Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 6,492 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Tower
Lowest review score: 0 Slackers
Score distribution:
6492 movie reviews
  1. Cobbled together on what appears to be a very low budget, Glass shatters under the weight of too many comic book allegories-cum-history lessons, weirdly abrupt plot machinations, epically puny bouts of brawny fisticuffs, and a third-act bit of outright what-the-f**k-ery that gives even the lamest deus ex machinas a bad name.
  2. The underlying narrative theme of sons who become greater – and better – men than their fathers is underdeveloped. Meanwhile, the animation feels oddly dated, as the decision to give visual continuity to three and a half decades of storytelling re-enforces this as fan service.
  3. Some kids may find the whole affair traumatic, particularly when the poor pooch finds herself dehydrated and chained to a corpse in the wilderness. Then again, that’s nothing compared to those same kids’ parents’ recollection of a Disney flick in which a tearful boy must shoot his rabies-inflicted yeller dog in the end. Bless the beasts and the children.
  4. St. John's script is the underlying bug in the code. Science fiction is at its best when it's a morality tale – especially when dealing with tech, such as brain mapping, that is seemingly within our grasp. Yet there's no moral or emotional weight to anything William does.
  5. Nicole Kidman, as good as she is, is given little to do in a one-note role, but fares better than Julianna Margulies who appears merely in a one-scene role. Kevin Hart’s huge number of fans may push this film to early box-office success but eventually they are likely to toss it into the untouchable pile.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    The film is an action-packed thriller-Western hybrid, but it takes a dreamy pace in setting up the story (the first 20 minutes or so are rather languid).
  6. Speaking in a barely audible rasp bordering on monotone, Kidman bravely submerges herself in a performance with some genuinely harrowing emotional moments, and yet the unswerving conviction she brings to the role is conspicuous.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    From a purely visual point of view, Escape Room is worth the price of admission.
  7. Granted, it's breezy enough in a retro-chic kind of way, but the meh factor is too high to overcome for all but the hardiest of J-Lo die-hards.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Jones makes a fine Ginsburg – especially in the mouth, lips pursed expectantly – but something in Hammer’s resigned manner paints a Marty that is more ineffectual than stoic, and the chemistry between them is pretty middle-of-the-road.
  8. Yet in many ways Shoplifters is an unlikely yet organic extension of his last film, 2017's crime drama "The Third Murder." Less a whodunit than a whydidyoudoit, that legal procedural was really a subtle assault on Japan's judicial system, in which it's more important that a case makes sense than it reaches the truth. Shoplifters cuts close to the same marrow as "The Third Murder," but with how Japan views families as his subject.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    I would not recommend this film to everyone, but those seeking a poignant satire on art will be continuously rewarded, as the film seeks, over and over, to grapple (in often wondrous ways), with what it means to live.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    The film is episodic and often veers into hit-or-miss flights of fancy.
  9. Combined with some awfully lazy riffs on Holmes’s fondness for his seven-per-cent solution, Holmes & Watson is not so much a case of whodunit as it is a question why bother.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Aquaman also benefits from a cast that is unafraid to chew a little scenery. Momoa is an established entity at this point in his career; equal parts cartoon character and Eighties action lead, he carries the film through its muddiest moments through sheer charisma.
  10. McKay has made a protest film, plainly seething – a primal howl from a guy who used to just goose howls of laughter.
  11. Ultimately, this is the best version of this story that the CG-obsessed Zemeckis could have possibly produced. But just because he could make it, that doesn't mean he should.
  12. While there is poetic grace, that's not to say that there's no didacticism. Like Baldwin, Jenkins has a rigorous sense of what is broken in society.
  13. Knight, coming from a born animator’s background, retrofits the intergalactic Sturm und Drang for a more humanistic tone that manages to be both more entertaining overall and moderately Spielbergian (he continues to executive produce the franchise) in this tale of a girl and her big, lovable, lemon-colored E.T. It’s a kinder, gentler Transformers movie for the holidays. Go figure.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    An impactful film, one that’s made for the season of giving, if giving means never giving up.
  14. For no matter how derivative this carefully calculated sentimental journey may be, there’s still an undeniable magic in its voice and its step likely to enchant adults – and hopefully kids – alike. Uncle Walt would be proud.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film feels rote, an exercise of base and pedestrian concerns that never moves beyond anything resembling a statement. Of which there is none, except perhaps von Trier regarding his navel, which I suspect he wouldn’t have it any other way. For the rest of us? We suffer, which is most likely by the director’s design.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Eastwood plays it cool, thankfully. It’s the best film about drug trafficking that you can take your grandparents to.
  15. It all comes back to the heart of the Spidey story, the old adage that "with great power comes great responsibility." It's tough doing the right thing, and sometimes it's thankless and can come with a lot of pain, but it's still the right thing, and that's why you do it. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse always comes out swinging.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There’s nothing feel-good about this story – even moments that should be hopeful.
  16. In the end, Tea With the Dames peters out as a conversation, given there’s no real beginning, middle or end to the film. It’s a privilege, however, to have been given a tableside seat to listen to this foursome reminisce and ruminate for an hour and a half, with laughter punctuating the conversation every few minutes.
  17. The internet is infinite. So, too, are the ways it can breed creepy behavior and new opportunities to commodify human connection. People’s Republic of Desire explores only a tiny swath of the internet of grossness, but it’s a subject so epic it deserves much longer examining than a quick 95 minutes affords.
  18. Viewers unfamiliar with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary output over the years may find Never-Ending Man an exercise in tedium – the creation of an animated film, even a short one, is a famously slow and exceedingly precise process – but for those who, like me, adore his life’s work, it’s a precious and fascinating glimpse into the inner life of the world’s greatest living animator.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Mortal Engines is the kind of non-summer blockbuster that seems destined to find a few ardent defenders. Too unfocused to be good, too packed full of ideas to be entirely bad, it should become quite the cable television staple in just a few years' time.
  19. Mary Queen of Scots catches the outline but misses all the details.

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