Washington Post's Scores

For 8,015 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The LEGO Batman Movie
Lowest review score: 0 Serving Sara
Score distribution:
8015 movie reviews
  1. Too bad the filmmakers -- and here's where the American part comes in -- decided the movie had to have some heart, too.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It is slightly disconcerting to realize that this pleasant but lightweight movie was produced, directed and written by Peter Weir. This means Touchstone Pictures didn't throw this the Australian director's way; he came up with it himself.
  2. Andre Benjamin, Woody Harrelson, Maura Tierney and David Koechner -- all talented -- seem amazingly zombie-like here. And Jackie Earle Haley, as a stoner fan of the Tropics, is more disconcerting than funny.
  3. Tasteless and without redeeming social value, and also dank with the stench of decomposition masked by not enough formaldehyde, Nightwatch is the best kind of movie pleasure, a completely guilty one. [17 Apr 1998]
    • Washington Post
  4. A yawn and most unforgivably features some appalling arrangements of the Beatles' best-loved songs.
  5. I suggest you RSVP in the negative to this "Wedding" invitation, unless you consider yourself a friend of the obvious bride to be, Ms. Lopez. But even then, you'll have to focus on her presence, rather than the silly ceremony around her.
  6. Cletis Tout is both in love with and able to laugh at the conventions it adopts, which is exactly where it goes wrong. It's just a little too self-satisfied.
  7. While disaster yarns aren't known for subtlety, there are limits, and Volcano giddily goes beyond them.
  8. Desperately Seeking Susan is just a woman's version of The Woman in Red, where Gene Wilder chased Kelly Le Brock because she was great looking and rich and he had the middle-class blues. The only difference is that Wilder felt guilty about it.
  9. A movie that jumps between two worlds can be a powerful experience, as any fan of "The Wizard of Oz," "Back to the Future" or "The Terminator" can tell you. But this phoned-in epic is simply a celebration of the inauthentic.
  10. Tucker came up with a classic, but poor Coppola has turned a great American tragedy into a gas-guzzling human comedy
  11. The movie's too slick and obvious about its intentions.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    An opportunity for an unusual film about teen-agers was thrown away, in Taps, in favor of what its own screenplay characterizes as a cinematic stereotype. [18 Dec 1981, p.21]
    • Washington Post
  12. For the most part, the movie's a bland disappointment, on many levels.
  13. The movie is full of invasions, assassination attempts, chases and escapes in seemingly random order, the result being completely chaotic.
  14. Enjoyable in some places, but dreadful in others. It's boring here and exciting there. And it's almost always goofy.
  15. We know the story will conclude with a crescendo of frozen-north hallelujahs. Cheering is endemic to Disney. They can't help themselves.
  16. The premise -- a roundelay of New Yorkers looking for connection, or to escape it -- feels tired, and Mitchell's portrayal of sex as the ultimate vehicle for transcendence, self-knowledge and healing, while conveyed with authentic sweetness, seems shockingly naive.
  17. For those who simply want to drink in the northern Italian countryside and Tyler's physical details, it's quite an experience. But as a story, Stealing Beauty (which Bertolucci wrote with Susan Minot) is a misbegotten, sentimental reunion with old European cinema.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Despite his occasional witticisms, the old grump is no great catch, and neither is this movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A boring, choppy dramedy.
  18. Afterglow is a lazy river of a movie that chooses beauty over sense and rhythm over reason. It goes nowhere slowly. [16Jan1998 Pg B.06]
    • Washington Post
  19. Too busy trying to make remarks to be much fun in the end. But it really only has one remark, which it reiterates about a thousand times, and it's not all that remarkable: Fame is overrated.
  20. The plot becomes so overextended, as Reeves and Hopper wage their endless public transportation battle, even the hardest Die-Harders will consider leaping off way before the final stop.
  21. Isn't appropriate for any innocent child -- assuming such lovely creatures still exist. But boys and girls who enjoy surprise attacks in their entertainment (of the aforementioned toilet variety) are going to have a blast. Sad but true.
  22. The performances are so monotonic that you understand depicting authentic humanity is not the writer-director's goal: Each character has been reduced to a single unpleasant primal trait from which deviation is not permitted.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Sleepwalkers is badly plotted and unimaginatively conceived, though not without a number of seat-squirming scenes.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The young cast members are full of attitude and heart. But the film is long on flashy dance sequences and short on depth, character and craft.
  23. Never asks its target audience of self-referential baby boomers and their littles bundles of joy to take it more seriously than it takes itself.
  24. Scrat's annoying ubiquity -- is just one piece of evidence that Dawn of the Dinosaurs has been focus-grouped and is now trying to please its presumed young audience a little more than is healthy.
  25. Sentinel is a medium-dumb thriller that starts out with momentary promise but gets progressively sillier.
  26. Should carry all the urgency of a film that captures, magnifies and elaborates on the anxieties of its time. Luckily, that movie has already been made: It's called "Dr. Strangelove," and it's available at a video store near you.
  27. Much of Constantine simply portends.
  28. Heckerling lacks the intuition to let things flow. The actors seem rushed and the scenes incomplete. For instance, Stacy and her brother Brad (Reinhold) almost build a poignant scene outside the abortion clinic. Just when they're about to show us their stuff, poof, it's off for a car crash or a football game. [13 Aug 1982]
    • Washington Post
  29. It is likely to disappoint more people than creator George Lucas would have liked.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Elsa & Fred feels not substantial enough to bear the weight of its themes. It dissolves like cotton candy, making proper digestion impossible. The life it shows us is too sweet.
  30. Though 45 minutes longer than the original release, still feels thinner, less complex, more mythic and far less compelling.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    U-Turn is, for a while, darkly amusing. But along comes the second hour, which insults you for even partially succumbing to the first.
  31. Canadian director Atom Egoyan delivers a rare misfire with Where the Truth Lies, a shockingly fatuous murder mystery with pseudo-intellectual pretensions.
  32. The movie is a little crude for the subtlety of the emotions it plays with.
  33. Riveting in its low way. It traffics in imagery profoundly disturbing.
  34. Breaks no new ground.
  35. I had some trouble with the plot, but I'm not the only one -- so did the screenwriter.
  36. Eyes is somehow too relaxing to be satisfying.
  37. I remained strangely dry-eyed up to the final shot.
  38. Some of it is funny in a Zucker brothers slapstick way. And as the Man's geeky lieutenant, Chris Kattan has some amusingly kooky business. But there's not enough to sustain the comedy. Ultimately, the movie's short running time becomes its finest quality.
  39. A magical child movie in which the child is magical, yes, but the movie is not.
  40. Still breaks the first and only commandment of remakes: Thou shall at the very least do justice to the original, or thou shall not be made at all.
  41. Working from the script by Jeff Maguire, director Wolfgang Petersen ("Das Boot") plods through the narrative as if he were completely unconcerned with giving it even a semblance of credibility.
  42. Kind of like watching a John Waters film on fast forward with all the good parts cut out. It's empty of charm and meaning, but it certainly kills time, for those who wish it dead.
  43. Feels like "Alien" as directed by Jim Henson. And the suspense is restricted to mundane slasher-movie tactics, including the frequent use of a mobile camera (call it the ’condacam) that’s supposed to represent the snake’s point of view.
  44. For a while, the film is screamingly funny, but the further it goes, the more muddled the narrative becomes.
  45. There's nothing to stir us, no scene to savor for life -- such as the father-son battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back." Back then, we were watching a classic, still the best film in the series. This time, we're watching just another "Star Wars" flick.
  46. The more the movie progresses, the more you realize how much Seinfeld's voice sounds like a droning bee -- the kind you want to swat away.
  47. It's just respectable trash, and a dress rehearsal for better things ahead.
  48. Despite all the life-threatening situations, warrior deaths and heroic feats, it's hard to get behind characters who feel like lazy archetypes.
  49. The best thing about this movie? It's short.
  50. There's nothing wrong with gag-based comedies -- that's what the Sennett comedies were, and that's what "Airplane!" was, too -- but the gags in Better Off Dead aren't all that inventive. Oh, Better Off Dead has its moments -- in particular, a Chinese drag-racing duo who learned their English from watching Howard Cosell on "Wide World of Sports" -- but it's mostly the usual gross-out fare: inhaling Jello through a straw; fat kid; girl with dental retainer; sticking Q-Tips in nose, ears, mouth. [17 Oct 1985, p.B10]
    • Washington Post
  51. Mulholland Drive is an extended mood opera, if you want to put an arty label on incoherence.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Let's face it, some people find butt and bathroom comedy funny. And some don't.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Take a powerful, revealing nonfiction book, sift through it for its most cliche'd elements and turn it into a terror film and you've got The Serpent and the Rainbow.
  52. Kansas City is basically a head-scratcher.
  53. The trouble is, this is Hartley all over again. What seemed cutting edge and sharp in the 1990s -- the smart-alecky references to obscure filmmakers (Werner Herzog, Andrei Konchalovsky), the self-mocking tone in the actors' voices, the overall sense that this movie is subverting itself -- feels rehashed and old.
  54. The museum sparkles, but the movie is awfully dull.
  55. What madcaps! [12 Aug 1986, p.C8]
    • Washington Post
  56. Think of Phoebe in Wonderland as "A Beautiful Mind," only for kids. And with Elle Fanning, Dakota's little sister, in the Russell Crowe role of the gifted outsider, tormented by demons within.
  57. I wished Next Day Air were funnier. In the end, it's a fitfully amusing, sloppy comedy that doesn't work very hard for your 10 bucks.
  58. A brain-cramping and eye-straining experiment in digital filmmaking.
  59. The audience hasn't the slightest idea what is going on.
  60. Despite its brilliant evocation of this great city at this most provocative time in history, the movie just gets sillier and sillier.
  61. Ultimately, Brothers is a flashy, stylistic show of emptiness, intended to protest emptiness. But that's clear almost from the outset.
  62. The movie’s disappointingly straightforward, with no discernible flair.
  63. As a rule, the filmmakers manufacture fake climaxes every 10 or 15 minutes, poop out and lapse into forgetfulness, just as if they were structuring the material for television. Norma Rae seems to reflect the confusion of veteran filmmakers so eager to please that they cease to think straight.
  64. Director and co-writer James Marsh clearly thinks he has made a grim and telling satire about fundamentalist hypocrisy. But he and co-writer Milo Addica display such contempt for their characters and religious conviction in general, they reduce everything to one-note banality.
  65. Despite a glut of luridness, the story line feels essentially flat, as Keitel stumbles through New York in an immoral, unchanging haze. It is only the strength of Keitel's performance that gives his personality human dimension.
  66. There'd be nothing wrong with this if the film 'fessed up to its kitschy soul. Instead, it pretends to be the high-minded drama it's not.
  67. What's funny to Broken Lizard? Let's try: What's not funny? The answers are, everything and nothing. They'll do anything for a laugh, no matter how puerile, silly or offensive.
  68. This is a movie for a grade-schooler's -- a female grade-schooler's -- sensibility. It's earnest, silly and sweet, with just enough food fights and musical numbers to keep everyone else from gagging on the goo.
  69. The movie spares no effort to reach out to the crudest, youngest audiences it can.
  70. Unfortunately, the actors seem overqualified for their parts, delivering earnest monologues that come across as clumsy transplants from the proscenium stage.
  71. But despite doing its best to jiggle, giggle and ogle its way into a niche somewhere between "Heathers" and "American Pie," it becomes just another forgettable pastiche of sight gags and pop-culture references.
  72. The movie's gentle and friendly, but nowhere close to exciting. It would be hard to believe that anyone involved with this production --considers Snow Dogs anything more than phoned-in business as usual.
  73. Never the magic charmer it sets out to be.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Todd Robinson's script, alas, drags White Squall down. As directed by Ridley Scott, with a surplus of intrusive music and some manic overacting, the movie dips into cliches. [02 Feb 1996]
    • Washington Post
  74. The French now proudly prove they can make a big stupid violent cop movie, just like our gifted Hollywood professionals.
  75. The finished film remains a mess of tangled, turgid continuity and florid, mock-operatic style -- at best a collection of production numbers and set pieces waiting in rain for a story capable of accumulating suspense and meaning.
  76. The movie's half over before it really starts to whack at the funny bone.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Something far more consequential looms in the wings. And that renders The Hunting of the President the feel of a sideshow
  77. You may have as much fun tearing it apart in its aftermath as you do watching it, but the fun is still genuine.
  78. As filmmaking, it's a bravura performance, but as a film, it falls flat.
  79. This adaptation of James Hadley Chase's "Just Another Sucker" isn't so bad you'd want to roast it over the coals, but it ain't much good either.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, the fact that these particular stories come from the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle and Stephen King can't overcome the direction of John Harrison and the movie's basic television-level aspirations.
  80. Absence of Malice was directed with earnest, straightforward proficiency by Sydney Pollack, and there are crucial public issues involved in the premise. Still, excessively generous allowance must be made if one is to overlook the defects and confuse Absence of Malice with a pertinent, lucid melodrama on a hot topic. A remarkable number of journalists seem to be overcompensating for the film's mildness by treating it as something hard-hitting and usefully purgative. More power to the souls considerate enough to do the filmmakers' work for them, but look out for frustration if you're only prepared to meet them halfway. [18 Dec 1981, p.C9]
    • Washington Post
  81. A respectable effort that doesn't care to do more than course smoothly and effortlessly through familiar waters.
  82. It's a movie of great dynamism and energy, but very little discipline. It probes issues but it never really thinks about them. It seems smart, but it's dumb.
  83. Tron turns out to be an inorganic Fantastic Voyage, a movie with which only a computer programmer could interface. The acting is everything you'd expect from a Disney film, with Jeff Bridges aping Harrison Ford for all he's worth. There's even a computerized tinkerbell and a computer kiss. It's all a little much too have output. [09 July 1982, p.13]
    • Washington Post
  84. For all the filmmakers' efforts, this project is something of an artistic albatross. It's a conundrum that doesn't get answered until a sort of help-the-audience Cliffs Notes final scene, in which we learn Everything. But by then, more than a few of us may be wondering, was it all really worth the trouble?
  85. Put delicately, this is one long sit, made all the more so by a turgid story, a dour visual palette and uninspiring action.
  86. The plot contrivances are telegraphed too loudly; the emotional manipulation too obvious.
  87. Loud, stupid, unrealistic, overdone, without a thought in its ugly little head and kind of enjoyable.

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