St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,512 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Red Riding Trilogy
Lowest review score: 0 The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Score distribution:
1512 movie reviews
  1. While the plot is as flimsy as a hooker's halter top, it's buoyed by two actors with attitude and timing.
  2. The settings and supporting roles suggest that If I Stay started out as someone’s passion project, but the final product only requires its star to sleepwalk through buckets of schlock.
  3. It's almost offensive that Danny Glover is relegated to playing the mysterious old confidante who haunts the same fishing hole as Cal. By the time Glover's character delivers the homily, Legendary is pinned to the mat.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Toys may be beautiful to look at, but it's hard to love. [18 Dec 1992, p.1G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  4. As long as Hollywood keeps hitting us over the head with empty spectacles like G.I. Joe: Retaliation, regular Joes will be too numb to fight back.
  5. With stingy portions and plenty of filler, Magic Mike XXL is the worst sausage party ever.
  6. The most rewarding way to watch Water for Elephants is to focus on the sideshow of costumes and craftsmanship, because the romance in the center ring smells like trained animals going through the motions.
  7. There's a fascinating story here for a bolder filmmaker, but after so much meandering it's a relief that "All Good Things" must come to an end.
  8. Because we don't know or care much about the characters, this Israeli film never fulfills its potential as either an absurdist comedy or a humane drama.
  9. All that complexity backfires at about the midpoint, leaving viewers with a standard yarn about a popular guy who makes a grossly insensitive wager after his trophy girlfriend drops him. After that, it is all a case of "been there, done that." [29 Jan 1999,p. E3]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  10. ’Round these parts, when a movie promises a million laughs but only delivers a dozen chuckles, that’s a hanging offense.
  11. Here, Dan Aykroyd mimics the original voice, but the three-dimensional CGI isn't loose and lively enough to compensate for the unimaginative story.
  12. A foul-mouthed comedy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Bad Santa" (2003) also had plenty of crude language and lewd behavior. The difference is, "Bad Santa" was extremely funny.
  13. Judged solely in comparison to its corporate cousins, Iron Man 3 is a defective model. It’s lightweight but slow, padded with cheap jokes to disguise how hollow it is.
  14. Duvall is a powerful actor, and this folksy fable could have been a career-capping feat, but the movie is toothless and slow.
  15. The franchise has sadly devolved into a cynical cash grab.
  16. 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.
  17. Back when it was planned as an African-American "Ocean's Eleven," this project might have been edgy, but the script has been whitewashed into a generic caper comedy with pretensions of timeliness.
  18. The movie version of Fifty Shades is better than the book. It's still awful, but when a filmmaker starts with stupid source material, he's handcuffed.
  19. This is a generic, uninspired and mind-bogglingly boring comic-book movie that’s out to steal your money and time.
  20. This is an extremely gory flick, with autopsy scenes to complement Schwarzenegger’s usual shoot-first sensibilities. After 30 years, it’s pointless to complain about the collateral damage in his movies, but here Schwarzenegger is taking vigilante justice to dark new levels that can only be reached via plot holes big enough for a Hummer.
  21. The questions raised by Oblivion aren’t especially deep, but the movie does answer a puzzler that has troubled humankind for generations: Can Tom Cruise build a concept so big that he himself can’t lift it?
  22. The mediocre mushy stuff isn’t alleviated by enough action.
  23. While it claims to be exported from New Jersey, The Oranges is peddling an alien motto: When life hands you lemons, fuhgeddaboudit.
  24. The verdict on Snitch is that Johnson has attempted a career detour on a street marked Do Not Enter.
  25. Considerably better looking than its predecessor, but it's spewing the same old gibberish.
  26. Spacey evokes memories of other movies in which he's played a shark, and it's inherently fascinating to hear Aniston talking dirty and to see Farrell with a combover, but nothing in the film is genuinely provocative.
  27. Because the affable Wahlberg is making the sales pitch, you could kid yourself that this is just a high-tech vacuum cleaner, built to siphon loose change like popcorn. But our failure to understand the terrifying significance of the “Transformers” series is why we're in the age of extinction.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    McNaughton directs well, and with power, but celebrating murder is a waste of his talents. [17 August 1990, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  28. It's a worn-out show-business fairy tale piggybacking on a nonexistent trend.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Like its main character, I Don't Know How She Does It tries to do everything, but it doesn't quite succeed.
  29. Nocturnal Animals is far less imaginative than even your most banal nightmare.
  30. It's classic sitcom shtick, and The Dilemma is a painful reminder that director Ron Howard was trained in television.
  31. Struggles heroically, but unsuccessfully, to strike a balance between whimsy and pathos.
  32. A movie with no surprises at all, a streamlined chase flick that is running on the fumes from recycled fuel.
  33. Here's a riddle: What's Alice in Wonderland without wonder? It's a beloved character landing in the rubble of wrong-headed revisionism.
  34. It's eerie rather than wondrous.
  35. If being seated at Table 19 is a drag, watching the film of the same name is worse.
  36. This is another one of those phony movies in which a character burrows into someone else's life without telling them she's an axe murderer, a man or a vampire. Not only that, we're supposed to hope that they get it on. I was hoping that everyone involved would get hit by an asteroid.
  37. We were promised desolation, but “The Hobbit” just keeps dragon on.
  38. McAvoy and Fassbender appealingly reprise their frenemy chemistry. But Lawrence has little to do but look perplexed.
  39. If Repo Men could have sustained its ghoulish humor, it might have been a guilty pleasure.
  40. Although the ratio of comedy to drama becomes increasingly weighted toward tearjerking, few of the emotional moments are realistic or effective.
  41. OK, the musical ode to Doby the shark elicits a grin, but the low-percentage script is loaded with buckshot, not harpoons, and Anchorman 2 ends up sinking.
  42. How you feel about Fast & Furious 6 is a matter of perspective. While a middle-age egghead might note that a series that started out as a harmless cars-and-girls fantasy has devolved into a full-blown assault on human intelligence.
  43. Written, directed and acted by Hollywood pros, Heaven Is For Real is a polished little movie with a hopeful message, but when it literalizes the divine mysteries, it opens the door to a Doubting Thomas.
  44. One small step for action movies, one giant leap into the abyss of mindlessness.
  45. A documentary that clearly aspires to the highest standards of cinematic muckraking but makes for a frustrating experience.
  46. Out of the Furnace is hot air.
  47. As a sex-education comedy, Hysteria is flaccid, forced and unfunny.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Christmas Vacation reminds me of a golden retriever I used to know: dumb and sloppy but kind of likable as long as you don't expect any new tricks. [1 Dec 1989, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  48. Keeping Up With the Joneses is hardly worth the effort.
  49. Kevin Hart hits the vicinity of humor with a few of his drive-by wisecracks, but the movie itself has nothing under the hood.
  50. After watching Post Grad, you may wonder whether Hollywood will ever stop making generic comedies with zero tolerance for originality.
  51. The clichéd script doesn't develop the secondary characters or the critical theme of the mutants' alienation.
  52. The delivery pouch for Premium Rush promises a white-hot thriller from the bike-messenger subculture. But what's inside the package seems like a lukewarm action-comedy from the pile of scripts that Matthew Broderick rejected after "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
  53. There's nothing cinematic about this turgid tearjerker except the slumming presence of movie star Harrison Ford.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    TAKEN AS a Hollywood remake of Japanese movies based on Westerns, Road House assumes a certain style that makes the film not half bad. Of course, that leaves it still not half good. Without provenance, the film becomes just a way to provide work for the man who produces the sound of fist hitting flesh. Given its lineage, however, Road House makes sense. Everything is here but the dog at the end of "Yojimbo" walking out of town with a bloody arm gripped in its canines. [19 May 1989, p.3E]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the Mouth of Madness is not a bad movie, and it maintains a fair amount of suspense for an hour or so. Then it sags, mainly because it has no real payoff, neither dramatic or visual. [03 Feb 1995, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  54. It's clear that Phillips is betting heavily on funnymen Jeong and Galifianakis to hide his creative bankruptcy.
  55. A handsome movie with a handsome leading man. Christian Bale is widely considered the finest actor of his generation. Yet here he’s adrift in the bulrushes. This might be the most indifferent performance of Bale’s career.
  56. J. Edgar is the kind of prestige production that apologists will call polished, but even the technical attributes are tinny. In the gay-geezers scenes, Hammer wears terrible old-age makeup, and the entire film is bathed in sepia tones as weak as its convictions.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    An Australian horror yarn that builds occasional tension and brings occasional gasps. The problem is that with the space limitations of a boat and the fact that there are just three characters, it's impossible to have enough tension to make the film work. [07 Apr 1989, p.3G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  57. The special effects remain good, but the jokes are creaky, the sentiments are forced and the pop-historical lessons are obligatory.
  58. 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Mars Needs Moms is dark for a Disney movie.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ronald Bass' predictable screenplay gives Roberts no brains at all, which is an injustice. [08 Feb 1991, p.3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  59. The so-so film isn't nearly as good as any of the movies that may have inspired it, or even its own knockout trailer.
  60. A medical drama that pays lip service to the healing power of music but never finds the rhythm.
  61. The Big Year puts the focus on people who aren't inherently interesting - or funny.
  62. Offbeat and unpredictable, Demolition takes a wrecking ball to audience expectations.
  63. Starved of sufficient comedy or drama, The Age of Adaline is a pipsqueak.
  64. Minions is product, pure and simple. Little kids will love it, but grown-ups will feel like they’re being held hostage in a Fisher-Price test laboratory.
  65. The most grievous sins here are sins of omission.
  66. This halftime walk is more like a long slog.
  67. Hot Tub Time Machine isn't a good movie, but like a bubbling bath it keeps pounding at us until our resistance wears down.
  68. Lovely to look at, and Vikander does nothing to derail her inevitable ascension to the A-list. But as a story, it evokes a word that no battlefield nurse would ever apply to her experiences: sterile.
  69. Working from a screenplay that he co-wrote with McCarthy, director Ben Falcone (who happens to be her husband) keeps things moving but without much of a spark.
  70. Only when there’s an opportunity to blow things up does Fuqua seem fully engaged. Another Western bites the dust.
  71. The setting and offbeat tone may remind some viewers of another recent comedy, but whereas “The Descendants” was a substantive meal, Aloha is a pu pu platter.
  72. Has a welcome message of personal growth and racial tolerance. And it's ably made, with evocative Memphis locations. But in the final sermon, it proffers some plot twists that are supposed to be miraculous but may strike a doubting Thomas as lame.
  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 getting so many of the Midwestern details wrong, worldly director Bahrani (“Chop Shop”) teaches an inadvertent lesson to aspiring filmmakers who want to follow his footsteps to the festival circuit: Grow where you’re planted.
  75. To stand out in a crowded marketplace, a sequel can’t just kick ass — it has to blow minds.
  76. Instead of entertaining us, director Robert Redford offers us a handsome history lesson that's as dry as a hardtack biscuit.
  77. The few Jewish characters are cartoonishly evil, but even the Palestinians are sketchily dramatized or, in the case of a terrorist, clumsily legitimized.
  78. Except for the dynamite finale, The Long Ranger feels like a long, slow ride to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.
  79. Although The November Man shows us some attractive people in motion, the cumulative effect leaves us neither shaken nor stirred.
  80. The diabolical sadist of the team was director Joe Carnahan.
  81. 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.
  82. It’s unashamedly of the B-movie variety — a quick and easy time-killer.
  83. Even by the standards of light entertainment, This Means War is meaningless.
  84. Manages to waste the talents of its strong supporting cast, which includes Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell and Stanley Tucci.
  85. 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.
  86. In a way, Stonewall is proof that the gay community has fully made the transition to the mainstream. It’s now subject to the kind of Hollywood nonsense that was previously reserved for heterosexuals.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The result is a movie with a lot of hysterically funny lines (including a nod to St. Louis) shooting through the banal, timeworn plot, relieved occasionally by a well-wrought sketch. Director Steven Spielberg tries to stir this mixture, but it's just too flour-y. [22 Dec. 1989, p3F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  87. Once we've quickly digested the fortune-cookie message that modern women are as bound by obligations as their grandmothers were, all we can savor is the scenery.
  88. Spurlock teases the baby sitter contingent with a brief scene where a scientist discusses the neuro-chemical appeal of pop music, but thereafter the film is aimed squarely at face-value fans of the Pre-Fab Five.
  89. It would have been nice if Cowboys & Aliens had come come up with the right equation to balance originality and homage. But in the end, it all turned into trigonometry.
  90. There are some laughs in The Bronze, but more time in which we might wish it would end already. When it does, just like on Hallmark, lessons are learned. Perhaps for Rauch, the lesson is to write herself a better movie next time.

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