Barbara VanDenburgh

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For 176 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Barbara VanDenburgh's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Tribe
Lowest review score: 20 Ripped
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 176
  2. Negative: 13 out of 176
176 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The real power of Beatriz at Dinner is that it isn’t about politics but the human heart. Beatriz and Strutt are not arguing legislation; they’re arguing two visions of the American dream, two visions of the human soul.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    In many ways Lady Macbeth is remarkable for what it isn’t. It isn’t a staid period drama. It isn’t romantic. It isn’t predictable. And it certainly isn’t comfortable.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    City of Ghosts isn’t merely about the personal sacrifices of these men, but a testament to the necessity of a free and open press the world over.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    As an exegesis on tortured creative genius, Harmontown proves wanting. It's in the exploration of how "Community" fandom formed its own distinctive community of outcasts that the film excels.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Point and Shoot is a fascinating, frequently frustrating documentary.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Despite the bumpy ride, the final destination reveals a weirdly daring comedy with the familiar, but still necessary, lesson that being popular isn't all it's made out to be in the movies.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    That American Ultra works as well as it does is a testament to its two lead performances.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    A great soundtrack can go a long way in smoothing over a decent movie’s rough patches, and Northern Soul’s is fantastic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    That everything is held at such a remove is the artistry of The Assassin, but it comes at the cost of emotional investment. It’s so elliptical in its approach that there’s no love for anyone, or anything, outside of beauty. It can be admired — greatly, even — but it can’t be felt.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There’s more than a whiff of the didactic in Difret, a film overly earnest in spelling out its cause in more-than-occasional exposition. But it is otherwise an affecting drama that is honest and clear-eyed about Hirut’s trauma, and the ongoing struggles she’ll face even if she’s freed, without ever treating her abuse in an exploitative manner.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s ambiguity without engagement, art you can admire but not feel.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a compelling journey into the deep, if a meandering one, guided by a moral compass that operates by a different magnetic field than our own, and often leads astray.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Barbershop: The Next Cut embraces the societal changes and rifts of the past decade, from Chicago’s increased violence and the Black Lives Matter movement to Barack Obama’s historic presidency, making the film an even more heartfelt love letter to Chicago.

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