Washington Post's Scores

For 7,561 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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Three Colors: Blue
Lowest review score: 0 Alone in the Dark
Score distribution:
7561 movie reviews
  1. Nothing more than an over-designed lobster pot. After following the beckoning twists and turns, you're left trapped and more than a little disappointed for getting in so deep.
  2. There are times when Our Idiot Brother possesses a loping, genial sweetness. But it lacks conviction, and it doesn't hold a beeswax candle to such similarly themed films as "You Can Count on Me" and "Momma's Man."
  3. After evoking only warm smiles in its first half, Le Chef ultimately veers into farce.
  4. Kettle of Fish, starring Matthew Modine as a commitment-skittish saxophone player, is a warm-spirited romantic comedy, but it tends to have a squawky pitch.
  5. If there's any moral to this sorry story, perhaps Lee's stealth-message is it: Even when it's not about race, it is.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The battles are boring and the jokes as flat as old 7-Up, but the film's color palette and creatures -- from teeny buzzing critters to a monster that looks like a giant dust mite -- offer a lot to see. It's just not enough to save the convoluted story.
  6. There are three fine performances lost in this otherwise middling film. Alan Arkin makes a wonderfully gruff newspaper editor who does just about as much barking as Marley. Jennifer Aniston makes the most of the rather slender figure of Jennifer Grogan, creating a believably human picture of a career woman who gives it up for the kids. And then there's the dog that plays Marley.
  7. Oscar and Lucinda seems like the perfect story for director Gillian Armstrong, that of a free-spirited proto-feminist chafing at the strictures of tight-laced colonial Australia. But in the end, she's created a beautiful but annoying Victorian-era melodrama. [30Jan1998 Pg.D.06]
    • Washington Post
  8. The movie’s great strength is the way it captures these dancers, sometimes in slow motion, as they contort their bodies in ways that don’t seem possible. When it comes to the narrative, though, the movie struggles a bit.
  9. There's a lovely moment with Mirren and John Hurt that helps send Brighton Rock toward its final note of tenderness. With so much style to burn, Joffe handles the tinge of Greene-ian ambivalence just right.
  10. LUV
    It's a shame that the plot proves to be such a head-scratcher when so many elements of the film seem promising.
  11. Tea With Mussolini is really about the first women in the Italian director's life. It's drawn from a single chapter of his book but suffers from a lack of focus. None of these great ladies is willing to give up center stage; nor, for that matter, are the grande dames who bring them so vividly to life.
  12. Its title may ring with pun and promise, but Stoned is a flat riff on Jones's short life. You'll get the highlights but no sense of what made him special -- or what really haunted him.
  13. Director Jeff Prosserman's retelling borders on reprehensible, as he attempts to heighten an already powerful tale with a parade of needless bells and whistles, from flashy camera work to melodramatic reenactments. What a shame, because the story is truly astonishing.
  14. A Brilliant Young Mind is less stuffy than the usual cinematic ode to British smarts and schooling. But that still can’t save this tale of eccentric genius from being profoundly conventional.
  15. Amid the violence, the one-liners ring out. Nobody speaks for real. It's as if they all know they're in a movie.
  16. Unfortunately, "Youth" becomes so lost in its own conceptual, convoluted vortex, it becomes virtually incomprehensible. Coppola proves that even the best of our film artists can lose sight of what this medium is all about: entertaining, enlightening and including its audience.
  17. Rather like the faltering way Dennis runs the race, Pegg the performer insists that we keep watching, ever hopeful for a decent gag. And we spend most of our time thinking back to movies that better showcased his talents, such as "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz."
  18. They succeed in presenting a compelling series of dots, to use the current parlance, but they don't succeed in connecting them.
  19. There's grist here for a genuinely stirring film. But writer-director Bruce Beresford -- who created the screenplay from interviews with real-life World War II prisoners (who also performed music for the Japanese) -- reduces everything to its most uninteresting banality. [18Apr1997 Pg. N.44]
    • Washington Post
  20. 11 minutes longer than the original, and 11 minutes worse.
  21. Suffers from, if anything, a lack of pure confidence in the story, the actors or the audience.
  22. Suffers from what might be called colonitis. It comprises too many equal parts, and they tangle each other up. Everything is important, which comes to mean that nothing is important.
  23. Ultimately one flat-footed beast.
  24. Only fitfully amusing. More often, it feels like a mediocre attempt to reprise the central elements of the infinitely funnier "Napoleon Dynamite."
  25. Ultimately, SLC Punk! doesn't have enough dimension to maintain dramatic interest.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Annoyingly, the movie is marred by anemic connecting scenes and a seeming disdain for something as simple as logic
  26. Really nothing more than "Clueless" redux but without the edgy, knowing wit.
  27. The worst mistake is the screenplay, which not only cuts everything into superficial pieces but fails to make authentic moments of anything. In the end, White Oleander isn't an adaptation of a novel. It's a flashy, star-splashed reduction.
  28. How many times can we be awestruck by Day-Glo Gumbies? And why do these creatures always travel with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
  29. Although this film about a zebra who aspires to win horse races has a marvelous premise, it slows to a mediocre canter right out of the starting gate.
  30. A blithely unfunny, low-budget comedy from director Barry Levinson.
  31. If any element takes us through the movie, it's him (Depp).
  32. Aiming to blur the distinctions between truth and illusion, it simply blurs its own effectiveness by relying on predictable and not particularly convincing mystery-thriller formula.
  33. Baldly manipulative, emotionally counterfeit melodrama.
  34. It's got a lot of small movies bouncing around inside it, but there's no big movie on the outside.
  35. The film fleetingly touches on the underfunding of schools and other administrative problems as well as the more compelling personal issues of teen pregnancy and violence. But the characters are so poorly drawn and underdeveloped that they seem to be little more than personifications of these societal ills.
  36. Another sentimental mushfest disguised as a movie.
  37. Its main purpose -- and no, you are not experiencing ocular breakdown -- is spiritual.
  38. Feels so slight and pointless.
  39. Never transports you to another place and time, as it intends to.
  40. The first of Spielberg's films to make us feel heavy in our seats, the first to leave us sitting, passive and uninvolved, on the outside. Watching it, you feel that nearly anyone could have directed it.
  41. Unfortunately, the film, written and directed by Sue Kramer, starts with a distinctly uncomfortable moral baseline: How exactly is any audience supposed to identify with a character whose relationship with her brother borders on the incestuous?
  42. The trouble is, we don't really much care about this philandering billionaire glamour puss, who seems perfectly capable of taking care of herself. We don't care about her husband or lover either.
  43. After a promising beginning and an amusing middle, the movie gets stuck in limbo.
  44. So phony it makes your gums ache.
  45. Tired conventions, hoary themes and obvious conclusions.
  46. It's a sprawling experiment in philosophical time travel and metaphysical noodling. And it's an earnest, magnificent wreck.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With his mop-top cut and silly grin, Chan cuts an amiable figure, but while this film may confirm his skills and appeal to those already familiar with his better work, it's not likely to convert anyone else.
  47. The movie simply delivers too many colorfuls for its own good, none of whom establish a true emotional identity, and thus it isn't moving, it's busy. Busy, busy, busy.
  48. The Lake House has the sensibility of something conceived by Stephen King after an overdose of chocolate-covered cherries and valentine cards. In other words, it's sugary sweet and based on a premise that's just -- no other word will do -- ridiculous.
  49. At first, Father of the Bride is so funny, it's almost sublime. The rest of the movie, alas, is regrets only.
  50. Benign but forgettable sci-fi diversion.
  51. A little too shopworn and pokey to be more than a respectable European diversion.
  52. One wishes the same wit and energy had gone into the story. That's Shrek 2 in a nutshell -- very pretty to look at, very hard to care for.
  53. Major League is shamelessly formulaic. At the beginning, when it uses Randy Newman's ironic ode to Cleveland ("City of light, city of magic"), the movie has a lovely tone, and briefly, you feel a surge of anticipation, as if the people making it might actually have an original point of view or some feel for the game. All hope is dashed, though, early on, when you realize that they are cannibalizing every other baseball movie. (Newman wrote the music for "The Natural.") This is movie-making by rip-off.
  54. To watch Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which continually sacrifices its potential for sophisticated fun on the altar of style and physical stunts, is to realize how far we've come from the great movies of, say, George Cukor or Howard Hawks.
  55. The longer I take to review this movie, the more the absurdities loom. So let me finish before I think about the story's stupidly plotted structure or recall how tiring it was to watch apes perpetually pushing humans to the ground or sending them pirouetting into the air.
  56. When the danger subsides and the sparkless romance returns to the foreground, the vehicle comes sputtering back to earth with a thud, weighed down by the inertia of its leaden leading lady.
  57. All the movie's treacheries, deceptions and story twists are marred by our lack of innocence. We see the big picture way before the characters do, and that pushes us right out of the movie and back into our seats -- the last place we want to be.
  58. Despite a subject of immense potential -- the movie's surprisingly uninvolving.
  59. Cedric the Entertainer is the best (and probably only) reason to take this "Vacation."
  60. The nicest thing is the Asian American actress known as Maggie Q.
  61. Although audiences will admire the film's do-it-yourself energy and commitment, Poster Boy finally collapses of its own contrived weight, deflating just when it should soar into madcap -- or at least thoughtful -- satire.
  62. Ultimately the movie disintegrates due to its own clumsiness. It's far too coincidence-driven to be believable.
  63. Falters when it falls into exploitation (Irena's flashbacks to scenes of depraved sexual torture) and fatal contrivance.
  64. Why ... does it feel so lifeless?
    • Washington Post
  65. Hardware doesn't make a movie; characters, be they Blawp or human, do. And as so often happens with such outsize undertakings, they are overwhelmed by the gizmos. Technology, one. Astros, naught.
  66. Should have never made it up the distribution aisle.
  67. The region's stark beauty and the filmmaker's eye for composition compensate somewhat for its predictability and obvious if misguided feminist agenda.
  68. Throughout, Garner retains a permanent grimace, as if persuasive acting can be achieved by contorting cheek muscles and pouting lips. It's not just depressing to watch; it's tiring. We want to tell her to relax -- for our own relief.
  69. Forgettable the instant it strafes your retinas.
  70. None of the killings has any suspense, and the capital I irony -- that these people make their living selling death in small mechanical packages and munitions to the world and are now being hunted down by the same devices -- never begins to produce any results. Put it on a level with a mid-series "Halloween."
  71. A mite sluggish.
  72. [McGowan's] serene psychopathology is the movie's most consistent pleasure, and to see her is to both love and fear her.
  73. One of the most eagerly awaited cinematic projects of 2006, which may be why it lands with such a curious thud.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Take the cast of 1978's "Animal House" and 1984's "Revenge of the Nerds," toss them on a desert island, watch them breed and enroll their raucous, kvetching offspring at a college for rejects. A fluffy teen comedy, Accepted gets annoying fast.
  74. For horror fans who appreciate a bit of craft with their second-rate experiences -- Paul Haslinger's fear-mongering score is terrific for what it's worth -- this might merit a future late-night rental.
  75. In this film, Nolan seems overwhelmed by the budget, the egos of the stars, the thinness of the script, and he doesn't impose much personality on the picture. It's all Pacino.
  76. Keeps you hanging on until the very last moment, not because it's scary, but because you can't believe that's all there is to it.
  77. In the end, Stage Beauty is in over its mediocre head.
  78. It feels old, tired and given-up-on, maybe three drafts shy of minimal production level.
  79. A lot of it is low, crude, admittedly comic in the rudest positive sense, which involves a lot of falling down to humorous effect.
  80. Nobody likes a fixed fight, except the backroom boys making the deal. Which is why The Break-Up may have its share of laughs, but isn't much fun.
  81. There's so little authenticity between them, it destroys the story's most crucial element: the love between father and daughter. And finding the gold becomes our only reason to watch.
  82. He's slightly more articulate than usual, but the lines still fall from his lips like beaten boxers to the mat. Not that it much matters, given the constant mayhem.
  83. Even Thompson, the one you look forward to watching, is disappointing.
  84. Cumming manages to keep the film's pandering in check with every wicked raised eyebrow.
  85. Uneven, not particularly inspired comic thriller.
  86. The movie, a frenetic, explosive experience full of car crashes and gun battles, is original and exhilarating. But more often, it's so overwhelming, it'll make you want to watch "Die Hard With a Vengeance" for peace and quiet.
  87. Although Rohmer's adaptation, shot in German with a cast of actors drawn from the German stage, is pedantically faithful to the letter of the original - almost word-for-word as well as scene-for-scene - it substitutes a style that seems woefully wrong. Rohmer's approach is too static and repressed to release the comic ironies Kleist perceived in the very premise of an honorable man's lapse leading to an honorable woman's distress and built into his brilliantly objective story-telling style. [21 Jan 1977, p.B15]
    • Washington Post
  88. It could hardly be called rip-roaring. I should report that it drives about a quarter of the audience out of the theater before it is half over. That's because it's slower than molasses in Siberia.
  89. My only question is this: In the context of these by-the-book pratfalls, is it funny enough?
  90. Actually, any fun you might encounter in Recall can be traced, most often, to director Verhoeven, who injects some of his "Robocop" camp into this mega-dumb project.
  91. 21
    The story may be based on real events, but most of it feels patently false.
  92. Suffers from all the excesses of the genre: gunfights that go on and on and on, a plot that is almost incomprehensible.
  93. Even with its cyberspace connection, the story comes across as flat and tired, merely a pretext for the filmmakers' occasionally dazzling but ultimately numbing special effects. The world of Virtuosity may be spanking new, but the ideas are yesterday's news.
  94. Makes the mistake of including too sweeping a scope in too small a movie and with too few resources.
  95. Some routines are funny, it must be said. But more often than not, you'll be groaning with painful recognition rather than actually laughing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The producers of this mediocre movie ...had a story line rife with potentially good material and instead chose to let bathroom humor, lewd scenarios and gratuitous nudity color their European landscape.

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