USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,587 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Capote
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3587 movie reviews
  1. Though better than most of Perry's broad comedies, The Family That Preys still suffers from excessive predictability and mawkish sentiment, which detracts from the story's believability.
  2. Marley & Me might be easy to watch, but -- even for die-hard canine lovers -- it's as easy to forget.
  3. The story soon devolves into a far-fetched, futuristic snooze-fest that often defies its own logic. Characters' motivations are rarely clear, and allegiances shift with no explanation.
  4. One of the film's biggest problems is that Richie is an unsympathetic and rather dim character. The badly drawn role does the likable Timberlake no favors.
  5. Drippy, derivative stalker flick.
  6. Nothing really fun, scary or exceptionally gross occurs.
  7. It's likely to be overrated by some and underrated by others, and both contingents will be wrong. One can't, however, overrate the performances, with auntie ruling the roost in more ways than one. [29 Mar 1996, p.4D]
    • USA Today
  8. This family entertainment hard sell lags far behind even "Dr. Dolittle 2."
  9. Hour not only acknowledges the attacks -- they're a running theme. Lee opens his movie with a shot of the beaming blue spotlights that mark where the twin towers once stood.
  10. The movie gets a mild boost when her escape briefly takes it from just another crummy supernatural thriller into an OK escape melodrama, albeit one dependent on a whopper of an unlikely occurrence.
  11. It's not the grand scale action-adventure it aspires to be, but this faux epic does offer family-friendly entertainment.
  12. Firewall might be worth renting on an inclement weekend when the pickings are slim. It does have some tense moments - even if some of the technical plot points don't quite scan. But, overall, it just feels like a rehash.
  13. The result isn't pretentious, but is the tongue-in-cheeking ever slight. The murders are treated as jokes, there's a horror-motif rock video, and Harry dodges enough bullets with Patricia Clarkson to arm Sands of Iwo Jima. [13 Jul 1988, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  14. It doesn't help that the performances are bland (particularly those of Christensen and Bilson) and that what comes out of their mouths is uninspired. Short on imagination and anchored by a wan hero, Jumper is a flight of fancy that never fully takes off.
  15. Simultaneously brash and dull - hardly a combustible combination.
  16. Nothing but set pieces, snoozes between its scenes of carnage.
    • USA Today
  17. While the adult performances are strong, especially Jeff Bridges in the title role, youthful characterizations are not nearly as illuminating as they were on the page.
  18. This shallow sequel to 2010's much cleverer Despicable Me — the 10th-biggest animated movie in U.S. history — seems to be merely going through the motions.
  19. A notably undynamic treatment of Protestant Elizabeth I's ascension to the British throne.
  20. So much luck is pressed with an absurdly overblown finale that 60 seconds will likely be Swordfish's shelf life after a couple of noisy opening weekends.
  21. It's not dumb-good. It's dumb-stupid.
    • USA Today
  22. A rote variation on Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper that is marginally salvaged by those spunky Olsen twins from ABC's Full House. [17 Nov 1995]
    • USA Today
  23. Newsies' drag is its predictable script.... It's not a bad hook, but the treatment is uninspired, despite a fairly engaging turn by Bale. [08 Apr 1992]
    • USA Today
  24. If only the story that surrounds this watchable heroine were as well-stacked.
  25. An ambitious but mind-numbingly tedious and often incomprehensible film.
  26. From the moment he trudges through the woods in his scratched and smudged birthday suit, Paul Bettany as a saucy Geoffrey Chaucer takes command.
  27. What it isn't ... is a particularly compelling contribution to the impressive and by now enormous collection of Holocaust movies.
  28. Drollness on screen can sometimes be had cheaply, but a perfect cast is tougher to bankroll. Hal Hartley's new comedy has both - enough to defuse the smugness that seems to linger in its soul. [15 Aug 1991]
    • USA Today
  29. We had hoped for just a funny movie, but instead we get some laughs and plenty of yawns.
  30. Jennifer's Body is not as hot as you hope it would be.
  31. The problem here isn't grimness but a failure to make grimness wrench the heart. [18 Oct 1996]
    • USA Today
  32. Anything goes, though director Ronny Yu keeps the idiocy on a fast pace.
  33. Graphically gruesome when it means to be a provocative look at vengeance.
  34. There's a fine line between darkness and glumness, one that "Spider-Man" bounced off buildings to avoid. The Hulk lumbers across it.
  35. Director Stephen Norrington is more keen on finding new ways to explode the fiends... than developing a credible story. So the movie flits from one gore-laden assault to another with little suspense.
  36. Goldberg has her best role in a while, especially when she twitches and grunts her way into phony trances. Poor Demi, though, cries enough tears to drench a small drought-stricken state. [13 July 1990, Life, p.4D]
    • USA Today
  37. While there is a pleasantness about this faithful Shakespearean reboot, there also is some woeful miscasting and a lukewarm feeling about the straightforward production.
  38. It's no crime the movie has one or two endings too many, given that many thrillers of the past quarter-century have had the same. But Judd's latest is too harmless to be anything but a misdemeanor.
  39. But for an epic set up to trace two life stories, there's a lack of dramatic focus, and the leads fail to evince any particular chemistry as friends who come to have a deeper emotional connection. [31Dec1997 Pg.02.D]
    • USA Today
  40. Nathan Fillion is the movie's brightest spot as Hermes, re-envisioned as a UPS manager. He makes a quip about how the best TV series always get canceled, in a nod to Firefly, the iconic sci-fi show in which he starred.
  41. There is no tension here. Actually, The Minus Man is minus a lot - intensity, a point of view, maybe even a point - and that equals an unsatisfying film.
  42. Not since Demi Moore lived happily ever after in "The Scarlet Letter" has a filmmaker felt so free to fudge a famous plot.
  43. Moviegoers of rarefied sensibilities will easily identify this anti-captain-of-industry as a "typical Eric Stoltz role," just as moviegoers of extremely rarefied sensibilities will pick up on Kicking's "typical Chris Eigeman role." [23 Oct 1995, Pg.06.D]
    • USA Today
  44. It would have worked better if the silly premise had been played for farcical satire, rather than following the cookie-cutter rules of the romantic comedy playbook.
  45. The result is passably speedy on the level of other TV retreads that seem miscast on the big screen.
  46. Though better than its 2001 predecessor -- and teeming with cute creatures and fast and furious action scenes -- the movie feels excessively formulaic.
  47. Ice Harvest's plot sounds like an antidote to the season's holiday sweetness. And it's being touted as this year's Bad Santa. But the only similarities are the holiday season, the criminal milieu and Thornton.
  48. The movie tries to capture the crushing weight of loss, but between the insipid pop tunes and the repetitive shots cutting away to a lighthouse on a scenic outcropping, it feels more like a film version of a condolence card.
  49. It tries to be a moody thriller, but cliched dialogue and too many coincidences make for a predictable and hackneyed film.
  50. Never recovers from its failure to grip or engage in the early going.
  51. This is the kind of movie in which even the sex scenes are soulless.
    • USA Today
  52. Wilts under a weak, formulaic story.
  53. Makes one long for Martin's edgy work in films such as "The Spanish Prisoner."
  54. Yet, when it all clicks, Ephron is able to make the familiar sparkle anew. [25 Jun 1993 Pg. 01.D]
    • USA Today
  55. Hollywood's oddest movie in a while, which means that however insignificant this primer in flight-attendant training is, causing boredom isn't one of its transgressions.
  56. Between the dogged efforts of the kids to save strays and the antics of the dogs, it's hard to resist this lively, though predictable, family movie.
  57. Regrettably, it's the movie version of John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a book still thumping its chest on the hardback best-seller list after more than three years.
    • USA Today
  58. Ridiculously attractive spies fall hard for each other in Allied, but don’t expect "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" with Nazis.
  59. Quvenzhané Wallis is adorably plucky as the lead in Annie. She and Jamie Foxx as the newfangled Daddy Warbucks character have an appealing chemistry and their songs together are the best moments in the movie. But the rest of Annie is banal, shallow and markedly cynical.
  60. It feels like a wan version of the show -- one that has lost its otherworldly edge.
  61. Audiences could use a wise and probing movie about the meaning of our increasingly digital, techno-juiced lives.Men, Women & Children is about half that movie.
  62. Each twist and turn is so telegraphed and expected that the story feels wan and the comedy feeble.
  63. Never enough goodies to keep the two-hour running time from seeming like three.
  64. Freeman (no directing natural) gets acting help, and his film earns points for being told from the black perspective, but isn't even up to the modest standards of A Dry White Season, Cry Freedom or A World Apart. [24 Sept 1993, p10D]
    • USA Today
  65. Seems like a work in progress.
  66. Despite an unlikely setting and a moderately intriguing premise, Chernobyl Diaries proves to be a generic horror flick where young tourists are systematically victimized in unoriginal and not terribly scary ways.
  67. Annabelle invites unflattering comparisons with scary movies that came before, but its disparate parts never coalesce into a genuinely fearsome thriller.
  68. Do yourself a favor and rent the 1996 original from Japan instead.
  69. Doesn't make the movie worth watching -- even if you're monstrously bored.
  70. Long, lumbering, pretentious and for some a possible laff riot. [23 Dec 1994]
    • USA Today
  71. Moore and Ford rise above the hackneyed story, infusing the proceedings with their own chemistry and appeal. If only the adults responsible for this film could learn how to deal.
  72. Someone has seen "Trainspotting" too many times, and it's writer/director Justin Kerrigan.
    • USA Today
  73. God may forgive you for seeing this needlessly brutal film. But you won't forgive yourself.
  74. Overflows with pretensions and absurdity.
  75. Manages to be both toothless and tasteless in its satire of TV news sensationalism.
  76. A failure from start to finish.
  77. Whether we're talking this go-round, the original or the second sequel the finale seems to promise, I'd rather try standing drunk on a see-saw (though maybe not over dirty syringes) than see Saw.
  78. Machine Gun Preacher has a lot more wrong with it than a bullet-riddled premise. It is yet another iteration of the big, strong white man who comes to save legions of poor anonymous black Africans.
  79. If you're a Rainn Wilson fan, catch a rerun of "The Office."
  80. Despite its collegiate setting, 21 and Over is pretty much for people with an IQ of 21 and under.
  81. This movie is a howler as well -- possibly even intentionally -- but if it is a black comedy, the joke is overextended by far too many arms and legs. [19 March 1999, Life, p. 13E]
    • USA Today
  82. Don't stop believing. Just avoid clichéd musicals that try to capture the anarchic spirit of rock with trite commercial re-treads.
  83. It settles for the recycled emotions of the past despite the fact "Schindler's List" has forever made such treatment shamefully passe. [18Apr1997 Pg.03.D]
    • USA Today
  84. Almost everyone in this has done better, and those who haven't, like young Ms. Panettiere, have plenty of time to do so.
  85. Don't put yourself through this hell.
  86. It's almost impressive when a movie can manage to be both repellently vulgar and sickeningly sweet in the span of a mere two hours. Almost.
  87. Fun for less than 30 of the 80-minute running time.
    • USA Today
  88. It's dogged by awkward dialogue, a ridiculous plot and lackluster performances, especially by the leads.
  89. It's unclear why the writers bothered to update the cartoon, unless it was to expand the possibilities for quips and jokey ideas. If so, they failed in their mission, as the movie elicits few laughs.
  90. Director Kevin Smith's tweets, jokes and sharp commentary after being denied a seat aboard a Southwest Airlines flight because of his girth were a lot more engaging than Cop Out, his new movie.
  91. Too much. The hackneyed story about an affluent damsel in distress who decides to fight her bully of a husband is simply too overdone.
  92. There's nothing worse than a boring behemoth.
  93. Ten minutes into the picture, you're searching the screen for life-support machines.
  94. Speaking of that middle-finger finale, there is one redeeming trait: At least it signals the end credits.
  95. Barrels around in manic fashion much like Carrey does in most of his movies. He's meant to be a fool for love, but mostly he's just bonkers.
  96. The cliché-laden dialogue, schlocky special effects and predictable plot are derivative; the movie is overwrought and lacks suspense.
  97. Balls of Fury makes "Dodgeball" look like high art. It'll be tough to crack a smile, let alone laugh, during this uninspired and sophomoric satire of sports movies.
  98. The best thing about A Good Day to Die Hard is its title.
  99. One of the more befuddling movies of recent years. The premise makes no sense, no matter how you turn it around in your head.
  100. A film of repetition, a bloody dance consisting of three steps: stab, scream, repeat.

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