Barbara VanDenburgh
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For 90 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 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 Rushlights
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 90
  2. Negative: 7 out of 90
90 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Civil-rights movements are never really over because they're never really won. She's Beautiful When She's Angry doesn't overtly make that case until its closing minutes, but when it does, it's made all the more powerful by the footage that preceded it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Paddington is a mostly smart update loaded with charm, and it preserves enough of the fuzzy feelings for purists to walk away with a smile.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The brutally sparse documentary Rich Hill removes poverty from the realm of the abstract and makes it personal.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The whole range of human emotion — love, lust, anger, jealousy, despair, grief — is felt through Plympton's animation. It's just a shame that his boundless creativity doesn't extend to the narrative.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    As far as missteps go, Prince Avalanche is at least an interesting one, which is better than Green has done in awhile.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    In spite of the compelling raw material in the lives of its ostensible subjects, it strikes out as an act of storytelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.”
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Point and Shoot is a fascinating, frequently frustrating documentary.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The script feels structurally inept, building up scenes and characters then cutting them off, never to be revisited. The end result is a film that feels full of staircases that lead nowhere.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    As tiresome as those live-action sequences are, they are more than outweighed by laughs — some riotous, some groaning and some very, very befuddled, but none predictable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's more thought experiment than film, and although it's laudable for its daring to be unlike any film you’re likely to have ever seen, it ultimately doesn't have more meaning to import than a well-photographed daily affirmations calendar.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Props to Bad Milo for its fearlessly pulp approach in exploring well-worn characters and their ho-hum dilemmas, but you know you’ve got a dull story on your hands when not even a butt monster can jazz it up enough.

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