San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 799 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 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Trainspotting
Lowest review score: 0 Luminarias
Score distribution:
799 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Freed from the demands of adapting an established and complex literary piece, the filmmakers seem to have relaxed - and so can their audience.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    An artificial and hypocritical effort to escape the artistic limitations of teenage slasher flicks.
  3. At 126 minutes the movie is excruciatingly long, but it is still too short to pack in all the subtle changes in character he means but fails miserably to convey.
  4. A finely coiffed, cream-cheese "8 1/2" remix with Gere, a Marcello Mastroianni for Oprah Winfrey times.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  5. Quiet, moving and beautifully shot.
  6. Not entirely persuasive, not entirely schmaltzy, "The Tic Code" is one of those well-meant dramatizations... that mysteriously made it all the way to a theater near you.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The spectacle is huge; the animation, breathtaking. In many ways, it is the epic of biblical proportions the filmmakers hoped for. But, like the Good Book itself, The Prince of Egypt can also be tedious, self-important and at times exhausting.
  7. Cop Land presents a fairly involved plot, and Mangold is not equipped to do more than blurt all the information onto the screen and let the nuances settle where they may.
  8. Gattaca is a welcome throwback to the days of good, low-tech sci-fi, stressing character and atmosphere over computer-generated effects and juvenile thrills.
    • 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.
  9. Ultimately affecting mix 'n' match weeper.
  10. Something in Hutton's wounded puppy look always communicates an untapped intelligence or wasted potential, both of which are perfect for this role.
  11. Most of American Psycho just sits there, looking at trouble, rather than looking for it - complacent, overjoyed in fact to exist at all.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It fails to capitalize on its own gifts, coming darn close to greatness but never quite catching the brass ring.
  12. Lindsay Lohan, 12-year-old veteran of commercials and television, is a frighteningly poised child who is truly impressive as the long-separated twins.
  13. Dern is nothing short of brilliant here.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    A fun movie, with moments guaranteed to bring you close to tears. But, like most of Robbins' work, it's a cartoon, an emotional cartoon.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  14. A mixed bag with the promise of a better sequel.
    • 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.
  15. The title comes from Indian legend in which Lord Rama tests the purity of his wife by a flaming ordeal (which we see enacted in an open-air pageant with comic overtones of Bunuel). This bit of mythology too handily prefigures a major element in the film's conclusion.
  16. You may find yourself weeping toward the end, and, later, you may also find yourself wondering why. The revelations are staggeringly obvious.
  17. They have created a strange document about the unmaking of young lives, but it is a movie made without comment. Clark has stepped back into objectivity so far that he has neglected his role as interpreter for us.
  18. The Patriot makes the Revolutionary War look like super-produced studio footage of the L.A. riots.
  19. 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.
  20. Scenes go on and on in endless, witless dialogue, ever accompanied by John Williams' hideously gushing music.
  21. A slew of writers and an enthusiastic cast all do their jobs admirably enough to provide a couple of hours of unembarrassing entertainment.
  22. If it's difficult to find straight laughs in a colorblind prison movie (It's difficult enough to find a colorblind prison movie), finding straight laughs in a black one is almost impossible.
  23. Generates very little heat.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  24. It's not as good as the original - which was fresher, funnier and scarier - but if it were, then by the criteria of the film's resident movie scholar, it wouldn't be a genuine sequel.
  25. It's soft-edged fun that loses direction (or, given the scattershot plot, directions).
  26. This is a Seagal movie without Seagal and a Jack Ryan movie without Jack Ryan.
  27. Be that as it may, the movie offers the uplifting news bulletin that life is not about being happy with how much you weigh but with what kind of person you are. This is where the movie starts getting sloppy.
    • 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.
  28. 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Then there are times when the humor and the pathos of these losers catch you off-guard. Those moments are nearly profound, and elevate the film above the slacker cliches in which it wallows.
  29. Determined to be inoffensively tidy and cute above all else.
  30. 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.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  31. The journey's a kick.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Such an ambitious, well-acted film that it's easy to overlook its flaws as relatively minor.
  32. All the performances are good, the script is subtle and waste-free and Danny Elfman's score is evocative and appropriate, but the direction is what gives the movie its sweep.
  33. When the mystery is unraveled and the frame-up is revealed, I, personally, had no idea what anyone was talking about.
  34. The most refreshing performance is by Mortensen.
  35. Certainly it isn't about to give "Das Boot" a run for its money - but nevertheless it is irresistible entertainment.
  36. Amazing comic performances...give this comedy its lovely manic pace, kept just within the realm of sanity.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    [Krishnamma] gives the story a dimension of pent-up anguish and melancholy.
  37. A flyweight, humongously entertaining ensemble number.
  38. If Restaurant feels like a high-caliber TV drama, it's one that tries to pack an entire season (plus pilot, plus backstory) into one episode.
  39. This bloated, self-important and logically absurd movie, made by the director of the equally historically hysterical "Forrest Gump," pretends to the thrones of Serious Thinking, of Important Messages and of Intellectual Provocation. If there were truly anything serious, important or intellectual about this movie, this planet would be in big trouble.
    • 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.
  40. A movie too smart and too urgent to be categorically awful. Clinically insane may be another matter altogether.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  41. Think of this as "Die Hard" in a suit, with an election coming up.
  42. A remarkable study of the corrosive effects of fear and power on an establishment insider who puts duty above all else.
  43. A gorgeous sliver of grown-up ambrosia.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Faculty deserves a week of detention, not so much for missing the point as for blunting it.
    • 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.
  44. Spirited, madly educational docu-quickie.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  45. A shameless "Shawshank" redux.
  46. 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A hip, corrosive and often hilarious entertainment, the movie strikes another blow for the American independent film.
  47. An enervated adaptation of E.B. White's Stuart Little escapades.
  48. Dreamy and elegantly filmed.
  49. No-fat filmmaking aided by Berri's muscular formalism that, here, occasionally assumes the gritty focus of a taut, action thriller.
  50. Here he has Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore and James Remar to distract us from the depths to which Ross habitually stoops in the never-ending quest to reacquaint an audience with its cheapest emotions.
    • 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.
  51. A harmeless concoction.
  52. A grand, old-fashioned movie of spies and Communist repression.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  53. Kaizo Hayashi's homage to noir B movies, both Japanese and American, is successful as a true labor of love.
  54. As innocuous as the love songs on its soundtrack.
  55. This splatter film is set in Norway, but rest assured, it sticks with the formula. The young people to be killed off are just as obnoxious as their counterparts in American gorefests.
  56. It's the most liberated and alive [DeNiro]'s been since his deluded Rupert Pupkin tried to kidnap Jerry Lewis in "King of Comedy."
  57. Ransom is every bit as taut and expertly directed, and it's another in the emergency genre, one in which Howard excels.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Call it "Rosemary's Nephew." Or, simply call The Devil's Advocate a muddled metaphysical thriller that takes a small eternity to engage the observer with its flimsy characters and its tired special effects.
  58. 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.
  59. Funny and untouched by cynical, ironic bids to be taken seriously.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The Neon Bible is one of those movies that isn't devoid of art or redeeming features, but nevertheless deserves some kind of warning label: Those suffering from depression or a short attention span should proceed with extreme caution.
  60. Turturro tricks you into thinking there's magic realism streaming through this ode to art and commited love - despite there being little magic and not a trace of reality to speak of.
  61. Sandra Goldbacher, writing and directing her first feature, is a sure-handed filmmaker. The movie is a tableau of sensuality.
  62. Tyler is a find for a director like Bertolucci. She is a blank slate of prettiness with her unadulterated, thoroughbred, long-limbed looks.
  63. Where Never Been Kissed succeeds is in its unabashed refusal to stoop to choosing sides in the high-school hipness war.
  64. Writer-director Mark Herman seems genuinely moved by the plight of the mining communities, but his attempt to translate those feelings into a story shows the effects of hard labor.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In the movie, the truth will (and does) out itself. Mulder and Scully have seen the future and it's a giant leap for each of them to comprehend.
  65. A filmmaker of Jordan's capability is not likely to make anything less than a competent, watchable movie, and that Michael Collins is. I think content rather than form detracts from the cogency of the finished product in this case.
  66. The artificiality peculiar to moviemaking rubs up counter-productively against the artificiality peculiar to live theater, making the movie version of Gray's material seem arch, contrived and starchy, not the spontaneous eruption that his theater work manages to resemble.
  67. 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.
  68. An enthralling special-effects tour de force with a lover's nook.
  69. The considerable appeal of this movie has to do with its roots in those nice, comforting love stories of the 1930s.
  70. Woo delivers a vintage breakneck, break-arm, break-face 20-minute finale.
  71. As involved as Crudup and Connelly beseech you to be with this story, their very youthfulness, their nagging lack of adulthood, keeps the film from being anything more credible than a tight grad-school tryst.
  72. There's enough sexual manic depression to justify house calls from Dr. Laura.
  73. A monumentally graceful union of two extremely dissimilar stars, one inspired cinematographer and an exceptionally patient, curious, independent-minded director.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  74. It was only natural that Allen would eventually have to make a Greek drama.
  75. The thrill is most certainly not in the script by David Koepp, written from Michael Crichton's novel....Most of the writing is the blandest sort of twaddle, jokes you can practically recite along with actors.
  76. The sort of smutty scandalmongering the average moviegoer can really get behind.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  77. But what McNally, director Joe Mantello and a cast brought straight from the original New York stage production all accomplish is the creation of an honest, clever, poignant work about men who also happen to be gay, rather than a self-conscious polemic about gays who it turns out just happen also to be men.
  78. A collection of arbitrary sketches, bits and improvs jammed into a locker room-style variety show masquerading as some semblance of a narrative.
  79. Fans of sci-fi, special effects, big explosions, panicky crowd scenes and theater sound systems cranked up way beyond the capacity of the human ear to hear comfortably will love this movie. I am not among you.
  80. Most of American Pimp feels like you've been slipped a Mickey.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  81. A romantic sitcom that never transcends its gimmicky plot, but offers enough screen time to Gwyneth Paltrow to satisfy even her most rabid fans.

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