Tampa Bay Times' Scores

  • Movies
For 917 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 0 The Change-Up
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 86 out of 917
917 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The only surprise is that Garry Marshall didn't direct this jumbled, star-studded kibitz and rename it "Mothers Day."
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. As a cinematic effort, Atlas Shrugged: Part I is competent; in service to Ayn Rand's epic novel, it's less so.
  9. Gold isn't a bad movie, just lifeless except for McConaughey.
  10. 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.
  11. Any resemblance between Allied and a much better movie on the subject isn't coincidental but unfortunate.
  12. Brand is amusing, in a nutty "Get Him to the Greek" sort of way, while Moore delivered one of the funniest performances ever.
  13. What nags me about Battle Los Angeles is that Liebesman never realizes what he set up to happen after the fade-out.
  14. Every fallen-star cliche director/co-writer Brett Haley employs goes down smoother with Elliott's baritone and unforced cool. He has deserved a spotlight role for years and now deserves a finer one.
  15. It's all bathetic enough for Labor Day to be subtitled The Prisons of Madison County.
  16. Lewis' performance is a spectacle of ego and last-chance craft that could only be possible for a legend near the end.
  17. The Hollars plays like a Zach Braff cast-off, with its strenuous quirks and strummy musical interludes.
  18. Rules Don't Apply is affably mediocre, even tolerable between brief pleasures. The movie's lone constant amusement is Beatty's madcap portrayal of Hughes, keeping aloft his Spruce Goose of nonromantic not quite comedy.
  19. 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.
  20. The Boss Baby is a bun needing more time in the oven, some rethinking of what sort of animated comedy it wishes to be.
  21. Hail, Caesar! is maddeningly hit-and-miss.
  22. 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.
  23. When we-know-who finally gets what's coming, The Girl on the Train briefly reaches its campy feminist potential, after two hours of taking a transparent mystery too seriously.
  24. The only bright spot in Tomorrow Never Dies is watching Chinese action star Michelle Yeoh eventually get a chance to grab a couple of machine guns and start rocking the house. She's a dynamo who has held her own alongside Jackie Chan, so it's disappointing that Spottiswoode doesn't find more opportunities to let her kick some tail. [19 Dec 1997, p.8]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. Inferno is another docent tour dressed as an action movie, a baby boomer's fantasy of travel and intrigue.
  29. Baywatch is a running gag in slow motion, a thong-in-cheek TV retread swapping wholesome jiggles for dirty giggles. There are places for such humor but beaches don't have gutters.
  30. It's all art direction and no content. There's nothing for Morticia and Gomez to do. [22 Nov 1991, p.7]
    • Tampa Bay Times
  31. Conan the Barbarian has its small, insipid pleasures, if you're in the mood.
  32. 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.
  33. Hereafter doesn't feel like a Clint Eastwood film; it's more like a very special edition of John Edward's psychic TV show.
  34. 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.
  35. Like its heroine, The Age of Adaline is afraid of its emotions, and stuck flat-footed in time.
  36. 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.
  37. It's all harmless, if not entirely fun.
  38. 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.
  39. Calling Dead Men Tell No Tales the most entertaining Pirates of the Caribbean movie since the original is a backhanded compliment with all the bilge water under the bridge since then. Time to deep six Capt. Jack Sparrow. This franchise should tell no more tales.
  40. Entourage the movie operates like Vince's pals, making itself feel important solely through who's famous nearby.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Some ideas simply work better on book pages, rather than on film where illogic is exposed.
  45. Transcendence is a movie without villains, thrills or, after Nolan fanboys show up, much of an audience.
  46. 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.
  47. The first half is nothing but silly setups for a stretch run that admittedly has its moments of wacky pandemonium, just not enough.
  48. 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.
  49. Office Christmas Party contains enough lunacy from McKinnon, Bell and Vanessa Bayer to nearly recommend, then enough lame plot threads, Rob Corddry and Olivia Munn to reconsider.
  50. MacLaine keeps things interesting, snapping off one-liners with precision that comes only through experience.
  51. Fury reeks of self-importance, a strange arrogance for a fictional World War II drama drenched in more blood than ideas.
  52. The Intern is a movie outmoded in style and strangely retro-sexist in spirit.
  53. Pawn Sacrifice tells a fascinating story in unspectacular fashion, resulting in a draw.
  54. The junk in Lucy doesn't entirely eclipse the moments when weird is fun.
  55. At some juncture — much earlier than director Gareth Edwards intends — Godzilla needs to stop being an extra in his own movie.
  56. 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.
  57. The Great Wall is a so-so movie with eye-popping images.
  58. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was supposed to settle a fanboy debate older than Adam West. Instead it raises another: Is being a superhero really this much of a drag?
  59. Rock the Kasbah isn't respectful of truth, or consistently funny in the way it lies.
  60. 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.
  61. Let's cut to the chariot chase. The latest screen version of Ben-Hur would be little more than a condensed miniseries without it, framed for small television screens, with performances to fit.
  62. This Grudge Match is winners take all and losers bought tickets.
  63. By all accounts, Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was a monster. That's exactly how Johnny Depp plays him in Black Mass, a dark blob of underworld cliches and bad contact lenses.
  64. 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
  65. Imagine a stuffy Merchant Ivory production blended with muted Michael Crichton sci-fi and you have Never Let Me Go, at least as it plays on screen.
  66. Shame smears the lines between daring and taunting, and art versus indulgence. When it ends there's the urge to take a shower, and not a cold one.
  67. I deferred to the wisdom of Grouchy Smurf (George Lopez): "I didn't hate it as much as I expected to. But I still hated it."
  68. Big Stone Gap isn't everyone's cup of sweet tea. It's a homespun tale populated by broadly drawn characters and solid actors — Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Krakowski, Anthony LaPaglia — sounding like they gulped hush puppy batter.
  69. As a rollicking comedy, it isn't.
  70. Comedy and narrative demand more rhythm than simply scamper, jabber, fall but that's what Minions bring to the table.
  71. The Raven isn't nearly as much fun as it should be.
  72. At times the screenplay by brothers David and Alex Pastor strikes the proper tone for claptrap.... Mostly, though, the dialogue thuds in circles.
  73. Fifty Shades Darker is what you'd expect from encoring a regrettable one-night stand. Not a keeper, but nothing to gnaw off your arm about.
  74. Life Happens still has the obligatory relationship cracks and repairs to wade through but it's finally tolerable.
  75. Flat and polished is a fine condition for mirrors, not movies. There is imagination galore but no genuine magic in Mirror Mirror, a Grimmly disappointing take on Snow White's fairy tale.
  76. It's a story told accurately, if not particularly well.
  77. The movie zings when Jenkins is snapping off venomous wisecracks, or O'Hara speaks politically incorrectly with only the best intentions. But those moments aren't enough to raise A.C.O.D. above the level of a failed pilot for a racy pay channel sitcom.
  78. Like the live action Beauty and the Beast, its best impressions come from imitating the source, lifting visuals and dialogue to deja vu effect.
  79. As an actor, Meryl Streep is incapable of making false moves. That doesn't mean she's incapable of making false movies.
  80. The problem isn't entirely Lehane's script... It's the way Belgian director Michael R. Roskam, making his English language debut, is so visually uninspired by all this meanness.
  81. Unstoppable isn't unwatchable, but it is a letdown after "Speed" and some of the Speed-on-a-(fill in the blank with a vehicle) flicks that followed. Forget missing Hopper; even Keanu Reeves might make this movie more entertaining.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Tom Cruise may be an A-list action star, but the Jack Reacher films are beginning to feel like the B-movies of his career.
  82. 13 Hours is another flag-wrapped paean to true-life Alamo heroism in the vein of Lone Survivor, hoping for ticket sales like American Sniper. Neither of those movies carry the political burden of 13 Hours, and Bay isn't one to channel it.
  83. American Ultra is a clumsy mix of courtship and gunpowder, passion and horror leading to a romantically sick-humored conclusion. The end nearly justifies director Nima Nourizadeh's means of getting there. But not quite.
  84. Yes, this is a great time for escapism at the movies. But there's a point at which escapism throws what we're trying to forget back in our faces.
  85. Somewhere, Wes Craven is laughing up his sleeve, and Robert Englund is grinning. It's nice to know that you're irreplaceable.
  86. This is a comedy never proceeding beyond its idea pitch and attractive casting.
  87. The movie veers between disapproval, farce and something uncomfortably close to envy, with a trio of game performances barely holding things together.
  88. The movie is geared to preschoolers, so only parents dragged with them may complain. There's only that Looney Tunes overture to savor before the Acme production begins.
  89. I seriously doubt that it happened this way, with such convenient strife and truncated solutions. The movie is about baseball but plays like T-ball, with each situation teed up for easy swings.
  90. If you prefer hipster romantic comedies that are unromantic and not too funny, Lee Toland Krieger's movie may be your grande half-caf caramel mocha frappe.
  91. The three young stars biding time in Tom Gormican's listless rom-com are too gifted for one mediocre movie to bury.
  92. A comedy as lazy as Sandler's previous boondoggles.
  93. I honestly thought Eclipse would be different, after "New Moon" showed stirrings of cinematic life.
  94. A terrible title for a not-much-better movie, missing a grammatically correct question mark and most of the point with romantic comedies.
  95. The Host doesn't strive for social allegory, as previous body snatcher flicks have done with the Red Scare, civil rights and Watergate. If anything it's merely a teenage girl's fantasy checklist for prom.
  96. Everything plays out brutally, and the acting's not bad. But it's unsettling for external reasons beyond its control.
  97. Jobs the movie isn't as fascinating as Jobs the man, much less the myth of entrepreneurial superiority he left behind.
  98. Sure, the plot is paper thin like most reboots, but CHiPs is less about the story and more about the special effects and stunt riding, which are jaw-dropping.
  99. The movie's best performance — and worst defamation — belongs to Tony Shalhoub, playing the first victim as a conniving, egotistical jerk who deserves to be kidnapped, maimed and ruined financially.

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