Tampa Bay Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 1,008 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Descendants
Lowest review score: 0 The Watch
Score distribution:
1008 movie reviews
  1. Stone is terrific, easy to cheer. She's feisty but a bit softer around the edges than King deserves. Another Oscar nomination is certain. Throw in Steve Carell's uncanny impersonation of Riggs and a stellar supporting cast and Battle of the Sexes has the makings of fine time capsule comedy, an extraordinary sports happening even by today's wired standards.
  2. Thompson's fans will embrace its twisted verbal dexterity, romantically imagining the author feverishly pulling strings from the beyond.
  3. 10 Cloverfield Lane superbly shuffles what we know (and don't) and what the characters are experiencing.
  4. Hugo is Scorsese's most personal film, from the standpoint of both an artist and a grandfather. He is as interested in Melies' posterity as in making a movie that his descendants can see before they're adults.
  5. Director Jean-Marc Vallee dutifully progresses from one obvious scene to the next. Solid work but unspectacular, perhaps figuring the boldness of his characters' words and actions can be artistic enough. And it is, in the hands of a temporarily reformed sex symbol and his unexpected leading lady.
  6. Director John Madden and an ensemble of polished actors in their second primes make this a constant amusement and a nice alternative at the movies.
  7. Christensen plays him with Lecter-like intensity; the unsettling calmness of someone capable of anything.
  8. Frankel's movie is as refreshing as a walk in the woods and surprising as a chance encounter with the best that nature can offer.
  9. Baumbach keeps everything dialed down to medium cool, with occasional flashes of exuberance like Frances dancing down a street to the beat of David Bowie's Modern Love.
  10. This movie has everything up its sleeve and presto chango at its core, ending in defiance to the plot's established logic before viewers realize they've been had.
  11. Leaner than "Harry Potter's" adventures, meaner than the "Twilight" saga, The Hunger Games lives up to its source if not entirely the hype.
  12. The Gift is B-movie melodrama at its lurid finest, and worth a look.
  13. With Mock 1, the Hunger Games franchise continues to entertain and evolve, not perfectly but smartly, so we can't wait to see what's next. That's what counts when all is said, done and deposited in the bank.
  14. Snitch is grittily streetwise, and until its last 20 minutes fairly credible compared to other movies "inspired by" true stories.
  15. How much you enjoy Presumed Innocent depends on whether you read Scott Turow's exhilarating legal thriller about a prosecutor charged with murdering a colleague who was briefly his lover. If you haven't, director Alan J. Pakula's adaptation will leave you dazzled and drained long before the final twist. If you have, you'll appreciate Pakula's faithful, though overly restrained, approach to Turow's 1987 novel that sold 1-million hardback copies and spent 44 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list. [27 July 1990, p.6]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  16. Distant Voices, Still Lives is both a personal and social portrait. It often flows without dialogue, eloquently relating a tragic story that words could not describe. [10 Nov 1989, p.13]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  17. The Last of the Mohicans is grand entertainment. Romantic, exciting, though unremittingly violent at times, it is rich in frontier lore and in its respect for the land that the conquering settlers too often take for granted. [25 Sep 1992, p.5]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  18. A slam-bang terrorist thriller from first frame to last. It also is astonishingly conventional. You've seen the plot machinations up to the final showdown in a dark, secluded house in dozens of movies before, though rarely so well-orchestrated. [5 June 1992, p.5]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  19. Writer-director Shelton builds his story around Starr's and Long's scandalous affair, capturing Long's unprecedented bid for a fourth gubernatorial term and his fight against Louisiana's voter registration law, which disenfranchised illiterate blacks. Through Long's eccentric and purportedly immoral behavior, Shelton captures the last gasp of American innocence when public officials could do as they pleased with minimal scrutiny by the press. Handsome, fulfilling, though not entirely perfect movie. [13 Dec 1989, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  20. Too often, the movie relies on the contrived situations endemic to gangster movies, rather than explore new routes to tell the story. Yet, there is an undeniable visual power that places The Untouchables in the class of The Godfather and Once Upon a Time in America. [3 June 1987, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  21. The roller coaster of events more than compensates for the film's inane dialogue. Innerspace is the stuff summer adventure is made of. [1 July 1987, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  22. Florence Foster Jenkins is too much old-fashioned fun to saddle with ideas. Just sit back and let Meryl screech.
  23. For all its eccentricity Logan Lucky too often reminds us of movies Soderbergh or someone else made before.
  24. Is it funny? Absolutely. Sausage Party also gets a bit exhausting, even running under 90 minutes. We're hearing essentially the same dirty jokes over and over, in a movie saved by its brilliantly filthy finale.
  25. Depp and Cruz only occasionally strike the sparks expected from two of the world's most beautiful people.
  26. We are "there" although Detroit squanders that sensation on revulsion, a gut punch needing to take more shots at our heads.
  27. The movie's strength is Sheridan's knack for vivid characterization through little more than casual remarks and consistent voices.
  28. The movie has its heart and humor in the right place, and there's no "Shame" in that.
  29. The most satisfying portions of Saving Mr. Banks occur when the movie adds pinches of salt to the spoonfuls of sugar making this medicine go down.
  30. Screenwriter Bert V. Royal takes the oldest adolescence hook in the book - losing one's virginity- and turns it inside out.
  31. Guardians of the Galaxy is fun but forgettable, or perhaps Gunn crams so much onto the screen that memory is crowded out. Definitely worth a second look, just to figure out what in the name of Buckaroo Banzai is going on.
  32. Big Hero 6 is second-tier Disney/Marvel entertainment, fine for a day out with the children yet doesn't seem enough, after the creative advances of Wreck-It Ralph and the emotional heft of Frozen.
  33. 21 and Over remains enjoyable for what it is and all it cares to be, which is nothing any respectable movie critic should recommend, and I'm down with that.
  34. The man's goodness and his support team's devotion are quickly obvious; Gleason is nearly two hours long. Tweel could get to every uplifting turn his movie makes a bit sooner.
  35. Taylor's movie is overly episodic, but a number of those episodes are marvelous.
  36. The performances are constantly spot-on, especially Scott during a wonderfully written rant during a group vacation.
  37. The Amazing Spider-Man is fun, as any summer movie amusement ride can be. But it left me feeling the same as Raimi's version; that groundwork has been dutifully laid for a winning franchise in need of a few surprises.
  38. Starting with a mountainside rescue setting up Ray's bravery, through cities ruined and a tsunami leveling San Francisco, San Andreas is gnaw-your-knuckle fun. Which is the roller coaster conflict that comes with the disaster movie genre, the closeness to horrific reality that attracts millions yet repels a sensitive few.
  39. Concussion is essentially Erin Brockovich with shoulder pads, a crowd pleaser built upon an issue long ignored.
  40. Chuck is a character study of fleeting fame in prolonged decline, anchored by Liev Schreiber's brutish charisma in the title role.
  41. To borrow just a few of Aleichem's words that are ingrained in Jewish culture: "It could be worse."
  42. Lion can't avoid seeming lesser in the second half after Davis' mesmeric first but it's solid storytelling nonetheless. Bring the Kleenex.
  43. Bad Words isn't an entirely auspicious beginning to Bateman's career behind the camera, but a riotous performance suggests what a wonderful louse he can be.
  44. Movies about cooperating Africans and Americans often take a condescending risk of great white saviors making everything better for poor black folks. The Good Lie isn't that sort of movie, except in its marketing.
  45. The Campaign is below-the-Beltway humor, stretching obvious targets to raunchy extremes.
  46. It's a movie of terrific performances and rousing comeuppances, with a side order of corn pone for the soul.
  47. Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud craft a fun stretch run, wrapping the story with warm, fuzzy funnies and nothing to suggest a sequel, which is probably wise.
  48. Not rocket science by a moonshot but sporadically dumb fun.
  49. It's a welcome chance to learn more about Lisbeth Salander, the kinky, punk hacker and pop culture phenom played by Noomi Rapace.
  50. Danny Collins isn't the most artistic or surprising movie, and Fogelman's appropriation of Lennon's music to explain what's obvious gets stale. But it does contain a wonderful performance by Pacino, when it was debatable if we'd ever say that again.
  51. Anchored by Natalie Portman's uncanny impersonation — wispy voice, aristocratic posture — Jackie fascinates and frustrates, sometimes at once. We can't be certain any of her actions here are true. Some don't seem likely.
  52. Director Wes Ball makes a solid feature film debut, without any noticeable video game envy to his action sequences.
  53. It's easy to see why neither Home Depot nor Lowe's chose to go the product placement route. Too many cleanups in the power tool department.
  54. Fortunately, Hooper has a pair of extraordinary actors on which to hang The Danish Girl, two of the finest performances of women this year.
  55. Big Eyes is an entertaining take on a pop culture footnote, short on the bizarre flourishes Burton typically employs.
  56. There are strange, midnight movie pleasures found in Smith's movie.
  57. Edge of Tomorrow may be the best video game movie ever made. Which is strange since it isn't actually based on a video game.
  58. The globetrotting is reined in, the mayhem at each stop just as exciting. Renner is a sturdy action hero, with an interesting face that unlike Damon's appears to have taken a punch or two.
  59. Spurlock's meetings with skeptical corporate types are punctuated by comments from filmmakers about how product placement - or in Quentin Tarantino's case, being turned down by Denny's - influences creativity.
  60. Black Swan is a stage door melodrama putting new spins on cliches as old as "All About Eve" (and maybe Adam). Setting them among ballerinas as opposed to showgirls or movie stars doesn't make them any less familiar.
  61. Youth is a movie of dreamscapes and insinuated feelings, gorgeous and puzzling at once.
  62. It's rare to wish a movie were an hour or two longer, when it already feels an hour longer than it is.
  63. A boxing movie swinging in too many directions at once, as if someone sneaked a third clubber into the ring. All the emotional punches land solidly, to occasionally devastating effect, but at the conclusion you're not sure which competing cliche wins.
  64. Mother and Child is depressively interesting, with characters constantly ruining their best chances at happiness.
  65. Despite its unsavory aspects, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is always a pleasure to observe, so artfully artificial with its green-screened backdrops and CGI props.
  66. We can now agree that Johnson is not only the Sexiest Man Alive but also our strongest, lifting Moana on his character's beefy shoulders, carrying it like other hits before. No movie left behind.
  67. JFK
    Stone's riveting three-hour movie freely mixes black and white and color documentary footage with pseudo-documentary and dramatic footage, so the line between real and fabrication is constantly blurred. [20 Dec 1991, p.7]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  68. The Farrellys affectionately structure their movie to resemble the Stooges' one-reelers from the 1930s, while the modern setting shows how timeless their rapid-fire puns, insults and pratfalls truly are. Silliness never goes out of style.
  69. Even with its flaws, Snowden is Stone's return to relevance, in subject and execution.
  70. Rise of the Guardians is an all-star addition to holiday movies lists but the real question is: Which holiday?
  71. Wolverine is a solid start to the ever-lengthening summer movie season, when all that matters is the bang and the bucks paid for it.
  72. Ponderous and perplexing, a somberly audacious film to make viewers swoon or snore, take your pick. It is defiantly opaque, a free-form meditation on nature and nurture across millennia with a tinge of biblical grace.
  73. The movie's erratic pleasures are like its ghosts; now you see them, now you don't.
  74. Christine is a movie as bleak and withdrawn as its protagonist, with Hall making the most of her best role in years, a slow death spiral that's hard to look away from.
  75. As far as sophisticated caper flicks go, Tower Heist is oceans away from George Clooney's crew. Compared to other recent comedies, it's pretty light on the laughs.
  76. Kind of like Lawless, a movie about bootleggers more violently authentic than previous takes on the subject, from "Thunder Road" to the first half of "The Last American Hero." What Lawless has over those moonshine melodramas is a striking sense of period and setting.
  77. Cars 3 is a better time at the movies than Cars 2 led me to expect. Not exactly ringing praise but we take amusement from sequels where we can get it these days.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The film is able to overcome some of its narrative familiarity just by showcasing characters, locations and music we rarely see on screen. Having Monsoon Wedding director Mira Nair at the helm also brings a visual vibrancy and communal energy to the proceedings.
  78. Deepwater Horizon is a brawny hybrid of technical expertise and real-life tragedy, with neither quality getting shortchanged.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Most of the time the film slides along on funky music, lively dance and snappy street-style dialogue. Other teen comedies feature more hair-raising plots and spectacular stunts; other teen comedies are far more sexually explicit. House Party has a wistful, almost naive, air that runs counter to the broad-based perception of young blacks as hardened and hopeless, one step away from doing hard time. [9 Mar 1990, p.6]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  79. They’re called comic books for a reason too many superhero movies neglect. Not Thor: Ragnarok, one keenly aware of how silly all this universe saving stuff is. Guardians of the Galaxy is fun; this movie’s funny. There’s a difference.
  80. It's a crudely populist movie designed to rouse the rabble, to loudly remind us greed isn't good. Viewers seeking another "The Big Short" will leave shortchanged.
  81. What makes Central Intelligence appealing in appalling times is volcanic chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart.
  82. The movie is mostly fun and ultimately disposable, which is a letdown after Pixar's previous greatness.
  83. Beautiful Creatures gives supernatural teenage romance a good name, or at least a better one than the entire "Twilight Saga" offered.
  84. An efficiently preposterous thriller.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There's a funny, healthy element of slapstick at play, as with all Bridget movies. A doctor played dryly by Emma Thompson is a biting, welcome addition.
  85. Finding Dory is a good sequel to a great film, and perhaps that's all fans could hope for.
  86. The Dark Knight Rises declares its importance with each scene but seldom backs up the claims. It is a climax more fitful than fulfilling, solemn to a fault and begging the Joker's question: "Why so serious?"
  87. Black's performance is the key to making The D-Train more than just another sophomoric bromance. The wild-eyed mania is still evident, but channeled through a filter of pity.
  88. Hotel Transylvania doesn't raise the bar for animation or comedy but it's fun, and nice for once to have a different reason to say "boo" after an Adam Sandler flick.
  89. Most of the time I was distracted by the superb photorealism of The Good Dinosaur's American Southwest backdrops, wondering how much money Disney would save by just filming the real thing.
  90. Unknown is finely tuned pulp filmmaking, a dumb movie with a smart veneer, which is nothing to sneeze at.
  91. Doesn't revolutionize the romantic comedy like "(500) Days of Summer," or even match the Farrellys or Judd Apatow for clever smut. But it is cheerful raunch delivered by a solid cast.
  92. The Queen of Versailles leaves viewers with one feeling about the Siegels: Let them eat stale cake.
  93. The reclamation project that Ben Affleck calls a career continues with The Town, his second directing effort that would impress more if the first try weren't so terrific and visually similar.
  94. Never Here is a moody inversion of the stalker genre, less of a thriller than a Lynchian thinker. Thoman has a bright future and we'll say we knew her when.
  95. It's a heady blend, at times requiring more speechifying than throwaway pop deserves. But it keeps one guessing between ill-staged and frenetically edited fight scenes. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo handle vehicular mayhem better.
  96. What lifts Equity above ordinary corporate melodrama is its staunchly feminine perspective, and not only in its lead character.
  97. For the most part, the performances can raise goosebumps, especially whenever Lea Michele, Amber Riley and Naya Rivera open their mouths.

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