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 The Fly
Lowest review score: 0 Cupid's Mistake
Score distribution:
552 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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
    The result was one of Bergman's most haunting and suggestive films.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 93 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    The film was hugely successful and widely praised in its time, though it's really nothing more than the old C.B. De Mille formula of titillation and moralizing--Roman orgies and Christian martyrs--with only a fraction of De Mille's showmanship.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    The result is a film that hovers just beyond our grasp--mysterious, beautiful, and, very possibly, a masterpiece.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 40 Dave Kehr
    As LaMotta, Robert De Niro gives a blank, soulless performance; there's so little of depth or urgency coming from him that he's impossible to despise, or forgive, in any but the most superficial way.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    An excellent film, still as fresh as the day it was made.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 30 Dave Kehr
    Travels fast and straight down a linear plot, and the ceaseless rush quickly becomes monotonous.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    Graham Greene's screenplay is centered on the pivotal moment when a child first discovers sin, but the boy's perspective is neglected in favor of facile suspense structures and a thuddingly conventional whodunit finale.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Dave Kehr
    There are several solid laughs and some excellent supporting performances. But this is a film to be wary of.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    The film may be a relic now, but it is a fascinating souvenir - particularly in its narcissism and fatalism - of how the hippie movement thought of itself. [Review of re-release]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Dave Kehr
    The film has no qualities beyond its formal polish--and its careful avoidance (or rather, displacement) of the moral and political issues involved can seem too crafty, too convenient.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    The film is best when it takes itself seriously, worst when it takes the easy way out into giggly camp--as it does, finally and fatally, when Lex Luthor enters the action; Gene Hackman plays the arch-villain like a hairdresser left over from a TV skit.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 40 Dave Kehr
    The film looks austere and serious, rather as if it had been shot inside a Frigidaire, and the oppressiveness of the images tends to strangle laughter, even at the most absurd excesses of Alvin Sargent's script.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    Schwarzenegger is presented as a lumbering slab of dumb, destructive strength--the image is more geological than human--and Cameron plays his crushing weightiness against the strangely light, almost graceful violence of the gunplay directed against him. The results have the air of a demented ballet.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    No admirer of Mr. von Trier's work should miss this compelling rarity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    One of the most pleasant foreign films of the year, a funny, graceful and immensely good-natured work.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Dave Kehr
    Brilliantly funny, bracingly smart and surprisingly moving. [22 June 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    There is a great deal of value in Branagh's version, not least in his own lead performance as a soft, indefinite Henry who defines himself over the course of the play. [15 Dec 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Dave Kehr
    The script is funny and observant, full of shocks of recognition, but for all his progress as a writer, Allen's direction remains disconcertingly amateurish. Still, it remains perhaps the only film in which Allen has been able to successfully imagine a personality other than his own.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Dave Kehr
    This is compelling stuff, but there is something deeply distracting in the use of recreated material.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    While the low comedy is undeniably effective, the film leaves behind a bad taste of snobbery and petty meanness.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    This sort of thing was considered high art not so long ago; now it seems forced and ponderously symbolic.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    Contains some gaspingly funny moments. [29 July 1988, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    A few moments of sly inspiration are not enough to carry an entire feature; along with the tears, it leaves behind an aftertaste of phoniness. [16 March 1990, Friday, p.H]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    Using telephoto lenses to bring us close to the characters, Techine directs Wild Reeds with an impeccable sense of tempo, unhurried by narrative pressures. The actors seem to find exactly the right, internal rhythm for each scene the leisurely rhythm of people discovering each other and discovering themselves. This is certainly one of the year's best films. [30 June 1995, p.54]
    • New York Daily News
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Dave Kehr
    Steven Spielberg's mechanical thriller is guaranteed to make you scream on schedule (John Williams's score even has the audience reactions programmed into the melodies), particularly if your tolerance for weak motivation and other minor inconsistencies is high.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    It is an intriguing subject, though so far all that Morris has brought to it is a combination of the morbid and the cruel; he needs to develop some sympathy, too. [16 Sept 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Dave Kehr
    The dual-track plot, with constant cutting between mother and daughter, seems less an attempt to establish meaningful parallels between the two stories than the nervous twitches of a compulsive channel changer.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    This slick and entertaining 1975 film of Ken Kesey's cult novel will inevitably disappoint admirers of director Milos Forman's earlier work.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 78 Metascore
    • 20 Dave Kehr
    A very bad film--snide, barely competent, and overdrawn--that enjoys a perennial popularity, perhaps because its confused moral position appeals to the secret Nietzscheans within us.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Dave Kehr
    Mainly it's marking time: the characters take a definite backseat to the special effects, and much of the action seems gratuitous, leading nowhere.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    The surface plausibility is probably the contribution of Marlon Brando, whose performance has strength and detail enough to counterbalance Bertolucci's taste for pure psychological essence.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Dave Kehr
    Wyler lays out all the elements with care and precision, but the romantic comedy never comes together - it's charm by computer. [Review of re-release]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Dave Kehr
    This story of a party girl (Audrey Hepburn) in love with a gigolo (George Peppard) allows Edwards to create a very handsome film, with impeccable Technicolor photography by Franz Planer. [Review of re-release]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    Peter Weir, the standard-bearer of the Australian Tradition of Quality, is on hand to smother all the contrivances in his solemn, academic style, and the result is a moderately effective, highly affected thriller.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    A hesitant, conservative approach that yields great elegance and a rhythm that carries the viewer along. Yet the film is haunted by a sense of opportunities not taken, of an artist deliberately reining in his artistry. [9 Dec 1987, p.2]
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    The picture gets to you more through its intensity than its craft, but Hooper does have a talent.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    A more concise and affecting summation of the Tibetan crisis would be hard to imagine.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Dave Kehr
    Sluggish, repetitive, and strangely timorous, with little of the zap and imagination of the Pythons' television work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dave Kehr
    A strange and funny film, smart, complex and difficult to shake.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    for all its flaws, Born on the Fourth of July provides the final proof that Tom Cruise is the real thing-a movie star with all the natural, unforced ability to connect with an audience that the title implies. [20 Dec 1989, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    Mario Van Peebles, of course, inhabits a very different world from that of his father: a world that his father, in some small way, helped to create. It is his awareness of this paradox, of the progressive import of his father's film and of the repressive import of his father's personality, that informs this modest but interesting work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    A very minor contribution to the great corpus of Iranian cinema that has emerged in the last 20 years.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Dave Kehr
    Woody Allen's naive notions of art--he thinks it means a story with a moral--might have some primitive charm if he didn't put them forward so self-importantly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    Less consumed by behavioral details than many of his filmmaking compatriots, Mr. Rasoulof makes bold use of symbolic imagery - a satellite television is confiscated and tossed overboard - suggesting that utopias inevitably come at the price of isolation and authoritarianism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    Awakenings is a film that unquestionably succeeds on its own terms, though those terms are deeply suspect. It is a canny piece of false art, one that consistently swaps meaning for superficial effect. [20 Dec 1990, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Dave Kehr
    The late '40s world Coppola has put together for Tucker is an extremely stylized one: Vittorio Storaro's cinematography has the bright, hard, almost lacquered look of old Technicolor; Dean Tavoularis' sets, built with slanting floors and surfaces, create an imaginary, compacted space in which actors and objects seem to be thrusting out toward the camera; and the transitions between scenes, based on visual rhymes and elaborate wipes, effectively remove the movie from the orderly flow of normal film time. [12 Aug 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
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Dave Kehr
    Though the costumes are beautifully designed, the chateau locations carefully chosen and the dialogue full of curling locutions, something cloddish and naive still comes through in Frears' direction, and not only because he can seldom get his shots to match. [13 Jan 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dave Kehr
    In spite of its many flaws, the film never loses its focus on its fascinating central figure.