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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Apollo 13
Lowest review score: 0 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Score distribution:
764 movie reviews
  1. One of the most self-in-dulgent, muddled, badly written, vague and pointless exercises in filmmaking I have ever had to sit through.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    You may have surmised that Americans have held the copyright on turning out awful movies about serious musicians (especially musicians with physical or mental afflictions), but along comes the high-gloss weepie.
  2. Baumbach is obviously a bright man, but this material is too thin for anything more than a slight New Yorker short story about thoughtful screw-ups.
  3. No amount of excellent period costuming and brilliant set decoration can substitute for a good story and decent acting.
  4. Quickly degenerates into a grueling piece of unpleasantness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Trouble is, it's too close-up.
  5. The intention is there, but the needed emotional maturity isn't.
  6. Underscores everything that was utterly wrong-headed about the original material.
  7. The movie is an ill-advised work of egomania by someone who clearly has some talent, but not as much as he seems to think.
  8. Big swirls of computer-generated dirt, a bickering couple and the dead certainty that the fiancee will leave and the bickerers will get back together. An exciting night out, or what?
    • 68 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The best-looking bad movie in years.
  9. It's too cryptic and unfulfilled to serve as a tool for anything beyond its own obfuscation.
  10. If the idea is to teach us something about the 37th president of the United States, then you would think Stone would resolve to stick to what can be proven about the man's life, or at least indicate when he's speculating. But Stone is the Great Explainer, and facts have an annoying habit of mucking up his explanations.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    Several times during this film, you wish you were a bottle rocket so you could explode out of your seat and leave this tedious mess behind.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Schnabel can't decide whether he wants to tell a traditional rise-and-fall morality tale or make an art film. His attempt at telling Basquiat's story straightforwardly collapses under its own banality.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    An artificial and hypocritical effort to escape the artistic limitations of teenage slasher flicks.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    The entire film rings totally fake and the resulting dishonest sentimentality makes you fidget in your seat and count the seconds until the sweet but completely predictable ending.
  11. Something in Hutton's wounded puppy look always communicates an untapped intelligence or wasted potential, both of which are perfect for this role.
  12. Most of American Psycho just sits there, looking at trouble, rather than looking for it - complacent, overjoyed in fact to exist at all.
  13. Most of the movie seems stilted and uncomfortably girdled by efforts to work around the cumbersome Brando, who is shot mostly from above the waist, where the full effects of gravity and avoirdupois do not seem so egregious as they do at belt level.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Just another in a long line of blue-collar-kid-at-prep-school movies, and it may be the worst of the lot. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is original in this movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    As titillating novelty turns into tired cliche, the dyke-psycho-killer genre may soon burn itself out, but in the meantime, we have the grim Brit art-film variation on the gruesome genre, Butterfly Kiss.
  14. Particularly because unlike so many other boring movies one sees, Jarmusch films require many more words to explain the boringness than less certifiably artistic films would.
  15. It took four people to write the screenplay for The Relic. All I can say is that I hope these people have not quit their day jobs.
  16. Neeson simply has no spark here. He is good and honest and honorable until your face turns blue. He's just no fun.
  17. The jokes run hot, cold and tepid.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  18. If there is a reason anyone would voluntarily agree to make this movie it probably dwells somewhere in a realm only accessible to the thinking of ambitious actors.
  19. Unsalvageable B-movie junk.
  20. It just doesn't work.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, the contemporary horror movie has ceased being an individual work full of surprises and fresh manifestations of the Gothic imagination - it has, instead, been reduced to the level of an inflexible, repetitious, ritualistic event.
  21. A football epic on performance enhancers that may be more flagrantly flawed, more shockingly predictable and just plain cornier than its rickety predecessors.
  22. Ineptly written and shot like a fashion mag, rings hollow throughout. It's a long, long way from "Jules and Jim."
  23. Between fights, the film can't even rely on the luxury of Lindo, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, Rottweiler rapper DMX or the scary Henry O as Han's father to make it watchable - the dialogue is wreaking more havoc than Li.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    And once, just once, I'd love to see a teen flick that doesn't send out a message to young girls that to be acceptable, you have to conform. I liked the artist girl much better before.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Half-comedy, half-coming-of-age movie with another half or so of sports film and maybe another quarter of soundtrack that adds up to 175 percent of a bad movie.
  24. While the original conception of The Saint gave us a debonair, sophisticated and roguish detective, the new movie, directed stiffly by Phillip Noyce ( "Clear and Present Danger" ), gives us Val Kilmer as a greedy high-tech daredevil thief with the moves of Batman, the clunky disguises of Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible" and the morals of an alley cat.
  25. Flawless is what happens when a filmmaker has no sense of naturalism, no sense of realism and no real natural sense.
  26. I HATE to whine, but if Michael Douglas is half as tired of playing yuppie scum as I am of watching him do it, then he must be napping on a regular basis by now.
  27. Ludicrously written and appallingly directed by ex-film critic Rod Lurie, seems to pride itself on the fact that it never (ever) leaves the greasy-spoon milieu in which the president and his staff are trapped by heavy snowfall.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The sudden cranking of the volume that makes us jump, even if we're just watching a cow chew on its cud.
  28. Spoof both of P.I.s and independent filmmakers is languidly paced and not very funny.
  29. Ideological disaster!
  30. A slick, supercharged popcorn flick of the erstwhile Bruckheimer-Simpson brigade in which the only thing more shameful than the proceedings is a very well-paid male star assigned to make you less aware of that sucking sound.
  31. So it's hard to know who gets the blame for Payback. I say we cut Mel some slack and put the hex on Helgeland.
  32. Grumpier Old Men certainly isn't relying on its mawkish and hokey story to put warm bodies in the seats. There's no reason to see the picture - a sequel to their 1993 hit, “Grumpy Old Men" - other than to relish the talents of these two veterans, plus Sophia Loren, a newcomer to the series.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Imagine if "On the Road" ended with Sal and Dean settling down in the 'burbs. Or if the carnal encounters in Henry Miller's "Sexus" were prefaced with admonitions to the reader not to "objectify" women. The Basketball Diaries is a similar travesty: It turns a celebration of outlaw life into a just-say-no cautionary tale that Nancy Reagan would love.
  33. Things to do in the movie theater until you mercifully die of boredom sums up this witness' response to the ordeal of sitting through this movie.
  34. If only it wasn't such bloody nonsense.
  35. Unfortunately, this movie needed an attractive, irresistibly charismatic performer to give us some reason for watching. Madonna is made up to look like Eva, but this is hardly enough to carry the movie.
  36. Wields its Middle America values and moralistic flogging of idiosyncratic lifestyle choices like a flipped bird.
  37. My question is, why has director Costa-Gavras taken it upon himself to dissect American cultural foibles when he has so clearly proven himself unequipped for the job?
  38. A wildly dull, predictable script whose holes seem to be courtesy of random sniper fire.
  39. Legends of the Fall never makes you think too hard; its woes-of-a-proud-family formula takes a back seat to a self-conscious visual style that strains toward the level of myth.
  40. With the exception of a couple of inspired moments, Mary Reilly is merely a curious variation of an often-told story.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    A scary example of bad movies happening to good people.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The movie itself simply misses the mark.
  41. It's a tale of two missused Academy Award winners trying to justify their participation in a moribund, noisome redux of any disposable prison movie you care to remember by lobbing Oscar clips at each other.
  42. Dante's Peak expands the concept of badness in movies.
  43. In tackling 1000 A.D., (McTiernan)'s suddenly an unwieldy, clunky filmmaker.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  44. Maybe there's a real use for Carrie 2 after all. Stand it up against the original, and you have a pretty good lesson in what's happened to the movies in the last couple of decades.
  45. This is the most-off-the-mark adaptation of a novel since Brian DePalma's what-was-that "Bonfire of the Vanities."
    • San Francisco Examiner
  46. It's also troublesome that Murphy, a generally charismatic actor, is downright dull here. He and Goldblum are curiously flat in their line readings; they don't seem convinced by the story they're asked to act out, and with good reason.
  47. It is a traffic jam of broken hearts, fluxing racial identities and deplorable outfits that has everything but a salsa overhaul of "I Will Survive."
  48. A complete misfire.
  49. One long offensive treatise on just how vile two human beings can be.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Muddled futuristic thriller.
  50. What we get are quirky characters who are such cartoons that they undermine the effectiveness of the scare scenes (Brad Dourif's turn as the weird doctor is an example) and well-composed camera angles that mean nothing.
  51. It's mesmerizing nonetheless for its flagrant disregard for narrative, character, pacing, performance and good lighting.
  52. Miserable as it crawls for two eternal hours toward being "life-affirming."
    • San Francisco Examiner
  53. Has no intention of taking a more sophisticated path to make its point.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    Crude, stupid and unfunny.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    An amusement park special, screaming from start to finish with no brakes, no plot and no acting to speak of.
  54. If only director Luis Llosa and his cast could see the joke and seize upon it; instead, like its computer-morphed snake, the film doesn't have a clever bone in its body.
  55. Stinks from the Earth to the moon.
  56. When Annabel Chong sits in front of Gough Lewis' camera and complains about her need to have one of those normal everyday lives, you want to tell her that having intercourse on camera with more than 200 men is probably not the way to get to normal.
  57. About a moron - oxy and otherwise.
  58. Too dumb to realize that the senselessness is viral.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  59. A downright dumb movie that, with its breathless pace, lack of character development and uninventive gags, might be torture for even the kids to sit through.
  60. Stupid.
  61. What keeps coming to mind throughout The Jackal is that for what it cost to make this movie you could probably pay some nice hit man to eliminate everyone at Universal who thought making the movie would be a good idea, and still have enough left over to throw one of those hit man parties and have a really great time.
  62. It's downright boring.
  63. An infuriatingly indulgent piffle of adolescent wish-fulfillment.
  64. The big trouble with the movie is that it's difficult to care whether these two get together. Ultimately I did care - when I realized that their union would presumably represent a chance that the movie might end soon.
  65. It's simply terrible.
  66. It's an experience as frustrating as watching Jeff Gordon drive a stock car through a bowl of oatmeal.
  67. Second-banana material.
  68. Otherwise, the movie, which borrows from a dozen pop sources and improves on none of them, is pretty much a washout.
  69. The movie equivalent of the fruitcake you get every year from the folks back home. It's brick-heavy and full of nasty bits you don't want to put in your mouth, lovingly wrapped in pink cellophane.
  70. Too screwy to be really funny.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    54
    Offers nothing new, and a lot less. It's a hollow shell of a film, rife with plot twists that go nowhere.
  71. Not much of a plot, but the trouble is that Shana Larsen's script, as directed by Risa Bramon Garcia, isn't very deep. Worse, none of the self-absorbed characters are that likable nor are they funny.
  72. My guess is you'll probably have more fun watching a game at the ballpark than you will at The Fan.
  73. When a movie is nothing but relentless action, there's little chance for dramatic tension to develop.
  74. Overlong, naggingly pretentious, more absurd than absurdist and a cruel, cruel bore.
  75. One of those truly biodegradable experiences.
  76. Painfully unfunny.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  77. A way-below-par golfing comedy.
  78. Unfortunately, it stars Keanu Reeves and Cameron Diaz, so it has, more than anything else, a sense of ridiculousness.
  79. Wesley Snipes runs around a lot shooting people in plotless film.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  80. An undernourished exercise in pop critique.

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