Richard Lawson

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For 45 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Richard Lawson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Phantom Thread
Lowest review score: 10 Justice League
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45
45 movie reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    From a certain angle, Incredibles 2 looks a little too slavish to creaky conventions.
    • 57 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.
    • 52 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    Mitchell has made a stylish, occasionally intriguing film, by turns idiosyncratically funny and downright scary. But he says and shows a lot of bothersome things throughout, which I’m not quite sure how to approach.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    Bergen is consistently the best part of Book Club: natural, dryly funny, and, in a non-pitying way, quietly heartbreaking.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Lawson
    The House That Jack Built is a tediously navel-gazing exercise in von Trier trying to explain, and make half-hearted atonement for, his “totally twisted, man,” worldview, an explication of his personal psychology that is almost heartbreaking in its conflicted self-regard.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    Lee uses Blaxploitation motifs playfully but with purpose, honoring an era of discourse and activism while urging for the necessity of a similar film language now. If we are not keen to the past, we’re likely to find ourselves mired in its ills again. We already are, of course.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    I love the way Jia grapples with large social shifts in such metaphorical and yet still intimate ways, peering in on individual people caught in the churn of time and growth and framing them in the defining context of their surroundings.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 65 Richard Lawson
    The movie is compelling in the moment, but seems irresponsible with any afterthought.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    I’ve seen the film twice now, and while I enjoyed it the first time, on second viewing I found it nearly profound.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Lawson
    The bulk of Rampage is, alas, a slog, as passionless as I’d imagine the fandom is for the I.P. the film is based on.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Richard Lawson
    Despite a wildly uneven “Americarrr” accent (through which the voice of Queen Elizabeth sometimes shines), Foy is excellent in the film, rigid poise giving way to feral anger in always convincing shades.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    Chappaquiddick isn’t a harangue against Kennedy, but it does take a hard look at a man who was a revered stalwart of the Democratic party for decades. The film works best as a character study, a profile of moral crisis, rather than any sort of true-crime exposé.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Richard Lawson
    There are moments of high drama in Infinity War—between father and daughter, brother and brother, mentor and protégé, lover and lover—that these actors, as deep in this series as we are, deliver on with teary intensity. And there’s a haunting final sequence that is as grave and, I daresay, almost poetic as anything the film series has done.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 65 Richard Lawson
    As much as Love, Simon’s winning, if slightly bowdlerized, coming-out story initially made me yearn for an altered youth, it’s since made me yearn even more for stories that reflect my gay life today, or my gay life as it might be years from now. (And your gay life, and your gay life, and your gay life.)
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Lawson
    DuVernay can’t seem to settle on a consistent visual or narrative cadence. Her camera is all over the place, hurtling in for woozy close-ups and then rearing back to reveal what is meant to be vast splendor but is often just bland C.G.I. prettiness.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 65 Richard Lawson
    Lawrence (that’s Lawrence the director, not star Jennifer Lawrence) skirts the edges of the world of cruel, leering exploitation, but doesn’t go all the way. The film stays sober and clear-eyed, showing us all this unflinching violence not to titillate, I don’t think, but to alarm.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    It’s a good time, but it maybe could have been a great one. Which I suppose is true of so many nights meant to deliver us from the doldrums of settled life. I don’t think that meta-ness is a deliberate feature of Game Night. But with all the sharpness Daley and Goldstein show us here, I’m not ruling it out, either.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    Garland is a breathtakingly talented filmmaker, one whose few second-film stumblings—the unwieldy scope of his ambitions, his scrambling for an ending—are forgivable. Annihilation murmurs and roars with ideas, a dense and sad and scary inquest into life and self. It’s a true cinematic experience.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Richard Lawson
    Black Panther works best as a dynastic drama, and as a musing on global politics from a perspective we don’t often get. Despite familiar action-scene wobbliness, it’s easily the most engaging Marvel film in a long while. Because—finally!—it has something new to say.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    Writer-director Ari Aster, making a promising feature debut, has created plenty of forbidding atmosphere; there’s almost no shot in the film that isn’t filled with creeping dread. But Hereditary ultimately engages on a more emotional and intellectual register than it does on the visceral.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Lawson
    What initially seems like another alienating P.T.A. outing reveals itself, in quiet but glorious bursts, to be a wry and heartfelt love poem.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Lawson
    The film may be a vessel for some noxious, platitudinous cynicism, but there’s nevertheless something still quaint about it. It mostly just wants you to have a nice time, it insists; to feel cheered and uplifted as a big, lumbering elephant carries us off a cliff.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Richard Lawson
    The film shows—and says plainly, at one point—that people with extreme wealth are so divorced from reality that they become almost another species. Yet it doesn’t fully explore the weirdness of that, the chilling tragedy of it. Instead, Scott has made simply a competent thriller that dazzles only in the ingeniousness of its lightning-quick and proficient re-staging.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    The Force is, to me, still silly Star Wars mumbo jumbo, but Johnson finds a way to underscore it with humanity, with a classical Greek rumble of true pathos. On that front, The Last Jedi is a pure success, accessing the molten core of its drama and grappling with it in nuanced ways.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Lawson
    There is simultaneously a beautiful movie and a good play hidden somewhere in Woody Allen’s new melodrama, Wonder Wheel, a slight and clunky period piece that offers teasing glimpses of something more rich and interesting.

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