LarsenOnFilm's Scores

  • Movies
For 222 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Lawrence of Arabia (re-release)
Lowest review score: 25 Friday the 13th
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 222
222 movie reviews
  1. Watching The Souvenir is like watching a friend drown, and being unable to help.
  2. A mostly meaningless film about meaninglessness, Under the Silver Lake nonetheless has enough fetid charm to justify wasting a few hours on it. After all, the movie ultimately suggests that wasting our time is the best we can do in this rotten, rigged life.
  3. As the hapless students flounder about, putting all their foibles on display, Booksmart always maintains a kind and understanding gaze. It’s a movie that wants to be there for its subjects.
  4. In Parabellum, the shootouts—and there are two disastrous ones, that finale and a mid-film sequence featuring new costar Halle Berry—are less about Wick (his motivations, his anger, his technique) and more about the grandiosity of the violence.
  5. The movie is, mostly, interested in Adele’s interior life more than her exterior features. And in those moments where the reverse is true (they’re there), Exarchopoulos rightly refocuses the attention with an extraordinarily evocative performance of a confused, conflicted teen.
  6. With a mixture of cheeky stock footage (including, yes, Charlton Heston’s The Ten Commandments), ironic soundtrack choices, and abrupt edits that function as record-scratch exclamation points, Lane’s film breezily stays above the fray.
  7. Anyone who’s seen Beau Travail knows that Denis is a master of color. Here she uses the ship’s lighting system to shift between cool, medical blues and warm, arousing reds. And in the “garden,” a lush conservatory space where the crew grows their food, the deep greens evoke a primordial Eden, a place where nakedness carried no shame. The goings-on in High Life—including two instances of sexual assault—are like a crash landing into the Fall.
  8. Diane is brutally honest about the losses that can define this stage of life.
  9. Endgame provides something truly satisfying: a sense of closure.
  10. It’s as if Moss is directing the movie through her performance.
  11. This bloated, big-screen take on the DC comic is dumb, but not nearly dumb enough.
  12. I suppose if you wanted to be really generous to the film, you could argue that this Dumbo takes a subversive swipe at Disney, its own corporate overseer.
  13. As Starfish becomes a more obvious personal metaphor involving betrayal and forgiveness, it also becomes a bit less interesting—even as it still marks White as an ambitious talent to watch.
  14. Us
    Working with cinematographer Mike Gioulakis, editor Nicholas Monsour, and composer Michael Abels, Peele has once again constructed a movie experience that functions first and foremost on the level of sheer terror. From the drops of doom on the soundtrack to a POV camera that frequently puts us face to face with horror, Us turns identity politics into the stuff of nightmares.
  15. In the fractured funhouse mirror that is Transit, contemporary France by way of World War II looks an awful lot like the United States in 2019.
  16. Boden and Fleck do deliver a crackerjack, climactic comic-book sequence that stands as one of my favorite moments in all of the MCU.
  17. A bit more investigative work on the part of the filmmakers might have gone a long way, especially because there is something of a black hole at the center of Fyre: McFarland is depicted as ground zero in terms of responsibility, but we never get a real sense of who the guy is, what drives him, or how he was able to pull the wool over so many eyes.
  18. McCraney has a background as a playwright, which may explain why High Flying Bird mostly consists of a series of zippy conversations. Each one is overstuffed with so many ideas—not just about sports, but also sexuality, faith, economics, and history—that the characters don’t quite register as flesh-and-blood figures.
  19. There are certainly laughs and clever gags along the way, but there’s also considerable effort, without commensurate payoff.
  20. First Reformed manages to be ascetic, poetic, and prophetic. It’s at once centering, thrilling, and disturbing.
  21. If the moral horror of the Holocaust is at once crystal clear and unfathomable, then Son of Saul exists in that tension, employing the art of cinema to create a singular act of remembrance.
  22. The original Miss Bala was a slyly feminist take on what could have easily been an exploitation flick. Guess what? This Miss Bala weirdly sexualizes things to undermine everything the original was interested in and become, yep, an exploitation flick.
  23. The movie wields its mockery with the subtlety of a power tool.
  24. Absolutely no one—Oscar voters included—should find Mortensen’s performance anything other than excruciating. From the hand gestures to the accent, it’s as if he jumped out of a vintage photo at The Olive Garden shouting, “Unlimited breadsticks for everahbody!”
  25. In Miss Bala, sexism doesn’t take sides, but is rather a harrowing, pervasive, dehumanizing force that even turns fashion into a weapon.
  26. As a portrait of a real-world villain the movie is muddled and lacking any sort of compelling theory.
  27. I’ve liked certain Marvel films better than any of these three, but no MCU installment (by no fault of its own) can offer what Glass does: the experience of opening a comic book for the first time.
  28. The notion of a villain’s power being born of his own suffering is a comic-book staple that’s intriguingly reimagined from the ground up here, in a way that speaks to the originality that Shyamalan first brought to the superhero genre with Unbreakable.
  29. It’s too bad that The Week Of isn’t the odd-couple routine it was marketed as, because Adam Sandler and Chris Rock have a handful of funny moments as fathers of the bride and groom, respectively, who don’t have much in common.
  30. As a narrative, Thunder Road doesn’t entirely cohere—various plot strands involve Jim’s ex-wife, his daughter, and his partner on the force—yet Cummings remains riveting, never letting you get an easy fix on this troubled, troubling character.

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