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 Ripped
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 188
  2. Negative: 16 out of 188
188 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The film itself begins to feel like Gray, a pretty bird in a gilded cage with nowhere to fly.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Point and Shoot is a fascinating, frequently frustrating documentary.
    • 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.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    You'd learn a lot more if you went out and, well, actually met a Mormon.
    • 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.

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