For 739 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Ansen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Barton Fink
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 739
739 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    It succeeds in bringing O'Barr's comic-book vision to life, but there's little else going on behind the graphic razzle-dazzle and the moody, ominous soundtrack.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Director Walter Hill has only the faintest interest in realism. His New York City is merely the backdrop for a bone-crunching fantasy that has more to do with science fiction and musicals than social commentary. When it's good - which is not often enough - it suggests what The Wiz, under happier circumstances, might have been. [26 Feb 1979, p.81]
    • Newsweek
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Howard redeems this lumpy fantasy. Soft-spoken and mysterious, he presides over the movie with a dangerous, feline grace.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    It's gorgeous. It's epic. It's spectacular. But two hours later, it also proves to be emotionally impenetrable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    This time out, Shyamalan the writer lets Shyamalan the director down badly.
    • Newsweek
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    I might buy Babel if it had any real interest in its characters, but it's too busy moving them around its mechanistic chessboard to explore any nuances or depths.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Just because Sandler's Sonny makes little sense as an actual human being doesn't mean he won't make you laugh.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    How do you literalize heaven? It's a problem moviemakers have struggled with forever, and Jackson hasn't solved it.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    The longest, grimmest and least funny of the trilogy.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    The plain fact is that Halloween II is quite scary, more than a little silly and immediately forgettable. [16 Nov 1981, p.117]
    • Newsweek
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    There are inspired moments in this edgy, unstable comedy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Tthough it is action packed, spectacularly edited and often quite funny, one can't help feeling that Carpenter is squeezing the last drops out of a fatigued genre. Ten years ago this would have been one wild and crazy movie; in this era of ruthlessly efficient entertainments, it's a rather one-note evening. [14 July 1986, p.69]
    • Newsweek
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Baby Mama is rescued by two scene-stealing veterans: Sigourney Weaver as the smug, patrician owner of the surrogate company, and a priceless, ponytailed Steve Martin as the self-infatuated New Age owner of Round Earth. These two aren't onscreen a lot, but the movie seems most fully alive when they are.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    It's filled with Mann's signature macho verisimilitude, but essentially it's the stuff of what, in saner fiscal times, would have been a B movie. Miami Vice delivers the thrills, atmosphere and romance it promises, but it doesn't resonate like major Mann.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Before it degenerates into Indiana Potter and the Chamber of Doom, the movie holds promise -- it hints at why the Harry Potter movies aren’t half as wonderful as they ought to be, why they feel created from the outside in. Magic isn’t made by committee.
    • Newsweek
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Sometimes stunning, ultimately stupefying epic .
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Soft to the point of squishiness, Phenomenon is rescued from terminal bathos by Travolta's radiant conviction.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    This slick, handsomely produced thriller only gets the pulse half racing.
    • Newsweek
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    A style so chic, studied and murky it resembles a cross between a Nike commercial and a bad Polish art film.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    This is high-risk chemistry, and the results are bizarre. The bulging forearms and corncob pipe are in place, but this Popeye hates spinach. The plot hinges on his Oedipal search for his Pappy (Ray Walston), the songs and minimal dances are designed for singers who can't sing and dancers who can't dance, and this gruff icon of pug nacious, all-American goodness has been set adrift on an abstract isle that can perhaps best be described as backlot Ionesco. Popeye's air of alienated whimsy makes for an odd family movie indeed. [22 Dec 1980, p.72]
    • Newsweek
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Hughes is just treading lukewarm water. Stotz is the blandest of his teen heroes yet. [16 Mar 1987]
    • Newsweek
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Along the way, not just the storytelling but the original intention has gotten muddled. You leave The Alamo uncertain of what you're meant to feel: is this a celebration of patriotic sacrifice or an illustration of war's futility?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Unless you’re 15 at heart, you may need anger management yourself after sitting through this aggressively crass comedy, which alternates between mean-spirited slapstick and arbitrary uplift.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Lurching uncertainly from slapstick to tears, The Family Stone works hard to warm the cockles of our hearts. The cast is attractive. The sentiments are commendable. But the love Bezucha wants us to feel for the family couldn't possibly compete with the love they already feel for themselves.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Never mean-spirited, A Dirty Shame has some big laughs, but it's a one-joke movie that shows its strain well before the finish line.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    The semifunny Semi-Pro is amiable enough, but you never feel there's much at stake.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    For me, there's a problem with The Hulk, always has been, though it hasn't seemed to bother the tale's legions of fans. When the sensitive, physically unprepossessing Banner/Norton turns into the gargantuan, muscle-bound, growling Hulk, there's a total disconnect.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Poor Affleck. He doesn’t just have to singlehandedly save the world from nuclear destruction, he has to erase our memories of Ford and Baldwin. That’s a tall order for any actor, and Affleck, an expert at playing cocky, callow yuppies, just doesn’t have the heft.
    • Newsweek
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    As tempting as it may be to herald Romero as the Swift of schlock, his shopping-mall metaphor is really little more than a clever gag. The director's technique has been refined since his "Living Dead" days, but his grasp of characters is still pretty crude, and he reveals himself to be an all-too-predictable liberal moralists when he singles out the woman and the black as the true heroes. These objections should not-and won't-keep Romero loyalists away. For blood, guts and chuckles, most horror fans will undoubtedly find Dawn of the Dead finger-lickin' good. [7 May 1979, p.90]
    • Newsweek
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    There isn't an ounce of genuine affection on display. Fenton and Barbato already made a documentary of the same title about Alig, and their fascination with this vapid, charmless pied piper of decadence remains a mystery.

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