San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 764 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Citizen Ruth
Lowest review score: 0 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Score distribution:
764 movie reviews
  1. Madhouse satire manages to disarm the second you realize it's laughing with you - and sometimes harder.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  2. I'm not sure all of this works out as convincingly as Anderson intends in the movie's somewhat unsatisfying ending, but getting there is a wickedly enjoyable journey.
  3. Staggering, gorgeously ambiguous.
  4. If there's a granddaddy of breezy situationalism, it's probably Buñuel.
  5. No-fat filmmaking aided by Berri's muscular formalism that, here, occasionally assumes the gritty focus of a taut, action thriller.
  6. The Coens haven't been this sharp, focused and fluid since their first film. This is "Blood Simple's" promise fulfilled.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A 140-minute film masterpiece.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Jingoistic politics are not proper or prudent in the pluralistic human society of the 1990s. It's much easier to assuage these baser urges by facing a real nonhuman enemy that just wants to kill you. War is gore. You or them. That message is the real strength of "Starship Troopers," although many may find it morally flawed. No matter, this is powerful entertainment that appeals to our most basic instincts.
  7. Austin is funny, extremely funny, because he is so ridiculous, and because Myers is a brilliant mimic who, like Martin Short, knows how to do ridiculous.
  8. One of the qualities that makes "12 Monkeys" so good is the fact that it is almost too complicated to explain.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Superbly acted by its young cast, written and directed with great sophistication, Wild Reeds moves with a sad assurance through that domain that most American filmmakers explore only clumsily: the mysteries of the human heart.
  9. Like laughing into a mirror for 113 minutes.
  10. Shelton has a talent for using the specific to illustrate the universal. Avowed baseball haters loved "Bull Durham." And if watching golf sounds like an excellent insomnia cure, you will probably still enjoy Tin Cup.
  11. May be the funniest movie about parental and spousal abuse ever made.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  12. Foster has whipped the actors into the sort of comic frenzy usually reserved for farce, and the ready-for-anything energy serves the material well.
  13. Tennant and company do a fine job of retaining the otherworldliness of a fairy tale while at the same time explaining all the archaisms for a modern audience.
  14. Dalmatians proves an apt playground for Hughes as one could surmise that his inspiration for treating comic bad guys in his movies so violently comes from a cartoon sensibility.
  15. An army of rolled abs and their owners give the state of American race relations a beginner's workout.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  16. A movie that features rich Mexican American characters and an uncompromising story line is always timely.
  17. The End of the Affair's masterfully heartbroken final scene is scarier in its nightmarishly wry suggestion of ill fate than anything that ever happened on Elm Street.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  18. Priceless enough to flush "Metro," "Dr. Dolittle" and "Holy Man" from memory.
  19. One of Lee's unsung gifts as a filmmaker is his discovery of that place between eye-popping surrealism and wrenching Greek tragedy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    After more than an hour of fun, the film turns dark as Solanas' mental state worsens. Not only does the brilliant kook wear out her welcome with Warhol, but the portrayal also grates on the viewer.
  20. Eastwood is perfect as the bad guy (a thief) you root for.
  21. A featherweight parlor-room French farce in need of an anchor to keep it from being blown away by the summer blockbuster gales.
  22. Mangold's vision is bold. There is nothing cutesy or gimmicky about Heavy, which may be why something in its grimness recalls the work of Ingmar Bergman.
  23. The finest element in de la Pena's carefully assembled account is how she doesn't simply state the obvious, but lets the meaty facts speak for themselves.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  24. But then, just when it appears the race is lost, Steve James' love for his character and art form kicks in and wins the day, and, though flawed, Prefontaine is an engrossing portrait of a complex figure.
  25. Less ambitious than the highly successful "Secrets & Lies," Career Girls has its own modest merits - a real sense of wit, much of it expressed in Hannah's sharp verbal sallies, and a melancholy truth that both women realize.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The Wachowski brothers are to be applauded for a film that is also nearly as stylishly funny as it is sexy and fast-paced.
  26. Aspires to the boundlessness of a kid's imagination.
  27. The ballad as it turns out is a duet between a dad and his girl, who'd often rather accentuate the positive than exploit pain, quietly proving that she is her father's daughter.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  28. There's an unstable genius brewing beneath Mary Katherine's scarlet headband. As "SNL" women go, only Gilda Radner seemed as willing to rib so much of herself for our pleasure.
  29. As formulaic, but occasionally outré multiplex-bound behemoths go, Gladiator is a foaming beast.
  30. Ransom is every bit as taut and expertly directed, and it's another in the emergency genre, one in which Howard excels.
  31. Perhaps a bit miscast, and with a penchant for too many double-takes, Perry nonetheless is game.
  32. It is an important work, and a very good one.
  33. While I was watching "Lone Star," I realized that what makes Sayles a good and socially responsible person - his ability to look at one thing a hundred different ways - is exactly what makes him a muddy filmmaker.
  34. Quiet, moving and beautifully shot.
  35. You find yourself absorbed in simply looking at them to the extent that it's hard to hear what they're saying. It's a nice dilemma for a movie to present.
  36. An ecstatic sensory experience so overloaded it hardly matters that the narrative has been placed on a back burner.
  37. Harris, Heche make unholy twosome.
  38. Exists as a seldom represented American time capsule, and it's all good.
  39. Some nice performances and modest laughs highlight this amiable British comedy.
  40. It's as sunny as you would expect a Hanks project to be.
  41. Where Never Been Kissed succeeds is in its unabashed refusal to stoop to choosing sides in the high-school hipness war.
  42. This movie has everything.
  43. The delight of the movie is Keitel, who finally gets to play someone who doesn't look like he's about to mug you.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Spacek and Walken are pure comic energy.
  44. A film where suspense and exhilaration are incompatible, and a receding plot line is merely the platform for cars to fly through panes of glass.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  45. A film that can be enjoyed by all ages and that insults no one's intelligence.
  46. What's best about this script is the premise: a lawyer who doesn't lie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A poignant and racy movie. The dancing is pretty great, too.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Forceful and well-acted. Fear truly lives up to its title.
  47. Entertainment made well enough that you can overlook its absurdities.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  48. There must be nine or 10 thwacks to the neck throughout Sleepy Hollow, and Burton finds a different way to make the resulting severed noggin fall as though you'd forgotten the last one.
  49. Slightly more mature and better assembled, Road Trip goes one better on "American Pie" by teasing out the idiosyncrasies in four guys existing in a personality grab bag.
  50. Like a Sally Field movie by Vittorio De Sica: Zhang wants to affect you with the subtle sting of his politics.
  51. It was only natural that Allen would eventually have to make a Greek drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    [Krishnamma] gives the story a dimension of pent-up anguish and melancholy.
  52. In Winona Ryder's case, Girl Interrupted is a showcase in which her brittle, angry portrait shows she has graduated from ingenue to actress.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  53. Prince-Bythewood's movie is an occasionally clunky, mostly engaging coming out party for herself.
  54. Where most effects-laden extravanganzas aspire to be nothing more than a live-action comic book, The Matrix sees things with the venturesome clarity of a graphic novel.
  55. An adrenaline-pumping, post-musical musical.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  56. From both sides of the camera, Eastwood works the crowd better than he has in years.
  57. A meticulously assembled dramatization of a grossly controversial moment in TV history.
  58. Misses some creative opportunities to really drive this story home, but it's a naturally haunting story nonetheless.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  59. Private Parts is a sparkling, nonstop entertainment written by Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko and directed by Betty Thomas, but sometimes it gives the impression that Stern is nothing short of Nobel Peace Prize material.
  60. The ending is a disappointment, a perfunctory upbeat gesture.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  61. About as warm, pleasing and inviting as a film about divorce, infidelity and terminal cancer can be.
  62. Think of this as "Die Hard" in a suit, with an election coming up.
  63. The script, by director Richard Kwietnioski and adapted from the Gilbert Adair novel, is poignant and well constructed.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A great date movie: engaging enough to grab your attention while it's unfolding, thought-provoking enough to fuel cafe and cocktail lounge chatter long after the closing credits roll.
  64. The ordinariness of the material gives way to the winning personalities of the stars.
  65. The veteran Baker anchors the proceedings, and you would like to see more of her character.
  66. Hamlet finds in Hawke's greatish performance a Great Dane for this, or any other, modern moment.
  67. An impressively competent "how will male teen star get with female teen star at high school dance?" romance.
  68. The disappointing ending aside, there is much to enjoy in The Game, a creation with a sheen so highly burnished that sometimes you feel you must look away.
  69. It's funnier, and bitchier, than Clare Boothe Luce's "The Women," and, best of all, it showcases three wonderful actresses who have rarely been better.
  70. By its hilarious, grotesquely over-the-top climax, Holy Smoke is ideologically, metaphorically out of control, as if it has risen from the '70s ashes.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  71. Marshall has an astounding instinct for popular entertainment. He's done it again with The Other Sister.
  72. In 80 minutes, the film accumulates a staggering gravity.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  73. Parents should note the PG rating. There's little bloodshed, but several fight scenes, lots of loud roaring and some overwhelming special effects sequences could vex younger viewers.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  74. McTiernan's film mines what substance it has from its two stars, but is admittedly about keeping up its own appearances.
  75. Copycat is as steady and reliable as a pulse and as exhilarating as a surge of adrenalin.
  76. The weird thing about the films David Mamet has directed is that they have about as much emotion as a cyborg in a science fiction movie, yet by the end of the picture it isn't necessary; by then the audience has supplied their own.
  77. Softley and Amini say they consciously viewed Kate as a film noir kind of heroine, a beauty leading a good man astray. And that, added to the setting of the second half of the movie in canal-riven Venice, gives the story the kind of moral haziness that verges on Thomas Mann territory.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    8MM
    This is not a movie for the squeamish, by any means. But for those who like their thrillers dark and their heroes a bit more complicated and flawed than the average shoot-without-a-blink type so prevalent in today's movies, 8MM fills the bill.
  78. There's a sense of genuineness throughout Girlfight.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  79. Groovy.
  80. It's a half-life better than Martin Lawrence treading similar, simpler water in "Big Momma's House."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Sad but still bouncy.
  81. Priceless.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Beautiful. Simply, beautiful.
  82. A collection of arbitrary sketches, bits and improvs jammed into a locker room-style variety show masquerading as some semblance of a narrative.
  83. The emphasis is on comedic interaction, not plot - too bad, "48 HRS" had both - but the pair adds spice to the predictable opposites-detract gags.
  84. William H. Macy is fine as the detective Arbogast, wearing a hat he could have borrowed from Martin Balsam in the original role.
  85. It is familiarly old-fashioned, complete with montages of newspaper clippings fluttering past and calendar days slipping by. The sets, costumes, old cars and general atmosphere all beautifully recall moviemaking of a bygone era. And for that, hats off to Duke.
  86. Add to that a perfect cast and one's only complaint will be that this is, at heart, another tear-jerker about how good it is to love and be alive and all of that.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In spite of how hard everything is to believe, you believe what Damon is doing.

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