Time's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,655 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 4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Hannah and Her Sisters
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
1,655 movie reviews
  1. Provides the familiar cheap thrills but with a salsa tang.
  2. For all the energetic milling, Rise of an Empire proves superior to its predecessor by making war a game both sexes can play, on nearly equal terms. In comparison, the R-rated "300" seems as innocent as Adam in the Garden before the delicious complication of Eve — or Eva.
  3. This is cinema reduced or distilled to its purest definition, of movies that move. If you want dewy humanity in your entertainment, watch Lifetime.
  4. What plot it has is borrowed, improbably, from Henry IV, and whenever anyone manages to speak an entire paragraph, it is usually a Shakespearean paraphrase. But this is a desperate imposition on an essentially inert film. [28 Oct 1991]
  5. When it shifts into action mode, the movie can be a spectacular rush.
  6. The film's blithe misogyny soon becomes wearying; it refuses to see women as more than the sum of their private parts.
  7. Mostly, the new film reminds us that swell production design is no substitute for a fresh, simple and startling idea.
  8. Ends up less than the sum of its many, often interesting parts.
  9. The better class of moviegoers will love Billy Elliot. And I loved hating it.
  10. Curiously, if fitfully, intriguing.
  11. It's kind of fun--if you have the stomach for its more grisly passages.
  12. What saves this movie from hopeless sentimentality is Meryl Streep's subtle performance.
  13. This agitated comedy could be called "The Big Chillin'" if it had a smidge of the 1983 film's wit and charm.
  14. You're entitled to ask for more than that in a comedy, but these days you're often obliged to settle for a lot less.
  15. What's true about The Perfect Storm is true of many effects epics: it's not a bad movie, except for the people.
  16. Full of sacrilegious rant, absurdist affectlessness and pop social criticism, this film plays like an old B movie: narratively improvisational, delusionally pretentious, weirdly watchable.
  17. To Western eyes, this meandering parable registers as a perplexity and a disappointment.
  18. There's a great story here, but Tucci's literate, civilized, wistful movie lacks savage impulse and refuses to show how mutual exploitation led to minor tragedy.
  19. Nunez's film neither floats like a butterfly nor stings like a bee. It just drones on.
  20. The pulse of Curtis Hanson's direction is lethargic; the comic bits are so slack and deadpan you could mistake the film for an earnest drama--an Afterschool Special for troubled kids and their pooped parents.
  21. Along with other cast members, Penn takes ages registering his stares and scowls, until the movie is finally not about gangs but about actors' attitudes. Dressed up in '80s street slang, this is a '60s exercise in Method excess. [18 Apr 1988]
  22. Something more surprising might have been made of this odd couple, but Van Sant, emptily employing the realist manner of his early films, is goodwill hunting in all the wrong places.
  23. A film that's fun to argue with.
  24. Harris and Mastrantonio do have a strong death and resurrection sequence, but long before that, one is pining for a rubber shark or a plastic octopus -- anything, in fact, out of a good old low-tech thriller. [14 Aug 1989, p.79]
  25. What Willis proves in Die Hard is that it is not one you can ease through, especially if your preparation runs more to body building than to character building. [July 25, 1988]
  26. You are hereby absolved of all guilt when you laugh your ass off in the first half of the film.
  27. Director Pellington's touch is light and flickering, and his actors are solid and persuasive. If you let yourself go with The Mothman Prophecies, it is -- in its lumpen, serious way -- sort of fun.
  28. This reflects its fundamental flaw of arrogance, a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels. [23 Mar 1992, p.65]
  29. Essentially a liberal soap opera.
  30. Something got lost in the move from storyboard to screen, and in the stretch from seven minutes to 103. [27 June 1988]
  31. Diverting without being fully absorbing, this is a film best appreciated as an exercise in--shall we say it?--Primal Gere. [15 Apr 1996, p.100]
  32. You could get drunk, or ill, on the high dose of whimsy in Amelie.
  33. At the core, though, one finds a slacky, sappy film. The human mystery that breathed so easily in "Shawshank" is often forced here.
  34. Thin, gulpy, awkward, it stands before us, artlessly begging sympathy but betraying its creator's worst weakness. [9 Mar 1987, p.86]
  35. Corelli is a coffee-table movie: one leafs through the gorgeous vistas and nods through the narrative.
  36. A pretty but utterly misleading picture in which cheap sentiment is used to supply easy, false resolutions to agonizing issues.
  37. AP2 starts out bright and clever--shagnificent, we might almost say--before sinking into a swamp of shagnation.
  38. Julie Taymor's inventiveness has diminished to a kind of strained cuteness. Everything that makes an artist an artist -- the obsessions, the egotism -- is ignored in favor of upbeat movie conventions.
  39. Ultimately, Titanic will sail or sink not on its budget but on its merits as drama and spectacle. The regretful verdict here: Dead in the water.
  40. The best you can say for this version of Charlie's Angels is that it retains a sort of chipper, eerie good nature as it wastes the studio's money and our time.
  41. You don't quite believe that a smart woman would spend so much time on such a dumb mission.
  42. The film lacks moviemaking buoyancy -- the feeling of soaring in space that Rowling's magic-carpet prose gives the reader. The picture isn't inept, just inert.
  43. The new film is conflicted about its subject -- it both derides and adores what it means to parody -- and it's miscast at the top. Still, the Eve Ahlert -- Dennis Drake script has a gentle heart to humanize its sharp sitcom wit.
  44. Hearts sinking, we are obliged to endure much pseudo-serious gabble as we head toward another painfully predictable triumph of the human spirit. There must be some better way of hunting our--and Oscar's--goodwill. [Dec. 1,1997]
  45. Randy and giggly, this is a femme version of "The Man Show."
  46. Like the ZAZ lads' other films, this is a movie made for a VCR Saturday night. They supply the jokes; you bring the microwave popcorn and modest expectations. [12 Dec 1988]
  47. Schrader's objectification of sad and stupid material is neither tragic nor transgressive. It is just undramatic and uninvolving.
  48. A movie that may be just a bit too pleased with its own artful bleakness.
  49. This is a good-natured retro romp that is truer to Golden Age movies than to golden oldies songs.
  50. Is comedy a young man's game, like skateboarding or sex? Writing jokes, creating droll characters -- these take ambition, ingenuity and energy, and after decades of devotion to this voracious muse, a fellow can get pooped.
  51. Made with a sort of tasteful vulgarity, this movie never disappoints the slack-minded audience's anticipation of the humanistically healing banality, the life-crushing behavioral cliché.
  52. Until a vigorous climax, the action scenes have little punch.
  53. A humongous, visionary parable that intermittently enthralls and ultimately disappoints. [8 July 1991, p.55]
  54. Rain Man's restraint is, finally, rather like Raymond's gabble. It discourages connections, keeping you out instead of drawing you in. [19 Dec 1998]
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cast does great impressions of the original cartoon characters, and the computer-generated Scooby is convincing, but it turns out that what we liked about Scooby-Doo in the first place was that nobody was trying.
  55. Raimi directs the film at Maguire's pensive pace. Some scenes are just inert.
  56. The result is a well-tooled machine chugging coldly along a twisting road to nowhere.
  57. Its visual thrills are chilly and wearying compared with the other films' quirky humanity. It's not a megamovie; it's a Sega movie.
  58. Somehow, by a narrow margin, the film doesn't quite make it. Potter recolored his work a little more sunnily, and it is, perhaps, too compressed; it needs TV's room to digress.
  59. One of this movie's implications--and it's a common enough one these days--is that sensitivity is a quality impossible to find in straight guys. [20 April 1998]
  60. 54
    All glitz, no glory. [7 September 1998]
  61. Starsky & Hutch has moments of hilarity a little greater than you might expect of a movie that is just out for a lazy good time.
  62. A fine--but not entirely uninteresting—mess. [2 Jun 1997, p. 74]
  63. The Terminal is Spielberg's shortest feature since the first "Jurassic Park," yet it drags, plods, piling one lifeless situation atop another. For all the effort and good intentions, the movie is in-terminal-ble.
  64. It's all so predictable. And you begin to wonder, as you so often do at the movies these days, why did they bother? And more to the point, why should we bother? [15 June 1998, p.72]
  65. There's something about her (Nair) Vanity Fair that doesn't quite work. There is no depth beneath its bright surfaces, no potent emotional undercurrents.
  66. Conran hasn't attached his technical virtuosity to a ripping yarn or infused it with behavioral brio. The first of its kind often doesn't work; Sky Captain may be the Moses that leads other directors to a blue-sky, blue-screen promised land.
  67. The film has a hectic, sitcom air and a full-of-himself hero who is as likely to grate as to ingratiate.
  68. Heart and art can make a beguiling pair. Those are mostly missing in this strained hybrid, which is less Bollywood than Follywood.
  69. She (Blanchett) seems the only guardian of sanity in this good-old-boy Bellevue.
  70. An ideal play is degraded into an indolent film
    • 14 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Given its budget, the quality of its writing, acting and production is remarkably high--about miniseries level.
  71. Nolan's effort is not dishonorable, but what it needs, and doesn't have, is a Joker in the deck--some antic human antimatter to give it the giddy lift of perversity that a bunch of impersonal explosions, no matter how well managed, can't supply.
  72. The new film is a toss-up with George Pal's very watchable 1953 version: the special effects are even better here, the drama even lamer.
  73. For all the menace of its techno-prattle, its implicit boosts for humanism and its swell production design, the picture is finally a bore. Sci-fi was more powerful when its special effects were cheap and crude, its ideas simple but potently stated.
  74. Neither lurid nor especially compelling. This is the triumph, and the limitation, of 9 Songs: it makes explicit movie sex ordinary--as ordinary as the sexual activities of most of the folks watching it.
  75. Funny in its deplorable way.
  76. Von Trier has a tendency to go overboard in his denunciations of American violence (Dogville). By contrast, Dear Wendy is a cogent, comprehensive take on the land and the films that obsess him.
  77. There is more to the intertwined stories of Murrow and McCarthy than this simpleminded, rhetorically driven movie begins to encompass.
  78. When in doubt, director Tony Scott ("Top Gun", "Days of Thunder") lets loose a spray of water, sparks and sweat-the signature flourish of this Helmut Newton of movie machismo.
  79. How well do Bond's established conventions survive after a third of a century's hard use, the post-cold war deglamourization of espionage and the arrival of yet another actor in the central role? The short answer is, on wobbly knees.
  80. In Susan Minot's goofy script, Tyler ministers to ailing writer Jeremy Irons and other artsy layabouts while searching for the man on whom to bestow her virginity. The climactic deflowering scene provides the only giggles in an otherwise stodgy mess.
  81. Our response to the ape's doom, once touched by authentic tragedy, is now marked by relief that this wretchedly excessive movie is finally over.
  82. For clever as it is conceptually, it violates the most basic rule of romantic- comedy construction. If boy doesn't meet girl, then the drama of boy losing girl and the final satisfaction of boy getting girl cannot happen.
  83. To make something like Firewall good, you have to make it at least a little bit new--or add more than an unending patter of rain and techno-talk.
  84. Ask the Dust is the ghost of a cult novel; it can't bring itself to life.
  85. Howard and Goldsman have efficiently touched all the bases. But they haven't found a way to replicate the book's page-turning urgency.
  86. A watchable film, but it -- and its star -- might have done so much more.
  87. De Niro's is a domineering performance, a star turn that is both comic and menacing, but it unbalances Wolff's story.
  88. Crowe, despite his loutish rep, is forever surprising viewers by slipping snugly into the disparate characters he plays. This time he surprises by failing. Oh, he can do engaging as smartly as he does stalwart or tortured, but he gets sabotaged by the cloying script.
  89. Soderbergh doesn't miss a trick, and for a while it's fun for us to share in his fun. But there comes a moment when his Euro-noir film turns into another sort of exercise for the audience: an exercise in boredom.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The film is handsomely mounted and well played (particularly by the always magical Binoche--such a wonderfully alert actress), but somehow it never draws one into its schemes.
  90. Maurice (pronounced Morris) is all high-mindedness and good taste. It has no emotional tension or - heaven forfend - strong expression of frustration or need.
  91. It's as if everyone was just a little too much in tasteful awe of its subject, who is played rather stolidly by Nick Nolte.
  92. It is a daring thing the director has done, this bleaching out of all the cheap thrills, this dashing of all the hopes one brings to what is, after all, advertised as "a masterpiece of modern horror." Certainly he has asked much of Nicholson, who must sustain attention in a hugely unsympathetic role, and who responds with a brilliantly crazed performance.
  93. It renders passion dispassionate and turns murder into a kind of fashion statement, something we observe without really caring about.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It has some of ["American] Graffiti's" sweetness of spirit, but none of its style or depth of feeling; it has some of "Animal [House"]'s raunchiness, but none of its loony anarchy.
  94. Well acted and, within its limited terms, well made, Gallipoli represents a failure of nerve as well as design.
  95. At heart, though, the story is about the deep, complex, poignant love a man has for his daughter: it's the Lolita syndrome without the lust but with every bit of the doting possessiveness. [30 Dec 1991, p.71]
  96. This naive little movie hopes to prove itself the Flashdance of football.

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