For 193 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sam Adams' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi
Lowest review score: 10 The Mummy
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 193
193 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Sam Adams
    There’s a lesbian character in Onward, but the most revolutionary thing Pixar has done is not tell anyone about it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Sam Adams
    Birds of Prey often leaves you puttering around the edges, being grateful for its modest achievements: fight scenes that are, if not exciting, at least coherently staged, and Robbie’s comic timing, which is so often sharper than the lines she has to deliver.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Sam Adams
    A documentary about one of the most mediated, image-conscious people on the planet sounds like an oxymoron, and though director Lana Wilson is no hagiographer, Miss Americana is hardly warts-and-all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Sam Adams
    It’s frenzied, briefly infuriating, and eventually, grudgingly, satisfying, but it’s like being force-fed fandom: Your belly is filled, but there’s no pleasure in the meal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Sam Adams
    Frozen 2 doesn’t have its forebear’s ungainliness; in many ways, it’s more efficiently engineered. But it’s also far less surprising, even taking into account that a sequel’s first task is to give people what they expect.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Sam Adams
    The movie works on you cumulatively, wearing down the impulse to roll your eyes at its familiar parts and leaving you to appreciate how snugly they fit together, and the way the whole thing purrs.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Sam Adams
    Flanagan is more faithful to "The Shining" than he was to Shirley Jackson’s "Hill House," but he ends each with a twist that functions as a smug reproach.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Sam Adams
    Smith, to his credit, comes closest to selling the screenplay’s grandiose nonsense — that is, after all, a movie star’s job, and the movie works best, to the extent it works at all, as a reflection on his 30-year career.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 Sam Adams
    There’s a hint of a fugue state about it too, as if Rambo, and whatever audience for his movies remained, is trapped in an endless loop, savoring past traumas as a way to avoid facing the present.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Sam Adams
    Hobbs & Shaw is a ridiculous movie, and sometimes it’s in the best way. I laughed at the audacity of its stunts, while shaking my head a little bit at their silliness. But I also despaired a little bit when I checked the time at what felt like it might be the climax and discovered there was still an hour to go.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Sam Adams
    If Hereditary was about being trapped, Midsommar is about the terror of being let loose, the giddy, sickening rush of freefall. You laugh at its audacity, or maybe just to keep from losing your own grip on reality. By the time it’s over, you can’t wait for night to fall.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Sam Adams
    Far From Home, which brings back Homecoming director Jon Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, sometimes strains to match the intensity of the all-out battles in its dialogue scenes, and there are too many exchanges where characters reel off a dozen overlapping half-jokes in the hopes that you’ll come away with the feeling something funny was said.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Sam Adams
    Despite its promise to find fact in fiction, the movie’s made-up characters offer little in the way of ecstatic truths, but there’s a moment when Stefan van Dorp says he realized that the way to keep Dylan from clamming up was to never ask him a direct question. Rolling Thunder Revue leaves it to us to ask the questions, or just sit back and enjoy the show.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    Ma
    Between the exhilaration of great movies and the disappointment of bad ones lie the particular pleasures of trash. Ma isn’t a bad movie, and it’s sure as hell not trying to be a good one, but it scratches a particular itch that neither noble failures nor cranked-out hackwork can touch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    The best way to watch isn’t with oohs and aahhs. It’s with laughter, savoring the beauty and the absurdity of each elaborate spectacle. Each movement is a joke, and death is the ultimate punchline.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Sam Adams
    Despite its sizable budget, Detective Pikachu has a similarly run-down quality. What story there is barely makes sense, and it feels as if large chunks have been taken out at random. But in a world packed full of franchise-extending would-be blockbusters, there’s something strangely appealing about its patchiness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    Although it’s technically about saving the world (again), Shazam! plays out at eye level, grounded by the belief that who people love and where they feel they belong is stakes enough. If that violates the exigencies of franchise filmmaking, so be it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    It’s goofy as hell and borderline inexcusable at times, but it’s also kind of glorious.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Sam Adams
    Like last year’s "Ralph Breaks the Internet," the movie evolves into a parable about toxic masculinity and the danger of mistaking darkness for depth, but Lego Movie 2’s frequent flips to the real world subject its underlying text to a scrutiny it can’t bear, and take the fun out of reading between the lines. Lord and Miller have always known what they’re doing, but here it feels like they need you to know it, too.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    Neither movie is perfect, and each underlines the other’s flaws, but if you’re watching one, watch Fyre, which is both less self-righteous and less inclined to punctuate its insights with Family Guy clips.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Sam Adams
    It’s also hard not to judge it against the movie it might have been. In 2000, Unbreakable felt like an anomaly, a superhero movie that steered clear of camp and dug into the genre’s bedrock. It could have been thrilling to extend that approach into 2019, where superheroes storm the multiplex on a monthly basis, and there’s no longer a need to laboriously explain the culture behind them. Unfortunately, it seems that laborious explanations are the part Shyamalan likes. He’s the evil mastermind detailing his plot for world domination, knowing that the villain’s monologue is a terrible cliché but unable to resist the urge.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Sam Adams
    Welcome to Marwen is a tragedy, not because of how Mark’s story ends, but because it’s the work of a filmmaker who’s never been more sure of his craft, and never less connected to anything resembling actual human experience. The movie’s underlying theme is that fantasy is an escape from the real world that can help people return to it, but it doesn’t seem like Zemeckis is ever coming back.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    Wan not only embraces the inherent silliness of a hero whose signature power is talking to fish; he revels in it, finding the childlike awesomeness at its core. You can still see every plot beat coming from miles away, but it feels like destiny rather than repetition, the fulfillment of a promise every movie makes and few deliver on.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Sam Adams
    After a solid decade of Marvel movies modeled on the same template, it’s a thrill to watch one that’s allowed to find its own rhythms, to play with form and content without contorting the plot to fit in a minor character who might become important five movies from now.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Sam Adams
    Coogler’s Creed interrogated the Rocky series, including the great-white-hope subtext of the originals, from the ground up, but Creed II just skims along the surface.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Sam Adams
    Ralph Breaks the Internet is crammed with Easter eggs and fine details.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Sam Adams
    For Alvarez, Lisbeth Salander is an icon first and last, which is to say she never feels like an actual person. Here, she’s just a Goth version of James Bond, and if this is Alvarez’s audition for the next Bond movie, then give him the job — he’s exactly the kind of director with style to burn and not too many ideas who you wouldn’t mind seeing donate two years of his career to an aging franchise.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Sam Adams
    The Other Side of the Wind is a mess about messes, pretension about pretension, an exhausted movie about artistic exhaustion. And, eerily, it’s a movie about a director who dies too soon and is survived by his own unfinished work. Whether it’s great is almost beside the point. That it exists is astonishment enough.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Sam Adams
    It certainly doesn’t work in Mid90s’ favor that it is the third movie released in the past two months to focus on an outsider with a turbulent home life seeking out community in the world of skateboarding. Even without the unflinching documentary "Minding the Gap" and the sure-handed docufiction "Skate Kitchen," Mid90s would feel phony, but the former’s understated and thoughtful treatment of its protagonists’ real-life tragedies contrasts sharply with Hill’s attempts to wring pathos from his manufactured ones. Next to them, Mid90s just looks like a poser.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Sam Adams
    The movie’s most profound performance isn’t Stenberg’s, although their emotional lucidity makes them a good proxy for its intended young adult audience, but Hornsby’s, as a father fighting to prepare his children for a world in which the people who are supposed to protect them can be a profound threat.

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