16. Richly inventive.
  17. More in the tone of the big screen "Friday Night Lights" than "Rudy" or "The Blind Side," it succeeds as mainstream entertainment without relying on a conventional storybook framework.
  18. No one will be bored with the feature film... but everyone who knows the show well will have a nagging feeling that something is missing.
  19. Very good at pointing out the social difficulties surrounding the Dickens-Ternan relationship, the power dynamics within it and the lasting effects of it.
  20. An impressive and imaginative fantasy.
  21. SubUrbia is depressing comedy -- the more so because director Richard Linklater's satirical picture of youthful alienation rings painfully true.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Whether the role is small or large, the acting across the board is utterly convincing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Kink has an undeniably voyeuristic quality - it's a glimpse into a mostly forbidding world, and there's value in that.
  22. The documentary is exclusively about Ullmann and Bergman as human beings and about how they got along.
  23. Suffused with a golden glow, the movie looks and sounds like a fairy tale.
  24. This British film also mocks the rave culture it celebrates, and it's charming in a way that is hip but surprisingly down to earth.
  25. The movie is modest in its ambition and powerful in its reverberations.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Manages somehow to be gritty, delicate, in your face and nuanced at the same time. It's a beautiful, compelling, sometimes harrowing family drama, with excellent performances across the board.
  26. While it's possible to have a great time with the movie without having any interest in Kiss, it should be noted that the band does make an appearance.
  27. For starters, it's a movie to make you happy to see the next movie written, directed and starring Lake Bell. She has an engaging presence and has a distinct comic sensibility.
  28. Neatly, and often humorously, summarizes a very unhealthy situation.
  29. A lot of frivolous but genuine laughs.
  30. This is a beautiful film, full of gray-and white-haired men who grow in stature before our eyes.
  31. Hardly perfect or fully successful, but it's strange and strangely beautiful -- a unique work of art.
  32. A treat for anyone who's passionate about films or who's ever wanted to learn more about them.
  33. Clumsy and ineffective in its first half hour. But gradually, as her investigation deepens, and we see the true hideousness of what she is uncovering, the movie achieves urgency and clarity of purpose.
  34. Slick, glossy, overblown, implausible. [15 July 1988, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Director Jill Soloway gets the most out of her actors, fleshing out their characters and letting us know what makes them tick. It's refreshing to hear dialogue that's natural and modern and doesn't try to pontificate. And the rewards are many.
  35. A quirky but surprisingly lighthearted dark comedy.
  36. Fast-paced and unerringly surprising.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A fine new rock documentary.
  37. A compelling documentary.
  38. Watchable in spite of Greengrass as much as because of him. The story is good enough to make viewers want to ignore the photography.
  39. It's a bouncy, occasionally awkward diversion with sharply written characters and good actors.
  40. At its best, Ajami shows you things you never would have considered or imagined.
  41. The film's minimal story line, propelled by hope but dampened with heartbreak, provides the excuse for a first-rate lineup of bands spanning misty folk rock, crunchy alt-pop and thrashing Persian rap.
  42. Timeless and tragic.
  43. Queeny, corny and impossible to resist.
  44. Sometimes excessiveness and implausibility are virtues in disguise. Movies this enjoyable don't come about by accident.
  45. Director Cordero manages the not-bad trick of generating suspense while keeping the overall tone cool and collected.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A smart farce that would make Hugh Grant and his fans proud.
  46. In addition to being a smart comedy and an excellent showcase for Grant, it's an honest movie about childhood that avoids sappiness and sentiment and goes in unexpected directions.
  47. Bogdanovich takes a tale of old Hollywood and infuses it with velocity and enthusiasm.
  48. This is Curtis' film. Looking a little like a combination of Carol Burnett and Annie Lennox, Curtis has this character down.
  49. Bloody good.
  50. At its simplest level, East Is East is a broad comedy, but Puri's acting, so honest and heartbreaking, gives the film weight.
  51. I liked this movie, maybe more than I should have, and would be happy to see anything this director wants to do next.
  52. Doesn't require anyone to love metal, or even like it. It only requires us to laugh at it - and other exemplars of bloated '80s pop, from Starship to Journey - and it does so with a campy and attitudinous spirit that's hard to resist.
  53. A warmhearted film.
  54. One of the pleasures of Deterrence is that it does not tell the audience what to think.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The development of the GoPro camera has revolutionized extreme sports photography, but even so, the 3-D images of extreme surfing in Storm Surfers 3D feel groundbreaking.
  55. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy has created full characters as vulnerable in their personal lives as in their work.
  56. It is so propulsive so much of the time, it almost looks as if it's going to go the distance. If Washington & Co. don't quite manage to bring it home, the getting there sure is something.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If you are a thoughtful, open-minded person see this reverent exploration into the mystery of Jesus, the man.
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  57. It's unlikely that the whole cowboy town would really applaud all the queer goings-on, but it's a lovely sentiment in a lovely movie.
  58. That rare thing, an American romantic film that's not a comedy and that's more about love than sex.
  59. Like its singular central character, Before the Fall stands out from the pack.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Cooke may overstuff his documentary with too many points, but if a young person had to watch just one film about the drug war, this is not a bad choice.
  60. Boasts a collection of oddball characters, some more sharply written than others.
  61. Don't little ones have enough to worry about without ecological concerns popping up in family entertainment? Happy Feet should have stayed light on its feet.
  62. In addition to being his filthiest, this is his most free-associative movie. In spite of and because of its homemade look, it's also his funniest.
  63. Year One has one joke, but it's a good one, played for many variations over the course of an often very funny comedy.
  64. There are more over-the-top moments, but they never last long. And after every groan-inducing piece of footage, a spectacular near-crash or daring motorcycle chase comes along to leave the movie's shortcomings in a cloud of dust.
  65. Wonderful characters keep the movie from gagging on sweetness.
  66. Dafoe never reverts to campy, movie-monster gestures but seems liberated, consumed by his character, inspired to give a performance that's intuitive and otherworldly.
  67. Filled with moments that will make you smile.
  68. Gluck also directed "Fired Up!," another teen charade with lots of quick-witted verbal raunch. Easy A does a few things better.
  69. A low-budget wonder: rough and gritty around the edges, filmed for what looks like a budget of $1.98, but bristling with energy, passion and intimacy.
  70. A satisfying combination of great songs and strong dramatic performances.
  71. A frothy comedy with the most adorable buddies since "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
  72. The film has aged gracefully.
  73. A generational spectacle that's fun to witness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A fairly well-made film, reasonably directed by Eran, and it is a plea for women's rights as the Middle East gradually transitions from a tradition-bound society to a modern one.
  74. A harmless and amusing summer comedy.
  75. xXx
    In terms of adrenaline, XXX is one of the most satisfying entries this summer.
  76. The most refreshing thing about Summer of Sam is that it doesn't try to impose a moral or define the limits of its story.
  77. By the finish, the movie is getting by on little but adrenaline and audience goodwill. Still, that goodwill runs fairly deep, because, taken all in all, 28 Days Later is a superior motion picture.
  78. It's brisk and assured and never begs the audience's indulgence. No time is wasted. The movie is, at every moment, either funny or pushing the story forward, or both.
  79. Mangold's sympathy is genuine and his refusal to mock or condescend to his characters -- indeed, that may be the point of the film -- is a pleasure.
  80. Floats on the charm and the labors of its lead actress, Gretchen Mol, who single-handedly makes the picture worth seeing.
  81. The real item under consideration here is the movie itself, and the bottom line is that it lands in a humane place. True, any viewer will go in with a certain curiosity, ghoulish or otherwise, about what it's like to jump off a bridge, and yet the overall effect of the film is broadening. To see it is to dread the bridge jumps and to come away with a feeling of compassion and empathy.
  82. By creating likable characters and putting them in situations that seem plausible, if a bit of a stretch, the film succeeds where others of its genre fail.
  83. No film could convey all the complexities of the case - what Crude does is air the plaintiffs' claims and show the lawyers at work.
  84. A strange almost-thriller.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's the content that makes this documentary fly. The documentary's only stumbling point is its dearth of historical context.
  85. It's fresh, unexpected and goofy. It's not a smart career move, just a film that its director wanted to make for some crazy reason, and he made it.
  86. Fun to watch although falling short of a real hoot, this latest in a barrage of family movies largely succeeds at keeping the kiddies entertained and their parents from nodding off.
  87. While the documentary isn't as compelling as its source material, Abbas tells an interesting story about his incarceration.

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