San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 767 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Gone with the Wind
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
767 movie reviews
  1. This is grim material, but director Hilary Brougher -- working from her own script that won a Sundance award -- examines the lives of these two suffering women without sensationalism or preaching.
  2. 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.
  3. This movie has the jaunty good cheer of another great movie about hit men, "Prizzi's Honor." And that is high praise indeed.
  4. A dashing fusion of the literary and the cinematic.
  5. The majestic pageant of images - no sylvan landscape has been this indelibly, dimensionally alive - is inextricably welded to the multifold spiritual / ecological questions about the future that Miyazaki is contemplating.
  6. There isn't much to recommend this movie until Pacino and De Niro finally share the first of their two scenes together.
  7. It's scant to the point of irrelevance.
  8. Comes on like an "After School Special'' psychodrama that's been taken off its medication.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  9. The scenes with Stalin and his frightened underlings, his giddy yes-men tip-toeing around him, are written and directed by Duncan with a grace, agility and comic deftness one rarely is treated to at the movies these days.
  10. It is an important work, and a very good one.
  11. Ethereal.
  12. Sometimes, when you watch a Stillman movie, you can't help thinking that the guy ought to get out more.
  13. Crassly funny passages.
  14. It's that rare movie with a sense of timeliness that is eternal, and a protagonist whose soul-crushed angst, even at its most fatal, speaks to the little boy/girl lost in everyone.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Offers insights from a host of former players.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  15. The movie hits the ground running, so Beatty the actor is forced to go all out from the start.
  16. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The Spanish filmmaker goes back to what he does better than any other living director - post-modernizing the melodrama.
  17. 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.
  18. An alt-country paean to libidinal mothers and the little girls who clean up the mess.
  19. 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
    • San Francisco Examiner
  20. Has a silly, insouciant glamour often employed to sell hair conditioners and perfume.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  21. It's a more intelligent and dimensional epic than, say, "Anna and the King." Emperor is worth every single penny.
    • 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.
  22. History rendered with enough brains and imagination to more than make up for its few stumbles.
  23. There isn't a whole lot of fancy subplotting, just a potpourri of funny and engaging characters.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. Huston manages to bring the unavoidable brutality of this story to the screen without seeming exploitative. And she gets good performances out of Malone, Leigh and Eldard. Glenne Headly gives a great performance as Leigh's saintly sister.
  27. One of the qualities that makes "12 Monkeys" so good is the fact that it is almost too complicated to explain.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Tucci and Holm brilliant as magazine writer and artist.
  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. No amount of excellent period costuming and brilliant set decoration can substitute for a good story and decent acting.
  30. Broadway-sized performances.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  31. May be the funniest movie about parental and spousal abuse ever made.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the most complex and powerful literary scripts in recent times.
  32. What remains is Washington's volcanic and contemplative work at the core of a film packed to the rafters with raging bull.
  33. An adrenaline-pumping, post-musical musical.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  34. Overall a well-played chess match of a movie.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  35. A sobering documentary.
  36. A warm-hearted valentine to old traditions in China that are being obliterated by modern - and admittedly more efficient - technology.
  37. At its best the film serves as a music appreciation class taught by embattled artists whose cloudy livelihoods grow increasingly uncertain with each bittersweet symphony.
  38. Cholodenko's strategy of having the actors, in every scene -- whether it involves Lucy, the boyfriend or the Frame editors -- perform with an intonational flatness approaching monotone pretentiously undermines the effectiveness of her subject matter.
  39. It's a gas, dude!
  40. It's a testament to what happens when all the right ingredients come together. Wag the Dog is the best political satire in years.
  41. Makes a term like neo-noir seem like a fatuous catch phrase.
  42. Through it all, Ozon supplies a sense of pathos that makes fun of its own soullessness, transforming a self-serious suicide note into an existential love letter.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  43. Loose and funny with verve.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  44. A featherweight parlor-room French farce in need of an anchor to keep it from being blown away by the summer blockbuster gales.
  45. Quickly degenerates into a grueling piece of unpleasantness.
  46. 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.
  47. What begins as unassumingly dull wanders into disarming chaos.
  48. A document of vexing (and vexed) immediacy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    An excellent human-interest documentary that unlike so many others has a genuine appeal beyond someone already interested in the subject matter.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Trouble is, it's too close-up.
  49. Capably made but simplistic story.
  50. Like a Sally Field movie by Vittorio De Sica: Zhang wants to affect you with the subtle sting of his politics.
  51. The first more-than-halfway-decent movie of a new millennium.
  52. From both sides of the camera, Eastwood works the crowd better than he has in years.
  53. When you really think about Breakdown - and believe me, that would probably require spending more time thinking about the movie than the filmmakers did - it doesn't make much sense.
  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. I'm not really sure who would enjoy this movie.
  56. Go
    A triptych whirling on a Lazy Susan of revolving character perspectives.
  57. That's not to say the entertaining Antz" was made by Woody, just that it's full of his personality.
  58. Ruiz has made the most ambitious adaptation of a Proust work yet.
  59. A guilty pleasure and one of the best films of the year.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  60. The movie is well made by director Michael Winterbottom ("Jude"), with a minimum of overdramatics.
  61. Pi
    Pi will not be for everyone, but for those who are fed up with the mainstream idiocy that gets dumped into theaters each summer, this movie willbe like a great big palate-clearing taste of sorbet.
  62. While Birdcage has many isolated funny moments, long bits of slowness interrupt the energy.
  63. 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.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  64. 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
  65. Coppola again shines his intelligence on this bestseller material, rather than just shoving it through the Hollywood mill unsifted.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    There's not much mystery here; there's only one outcome that could possibly make dramatic sense. And once you realize that, there's not much to do besides watch some very adept performers chew on their lines.
  66. McTiernan's film mines what substance it has from its two stars, but is admittedly about keeping up its own appearances.
  67. Leaves the audience on such a devastatingly dramatic ledge.
  68. 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.
  69. The intention is there, but the needed emotional maturity isn't.
  70. The film's premise is totally implausible yet great performances, directing and script allow us to transcend the concept of believability and enjoy nevertheless.
  71. Priceless enough to flush "Metro," "Dr. Dolittle" and "Holy Man" from memory.
  72. Fallen Angels is proof that Wong will try anything, and the result is an eclectic mix of images and disjointed editing, sounds and rhythms that are at times as powerful as any piece of filmmaking likely to be seen all year. It can also, every once in awhile, be tedious and trying.
  73. An engaging, well-written film that is surprisingly gentle in tone and easily paced.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Like a Les Brown tune, a really dry martini and a hug from a good buddy, Swingers makes you feel warm all over, baby.
  74. It's hard not to keep thinking that this movie is basically "Yentl" with a nose job.
  75. It's the hypnotic long-form music video Smoke never got to make.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  76. It's as sunny as you would expect a Hanks project to be.
  77. Voight's Wright is one of many examples of how Singleton and Poirier succeed in suggesting the ambivalence and shadings that make movie characters believable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even those unfamiliar with the entire "Star Trek" phenomenon (it's now been 30 years since the original TV show sprang from the fertile mind of creator Gene Roddenberry) will find this a clever action movie, with a well-written screenplay and tight direction of a fine cast.
  78. What's on the screen may not be a letter-perfect Mansfield Park, but something true to its spirit.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Nowhere near as funny as "Spinal Tap," but fans of this kind of deadpan humor are guaranteed to get a few chuckles out of this one. All of the actors are marvelously horrible, and in this movie, bad equals good.
  79. Beautiful, wandering little love story that wants to break your heart and probably will.
  80. While amusing and sometimes touching, Pleasantville is far from challenging.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. If the movie crumbles under its own stiffness at times, at least it has the two old pros' good performances to cheer us along the way.
  84. Szabo doesn't bring the film to its senses until just past the halfway point.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While this movie hasn't many surprises, it does offer strong performances, especially from Gyllenhaal.
  85. 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.
  86. The vibe is acoustic-cafe: cute, catchy and ironic given its wimpy point of view.
  87. Though short on subtlety, A Walk on the Moon does offer the consolation of some decent performances.
  88. The delight of the movie is Keitel, who finally gets to play someone who doesn't look like he's about to mug you.

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