St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Scores

  • Movies
For 900 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 A Prophet
Lowest review score: 25 A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 900
900 movie reviews
  1. Like an acquaintance couple's baby pictures, Friends With Kids induces coos but isn't as cute as they think.
  2. The Hunger Games is dressed as a dark satire of soulless entertainment, but like Katniss' adversaries in the PG-13 hunting scenes, it doesn't have a distinctive identity or go-for-the-throat.
  3. There's some laughing gas left in the cupboard, but this series may require an infusion of new blood to last until "American Funeral."
  4. Bully is a good start to a necessary conversation, but its loving voice is likely to be drowned out by haters who hide their own wounded hearts behind Internet pseudonyms and broadcast microphones.
  5. Built on shaky and blood-soaked ground, but if towering technique is all you want from an action movie, then yippee-ki-yay.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The movie is missing the zippy chases and lovable characters of Aardman studio's previous films ("Arthur Christmas," "Chicken Run").
  6. Elles is provocative company, but it leaves us feeling hustled.
  7. There are enough F-bombs, a couple of chopped-off appendages and a flash of gratuitous male nudity to earn an R rating. But fans of producer Judd Apatow would expect nothing less.
  8. The fiery finale is good enough to leave the legions smiling. But when a movie is expected to lift an entire industry, "good enough" shouldn't be good enough.
  9. It still has cool creatures and 1960s set design, and the 3-D is the best of the season, but if you try to remember the story or jokes, you'll find that you've been hit by a neuralyzer beam.
  10. Surviving Progress reiterates arguments made in movies such as "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Inside Job," it marshals minds such as Jane Goodall and Stephen Hawking, and it utilizes artful imagery reminiscent of films such as "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Up the Yangtze."
  11. If the world were really coming to an end, we'd spend it with Knightley and tell her tag-along friend that there's not enough food for a 50-year-old virgin.
  12. Eccentric enough to get mistaken for an uplifting fantasy, but it's Plaza who belongs in the penthouse.
  13. A colorful indictment of corporate infestation, but it's missing a prescription.
  14. As the blindered Abe, relative-unknown Gelber earns a sympathetic pat on the head. But as the character is braying for attention, he's stuck in his stall, while genuine dark horse Donna Murphy carries the narrative load as the middle-aged co-worker who prances into Abe's daydreams.
  15. Hit and Run isn't a catastrophe, but it leaves loose ends and a more adventurous map by the side of the winding road.
  16. Killer Joe is one of the most repugnant parodies of small-town stupidity that you will ever see, and Friedkin amplifies the shrill obscenities with blaring cartoon and kung-fu footage from his art director's fever dreams.
  17. Although this Swedish vehicle is thoughtfully engineered and has some vivid streaks of color, it could use a jump start to escape the vanilla ice.
  18. Despite some gruesome images and the psychotic fervor of Rakes, it's a frustratingly slow boil.
  19. Ultimately a movie that could have been a little jewel is unpolished.
  20. The rapid dialogue is dry and mannered, like a David Mamet play, there's virtually no story and Cronenberg's visual scheme is cold and claustrophobic.
  21. Too modest to become a worldwide phenomenon, but sensitive teens and their older kin who pine for the '90s may want to take it for a spin on the dance floor.
  22. By the time the meta-movie and cute-dog subplots collide in the desert, this high-concept vehicle has run out of gas. Movies about the filmmaking process may never get old, but self-referential hit men smell like yesterday's fish story.
  23. Compared to most teen comedies these days, Fun Size is almost touchingly tame.
  24. If your inner amphibian craves a wave, you have the right kind of brain to appreciate the elemental story and scenic backdrops. But advanced mammals might smell something fishy.
  25. The Bay is better than a shallow exercise, but crabby horror fans may have preferred that Levinson took a real plunge.
  26. It's not a good film, but viewed from a cockeyed angle, it's a great guilty pleasure, and director Bill Condon is in on the joke.
  27. Penn has created a colorful tour guide, but in This Must Be the Place, there's no there there.
  28. Like the politicians it tries to pull into the big picture, Killing Them Softly promises more than it delivers.
  29. Hitchcock is an amusing lark, but the clumsy way it dissects the director is for the birds.
  30. The Holocaust must never be forgotten, but like many well-intentioned documentaries, The Flat derives more power from the implicit strength of the subject than from the explicit choices of the director.
  31. There's an alliance of interesting stories fighting for dominance here, but instead of a clear victory, Hyde Park on Hudson is the site of a muddled truce.
  32. Because he's the protagonist of the movie and played by the likable Matt Damon, we keep an open mind, but Promised Land is morally ambiguous to a fault.
  33. Obviously a labor love, and its very existence in a godforsaken marketplace is a minor miracle.
  34. This true-ish story adds a romantic subplot to the prosecution of Japanese war criminals by American general Douglas MacArthur, but neither the love nor the war are completely baked.
  35. It’s too cheesy and predictable to be a real miracle, but by Vegas standards, it’s a winner.
  36. Like a taxidermied owl, Stoker is lovely to look at, but in the end it’s hard to give a hoot.
  37. Draining most of the blood, sweat and tears from a true story, this music-minded movie capably covers a song we’ve heard a hundred times before.
  38. Redford is an adequate director, and he keeps things moving at a moderate pace, passing up exits to more spectacular vistas or hotter issues.
  39. A high-concept comedy that peddles some slapstick laughs and life lessons but little insight.
  40. While the underrated Brosnan is effective as the cold-hearted produce mogul, the character starts as such a sourpuss that after he softens in the Sorrento lemon groves, it’s still hard to root for his inevitable hookup with Ida.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    What saves the movie from taking a nose-dive is the confident performance of Helena Bonham Carter and some genuinely funny scenes involving her character. She plays Jane, a smart, feisty, rebellious young woman who is confined to a wheelchair because she is dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). [22 Jan. 1999, p.E3]
  41. Good but not-good-enough schlocker.
  42. Despite its brainy title, Monsters University only earns a passing grade on its looks.
  43. Whether on stage or the screen, Much Ado About Nothing is a pleasure that passes like a midsummer night’s dream.
  44. Watson is a revelation here as a brand-obsessed bad girl.
  45. A buddy comedy disguised as a political thriller. It’s full of malarkey, but as a campaign of shock and awe, it’s hard to resist.
  46. This loony 'toon is dizzy with wonderments, especially in 3-D. The spindly-limbed character design owes more to Charles Addams' family than to Walt Disney's kingdom, while the story and settings evoke James Bond on laughing gas.
  47. The crescendo of two resonant careers makes the false notes of Unfinished Song forgivable.
  48. The movie is an eyeful, especially in 3-D, but even with humans at the helms of the machines, it’s a hollow exercise in homage.
  49. With its forked tongue planted loosely in cheek, this haunted-house flick is enjoyably retro in both style and substance.
  50. There’s plenty of talk about sex — even from Brandy’s supportive mom (Connie Britton), who offers her lubricant — but not much nudity or consequence. In The To Do List, sex is just another dubious achievement to outgrow.
  51. It’s amusing fluff, but from an Oscar-winning dramatist, this return to comedy is a bit of a letdown.
  52. Cue the folky music and the two eccentric locals who are the only other characters, and Prince Avalanche is a molehill that dreams it’s a mountain when it’s really, really stoned.
  53. There’s much to appreciate here. Like “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which had a stronger sense of its place in the world, this coming-of-age movie should appeal to smart, sensitive young people who haven’t been exposed to the better examples of the genre.
  54. Targeted toward horror-film junkies looking for a terror throwback, You’re Next mixes gore and dark humor with yet another home invasion plot line.
  55. Although the characters are three-dimensional, the simultaneous crises and last-act resolutions are a little too neat for a movie about the messiness of life.
  56. Gordon-Levitt is a victim of his own success here. He plays such a convincing cad that we don’t believe or invest in his redemption.
  57. Compared to other Marvel characters, Thor is a difficult sell.
  58. There’s a lot of comic and fantasy potential here, but much of it gets squandered.
  59. The ingredients are in place for a potent finale, but “Catching Fire” is watered down.
  60. For all its professionalism, I found it as cold as the ice rink at Rockefeller Center.
  61. Strange hybrid of science lesson and Saturday-morning cartoon.
  62. A good and necessary film, but like the man himself it’s not immune to scrutiny.
  63. It’s admirable, but Monuments Men just poses on a porous foundation like a statue.
  64. Non-Stop: It is what it is.
  65. Typically lovely to look at, with big-eyed young people espousing high ideals amid natural splendor. But outside of their bubble, a prickly history looms, and Miyazaki’s dubious attitude toward the wartime role of his hero makes the movie a mixed blessing.
  66. What the movie crucially lacks is the clockwork complications that produce a payoff.
  67. With his glorified Frisbee and good-guy smile, Evans is engaging, but “The Winter Soldier” might be stronger with a little less Captain and a little more America.
  68. Presented as a stand-alone film, but without an explanation for the protagonist’s physical and emotional injuries, it’s a head-scratcher. As with Joe’s sexual compulsion, scratching can’t cure the itch.
  69. Joe
    While Green is force-feeding us this hard-boiled hokum, he doesn’t distract us with many memorable images, as he did in his earliest films.
  70. The plot is murky, the acting is melodramatic and the movie is way too long, but the target audience will salivate over the inventively choreographed set-pieces.
  71. Mired in phoniness up to its neck. And above that, there's nothing.
  72. This movie, which was made by an animation studio in Spain, isn't trying to make a social statement; it speaks in the international language of lightweight comedy.
  73. 9
    Although it has a great look and offers a few thrills, the animated film 9 is one of this year's biggest disappointments.
  74. In Couples Retreat, it's Favreau, not Vaughn, who is wound up, and this vacation comedy goes nowhere.
  75. After watching Post Grad, you may wonder whether Hollywood will ever stop making generic comedies with zero tolerance for originality.
  76. It's a worthy cause and an honorable film, the first full-length Disney cartoon with an African-American heroine. But without a strong story, it's a case of one step forward and two steps back.
  77. More scenic than scary.
  78. Despite the title, My One and Only is irritatingly repetitive.
  79. As a melodrama, Brothers is passable entertainment. But the film squanders the opportunity to meaningfully portray the impact of war on American lives.
  80. You ought to have a movie that's both smart and sexy. But Jennifer's Body is neither. Most damning of all, it's not scary.
  81. Here's a riddle: What's Alice in Wonderland without wonder? It's a beloved character landing in the rubble of wrong-headed revisionism.
  82. Technically proficient enough to keep us intrigued; but we shouldn't have to Google a movie to know if we were scared.
  83. There are good movies to be made about romantic obsession, but the premise doesn't work if the crazy stalker isn't juxtaposed with a sympathetic victim.
  84. Ultimately it's sunk by the hole in the middle: Paul Campbell (presidential aide Billy on "Battlestar Galactica") who substitutes smarm for charm as the archetypal player who gets played.
  85. Initially, the puzzle structure and a pair of Oscar-winning actresses distract us from the dark vacuum at the center of this enterprise, but when it implodes, it doesn't reverberate.
  86. It's eerie rather than wondrous.
  87. Falls into that middling ground of horror film: neither scary enough to be exciting nor campy enough to be amusing.
  88. In Hollywood, it’s all about the concept, and some studio executive must have thought it would be fun to watch Adams slogging around in the Irish mud. Unfortunately, there’s no accounting for taste.
  89. There's nothing cinematic about this turgid tearjerker except the slumming presence of movie star Harrison Ford.
  90. The comedy is so lame that the whole enterprise comes across as depressing.
  91. What might have seemed like a lively idea -- an all-star roundelay about love in Los Angeles -- is as fossilized as the wooly mammoths in the La Brea Tar Pits.
  92. While the plot is as flimsy as a hooker's halter top, it's buoyed by two actors with attitude and timing.
  93. In the end, audiences will be neither shaken nor stirred. Just bored and confused.
  94. a horrific misstep in the branding of Robert Pattinson. The erstwhile teen vampire, who daringly portrayed gay surrealist Salvador Dalí in last year's "Little Ashes," lurches backward into a pile of romantic rubbish.
  95. This gravely serious drama is as insular as a tomb with Muzak. It takes a particularly heavy hand to make us numb to the abduction of two children, but that's the effect of the wall-to-wall music and earnestly dour performances.
  96. If Repo Men could have sustained its ghoulish humor, it might have been a guilty pleasure.
  97. The kiddie audience will laugh a few times, but it would take an electron microscope to find an original idea or joke in this entire cartoonish movie.
  98. Hot Tub Time Machine isn't a good movie, but like a bubbling bath it keeps pounding at us until our resistance wears down.

Top Trailers