San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 765 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 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Limey
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
765 movie reviews
  1. Unfortunately, the movie never really goes anywhere. It's all pleasant enough to watch, but you never feel that Danny and Arthur's craziness (eventually Danny is committed), Sid's stoicism, Selma's selflessness and Steven's despair coalesce to mean anything significant or illuminating.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. As cosmetically sanitized revisions of history go: This is as good as it gets.
  5. Little Nicky is but a meek gross-out cousin of "The Waterboy."
  6. Reinforcing the chasm between movie magic and wishful thinking.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 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.
  7. An au natural (read: graphic) tryst-a-thon whose fashion sense is outweighed only by its bulky sexual intellectualism.
  8. Neither offensive nor inspired.
  9. But in its own overblown, melodramatic way, complete with hideous and obtrusive music by Michael Kamen, clanging sound effects that will leave your ears ringing and a penchant on the part of director Paul Anderson ( "Mortal Kombat" ) for quick flashes of blood-drenched gore, Event Horizon is kind of a hoot.
  10. It's scant to the point of irrelevance.
  11. This is a piece of gloriously literary and serious filmmaking, but again it falls prey to misjudgments in pacing and rhythm.
  12. Its finest moments come in sequences such as Alice and Darlene's prison break and the girls' final wrenching plea for freedom.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The story of a trainer and three of his boxers trying to break away from the confines of a gym in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Each story is strong, gripping in its own way. But you've heard them all before.
  13. This Paramount-DreamWorks collaboration, with Stephen Spielberg credited as executive producer, is competently made, strongly focused on its characters' relationships and surprisingly light on special effects.
  14. Generates very little heat.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  15. This is the kind of story that might have been interesting had it not been populated with dreary characters played by actors who were clearly coached to be as dull as possible.
  16. Most disappointing is the fact that the movie ends so abruptly that you can't help wondering what the whole story amounts to, moving as it is.
  17. The Patriot makes the Revolutionary War look like super-produced studio footage of the L.A. riots.
  18. Determined to be inoffensively tidy and cute above all else.
  19. The particulars of the plot don't make a great deal of sense, but Hartley's films have much more to do with style, or rather a philosophical refusal to show emotional involvement.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Could have been maudlin from start to finish. Instead, more than half the 154-minute film is riveting - filled with funny, touching bits that don't stoop to cheap sentimentality.
  20. It's all quite inspiring, but despite the fact that this is based on someone's actual experiences, the whole thing has an unfortunate Hollywood ring to it.
  21. One of the most blithely, giddily ridiculous movies to come along in ages.
  22. There isn't much to hold onto with this movie. If anything, Cry trivializes the plight of the South Africans in its breezy treatment of apartheid.
  23. Spiritually it's a John Woo-George Romero-Jim Thompson picture, outrageously bloody and weird.
  24. Works as a quixotic study of emotional quirks.
  25. By casting model-turned-actress (and his now-estranged wife) Milla Jovovich as the Maid of Orleans, Besson gives us an over-amped spectacle with an annoying, sometimes ridiculous cipher at its heart.
  26. An archaic rail-ride into the heart of boredom.
  27. Ronin shows the mark of a veteran hand and is entertaining in fits and starts.
  28. Martin Scorsese is certainly one of the great living movie directors. Sadly, this does not mean he can't make a mistake. Kundun is a mistake.
  29. It's fun, but the blatant, obvious kind that mistakes allusive cool for mature filmmaking and subtle ideasmanship.
  30. The needle on the laugh-o-meter barely budges.
  31. Fails to be the histrionic bubble bath that you want to carry you away.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A gooey-sweet, beautifully photographed romantic fantasy…It's also -- at the risk of sounding like a Grinch -- a mess.
  32. A limp excuse for a coming-of-age flick, more interested in sexploits than sex, more adept at gross-out than girls.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a fun movie - full of laughs and touching moments.
  33. There isn't much to recommend this movie until Pacino and De Niro finally share the first of their two scenes together.
  34. It also goes out of its way to give you a schlocky B-movie vibe by wrangling bait in the form of a bunch of Big-Gulp stupid stock characters - that's a whopping 44 oz. more stupid than you probably were bargaining for.
  35. What director Charles Russell ("The Mask") and co-writers Walon Green ("RoboCop 2") and Tony Puryear do right is supply the kind of non-stop action and laconic one-liners we live for in Arnold movies.
  36. 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.
  37. Director Joel Schumacher and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman seem incapable of emphasizing what's important and relegating the rest to secondary status.
  38. Capably made but simplistic story.
  39. Timely in that it joins an already mammoth list of bad movies about post-hippie static, including the recent "Steal This Movie."
  40. A counterfeit of a Woo movie, even though Woo himself co-produced it.
  41. So while at times, Penn's film is moving and insightful about the way the heart survives tragedy, at other times it seems to have been made by a gifted schizophrenic who thinks that weird behavior is perfectly normal.
  42. 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.
  43. Excess Baggage aims to broaden her appeal beyond her established, youthful audience. It won't, because it's a messy mixture of so-so comedy and unmoving drama; its inconsistent tone suggests a production where no one was fully in charge.
  44. If I wanted a Nora Ephron cuddle-ganza, I'd rent one.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  45. The one outstanding ingredient in this exercise is Miller, an English actor who is not only irresistibly adorable and a good actor, but also speaks in a perfect American accent.
  46. The film finally seems to stagger under the weight of its own significance.
  47. 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.
  48. Director Simon West makes an impressive feature debut in this relentless action-comedy that is, more than anything else, about how funny it is to see hundreds of people exploded, shot, knifed, propellered and burnt to death, and how to land a plane on the crowded Vegas strip.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Watching movies like this strain to fit new technologies like VR into old genres and plot conventions, you can't help wondering whether the real artificial intelligence experiment these days isn't Hollywood itself. Plug the psychological profiles of 200 hit movies into its hive-mind, and out comes one plastic-bodied, loop-brained clone after another.
  49. Like sitting on the beach under a cozy, warm afternoon sun. The view is beautiful, but not much is happening and soon you drift peacefully to sleep.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    An impressive low-whistle, hardscrabble look at the world of pool sharks and the people who crisscross their lives.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Vampire is hardly a consequential film, nor does it suggest hitherto buried reserves of Murphy's talent. But it's a diverting mixture of horror, romance and comedy.
  50. An arcade game disguised as a love story, nearly comatose with cute.
  51. The best and worst of old school -- retro but stale. Frankenheimer, along with Ben Affleck, donates what cool there is.
  52. Blakeney can't decide if this is a quirky romantic comedy or a quirky mob essay, and you can see the movie thinking itself into a rhythmless hole with cement shoes.
  53. Leonardo DiCaprio? Excuse me, Leonardo DiCaprio? I know he makes teenaged girls cry, but, I mean, Leonardo DiCaprio?
  54. 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    On the one hand, you want to praise it for its stylishness and originality in tackling some fascinating subject matter. On the other hand, it's frustrating because it could have been so much better.
  55. The trouble comes when Woo's patented - that is, oft-repeated - style overwhelms any hope of discerning story or acting through the haze of burning, crashing, bleeding and exploding.
  56. In a sense, Sandler is damned if he develops, damned if he devolves. But he needn't apologize for being who he is by turning a goldmine sitcom into a tame "Baby Boom" for guys.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A movie that barely lives.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Quick and the Dead takes on a more serious tone - as if, even in this loonily amoral environment, we're supposed to care about atrocities. The film builds to a satisfyingly catastrophic climax full of biblical flames and fluttering bank notes, but there's far too much dead time along the way.
  57. You can't help cheering for Selena, but the good feeling is diminished by the sense that her story's been simplified and sanitized.
  58. Though short on subtlety, A Walk on the Moon does offer the consolation of some decent performances.
  59. Besides some fine dogfight sequences, it often feels threadbare, just an exercise in recycling.
  60. A misfire.
  61. Out of Sight needed the energetic and stylish hand of "Get Shorty" director Barry Sonnenfeld. Instead, a sad-sackish Soderbergh ( "sex, lies and videotape") comes at this material looking as if his mind was on something else, something much, much more depressing.
  62. Modestly better than last year's awful "End of Days," though it falls well short of Arnold's "Terminator" peak period.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  63. Nicholson squeezes every wretched drop of buffoonery from this character, and it's distressing to watch him play an easy role for easy laughs.
    • 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.
  64. This is a prodigious something. It's just difficult to say whether that something is good or evil.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Faculty deserves a week of detention, not so much for missing the point as for blunting it.
  65. A laughably disconnected hostage drama that rails against the perceived nightmare of inner-city public schools.
  66. I tried to find in Paltrow what all her admirers in numerous magazine articles have reported. I tried to ignore a less than enchanting English accent and a tendency to be wiped off the screen whenever other actors were given much to do.
  67. Director Gary Fleder seems to be trying for the mood and atmosphere of "Seven," another Freeman film about murder and police work, but this movie isn't as stylish and the script by David Klass, based on the James Patterson novel, doesn't really hang together.
  68. By the time you get to the end of the movie and our heroes and Regis' cop buddy Dennis Miller must sprint through a series of tunnels beneath the White House racing against evil to save the presidency, if your credulity hasn't been tested you'll probably find your heart racing pleasantly.
  69. Plays like a lost Rockford file.
  70. What remains is Washington's volcanic and contemplative work at the core of a film packed to the rafters with raging bull.
    • 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.
  71. I'm not really sure who would enjoy this movie.
  72. Francis Ford Coppola's Jack has its affecting moments, but in the end illustrates the pitfalls of the "concept" movie, the kind you can boil down to a one-line hook.
  73. 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.
  74. There's the world-alteringly scary possibility that (Leder) might be trying to kill us with a star-studded "After School Special."
    • San Francisco Examiner
  75. Lane, with his extensive stage experience, is acerbic, profoundly cynical and endlessly disgruntled. As the foil, Evans strike the right comic nice-guy note; he has fun with the character's sweetness and refuses to degrade him.
  76. Tired comedy.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  77. Except for the casting, it would be difficult to find any substantial difference between this movie and the previous ones, or this movie and any number of high-tech adventure movies of the last decade.
  78. Lee seems to think that all his major characters are basically good people who deserve another chance, and so for the sake of an inappropriate happy ending, everyone important gets one.
  79. As always, Duvall is magnificent. Even in this small part, he manages to give one of the most stirring performances in the movie.
  80. As insulting as taking the queen to the Olive Garden.
  81. 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.
  82. An independent film so enamored of itself it refuses to have any fun.
  83. Crime-by numbers-cop drama.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  84. You feel the full weight of the movie's three hours, since the filmmakers only had 90 minutes' of plot.
  85. The movie's afraid of [Stiles], turning Kat from riot grrrrl to Solid Gold dancer in the time it takes to drop one Notorious B.I.G. song at that house party - which is why it's the Spam of processed teen movies.

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