San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 764 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Crumb
Lowest review score: 0 Lost Souls
Score distribution:
764 movie reviews
  1. A remarkable study of the corrosive effects of fear and power on an establishment insider who puts duty above all else.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Rumble in the Bronx has the explosive escapades that Stallone/Schwarzenegger followers crave - hair-raising free falls, hovercrafts out of control, crazed turf wars, collapsing buildings, gun-happy gangsters and other boy-film staples - plus the kind of oddball comedy and independent spirit usually found only outside the current Hollywood empire. Chan is a true artist of a genre that ordinarily does all it can to avoid art.
  2. A documentary with a keen eye, a playful sense of timing and an inquisitive soul.
  3. It's a glimmering hunk of fractured brilliance riddled with Orwellian paranoia encased in a production design seemingly pieced together from the shared dreams of Franz Kakfa and Salvador Dali, and shot from cruelly low angles.
  4. Spellbinding.
  5. Kurosawa pulled out all the stops with Ran, his obsession with loyalty and his love of expressionistic film techniques allowed to roam freely.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  6. With no frills and no commentary, Howard and company have made the kind of absorbing thriller we have in mind when we wistfully sigh, "They don't make movies like they used to."
  7. Elegant.
  8. A handbook on cinematic lucidity. All events are described clearly. Motives of all the characters are set right there on the table next to the pasta for our consideration.
  9. A momentously, shockingly moving fit of shape-shifting by a filmmaker grown tired of the macabre.
  10. Kiarostami's genius is elusive. His films may be unknowable, but they are undeniably hypnotic, charismatic.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  11. The effect is riveting and frightening. You feel you are under siege with the combatants.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Extraordinary, entertaining cinema.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
  12. Dern is nothing short of brilliant here.
  13. It's the year's best movie sex.
  14. If you know Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita," you'll be unable to watch The Great Beauty without thinking about it. This gorgeous Italian movie, like its predecessor, balances pungent satire and a more melancholy mood in portraying the dissolute world of the upper crust in contemporary Rome.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the most complex and powerful literary scripts in recent times.
  15. Minghella is an artist and he has painted himself a masterpiece.
  16. The film will intoxicate children and charm the parents in their company.
  17. A movie that has an odd plot, quirky characters and a real edge, but it's not in-your-face, a re-invention of a genre or a smirky independent. It's different because it's flat-out great.
  18. Ruiz has made the most ambitious adaptation of a Proust work yet.
  19. This is a nearly miraculous conjunction of director, material and actor.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Todd Solondz's grand prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival lapses into satire, but its parodistic slant only exaggerates what is truthful, making the unpleasantness of that awkward age all the more disturbing and hilarious. It's a horror film starring reality in the monster role.
  20. So phenomenal that Bill Murray can't even steal it. And he tries. So excellent that Murray's MTV progeny Tom Green can't sink it.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  21. Turns into something like a screwball farce, an intimate, self-aware one.
  22. With Election, Payne announces himself as one of the keenest purveyors of the scattered pieces that once was an American morality.
  23. Meanders around Holly Springs, Mississippi, with the fuzzy benevolence of a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation.
  24. Big Night's beauty is the fact that it is about passion.
  25. Timeless, and as fine a depiction of human folly as you're likely to see at the movies.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  26. A sweaty-browed exercise in precision filmmaking, but one that doesn't cheat you with wisps of tension and the pretense of attitude.
  27. The scenes with Stalin and his frightened underlings, his giddy yes-men tip-toeing around him, are written and directed by Duncan with a grace, agility and comic deftness one rarely is treated to at the movies these days.
  28. It's that rare movie with a sense of timeliness that is eternal, and a protagonist whose soul-crushed angst, even at its most fatal, speaks to the little boy/girl lost in everyone.
  29. Gets diagnosably schizo.
  30. The film's premise is totally implausible yet great performances, directing and script allow us to transcend the concept of believability and enjoy nevertheless.
  31. Unlike so many other movies of literary provenance, it is clear from the start that this one is going to be entertainment, not homework. Lee serves up this sweetmeat without fuss, without the super-seriousness of filmmakers awed by their literary material.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A marvelous child of Star Wars technology, the advanced sound design makes a celebratory re-viewing of George Lucas' legendary, 20-year-old space opera a thrilling experience. [Special Edition]
  32. Ethereal.
  33. Makes a term like neo-noir seem like a fatuous catch phrase.
  34. This movie has everything but Humphrey Bogart, and I'm sure he's sorry he was unavailable.
  35. It's the film we leave most movie theaters wishing we'd seen instead.
  36. Part aerobics workout, part self-styled dreamscape, Sense is a hyperactive piece of performance art that begins as the stripped-down dress rehearsal of a garage band and builds into a mighty, exhausting spectacle that shakes as much ass as it kicks. [Review of re-release]
  37. The amazing thing about the film, for anyone who hasn't had an intentional Hollywood scare lately, is that it still delivers on the most visceral level
    • San Francisco Examiner
  38. Leigh has a gift for demonstrating character from the outside in.
  39. There isn't a whole lot of fancy subplotting, just a potpourri of funny and engaging characters.
  40. The script by Ed Solomon is tight, well-paced and lighthearted. If this were a musical, Fred Astaire could have played the Jones role, although somewhat more dashingly.
  41. Classic in feel and loaded with sumptuous performances.
  42. A monumentally graceful union of two extremely dissimilar stars, one inspired cinematographer and an exceptionally patient, curious, independent-minded director.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  43. Go
    A triptych whirling on a Lazy Susan of revolving character perspectives.
  44. Amazing comic performances...give this comedy its lovely manic pace, kept just within the realm of sanity.
  45. It's the hypnotic long-form music video Smoke never got to make.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  46. A warm-hearted valentine to old traditions in China that are being obliterated by modern - and admittedly more efficient - technology.
  47. It's the boys' most immediately gratifying movie: The goods are delivered in a hearse.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  48. The majestic pageant of images - no sylvan landscape has been this indelibly, dimensionally alive - is inextricably welded to the multifold spiritual / ecological questions about the future that Miyazaki is contemplating.
  49. This is filmmaking of high energy and wit. What it adds up to is debatable. You can view it as a bright twist on the being-a-cop-is-lonely sort of police picture, or as a mini-anthology of quirky not-quite-love stories. If it's hard to say where Chungking Express arrives, the trip is still exhilarating.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Like a Les Brown tune, a really dry martini and a hug from a good buddy, Swingers makes you feel warm all over, baby.
  50. Its brazen mixture of the comic and dramatic, the high and low and the emotional and intellectual is positively Shakespearean.
  51. The least opaque of Antonioni's films, unburdened by stylishness and his imagistic inflammations.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  52. Beautiful, wandering little love story that wants to break your heart and probably will.
  53. Ryan has an edge that is extremely becoming…This is her best work yet.
  54. This movie is charming the way so few movies are anymore.
  55. It's a more intelligent and dimensional epic than, say, "Anna and the King." Emperor is worth every single penny.
  56. Funny and untouched by cynical, ironic bids to be taken seriously.
  57. If nothing else, The Filth and the Fury is a searing, forceful, entertainingly biased reminder only that the English group mattered - as musicians and as anti-social curs.
  58. Blair Witch forgoes a literal boogeyman in favor of the unseen, which, in this case, is as scarily bone-chilling as anything they could show you.
  59. The first more-than-halfway-decent movie of a new millennium.
  60. Almodovar imbues his Harlequin-novel-meets-Marvel-comic-book melodramas with something more than a wink and a smile, and it's beguiling.
  61. A work of strangely bold, distinctly American pop art - proud to be ashamed, ashamed to be proud, unafraid to ignore its commercial bearings.
  62. A guilty pleasure and one of the best films of the year.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  63. With its fine courtroom scenes, excellent performances, great writing and superb direction it reminds me more than anything else of Barbet Schroeder's "Reversal of Fortune."
  64. An old-fashioned movie. It is simplistic, full of stock characters and easy solutions to difficult problems, and I absolutely loved it.
  65. Soberly, deeply effective.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Broken Arrow isn't the ultimate fusion of Hong Kong surrealism and Hollywood realism, but it points the way to nerve-shattering possibilities.
  66. A movie too smart and too urgent to be categorically awful. Clinically insane may be another matter altogether.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  67. In Criminal Lovers, the "Bonnie and Clyde" model of killing-as-erotica gets a shrewd, funny, decidedly French workout.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  68. Feels like it could go blow up at any time. It implodes instead, and the meltdown, though visible in one of the final sequences, is still corrosive.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The maturity of the Star Trek saga and its remarkable fan base have combined to produce a polished film that shines like a crown jewel in the Star Trek firmament.
  69. The shenanigans have been pared into 84 minutes of transgressive, potty-minded farce, that is often Waters at his most cheerful and most thematically focused.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  70. A crowd pleaser that caters to our horror of totalitarianism, our love of personal freedom, our belief - justified or deluded - that knowledge is a powerful tool and that access to information is a God-given right.
  71. The only film sequels in history that just keep getting better.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  72. Through it all, Ozon supplies a sense of pathos that makes fun of its own soullessness, transforming a self-serious suicide note into an existential love letter.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  73. The dialogue is hip, natural and observational.
  74. A document of vexing (and vexed) immediacy.
  75. It's a gas, dude!
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Tucci and Holm brilliant as magazine writer and artist.
  76. A grand, old-fashioned movie of spies and Communist repression.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  77. A knock-down, haywire ballad of the adrenalinization of love and despair.
  78. Happy Together is Wong's most fully realized work. It is a pleasure to watch an interesting mind feel his way, and the result is something more than just a passing fancy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is the bluest film you'll ever see. The haunting color resounds throughout Empire like a sustained, melancholy chord...Empire is essential viewing for lovers of science fiction. [Special Edition]
  79. A weird, wonderful and funny work that stands as a true original. As if that weren't enough, director and co-writer Anderson has given Bill Murray his best role in years.
  80. Mike Leigh's great big, superbly performed homage to the creative process.
  81. Boys Don't Cry's intensity sneaks up on you like a snake.
  82. Salles' solid narrative is only deceptively simple; there is a lot of dimension and depth to this gentle, sometimes painful portrait of two wanderers.
  83. Handsome, well-acted, well-written and beautifully directed movie.
  84. Segues from the merely quirky into the bizarrely unthinkable.
  85. This movie has the jaunty good cheer of another great movie about hit men, "Prizzi's Honor." And that is high praise indeed.
  86. More often than not the film casts an infectious, evocative spell.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  87. It's the rawest, most hot-blooded, provocatively audacious, dangerous movie to come of out Hollywood this year.
  88. Hysterical-depressing, vividly sobering.
  89. Imbued with infectious pluck. It's also a lucid, competent, titanically entertaining movie loaded with workable gags.

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