Time's Scores

For 1,998 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Amour
Lowest review score: 0 Cocktail
Score distribution:
1998 movie reviews
  1. The Beaver is serious about portraying mental illness. And whatever your opinion about Gibson the man, so is Gibson the actor.
  2. Its high-bounding excesses of action simultaneously satisfy and satirize the passion for heedless viciousness that so profoundly moves the action film's prime audience, urban adolescent males.
  3. The Zero Theorem is a spectacle that demands to be cherished — as long as the society Gilliam portrays is a satire, not a prophesy.
  4. The Iron Lady is a clever and oddly touching entertainment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There may be no role Barrymore is better suited to than that of sanctimonious environmentalist.
  5. Vivid, relevant and of elevating scariness.
  6. All the components are there. No wonder In the Land of Blood and Honey is the most compelling, heartfelt movie Jolie has made in years. She isn't in it, but she's all over it.
  7. In its purposeful accumulation of depravities, both individual and institutional, the director's non-style has an honorable payoff that's rare in modern Hollywood cinema: the story's weight could come close to burying you in despair.
  8. The differences between the two Assaults--the new one's pretty good, the old one near great--are of tone, style and perspective.
  9. A gentle, charming movie and really a parent's dream: a kid's movie that doesn't involve action sequences or explosions. Yet you wish the filmmakers had adhered to Mr. Quimby's no-nonsense point of view and found a way to make this family slightly less squeaky-clean.
  10. Declaration of War is about being under siege from illness, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This modern-day Juliette and Romeo find their own tragedy, but are not poisoned by it.
  11. The picture is sometimes wayward and unwieldy, its dialogue creaky and awkward, like an amateur’s attempt at scrimshaw.... But in a movie climate rife with superhero reboots and rehashings of childhood favorites, it’s a small marvel that In the Heart of the Sea exists at all.
  12. I don't want to oversell You Kill Me. It is not going to leave you breathless with laughter. But I don't want to undersell it either. For an hour and a half it exerts its own preposterous reality, making you believe it -- and like it.
  13. Motion capture, which transforms actors into cartoon characters in a vividly animated landscape, is the technique Spielberg has been waiting for - the Christmas gift, or senior-citizen birthday present that he's dreamed of since his movie childhood.
  14. The full-bodied performances of Merad and Darroussin give everyone - everyone with an indulgence for old movies about old values - a reason to see this Well Digger's Daughter.
  15. With a welcome mixture of juice and grit, the movie dramatizes the lingering conundrums of young people in the time of the Vietnam morass.
  16. But the film is keyed to Posey's performance: perfectly brittle, faultlessly false. As the most toxic of this family of vipers, she creeps and stings, and no one dares look away.
  17. The film may be manipulative in its construction, and cliché-ridden in some of the incidents it recounts, but it has a good, large heart.
  18. A brisk and entertaining indictment of the Bush Administration’s middle East policies before and after September 11, 2001.
  19. An agreeable time-waster for the onlookers and its star. The Rum Diary isn't a corrective to Johnny Depp's kid-centric career, more like a vacation from it, in a resort where the visitors are strange, the natives are restless and the flow of alcohol endless.
  20. We should hail a movie that recalls creepy political thrillers of the mid-'70s, back when some films were made for grownups and the comfortable catharsis of a happy ending was not required -- think of the panoramically cryptic worldview of "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor," and of course, "Chinatown."
  21. It all sounds absurd and simplistic, but I dare you to watch the joyful delirium of the big dance number, set to an old Fred Astaire tune called "Things Are Looking Up," and not to feel an unexpected sense of rosiness. This movie may contain endorphins.
  22. The genius of Ghost in the Shell is that you don’t have to care about cyborg-anything to enjoy it. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy it more that way.
  23. The slight but captivating indie-comedy The Kings of Summer has the ragtag look and feel of a movie made in some teenager’s basement
  24. A slim but likeable little romantic comedy that feels like a sweeter cousin of HBO's Girls.
  25. So a tip of the hat to A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, a frequently very funny movie about planning and executing exactly what the title describes.
  26. Mel Gibson, directing for the first time, presents this deeply wet material in a reasonably cool and dry manner. But his film is in desperate need of smarm busting -- something, anything that would relieve the familiarity of its characters, the predictability of its structure, the bland failure to challenge its perfect correctness of outlook. [30 August 1993, p.63]
    • Time
  27. What a concept! Mad Max meets The Cosby Show. What a surprise! It works better than a fastidious mind might imagine. One reason is that Mel Gibson himself has been recruited to play Lethal Weapon's lethal weapon, Los Angeles Police Detective Martin Riggs. [23 March 1987, p.86]
    • Time
  28. I'd take any woman in my life, ages 10 to 100, to Letters to Juliet and my guess is we'd both leave with a little Italian glow.
  29. It is good to see Connery's grave stylishness in this role again. It makes Bond's cynicism and opportunism seem the product of genuine worldliness (and world weariness) as opposed to Roger Moore's mere twirpishness.
  30. The new Panda has a bright palette, an amiable vibe and enough vivacity to keep kids entertained and any accompanying moms from bolting for "Bridesmaids."
  31. O.K., Ritchie mistakes flash for style. Perhaps that's the price you pay for storytelling exuberance. If he keeps making films as down and witty as Snatch, we may learn to forgive him.
    • Time
  32. The picture is worth catching for the delicate and toxic nuances of Rudd's performance. And one of its funniest corollaries is that it shows how hilarious and instructive a star this perennial supporting player can be.
  33. Ordinarily such trespasses against truth would be enough to condemn such a movie, but Rhames' gravity and grace, Voight's pinched anguish as he wills himself to do right, the moving work of actors like Don Cheadle and Esther Rolle do much to redeem this film for human if not historical reality.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Refn's mix of grindhouse horror with sweetie-pie sentiment is a recipe mastered by Takeshi Kitano (and, in his own way, David Lynch), but this director's brew is simpler, more direct, less cerebral and less heartfelt. To invest oneself emotionally in the central relationship, or the movie itself, would be akin to investing oneself emotionally in one's car. But when the car looks this good and drives this fast, why not?
  34. On its own, Captain America is a modestly engaging little-big movie in the median range: well below the first "Iron Man," somewhat above "X-Men: First Class."
  35. The screenplay, with credits shared by Gluck, Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, is predictable, plotwise. But it is elevated by energetic dialogue, the sexual chemistry between the leads and the fact that the miscommunication that keeps bliss at bay - there's always one in a rom-com, and usually it is annoyingly unbelievable - is plausible.
  36. But if you can see past the thicket of dollar signs surrounding Hudson Hawk, you may discern quite a funny movie -- sort of an "Indiana Jones" send-up with a hip undertone all its own. [10 June 1991]
    • Time
  37. Chow Yun-fat, the epitome of swaggering suavity in John Woo's Hong Kong crime films, wears his role as a good-bad cop dapperly in this good-middling drama set in Manhattan's Chinatown.
  38. The blend of digital animation and live action is first rate.
  39. I don’t think you could tell this story properly or honestly without being forthright about the horrors of the Pacific Theater, and as Gibson dramatizes them, they put Doss’ actions in jaggedly sharp perspective.
  40. Despite its novel milieu somehow remains trapped in genre conventions. It's still basically a boxing picture, not essentially different from dozens of other movies about life in and around what the old time sportswriters used to call "the squared circle." Mamet's circle is, alas, just a little too square.
  41. XX
    A mini-showcase of smart, thoughtful contemporary horror.
  42. So Twilight isn't a masterpiece -- no matter. It rekindles the warmth of great Hollywood romances, where foreplay was the climax and a kiss was never just a kiss.
  43. Accepting Pawlikowski's mood of poetic seriousness may be a chore for some. Others will find this creepy little sonata a dream or nightmare worth succumbing to, and believing in.
  44. The new film is more an embellishment than an improvement on the snazzy Raiders.
  45. Sleepwalk is oddly soothing, like a cup of camomile tea before bedtime.
  46. This is a big, often quite scary action movie, with tons of creepy computer-generated imagery that's right up there with Voldemort in terms of physical nastiness, although less powerful emotionally.
  47. It has plenty of charm and is filled with astonishingly intimate footage worth seeing on the big screen but is sketchy on details and dumbed down by cutsy, anthropomorphizing narration.
  48. Cotton is that rarity in the horror genre: a genuinely intriguing character.
  49. It's like a restaurant where you go for the food and go back for the atmosphere. Or for the waitress. [13 July 1995]
    • Time
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    DiCaprio, here as in "The Departed," proves himself the most watchful and watchable actor of his age. Since his teens, he has known how to make moral dilemmas seem both profound and sexy, and at 32 he just keeps getting better.
  50. The lumpiness of The Good Lie’s progression – from infancy to adulthood, and from the horrors of war to gentle social comedy and back again – proclaims a respect for facts and truths that can’t be molded into a smooth narrative.
  51. World War II was a historical event, but also a movie genre, and Fury occasionally prints the legend. The rest of it is plenty grim and grisly. Audience members may feel like prisoners of war forced to watch a training-torture film.
  52. Mojave’s real reason for existing is the wiry, woolly dialogue that Monahan has spun out for his actors.
  53. Reasonably genial and diverting. [18 May 1987]
    • Time
  54. Never quite transcending the sum of its agreeably disparate parts, IV is less groovy than gnarled and goofy, but in a studied way. Call it an acquired taste with a kinky savor.
  55. But the actor (Nolte) finds truth in Wade's emotional clumsiness, in the despair of a man who hasn't the tools or the cool to survive. There are too many of these men in life, and not enough films that tell their sad tales.
  56. It's hard to know how to respond to Falling Down: deplore its crudeness or admire its shrewdness. But it is occasionally the movies' job to plunge into the national psyche, root around in its chaotic darkness and return to the surface with some arresting fantasy that helps bring our uglier imaginings into focus. In that sense, this often vulgar and exploitative movie has some value. [1 March 1993, p63]
    • Time
  57. Harold and Kumar are pothead patriots in the first feel-good torture film.
  58. This British film has the regal, clubby aura of Masterpiece Theatre. [21 July 1997, p. 70]
    • Time
  59. Well, it's sorta funny, and most genial: for all their ranking on parents and drooling over hot babes, Wayne and Garth are innocent kids wasting time creatively.
  60. Chasing Mavericks may treat its characters with a little too much reverence, but it gives its titular subject its awe-inspiring due.
  61. The project loses traction toward the end, as the picture strains to become a full-blooded action film - the very thing it spends the rest of its time mocking. And yet 21 Jump Street earns my genial nod because of its limber, 120-IQ take on the whole notion of movie revivals.
  62. Sunshine is a trifle schematic. But it also makes you feel, quite poignantly, the crushing tides of history: heedless, inhuman--and tragic.
  63. This is a fairly low-keyed comedy, but a grown-up dropping in on it can appreciate its lack of frenzy, its fundamental good nature, as easily as its core audience will. It isn’t exactly a gem, but as zircons go, it’ll do.
  64. Not all of Hill’s movies are great, and The Assignment certainly isn’t. Maybe, in the strictest terms, it isn’t even any good. But even a mediocre Walter Hill film has more style and energy — and a finer sense of the sweet spot between joy and despair — than ninety percent of the action thrillers that get made today.
  65. It’s Roberts’ deepest, strongest, liveliest film work.
  66. Though this Nick and Norah have a lot more angst, they're just as worth watching, admiring and cuddling up to.
  67. An epic-size, largely entertaining parable of repression and awakening.
  68. Kurylenko, a lovely Russian-Ukrainian hybrid who is oddly duskied up to look vaguely Latina, is a whiz at raising Quantum's temperature and gradually luring Bond out of his stolid shell.
  69. A relentlessly grim film.
  70. It’s as if von Trier shot the main scenes while in one of his famous depressive funks, then edited the film in a more cheerful, impish mood. At times, the tantalizing mixture of sexual neurosis and wayward humor in this memoir of a woman of pleasure suggests a collision between "Fanny Hill" and "Annie Hall."
  71. So appealing is Gordon-Levitt that, for great stretches of his new movie, I suspended my disapproval of his character and just went with the nonstop flow. He almost persuaded me that the film is, if not a premium rush, then an economy high.
  72. Carrera's handsome film offers a richly detailed portrait of a church not so much corrupt as morally lazy after centuries in command of an overwhelmingly Catholic country.
  73. It's a gentle film about somewhat alien beings, who entertain us by creating instead of destroying.
  74. The Ides of March says that American politics, no less than Italian, is a beachfront property with sharks surfing the waves. That makes this skeptical, savory movie a fitting offering from Hollywood's suavest ambassador to Venice and the world.
  75. Director Brett Haley, who co-wrote the script with Marc Basch, brings enough understated sympathy to Lee's character to make the picture work--it throws off a gentle, sweet-spirited energy.
  76. The players don't particularly look like their historical models, but they make us feel their life-threatening pain and puzzlement.
  77. The movie is best seen as straightforward, sometimes harrowing melodrama, packed with mistaken identities, beautiful villains, a kindly tourist who can outrace the bad guys, and a lost little girl whom the film brazenly sends onto a highway full of speeding cars. It's as if Dakota Fanning had wandered onto the streets of Ronin.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The director, Chris Noonan, doesn't play to our sentiments, he just lets them naturally evolve--even the animation of a few of her (Potter's) drawings doesn't feel especially forced. The result is an honorable and curiously winning film.
  78. Winterbottom is a gifted and extraordinarily versatile director. In the Trip projects, he may have found something of a meal ticket, but he still goes beyond the call of duty in making them cinematic.
  79. Kids may be puzzled by rebellious worker ants chanting Marxist slogans, but their parental guides may welcome the relief from the prevailing blandness of family films. [Oct 12, 1998 v152 n15 p116]
    • Time
  80. Savages isn't great cinema, but it's a very alive movie about people who probably ought to be dead.
  81. Whose Streets? is rough around the edges, like a torn photograph whose borders have also been raggedly burned. But that's more a strength than a liability.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The pace sometimes flags, and there are scenes in which the comic potential appears to be lost only because the camera is in the wrong place. Farce isn't easy to pull off, but Mr. Almodovar is well on his way to mastering this most difficult of all screen genres.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On an informal Richter scale of movie terror, Play Misty for Me registers a few gasps, some frissons and at least one spleen-shaking shudder. A good little scare show, in other words, despite various gaps in logic and probability.
  82. Margin Call is smart, but too cool and solemn to raise anyone's temperature. Nonetheless, writer/director J. C. Chandor should count himself the luckiest man in show business this weekend. How many first-time feature filmmakers can truthfully claim that their movie collided right up against the zeitgeist?
  83. It may be minimalist, but it isn't minor.
  84. Ward Serrill's feel-good doc, which covers seven years in the life of Resler's Roughriders, is hobbled by a narration so syrupy, it could be poured on pancakes. But the movie soars because of the sport's natural drama and its luck in finding a complex heroine.
  85. It is somewhat repetitive, but it is also wonderfully acted, especially by Barrymore.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Gold, in a word, is guaranteed at the boxoffice, and this is never less than glittering entertainment, but somehow a certain measure of lead has found its way into the formula.
  86. It's beautifully photographed and explained at every stage from market to table, a foodie's dream night at the movies. The gentle shaping of the fish and sushi could lull you into a trance. A hungry trance.
  87. That Greenberg has merits is undeniable. Gerwig, a funny mix of Kate Winslet and the joyfully ditzy young Diane Keaton, should end up a star. Stiller dials back his own schtick and deserves to be taken seriously.
  88. Yet he just kept going and going, and the slick, proficient Knight and Day is proof that you should never count Cruise out.
  89. The film bubbles with acid wit, in the tradition of Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges, while simmering with the ache of lust pursued and love lost.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A kind of bipolar movie, not exactly haha funny but true to life.
  90. I finally surrendered to the script's breezy intelligence and the movie's relatively mature sensibility. As for Emma Stone, she didn't have to win me over. She conquered me from the first A.
  91. What a pleasure it is not to be hectored by a director as we laugh our own little laughs, watching a profound story unfold.
  92. Undefeated is well-edited by director Daniel Lindsay and beautifully photographed by his co-director T.J. Martin - the shacks of North Memphis look poetically disheveled as shot from a moving car - but it is telling that the coach emerges as the "star" of this documentary.

Top Trailers