Tampa Bay Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 655 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 Toy Story 3
Lowest review score: 0 For a Good Time, Call...
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 655
655 movie reviews
    • 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. 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.
  4. Real Steel is sci-fi without the science, and the fiction is strictly 20th century, straight out of Rocky knockoffs.
  5. 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."
  6. 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.
  7. There's no disputing Streep's brilliance, which this time feels more calculated than usual, in a movie demanding only an impersonation.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The actors are so good that you wish Collyer offered them a richer arc to play, rather than just a topic.
  12. 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.
  13. Feels like half of a good movie, much of it revealed in admittedly thrilling trailers.
  14. The Farrellys whip up a miss-or-hit affair, the best jokes coming without much set-up, just non sequiturs and malapropisms.
  15. A nice but unnecessary movie for small children who can find the same level of entertainment on kiddie cable networks.
  16. 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.
  17. There might be a great movie about any of Hoover's triumphs and secrets, but not all at once.
  18. Thankfully in space, no one can hear you yawn.
  19. Coppola's movie has a sense of indie vitality, although the energy feels wasted by running in place.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Gimme Shelter exists less as a social lesson than as a wobbly showcase for Hudgens' still-developing skills.
  24. 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.
  25. This Cinderella is achingly old-fashioned, with scant humor, a regressive heroine and godmother effects that aren't special.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Soderbergh doesn't always match his pacing to Mallory's fury.
  29. 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
  30. Identity Thief is a road movie with its creative lanes clogged, and a Mack truck comedian barreling through, anyway.
  31. Cumberbatch is very good, in a movie that isn't.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. The strategy deserves to self-destruct in five seconds.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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
  41. 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."
  42. 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.
  43. The redneck rust bucket is on screen so much that 3-D glasses should come with tetanus shots.
  44. 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.
  45. Vacation is a Gen X comedy franchise rebooted exactly how audiences can expect in 2015, bawdier and less likable than whatever classic inspires it.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Salt is a movie constantly painting itself into corners then tromping out with arbitrary twists and action distractions.
  50. 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.
  51. It's just an exhausted idea coasting on the charm of its stars.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Magic Mike XXL is darker, and between money-rain showers, duller. It's the movie many feared the original would be.
  56. A drab dream with squirmy-cuddly aliens, floating space bubbles and too many Rihanna musical interludes.
  57. 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.
  58. Cena handles rough stuff like a pro, and his poker-faced wisecracking isn't bad. But he probably shouldn't quit his day job.
  59. 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.
  60. The Beaver plays like a thickly veiled confessional and plea for forgiveness. It's too creepy for comfort.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. The only surprise is that Garry Marshall didn't direct this jumbled, star-studded kibitz and rename it "Mothers Day."
  64. 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.
  65. As a cinematic effort, Atlas Shrugged: Part I is competent; in service to Ayn Rand's epic novel, it's less so.
  66. Will Forte plays his pitifully deluded creation to the hilt in a penknife movie. There's a lot of material here that only occasionally succeeds on Forte's insanely focused performance.
  67. Brand is amusing, in a nutty "Get Him to the Greek" sort of way, while Moore delivered one of the funniest performances ever.
  68. What nags me about Battle Los Angeles is that Liebesman never realizes what he set up to happen after the fade-out.
  69. It's all bathetic enough for Labor Day to be subtitled The Prisons of Madison County.
  70. Dark Shadows manages in two hours what the TV show took six years to do: become irrelevant and remembered only for how sloppy it was.
  71. The fourth episode in a saga that didn't need a second, Age of Extinction, is 2 hours and 45 minutes of numbing dumb and dull end credits listing the artists cashing in. It is exactly what moviegoers who made this franchise thrive deserve.
  72. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance offers Cage plenty of opportunities to tap his inner circus geek, to twitch, cackle and flail without shame, going full tilt batwing crazy. Not since he danced in a pagan bear suit in The Wicker Man has Cage appeared this unconcerned about what the audience will think.
  73. Basic Instinct has the action and gore of Verhoeven's Total Recall and the cool sheen of his equally bloody RoboCop. Verhoeven can deliver style in spades, but Eszterhas' jumble of confusing plot twists and conventional movie cliches proves fatal. [20 Mar 1992, p.29]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  74. There are too many convenient romances, trumped-up crises and reversals of conscience to clear up while those poor whales suffer. Big Miracle isn't an entirely bad movie but a wholly misguided one.
  75. Conan the Barbarian has its small, insipid pleasures, if you're in the mood.
  76. Wright is an insanely funny filmmaker (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) yet only the front half of that description carries over to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
  77. Hereafter doesn't feel like a Clint Eastwood film; it's more like a very special edition of John Edward's psychic TV show.
  78. Without previous knowledge of Andy Diggle's comics, The Losers looks like every other globetrotting gunpowder flick in which good guy bullets never miss and bad guy bullets never hit their targets.
  79. Like its heroine, The Age of Adaline is afraid of its emotions, and stuck flat-footed in time.
  80. That first movie was obviously a calculated grab for Harry Potter-type movie success but didn't feel like a rip-off. This one skews younger, to an easier-to-please demographic, closely resembling other fantasies since.
  81. It's all harmless, if not entirely fun.
  82. Whatever laughter Lottery Ticket earns is through familiarity with these exaggerated characters, and actors going the extra mile to make viewers believe they haven't seen this material before.
  83. Entourage the movie operates like Vince's pals, making itself feel important solely through who's famous nearby.
  84. Apatow hates leaving anything on the cutting room floor. You could excise entire chunks of The Five-Year Engagement - the donut experiments at college, a couple of wise soliloquies, most of the stuff involving Violet's sister (Alison Brie) - and never miss a beat.
  85. This is such a generic endeavor — not a poor effort, just one that doesn't attempt to do anything besides splash a screen with color and movement.
  86. Go see Won't Back Down and enjoy it. Just don't believe it's anything more than a stacked deck with a lot at stake.
  87. Some ideas simply work better on book pages, rather than on film where illogic is exposed.
  88. Transcendence is a movie without villains, thrills or, after Nolan fanboys show up, much of an audience.
  89. The movie's only constant pleasure - heck, the whole franchise's - is Eugene Levy as Jim's dad, widowed and wondering if it's time to date again.
  90. The first half is nothing but silly setups for a stretch run that admittedly has its moments of wacky pandemonium, just not enough.
  91. The terror of Sept. 11 feels like little more than a dramatic hook, an easy way to make audiences cry. Oskar and the event defining him deserve better.
  92. Fury reeks of self-importance, a strange arrogance for a fictional World War II drama drenched in more blood than ideas.
  93. The junk in Lucy doesn't entirely eclipse the moments when weird is fun.
  94. At some juncture — much earlier than director Gareth Edwards intends — Godzilla needs to stop being an extra in his own movie.
  95. I spent several minutes not caring what was happening with the story but just observing the patchwork illusion of oversized props, short stunt doubles and computer grafting of big faces on small bodies. Nice work.
  96. Poor Thor. Dude can't even hold center stage in his own movie. He's the Asgardian god of stolen thunder, upstaged at each ab turn by Loki, malarkey and Odin's eyepatch.
  97. This Grudge Match is winners take all and losers bought tickets.
  98. Hook is so enormous, so cumbersome, that it resembles a complex machine inching its way across the resplendent three-moon Neverland landscape. It's a brilliant technical achievement, but it hasn't much of a soul. [11 Dec. 1991, p.3D]
    • Tampa Bay Times

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