For 638 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 11.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Ansen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 When We Were Kings
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 638
638 movie reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    There are few movies around that take such huge risks: this is high-wire filmmaking, without a net of irony.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Few films have shown so powerfully the slashing double edge of sports fever.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Anyone who cares about ravishing filmmaking, superb acting and movies willing to dive into the mystery of unconditional love will leave this dark romance both shaken and invigorated.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Their (Murray/Johansson) brief, wondrous encounter is the soul of this subtle, funny, melancholy film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    This powerful, precision-made movie offers hope as well -- an act of kindness from a German officer that saves the pianist’s life, the music that sustains his soul.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Eastwood is at his effortless, slyboots best and the film is as preposterous as it is delightful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    A haunted thriller of disturbing power.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Think of it as an epic poem, in which Scorsese's swirling, headlong baroque camera searches paradoxically for the stillness at the meditative heart of Buddhism. [22 December 1997, p. 86]
    • Newsweek
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    One of the year's best: a rich, funny, enormously humane portrait of a middle-class Taipei family in the throes of romantic, economic and spiritual upheaval.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Full of bravura moments and high-wire performances.
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Filled with funny, gritty Tarantino lowlife gab and a respectable body count, but what is most striking is the film's gallantry and sweetness. Tarantino hits some new and touching notes with Grier and Forster.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    The movie puts us in Maria's shoes, taking us step by suspenseful step through her physical and spiritual ordeal.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Exuberantly theatrical yet every inch a movie, and some numbers ("The Cell Block Tango") are so entertaining you might want to applaud.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    DiCaprio is astonishing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Face/Off is a summer movie extraordinaire: violent, imaginative, crazily funny and, oddly moving. Hollywood has finally wised up and let Hong Kong auteur John Woo strut his stuff in all its undiluted, over-the-top glory.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    The beauty of Welcome to the Dollhouse is its pokerfaced objectivity, which neither condescends to its pubescent victim nor romantically inflates her plight.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    A witty movie -- with a fine ear for the undertone of aimless chatter -- that never raises its voice to make hollow Gen-X proclamations.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    The mordant, deadpan humor that streaks through Dead Man is echt Jarmusch, but it's in the service of his most mysterious and deeply felt movie, a meditation on death and transfiguration that, by the end, has thrown off the protective veil of irony. [03 Jun 1996, Pg.75]
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Thanks to everyone involved, the movie radiates a hundred pleasures.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Jacquet's movie is as visually ravishing as "Winged Migration," and more gripping.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Brutal and precision-made, Thief is a high-tech crime movie that closes in on its subject with such relentless purpose that it approaches abstraction. Nothing enters Mann's frame that is not designed to be there: the expertise he honors in his criminal hero is mirrored by his own meticulous craftsmanship. He gets the job done--and blows you away while doing it. [30 Mar 1981, p.82]
    • Newsweek
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Every character--not just the kids, but the teachers as well--comes alive with a complexity worthy of Jean Renoir. The lyricism of Wild Reeds doesn't cast a smoke screen of nostalgia, it brings us closer to the experience of adolescence.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    A Single Man's sleek surface may go against Isherwood's crisp, understated prose, yet the story's beating, wounded heart and its spiky intelligence still come through, personified in Firth's moving, eloquently internalized performance.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Suspended between the brutally graphic and flights of lyrical fancy, Pan's Labyrinth unfolds with the confidence of a classical fable, one that paradoxically feels both timeless and startlingly new.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Let the Right One In unfolds with quiet, masterly assurance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    The film is mostly successful in transporting the viewer to another age: the costumes, the body markings, the fierce Mayan masks, all feel right. And keeping the dialogue in subtitles was a smart move. Even better are the faces, which never fail to fascinate. But for all the anthropological research that went into the movie, what is Apocalypto trying to say?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Downey and Favreau give the movie a quirky flavor it can call its own. For that we can be grateful.

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