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. It’s probably unwise to come to Leone looking for too much in the way of feminism. Instead, Once Upon a Time in the West offers quintessential examples of the things he was better known for, including another blustery Ennio Morricone score. Visually, he mostly vacillates between extreme close-ups of intense faces and vast widescreen compositions, a technique that is lurching but also luridly beautiful.
  2. The movie manages both senses of scale—the intimate and the expansive—with equal majesty, merging them into something moving, mesmerizing, and poetic, in a way only Lean movies could really manage.
  3. Nothing that occurs is out of the realm of ordinary experience—there is a wedding, a grandmother’s stroke, money troubles, a funeral—yet it all reverberates with meaning because of the camera’s careful attention and the sensitive performances by every actor in the ensemble cast.
  4. The deeper American Beauty tries to get, the shallower it reveals itself to be.
  5. James and the Giant Peach is a wondrous interpretation of Dahl’s book that revives the magical possibilities of film while liberating our own imaginations as well.
  6. Everything we see in Welcome to the Dollhouse is filtered through Dawn’s heightened perspective. There is one explicit fantasy sequence, but really the whole movie could be taken as a hormonal exaggeration. Solondz and Matarazzo may offer the cringiest middle-school experience imaginable, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
  7. If Spielberg’s account of the Holocaust is not his greatest movie, it is still the defining moment of his career, the point where his yearning to be taken seriously (The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun) finally fully merged with his filmmaking talents.
  8. For all the bullets that are spent, The Killer spends just as much time ruminating on the likes of honor, friendship and even the allure of guns themselves. “Easy to pick up,” Chow observes at one point, “difficult to put down.” The Killer is hardly a cautionary tale, but contrary to what its blunt title implies, it is a complicated one.
  9. The movie’s morality lies in its form.
  10. Writer-director Steve Kloves (who would go on to write the screenplays for all the Harry Potter films) takes three gripping characters who could each anchor their own movie, and crafts a film that honors all of them.
  11. So familiarity is certainly part of my outsized affection for this 1989 Joe Dante satire of suburban America. But I also think the movie has wider significance in the way it presents suburban expansion as a cheerier version of manifest destiny—an unstoppable force that gobbles up land and then quickly sets about circling the wagons.
  12. Oddly inert, except when it’s blithely nasty, 52 Pick-Up may very well suffer from mismatched sensibilities: those of grim thriller director John Frankenheimer and witty crime novelist Elmore Leonard.
  13. Director Joe Dante provides a loving, detail-filled snapshot of youthful camaraderie and creativity – I love how their cockpit is a Tilt-A-Whirl – before indulging in the sort of bizarre satire that can be found in most of his films (especially Small Soldiers and Gremlins).
  14. If Starman works at all, it’s because of the way Allen gazes at Bridges, as if his mystery is her answer. We believe she’d seriously fall for this doppelganger because we understand how badly she’s hurting.
  15. In a sense, the film only works because, in the real world, the system is rigged against someone like Axel Foley. Yet when Murphy seizes the screen, all bets are off, resulting in a work of racial subversion that’s both hilarious and cathartic.
  16. Paris, Texas has an undeniable power. There is certainly a sort of transcendence to be found in the sight of Travis, wearing those 40 miles of rough road on his face, finally finding a measure of peace.
  17. Those nightmares we’ve all had about being chased by some relentless, unstoppable monster? This is the movie adaptation.
  18. Thankfully a sharp cast and goofy wit mostly keep the movie light on its feet.
  19. Part post-apocalyptic Western, part midnight motorcycle flick and part Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is, when you add it all up, a nutty, B-movie masterpiece.
  20. Ballooning. Biking. Swimming. Parachuting. The Great Muppet Caper represented a giant leap for Muppetkind, in only their second big-screen outing.
  21. The film is an admirable argument for the legitimacy of psychotherapy, especially for the time, played out in an affluent Chicago suburb.
  22. The Shining is terrifying for what it doesn’t do.
  23. A woefully bad low-budget slasher flick, complete with a requisitely inept cast (including Kevin Bacon in uncomfortably tight shorts); laborious pacing; and an interminable catfight climax.
  24. Bob Fosse’s half-confession about what a jerk he was to the women in his life may pull a lot of punches, but there’s just too much art on the screen to completely disregard the effort.
  25. This is a creature flick, yes, but Alien is also on par with a genre masterpiece such as Jaws. The craftsmanship is that sound, the inventiveness that clever, the characterization that strong. And then there is the not-small matter of Alien being a seminal feminist action flick.
  26. It’s astonishing, and a bit sad really, how prescient Real Life was in retrospect. In 1979, Albert Brooks had already predicted and skewered the contrived inauthenticity of reality television with this biting mockumentary, yet we’ve gone ahead and given over much of our entertainment hours to the format anyway.
  27. Superman is a bastion of blockbuster innocence, a movie that’s a studio product, certainly, but also something that could have grown from one of Smallville’s sun-kissed cornfields.
  28. Rowlands takes the movie by the throat in the dramatic, onstage sequences, just as Brando would have done, yet she’s equally compelling in the film’s smaller moments.
  29. The movie is a collection of ghoulish creative impulses (some of them gorily sadistic, as when a character is trapped in a room of barbed wire) rather than a coherent story.
  30. Gazzara is riveting as man who exudes cool and calm—style—while also stinking of panic.

Top Trailers