San Francisco Examiner's Scores

  • Movies
For 789 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 The Wind Will Carry Us
Lowest review score: 0 Men Cry Bullets
Score distribution:
789 movie reviews
  1. In Winona Ryder's case, Girl Interrupted is a showcase in which her brittle, angry portrait shows she has graduated from ingenue to actress.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Jingoistic politics are not proper or prudent in the pluralistic human society of the 1990s. It's much easier to assuage these baser urges by facing a real nonhuman enemy that just wants to kill you. War is gore. You or them. That message is the real strength of "Starship Troopers," although many may find it morally flawed. No matter, this is powerful entertainment that appeals to our most basic instincts.
  2. 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.
    • 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.
  3. Austin is funny, extremely funny, because he is so ridiculous, and because Myers is a brilliant mimic who, like Martin Short, knows how to do ridiculous.
  4. A lazy, torpid piece of animated tourism.
  5. Regardless of how cheated out of a full-bodied motion picture you feel, you're still left with the year's sickest bathroom humor.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, all the good parts didn't add up to a great movie.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The screenplay - co-written by novelist Terry Southern - is intentionally ludicrous, but the fashions rule.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    Like "Rocky Horror Picture Show," Heavy Metal makes most sense as a midnight weekend feature, when many of its viewers are likely to be herbally and chemically addled. Without the help of intoxicants, Heavy Metal comes across as what it is - a wildly sophomoric and stupid cartoon celebrating gore, rape and bad music.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Forceful and well-acted. Fear truly lives up to its title.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    French Kiss has only a tenuous hold on reality; it is far more fully steeped in the conventions of latter-day movie romance than in the messy actualities of real-life mating.
    • 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.
  6. It is familiarly old-fashioned, complete with montages of newspaper clippings fluttering past and calendar days slipping by. The sets, costumes, old cars and general atmosphere all beautifully recall moviemaking of a bygone era. And for that, hats off to Duke.
  7. The movie's primary narrative weakness is that its racism plot points seem ripped from the headlines of a "Geraldo" newsletter and stretched into a string of terribly executed car chases.
  8. Collapses under its own contempt.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  9. 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.
  10. Flawless is what happens when a filmmaker has no sense of naturalism, no sense of realism and no real natural sense.
  11. It's handsome filmmaking that doesn't surface until the final 25 minutes during which Stevo and company's sense of marginalization achieves the palpable, emotional import that's more expressive than anything its characters' have to bitch about.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. As insulting as taking the queen to the Olive Garden.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If you haven't taken your mother to a movie in a while, this is the ticket, with its PG-13 rating, lack of violence and like that.
  15. Ryan has an edge that is extremely becoming…This is her best work yet.
  16. Although most of the stars of this movie are real, live actors, Casper is mostly just a big cartoon in which those live actors must interact with some devilishly clever spectral animation.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not as predictable as the rest of its ilk.
  17. One is hesitant to praise a movie that takes about an hour to get itself going, but it's important to report that once Out to Sea does get going, it makes you laugh.
  18. Modestly better than last year's awful "End of Days," though it falls well short of Arnold's "Terminator" peak period.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  19. The picture seems to have been intended as a political satire, but only a Hollywood executive could mistake it for the real thing.
  20. A misfire.
  21. The good guys metamorphose into bad guys and back into good guys with dazzling efficiency in Brian Helgeland's disturbing, comic script.
  22. The ending is a disappointment, a perfunctory upbeat gesture.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  23. Sometimes the movie lacks a quietness, an omission most egregiously felt at the end.
  24. The direction by Roger Donaldson is facile and understated, as is, for the most part, the script by Dennis Feldman. Even the actors pitch in to play down the silliness of it all.
  25. Dalmatians proves an apt playground for Hughes as one could surmise that his inspiration for treating comic bad guys in his movies so violently comes from a cartoon sensibility.
  26. You can see Bobby and Peter Farrelly bent over blowing violently into the sails of this toy boat, trying to get it to move.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 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.
  27. The veteran Baker anchors the proceedings, and you would like to see more of her character.
    • 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. An au natural (read: graphic) tryst-a-thon whose fashion sense is outweighed only by its bulky sexual intellectualism.
  29. The glory of the picture is the eye-popping, surreal backgrounds that blast the conventional characters off the screen.
  30. A proudly unsophisticated demonstration of racial progress.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Spacek and Walken are pure comic energy.
  31. The laserdisc of media movies - it plays fine, but it's clunky and cumbersome.
  32. Shows how Tinseltown sensibilities can be well thought out even on a low budget.
  33. Leonardo DiCaprio? Excuse me, Leonardo DiCaprio? I know he makes teenaged girls cry, but, I mean, Leonardo DiCaprio?
  34. Deadly funny.
  35. A workmanlike effort. It's not startling and it's not incompetent.
  36. A frantic, epic-sized blowout of campy, "Indiana Jones" -style derring-do mixed with lots of computer-generated gee-whizzes.
  37. Spiritually it's a John Woo-George Romero-Jim Thompson picture, outrageously bloody and weird.
  38. It seems like another misstep - the story just doesn't hold up to Ritchie's treatment.
    • San Francisco Examiner
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    One of those things that probably seems hilarious when a couple of guys are sitting around hashing out the plot over a couple of beers.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's a beautiful movie. Too beautiful for its own good, really.
  39. A smart, funny and endearing movie. It has enough cynicism to satisfy the part of DiCillo that would mock a blue-eyed superstar, yet enough genuine sentiment to make it possible for us to swallow the cynicism.
  40. Now and then the script reaches admirable heights of humor.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It's not easy to wrench belly laughs out of contract killing, but Nine Yards does just that.
  41. A crafty, sometimes craven, but hardly worshipful snapshot of an unlikely candidate for biggest rock act on earth.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  42. Besides some fine dogfight sequences, it often feels threadbare, just an exercise in recycling.
  43. As entertaining, charming and conceited as other Robert Redford joints, but it's also insufferably obvious.
  44. Spoof both of P.I.s and independent filmmakers is languidly paced and not very funny.
  45. Cronenberg has said that he made the film to find out why he was making it. You may watch it for the same reason.
  46. This is the sort of movie that doesn't become irritating even when it's predictable.
  47. 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.
  48. Ideological disaster!
  49. 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.
  50. William H. Macy is fine as the detective Arbogast, wearing a hat he could have borrowed from Martin Balsam in the original role.
  51. It succeeds because of the frenzied, kinetic direction by Mike Newell, one of the most interesting big-hit directors.
  52. I like that Sheridan's girlfriend works at Starbucks. Snipes plays the part with the kind of high energy that large doses of caffeine would explain.
  53. 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.
  54. Demonstrates that sadomasochistic streak in von Trier that equates the raw with the experimental.
  55. 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.
  56. The talented Murphy is appealing here, performing with sincerity and restraint - a wise choice, since his co-stars are a menagerie of wisecracking animals.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The cast's control and Dobkin's assured pacing keep most of the funny things funny and make most of the scary things scary - while maintaining the tricky balance between humor and fear.
  57. Neither offensive nor inspired.
  58. Needs a gritty intervention.
  59. His good-natured slob routine compensates for a lot of the film's dead spots, and the picture winds up a modest cut above the usual vehicle tailored for a would-be film star.
  60. It's the year's best movie sex.
  61. 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 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cast and crew and screenwriters seem to have had some fun with it, and the audience, coming along for the ride, has some fun with it, too.
  62. 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.
  63. An arcade game disguised as a love story, nearly comatose with cute.
    • 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.
  64. Leave it to Ron Howard to turn a plaintive Dr. Seuss ditty into a C-grade Tim Burton psychodrama.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. Determined to try your patience, asking you to fall in love with it.
  68. 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.
  69. The comedian's thankful willingness to do anything for Blue its redeeming grace.
  70. This is neither a psychological thriller nor an erotic one, so any interest in the story is purely the work of its stars.
    • San Francisco Examiner
  71. If only it wasn't such bloody nonsense.
  72. This movie would have had a chance of being interesting had it been about Sally Hemmings.
  73. The adorable overacting of the twins [Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen] make this otherwise dopey movie watchable.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Too smitten with the Eisenhower-era nostalgia.
  77. Hackman is, as ever, a master performer, an actor at the peak of his powers. However, he can't carry the whole movie.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Carrey's style is to keep the jokes moving so quickly and with such force that you can hardly stop to consider how stupid they are.
  78. Wields its Middle America values and moralistic flogging of idiosyncratic lifestyle choices like a flipped bird.
  79. 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?
  80. A wildly dull, predictable script whose holes seem to be courtesy of random sniper fire.

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