For 849 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Ansen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Hoop Dreams
Lowest review score: 0 Saturn 3
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 849
849 movie reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    The densely populated movie, pumped up with unnecessary crowd scenes and a handful of utterly extraneous male characters, is as garish and busy as a TV game show. As directed by Herbert Ross, it is so intent on persuading the audience that it is having a heartwarming emotional experience you almost expect TelePrompTers to flash in the theater, instructing you to laugh and cry. [27 Nov 1989, p.92]
    • Newsweek
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    There's a big difference between shock effects and suspense, and in sacrificing everything at the altar of gore, Carpenter sabotages the drama. The Thing is so single-mindedly determined to keep you awake that it almost puts you to sleep. [28 June 1982, p.73B]
    • Newsweek
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Attempting a slapstick satire of suburban paranoia and xenophobia, Dante lavishes his considerable skills on a one-note, repetitive Dana Olsen screenplay which, at best, contains enough invention for a 20-minute skit. [06 Mar 1989, p.58]
    • Newsweek
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    3 Men and a Cradle has precious few laughs. Shot in a strangely grave, twilight style ill suited to the sitcom premise, the movie plods dully from one foreseeable irony to the next. [26 May 1986, p.72]
    • Newsweek
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    By the time Pale Rider wends its solemn, deliberate way to the final showdown, all of its tantalizing potential has bitten the dust. The woefully inadequate screenplay by Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack takes every mundane turn available, reneging on its mythical promises. [1 July 1985, p.55]
    • Newsweek
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    You know a romantic comedy is in trouble when you root for the hero not to get the girl.
    • Newsweek
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    An epic vision isn't worth much if you can't tell a story. This, in a nutshell, is the problem at the heart of the three-hour-and-39-minute debacle called Heaven's Gate. In his painstaking quest for period authenticity and his reliance on the operatic set piece, Cimino has lost all sight of day-to-day reality--and all sense of dramatic truth. [01 Dec 1980, p.88]
    • Newsweek
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Flat, distressingly witless -- To put it bluntly -- the thrill is gone. Nobody did it better. But that was then.
    • Newsweek
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Irreversible takes an adolescent pride in its own ugliness. “I Stand Alone" told me something about the world; this one tells me more than I want to know about the calculating mind of its maker.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Downright repetitive! [30 May 1983]
    • Newsweek
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Black Rain is the sort of movie where, if you see a motorcycle race at the start, you know you'll get one in the climax. The script is routine formula swill, at best. [02 Oct 1989, p.70]
    • Newsweek
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Every role is miscast. Whose idea was it to have the boyishly British Bale play an illiterate Greek peasant, or the elegant Hurt a gruff-voiced country doctor? Cruz’s run of bad luck in American movies continues.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Criticizing it is like spitting in the wind, but at the risk of sounding like the spoilsport villain of the piece (a snippety liberal Washington bureaucrat, wouldn't you know), there's a smug, bully-boy spirit underneath this supposedly merry romp. The message is Go for It, and the theme song tells us 'Youv'e gotta have a dream to, make a dream come true," but what have our dreams come to? Breaking the 55-mph speed limit? In this movie, paradise is being able to land a Piper Cubin a busy city street to pick up another six-pack. Unfettered individualism has come to this: drive hard and carry a big Schlitz. [13 July 1981, p.81]
    • Newsweek
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    The superhero genre screams for a makeover, or at least a smart deconstruction, but Hancock isn't that movie. It just ups the foolishness ante.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    One can forgive the orangutan's participation - he couldn't read the script - but what is Eastwood's excuse? James Fargo directed, every which way but well. [08 Jan 1979, p.60]
    • Newsweek
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Everything in Rounders is right there on the surface. Watching it is about as exciting as playing poker with all the cards face up. [14 Sept 1998]
    • Newsweek
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Sarah Thorp’s lazy script lurches from the lame to the ludicrous.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    The strenuously improbable finale in an indoor zoo -- incorporating every available lethal animal Hollywood could rent -- will have you on the edge of your seat . . . straining for the exit. Movies don't get much more impersonal than this. [28 May 1990, p.72]
    • Newsweek
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Under the tone-deaf direction of Peter Yates, Krull manages to be both lavishly overdone and bizarrely half-baked. [08 Aug 1983, p.55]
    • Newsweek
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    A lumbering, self-important three-hour melodrama that defies credibility at every turn.
    • Newsweek
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    One can safely doze through the extremely bland first hour, which feels more like an advertisement for marine theme parks than a suspense movie. [1 Aug 1983, p.47]
    • Newsweek
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has written quips, not characters and Joel Schumacher still seems miscast as a Bat-action director: he stages the mayhem confusingly and the comedy too broadly.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Trying for a tone somewhere between an art film, an absurdist comedy, a horror movie and an old Saturday-matinee serial, he's made a handsome, cripplingly self-conscious thriller that's devoid of any real thrills. [3 Feb. 1992, p.65]
    • Newsweek
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Field comes off best under the circumstances - she has real spirit - but Leibman, too eager to be liked, hits all the stereotypes on the head and Bridges is saddled with an underwritten, utterly inexplicable character. What Norma Rae really tells us is that Hollywood is still capable of making condescending paeans to the "little people" with all the phoniness of yesteryear. [5 March 1979, p.105]
    • Newsweek
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Heavy Metal is the bummer version of "Star Wars," an expression of adolescent revenge against the world. What gives the movie its thoroughly unpleasant integrity is the suspicion it arouses that the guys who dreamed this stuff up mean business. If only they'd saved it for their shrinks. [10 Aug 1981, p.69]
    • Newsweek
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    This is a farfetched premise, and the movie pays a price for it.
    • Newsweek
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    The special effects are definitely the best thing about this curiously bland disasterthon.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair are asked to humiliate themselves many times over in The Sweetest Thing, and they do it with such game good spirits that they ought to get the actor’s equivalent of a Purple Heart.
    • Newsweek
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    As adroit and charming as Witherspoon is--and she gives it her all--she cannot rise above the embarrassingly broad, witless material.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    All shots and no scenes, which is nice for a picture book but deadly for drama.

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