Washington Post's Scores

For 7,435 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 The People vs. Larry Flynt
Lowest review score: 0 Patch Adams
Score distribution:
7435 movie reviews
  1. Though it purports to be about the delights of disorder, “A Little Chaos” feels like yet another by-the-book period romance, only without the genre’s requisite spark between the main characters.
  2. The derriere-flashing, dope-smoking, potty-mouthed antics of this antisocial E.T. justify every bit of the rating that the MPAA has slapped on him.
  3. The movie is gross but not unfunny as it covers the Zohan's rise through hair culture, aided by his steamy heterosexuality, his lack of inhibition and his stereotypical career aggressiveness, until the old ladies are lined up all the way to the Bronx for a few minutes of bliss in the Zohan's chair.
  4. Land of the Dead is fairly intense. Intensely gory and violent, that is, as has come to be expected from the genre. It's just not very frightening. Not half as frightening as, say, last year's "Dawn of the Dead."
  5. Baghead provides a diverting showcase for actors you may never have heard of but who deserve a shot at fame and fortune.
  6. Often seems less like a fully realized film than an illustrated story, its paragraphs reduced to neatly contrived set pieces.
  7. Somehow, the comic chemistry never seems to ignite in The Big Year.
  8. As a piece of filmed entertainment, The Fifth Estate shows why things like authorial point of view and visual sensibility are so essential in bringing such stories to life. Unlike its most obvious predecessor, “The Social Network,” this film doesn’t have much of either, and the weakness shows.
  9. Branagh, who proved his action bona fides with “Thor,” does an inarguably competent job of choreographing a modestly intelligent espionage thriller, even if it’s impossible to identify anything new he’s bringing to an already groaning table.
  10. A generic, fitfully funny mainstream comedy that doesn’t nearly get the best from its name-brand players but doesn’t qualify as a desecration, either.
  11. A Letter to Momo is unquestionably lovely to look at, but viewers may not be able to shake the feeling that they’ve seen much of it before, and done better.
  12. The movie doesn’t offer much more than fleeting and superficial pleasures.
  13. Sometimes the punch lines land and sometimes they don’t, but overall the result is pleasantly nostalgic.
  14. A few more bucks (or a little more thought) for the script would have been a better investment than faking Seattle. The characters are introduced so quickly, and their personalities are so thin, that what happens to them has little weight.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cheesy, unconvincing moments centered on the characters' serious discussions of life and friendship really seem unnatural and ruin the flow of the physical comedy.
  15. Still, if the movie is mediocre, the history it represents is not. For that correction to our collective Western amnesia, then, Annaud deserves some special award.
  16. Horror fans will twitch impatiently at those long stretches between killings. And audiences anticipating a feature-length "Girls Gone Wild" video will suffer withdrawal from the lack of loosened bra straps.
  17. Has its funny moments, but all too often it's a corny, lackluster film in which humans pretend (not always convincingly) to interact with cartoons.
  18. Often, it feels conspicuously educational. The movie is far better when it focuses on its intimate story of love between family and friends in a small town.
  19. The movie is occasionally muddled and always melodramatic, yet it's pictorially compelling, thanks to dramatic locations and exacting art direction.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Onstage, Rent is a series of power surges, but in the movie the songs leave you flat.
  20. The movie's highest level of artistic expression was the ingenious Internet campaign that catapulted it to culture phenom months before it even opened. The thing itself turns out to be pretty much an afterthought, cheesy and not very well worked out.
  21. The film is not without its pleasures. Kidman and Firth lend the pulpy material a certain prestige, even if Strong comes across as simply another plot device (and a perplexing one at that).
  22. The best thing about "Children" is the cinematography by Zhao Xiaoding ("Hero," "House of Flying Daggers"), which is so distracting because it so out-classes the rest of the movie.
  23. It's an infusion of zip that's sorely needed, because the chief deficiency of A Bug's Life so far is its blandness….The film's other weakness is the low-octane vocal performances of its leading cast.
  24. The good part about this okay, but way less than great, thriller is that you won't notice how cheesy it is until the heartburn from the popcorn has eased. In these jaded times, that's a bargain.
  25. Sometimes, the sincerest form of tribute is inferiority. Watching the Australian film Jindabyne, one soon embraces the conclusion: Robert Altman did this work better. And with fewer brush strokes.
  26. And that's the moral of this story. Or one of them, anyway. Clash's success is shown as the result of a combination of talent, gumption, pluck, misadventure, supportive parents, following your dreams, luck and, yes, love.
  27. It's pretty elementary.
  28. What do we want in a sequel? Just a little taste of the original or a triple serving piled high? Dead Man's Chest opts for the latter. This Disney movie isn't a follow-up to the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" so much as its empty-calorie clone.
  29. If anything, it's worth watching as yet another example of Lynch's extraordinary collaboration with Dern. It may be overstating things to call her performance heroic, but it's nothing if not brave, as she dares to embody Lynch's most brutal impressions of Hollywood -- not as a dream factory, but as the place where dreams come to die.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    UHF is not a uniformly funny experience, unless you have to wear a bib and tend to laugh at anything, such as sudden gusts of wind. Yankovic, co-writing with manager Jay Levey (who also directed), goes for gag after gag. Some hit, some miss. You laugh, you cry.
  30. Ultimately, Forces of Nature is more of a lull than a passionate storm.
  31. That none of the protagonists earns the audience's sympathy is more likely a failure of the real-life characters rather than the actors, who deliver fine performances -- especially Rhys, who seems to be channeling Richard Burton channeling Dylan Thomas at his most manipulatively loutish.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Forks is a plate of vegetables. It's high on nutritional value but absent any pleasure.
  32. Rather than taking viewers on a twisty, provocative journey through a mazelike meditation on appearance and reality, The Illusionist finally just sits there, looking like a very well-produced pilot for PBS's "Mystery!" series. It's a sophisticated snooze.
  33. Gripping, if manipulative and somewhat preposterous, drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is as if the director had studied the comedies of Eric Rohmer and Woody Allen from top to bottom and come away with all the wrong lessons.
  34. Predictable, slightly painful and as embarrassing as all get-out.
  35. Call it a Christmas miracle, albeit a minor one: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel isn't entirely awful.
  36. The latest genre exercise from slasher-flick prodigy Adam Wingard (“A Horrible Way to Die”) is at times bloodily entertaining. And if the central plot twist isn’t all that clever, at least the movie offers some motivation for its mayhem.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Quick and the Dead is made bearable by director Sam Raimi, who bombards us with frenetic editing, crazy-angle shots and enjoyably cartoonish cliches. But all the stylistic sleight of hand in the world can't hide the central problem: The star of the show is more Dead than Quick.
  37. In Upside Down, writer-director Juan Solanas takes the gimmick about as far as it can go, rendering the metaphor of longing and separation in effective, and richly visual, terms. If anything, however, he goes too far.
  38. Aquamarine is better than nothing for its woefully underserved audience.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is exactly the kind of weird, sardonic texture the movie is aiming for - and unfortunately, most of it occurs in the first half of the story.
  39. A sporadically amusing romp modeled on "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
  40. The rhythms excite expectations that go unanswered.
  41. The music is catchy and sounds sufficiently Elvis-like, and The Identical occupies a neglected niche as a family-friendly movie that isn’t geared just toward kids. But living up to a legend is an uphill battle, and the movie doesn’t ever reach those heights.
  42. Filmgoers haven't seen a family this neurotically enmeshed since the last Diane Keaton movie.
  43. Miss Julie is a strangely clinical movie experience. It’s a story that makes an impression without leaving a mark.
  44. It succeeds only fitfully. Toggling between Stark's impish goatee and Iron Man's full-metal body condom, and amid so many generic fireballs, kill shots and earsplitting thumps, bumps and crunches, the film finally collapses under its own weight.
  45. Has its moments of fun, many of them having to do with Reilly's deadpan comic style. But the movie lacks the original edge of its better predecessors.
  46. Lords of Dogtown isn't a cop-out, but rather an ever-so-slight concession to commercialism.
  47. Snow Zou’s directorial debut does have a few noteworthy attributes: attractive stars, sun-dappled cinematography and an audacious payoff.
  48. The plot itself is predictably divorced from reality, containing more holes — and smelling staler — than month-old Swiss cheese. All of which means that Stallone and Schwarzenegger end up having to do all the heavy lifting.
  49. Swifter comedic timing and a clearer narrative thread might have helped center this peculiar adaptation of Jonathan Ames's 1998 novel of the same name.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's delicious and ensnaring and easy on the eyes, but it can't give you the definitive truth about notoriously frosty Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
  50. A frantic, occasionally funny, finally enervating bricolage of special effects, explosive set pieces, sardonic one--liners and notional human emotions, this branch of the Marvel franchise tree feels brittle and over--extended enough to snap off entirely.
  51. The film, therefore, is like a child's view of these events, untroubled by complexity, hungry for myth and simplicity.
  52. Even with all this talent and earnestness, though, Nowhere Boy still feels indulgent, slight and almost instantly forgettable.
  53. A mite too hard to follow for most of the kiddie crowd who'll want to see it.
  54. It’s difficult to believe a word of Labor Day, but then again you don’t have to in order to luxuriate in Winslet and Brolin’s bubbling, steaming chemistry.
  55. Funny? Scary? Entirely logical? It all depends on your point of view, of course, and "What's the Matter With Kansas?" isn't likely to move viewers one way or another.
  56. A martial-arts ad­ven­ture with more video-game and comic-book DNA than the traditional kung fu flick, Tai Chi Zero is good, if empty-headed, fun.
  57. The movie, directed by Steve Miner, a "Friday the 13th" vet, never quite gins up the giddy, sick, politically incorrect power of the more high-powered "Screams" of late.
  58. Tetro has no internal tension and should have been a comedy.
  59. Say this about Stone: When it's good, it's very good. And this twisty, atmospheric drama is at its best when Edward Norton takes center screen as the title character.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This was originally rated NC-17, and somehow, I'm thinking that version will survive on DVD.
  60. Has its modest charms.
  61. There's just too much death, it comes too quickly, it has no moral import, it becomes ultimately meaningless. It's not that hyper-violent movies are axiomatically a bad thing, it's just that this particular example is so laden with shootings that it becomes somehow tedious.
  62. The movie manages to be simultaneously superficial and heartbreaking. That’s no easy feat — nor is it a laudable one.
  63. Nor will you find much excitement, tension or resemblance to actual teen culture in this whitewash of the quintessential rite of passage.
  64. The animation is first-rate...But the story needs to catch up to the magic. Otherwise, what's the point?
  65. Even though we're caught up in his derring-do as he beguiles entire meeting rooms of jaded publishers and editors, we're kept at a dissatisfying distance from Irving and the movie.
  66. Has its creepy moments, but also its cliches.
  67. [A] sometimes fascinating, often convoluted, movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Tends to speculation, conspiracy theories or, at best, circumstantial evidence.
  68. This is a movie guaranteed to please crowds, if only because it insists on their affection so strenuously.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A sometimes entertaining flick that makes a lot of noise but doesn't have much to say.
  69. You'd never know it from the innocuous-looking trailers, but Home Fries is really "When Dorian Met Sally" meets "Psycho."
  70. If Broken English occasionally falls prey to a bit too much self-conscious lethargy, it's still a welcome chance to see Posey at her flighty, edgy best.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The ensemble cast boasts some of the finest actors in the business. They do their best to breathe life into the stereotypes, but they simply don't have enough to work with.
  71. For real sparks keep a look out for Jared Harris in a supporting role that injects a mildly diverting note of corporate intrigue into an otherwise unsurprising procedural.
  72. The actors make the movie’s memorable characters all the more indelible, even when Love at First Fight loses its sense of originality.
  73. The Disney animators still take great care to capture the majestic beauty in the jagged landscapes and towering conifers of the Yellowstone-esque Piston Peak Park. Unfortunately, the same contours and shading don’t apply to the characters.
  74. The biggest disappointment in the film, however, is Piven's Adam. This film idealizes his character too much and thereby jettisons any case for serious respect.
  75. It's a hyper-violent buddy comedy. If you like that sort of thing -- think "Training Day," with laughs -- you'll love this.
  76. Like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton before him, Helms plays a lamb trotting hopefully through the abattoir, blessedly unaware of the blades hanging just above his head.
  77. What McGrath's Emma does have going for it is a breakthrough performance from Gwyneth Paltrow as the heroine.
  78. Owen Wilson phones it in with Drillbit Taylor, a by-the-numbers teen comedy.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's astonishing how much intensity and focus these two have lost, but the picture itself is not all that bad -- if you can get the collapsing-career thing out of your head.
  79. Paints an often grave but sometimes hilarious picture of a hugely powerful network.
  80. It telegraphs its emotions loud and clear, but somehow they don't reach us.
  81. None of the characters are compelling, despite the star-studded vocal cast behind them, including Madonna, Robert De Niro, Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Fallon. Our attitude toward them is casual interest, not anxious concern.
  82. It's tasty enough, and probably good for you, but at 73 minutes, the film is hardly a very filling entree.
  83. Does it matter that Maggie might be a charlatan if she's truly capable of helping people? That's the film's most intriguing, and open-ended, question - not the more gimmicky one that will leave you hanging, and probably disappointed, at the end.
  84. It's like the longest just-say-no commercial in history, only you'd say no not because drugs are evil but because you don't want to get a serious foot fungus.
  85. Despite the literal and figurative pains it takes to persuade viewers of its own importance, The Revenant can’t escape the clutches of crippling self-regard.
  86. An implausible action adventure with the most geriatric payload since a community of retirees lifted off in "Cocoon."
  87. Manhattan Night gets by on the strength of its visuals and a few vivid central performances, but by the time we find out whodunit, it doesn’t really matter.

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