Tampa Bay Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 632 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Top Five
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 632
632 movie reviews
  1. Gone Girl is a terrific movie, everything the book and its fans deserve.
  2. This is a modest film with towering potential to make a difference, looking back to move forward.
  3. Russell and co-writer Eric Warren Singer lay out these deceits and double-crosses with precision but American Hustle isn't merely a procedural. Defining these outsized personalities, tracing their unconventional connections and affections, is where Russell's movie finds its irreverent heartbeat.
  4. Life Itself impressively covers the elements of Ebert's memoir.
  5. It's a mystery wrapped inside an enigmatic nation, flawlessly acted and difficult to predict. I'm always impressed when a movie informs about a foreign culture while it entertains, and this one is powerful art in that regard.
  6. Everything about Birdman is a bold cinematic stretch, from its snare-jazz soundtrack to a climax regrettably stretched too far. The line between Iñárritu's genius and Riggan's madness gets crossed once too many, but no matter. Birdman has 99 virtues and ignorance isn't one.
  7. The jokes fly at a pace demanding viewers to either refrain from laughing (highly unlikely) or see The Lego Movie again to catch all the wondrous sights and amiable wit sliding by the first time.
  8. Toy Story 3 isn't merely the best movie of the summer -- even with summer just kicking in -- but an immediate candidate for best of the year.
  9. This is a remarkable film for more reasons than its antihero, from the cyberspeed wisdom of Aaron Sorkin's screenplay to Jeff Cronenweth's camera prowling the excesses of youthful genius gone wild.
  10. The movie's finest performance is Daniel Bruhl's unapologetic bluntness as Lauda, and his subtle conveyance of jealousy the driver — whose resemblance to a rat is often noted — must have felt about Hunt's popularity and handsomeness.
  11. It's more amusing than you might expect, and ultimately more touching than an eroding society around them deserves.
  12. The last thing we see in Zero Dark Thirty is Maya's face and it is also ours, silently crying tears of reflection.
  13. Not much happens to Woody in Payne's movie, compared to modern penchants for rushed narratives and easily defined characters. Yet patience pays off, with a suitably minor triumph for such an unassuming man. And a major acting triumph for Dern.
  14. Pacific Rim gives big, dumb and loud an exemplary name and summer audiences something to cheer.
  15. Hoop Dreams is what sportwriters would call "the total package:" intimate and illuminating in its depiction of two Chicago high-school basketball players and their goals, while never allowing an audience to forget that these boys and the families who support their struggles are part of the American fabric which hasn't received its due. [13Jan 1995, p.6]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  16. A movie as direct and devastating as a point-blank bullet to the back, like the one that killed Oscar Grant on the first morning of a new year, 2009.
  17. Top Five is the funniest movie I've seen this year, and the calendar's running out. No matter whose movie Rock's resembles, it is completely his, and a brash start to being taken seriously as an artist.
  18. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite creates a fascinating character study of Tilikum, part of a revered species without a single confirmed kill of a human in the wild. Captivity is where Blackfish's evidence continually points the blame for Tilikum's deadly behavior.
  19. There has never been a movie like 12 Years a Slave, which is Hollywood's shame. Miss it, and that mistake is yours.
  20. The movie grabbed me and wouldn't let go during a bravura set piece at a soccer game when Campanella's camera glides into the stadium, finds Benjamin's face in the crowd and doesn't stop moving (with only a couple of edits) for six breathtaking minutes.
  21. A movie of here-and-now thrills, goosed by judicious CGI effects that never overpower the humanity of the situation.
  22. Herbert's tale is twisted into a barely recognizable rush of pretentions made entertaining by Jodorowsky's glee in describing them. At age 85 he remains a madman with immense personality, a pinhole visionary insisting his Dune would be a prophecy shaping generations. Jodorowsky's Dune makes a viewer wish he'd gotten the chance.
  23. Teller plays notes all over the emotional chart, dovetailing into a divine riff on ambition. And he does nearly all of Andrew's drumming, aggressively and impressively so.
  24. Allen eventually gets to the heart of this matter: the allure and danger of nostalgia.
  25. Sounds depressing, although Rabbit Hole isn't, with David Lindsay-Abaire presenting a perceptive, subtly dark-humored adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
  26. Incendies is a gallery of nightly news atrocities - a bus massacre, rape, children with guns - yet it's made intensely personal under the director's steady hand.
  27. Yet for all of the technological genius at work here, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes maintains a remarkably human core, even under digital makeup.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Counselor explodes with violence that is grisly, but not gratuitous: McCarthy has a point to make. Wars create monsters, and the drug war is no exception.
  28. Argo works superbly on two levels, first as a white-knuckle re-enactment of events in Iran and scrambling strategies in Washington.
  29. Like Bertie's struggle, there's so much wonderment to articulate about this film that being mistaken for a stammering idiot is a risk. See it, then say it for yourself: The King's Speech is the best movie of 2010.
  30. With Amour, it's the rare feeling of watching a masterpiece unfold.
  31. I've watched Sleepwalk With Me twice now, each time impressed with Birbiglia's confidence in revealing so much about his craft and himself, and the freely associated style with which he does it.
  32. Think "Catch Me If You Can" mashed up with "Brokeback Mountain" if Mel Brooks directed and you'll get the idea.
  33. Lawrence is in every scene of Winter's Bone, leaving her plenty of opportunity to make false moves. I dare you to find one, in a performance to be remembered during awards season.
  34. The Cabin in the Woods isn't merely another "Scream" exercise in self-awareness, or a "Scary Movie" spoof of the same. It's a wickedly smart hybrid mutation, biting the severed hand feeding the genre.
  35. This is a rapturous cinematic experience, a spellbinding expression of shrouded ideas and exposed talent, top to bottom.
  36. Restrepo is about soldiers, not politics. The question of whether U.S. troops belong there isn't posed. Their devotion to duty and each other is unquestioned.
  37. One of the year's best documentaries.
  38. Considering Parts 1 and 2 of Deathly Hallows as a single enterprise, as they should be, this is a rare franchise that just kept getting better.
  39. Miller unravels this story with the grim inevitability of a death row vigil, but not without flashes of sly humor.
  40. Rango is wild, woolly and weird, and the first movie of 2011 that I must see again.
  41. In a movie year of more than two dozen animated films, this and "Rango" tower over all others. Welcome to America, Tintin. It's great getting to know you.
  42. Man of Steel is more than just Avengers-sized escapism; it's an artistic introduction to a movie superhero we only thought we knew.
  43. Buck is a movie to be revisited again and again, like passages from a satisfying self-help book. Riding experience isn't necessary to realize how extraordinary this man and his calling are.
  44. Kaur and Khan, who was robbed of a IIFA nod, scarcely share a frame of The Lunchbox, yet the emotional connection of their characters is palpable.
  45. Yes, Kermit does reprise The Rainbow Connection, surely one of the loveliest movie songs ever and, yes, it still brings tears to your eyes. Happy tears, realizing some marvelous things never change.
  46. Hazanavicius crafted more than a replica of the silent era; this feels like a time capsule found 80 years later, right on time to be revolutionary in a louder world. Yet The Artist is a masterwork that likely won't be imitated. How many movies in 2011 can you say that about? Only the best one.
  47. Rio
    Bursting with color and rippling with samba rhythms, Rio makes you wonder why animated films haven't spent more time in Brazil.
  48. It's irreverent about cancer and that could be inspirational. And it's surely one of the most enjoyable movies I've seen all year.
  49. A League of Their Own is a grand-slam comic drama. Superbly written, acted and directed. [1 July 1992, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  50. Yes, this one is even better: funnier, brawnier and ingeniously constructed for appeal to both devoted fans and reluctant converts.
  51. The Coens fashion an atmospheric descent for Llewyn, a meticulous re-creation of Greenwich Village's folk scene in 1961, around the time Bob Dylan hit town.
  52. Her
    So many things could go terribly wrong with Spike Jonze's Her, and it's a small cinematic miracle that nothing does.
  53. What "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" did for zombie and cop flicks The World's End does for sci-fi fatalism, respecting its doomsday tropes while presenting them with cheeky wit and a refreshing strategy of sensory underload.
  54. The Sessions is often brazenly funny, not from shocking dialogue but characters speaking and reacting the way real people do, especially with such a flustering subject as sex.
  55. At this point in his celebrated career, there shouldn't be much new that Hanks can show us. But there is, as the actor reaches deep inside to express the relief of dodging death as I've never seen it played before. He's in shock; we're awed.
  56. The funniest comedy of degeneracy since "Bad Santa," and a career-changer for Aniston and Farrell if they'll only keep following their perverted muses. Horrible Bosses spins hostile work environments into a movie surpassing "9 to 5" and "Office Space" as the touchstone flick for disenchanted drones.
  57. The movie's assured direction by Sam Mendes can't be underestimated.
  58. 42
    One of the all-time great sports movies — primarily because it's one of the all-time great sports stories.
  59. Hands down and body parts floating, the most irresistibly sick movie in years is Piranha 3D, which should be retitled Piranha 3D, Double-D and C for all the topless cuties director Alexandre Aja feeds the fish and audience.
  60. Silver Linings Playbook is a bracing shaken cocktail of awkward failure and accidental success, with Pat and Tiffany making a refreshing and unlikely couple to root for. We just want them to be abnormal together, share their favorite antidepressants, maybe even dance to Stevie Wonder.
  61. This is a gorgeous production, even by Miyazaki's standards.
  62. The soundtrack is a small marvel of music hall tunes and dialogue that is mostly garbled, allowing expressions and body language to be interpreted.
  63. The weight of Carlos' world shows on his rugged face, even with rare half-smiles. This is a masterfully understated performance that should be remembered during awards season.
  64. Blue Jasmine is Allen's 44th movie in 47 years, an amazing run with storied highs and notorious lows along the way. This one ranks among his finest dramas, his best since "Match Point."
  65. The jokes are often double-edged, the performances always spot-on. The Way, Way Back doesn't re-invent the teenage turning point genre, but Faxon and Rash offer a breezy new spin. You'll see more inventive movies this year but few more endearing.
  66. Furious 7 is so entertaining that you don't notice Dwayne Johnson is missing from action much of the time, only that he kills it when he shows up.
  67. It's the most unsettling nice surprise of 2011.
  68. The Grand Budapest Hotel is as artistically manicured as any of his seven previous movies, and richer comically and emotionally than most.
  69. The Descendants would still be a splendid movie without him; with Clooney, it's one of 2011's very best.
  70. Monsieur Lazhar becomes a deeply affecting film not for pathos but for the way sadness is conveyed so subtly. It's a small triumph of restrained compassion, coaxing throat lumps rather than jerking tears.
  71. With The Past, Farhadi again displays a gift for poking into corners of nondescript lives and discovering unique drama.
  72. Chandor and Redford make an illuminating procedural of Our Man's response to calamity... Our Man is everyman, revealed by beautifully filmed and edited action without exposition.
  73. Sounds depressing, but Blue Valentine is a reminder that well-measured and expertly acted pain is as thrilling to watch as 3-D spectacle.
  74. I adore The Perks of Being a Wallflower for its honest, unsentimental feel, which gets stretched a bit in the revelatory finale, but by then I didn't mind.
  75. Gravity is a game-changer like "Avatar" in the realm of digital 3-D special effects, inventing trickeries to be applied by future filmmakers and possibly never improved upon. Yet its spirit is closer to Avatar's smarter descendants, "Hugo" and "Life of Pi," with the gimmicks embellishing, not driving, the material. Less Cameron, more Kubrick.
  76. Hushpuppy carries a lot of emotional weight on her slender shoulders, and Wallis makes one wish to climb into the screen to lighten the load with an embrace. Do not miss this performance, or this quietly astonishing, life-affirming masterpiece.
  77. What's fun is how the new Karate Kid embraces and vastly improves the cliches, keeping the plot cleverly updated for a generation that never heard of Ralph Macchio.
  78. Robot & Frank occasionally strains for emotion and stretches credulity, even for such fantasy circumstances. But it has two hearts - one human, one not - in the right place, and intelligence that is anything but artificial.
  79. This is a story to make blood boil and change demanded, so future waves of incoming freshmen — even that term is male-centric — won't have their dreams ruined.
  80. Part two is even more gorgeous to behold, and deeper in substance.
  81. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is movie escapism made with intelligence, and that doesn't come around often enough. As I sensed this movie ending I wished it wouldn't, and when it did I wanted the next one now. Take that, Bilbo.
  82. Cumberbatch radiates such intelligence — with Sherlock and this, egghead Benedict is his speciality — that gaps are easily excused. From sets and costumes to Alexandre Desplat's musical score, The Imitation Game is everything classy that Hollywood wishes it could be.
  83. For all of its movie-of-the-week mechanics, this is a deeply moving dramatization of what Alzheimer's does to mind and spirit, anchored by the finest performance, male or female, from any 2014 movie release.
  84. The East is a crackling thriller and a political statement tough to peg.
  85. Johnson keeps it simple, yet never stupid. Looper is a puzzle engaging your brain, rather than frying it, as one character describes the process. Obviously he has seen enough movies on the subject by 2024 to know how frustrating that is. This one plays fair with the fantasy.
  86. Tangled would be a satisfying adventure on plot and 3D sensations alone.
  87. What is off limits to steal when everything is available, not only in a digital age but clacking through a projector? Isn't fame always at someone else's expense? Even Baumbach borrows, notably from Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. Fair, and funny enough.
  88. The A-Team is literally a blast, from the opening credits containing more thrills than the average shoot-'em-up (and more laughs than some comedies), to a climactic orgy of CGI destruction.
  89. Two Days, One Night is deceptively slight of drama; it's simply a procession of real moments encountered by a simple character deserving more happiness than life allows, fleshed out by an extraordinary actor.
  90. Unlike many post 9/11 war movies, American Sniper goes easier on the gung ho, with a third act leavened by Chris' depressed denial, his "hurt locker" of stored regret. Eastwood is less concerned with action heroism than the consequences of deadly action, how it chips away at the living.
  91. The pointlessness of Jep's journey is Sorrentino's point, richly made.
  92. Garland's original screenplay brims with intelligence, unafraid to let characters speak over our heads. Yet it remains a pulpy delight, due largely to its uniquely mad scientist.
  93. Thanks to Jackson's involvement as a producer, Berg has time and access Berlinger and Sinofsky didn't, allowing expansion of whatever material that's repeated.
  94. World War Z presents an abundance of relatively plausible action, smart solutions and one useful piece of information: When the zombiepocalypse comes, the undead are flying coach.
  95. Scott briskly blends the high-minded stuff with impressive boo-and-goo sequences, ratcheting tension in tight spots and dark caverns.
  96. It's gory and gut-wrenching but strangely life-affirming.
  97. Ready to Wear is a comedy - one of Altman's funniest - but it's the humor of humiliation, of the characters and the industry. [23 Dec 1994, p.16]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  98. Redford proves that at 75 he can still choose meaningful projects and deliver them with intelligence.
  99. There's something fairly malignant in the way Glazer's strange movie holds attention, against the urge to give up and leave. There is no doubting its boundless artistry or pretension, a dangerous position for any movie in today's love-me pop culture to place itself in. Under the Skin is exactly where it gets.
  100. A feel-good movie in the most positive meaning of that term, thanks to the Motown music and O'Dowd's cheeky charm.
  101. It's a refreshing change from run-of-the-kill horror. Nothing in Splice feels done merely for the moment -- it's to creep you out later.
  102. Rapace is a magnetic presence in a far-ranging mystery requiring such a solid character to orbit around.
  103. Exhilarating drama, and a triumphant return to glory for both Zemeckis and Washington.
  104. Never has 3-D illusion been used to such pure storytelling effect.
  105. It's a story languorously told in three chapters, the first two in the late 1980s and the third 15 years later. Each could be a movie unto themselves. Together they prove Cianfrance to be an effectively unobtrusive storyteller, crafting without artifice what book critics would call a page turner.
  106. As a wisely devised teenage drama, The Spectacular Now treats kids and adults respectfully, even their foolish weaknesses. That respect extends to the audience.
  107. There's much more to the adventure, a deft balance of fantasy and teen angst that never loses its contemporary sense of humor.
  108. Quirky to the brink of exhaustion, the latest from Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a live-action Looney Tune complete with Acme contraptions and wily coyotes.
  109. Warrior is a surprising gut punch, a modern-day "Rocky" saga with two mixed martial arts pugs trying to beat, choke and kick the system.
  110. Despite wild deviations in spiritual themes and execution, nothing in Noah approaches sacrilege or surrender, making this an acutely sensible biblical epic. It may simply be too strange for the masses to notice.
  111. Plenty of secrets are uncovered before the fadeout, plus another nugget dropped midway through the end credits that may render nearly everything beforehand to be false. That's the nature of intimacies submerged so long then revealed.
  112. The plot is a piffle but Ozon's presentation is gloriously romantic.
  113. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is one of the finest installments in the saga. [6 Dec. 1991, p.5]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  114. There's no way to make this a feel-good movie, and admirably the Duplass brothers don't try. Cyrus finds its humor in dark places, through characters bringing out the worst in each other.
  115. As a director, Clooney makes his most straightforward movie yet, although it's static at times due to the stage origins of Willimon's material.
  116. Stoker operates in a perpetual state of dread, a sophisticated Southern gothic that starts out confusing and winds up as a perversely humorous coming-of-age yarn.
  117. They're an entertaining foursome, and Estevez guides them through lovely scenery, clever sight gags and personal confessions with leisurely skill.
  118. With everything it's doing all over again, The Book of Life often finds fresh ways to do it. That's all it takes.
  119. It Follows has an impressively sustained sense of dread, less explicit gore than measured tension. Mitchell slyly inverts the conventions of dead-meat teenager flicks, although not with wink-wink comedy like the Scream series. This movie is serious about creeping out viewers, and Mitchell is just artistic enough about it to create a minor masterpiece.
  120. This is how a romantic vampire flick should work.
  121. X-Men: Days of Future Past effectively passes the torch from one generation of socially segregated mutants to the next.
  122. The Runaways isn't just about rock 'n' roll; it IS rock 'n' roll, as loud, sexy, sometimes sloppy and ultimately exhilarating as the music can be.
  123. The role of Albert in Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said is closer to who the man was, and who the actor seldom got the chance to play: bearish yet soft-spoken, a self-confessed slob with a soul bigger than his gut. There's warmth pouring from those slitted eyes, loosening up guarded smiles as Albert takes a chance on love again.
  124. This movie is a last chance to save the series, which it does.
  125. It's deja vu all over again in The Hangover Part II, only dirtier and more dangerous, if you can imagine that.
  126. 2 Guns is a movie based on smart callbacks and sly flip-flops of loyalty, regularly interrupted by spasms of well-staged violence.
  127. If comic book movies are the last place you look for a soulful, serious performance, The Wolverine should be your first.
  128. Whatever Career Girls lacks in polish or ambition, it compensates with three memorable performances and an unwavering filmmaker working on nobody's terms except his own. [5 Sep. 1997, p.3]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    On film, Into the Woods feels tighter, the tone more cohesive.
  129. There is a genuinely epic quality to Unbroken, cribbed from masters and capably traced. That's really all this inspiring story needs.
  130. A Dangerous Method is a movie believing the most formidable sex organ really is the brain.
  131. Carnage gives Polanski the best opportunity to express his devilish sense of humor in decades, proving again that comedy really is tragedy happening to someone else.
  132. Chronicle is so clever about the absurd, and so much fun to watch, that I'm almost disappointed the ending doesn't leave room for a sequel.
  133. There is still Spider-Man's personal turmoil, crises of romance and loyalty, that Webb occasionally holds a few beats too long. Yet the performances ring true, with arresting chemistry where it counts.
  134. What happens in Vegas happens a lot in movies. Think Like a Man Too goes to the same casinos, strip clubs and pleasure pools with a fistful of jokers and an ace up its sleeve, the irrepressible Kevin Hart.
  135. The movie has a caffeinated spirit worthy of its graveyard shift milieu, a darkness artfully breached by cinematographer Robert Elswit, who previously framed L.A.'s unstill life in Magnolia and Boogie Nights.
  136. Frozen impresses by conveying coldness in all its frostbitten beauty, from northern lights and blizzards, to ice magnifying, refracting and reflecting light. The movie is a lovely example for animation enthusiasts to study.
  137. When she's (Hawkins) on camera, I'd swear the screen bends into a smile.
  138. Like the genre's top filmmakers - the Coens, Polanski, Hitchcock - Capotondi builds dread with wicked winks at the audience, dropping subtle surprises along the way.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    With Grisham's high profile and higher paychecks, his novels-turned-movies always will be on trial by critics and readers. The only thing The Client is guilty of is being suspenseful, funny and worth an extra trip to the theater this summer. [20 July 1994, p.6B]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  139. The easiest way for filmmakers to show injustice in the world is through the eyes of a child. In the case of Haifaa al-Mansour's movie, the injustice is Saudi Arabia's male-centric culture, and the child is a preteen girl named Wadjda.
  140. Frankenweenie is stitched together with love and a bit raggedy, like Sparky the dog in question.
  141. Much Ado About Nothing is simply a fun time among Whedon and his friends, and for the most part it's contagious.
  142. Farrell's diction is a noticeable upgrade from Schwarzenegger's but there's also his superior portrayal of sweaty apprehension and killer instinct.
  143. Director Charles Martin Smith presents the kind of movie that gives squeaky-clean a good name.
  144. This is what the holidays need: a good, Swift kick in the funny bone.
  145. If this was December, Kevin Hart might be in the Oscar mix, he's that good in About Last Night. Explosively good, a comedy nova who won't shut up and never should.
  146. Even when Magic Mike is skimpier than a g-string it soars on daring, as if Soderbergh asked himself who could possibly make a good movie from such offbeat material, answered "I can," and did.
  147. True Grit is a very good movie that might be more embraceable if we didn't know who was pulling the trigger.
  148. These characters don't realize they're funny, and the actors are determined not to push it. Willis fares best, playing against in-control type; Murray fans expecting a comedy explosion won't find it here.
  149. This is old-school monumental filmmaking, without CGI tricks or many soundstage comforts for a dedicated cast. David Lean would probably approve.
  150. There are no boundaries in this movie, so deal with it or leave.
  151. For the initiated, however, Alfredson weaves a tidy web from loose ends left dangling.
  152. In addition to being one of the finest golf movies ever, this film raises the bar on faith-based cinema.
  153. A Most Violent Year has its share of wham-bam moments — a car-truck-foot chase into the city's bowels is superb — but the action never speaks louder than Chandor's hard-boiled words.
  154. This movie embraces its inner yokel.
  155. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is how to make a sequel, when it gets its head out of the clouds.
  156. Arbitrage is a classy soap opera with a charismatic louse at its center, without "Margin Call" didactics, or the misplaced empathy of "The Company Men."
  157. War Horse takes time reaching its full emotional gallop with a late sequence combining man, beast and barbed wire. Yet it remains a technically magnificent ride throughout, and a checklist of visual influences from "All Quiet on the Western Front" to "Gone with the Wind."
  158. Ted
    It's often convulsively funny.
  159. This is a slight movie, but it's Williams' all the way (possibly to an Oscar nod) while the rest of the cast supports her well.
  160. Remember that ultra-violent scene in "Old Boy" when the dude plowed through a subway platform of bad guys and was the only one left standing? Multiply it by four or five and that's The Raid: Redemption.
  161. This movie embraces everything that should make it lousy, calling out itself for aping the source's bad ideas then flipping the script with meta precision.
  162. As a purely sensory experience at the movies you're hard-pressed to find anything more dazzling than the first 90 minutes of The Great Gatsby, when Luhrmann's riotous amusements make anything possible.
  163. While the result isn't the greatest show on Earth, it certainly is a lot of fun.
  164. Another Earth is stealthily effective, with silences often counting more than words.
  165. Choosing any unwieldy subplot to trim from Rio 2 is tough, as they're each so vibrantly rendered.
  166. Philomena is simply one of those small, true stories that astonish in print and inspire good movies.
  167. It's about time that another Scream flick came along to gouge the new cliches out of their sockets. Scream 4 does it in grandly Guignol style.
  168. This is a performance without ego or modesty, for a character without self-respect, played by Witherspoon as unvarnished as any pampered movie star can be expected.
  169. Gabe Polsky's movie about the dynastic Soviet Union hockey team is surprisingly light on its skates, despite being a Cold War history lesson and conventional sports documentary.
  170. Heaven Is for Real works in mysterious ways for a faith-based movie. It actually leaves room for doubt, in a genre founded on Christian absolutes. Tears aren't jerked; bibles aren't thumped. Believing gets easier.
  171. There's a pervasive cruelty, a condescension toward common folks like the Westons that's frequently off-putting, even as we're laughing.
  172. A sensory and intellectual overload from start to finish, a brawny, brainy summer movie that may infuriate as many viewers as it enraptures.
  173. This summer's funniest movie.
  174. There's a subtle wisdom to this screenplay that complements its exceedingly bad taste, small lessons among the laughs.
  175. As usual, psychological anguish is a key element of Marvel heroes. Age of Ultron boasts a cast of actors that "serious" filmmakers would kill for, so the gravitas they're capable of conveying amid such outlandish fantasy is the franchise's stealth advantage.
  176. The Avengers is as brawny and lamebrainy as any comic book movie deserves to be, capped by a 40-minute assault pummeling senses as few action sequences ever have.
  177. The images captured by cinematographer Adam Arkapaw are more dreamy than nightmarish as if his camera — like the children — doesn't fully understand the dangers.
  178. Even when The Net goes off-line, Bullock's captivating presence is a screen saver. [28 July 1995, p.6]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  179. How many surprises and peaks can Walken possibly have left, after so many movies and memorable roles? Well, there's this one.
  180. Tampa Bay wears fringe nihilism well, including wet-fever dreams of trigger-happy angels floating on cannabis clouds and dusted with cocaine like beignets waiting to be licked clean. Or drug gangstas sporting cornrows and gold-grill teeth, living large and thinking three-ways. Film as a fetish tool, that's what Spring Breakers is all about, y'all.
  181. If he made The Ghost Writer under a pseudonym, it might be roundly hailed as the classy white-knuckler it is. But it's Polanski's name above the title, with his own ghosts haunting each frame.
  182. It works because Timberlake and Kunis are totally in control of their damaged characters without winking at the audience, as if to say: "Aren't we cute, behaving so naughty?" Their sex is amusingly awkward, and their repressed longings more so. It's the kind of chemistry that comes along once in a generation.
  183. Corbijn keeps the intrigue uncluttered, guided by Andrew Bovell's economical adapted screenplay.
  184. The movie's first half is its funniest, as Moore sets up this alternate low-resolution universe.
  185. Wormald won't make anyone forget Bacon, but he dances better, and without a stand-in. Hough's dance ability is well-known, but she also displays flashes of acting skill.
  186. The choicest performance in Animal Kingdom is Weaver's sing-song sinister matriarch of the Cody clan, a cheery sort with the benign nickname "Mama Smurf."
  187. This movie, saddle sores and all, is a lot of fun.
  188. The movie is as quietly assured as its heroine, Bathsheba Everdene, gracefully played by Carey Mulligan.
  189. Working in tandem they (Gordon-Levitt/Shannon) make Premium Rush a movie that's off the chain, as the kids say.
  190. As viscerally exciting as Padilha's RoboCop can be, the movie is elevated by serious considerations of the ethics of using robots as guardians (shades of drones), commercialism, playing God with science, and what being human is about.
  191. Ritchie stages plenty of gunfights and beatdowns to satisfy action fans, pausing to consider the beauty of violence before resuming speed and piling on more.
  192. Megamind's Kryptonite is a common weakness for any comedy so fast out of the blocks: It simply runs out of surprises.
  193. For two hours it's a fun head trip.
  194. Thompson's fans will embrace its twisted verbal dexterity, romantically imagining the author feverishly pulling strings from the beyond.
  195. 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.
  196. 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.
  197. 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.
  198. Christensen plays him with Lecter-like intensity; the unsettling calmness of someone capable of anything.
  199. 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.
  200. 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.
  201. 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.
  202. Leaner than "Harry Potter's" adventures, meaner than the "Twilight" saga, The Hunger Games lives up to its source if not entirely the hype.
  203. 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.
  204. Snitch is grittily streetwise, and until its last 20 minutes fairly credible compared to other movies "inspired by" true stories.

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