For 552 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dave Kehr's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Lowest review score: 0 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Score distribution:
552 movie reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Leone brought back a masterpiece, a film that expands his baroque, cartoonish style into genuine grandeur, weaving dozens of thematic variations and narrative arabesques around a classical western foundation myth.(Review of Original Release)
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    The result is a film that hovers just beyond our grasp--mysterious, beautiful, and, very possibly, a masterpiece.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    An enduring masterpiece--dark, deep, beautiful, aglow.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Charlie Chaplin finally got around to acknowledging the 20th century in this 1936 film, which substitutes machine-age gags for the fading Victoriana of his other work. Consequently, it's the coldest of his major features, though no less brilliant for it.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    The film's superb first two hours, which weave social and historical themes into rich personal drama, turn out to be only a prelude to the magnificent final hour--an extended ballroom sequence that leaves history behind to become one of the most moving meditations on individual mortality in the history of the cinema. (Review of 1983 Release)
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Beautifully wrought, darkly funny and finally devastating, My Own Private Idaho almost single-handedly revives the notion of personal filmmaking in the United States. [18 Oct 1991]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Brilliantly funny, bracingly smart and surprisingly moving. [22 June 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    An exhilarating update of "Flash Gordon," very much in the same half-jokey, half-earnest mood, but backed by special effects that, for once, really work and are intelligently integrated with the story.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    The result was one of Bergman's most haunting and suggestive films.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    A ferociously creative 1985 black comedy filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention--every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    This dark, melancholic film is a reminder -- never more necessary than now -- of what the American cinema is capable of, in the way of expressing a mature, morally complex and challenging view of the world. [7 Aug 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    With his perfect pacing, elegant narrative design, and depth of characterization, Richard Lester has made as good a matinee movie as could be imagined: it's a big, generous, beautifully crafted piece of entertainment, with the distinctive Lester touch in the busy backgrounds and the throwaway dialogue.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    It has wit, originality, color, warmth and formal intelligence. It tempers its escapist dash with a touch of darkness, and for all of its playfulness, never departs from a fundamental seriousness.... Something Wild is superbly unpredictable. [7 Nov 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Though much of Naked Lunch is flip, hip and hilariously funny, it never wanders far from a profoundly melancholic undertone - Cronenberg's unshakable sense of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. [10 Jan 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    David Cronenberg's The Fly is that absolute rarity of the '80s: a film that is at once a pure, personal expression and a superbly successful commercial enterprise. [15 Aug 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Martin Scorsese transforms a debilitating convention of 80s comedy--absurd underreaction to increasingly bizarre and threatening situations--into a rich, wincingly funny metaphysical farce. A lonely computer programmer is lured from the workday security of midtown Manhattan to an expressionistic late-night SoHo by the vague promise of casual sex with a mysterious blond.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Buñuel conjures with Freudian imagery, outrageous humor, and a quiet, lyrical camera style to create one of his most complex and complete works, a film that continues to disturb and transfix.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    A film so rich in ideas it hardly knows where to turn. Transcendent themes of love and death are fused with a pop-culture sensibility and played out against a midwestern background, which is breathtaking both in its sweep and in its banality.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    An excellent film, still as fresh as the day it was made.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    If Mr. Ghobadi's dominant theme is the devastation of the Kurds, his subdominant tone is one of strength, resistance and fertility.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    A Grin Without a Cat is a work of extraordinary journalism, but it is also a work of deft and subtle poetry, visual (in the rhyming of gestures and shapes across images and sequences) as much as verbal.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    A more concise and affecting summation of the Tibetan crisis would be hard to imagine.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    One of the most pleasant foreign films of the year, a funny, graceful and immensely good-natured work.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    No admirer of Mr. von Trier's work should miss this compelling rarity.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    A strange and funny film, smart, complex and difficult to shake.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    Carpenter displays an almost perfect understanding of the mechanics of classical suspense; his style draws equally (and intelligently) from both Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    At once highly naturalistic and dreamily abstract, playing out its mythic themes through vibrantly detailed characterizations (and remarkable performances by the entire cast). The Return announces the arrival of a major new talent.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    To watch the biggest stars of their time in casual conversation, trading riffs and passing bottles, without benefit of publicists, handlers and security goons is to relive an innocent, anarchic time in the entertainment business when music, not marketing, was at the center of the enterprise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    It's by far the least controlled of Penn's films, but the pieces work wonderfully well, propelled by what was then a very original acting style.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    Levinson's dialogue feels fresh and improvised, yet it hits its mark every time, and the performances he gets are complex and original (particularly from Mickey Rourke, who plays a lothario with a late-blooming conscience) - enough so that Levinson's occasional forced "cinematic" effects cause barely a ripple in the smooth, naturalistic surface.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    Taking off from the format of a typical teenage sex comedy, Brickman deepens the characters and tightens the situations, filming them in a dark, dreamlike style full of sinuous camera movements and surrealistic insinuations. Brickman found a tone I hadn't encountered previously - one of haunting, lyrical satire.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    Dense, contradictory and distressingly honest, Valley of Tears is that rarity among political documentaries: a genuinely thought-provoking film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    Experimental in form, it's also open and appealing in its vision of romantic redemption, an avant-garde romp that's also a great date movie. [8 Mar 1996, p.40]
    • New York Daily News
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    It's almost too rich in ideas for its own good: The sense of concentration and proportion isn't there. But it remains an astonishing, magnetic, devastating piece of work. [23 Sept 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Irons' Von Bulow is easily the most attractive and entertaining movie heavy since James Mason's villain in ''North by Northwest,'' a figure with whom he shares a taste for elegant homes and wry understatement. [17 Oct 1990]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Graciously filmed by Martin Brest and imaginatively performed by Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, the tired concept yields a steady stream of little discoveries and surprising insights that add up to some uncommonly rich comedy. [20 July 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Hugely funny, but it's also liberating-precisely because it centers its aim on that cold, closed system and blows it apart. The straight lines are shattered; the empty spaces in the images are packed full until they burst. [2 Dec 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Strange, funny and powerfully moving… Burton has found a way to move through camp to emotional authenticity, to communicate-through a concentration of style and an innocence of regard-a depth and sincerity of feeling that his deliberately (and often, comically) flat characters could not summon on their own. [14 Dec 1990, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Complex, knotty and at times even uncomfortable; its world has a weight and heft that makes its ultimate romanticism seem genuinely transcendant, genuinely magical. [14 April 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    The film has undeniable power, but it's an unusual and unsettling power, a product of a collision between red-hot material and the cool serenity with which Kubrick observes and accepts it. [26 June 1987]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    And yet there is enough of a core of sincerity to turn even the most preposterous moments-such as the film's dream-sequence finale-into something moving and true: You buy the feelings, even as the situations degenerate into the ludicrous and absurd. [17 Aug 1990, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Directed with great skill and intelligence by Joseph Ruben, Return to Paradise, is a rare thing among today's movies a drama of conscience. [14 Aug1 998, Pg.51]
    • New York Daily News
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    A study of junkie culture from the inside (not a fashionable point of view these days), Drugstore Cowboy is funny, depressive and strangely noble, often all at once. [27 Oct 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Broadcast News is the crispest, classiest entertainment; it has what Hollywood has been missing. [16 Dec 1987, p.8]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    Charlie, who owes an obvious debt to Chuck Jones' Wile E. Coyote, comes equipped with one of the most expressive faces in cartoon history: Bluth keeps his features-ears, snout, mouth, eyes-in constant flux, a beautiful blend of line and volume that represents the pinnacle of the animator's art. [17 Nov 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    It's the film in which an entertainer at last becomes an artist, dealing with manifestly personal, painful emotions and casting them in a form that gives them philosophical perspective and universal affect. It's Spielberg's finest achievement, a film that will look better and better with the passage of time. [22 Dec. 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    It's this balance of vivid performance and directorial detachment that allows Leigh to move freely between delicate sentiment and highly caustic wit; even in his most harshly satirical moments, he never denies the humanity of his characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Dave Kehr
    The Witches of Eastwick is filmmaking of a very high order; it's also a great time at the movies.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Muddled on the issues, but it earned its Oscar as a dramatic, involving story, full of tough and appealing characters. (Review of Original Release)
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    The extraordinary child actress Ana Torrent (Cria) made her debut here at the age of five. Much in the film is derivative, but Erice excels in precise evocations of childhood feelings.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Consistently offbeat and entertaining; at such moments, it is also quite moving.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    A photographer for magazines like Vanity Fair and GQ, as well as a veteran director of commercials, Mr. Jones brings a trained eye to this, his first documentary. The low gray skies of Chicago prove once again to be a boon to photography, and the city has seldom looked better than it does here, in its chilly, minimalist beauty.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    In these risk-averse times, it is a pleasure to see a film that fails by attempting too much. Frustrating and demanding as it may be, La Commune (Paris, 1871) is essential viewing for anyone interested in taking an exploratory step outside the Hollywood norms.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    For those in search of something different, Wendigo is a genuinely bone-chilling tale.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    The film is full of ingenious details and effective character sketches (Thomas has a mother who would give Woody Allen the willies) that go a long way toward covering up its conventionalities.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    A tiny film that reflects a large talent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Like his father, Mr. Brown has the magical ability to take his public on a two-hour vacation. It's the next best thing to being there, and you don't need to worry about sand in your beer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Rather than a feminist martyr, her film presents an artist with a rich body of work, one who still fascinates and continues to cast a wide influence.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Here is a rich tale of our times, very well told with an appropriate minimum of means.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    It is enough of an act of optimism just to raise the specter of heroic nobility, something that Virgil Bliss accomplishes with subtlety and poignancy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    It remains a documentary at heart, full of astonishing glimpses of human resiliency that have nothing to do with artfulness and everything to do with patience, persistence and sympathy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Saving the big number for the climax, like any good musical director, Mr. Yuen finishes up with a spectacular variation on the traditional kung fu pole fight.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    An effective, well-made film that will certainly please its target audience of preteen girls.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Never backing off from big, emotional moments, but also fleshing out the necessary transitions between them, he has realized his finest movie. It's a renaissance for Mr. Schultz, who seems to be speaking with his own voice after all these years.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Obscure by nature and unwieldy by design, Darger's work is difficult to confront and consume; Ms. Yu has brought it a little closer, and that is as fine a public service as an art documentary can provide.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Patton's personality--conveyed with pointed theatrical flair by George C. Scott--is registered in rich tones of grandeur and megalomania, genius and petty sadism.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    An awesomely, stiflingly professional piece of work, with a fleet, superficial visual style, perfectly placed climaxes, and a screenplay (by Douglas Day Stewart) that doesn't waste a single character or situation - everything is functional, and nothing but functional.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    It's 88 minutes of solid, inventive music, filmed in a straightforward manner that neither deifies the performers nor encourages an illusory intimacy, but presents the musicians simply as people doing their job and enjoying it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 noir fable is highly derivative in its overall conception, but it finds some freshness in its details. All in all, this evokes the spirit of James M. Cain more effectively than the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice did.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Director James Cameron dumps the decorative effects of Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien in favor of some daring narrative strategies and a tight thematic focus.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    What's oddly appealing about this film is the sweetness that the director, François Velle, manages to extract from Craig Sherman's rather bitter screenplay.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Lagaan may look naïve; it is anything but. This is a movie that knows its business — pleasing a broad, popular audience -- and goes about it with savvy professionalism and genuine flair.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    This tiny film is heartfelt, well made and worthy of attention.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dave Kehr
    Very well edited by Laura C. Murray and set to an effective score by the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, People Say I'm Crazy is a small film but an extremely affecting one.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Ishtar is a good movie, but you can't help but wonder if, lurking somewhere in those cans of outtakes, there isn't a great movie, too. [15 May 1987]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    There is enough intelligence and craftsmanship in the execution of Hoosiers to make it seem, if not exactly fresh, at least respectably entertaining. [27 Feb 1987, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Even and assured, Colors may not descend to the sloppy, indulgent depths of ''Easy Rider'' and ''The Last Movie,'' but neither does it rise to the delirious, dangerous heights of those films. [15 Apr 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    The film's frequent longeurs, compulsive over-explicitness and unshakably morose hero seem like so many insistently ''literary'' qualities, ostentatiously laid over a cute, cartoonish vision that suggests not so much Anne Tyler as the affectionate quirkiness of ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show.'' [6 Jan 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    The sheer outrageousness of its attitude is enough to make Heathers a very welcome relief in a field dominated by sanctimonious and second-hand virtue. [31 March 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Pretty silly. The Hot Spot certainly is, and it's occasionally quite entertaining for it, though the picture never really achieves a dimension beyond that of a Playboy Party Joke. [26 Oct 1990, Friday, p.I]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Besson is an accomplished technician, and his choice of shots-with an emphasis on bizarre, low angles, darting camera movements and large, abstract color fields-is consistently entertaining if not particularly expressive. [3 Apr 1991, Tempo, p.3]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    From his long experience in television, [Reiner] has learned how to create characters with just enough depth to hold together but not so much that they become too individualized, too stubbornly complex. [12 July 1989, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    As shrewd and accomplished as the movie is, there's still something uncomfortably manipulative about it... It doesn't explore its primal theme as much as it exploits it, tapping into the automatic, nearly universal power of guilt and regret. [21 Apr 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Successfully avoids the grandiose mythmaking that has been the bane of the baseball movie from ''Pride of the Yankees'' to ''The Natural.'' Rather than a vapid national epic, it is a warm, droll, deftly cracked romantic comedy. [15 June 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Has everything but a personality. [15 July 1988, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Works because it's able to draw so many side issues into its central conflict, spreading its concerns culture-wide. [11 Dec 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    The Abyss is at its best during such moments of reverie-when the abstract metaphors and the unique physicality of the deep sea setting come together to produce powerful, unvoiced meanings. The film does have its beckoning depths; what it needs is a more polished surface. [9 Aug 1989, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    For all the film's popped eyeballs and severed limbs, Beetlejuice retains an innocence that makes the grotesque humor very appealing. Burton has captured the sweet ghoulishness of a 12-year-old pouring over horror comics, dreaming of the greatest Halloween costume ever invented. [30 Mar 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Sex, lies, and videotape discovers a distinctive, laconic rhythm right from the start, thanks to Soderbergh's taste for holding his shots just a bit longer than conventional, slick editing technique would allow. [11 Aug 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    It can't be easy to keep a comedy on track when the underlying emotions are so vicious, and indeed DeVito's staging slips more than once -- too realistic here, too broad there -- resulting in a film that is at least as often funny-peculiar as it is funny-haha. [8 Dec 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    There are still some astonishingly tender moments, including looks exchanged between Swayze and Moore that seem magically divorced from this summer of exploding jets, severed limbs and homicidal children. [13 July 1990, Friday, p.D]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    The Princess Bride wants to be sweet and warm, but it doesn't want to take the chance of seeming uncool -- and that is an attitude far, far removed from innocence. [9 Oct 1987]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    A good summer movie, directed with great verve and imagination and filled with innovative, eye-popping effects. Cameron never relinquishes his grip on the audience, smoothly segueing from action sequence to action sequence and topping himself each time. [3 July 1991, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Much of the movie's charm, in fact, is derived from its sense of its own instant disposability. Raimi has created the cinematic equivalent of fast food-efficient, unassuming and seriously regressive. It may not be much good for you in the end, but consuming it is loads of fun. [19 Feb 1993, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Contains some gaspingly funny moments. [29 July 1988, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Evil Dead 2 is, pardon the expression, consistently lively--a ghoulish splatter comedy that uses wildly excessive gore to provoke the kind of shock that lies between a laugh and a scream. [10 Apr 1987, Friday, p.M]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    For Keitel, this is the Scorsese film that Scorsese never gave him, in which he gets to elbow Robert De Niro away from center stage and take the best part for himself. He seizes the opportunity: Bad Lieutenant immediately becomes one of the defining roles of his career. [22 Jan 1993, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune