Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 6,983 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Rashomon
Lowest review score: 0 Beverly Hills Cop III
Score distribution:
6983 movie reviews
  1. Rather than building to a full, fun film, each subplot seems like the pilot to a spin-off animated TV show. No film has felt so desperate to make the jump to the small screen since the best-forgotten "Barnyard: The Original Party Animals," but then The Secret Life of Pets 2 never disguises what it is.
  2. I just wish Tcheng didn’t feel the need for unnecessary flourishes. There is a wonderful scene of archival footage where Halston takes a single sheet of fabric and uses scissors and one seam, and creates a simple but beautifully elegant dress. The filmmaker should have taken a note from that minimalist and flawless execution of a master designer.
  3. There are flashes of what made the franchise work. Turner, after stumbling through the part in the rocky terrain of X-Men: Apocalypse, finally gets to grapple with the emotional complexities of a woman whose gifts are the most constant curse.
  4. As in the Mercury biopic, an unexpected performance by a relatively untried actor in the central role anchors Rocketman.
  5. That Swinton Byrne's performance is so open, so immediate, so caught up in emotional truths rather than performative beats, makes this one of the year's most unique and memorable roles.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Ma
    There are times when Spencer’s character feels less subversive and more like a gonzo Annie Wilkes from Misery; it’s clear that the filmmakers understand how to write Sue Ann in opposition to tropes, less clear that they know how to turn that into something meaningful.
  6. Much of the film’s fun is overrun by a combination of overlong exposition, ham-fisted dialogue, and some genuinely confusing editing. You’re never quite sure at any given point where, exactly, the human characters are, what exactly they’re doing, or what the f**k that sudden, off-putting plot twist that just happened means.
  7. Some of the interplay between Branagh and Dench as a refamiliarizing couple is also delightful. However, apart from fleeting pleasures, All Is True is mostly a goodie bag stuffed for Shakespeare completists.
  8. The movie remains patchy as it continues to jump somewhat arbitrarily from day to day without fully realizing its subject matter. The one dependable constant in all of this is Christo himself. Smiling ecstatically one minute, despondently hangdog the next, he exhibits a genius lunacy on par with his life’s work.
  9. It may be an elevator pitch stretched to 90 minutes, and never aspires to more than that, but it's a fine and distinct funhouse ride designed to elicit cackles, then be forgotten about by the next ride.
  10. Modigliani's fly-on-the-wall documentary verges toward the hagiographic, but that's not the most damning criticism, because he makes the case of O'Rourke's quiet charisma.
  11. So yeah, Booksmart is a different kind of teen comedy – clever and buoyant, proudly feminist and wonderfully reassuring that, yeah, the kids are alright.
  12. What holds the film together before that nerve-jangling sequence is Ivenko as the young genius.
  13. Lacking a typically vivid color palette and bright song & dance routines, Photograph is almost the antithesis of a Bollywood epic. In fact, the film’s small, quiet moments are its most alluring feature, although it’s possible the film may ultimately be too quiet for its own good.
  14. While Non-Fiction can be quaint in its examination of art versus commerce, it is never boring.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As much as the original Genie was an extension of Robin Williams' onstage persona, so does Smith’s Genie springboard off two decades of action-comedies. It may not always work, but nobody else could even come close.
  15. The spasmodic violence creates a stomach-churning counterbalance to the quiet palace intrigues, especially through the surgically placed classical Chinese score by Loudboy – much of it carried through duets by the commander and his wife on the guqin and guzheng (paired Chinese zithers), which becomes a subtle subplot in its own right.
  16. It’s a tale full of sound and fury, signifying something that’s nothing less than appalling.
  17. Oliver and director Ry Russo-Young (Before I Fall) cherry-pick a few of these digressions and give them an artful, collage-like treatment; they don’t go far enough to mask the skimpiness of the story, which has been whittled down to Natasha and Daniel almost exclusively.
  18. The end result is like watching a season finale of "This Is Us" with a commentary track by Elmo. The dogs sure are cute, though.
  19. If the film’s conclusion reads a touch too much like a sales pitch, I didn’t mind; the Chesters’ thoughtful approach to living in harmony with nature is one we should all buy into.
  20. A fatalistic fantasy that positively bleeds, bruises, and blows holes in its stoic antihero even as the odds consistently favor his imminent demise.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It never manages to overcome its weak jokes and tired plot points.
  21. Carmine Street Guitars is an affectionate, somewhat elegiac glimpse into a master and a craft that, like so much of the surrounding neighborhood, is steadily being corporately gentrified.
  22. The performances are wonderful, especially Hoult and Collins, who exude a charming chemistry, and fans of both the books and the films will find pleasure in this look at the early life of the man whose work still influences artists to this day.
  23. This is Gilliam at his most Gilliam, and that's fine, but there's nothing left to say.
  24. The film’s plot is either too much or too little, but whatever you decide, it’s best to give up on any expectations of true logic and just go with the flow because you know what, Jake: Forget it. It’s Pokémania.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    El Chicano is also a surprising miss from Raúl Castillo, the actor tasked with being the face of this would-be franchise. His talent as a performer is above reproach – his portrayal of the abusive father in "We the Animals" was one of the best performances of 2018 – but here he comes across as stiff and humorless in a movie that needed something to offset its own sense of gravity.
  25. For a protracted toy commercial, UglyDolls is surprisingly charming, not least because it is that rarest of films that is genuinely aimed at small children.
  26. The script, and Theron, matter-of-factly illustrate the old adage about Ginger Rogers, that she did everything Astaire did, only backwards and in heels. That the film actually gives her credit for it? That’s the best kind of wish fulfillment fantasy.

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