For 787 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Ansen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Sideways
Lowest review score: 0 The Toy
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 787
787 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    It's a bravura, all-stops-out, inexhaustibly inventive performance. I don't know how much was improvised, and how much comes from White's sharp screenplay, but Black may never again get a part that displays his mad-dog comic ferocity to such brilliant effect. He, and the movie, kick ass.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Leon Gast's remarkable film -- which is intercut with terrific recent interviews with eyewitnesses Norman Mailer and George Plimpton -- is about much more than one stupendous fight.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Depp is such a soulful presence he gives you a glimpse of this maniac's pain and pathos. Bonham Carter is extraordinary. She reinvents Mrs. Lovett from the inside out.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    This powerful, lyrical meditation on Arenas's life achieves a kind of hallucinatory urgency as it leaps and twists through his life.
    • Newsweek
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    This brilliantly disturbing movie is constructed with surgical precision. Haneke lets no one off the hook least of all the viewer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Eastwood takes the audience to raw, profoundly moving places. If you fear strong emotions, this is not for you. But if you want to see Hollywood filmmaking at its most potent, Eastwood has delivered the real deal.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Platoon is a ferociously compacted work, but the filmmaking rarely calls attention to itself; it never distracts from the dirty, horrific subject at hand..."Platoon" captures the crazy, adrenaline-rush chaos of battle better than any movie before. Stone is ruthless in his deglamorization of war, but not at the expense of the men who fought there. [5 Jan 1987, p.57]
    • Newsweek
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    It's not to be missed in any language. In a year that has given us such marvelous animated movies as "Ratatouille" and "Paprika," this vibrant, sly and moving personal odyssey takes pride of place.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Constructing a work of implacably interlocking images, the 76-year-old director -- as clear-eyed, still and attentive as a beast of the forest observing human folly -- has produced an Olympian protest against the modern world. Yet his lucid mastery produces not despair, but an odd exhilaration. [16 April 1984, p.93]
    • Newsweek
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Smart, generous, as subtle as it is expansive, this is storytelling of a rare order. Six hours may seem like a big investment, but the emotional pay-back is beyond price.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Time Bandits is at once sophisticated and childlike in its magical but emotionally cool logic, and this tone is perfectly captured in young Warnock's appealingly sensible performance. Cleese, Warner, Richardson, Holm and Connery are in great form, and the bandits (David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Jack Purvis, Mike Edmonds, Malcolm Dixon and Tiny Ross) are all gifted comic actors. Made on a modest budget, Time Bandits is a wonderful wild card in the fall movie season [09 Nov 1981, p.92]
    • Newsweek
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Infused with the bleak romanticism of Melville's gangster movies ("Le Samouraï," "Bob le Flambeur"), and deepened by his own experiences in the Resistance, this hard-bitten tribute to freedom fighters makes most current movies look flabby and undisciplined. Don't miss it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    A technological triumph. [19 May 1980]
    • Newsweek
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Singleton's powerhouse movie has the impact of a stun gun. [15 July 1991]
    • Newsweek
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Unnerving because it forces us into uncharted waters: Solondz doesn't tell us how to feel but makes us thrash out our responses for ourselves. In doing so, he has made one of the few indelible movies of the year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Mike Leigh's stunning, corrosive Naked is one of the best movies of the year, and one of the toughest... Its manic mix of tenderness and degradation, hilarity and scariness, keeps you dangerously off balance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Howl's Moving Castle has the logic of a dream: behind every door lie multiple realities, one more astonishing than the next.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    There Will Be Blood is ferocious, and it will be championed and attacked with an equal ferocity. When the dust settles, we may look back on it as some kind of obsessed classic.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Harrowingly intense odyssey.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    It's unprecedented, a sorrowful and savagely beautiful elegy that can stand in the company of the greatest antiwar movies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she's center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    What's remarkable is how immediately, after a full year, The Two Towers seizes your attention, and how urgently it holds you through three seamless, action-packed hours.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Creepily beautiful, acted with relish, Barton Fink is a savagely original work. It lodges in your head like a hatchet. [26 Aug 1991]
    • Newsweek
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    No two-hour film could ever capture all the riches of McEwan's masterly novel. But Wright and Hampton's Atonement comes tantalizingly close, while adding sensual delights all its own.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    By the end of this white-knuckle movie, you stand in awe at the depth of man's will to survive. Touching the Void leaves you emotionally and physically spent, and grateful it was only a movie, not a mountain, you had to endure.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    A meticulous, spellbinding, provocative depiction of the final days of the Third Reich.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    A film as rich as a sauce béarnaise, as refreshing as a raspberry sorbet.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Shot in stunning color by a gifted cinematographer named Caleb Deschanel, beautifully scored by Carmine Coppola in moods ranging from Arabian Nights impressionism to Wagnerian exaltation, the first hour of The Black Stallion is a state-of-the-art demonstration of film as a purely visual medium, a formal exercise that is nonetheless suffused with feeling. [29 Oct 1979, p.105]
    • Newsweek

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