Richard Lawson

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For 68 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Richard Lawson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Phantom Thread
Lowest review score: 10 The Happytime Murders
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 68
  2. Negative: 3 out of 68
68 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Richard Lawson
    It doesn’t wring its hands with grief and beatify its rumpled subjects. Instead, it arrives at a place of humble, true understanding. Which means more than mere forgiveness ever could.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 85 Richard Lawson
    Trite as it may sound, we gradually accept that the beautiful boy of the title is not some innocent child, lost to the past, but rather the real and imperfect young man hunched before us. It’s Chalamet’s great accomplishment, and the film’s, that we feel that so keenly.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    I remain as curious as ever to see what Goddard does next. But this film, for all its canny presentation, is a mishmash of compelling narrative premises clumsily fused together. It manages to be both overwrought and under-developed, disappointing less for what it is than for what it could have been.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    For several weird stretches, though, Venom is a bouncy good time. The movie doesn’t seem to care if you’re laughing with it, at it, or whatever. Just as long as you’re engaged, rollicking along as it doles out fan-service while still making a gleeful hash of so many serious franchise movies about very silly things.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    McQueen has made a film that’s sleek and muscular, a polished product that has a barb-wire ribbon of tenacious political fury running through it. It’s somehow both heavy and light, a giddy entertainment that still urges at deep social ills.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    When it hits its highest, most resonant notes, Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born—starring the director alongside pop icon Lady Gaga—achieves a triumphant, romantic ache that is often just what we want to experience at the movies.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    The Favourite is a pleasure to watch. It’s weird without being alienating, dirty without being cheap. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a better acting trio this fall. What fun The Favourite is, while still striking a few resonantly melancholy chords here and there.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Richard Lawson
    Beyond that interesting character profile, Free Solo also operates as a sort of meta criticism of this kind of documentary filmmaking. We see Chin and his crew, most of them friends or at least affectionate admirers of Honnold’s, grapple with the difficult realities—and the potential trauma—of what they’re doing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 65 Richard Lawson
    There are indeed stretches of the film—particularly its gripping and just a little miserable opening sequence—when it soars (argh, sorry) to cinema heaven (ack, sorry again). But a lot of the movie has a curious drag, scenes repeating and repeating in slightly tweaked shapes until you just want to yell at the screen, “Get to the moon already!”
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Richard Lawson
    Joel Edgerton’s earnest, solidly made film will be most effective on, and maybe necessary for, those immediately suffering under the crush of anti-gay bigotry, and those perpetrating it.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Lawson
    This period so full of dazzlingly intricate visual poetry, so teeming with sensory spirit, that trying to review it is a bit like trying to review all of life. Which may sound a bit grandiose, but Cuarón’s magnum opus provokes such turgid sentiment.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Richard Lawson
    Mostly, the cat-and-mouse of Lowery’s film is just reason enough to contemplate the shuffling everydayness of life, of how we are ever aware of its finality while also tending to, seeking out, and appreciating the little joys, mercies, and adventures of it.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Lawson
    Not a single bit lands in The Happytime Murders.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    Hawke and Byrne have a nice chemistry, handling an offbeat and initially epistolary romance with wary sweetness. Juliet, Naked is surprising in its emotional contours, hitting familiar beats from different angles or, occasionally, taking the story in wholly unexpected directions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    I wouldn’t call The Wife middling, exactly—but for all its soapy seriousness, it can’t match the genuine heft of Close’s craftwork.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Richard Lawson
    Jon M. Chu’s film certainly delivers on the lavish trappings of the former interpretation, but if the latter is meant to be the mood of the film, it falls a little short. I wanted things to be a little crazier, I guess, wild high-society intrigue staged with the satisfying bite of mean, wicked satire.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Lawson
    The Meg is bad, but only rarely in the fun way.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    Pooh and his animal pals are wonderfully subtle feats of animation, textured so carefully that you can almost smell the cozy, woodsy mustiness of their matted fur.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 85 Richard Lawson
    The pleasures of Ol Parker’s film are simple and sensual, its riot of color and sweet, nostalgic songs proving wholly agreeable even without much of a plot to hold it all together.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    In ragged times, the sophisticated derring-do of Fallout is a welcome gift, a slick and studio-polished adventure that nonetheless has the undermining wink of transgression. The movie’s nerve and moxie successfully make us forget its corporate overlords, and all those other oligarchs grinding millions of American lives into nothing.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    It’s chiefly a diversion put on for the sake of air-conditioning, an inelegant but efficient excuse to leave the swelter of our lives behind for a little under two hours. Johnson knows why we’re there, and he performs his heaving acrobatics with dutiful grace. How wondrously uncomplicated and giving he can be. Daddy really does love us, doesn’t he.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    Ant-Man and the Wasp is firmly on the B-movie end of the Marvel spectrum, a happy enough place to be: clacking along with all its bug friends, for the moment unfussed about Thanos and geopolitics. It seems pretty nice. Would that we could wrestle the rest of the world down to that same agreeable scale.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Richard Lawson
    But the real star of this thing is Clemons, so natural and expressive, whether speaking or singing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    From a certain angle, Incredibles 2 looks a little too slavish to creaky conventions.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Richard Lawson
    For roughly its first half, Hotel Artemis glides nicely on all of Pearce’s world-building and the cast’s confident performances. But as the power flickers at the Artemis and dangerous foes close in, the movie starts to wobble. Pearce has maybe put too many variables in play and has trouble connecting them into a unified narrative.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 65 Richard Lawson
    Ocean’s 8 is fun. The sequel (of sorts) to Steven Soderbergh’s three Ocean’s films, this time with a mostly female cast of smooth criminals, is a lark and a laugh, an airy caper featuring a bunch of actors you love and a lot of great clothes. Who can argue with that, in June or any other time of year? In that way, Ocean’s 8 is a worthy continuation of a hallowed brand. So, breathe a sigh of relief. There’s no disaster here, no regrettable misfire to be chagrined about. Phew. That said, I do wish Ocean’s 8 were a little more than fun.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    A more thoughtful and interesting film than its immediate predecessor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    A chewy, handsomely staged novel of a movie, Sorry Angel (whose much better French title translates to Pleasure, Love, and Run Fast) contains moments of piercing intelligence and heartbreaking beauty. It’s an epic diptych look at two lives converging, one in many ways just beginning, the other faltering to a close. I was absolutely in love with it—until the very end.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 65 Richard Lawson
    If the film is uneven—with such an exuberant beginning and disappointingly rote climax—that may simply be because Kahiu wanted to communicate as many truths of her home country as she could.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    Sauvage is often difficult viewing, and Leo tries our patience and compassion as anyone habitually treating themselves so poorly can. Nevertheless, the film achieves a sort of grace, in moments of sweetness and stillness, when the fullness of Leo’s being—be it ravaged and weary—is palpable and, finally, undeniable.

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