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 The Quiet American
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 849
849 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    Richard Attenborough's glumly misconceived Chaplin trudges its way through the great comic's long, brilliant, scandal-ridden career without ever catching fire. [28 Dec 1992, p.56]
    • Newsweek
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Much of Patriot Games is routine: good guys and bad guys running around with heavy artillery. But at its best moments, Noyce and Ford snap the genre back to life. [8 June 1992, p.59]
    • Newsweek
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Unlike some other Landis movies, the harmlessly silly Three Amigos never wanders too far afield in pursuit of a laugh. It's a well-wrought giggle machine. [15 Dec 1986, p.83]
    • 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
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Clearly nobody will mistake this comedy thriller for a precision-made object -- the scenes seem held together with old shoelaces, and you could land a fleet of 747s through the holes in the plot. But two things are clear: the movie provides a generous helping of laughs, and Whoopi proves herself a screen comedienne with a long and bright future ahead of her. [20 Oct 1986, p.79]
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension doesn't play it safe. For that alone you may want to bless its demented little heart. Buckaroo Banzai may not work, but that's the risk of high-wire acts. At least it's up there trying. [20 Aug 1984, p.75]
    • Newsweek
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Urgent, gritty, sometimes weirdly funny, The Fighter might be considered his first feel-good movie. But Russell's too honest and acute an observer to serve up affirmation without leaving a subversive aftertaste of ambivalence and unease.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Rabbit Hole deftly sidesteps sentimentality and still wrenches your heart.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Warren Beatty's Heaven Can Wait is the most delightful movie the year has offered. Funny, fantastical, fast on its feet, this romantic fantasy comes closer than any film of the past decade to capturing the ingenious, madcap spirit of '30s comedies. [03 July 1978, p.90]
    • Newsweek
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Like many of Winterbottom's movies, it falls a step short of its full potential. Its tact is both its strength and its weakness. The climax feels rushed: it's the rare movie these days that feels too short.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Elf
    Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the “true spirit of Christmas” must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Full of invention, but under the colorful icing is a slightly stale cake.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
    • Newsweek
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    To anyone who has seen half the movies he appropriates, and can therefore guess every twist of the plot miles before it happens, Foul Play's frenetic eagerness to please is about as refreshing as the whiff of an exhaust pipe on a hot city afternoon. [24 July 1978, p.59]
    • Newsweek
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    Maybe you have to be 14 to find all of this terribly clever.
    • Newsweek
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    It's a minimalist almost-love story told with epic flourishes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Fascinating but repetitious, Better Living Through Circuitry nevertheless does a good job describing the scene.
    • Newsweek
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    It’s sad to see such stunning work self-destruct. You walk out haunted by the movie that might have been.
    • Newsweek
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Brings history to life with an uncanny sense of realism.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Only near the end does the mix of melodrama, mush and message get out of hand.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Everyone will be tickled pink by this sleek Mike Nichols remake.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Slightly soggy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Doubt stirs up a lot of stormy theatrical weather, but the stolid transfer from stage to screen does Shanley's play no favors.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Ultimately achieves that lump in the throat that is the romantic comedy's promised land.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 David Ansen
    Just about everything in Turner & Hooch is predictable, and the one thing that isn't is unforgivable...Turner & Hooch is expertly executed dreck. [14 Aug 1989, p.56]
    • Newsweek
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Scott's finesse can't entirely disguise the mechanical nature of Nicholas and Ted Griffin's script, which has one too many twists for its own good. Fun while it lasts, but it's a bit of a con job itself.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    Though Helen Slater makes a bad first impression, she's not a bad Supergirl by the end, being likably straightforward, guileless and sweet. And unlike Reeve, who looks exactly the same whether he's Clark Kent or Superman, Slater makes you believe that people wouldn't know brunette Linda Lee was actually blond Supergirl. That may not be a major cinematic achievement, but it's about the best that Supergirl has to offer. [26 Nov 1984, p.119]
    • Newsweek
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Eastwood is at his effortless, slyboots best and the film is as preposterous as it is delightful.

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