Barbara VanDenburgh

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For 174 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Barbara VanDenburgh's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Short Term 12
Lowest review score: 20 Ripped
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 174
  2. Negative: 13 out of 174
174 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Marielle Heller’s debut directorial effort is incisive and universal, despite its very specific and detailed setting.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    It would be unbearable if it weren’t so completely self-aware.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Director Terence Davies dispenses of any gaudy romantic trappings and makes something much more beautiful in A Quiet Passion, a delicate and measured drama that plumbs the depths of the poet’s strange heart and the agony of her intelligence.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Koreeda makes thrilling the rich inner lives of four young women trying to navigate rocky emotional terrain in the wake of their father’s death.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    When executed with love and peopled with actors who breathe life into their characters, Hidden Figures is precisely the delight it aims to be.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Cliff Curtis is staggeringly good as Gen.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    This isn’t a war movie; it’s an after-the-war movie. But the battle lines are still drawn, and every ragged breath the film takes braces for an explosion.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    What it lacks in thematic innovation it more than makes up for with enough memorable characters and visual splendor to make Zootopia a perennial Disney favorite.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Bell lets the action onscreen tell a story that’s every bit as rousing as a Disney adventure.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Even more than an expose of bad reporting and social hysteria, The Witness is an intimate exercise in grief and healing
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a zombie movie that, amidst the giddy bloodshed, allows room for philosophical questions about our fundamental responsibilities to one another. It may not be something we’ve never seen before, but it’s something we can benefit from seeing again.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The brutally sparse documentary Rich Hill removes poverty from the realm of the abstract and makes it personal.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The stunning character work is accented with moments of pure cinematic poetry. Audiard uses the camera like a paintbrush, composing lyrical interludes and disorienting transitions with the power to leave you breathless. It’s all so quietly brilliant — until it isn’t.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s ambiguity without engagement, art you can admire but not feel.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The characteristics that make Evolution an intriguing piece of cinema also make it a not entirely successful one.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    That American Ultra works as well as it does is a testament to its two lead performances.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The plain facts, presented without commentary, are an effective plea for a more compassionate immigration policy.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    This fully animated reboot embraces the Smurfs Saturday-morning-cartoon roots and creates a sprightly, brightly colored, age-appropriate adventure for young children fresh to the little blue woodland creatures.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    This cartoonishly violent exercise in cinematic hero worship comes at the audience with chambers loaded and fires off rounds too rapidly to worry about how vapid it all is.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For every crisis there’s a line of homespun wisdom, in every failure a universal lesson to impart. The film highlights each symbol, making explicit that which would be stronger left implicit, until Rex’s glass castle becomes an overbearing metaphor.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    “Raiders!” is as sloppy and imperfect as the kids’ shot-for-shot remake, but it has much the same charm.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a slight film, but one that hits all the tricky emotional and comedic notes without a hint of cruelty.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Point and Shoot is a fascinating, frequently frustrating documentary.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s safe to say that Tickled is nothing like what its filmmakers set out to make. That's an artistic blessing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Burton reins in his worst impulses, bad habits that he’s been cultivating for over a decade, to make a wickedly dark children’s movie that is, finally, blessedly, fun to look at.
    • 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
    When the material falters, Sumpter and Sawyers suck you back in with their pitch-perfect performances.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Dom Hemingway is a naughty good time while it lives up to the unpredictable bawdiness of its opening line.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Cars 3 doesn’t have enough velocity to escape that lesser tier. It does, however, offer a course correction for the franchise with a kinetic and emotionally resonant sports film that’s big on character – and blessedly light on Mater.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The children may tug at the heartstrings, but it’s the adults who give the film its heart.
    • 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.
    • 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.”
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Wolf Totem doesn’t feel so much like fully formed narrative film as it does a trumped up National Geographic special on Inner Mongolia eager to make use of shiny new IMAX cameras.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For all of Cianfrance’s seriousness, the material proves too essentially melodramatic, hokey and self-serious to save. No gorgeous cinematography and no cast, no matter how A-list, can ultimately save this material from itself.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    To the film's credit, it knows it's ridiculous. It's aiming for ridiculous, and it hits the mark as precisely as the strippers groove half-naked to their beats.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The story is good enough to tell itself, and the filmmakers should have let it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s an assured debut from a rising star that nails tone and pace. It would be a solid summer thriller were it not grossly undermined by its astonishingly regressive treatment of its leading lady.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film really pops to life only when it gets a little messy, and it's never messier than when it loses itself in family dynamics.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Although it brings nothing new to the con-artist fold, or even anything thrilling, Focus is a seductive enough rehash that benefits from the built-in pleasures of the trade.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The ambitious visual stylings don’t do enough to buoy a film that lacks a certain soaring spirit. If the adaptation is serviceable, it’s also dull — a disappointing fate for a story that’s anything but.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film spends more time lingering on Emma's love affairs than it does in making sense of them; her declarations of passion and despair lack both.
    • 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.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    "I didn't hate it" isn't a high watermark for praise, but when it comes to most Sparks adaptations, it's practically as good as winning an Oscar.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    What spares Learning to Drive is an awful lot of comedic talent and artistic good will. Clarkson and Kingsley imbue average material with easy charm and wit, clicking onscreen with the smooth platonic chemistry of old friends.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There’s a limit to how much patience one has for spending time with terrible people living large. But for all the lackluster familiarity of the film’s style, the story is too interesting, too baffling to deny.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's not a fascinating (or even particularly interesting) character study — the film never lets you get close enough to its leading man to understand his damage — but it's nevertheless an intermittently moving one.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The zombification of Austen’s material is frequently funny and sometimes clever, but the film stumbles hard when it loses sight of just how ridiculous it is.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Ornamented heavily with creative visual pleasures, the film is bogged down, not just by weighty thematic issues — death, divorce, bullying, unfairness — but by professions of its own grandeur.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Nothing fresh is being brought to the table, but it's a sufficient bit of fun for anyone who longs for the days of Brosnan's spy swagger.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Less obvious is how his parents will react should Ravi break ways with tradition and confess his true feelings. Their struggle to maintain their sense of cultural identity in a rapidly changing world is far more moving than any grown man’s commitment issues, even when that grown man is as ingratiating as Ravi.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    No, Atomic Blonde isn’t lacking in sex appeal or swagger. But what it is in want of are stakes.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Mostly, it's fine. The acting is fine. The writing is fine. The story is fine. There are a few laughs. And that should be fine enough. But with material as rich as Leonard's serving as the foundation, just fine is a disappointment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s never a boring film to look at, but it is often a tiring one. Running over two hours, the film is bloated with portent and repetition, each story taking too long to get to its inevitable moral.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    All the glossy, kinetic animation and inventive action sequences get lost in the gag machine. The film throws jokes out like a tennis-ball machine on the fritz: gross humor, slapstick pratfalls, bizarre non sequiturs. The randomness does land a few laughs, but it's also exhausting.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Southpaw is all about the fist. There’s no delicate footwork here, no lingering grace notes. It’s a film played entirely in power chords.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Good for its uncommonly level-headed characters, less so for viewers watching a movie in which not much happens.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's asked in the film, "How many new lives can we have?" The answer, it turns, is however many we want. And as long as Dench, Smith, Nighy and Imrie stick around, the same probably is true of "Marigold" movies.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Life lessons are learned, children do some growing up, nothing too terribly upsetting happens, and the corniness is, mostly, kept to tolerable levels.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For a film about art forgeries, The Art of the Steal is itself something of a forgery, a painstaking, brushstroke-by-brushstroke re-creation of masterworks dreamed up by better artists. And like a good forgery, it's enjoyable on the surface, but loses its charm a bit once you do some digging.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a variation on a theme that Solondz has been working through his whole filmography, and when he’s successful, he convinces you to believe the worst in people and laugh at it. But when he’s not, the film can feel like punishment.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s an admirable film, though not a particularly memorable one.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Although it's enjoyable, actor Chris Messina's directorial debut is somehow less than the sum of its parts, wading only through the shallow end of familiar human conflicts resolved too conveniently to satisfy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film itself begins to feel like Gray, a pretty bird in a gilded cage with nowhere to fly.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The Zero Theorem feels like Gilliam's keen intellect chasing its own tail.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    What grates is the lack of attention to details. There is a grating sloppiness to much of The Choice, both narratively and stylistically.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Despite its sparseness and haunting photography, the film proves to be little more than a home-invasion thriller low on thrills.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Relying wholly on good casting and the charisma of its actors, big and small, to elevate too-familiar material, the film’s stale humor hinges on two faulty premises: That the suburbs are inscrutable and that the people who live in them are clueless.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Max
    It's the Walmart of feel-good family films: accessible, cheaply made, useful in a pinch and full of American flags.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's the PG-13 version of "The Hangover," and more than anything, that's just boring.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The found-footage approach loses its shine quickly.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There’s a certain kinetic charm to the first half of the movie, a freewheeling silliness to these outsized characters that makes you curious to see just how wrong things will go. But as the weightlifters’ plot spirals out of control, so does the movie’s.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Mira Nair has crafted a handsome but clubfooted film that lurches through predictable hot spots. It most disappoints as a thriller, the flashbacks and voiceovers and romantic entanglements so dominating the proceedings you forget that someone is bound and gagged in real time.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Ghost in the Shell sidesteps questions of humanity and the effect of technology on the human spirit and opts instead for boilerplate sci-fi spectacle, eschewing existentialism for predictable plot and the glittery trappings of its 21st-century carapace
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The danger in making a movie like Coming Through the Rye is in the constant referencing and hero worship of bigger, better, towering works of art — you can only exist in their shadows and pale all the more for the comparison.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Despite the seriousness of the subject matter and the characters’ complex emotional journey, the film turns into something of a thriller with twists that, given the context, beleaguer believability.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    At its best, it hits the gut with the free-fall feel of a theme-park ride. But it’s a long and winding path back to the gate, and “Valerian” loses its way many times, however beautifully.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The end result is as dour and unilluminating as British weather.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The laughs don’t add up. There’s no dramatic arc. Jackie doesn’t grow or learn from his downfall, so much as bumble his way out of it to an unsatisfying conclusion.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film’s focus is too easily distracted by celebrity and turns less documentary and more fawning love letter to an industry already in love with itself.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    How disappointing that a movie about challenging authority should be such a slave to convention.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Doesn’t plumb the depths of adolescent emotions and high-school politics so much as skims the surface in a psychedelic dinghy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There's a surface elegance that might play as depth in smaller doses, but at feature length, the stylistic flourishes seem to be covering for deficiencies rather than servicing the material.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It wouldn’t make the movie good, but at least a meteor strike would preclude the possibility of a sixth “Ice Age” film.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There's nothing surprising or fresh about these people, their problems or their pairing, each character fitting snugly into his or her familiar archetype.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Without a buttress of cleverness, Cooties is mere freewheeling idiocy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Oyelowo and Mara try to bring humanity and tension to the testimonial thriller of two lost souls finding their way together, but they only succeed in bursts, hampered by marketing copy masquerading as dialogue.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For all its energy, razzle-dazzle and whiz-bang technology, it doesn't know how to tell a simple story or cobble together three-dimensional characters, and that's a problem not even the best of 3-D glasses can fix.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Inexpert execution, lazy attention to detail and a lackluster lead performance conspire to render a juicy mystery rather boring.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Austenland plays out like an overly elaborate excuse to have people act silly in corsets and bloomers.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    That it chooses to waste a capable cast of mature actors by trotting out tired sex jokes as the enfeebled old men plot the world's most needlessly convoluted bank heist solves the mystery of why it took the film two years to limp its way to American cinemas.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    If you’re just going to rip off the action movies of yore, why not rip off more of the good stuff?
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a juicy story squandered by the poor telling. It’s got all the trappings of a good ol’-fashioned Merchant Ivory pic — lush locales, exotic period trappings — but none of the soul.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Except where “The Conjuring” invigorated horror-movie tropes with inventive application and strong characters, Insidious only wallows in them.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    3 Generations feels focus-grouped into existence, like its every development was fine-tuned to be as inoffensively on-message as possible in its treatment of trans issues. That’s good for take-home pamphlets and afterschool specials, but deadly to dramas.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Storks is charmless with rote obligation. This is a kid’s film for hire, with none of the creativity, emotion and design that elevate the genre to art, or even simply a fun time at the movies.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    You can't get close to Bennett — not because he's a morally ambiguous character, as the movie would have you believe, but because he never puts anything on the table. He struts through every consequence, a man with nothing to lose because he never had anything worth losing in the first place.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aside from Dance and some hazy views of impaled bodies, the film is low on shock and gore. It's aiming more for sweeping historical epic, but it doesn't work on either level.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    You'd learn a lot more if you went out and, well, actually met a Mormon.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Its real accomplishment is that, with so much money behind it and a true visionary at the helm, it manages to feel so dated.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The characters aren’t the only things painted in broad strokes. Sweetwater is rife with gauche symbolism and imagery.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film is packed with moments of rank idiocy.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There are brief bursts of hilarity, and they are all, without exception, owed to McCarthy’s innate charisma and comedic timing.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    When all the parts are sewn together, the end result proves as crude and slapdash as the monster itself.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a stumble down the catwalk not even Blue Steel can save.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Black or White is more remarkable for what it isn't than for what it is. For example, it isn't ripe with drama. It isn't a thoughtful exploration of racial identity in America. It isn't a compelling look at judicial bias and class conflict. It is, instead, a movie that's every bit as oversimplified and obvious as its title.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s not the moms that are bad — it’s the movie.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For a movie filled with amateur porn, sex toys, cocaine and Cameron Diaz's butt, "Sex Tape" is awfully tame. You're in greater danger of taking a nap than needing a safe word.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Another entry in a long line of good video games adapted into terrible movies, Assassin’s Creed is ragingly stupid. That its incoherent plotline is treated with the utmost reverence by skilled thespians only brings its idiocy into sharper relief.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There is nothing brave about Bravetown, a film so paint-by-the-numbers bland that its efforts to piggyback the sacrifice of American servicemen and women for emotional depth is downright craven.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a spectacularly wrong-headed, chemistry-free romance, and too dumb to know how sexist it is.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Director and co-writer Jeremy Garelick doesn't even reach high enough to pick the low-hanging fruit, opting instead to gather half-rotted, fly-infested jokes off the ground and expect Kevin Hart to make them funny by virtue of being Kevin Hart. Only grudgingly will I acknowledge that he sometimes does.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    While its audacity is laudable, the film ultimately has all the thrill of watching someone else play a first-person-shooter video game.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It just feels desperate.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It's an unpleasant way to pass a couple summer hours.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It fails to offer as single compelling character as a sacrifice to the angry volcano.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Barbara VanDenburgh
    I predict that within a decade, Mother’s and Daughters will be mandatory viewing at film schools across the country. There are precious few such perfect examples of how not to make a film.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Barbara VanDenburgh
    There is no substance, legal or otherwise, that can make this tolerable.

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