For 647 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Ansen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 647
647 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    There's neither coyness nor self-importance in Brokeback Mountain--just close, compassionate observation, deeply committed performances, a bone-deep feeling for hardscrabble Western lives. Few films have captured so acutely the desolation of frustrated, repressed passion.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Brings history to life with an uncanny sense of realism.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Once again, the Pixar wizards have pushed the animation envelope in unexpected directions and come up with a winner. Wondrously inventive, funny and poignant, WALL*E is part sci-fi adventure, part cautionary fable, part satire and part love story, which may be the best and most improbable part of all.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    As he did in “The English Patient,” Minghella artfully weds movie-movie romanticism with a dark historical vision. The man knows how to cast a spell.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    In Sideways, Payne has created four of the most lived-in, indelible characters in recent American movies. This deliciously bittersweet movie makes magic out of the quotidian.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    This is comedy from the danger zone, and it will genuinely offend some folks who feel certain subjects are not to be laughed at. They'd best stay at home. Fans should be warned as well: Borat can make you laugh so hard it hurts.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    At once elegant and sublimely silly, contemplative and gung-ho, balletic and bubble-gum, a rousing action film and an epic love story, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one bursting-at-the-seams holiday gift, beautifully wrapped by the ever-surprising Ang Lee.
    • Newsweek
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    It's one of the richest movie experiences of the year, a spellbinding American epic that holds you firmly in its grip for nearly three hours.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Few films have explored the complicated bonds of love and resentment between brother and sister with such delightful honesty.
    • Newsweek
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Urgently, without sentimentality, "La Promesse" shows us the birth of a conscience, and its cost. This fleet, powerful movie may prove to be a classic. [30 June 1997, p.79]
    • Newsweek
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The superrealist images beguile us with their bold wit, and the storytelling is so tight, urgent and inventive there doesn't seem to be a wasted moment. Which makes you wonder -- why can't scripts this clever be written for human beings?
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The compositions, the editing, the lighting, the sound, the music: everything seems meticulously considered, conjuring up a hushed intimacy that instantly sucks you in.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The Movie Works. It has real passion, real emotion, real terror, and a tactile sense of evil that is missing in that other current movie dealing with wizards, wonders and wickedness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The Departed is Scorsese's most purely enjoyable movie in years. But it's not for the faint of heart. It's rude, bleak, violent and defiantly un-PC. But if you doubt that it's also OK to laugh throughout this rat's nest of paranoia, deceit and bloodshed, keep your eyes on the final frames. Scorsese's parting shot is an uncharacteristic, but well-earned, wink.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    JFK
    If history is a battlefield, JFK has to be seen as a bold attempt to seize the turf for future debate. It is also "just" a movie, and one that for three hours and eight minutes of dense, almost dizzying detail, is capable of holding the audience rapt in its grip. [23 Dec 1991, p.50]
    • Newsweek
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    An inspired flight of fancy, an oddly poignant examination of the creative process, a rumination on adaptation (orchids to their environment, books to the screen and misfits like Charlie to life) and, in its ultimate irony, a story in which our hero learns a life-altering lesson.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Lucky for us there are no ordinary circumstances in this smart, tasty adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel and it gets quirkier, funnier and sexier as it goes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Hilarious and captivating.
    • Newsweek
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    It's a passionate, serious, impeccably crafted movie tackling a subject Clooney cares about deeply: the duty of journalism to speak truth to power. It also happens to be the most compelling American movie of the year so far.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    A hugely entertaining thriller shot through with dark shards of agony and paranoia. It takes nothing away from the original while delivering pleasures all its own.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    A piece of spectacular silliness, but that's not meant with disrespect. The key word is spectacular.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    An excruciatingly entertaining portrait of the filmmaking process that no Hollywood studio would ever allow to be shown. But Gilliam, bless his impish, obsessive heart, is anything but a Hollywood type.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The second installment was better than the first, and this one is best of all. It has spectacular action scenes and imaginary creatures, and it’s by far the most moving chapter. The performances have deepened.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The great Spanish director's fourth triumph in a row--following "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Bad Education"--Volver (which means "coming back") flows effortlessly between peril and poignancy, the real and the surreal, even life and death.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Far from being a period piece, this love story/murder mystery/political thriller couldn’t seem more timely.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    A superbly taut and well-made thriller that jumps from Geneva to Rome, from Paris to Beirut, from Athens to Brooklyn, each lethal assignment staged with a mastery Hitchcock might envy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    This powerfully contained, painfully funny performance has to rank with the greatest work Nicholson's ever done -- This road movie gives you emotional whiplash, and you’ll be glad you went along for the ride.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Judd Apatow is making the freshest, most honest mainstream comedies in Hollywood.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Courtney Love's performance as stripper Althea Leasure is an amazement. Funny, unfettered and almost scarily alive in front of a camera, she's the definition of a "natural."
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Schnabel, screenwriter Ronald Harwood and Spielberg's great cinematographer Janusz Kaminski have found a way to take us inside Bauby's mind--his memories, his fantasies, his loves and lusts--transforming a story of physical entrapment and spiritual renewal into exhilarating images.

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