Time's Scores

For 1,938 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 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Flirting with Disaster
Lowest review score: 0 Collateral Beauty
Score distribution:
1938 movie reviews
  1. A vampire story needs vampires, sure, but it also needs a human victim to lead the audience into the vortex and help them escape it. Otherwise, the fear factor evaporates, and you get this mishmash: an interview in a void, a vampire movie with underbite.
  2. The movie is less ho-ho-ho than uh-oh, or oh-no. Emitting a stale odor from the first reel, Fred never engaged the audience of kids and adults that I saw it with.
  3. The Rite is all windup, weak delivery.
  4. Left-wingers in the mainstream media - by which I mean me - are supposed to lap up a movie that plays to our farm-loving, tree-hugging prejudices. But even we know that well-meaning does not automatically equal good movie. Some organic life is needed. And the only crop Promised Land harvests is Capra Corn.
  5. This isn't a love story, it's a misery story that drags on, not to a dramatic conclusion but a tepid moment.
  6. It's all mildly deplorable and instantly forgettable. Kevin James remains a potentially appealing movie star - if only he didn't have to be in Kevin James movies.
  7. There's a point at which movies become only merchandise, and the Paranormal franchise may be heading for that nexus, that nadir.
  8. O
    On your already groaning Shakespeare for Teens video shelf, stack this one above "10 Things I Hate About You" (a.k.a. "The Taming of the Shrew") and quite a bit below "Romeo + Juliet."
  9. Donen got it gloriously right the first time. Why do it again? And why do it like this?
  10. A Pixar movie is always lively, and this might be the studio's liveliest (and loudest) yet - but its leanest in terms of warmth and heart.
  11. Inept works like Good, which remains, like most such works, on the anecdotal fringe of the problem.
  12. Dispassionate, curiously lifeless, lacking the energy of either youthful commitment or a deeply engaged re-examination of the past.
  13. The film (directed by Andy Tennant) has more problems than Melanie, and they're insoluble. Its lazy calculation telegraphs each plot turn and underlines emotions with corn-pone music.
  14. This is Meyer's worst offense - her disturbingly Victorian attitudes about sex and love, which this particular movie falls modestly in lockstep with, even though it concludes years of cinematic foreplay.
  15. So why is the Jersey Boys film a turgid botch? Eastwood’s résumé hints at a reason. His affinity is for American standards as improvised on piano or guitar by indigenous artists in smoky nightclubs, not for the tightly wound, impeccably pounding songs that Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe wrote for the Four Seasons.
  16. For a viewer sympathetic to Schwarzenegger's and Cameron's best selves -- the ironist with muscles and the mordant fabulist -- True Lies is a loud misfire. It rarely brings its potent themes to life.
  17. Stuff still leaps out of the screen -- the snake striking a victim, cars sent flying by Death Eaters -- but few things in the movie lodge in the audience's mind or heart.
  18. Watching this is like flipping channels randomly between a Masterpiece Theatre drama and a splatter film on Cinemax. If you're like me, you'll stick with the splatter.
  19. "Wanna see something really scary?" asks Guest Star Dan Aykroyd at film's end. The Miller and Dante episodes are. So is the epic waste that informs much of this movie. [20 June 1983, p.73]
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  20. Its glorious, snow-capped visuals aside, The Hateful Eight comes off as haggard and atrophied. It’s bloodless even in the midst of all its bloodiness; its characters are devoid of nobility, even the horrible kind. These are uglies not even a mother could love.
  21. Indeed, viewers who arrive at the movie five minutes late and leave five minutes early will avoid the setup and payoff for the preposterous twist that spoils this lively, intelligent remake of 1948's The Big Clock.
  22. The first few minutes have promise (with an all-star list of Gen-X actors), and the last few minutes provide fun (with snapshots of lovers and losers). In between there is a void--feeble jokes, a lot of falling down and foolish declarations.
  23. The picture is mostly tedious and unpleasant, which is a shame for the sake of the performers. Jackman works hard here, and his performance does away with vanity altogether.
  24. Alas, in Tetro he (Coppola) has made a movie in which plenty happens but nothing rings true.
  25. The film finally collapses under the burden of implausibility.
  26. Ultimately the script's often sharp social satire is drowned out by the noise and confusion.
  27. Will the movie end in an orgy of sentiment? Why do we bother to ask?
  28. Kasdan has been a serious filmmaker, so he gives the goofiness a smart look and some pertinent metaphors about Americans wrongfully detained. But the aim is no higher than the impulse of old schlockmeisters like Roger Corman and Ed Wood: to get the audience to scream.
  29. Their film is not so much thought out as strung together -- colorful incident upon colorful incident, but without logic, gathering suspense or any attempt to establish emotional connections between audience and actors.
  30. Disney is trying to lure the disparate audiences of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (kids) and "The Passion of the Christ" (Evangelicals). But on either level, Narnia fails. There's no fire, no passion and not much fun.
  31. While Admission remains the story of a woman who comes to question her past choices and jeopardize her career, the movie version is lighter, fluffier and dramatically inert.
  32. This pickpocket of a movie flashes open its coat to proudly display all its swiped goodies.
  33. It sure is handsome-looking, throwing off a majestic gleam. But that’s not the same as possessing actual majesty. There’s barely a minute when The Great Wall doesn’t veer into the trying-too-hard zone, and to watch all that striving is simply exhausting.
  34. Copycat, directed by Jon Amiel ("The Singing Detective", "Sommersby"), means to be a Greatest Hits album of atrocities. A sick mind is a terrible thing to waste. [13 Nov 1995, pg.120]
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  35. The film fairly groans from all the narrative gamesmanship and lavish romantic gestures...The unbewitched viewer may groan as well.
  36. Instead of the meeting of maestros at the top of their form, Righteous Kill has the feeling of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds facing off for the first time in an exhibition game. It's like Old Timers' Day at the Motion Picture Home.
  37. When our sympathies shift to [Cameron Diaz's Kimmy], the movie sours. It is no help either that Ronald Bass neglected to write (or Mulroney was unable to find) a character in Michael. Why all this fuss over this lox, we keep wondering.
  38. The skitcom format soon becomes tiresome.
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  39. Doesn't offer much.
  40. The Greatest often feels like a mash-up of Sarandon's greatest grief hits.
  41. What's Your Number? is not much dumber than the average romantic comedy, but there is something sad and infuriating about it.
  42. A bloated, criminally judgmental borderline-comedy.
  43. An ambitious but sub-ordinary SF epic in which, as so often, Willis is better than his material.
  44. The story has to carry way too much weight, as war remorse battles McCarthyism. The Majestic's makers don't get what made Capra movies invigorating.
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  45. It's all more wearying than fun. Except for Law, whose courtly sangfroid can elevate even the dumbest roles.
  46. The story condescends to Mae, and, by extension, to smart, ambitious millennials everywhere — I’m not a millennial, but I felt offended on their behalf.
  47. Hotel Transylvania isn't a complete stinker. Sandler, speaking in a pitch close to his Opera Man routine from his days on Saturday Night Live, is less obnoxious than usual. The visuals are consistently enticing - the castle/hotel is artfully rendered...And there are some bright and funny lines.
  48. Things finally work out all right--except for audiences, who will find this thin movie bereft of the more richly textured sentiments of Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso."
  49. That first movie raised the craft of torture to a low art. Expect no less in LW2, directed by Richard Donner and written by Jeffrey Boam. This installment features a surfboard decapitation, death by carpenter's nail gun, a bomb wired to a very sensitive seat ( and reduction of the Afrikaaner diaspora by about one-half. (24July 1989, p.53)
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  50. Whatever director Peter Hedges' intent, the movie itself, a sentimental blend of magical realism and saccharine emotions, is oddly false. It made me want to go on a sugar cleanse.
  51. This sugary sweet chick flick is so rich in its ripeness and full in its foolishness that I look forward to groaning in happy horror when I inevitably see it again, whether while drinking or when laid low by the kind of flu whose symptoms include a desire to watch Meg Ryan rom coms on cable.
  52. Last Action Hero starts out mostly nuts, and winds up mostly bolts. Or, rather, winds down. That's a problem with pastiche: it must be constantly jump-started with ingenuity, and even that ultimately pales. By the end, nothing matters. [21 June 1993, p67]
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  53. Warm-hearted humanism is glopped all over Renaissance Man in the hopes that we won't notice that the story makes no sense.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Sting was not made to be taken seriously, but many people may find it difficult even to enjoy casually. It lacks the elements that could have given it true drive. [31 Dec 1973, p.50]
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  54. Maybe Wellesley isn't the only injured party here. Can an audience sue for cruel and edifying punishment?
  55. Painful, and not in a good way. A glimpse into the '60s should give us not just the warm bath of recognition but the shock of the new, as least as it felt in days of old. That doesn't happen, in a movie that evokes less empathy than apathy.
  56. Like the first of the Addams chronicles, this is an essentially lazy movie, too often settling for easy gags and special effects that don't come to any really funny point.
  57. It’s wandering, not urgent, while indicating that all-Shailene-all-the-time can be too much of a pretty good thing.
  58. He's neither a fun villain or a secret good guy; the movie feels like a senseless venture because, even with his pants down on top of Clotilde or manhandling Virginie, he's the dullest scoundrel around.
  59. Goldblum manages to rise above the proceedings via his invisible jetpack of dry wit — thank God for that. The only newcomer who emerges unscathed is Gainsbourg, who glides through this mess with Zen equanimity—even as chaos reigns, she keeps her cool.
  60. The film has just enough collisions to be a crashing bore.
  61. The frenetic pace masks an emptiness; this Ice Age is just a collection of slapstick moments and fisticuffs.
  62. As the director of this noble weepie, Nelson so overuses visual tricks -- zooms, zip pans and multiple perspectives on a simple scene -- that she turns the viewer into an exasperated parent; this is a directorial style in need of a spanking.
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  63. A gaudily ornamented medieval banquet table groaning with junk food and open entrails.
  64. The clutter makes your head feel like it's about to explode - and not in a good way, with wonders upon wonders. Instead it seems like arcana that might show up on the midterm final: the next Marvel movie.
  65. The net result of this mighty effort is perhaps predictable: near total inconsequence.
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  66. Tom Cruise heads a tony cast in a best-seller movie that is firm at the start and infirm by the end.
  67. Mama is clumsily written and choppily edited, but Chastain doesn't have a bad scene in it, and you can see why she chose to be in this supernatural ghost story.
  68. Edgeless, it takes a wistful, hopeful approach to heartbreak and job loss. That's sweet, but when it comes to unemployment-themed cinema, I'll take the greater realism of last year's "The Company Men" or this year's "Everything Must Go" over Hanks's too rosy vision of life after the pink slip.
  69. The director is going through the motions, and he doesn't display the cinematic skill, at least in the release version, to bring off an exercise in either Hitchcockian or Shyamalanian suspense.
  70. It's silly enough that young teens are unlikely to be drawn to it unless they've got a thing for Hudgens or want to take an early peek at Hutcherson, who will soon be seen as Peeta in "The Hunger Games." He was great as a sulky brat in "The Kids Are All Right" but in Journey 2 he comes across as wooden, dull and though not yet 20, too old for roles like these.
  71. Tin tailspins into silliness and never regains its flight pattern.
  72. They’re cute together, these two big stars, but the film around them, a sort of Tarantino lite, is desperately empty.
  73. The Santa Clause presents us with an Anti-Claus, Tim Allen of Home Improvement, hard-edged, discomfitingly frenetic and spritzing cheerless one-liners.
  74. But that's the thing about this movie. It never leaves well enough, or good enough, alone. It keeps looking--sometimes a little too hard--for ways to transform the ordinary into the discomfiting.
  75. Batman v Superman lunges for greatness instead of building toward it: It’s so topheavy with false portent that it buckles under its own weight.
  76. The steady wink wink of Queen of Versailles is wearing. I'd say Greenfield is exploiting a narcissist's willingness to talk endlessly about herself, but I think it just as likely that Jackie is exploiting Greenfield's willingness to listen. And to keep that wonderful mechanical eye focused on her.
  77. Moretz gives the movie whatever warmth it has, though not even she can give it a real pulse.
  78. This is, alas, one weary ride--77 minutes that sometimes feel like that many hours.
  79. It yearns for Pixar-style wit without quite earning it.
  80. The film promises so much more than it delivers that, by the end, I felt like registering a complaint with the Obama Administration's Consumer Protection squad.
  81. At this late stage in a long career, Allen might consider not trying to make films like the early, funny ones. Instead he should aim simply to match "Match Point."
  82. Osunsanmi wants you to believe that everything he shows you that's not reenacted by professionals really happened, and is documented by the omnipresent video cameras. It's a device used far more successfully in "Paranormal Activity," which had the added benefit of being a good movie.
  83. It doesn't work. It is just a mess -- though the sound track, full of Dylan songs is, of course, good to hear. But it is not better than the track on Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home" documentary of two years ago.
  84. At 78, Polanski has earned the right to pursue his career-long demons of confinement and anarchy even in a minor film like this. But Carnage is not the word for what he's perpetrated here. Minor irritation is more like it.
  85. There is no rhyme or reason to this jumble -- except perhaps to stress Edith's endless self-victimization. This lack of narrative coherence naturally has the effect of distancing us from her story.
  86. That Max Smart is played by the admirable Steve Carell, who is desperately looking for deadpan jokes in all the wrong places, is beside the point.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie lets down the material. It's to cool: all attitude, no sizzle.
  87. You're unlikely to laugh much, and you may get an unexpected case of the non-art-imitates-bad-life creeps.
  88. For a tale of thieving, The Words plods along. Not that a literary heist is as exciting as a bank robbery, but there's a remarkable lack of tension in this story.
  89. The entire film is in fact a ferocious meditation on the dilemma of a son choosing his father. Which one will Bud emulate: the noble failure or the triumphant sleaze? The outcome is never really in doubt, so streamlined and predictable are the characters. [14 Dec 1987, p.82]
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  90. M. Butterfly, the David Cronenberg film of David Henry Hwang's Broadway play, fumbles its romantic and political metaphors and loses the game.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For a film that supposedly celebrates freethinking, there’s a woeful lack of it here.
  91. In this space epic, no one will hear you laugh.
  92. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children could have been a return to form for Burton, but he loses his sense of direction halfway through. If only he could find his way back to his wild bread-crumb trail, the one that guided him so ably for years.
  93. The actors, especially the ever appealing Smith, do what they can to ground the movie in reality, but it stubbornly remains dawdling, remote and pretentious.
  94. The film is one-note; misery is the only game in town.
  95. It’s got too much on its mind, and it’s unsure of its tone. This is the rough cut of a slimmer, better movie
  96. Somewhere has a lot of good impulses, and a salutary faith in an audience's patience; but the film's tone, in its script, performances and visual style, is studiously uninflected. It's a document of people seen remotely, maybe from outer space.
  97. Maid in Manhattan is not so much a movie as a collection of career moves. J. Lo needs a comedy hit to support her principal activity, adorning magazine covers. Fiennes needs to warm his austere British image if he hopes to become a true international star.
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