This Week’s Movies in L.A., 7/7/07

(Editor’s note: Alfred Lee is a former co-worker of mine at the Daily Bruin, where he covered the film beat and helped introduce me to hip-hop. He’s currently the calendar editor at rising alt-weekly LA CityBeat and a borderline obsessive Animal Collective fan. Please give him a warm welcome to The Rawking Refuses To Stop!, and enjoy this, the first of what will hopefully be many future posts.)

My friends are frequently asking me what movies are out worth seeing. This is totally understandable – not because I have any idea what I’m talking about, but because it’s chaotic out there in the world of criticism. So, who cares what I think: below is a one-stop shortcut for anybody in the greater L.A. area interested in movies (they’ve been ranked by the average taken between their sometimes wildly different Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores). I hope this helps those who think “I wonder what I should go see tonight” and check out Rotten Tomatoes or, god forbid, the LA Times website, then just get a hell of a lot more confused.

Note: RT and MC scores frequently change. This is just meant to provide a quick snapshot each week. Click on the movie titles for showtimes.

HIGHEST RATED FILMS SCREENING IN L.A. (7/7-7/12) (Ed. note: Most of these movies are obviously playing outside of L.A., too.)

Avg. – RT – MC
95.5 – 9695Ratatouille
92.5 – 9788Once
92.0 – 9589The Lives of Others
89.0 – 9285Knocked Up
85.5 – 8883Manufactured Landscapes
83.5 – 8681Paprika
82.5 – 9174Sicko
81.5 – 8776Rescue Dawn
81.5 – 8974Waitress
78.5 – 8572Strike

Once OST – “Falling Slowly”: mp3
Once OST – “When Your Mind’s Made Up”: mp3

This week’s openings, music-related films, and the special screening of the week after the jump. [Continue reading…]


Ave – RT – MC
85.5 – 8883Manufactured Landscapes LAT ‘staggering’LAW ‘Pick’CB ‘flat’
81.5 – 8776Rescue Dawn LAT ‘riveting’ LAW ‘Go’ CB ‘engrossing’
77.0 – 8074I Have Never Forgotten You LAT ‘harrowing’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘dull’
65.5 – 5972Joshua LAT ‘creepy’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘unsatisfying’
61.0 – 7151Noriko’s Dinner Table LAT ‘bravura’LAW ‘ponderous’CB ‘fascinating’
59.0 – 5860Vitus LAT ‘charming’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘delightful’
59.0 – 5761Transformers LAT ‘tedious’LAW ‘Go’CB ‘muddled’
56.5 – 6350Dynamite Warrior LAW ‘Go’CB ‘nuts’
55.5 – 6249Introducing the Dwights LAT ‘refreshing’LAW ’embarassment’
17.0 – 0925License to Wed LAT ‘uninspired’LAW ‘dreadful’
(LAT = L.A. Times; LAW = L.A. Weekly; CB = L.A. CityBeat)

92.5 – 9788Once ChiTrib ‘my favorite music film since Stop Making Sense’
78.5 – 8374Gypsy Caravan CB ‘scattered but often fascinating’ (that’s my review!)
70.0 – 7466La Vie en Rose SALON ‘filmmaking damn near sabotages the performance’


The New Beverly Cinema‘s entire lineup is the Special Screening of the Week. They’ve put together three can’t-miss packages: On July 6-7, the Vittorio de Sica double feature of The Bicycle Thief/Umberto D. (probably the two most critically hailed of the Italian neorealist films); on July 8-10, the Asian monster movie pairing of Korea’s The Host (best monster movie in years) and Japan’s Godzilla (the O.G. 1954 version); then on July 11-12, two stand-alone screenings of Kubrick’s epic, now-classic Barry Lyndon (bonus trivia: the notoriously obsessive Kubrick searched far and wide for camera equipment he would be happy with when shooting the film’s candlelight-only scenes, ultimately getting his hands on and using a lens developed for NASA’s Apollo moon landings – the largest lens aperture in film history).


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