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 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 When We Were Kings
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
764 movie reviews
  1. Ryan has an edge that is extremely becoming…This is her best work yet.
  2. Handsome, well-acted, well-written and beautifully directed movie.
    • 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.
    • 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]
  3. An old-fashioned movie. It is simplistic, full of stock characters and easy solutions to difficult problems, and I absolutely loved it.
  4. Amazing comic performances...give this comedy its lovely manic pace, kept just within the realm of sanity.
  5. May be the funniest movie about parental and spousal abuse ever made.
  6. 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.
  7. It's the hypnotic long-form music video Smoke never got to make.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
    • 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.
  10. 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In spite of how hard everything is to believe, you believe what Damon is doing.
  11. It's the most liberated and alive [DeNiro]'s been since his deluded Rupert Pupkin tried to kidnap Jerry Lewis in "King of Comedy."
  12. The ending is a disappointment, a perfunctory upbeat gesture.
  13. 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.
  14. Fancher's placid, eerily subdued first directorial feature.
  15. In Winona Ryder's case, Girl Interrupted is a showcase in which her brittle, angry portrait shows she has graduated from ingenue to actress.
  16. A finely coiffed, cream-cheese "8 1/2" remix with Gere, a Marcello Mastroianni for Oprah Winfrey times.
  17. A featherweight parlor-room French farce in need of an anchor to keep it from being blown away by the summer blockbuster gales.
  18. Deceptively keen as both a paranoid political thriller and a caveat against the trustworthiness of your friends and neighbors.
  19. Loose and funny with verve.
  20. There's a sense of genuineness throughout Girlfight.
  21. The deft, hilarious Notting Hill finds Grant's dour-droll-deprecating affliction at its most dead-on.
  22. An army of rolled abs and their owners give the state of American race relations a beginner's workout.
  23. Exists as a seldom represented American time capsule, and it's all good.
  24. Funny enough that it could make buddy pictures respectable again.
  25. It's a half-life better than Martin Lawrence treading similar, simpler water in "Big Momma's House."
  26. Dogma' is Kevin Smith's fourth film and it looks like his first but I'm not ready to quit him -- there's a landmark in him. I just wish the crafty, raucous Dogma was it.
  27. What's on the screen may not be a letter-perfect Mansfield Park, but something true to its spirit.
  28. The success of Felicia's Journey lies in the work of the steady and here understated Hoskins, who gives one of his best performances, and young Cassidy, who displays a weary maturity even through her deer-in-the-headlights character.
  29. De Felitta has taken potentially overripe material and given it real heart.
  30. Priceless enough to flush "Metro," "Dr. Dolittle" and "Holy Man" from memory.
  31. An alt-country paean to libidinal mothers and the little girls who clean up the mess.
  32. Entertaining but predictable, and too long.
  33. A movie that features rich Mexican American characters and an uncompromising story line is always timely.
  34. McTiernan's film mines what substance it has from its two stars, but is admittedly about keeping up its own appearances.
  35. What remains of the book's psychological underpinnings -- there are enough here to leave a permanent dent in the couch of any Freud-loving shrink
  36. Hot-blooded.
  37. An adrenaline-pumping, post-musical musical.
  38. A dashing fusion of the literary and the cinematic.
  39. Entertainment made well enough that you can overlook its absurdities.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Sad but still bouncy.
  40. Shows how Tinseltown sensibilities can be well thought out even on a low budget.
  41. Harris, Heche make unholy twosome.
  42. Revelatory.
  43. Kaizo Hayashi's homage to noir B movies, both Japanese and American, is successful as a true labor of love.
  44. There's enough sexual manic depression to justify house calls from Dr. Laura.
  45. An engaging, well-written film that is surprisingly gentle in tone and easily paced.
  46. Overall a well-played chess match of a movie.
  47. It is an important work, and a very good one.
  48. Never has this war been filmed with such ragged glory.
  49. At its best when it's hovering around the muted dysfunction between a father and a son, who never understood each other to begin with.
  50. A flyweight, humongously entertaining ensemble number.
  51. "The Big Sleep" and "The Maltese Falcon" echo loudly throughout.
  52. Misses some creative opportunities to really drive this story home, but it's a naturally haunting story nonetheless.
  53. The film is alt-schmaltz, and it'll do.
  54. Priceless.
  55. 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.
  56. A crafty, sometimes craven, but hardly worshipful snapshot of an unlikely candidate for biggest rock act on earth.
  57. 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.
  58. Spirited, madly educational docu-quickie.
  59. Like a Sally Field movie by Vittorio De Sica: Zhang wants to affect you with the subtle sting of his politics.
  60. Nunez's style is quiet, simple and deliberate, but the film never drags.
  61. Works a familiar mine and produces more than a few nuggets. It's a good tonic, if one's still needed, for '80s-style cynicism: Greed is not good.
  62. History rendered with enough brains and imagination to more than make up for its few stumbles.
  63. An ecstatic sensory experience so overloaded it hardly matters that the narrative has been placed on a back burner.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Beautiful. Simply, beautiful.
  64. From both sides of the camera, Eastwood works the crowd better than he has in years.
  65. Binoche is the ideal creature for that kind of cosmetic expansion, and, here, her thorough modernity takes on an almost cruddy, Italian sadness.
  66. Crassly funny passages.
  67. The author calls the movie "perfect" - reassurance that the director hasn't tried to pull any fast ones.
  68. The drawbacks to Little Voice might sink a lesser movie, but not this one.
  69. A fascinating, sometimes profound curiosity.
  70. It was only natural that Allen would eventually have to make a Greek drama.
  71. Where Never Been Kissed succeeds is in its unabashed refusal to stoop to choosing sides in the high-school hipness war.
  72. Certainly it isn't about to give "Das Boot" a run for its money - but nevertheless it is irresistible entertainment.
  73. 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.
  74. This is the sort of movie that doesn't become irritating even when it's predictable.
  75. An impressively competent "how will male teen star get with female teen star at high school dance?" romance.
  76. 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Everything you would want from a Big Brother film: Good-looking, preachy in an Old West kind of way, wobbling between humor and murder, hellbent and periodically brilliant.
  77. A shockingly eloquent, nearly moving feat of Y2K-trendiness.
  78. 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.
  79. Gets blue-ribbon results from its thoroughbred cast of improvisational comics.
  80. A meticulously assembled dramatization of a grossly controversial moment in TV history.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Spacek and Walken are pure comic energy.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    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.
  81. Aspires to the boundlessness of a kid's imagination.
  82. About as warm, pleasing and inviting as a film about divorce, infidelity and terminal cancer can be.
  83. A collection of arbitrary sketches, bits and improvs jammed into a locker room-style variety show masquerading as some semblance of a narrative.
  84. Deadly funny.
  85. Groovy.
  86. The journey's a kick.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While this movie hasn't many surprises, it does offer strong performances, especially from Gyllenhaal.
  87. Stooge-filled farce offers low laughs but lacks a point.
  88. There's not a whole lot to Waking Ned Devine, but it may be enough for those who like their quirky comedies from the British Isles - a burgeoning genre now - both atmospheric and gentle.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Such an ambitious, well-acted film that it's easy to overlook its flaws as relatively minor.

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