Tampa Bay Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 624 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: 58 out of 624
624 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.

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