USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,249 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 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3,249 movie reviews
  1. There's not a cliché that isn't nailed.
  2. The movie goes wrong from the start.
  3. Couldn't be murkier or less emotionally involving if it were "The Matrix 8," a natural observation because Keanu Reeves stars in both.
  4. A succession of tired race jokes made worse by the bad comedic timing of the bland, under-talented Ashton Kutcher.
  5. The movie tries to be both comical and touching, as befitting the coming-of-age genre. But it feels forced, derivative and sometimes sappily sentimental.
  6. Doesn't make the movie worth watching -- even if you're monstrously bored.
  7. There's sad news to report about The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D: Put on the cardboard glasses, and you can still see the movie.
  8. The players fall into recognizable stereotypes: the big and clumsy kid, the real talent who's also a showoff, the buffoon, the gross-out guy. But no one is more formulaic than the coach. He starts out smug with the kids and ends up smitten.
  9. Just about any golden age Hollywood hack could have made a zestier drama about one of the greatest rescue missions in U.S. military history.
  10. However, anyone seeking a good time that involves wit and logic will consider the film a definite wrong number. [26Feb1997 Pg 03.D]
  11. The screenplay is thin, the dialogue lacks nuance and the acting is often laughable.
  12. Writer/producer John "Home Alone" Hughes, the Marquis de Sade of kidcom, and director Les Mayfield manage to squeeze the very bounce out of what should have been a can't-miss update. [26Nov1997 Pg09.D]
  13. With its Rocky Horror meets Camelot aura, this little black movie reeks of self-satisfied smugness and pretentious perversity as only a Sundance Festival favorite can -- especially one that squanders the considerable quirky charms of indie-film darling Parker Posey. [10Oct1997 pg 04.D]
  14. Flippantly hip without any solid laughs, Life strains to be the flick more offbeat. [24Oct1997 pg06.D]
  15. The cliché-laden dialogue, schlocky special effects and predictable plot are derivative; the movie is overwrought and lacks suspense.
  16. In Roy Orbison terms, enduring this movie is like working for The Man.
  17. 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]
  18. Shot by a special-effects superstar making his first stab at directing, Mark Dippe, the result is dizzying in its unreality, and the visual tricks are impressive. [01Aug1997 Pg.02.D]
  19. The filmmakers, who include the hitherto ace action director Jan De Bont ("Speed", "Twister"), have neither hearts nor minds in gear. [13Jun1997 Pg.04.D]
  20. You can't accuse this film of bogging down in cheap psychology, yet you come out dissatisfied and without a clue about what made this person tick.
  21. 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.
  22. Director/co-writer/co-producer Nora Ephron is best known for the magical Sleepless in Seattle. Michael is mirthless in the Midwest. [24 Dec 1996 Pg.03.D]
  23. Michelle Pfeiffer has made a lot of memorable movies, including many that undeservedly failed to connect with the public. Never, until Dangerous Minds, has she had to flail her way through a movie beyond all redemption, including even the prehistoric "Grease 2". [11 Aug 1995, Pg.04.D]
  24. Coy to a fault, the movie collapses under its own weight with 90 minutes to go, despite Robby Muller's impressive black-and-white photography, which puts the film on a higher artistic plane than other equally unbearable movies. [16 May 1996, Pg.06.D]
  25. Clumsy, miscast thriller.
  26. If your idea of a good time is watching a disjointed period piece featuring a scrawny dog defecating, dozens of dissipated people fornicating and a syphilitic Johnny Depp with oozing pustules on his face, The Libertine may be just the movie for you.
  27. There's no substitute for bad taste. And this one has it double-barreled, both in the timing of its release and as a movie, one said to be loosely based on fact.
  28. The transition from Hanna-Barbera animation to manic-barbaric live action falls flatter than a granite slab, from the first of many deadly stone-age wordplays - "Steven Spielrock Presents" - to the gross-out shots of dirty tootsies. [27 May 1994 Pg. 01.D]
  29. Steer clear of Freedomland, the movie. Your time would be better spent reading Richard Price's much more compelling 1998 novel.
  30. A potential howler done in by a tendency to wear too much body tissue on its sleeve.

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