San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 794 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Crumb
Lowest review score: 0 Lost Souls
Score distribution:
794 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While this movie hasn't many surprises, it does offer strong performances, especially from Gyllenhaal.
  1. 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.
  2. The vibe is acoustic-cafe: cute, catchy and ironic given its wimpy point of view.
  3. Though short on subtlety, A Walk on the Moon does offer the consolation of some decent performances.
  4. The delight of the movie is Keitel, who finally gets to play someone who doesn't look like he's about to mug you.
  5. Even if the movie is not a work of comic - or philosophical - genius, its existence does foretell of tolerance gaining a foothold in a largely intolerant world.
  6. Hamlet finds in Hawke's greatish performance a Great Dane for this, or any other, modern moment.
  7. Turns into something like a screwball farce, an intimate, self-aware one.
  8. What makes Shadow Boxers special is how Bankowsky restores the woman's touch that always seems intentionally excised from coverage of the sport without comprising their participation in the sport.
  9. An ecstatic sensory experience so overloaded it hardly matters that the narrative has been placed on a back burner.
  10. Meanders around Holly Springs, Mississippi, with the fuzzy benevolence of a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    An exceptionally funny science-fiction comedy.
  11. Woody Allen's questionable toe-tapping faux-documentary.
  12. There's a sense of genuineness throughout Girlfight.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  13. Prince-Bythewood's movie is an occasionally clunky, mostly engaging coming out party for herself.
  14. 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Sure, it's the same trite teenage fantasy it was 20 years ago when it was first released, but somehow now the energy seems infectiously giddier, the songs zingier, the camp higher.
  15. Fans likely to rave about Living.
  16. 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.
  17. Underscores everything that was utterly wrong-headed about the original material.
  18. What's best about this script is the premise: a lawyer who doesn't lie.
  19. A movie that has an odd plot, quirky characters and a real edge, but it's not in-your-face, a re-invention of a genre or a smirky independent. It's different because it's flat-out great.
  20. The weird thing about the films David Mamet has directed is that they have about as much emotion as a cyborg in a science fiction movie, yet by the end of the picture it isn't necessary; by then the audience has supplied their own.
  21. Driver, who is padded but not fat, is an actress with self-possession to spare. Her looks defy conventional rules about modern beauty, but the directness of her gaze and the honesty of her smile make it difficult to look anywhere else when she is on screen.
  22. The acting and writing is a cut above the ordinary.
  23. 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.
  24. Never has this war been filmed with such ragged glory.
  25. A supremely silly movie, which means that it has moments of boring idiocy mixed with moments of inspired hilarity.
  26. Stooge-filled farce offers low laughs but lacks a point.
  27. It is a visual tour de force, but as a whole the movie slowly deflates into a cross between "Arizona" and "The Hudsucker Proxy".
  28. Groovy.
  29. Her first feature, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy, is a nicely directed, well-written debut.
  30. Revelatory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Surely there's a middle ground between a Bolshevik-style elevation of history over individual emotion and a Hollywood-style idolization of emotion over impersonal history. Surely it's possible to avoid either deifying or demonizing history, but rather to seek an understanding of it - as a force that shapes private lives even as they shape it. For all its grandeur and beauty, Dr. Zhivago denies the complexity of that exchange.
  31. A runny intimate portrait that doesn't trust Tammy Faye Messner and her story to enthrall you. So they've all but spelled it out: k-i-t-s-c-h.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  32. The real trouble with this movie is that it represents the continuing departure of Almodovar from the chaotic, riotous and anti-social roots that gave his best movies their zest.
  33. Some nice performances and modest laughs highlight this amiable British comedy.
  34. This overall good feeling helps smooth over the sometimes shocking lapses in logic.
  35. Roth, though, is like a sociopathic arsonist, one enthralled with his ability to start little blazes and one who would even call the fire department, but wouldn't stick around to see whether anyone put them out.
  36. Gets diagnosably schizo.
  37. 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.
  38. It's one of the most beautifully unpleasant movies ever made - its reverse charge being that it is no fun at all.
  39. Binoche is the ideal creature for that kind of cosmetic expansion, and, here, her thorough modernity takes on an almost cruddy, Italian sadness.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  40. 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
    • 63 Critic Score
    There are plenty of good sight gags here, and anyone who can work the phrase "ass clown" into a script is all right with me.
  41. A tedious, soapy romp about overlapping lives and destiny.
  42. The drawbacks to Little Voice might sink a lesser movie, but not this one.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The best-looking bad movie in years.
  43. A charming and moving film about a slightly racy subculture in a highly rule-bound society.
  44. The comedy-drama is worth seeing for Christie's performance as a former B-actress married to a philandering handyman. She radiates a mature sexuality that's a rare treat on screen these days, and when the camera strays from her, you want to reach over and turn it back.
  45. Works more as an object of pop curiosity than as a work of popular entertainment.
  46. Add to that a perfect cast and one's only complaint will be that this is, at heart, another tear-jerker about how good it is to love and be alive and all of that.
  47. Implausibly dainty.
  48. As formulaic, but occasionally outré multiplex-bound behemoths go, Gladiator is a foaming beast.
  49. One of Lee's unsung gifts as a filmmaker is his discovery of that place between eye-popping surrealism and wrenching Greek tragedy.
  50. Leans so heavily on its stars that their performances are marred by their emptiness.
  51. It's too cryptic and unfulfilled to serve as a tool for anything beyond its own obfuscation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Smart and unsentimental as it is, Shallow Grave is more than a little forbidding.
    • 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.
  52. Ronin shows the mark of a veteran hand and is entertaining in fits and starts.
  53. Private Parts is a sparkling, nonstop entertainment written by Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko and directed by Betty Thomas, but sometimes it gives the impression that Stern is nothing short of Nobel Peace Prize material.
  54. In general, the script is just slightly above sitcom level, but a few lines, owing to great delivery by terrific actors, raise this a few notches on the comedy scale.
  55. An old-fashioned movie. It is simplistic, full of stock characters and easy solutions to difficult problems, and I absolutely loved it.
  56. You can't help cheering for Selena, but the good feeling is diminished by the sense that her story's been simplified and sanitized.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    There's a novel, engaging story trying to transmit through the storm of special effects and convoluted plot twists that mar the movie.
    • 66 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.
  57. Things stay standard-issue French self-analytical from here.
  58. The film is alt-schmaltz, and it'll do.
  59. The deft, hilarious Notting Hill finds Grant's dour-droll-deprecating affliction at its most dead-on.
  60. The least opaque of Antonioni's films, unburdened by stylishness and his imagistic inflammations.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  61. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's too slick to be truly disturbing, but it's that slickness that keeps you on the edge of your chair.
  62. Tennant and company do a fine job of retaining the otherworldliness of a fairy tale while at the same time explaining all the archaisms for a modern audience.
  63. Director Eastwood favors naturalism and sometimes the effort to reproduce what it is like to meet someone new bogs the picture down irreparably.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It starts out well and winds up no worse than most of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood.
  64. It's the rawest, most hot-blooded, provocatively audacious, dangerous movie to come of out Hollywood this year.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Flawed but scrappy, confusing yet exhilarating, the Brit-made Lock, Stock is far from a perfect movie. And it's not for anyone squeamish about violence. But it is, like Green Day, a rockin' good time.
  65. It's full of visual flash, and can be enjoyed as a giddy ride, but you would waste your time trying to puzzle out the nuances of the story.
  66. 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.
  67. While Blanchett glows with intelligence, passion and a quirky kind of beauty, the movie she is in fails her in a number of essential ways.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A great date movie: engaging enough to grab your attention while it's unfolding, thought-provoking enough to fuel cafe and cocktail lounge chatter long after the closing credits roll.
  68. For all the blathering, heavy-handed pathos, we might as well be watching the Lifetime cable channel.
  69. The film finally seems to stagger under the weight of its own significance.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It is both the best-looking James Bond film and the best-looking James Bond.
  70. 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.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  71. A shockingly eloquent, nearly moving feat of Y2K-trendiness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A poignant and racy movie. The dancing is pretty great, too.
    • 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.
  72. Deceptively keen as both a paranoid political thriller and a caveat against the trustworthiness of your friends and neighbors.
  73. A less confrontational, though positively gushing modernization of "Pierre, or the Ambiguities."
  74. Plays like a lost Rockford file.
  75. Madhouse satire manages to disarm the second you realize it's laughing with you - and sometimes harder.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  76. Just fascinating in an empty, trendy sort of way
  77. While the premise is intriguing, the movie is gluey, bumbling and singularly un-thrilling.
  78. The cliches are all here.... Eszterhas works around these scripting difficulties deftly enough, but the real pleasure here is in watching Bacon and Renfro as idol and adorer.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.

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