Washington Post's Scores

For 7,453 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Saraband
Lowest review score: 0 Alone in the Dark
Score distribution:
7453 movie reviews
  1. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau reprise the roles of a pair of Minnesota mossbacks in the heartwarming, albeit warmed-over, sequel Grumpier Old Men—though given its scatological bent, it might have been called Grump and Grumpier.
  2. While not exactly a cop-out, Virgin may leave some viewers who crave traditional closure with the same hollow ache described by the narrator as follows: "What lingered after them was not life but the most trivial list of mundane facts."
  3. As vivid as many scenes are, there are just as many that seem taken directly out of the Cute Irish Movie notebook.
  4. It's clear this sequel (directed by Darren Lynn Bousman) doesn't have the same smartness (I speak relatively) of the original. Nonetheless, "Saw" fans can still look forward to involuntary incineration, wrist and throat slashing, bullets through brains and the bashing of someone's head with a nail-festooned club.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Miller is key to the film's success, with his earnest, sweet-faced looks and evident dark side. He plays Obree with just the right understated intensity, a believable competitor who fights back fiercely with his wits and a few tight-lipped words.
  5. It yields surprisingly unspectacular results.
  6. One doesn't come away from it with any sense of what the victory cost in human terms.
  7. Might provide a much-needed fix for Mac's most ardent fans, but they'll have to wait for a star vehicle that fully exploits the range of his comic gifts.
  8. In Burton's hands, Washington Irving's spooky classic is reincarnated as an overripe, grisly Goth cartoon.
  9. Intriguing, oddly banal and ultimately deflating.
  10. Isn't much more than another conveyer-belt romantic comedy.
  11. One half of a very funny movie, and half a funny movie is better than none.
  12. Amazingly stilted before accelerating into its exciting finish.
  13. In the end, what started off as playful becomes tedious.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    All of the supporting characters -- notably tubby Richard Griffiths as Tess's nurse and mousy Austin Pendleton as her chauffeur -- are thinly drawn, but neither MacLaine nor Cage leaves much room for anyone to overact.
  14. Writer-director Stephan Elliott is obviously fond of his characters, and this may account for the upbeat story line, but it blinds him to how very annoying two hours of dishing can be.
  15. Even within what often looks like a self-indulgent exercise in humiliation, pain and gratuitous gore, there is no denying the moments of genuine and powerful feeling in The Passion of the Christ -- some of which, by the way, evoke Jesus's most profound teachings of Jewish principles.
  16. Caine is magnificent, and the film is worth a look for his contribution alone. But Milner is a promising actor, too, and the pairing of young and old is believable and occasionally very moving.
  17. Most egregiously, the filmmakers set up a classic struggle between right and wrong and then, in a coy coda, refuse to take a stand.
  18. The only active ingredient is the dynamic between Smith and Jones. There's just enough of that to get us through.
  19. Miracle works best when the players are on the ice, shot in a faux-documentary style that uses the now-customary handheld cameras, fast pans and machine-gun edits.
  20. The movie, which is based on the Lowell Cunningham comic book series, throws out some wonderful implications, but they’re frustratingly few and far between.
  21. Endearing if slight, Superstar at least knows what it's doing the whole way.
  22. Essentially, Chuck & Larry is an oafish chance for audiences to laugh at gay-bashing jokes and then feel morally redeemed for doing so -- courtesy of an obligatory wrap-up scene that reminds us that homosexuals are humans, too.
  23. At the movie's thoroughly expected conclusion, a visual joke has a bedraggled cat licking at the icing on a wedding cake, but it's really Melanie who gets to have it and eat it, too.
    • Washington Post
  24. Director John McTiernan, who redefined the action genre in the original "Die Hard," does devise some smashing explosions, crashes and so on, but nothing really new.
  25. A mediocre production that nevertheless will strike a deep and resonant chord with viewers.
  26. It's not great; it's also not idiotic.
  27. As sprightly and determined as its fuzzy, yappy lead, the new Disney animated film Bolt works hard to be all things to all people, with mixed results.
  28. There are a number of surprises in the idiosyncratic film, and one of its pleasures is the oblique and unchronological way in which Ward peels away the layers of the story, flashing backward and forward in time and jumping between Earth and the Beyond, separating his scenes with blindingly blank, white-out screens.
  29. A flawed but funky adventure.
  30. Never was the case for psychotropic medication more acute than in Jovovich's performance.
  31. Feels like a hazy high that takes too long to shake.
  32. Volckman and Miance are undoubtedly superb draftsmen; what they need is a writer of comparable skill.
  33. Within this structurally baggy weepie, at least two perfectly good movies fight to break free, one a provocative legal thriller, the other a melodrama.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film is best when Gekko and Fox power it up, but Wall Street falls into the red when Stone's heavy-handed moralizing takes over.
  34. A well-mounted, macabre seriocomedy with passing punchlines. And for about half the movie, it's compelling stuff.
  35. In the end Monsieur N. could use a little less cloak-and-dagger and more of what made "The Emperor's New Clothes" work, i.e., heart.
  36. Despite the unforced humor and honesty in the performances of its young and talented cast, The Wood spends too much time wallowing in arrested adolescence to make you feel you've traveled anywhere.
  37. A well-crafted story with a unique voice. But its literary gifts are outweighed by its pictorial prosaicness. Dimming the screen in every shot is the unmistakable shadow of the page.
  38. Unfortunately, the story, adapted by Anne Rice from her best-selling novel, sucks at the neck a little too long. A 23-minute snipping from this 123-minute movie would have done wonders.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film-which at 112 minutes, ends up ramblin' like its subject-does provide compelling rehab for an underrated artist.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Contains about enough laugh-out-loud sight gags and non sequiturs to justify what it demands of a viewer's time and money.
  39. An easy-on-the-sensibilities family film, Eddie Murphy practically assumes the easygoing manner of Mister Rogers, a character he used to wickedly lampoon on "Saturday Night Live."
  40. Pi
    In the end, it's primarily a brain teaser, obtuse and ultimately limited in its emotional impact.
  41. Unlike Hollywood's hygienic undersea dramas, Das Boot graphically depicts the nasty intimacy of a long mission.
  42. Sketchy but often entertaining.
  43. In the end, however, when all Pacino's demons are bared, they don't add up to the poignant punchline you were set up for. The movie seems to have two or three finales too many -- a disturbing trend in all too many films of late.
  44. The movie is content to be a kind of middling expression of human decency: It's never either terribly funny or terribly dramatic, but Latifah's quiet solidity and common sense root it in ways that larger, louder pictures never achieve.
  45. Ultimately, though, the movie never transcends the limitations of its Hemingwayesque, men-with-men attitudes.
  46. This is not a fantastic movie. But there's more to it than just an MTV-slickified "Midnight Express" starring two young, photogenic stars.
  47. The Perrier of dumb-and-dumber movies, an effervescent idiot's delight that burbles from the wellspring of silliness inside star Adam Sandler's head.
  48. Lawrence's material runs between mediocre and offensive, and then he rescues it with his physical humor. He's at his best when he lets his face or inflection do the talking.
  49. He got too much movie. That's the scoring total on Spike Lee's He Got Game, which ultimately must be judged a mild disappointment.
  50. All the King's Men hasn't been directed so much as over-directed, although the result, when you make an effort to filter out all the film school pyrotechnics, is an honorable run at Robert Penn Warren's classic novel.
  51. Despite this tale's surface sheen and propulsive momentum, it never transports one very far.
  52. Howard's film, like McConaughey's performance, is unassuming, ingratiating and a little rough around the edges.
  53. A superbly heartfelt drama for six diverse actors, it is as colorfully striated as its majestic namesake - and almost as wide. The film's depth is another matter altogether.
  54. Ultimately, the movie's biggest crime is its inability to convey the delicate, damaged texture of Kahlo's life, but also the triumph of her will over intimidating defeat.
  55. Marvels of animation abound in Monsters, Inc. -- when it comes to irreverent humor and real heart, Monsters doesn't quite measure up.
    • Washington Post
  56. An endearing comic roundelay about the can't-commits.
  57. Andrew Dominik's long and bizarre movie about the American outlaw appears to stick close enough to the facts so that historians won't be able to complain. But it languishes toward torpor.
  58. Well-made, if rather predictable, new-age melodrama.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Well-made, well-acted but ultimately enervating, this is a respectable effort from Freundlich.
  59. Like "Ghost" and "Pretty Woman," this romance is blissfully dependent on our staying good and starry-eyed, seduced by the charisma of the leads. And we do, despite its lackadaisical pace and disappointing ending.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Red Dragon is merely the distant echoes of what we liked about "Lambs."
  60. The X-Files movie is really just a two-hour teaser for the series's sixth season. And little else. You will feel exactly like Mulder when he says, "How many times have we been right here before, Scully? So close to the truth?"
  61. Dracula, which also stars Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins, is an evocative visual feast. But the meal is spectral, without the dramatic equivalent of nutritional value.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Put the whole movie down to cartoonery...This is a drive-in theater battle of wills between the forces of evil and the forces of good.
  62. No matter how much fun it is to watch -- and for hard-core movie fans, it is often enormous fun -- there's a certain relief when it stops and we're popped back out to our banal, one-track lives.
  63. It's a grab bag of small delights -- and that includes a workmanlike performance by Toni Collette -- but it never quite amounts to a full load.
  64. A raunchy parody that's hip-deep in the mainstream it aims to rip, and sometimes does despite a glut of smug inside jokes.
  65. This mixture of comedy and super-agent spectacle works well at first. But when Schwarzenegger's family and working worlds link up -- an inevitable development -- the plot becomes increasingly ridiculous and overwrought.
  66. Cornish provides a counterbalance for Ledger's authoritative presence, turning what could have been just another heroin movie into a flawed but engrossing parable on love and sacrifice.
  67. At first, the picture is moving. . And suddenly charm turns to quasi-commie didacticism.
  68. Pollack makes a solid job of it, as does Cruise. But solid isn't enough when it comes to thrillers -- or courtroom dramas, for that matter. Solid is great when it comes to office furniture.
  69. The smart but slight film implodes under the weight of its own "excessive linguistic pressure."
  70. A prosaic, sexually perverse thriller masquerading as a critical look at military injustice.
  71. You're expected to weep, and perhaps you will weep. But if you do, it's not likely that you'll respect yourself in the morning.
  72. Tom Schulman's script is on the sloppy side and offers few surprises; still, it's not entirely bereft of laughs.
  73. The films are bloody, stupid and buoyant in a kind of infantile way, celebrating mayhem, flesh and gore. Planet Terror is by far the livelier.
  74. There's too much slow-mo and too many music cues, but there's a low-key buzz to Wahlberg's scenes with Greg Kinnear.
  75. A ruthlessly unsentimental portrait of a German war profiteer's epiphany that inspires neither sorrow nor pity, but a kind of emotional numbness.
  76. Unfortunately, the film rarely slows long enough for the actors to do anything more than sketch in their characters. On the other hand, the showdowns between Sarandon and Jones are choice; it's a meeting of charismatic equals.
  77. Surely it will not be giving things away to tell you there's absolutely nothing new about the latest episode.
  78. While this adaptation of Waller's treacly bodice-ripper leaves out a lot of the lurid excess, it is not altogether free of pomposity.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though lacking in any particular narrative surprise, the film nevertheless takes the viewer completely by surprise several times.
  79. A spoofy paean to cheerfolk that has more bounce per flounce than most tales about teen queens.
  80. As long as you focus on the central sniper-versus-sniper story -- and not the dreadful mishmash of jarring accents or the film's unconvincing romantic subplot or any of the personal relationships -- you'll enjoy it.
  81. McDormand is the best thing about Laurel Canyon. She's also the most unfortunate victim of a film that seems unable or unwilling to give even its most intriguing and compulsively watchable character her due.
  82. We may enjoy watching the spectacles, but we don't much care for, or even have a feeling for, the guy in the cockpit.
  83. It's hardly the best film in the world but you can have fun with it.
  84. Despite the quirky trappings, Something Wild is often as tame as its star couple.
  85. Most revelatory here is Malli, who defies the stereotype of submission and subservience and emerges as a woman of self-possession and substance. (The earthily beautiful Bat-Sheva Rand infuses the character with a generous dollop of her own zaftig sensuality.)
  86. This ensemble comedy has its inventively funny moments. But ultimately, it gets a little too cute for its own good.
  87. May not rock the joint. But then, it isn't trying to.
  88. This movie should have blown us out of the water. Instead we catch ourselves occasionally thinking the unpardonable thought: "OK, sink already."
  89. Not about good storytelling, but it knows to turn up the volume, cut to dizzying closeups of driver's eyes as they negotiate dangerous bends and indulge its audience in the soul slaps, fanny grabs and head nods that govern this racing lifestyle.
  90. Make no mistake: The War Tapes is not an overtly political film. It appears to grind no partisan ax nor score either red or blue points. Whether viewers support the war or not -- or find themselves somewhere in the mushy middle -- this documentary won't fit comfortably into the pigeonholes of their preconceptions.
  91. The only thing wrong with Bowling for Columbine is Moore himself.

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