Barbara VanDenburgh

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For 121 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Barbara VanDenburgh's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Tribe
Lowest review score: 30 Rushlights
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 121
  2. Negative: 8 out of 121
121 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The resulting portrait is nothing short of a tiny filmmaking miracle. It’s guaranteed to make you feel something — hopeful, probably, for Grace and her wards. And maybe even for the future of indie filmmaking.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The Tribe is that rare breed of film so masterful in execution it requires watching once, yet so devastating you may never be able to stomach seeing it again.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Marielle Heller’s debut directorial effort is incisive and universal, despite its very specific and detailed setting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Farhadi again burrows deep into his characters to tell an achingly intimate story, spinning grand tragedies out of minor lives in which the past lingers in the air, a perfume that haunts long after its wearer has left the room.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It is not hyperbole to say Oyelowo is a revelation. The British actor brings phenomenal humanity, grace and torment to a historical figure who once seemed to loom too large a legend to make flesh on screen.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Even if its stunted ambitions come as a disappointment, Pieta nevertheless is an expertly crafted thriller and a fine addition to East Asian revenge cinema.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    20 Feet From Stardom is frequently sad and frustrating. But while there’s heartbreak aplenty, the film doesn’t function as a pitying paean to unmined talent — it’s ultimately a celebration of the unsung.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The Patience Stone largely functions as a one-woman play, with Farahani’s character soliloquizing over her husband’s body.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a powerfully sensual movie, gorgeously lensed colors and textures conveying its characters emotional states while thoughtfully exploring the range of human sexuality through Adenike’s experience.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a Fellini-esque carnival of humanity on display, a more debauched phantasmagoria reminiscent of “La Dolce Vita.” But “La Dolce Vita” created the paparazzi; The Great Beauty takes place in a world where the paparazzi have existed for decades.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Particle Fever does an excellent job of laying out what's at stake as it documents the creation and fine-tuning of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Blue Ruin is a movie about revenge, but it reaches far past the bottom-shelf titillations of fantasy to tell a richer, character-driven story with a protagonist who's less avenging angel than ghost.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's a well-written rom-com with rascally charm, a modest story of an awkward Brooklyn girl making a go of life. It's irreverent and rough around the edges with an imperfect protagonist, blue language, scatological humor and rambling confessional stand-up monologues, sometimes about bodily fluids. The laughs are frequent and ribald.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There's a purity to the experience of watching a film so naturalistic, like living in someone else's life for two hours.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The brutally sparse documentary Rich Hill removes poverty from the realm of the abstract and makes it personal.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Monkey Kingdom is a delightful gambol, visually stunning and educational without feeling like it, with a propulsive drama about escaping one's lowly social class at its core that inspires reflection on some uncomfortable truths about ourselves.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It would be unbearable if it weren’t so completely self-aware.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Though polished and image-conscious, offering too little insight into the physical and psychological trauma suffered in the bullet’s wake, the film is nevertheless moving without resorting to saccharine overtures.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The strength of Peace Officer is that it doesn’t attempt to pit the viewer against the police. Its target, rather, is the system.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The same effortless chemistry that made the comedians such ideal Golden Globes hosts is on full display in this broad comedy, given extra oomph by a wise and glorious R rating that opens the floodgates of creative vulgarity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The cultural specificity and fiercely patriarchal setting sets Mustang apart. It’s a timely reminder that, even still, there are few safe havens in the world for a free spirit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film wraps up too neatly to be believed, not leaving questions unanswered so much as failing to ask them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s predictable. It’s saccharine. It’s silly. It’s also, thanks to the consummate talents of Stamp and Redgrave, occasionally a joy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s clever. It’s also occasionally a chore to watch, true to the boredom you’d expect to feel listening to computer programmers hash out chess logistics.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Turns out You’re Next isn’t a slave to horror-movie conventions after all — rather, it’s having tongue-in-cheek fun with conventions while playing up to them, complete with a killer retro ’80s-horror synth score and a gruesome finale that recalls the excess of Peter Jackson’s “Dead Alive.”
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s aggressively charming, and competitions and training montages are filmed with kinetic whimsy. The film’s chief triumph is in spinning something remotely thrilling out of something as inherently dull as speed typing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It makes for a unique sort of concert film, but also a weaker one. It would have been better if it had dispensed with the frail narrative or else committed to being completely bananas. But as die-hard Metallica fans well know, a little buffoonery is worth weathering for the main attraction.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The children may tug at the heartstrings, but it’s the adults who give the film its heart.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Dom Hemingway is a naughty good time while it lives up to the unpredictable bawdiness of its opening line.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The plain facts, presented without commentary, are an effective plea for a more compassionate immigration policy.

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