Tampa Bay Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 871 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The World's End
Lowest review score: 0 Blair Witch
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 81 out of 871
871 movie reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Finally though, it is Van Peebles who runs New Jack City aground. The film ends up being slightly long, both in terms of time and self-righteousness. Van Peebles is to be commended for making such a hip morality lesson, but New Jack City's finale, which is predictable and trite, could have been handled more creatively by a more daring director. [12 Mar 1991, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 22 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace doesn't attempt to disguise its sentiments - no more so than Greenpeace - but neither does it lose the campy spirit of the 1978 original. Although never as stylish as the first movie, it shows verve and a modest wit. Superman IV is not as funny as the first sequel, but it isn't as violent, either. [27 July 1987, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  1. This is a fun picture, even if it's overly sentimental and has the feeling of an extended Amazing Stories segment. Director Dear is a master Spielbergian craftsman. Now, all he has to do is demonstrate some originality to establish himself as a quality film maker. [5 June 1987, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Witches of Eastwick is a theme park without a theme. Like Nicholson and his co-stars, Miller doesn't have a lot on his mind. He just wants to have fun. His movie is organized mayhem, a strange and funny tour de force. [15 June 1987, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  2. The Rover fascinates and frustrates in equal measure, with Michod withholding details of plot and character so thoroughly that a nihilistic fog sets in.
  3. Kong: Skull Island strips the beauty from a legendary beast, reducing a classic movie star to soulless monster mechanics. Kong smashes, but not much else. Whoever dies doesn't matter. Whoever lives has a sequel promised by the end credits.
  4. It feels like a rush job, needing another draft or two for cohesion's sake, or for Allen to decide what sort of story he's telling.
  5. Real Steel is sci-fi without the science, and the fiction is strictly 20th century, straight out of Rocky knockoffs.
  6. Russell remains one of our most adorable, underused actors, although this role lacks the emotional and comedic breadth of her turn in 2007's "Waitress."
  7. White House Down is nearly enough fun to be a bad movie that's a good time. But it always finds some way of being a drag, belching exposition and weak humor when action's all we need, then carrying the action to exhausting lengths.
  8. Chastain plows through this tangled scenario with an icy ferocity that's entertaining. You get the feeling that Miss Sloane would work better as a streaming or cable series, allowing more time to explore characters and issues, giving actors more room for dense dialogue. Maybe come up with a better way out of that corner.
  9. Winter's War isn't tedious. Amiably bad movies seldom are. Theron and Blunt look fabulous doing silly, screechy things in Colleen Atwood's costumes. Chastain makes Sara a formidable match in battle and bed with Eric, who becomes less important as these wonder women converge.
  10. There's no disputing Streep's brilliance, which this time feels more calculated than usual, in a movie demanding only an impersonation.
  11. Mostly it's hamstrung by an abundance of reverence and dialogue sounding like an art studies syllabus when it isn't rehashing war movie tropes.
  12. Joy
    Endings have never been Russell's strong suit. This time the beginning also eluded him, and the middle fell into his lap. Joy leaves a feeling of panicked disappointment, as if phone lines are open and nobody's calling.
  13. This is science fiction needing more work on the fiction part, an intriguing premise running its course halfway through. Passengers is too smart for starters to devolve into green screen spectacle relegating its attractive stars to unconvincing gapes.
  14. Stylish to a fault and straying from the source, Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. revives a 1960s television hit for the short attention spans of today's youth-skewing movie audience.
  15. I expected, even wanted to cry at The Fault in Our Stars, or at least choke up a little. Yet the transparent eagerness of this movie to break hearts, through means not entirely justifying that end, always pulled me back.
  16. Director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) doesn't match the feverish nature of Karel Reisz's original, and the gambling sequences convey the sameness of a habit but not as much tension to it.
  17. The actors are so good that you wish Collyer offered them a richer arc to play, rather than just a topic.
  18. At least the latest movie about the financial meltdown doesn't make the same mistake as the last one. It also doesn't prove that a fictional film can explain the downturn's causes and effects better than a documentary.
  19. Feels like half of a good movie, much of it revealed in admittedly thrilling trailers.
  20. The Farrellys whip up a miss-or-hit affair, the best jokes coming without much set-up, just non sequiturs and malapropisms.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    This chiller has its predictable and unpredictable moments. As random, brutal murders on film go, Halloween 4 does do a creditable job of setting up the terrifying scene, only to have something unexpected happen. [28 Oct 1988, p.7]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  21. A nice but unnecessary movie for small children who can find the same level of entertainment on kiddie cable networks.
  22. Calvary becomes a lurid Agatha Christie yarn with something important to say about the church and Ireland that McDonagh can't fully articulate. Pulp keeps getting in the way.
  23. Broadbent carries the movie with signature ease, making Tony easy to dislike while wishing him an overdue peace. Despite its time-flip fixation, The Sense of an Ending finds emotional focus in Broadbent's wilting gaze and discoveries in character with the simplest line deliveries.
  24. There might be a great movie about any of Hoover's triumphs and secrets, but not all at once.
  25. Pig in the City is a blatant, heartless attempt to turn a surprise hit into a cash cow. That simply won't do, pig. [25 Nov 1998, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  26. Thankfully in space, no one can hear you yawn.
  27. Kubo and the Two Strings is lovely to behold, if viewers manage to keep their eyes open. It's an animated doozy and drowser at once, an uncomfortable mix of Miyazaki-style imagination and generic dullness.
  28. Coppola's movie has a sense of indie vitality, although the energy feels wasted by running in place.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Anyone visiting Free State of Jones merely hoping to learn more about an interesting anti-slavery rebellion will likely come away sated, but those looking for an exciting, vital piece of filmmaking will have to wait for another opportunity.
  29. If this movie truly cost $375 million to produce and market (as the L.A. Times reported), the biggest chunk isn't on the screen.
  30. Act of Valor will likely earn high praise from combat veterans and their families, the way movies like "Fireproof" and "Seven Days in Utopia" resonate with Christians. Civilians, movie critics and certainly pacifists won't be nearly as impressed.
  31. Scene by scene, Batman Returns is more outrageous, inventive and fun than the original Batman. Yet, by its apocalyptic ending, Batman Returns is in danger of collapsing under its own weight. [19 June 1992, p.22]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  32. Director Robert Lorenz makes a nondescript debut, after assisting Eastwood on several of his directing gigs. The student hasn't learned much from the teacher about economic storytelling or deflecting schmaltz.
  33. Gimme Shelter exists less as a social lesson than as a wobbly showcase for Hudgens' still-developing skills.
  34. Our Brand Is Crisis shows flashes of insight cribbed from reality, nibbling the edges of satire without ever taking a big bite.
  35. In telling someone else's story Crowe loses track of his own as a cultural definer, not a panderer. Mee bought a zoo; Crowe sells out.
  36. X-Men: Apocalypse is sprawling to a fault, in both geography and characters to be given something to do.
  37. Not even J.K. Rowling can say abracadabra and make a worthwhile movie franchise appear. The lightning that struck Harry Potter once merely grazes Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, turning the sorcerer's mentor into a fantasy apprentice.
  38. This Cinderella is achingly old-fashioned, with scant humor, a regressive heroine and godmother effects that aren't special.
  39. Good intentions don't always make for good movies. Case in point: Zootopia, a Disney film with more on its mind than animated fun and fuzzies. So much, in fact, that it loses track of what audiences expect, what they're being sold.
  40. Spike Lee's remake of 2003's Oldboy is as brutally perplexing as the South Korean original, and needless for both its repetition and tweaks. Nothing is really lost in translation, or gained.
  41. Hanks keeps things interesting with an array of concerned expressions and distant gazes. But there's no tension in faked suffering. The actor and Eastwood's movie are limited by the goodness of their subject, the flawlessness of his actions.
  42. The Boss feels like a fun character gradually wasted.
  43. The reason this overstuffed movie remains tolerable is the inspired casting of Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. as a combative father and son, and their determination to out-thespian each other.
  44. Woo directs Mission: Impossible 2 cautiously, as if still introducing himself to U.S. audiences despite Face-Off and Broken Arrow. Or maybe he has nothing left to say about the poetry of violence after such visual eloquence in his Chinese classics. [24 May 2000, p.1D]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  45. Soderbergh doesn't always match his pacing to Mallory's fury.
  46. Leigh's characters merely act in a goofy and irritating fashion until their dramatic pay-off scenes. This uneven style cheats fine actors out of the chance to shade their roles rather than rely upon black-and-white emotions. [6 Mar. 1992, p.10]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  47. Identity Thief is a road movie with its creative lanes clogged, and a Mack truck comedian barreling through, anyway.
  48. Cumberbatch is very good, in a movie that isn't.
  49. Almodóvar dives into perversity, practically daring the audience not to follow. The Skin I Live In is a mediocre addition to his resume, yet for fans, even bad Almodóvar is better than none at all.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Director Derek Cianfrance attempts to bring the emotional rawness of his previous films and influences to the melodrama genre with The Light Between Oceans, but he never quite pulls off the feat.
  50. Knight and Day never makes sense from the opening credits. Heck, the title is only half-explained, and not as cleverly as the pun deserves. It's a movie that never gestated beyond the pitch: Glamorous stars in exotic locales, shooting and driving their way to safety through a gantlet of bad guys chasing a MacGuffin.
  51. Like a struggling sprinter, Stephen Hopkins' film suffers from wasted motion, too much going on. It's the difference between a merely competent movie and one justifying more discussion of Hollywood's commitment to reward diversity.
  52. The strategy deserves to self-destruct in five seconds.
  53. The Conjuring 2 is serviceable horror, heavy on the audio stings yet smarter than the average gorefest.
  54. It's the garish swarm of colorfully twisted action that Batman v Superman needed, the anarchic approach such timeworn superheroes deserve. Suicide Squad characters aren't nearly as familiar, so writer-director David Ayer's movie is also messy, not entirely by design.
  55. Live by Night is ambitious to a fault, with so much material and technical pizzazz that a cable miniseries format might have been a better way to go.
  56. Depp is the only reason this haphazard take on the Lone Ranger legend exists, at least in this swollen state, begging the question of why Disney didn't name the movie Tonto.
  57. It's a pleasing tribute to Steadman, but there's a sense that Paul would really prefer to focus on Thompson's brand of altered-state brilliance, which has been covered in documentaries before. If you're a gonzo completist, For No Good Reason is a must-see.
  58. The 33 has a disappointing lack of depth for a movie about being trapped 2,400 feet below.
  59. It's Lane who's saddled with dragging this nag over the finish line, with her cliched portrayal of another single-minded woman beating men at their own game.
  60. Baruchel aside, The Sorcerer's Apprentice contains a few minor delights. One is Cage's surprisingly low-key approach to a role that he could be expected to play over the top.
  61. Wang's high regard for women is intact, plus a keen eye for period detail making the 19th century sequences lovely to observe. But it's nothing we haven't seen before.
  62. Chungking Express essentially tells two muted love stories set in a bustling locale, without fully involving the audience in either. [3 May 1996, p.5]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  63. At least This Means War is an equal opportunity misfire, with as much appeal for men as women, compared to a one-sided weeper like "The Vow."
  64. Field's eager-to-please performance makes [Showalter's] shovelfuls of sugar go down easier.
  65. The Homesman isn't as confident with balancing madness and dark humor as Jones' only previous directing job, 2005's border odyssey The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. This movie's switchback plotting ambles from crisis to comical, threatening to maintain a tone but not for long.
  66. The redneck rust bucket is on screen so much that 3-D glasses should come with tetanus shots.
  67. It's a one-note character that Bardem builds into a complex emotional chord, lessening the urge to dismiss Biutiful solely as an endurance test for viewers.
  68. Vacation is a Gen X comedy franchise rebooted exactly how audiences can expect in 2015, bawdier and less likable than whatever classic inspires it.
  69. None of it is thrilling, but Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has a Saturday matinee goofiness that'll go well enough with air conditioning.
  70. It's just another example of technology intruding upon storytelling, that's been happening since kinetoscopes cranked one frame at a time.
  71. The pleasures of Lovelace are in its casting choices, allowing a brio trio like Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria and Bobby Cannavale to sleaze up a pivotal scene, and an unrecognizable Sharon Stone to go full Jessica Lange as Linda's shamed mother.
  72. Curled up at home with the lights off and DVD player running, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark might be passable fun. Spread over a movie screen, the film's modest ambition gets dwarfed by expectations, especially after paying for a ticket.
  73. Salt is a movie constantly painting itself into corners then tromping out with arbitrary twists and action distractions.
  74. Eastwood's unvarnished storytelling style, usually his strength as a filmmaker, is terribly out of place here. If ever a movie needed flashbacks, dream sequences, any attempt no matter how cliche to goose the narrative, it's this one.
  75. It's just an exhausted idea coasting on the charm of its stars.
  76. Ultimately, the movie's energy rises and falls on the presence of Adam Driver as Wallace's libido-on-legs friend, who can make you believe sex can solve anything. Except this movie.
  77. If anyone gets a career boost from The Expendables it will be Dolph Lundgren, playing a drug-addicted loose Howitzer booted from the team and flipping to the bad side.
  78. It is well acted bunk, led by Hugh Jackman's righteous raging as the father of a missing girl, abducting a suspect (Paul Dano) to pummel and scald a confession from him. If only solving the case and ending this movie sooner was that simple.
  79. Magic Mike XXL is darker, and between money-rain showers, duller. It's the movie many feared the original would be.
  80. A drab dream with squirmy-cuddly aliens, floating space bubbles and too many Rihanna musical interludes.
  81. Someone describes the T-800 as "nothing but a relic from a deleted timeline." Too harsh to lay on Schwarzenegger yet, but certainly it applies to the Terminator franchise.
  82. What keeps Daddy's Home watchable is Wahlberg's checkmate machismo, as the intimidating foil necessary for Ferrell's namby-pambyism to register.
  83. Cena handles rough stuff like a pro, and his poker-faced wisecracking isn't bad. But he probably shouldn't quit his day job.
  84. Closed Circuit is a shaggy paranoid thriller in which conversations aren't the shorthand of people who know each other but wordy exposition for those strangers in theater seats.
  85. McKay's frustration about the financial crisis is obvious, his instinct of how to engage viewers less so. Buyer beware.
  86. The Beaver plays like a thickly veiled confessional and plea for forgiveness. It's too creepy for comfort.
  87. Malaise isn't Tom Hanks' thing, so A Hologram for the King with its death of an IT salesman vibe isn't a good fit. Hanks is far too indelible as a can-do personality to play why bother.
  88. Kechiche's doting on entwined limbs, thrusting pelvises and oral stimulation, all carefully posed and continued longer than necessary to get his point across, races beyond titillation to creepy voyeurism.
  89. Close's performance is technically perfect and emotionally pinched, which is exactly what her role calls for, but it doesn't make a compelling movie.
  90. A Walk in the Woods is a trifle compared to 2014's Wild, which tracked a similar real-life journey toward self-discovery in richer detail. But darned if Redford's easy charm and Nolte's gravelly lack of it aren't enticing throughout.
  91. The only surprise is that Garry Marshall didn't direct this jumbled, star-studded kibitz and rename it "Mothers Day."
  92. Writer-director David E. Talbert, working from his novel, tackles each musical interlude, montage and mad dash to an airport like he's the first person ever to think of them.
  93. Despite its overt feminism, Neighbors 2 makes the sorority unravel when its guiding man leaves. It's one of several mixed messages in the screenplay, possibly due to having five writers' fingerprints on it.
  94. With each musical reprise and imitated frame, Condon continues a fight of comparisons he can't win. Either imitate a classic faithfully or leave out the songs and make your own version. Or just leave perfection alone.

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