Barbara VanDenburgh
Select another critic »
For 67 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Barbara VanDenburgh's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Short Term 12
Lowest review score: 30 2 Jacks
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 67
  2. Negative: 6 out of 67
67 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The brutally sparse documentary Rich Hill removes poverty from the realm of the abstract and makes it personal.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 predictable. It’s saccharine. It’s silly. It’s also, thanks to the consummate talents of Stamp and Redgrave, occasionally a joy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film ricochets between Tammy being an oblivious cartoon goblin and a textured, sympathetic human being who just wants to be loved. Perhaps if the film had catered a little less to McCarthy's comedic gifts — the curse-word fugue states, the slapstick humor, the non sequiturs — the end result would have felt more balanced and rewarding.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's adorable. It's also very thin. There's a disconcerting literalism to the songs' dramatic representation that chokes the drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film is less effective, and less focused, when it switches into activism mode. Not that its heart isn't in the right place — we all know about the appalling state of institutionalized elder care. Which is the problem with those segments: We all know this already, and the filmmaking feels like perfunctory, necessary padding.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The plain facts, presented without commentary, are an effective plea for a more compassionate immigration policy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Violette doesn't abandon that playbook, but it does a better job than most of putting the viewer in its artist's headspace.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Scenes go on too long. Jokes outwear their welcome. The plot, though perfunctory (it’s no more complex or intriguing than the average hourlong television crime procedural), gets muddled. Even though McCarthy keeps the laughs coming, The Heat doesn’t really pack enough.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Our teenage years are so overwrought with emotion; not to put them in play at all makes Brandy feel like little more than a cipher for Plaza’s deadpan dark humor. And that’s pleasurable enough for a quick fling, but hardly the foundation of a lasting relationship.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There's a welcome lack of pretension to the proceedings. Stalwarts like Hurt and Ian McShane are on hand to class up the joint — everyone's got a British accent except for Johnson — while the predictable story bludgeons its way towards an inevitable conclusion.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Attractively staged and spiced through with raunch, About Last Night is still a pleasant enough romp, even if you have no intention of returning its phone calls.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The intentions are noble, but the film’s eagerness to honor Mandela instead shortchanges him. Mandela was a man who broke the mold; “Mandela” is a film content to nestle very neatly into it.