USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,252 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Crumb
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3,252 movie reviews
  1. A quagmire that reportedly has undergone multiple edits to reach its current incomprehensible state.
  2. The movie is so impressionistic, it obfuscates any sense of history. We expect at least a hint at the causes of the Mayan Empire's demise, but instead we get Mesoamerican Rambo.
  3. The film disappoints terribly, too. The directorial debut of such an imaginative and clever screenwriter was a highly anticipated event. His "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" are two of the most innovative and intriguing movies of the past decade. Synecdoche is one of the most maddening.
  4. May be a spectacularly awful movie, but it's also spectacularly drenched in color, décor and other visual oh-la-la.
  5. A film of repetition, a bloody dance consisting of three steps: stab, scream, repeat.
  6. Too slight and pointless.
  7. All this movie has in common with its ancestor are speedboats, shotguns and drug-dealing Colombians.
  8. 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.
  9. Director Steve Buscemi is not to be faulted for his filmmaking or acting skills, but as co-writer he could have done better than the false-sounding dialogue.
  10. The story's appeal is lost in all the fights between the monsters and robots.
  11. Usually, I'm as slow as the pacing of a movie in figuring out who's done it. If you can't solve this mystery with an hour to go (as I did), better call for a transfusion so a better type of blood will start flowing to your brain.
  12. Neither the actors nor their characters engender much affection.
  13. 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]
  14. Fighting seriously lacks punch.
  15. Spanning the counterculture '70s to the more career-oriented '80s and doing justice to neither decade, this event-heavy adaptation of Scott Spencer's novel may give viewers whiplash.
  16. It tries hard to be sexy, mysterious and dangerous, but ends up laughably inscrutable.
  17. Never was a film so visually stunning and so intolerable as To the Wonder.
  18. The latest undead-soldier story carries on the franchise tradition of graphic violence and bad acting.
  19. It's tough to summon sufficiently negative language to describe the unfunny, desperate mess that is Bad Words.
  20. It's problematic enough that the movie's lead characters are unlikable. But worse is the blackening of The Human Stain with a trite and forced plot, uninteresting digressions and clunky direction.
  21. The movie runs just 80 minutes, but it's enough time for doldrums to set in when nifty special effects and funny verbal exchanges are out grabbing a smoke. [19 Feb 1993, Life, p.5D]
  22. Hopped-up Falling Down is a technically proficient grabber that exploits white-male angst while adeptly juggling two stories filmed in contrasting styles. Slick, maybe facile, and with a nasty streak, it is nonetheless 1993's first consistently engrossing movie. [26 Feb 1993, p.1D]
  23. Trying to decipher all the convoluted pathways could drive you mad. Mostly, though, it is so ludicrous that it will unintentionally inspire laughter.
  24. If you've been lobotomized or have the mental age of a kindergartener, Mr. Bean's Holiday is viable comic entertainment.
  25. What it became was bad. A movie that hopes to blend "Lethal Weapon" with "Gladiator" winds up not being a fraction of either.
  26. Jude Law put on 30 pounds to play this slimeball. But the weightier question is, why would he bother to take this worn-out role, at any size?
  27. Wastes a moderately intriguing premise by filling it with laughably clichéd dialogue, one-dimensional characters and implausible turns of events.
  28. In most cases, doggedly pursuing a dream is laudable. But if it does nothing else, The Astronaut Farmer demonstrates that not every dream is worth pursuing. At least not the belabored one of a narcissistic crackpot masquerading as an admirable dreamer.
  29. However, anyone seeking a good time that involves wit and logic will consider the film a definite wrong number. [26Feb1997 Pg 03.D]
  30. 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]
  31. When it's not aspiring, unsuccessfully, to satirize the world of metallica, Rock Star veers into even drearier territory and becomes a head-banging, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll version of "A Star Is Born."
  32. It's so unfunny it almost stings.
  33. 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.
  34. Someone has seen "Trainspotting" too many times, and it's writer/director Justin Kerrigan.
  35. If Gooding can't get another "Boyz N the Hood" or "Jerry Maguire" soon, his career will need its own cork.
  36. Begins sinking in the shallow end almost at once.
  37. This one's aimed at those airheads who, like George, have been swinging on a grapevine and slamming into too many trees. [16 July 1997, p. 3D]
  38. Its use of trite "Win one for the Gipper" dialogue, overbearing soaring music and conventional plot devices makes it far too formulaic to truly move us.
  39. If you're a Rainn Wilson fan, catch a rerun of "The Office."
  40. A didactic and humorless Western, Eli is too laborious for an action film and too brutal to be an inspirational tale.
  41. One of the most violent opening scenes in screen history…Yet given such a visually adept exercise, the rest seems transparently off-the-cuff. There are obese trailer-camp porn stars, heavenly visions, a climactic rendition of Love Me Tender and no-point references to The Wizard of Oz - all of which top this two-hour farrago like a soggy tarp. [17 Aug 1990, Life, 4D]
  42. One of the more befuddling movies of recent years. The premise makes no sense, no matter how you turn it around in your head.
  43. At a certain point, Bean goes beyond awful to surreally awful, like the rug Burt Reynolds sports in a cameo. The last-ditch plunge into pathos does nothing to redeem the feeling. Let's hope no sequel is in the offing. The only thing worse than Bean would be a hill of Beans. [07Nov1997 Pg08.D]
  44. Nothing is right about this ridiculous horror schlockfest.
  45. Talented actors are wasted in a film that induces more cringes than chuckles as women old enough to know better act like horny sailors on leave, absorb mass quantities of alcohol and drugs, and generally behave horribly.
  46. Live dies around the time Carpenter allows 10 minutes of gratuitous Piper-David eye-gouging, an apparent bone to wrestling fans. Forget the amusing premise; a full crate of magic glasses couldn't make this a bearable movie. [7 Nov 1988]
  47. Labor Day feels like a belabored, sappy slog.
  48. RZA's directorial debut is heavy on bloody kung fu action...and light on just about everything else.
  49. Overflows with pretensions and absurdity.
  50. Most Ender's fans, of course, won't care about comparisons and consider the film adaptation a long-awaited victory in itself. Those fresh to the tale — or at least expecting something fresh from it — may wonder what the fuss was about.
  51. Kimberly Elise gives the best performance as a beleaguered woman with an abusive boyfriend (Michael Ealy).
  52. Couldn't be murkier or less emotionally involving if it were "The Matrix 8," a natural observation because Keanu Reeves stars in both.
  53. Here's a by-the-playbook movie if ever there was one.
  54. Audiences deserve a resounding "mea culpa" for the embarrassing dreck, masquerading as comedy, in The Guilt Trip.
  55. The pirate ship has hit foul waters, and even the sharp wit and charm of everyone's favorite buccaneer can't save it.
  56. Poseidon is a sodden saga, with a script that is awash in clichés. It nearly drowns under the weight of its own soggy tedium.
  57. Farrell is quite good, though it's hard to buy the Scottish McGregor and the Irish Farrell as brothers. But mostly, the film feels rudderless, almost as if it's been directed on autopilot.
  58. A succession of tired race jokes made worse by the bad comedic timing of the bland, under-talented Ashton Kutcher.
  59. Antichrist is probably the most disturbing, bleak and self-indulgent film ever made.
  60. Director Dominic Sena appears more enamored of peeping-Tom camerawork than plot logic. [03 Sep 1993]
  61. Veggie Tales is a faith-based franchise that uses a blend of a religious/moral message and humor to teach about honesty and forgiveness. But Pirates lacks the humor of the videos and "A Veggie Tales Movie."
  62. Move along, there's nothing to see and no one to root for in this murky franchise reboot.
  63. Inventing the Abbotts would be a lot more fun were it a trashy Troy Donahue-Diane McBain vehicle ground out by Warner Bros. in 1960, the year this hormonally motivated high school-college romance mercifully concludes. [4 April 1997, p. 4D]
  64. There are only so many times you can see a slow-motion kickboxing scene or a figure sail off a skyscraper before you want to spend a nice, cozy evening with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  65. A movie about a teen party gone horribly wrong, would be every parent's worst nightmare if it weren't so inane.
  66. The overwritten script and the ridiculous plot combine to make The Counselor a frustrating experience.
  67. Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate the startling sight of a phallus jammed into someone's ear.
  68. If you value your time and money, find an escape clause and avoid seeing this trite, predictable rehash. The 90 minutes could be better spent doing holiday shopping.
  69. A putrid film that comes dead-weighted with hammy one-liners and a plot so silly it borders on comedy?
  70. Alas, shell casings, switchblades and severed limbs are all that's offered in this vile film, whose sole redeeming quality is that it ends. Eventually.
  71. It's really not much fun - in fact it's painful - to watch an actor on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It almost doesn't matter if the psyche in question is imploding artificially - as in staged - or organically.
  72. 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]
  73. 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.
  74. xXx
    All you get here for paid admission is a long and terrific avalanche scene -- state of the art, no question. Then it's over and ready to melt away, much like memories of this movie.
  75. The concept is so hypocritical, it's like Britney Spears calling Christina Aguilera underdressed and overexposed.
  76. Russell Crowe may find himself discovering the simple joys of life in A Good Year, but audiences will be checking their watches during this joyless attempt at comedy.
  77. The characters in The Box are like cardboard cutouts: Some have "foolish victim" labeled on them, and others fall into the category of absurdly creepy villain.
  78. The premise is misbegotten, the chemistry non-existent and the dialogue leaden. Did we mention how tediously the plot unfolds?
  79. This come-down of a series capper is so arch and pompous amid its clanks and collisions that you can only snicker at the verbal wind that obscures the din of marauding machinery.
  80. Misanthropic to the extreme, Bad Teacher fails across the board.
  81. The first one was silly fun, amusing and oddly inventive; the second is plodding, unfunny and almost cringe-worthy.
  82. Flyboys doesn't succeed as a wartime adventure story or as a period romance. Even the special effects, set in a historical context, are too ho-hum to save this over-long and tedious film.
  83. Do yourself a favor and rent the 1996 original from Japan instead.
  84. Sometimes laughably incoherent.
  85. Don't stop believing. Just avoid clichéd musicals that try to capture the anarchic spirit of rock with trite commercial re-treads.
  86. It's a syrupy, downbeat film.
  87. There's nothing exciting about this awful, over-the-top reboot.
  88. 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]
  89. Vaughn and James are likable enough, and they would have real chemistry in, say, an all-out comedy.
  90. The young Pigeon turks who no doubt think they've made a hip black comedy should be forced to see it in a theater of non-sycophants, where only an occasional exasperated exhale signifies the audience isn't dead yet. [25 Sept 1998]
  91. The movie is a clunky, noisy contraption. Director Jon Turteltaub piles on gadgets and devices in the hopes we'll be dazzled enough to miss the story's lack of coherence and charm.
  92. You, Me and Dupree is a good idea badly executed.
  93. This warm-weather variation on the original, once again set in a small Minnesota town, is in dire need of Geritol. Or a dose of ginseng. Or Ex-Lax. Anything to get things moving faster than this turgid replay. [22 Dec 1995, p.3D]
  94. The filmmakers behind the "Saw" franchise must love to see a movie like Hostel: Part II. Compared to this Eli Roth fetish video, the "Saw" films are Oscar bait.
  95. Give this to Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins: The dogs can act.
  96. Saw
    Becomes exceedingly disgusting when it wallows in the psychological torture of a child, a no-no under any circumstances.
  97. There is a blessed dearth of dialogue, but much of it is unintentionally hilarious.
  98. Ultimately, Beerfest plays like a party that's gone on too long, when the buzz has worn off and the hangover starts to set in.
  99. Has plenty of fast cars and revving engines. But unless you're a fan of that sort of thing, its stultifying plot and wooden acting is likely to make you drift - off to sleep.
  100. One has to wonder about the mind-set of a middle-aged filmmaker who repeatedly seeks out material about amoral and promiscuous teenagers with little to say.

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