Barbara VanDenburgh

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For 188 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.3 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: 20 Mothers and Daughters
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 188
  2. Negative: 16 out of 188
188 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For a film that purports to love dinosaurs, this bigger, flashier Walking With Dinosaurs sure doesn’t trust them to be interesting enough to carry five minutes of a movie without the copious aid of slapstick and bathroom humor in a screenplay so rote it makes creatures that have been dead for 65 million years feel less fossilized than the jokes.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Delivery Man means well, but it’s innocuous to the point of non-existence. In trying to please everyone, the film runs the risk of pleasing no one.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The children may tug at the heartstrings, but it’s the adults who give the film its heart.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s all very competent, containing all the separate components we ask of period pieces and literary adaptations: great actors, dramatic staging, lush scenery, elaborate costuming. It looks as pretty as a tightly cinched corset, and leaves just as little room to breathe.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    If you have a yen for martial-arts action, Man of Tai Chi could do the trick depending on how seriously you take Reeves’ performance. At the film’s worst, it’s empty yet still attractive (much, it can be argued, like Reeves).
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    If there’s any social commentary being made here, it doesn’t come through in performances so wooden you can’t tell if the actors are that bad or the characters that vapid.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The characters aren’t the only things painted in broad strokes. Sweetwater is rife with gauche symbolism and imagery.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Except where “The Conjuring” invigorated horror-movie tropes with inventive application and strong characters, Insidious only wallows in them.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Riddick aims much lower than the stars and still doesn't quite hit its target. But when you consider a summer overstuffed with disappointing prestige pics that cost the GDP of several island nations to produce, Riddick's more modest (and less expensive) stumbling doesn't seem so bad in comparison.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The end result is as dour and unilluminating as British weather.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Austenland plays out like an overly elaborate excuse to have people act silly in corsets and bloomers.
    • 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.”
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Paranoia is ostensibly a thriller, but there’s nothing remotely thrilling about it. This slick, plodding bore is as exciting as watching somebody else tap out text messages.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's an unpleasant way to pass a couple summer hours.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Redemption doesn’t have the chutzpah to let loose and be as dumb as it needs to be, so it instead bores the audience comatose with long stretches of sad-face Statham putzing around an apartment to justify the too-brief bursts of giddy bone-breaking.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    A by-the-numbers thriller that wouldn’t even have made for a particularly good hourlong episode of a weekly crime procedural, never mind an honest-to-God feature-length movie.

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