David Edelstein
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For 1,627 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Edelstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Starting Out in the Evening
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1,627 movie reviews
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The Queen is the most reverent irreverent comedy imaginable. Or maybe it's the most irreverent reverent comedy. Either way, it's a small masterpiece.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    You should see Happy Feet--not only because it's stupendous, but also because it features the best dancing you'll see on the screen this year.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Bird clearly knows the great silent clowns: The slapstick he devises is balletic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    For all its portentousness, this is the best Harry Potter picture yet. In some ways, it improves on J.K. Rowling’s novel, which is punishingly protracted and builds to a climactic wand-off better seen than read.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Might be the most provocative teen sex comedy ever made; it is certainly one of the most convulsively funny.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Above all is Langella, achingly vulnerable under layers of flesh. In one scene, alone, he eats peanut butter intensely, thoughtfully, and nothing he could do as Hamlet would seem deeper or more poetic.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Anderson’s fearless, bighearted filmmaking is an antidote to the toxic cloud of Manifest Destiny. He has made a mad American classic.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The new Pixar picture Wall-E is one for the ages, a masterpiece to be savored before or after the end of the world.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    I've never seen a movie with this mixture of fullness and desolation. Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Cantet's real-time classroom scenes are revelations: They make you understand that teaching is moment to moment, an endless series of negotiations that hang on intangibles—on imagination and empathy and the struggle to stay centered. This is a remarkable movie.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It has taken an animated film to go where live-action dramas and even documentaries haven't--to tickle our synapses and slip into our bloodstream.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Hats off to Olivier Assayas's plain yet hauntingly beautiful Summer Hours, a true--albeit nonsecular--meditation on art and eternal life.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The end of The Cove is as rousing as anything from Hollywood. Manipulative? Sure--but isn't that fitting? Capitalism has driven an entire village to massacre dolphins and keep its work hidden.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Pantheism, Cameronism: In Avatar, what's the diff? Now he's king of a world he made from scratch.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    For grown-ups, the film will touch something deeper: the heartfelt wish that childhood memories will never fade.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    For all the horror, it's the drive toward life, not the decay, that lingers in the mind. As a modern heroine, Ree Dolly has no peer, and Winter's Bone is the year's most stirring film.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The self-satire of The Kids Are All Right is so knowing, so rich, so hilarious, so damn healthy that it blows all thoughts of degeneracy out of your head.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is, no doubt about it, a tour de force, a work that fully lives up to its director's ambitions.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The vision is as hateful as it is hate-filled, but the fusion of form and content is so perfect that it borders on the sublime.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Spielberg has been ridiculed for shooting his actors from below against impossibly Spielbergian skies and a denouement that lays the love on copiously. But there's nothing simpleminded about how he uses movie magic, as a spell to dispel nihilism, to save us from the worst of ourselves by summoning up the best.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Everything he did in live-action movies with rolling boulders and runaway convoys he does bigger and better - by a factor of ten - in every frame. At the end of two hours, my jaw ached from grinning.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The Avengers is both campy and ­reverential. Comic-Con nerds will have multiple orgasms. I had a blast.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Pi has designed his own terrarium to keep from staring directly into the abyss. It's not denial. It's faith in something else: the transformative power of storytelling. The film is transcendent.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping - an unholy masterwork.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Something sacred passes between Trintignant and Riva. The actress's eyes signal deep awareness as the sounds coming out of her mouth become animalistic.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Fruitvale Station will rock your world — and, if the life of Oscar Grant means anything, compel you to work to change it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It’s true that the number of whales in captivity isn’t huge. But they’ve now become the mightiest symbols of our cultural hubris — of our inability to manage creatures we have the power to capture and imprison. It’s a metaphor for the ages.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is by light-years the most entertaining movie of the year. How many apocalyptic sci-fi action extravaganzas leave you feeling as if the world is just beginning?
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Osder has made a documentary that’s astonishingly in the present tense.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The movie is as cornball as all get-out and — once you discern the narrative arc — as predictable. But then there’s the part that’s — as we serious cinephiles like to say — infuckingcredible.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The movie is a slot machine that never stops spitting quarters.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Living with Mason and his parents over time you feel an intimacy, an empathy, a shared stake. I’m not saying Boyhood is the greatest film I’ve ever seen, but I’m thinking there’s my life before I saw it and my life now, and it’s different; I know movies can do something that just last week I didn’t. They can make time visible.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Birdman is the very definition of a tour de force, and Iñárritu’s overheated technique meshes perfectly with the (enjoyable) overacting—the performers know this is a theatrical exercise and obviously relish the chance to Do It Big.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Perhaps the most awesome thing in Mr. Turner is how Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope hint at Turner’s paintings in their landscapes — not to make the film look painterly but to suggest what Turner saw before transmuting reality into art.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is an amazing movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The best American movie of the year. Has a subtext so powerful that it reaches out and pulls you under. Even when the surface is tranquil, you know in your guts what's at stake.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Isn't just the most explosively entertaining movie musical in a couple of decades. It's going to be the most influential: the one that inspires the rebirth of the Hollywood musical.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    An unassuming gem: an impishly funny, melancholy, absolutely delightful English ensemble drama.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    American satire rarely comes more winning than Election, an exuberantly caustic comedy that shows the symbiotic relationship between political go-get-'em-ism and moral backsliding.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Watching the opening of A Hard Day's Night is like getting a direct injection of happiness.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The best film of 2002.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Igby Goes Down got a reaction from me: I think it's the movie of the year. I squirmed, I laughed a lot.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The best movie of the last several years: the most evocative, the most mysterious, the most inconsolably devastating.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It's hard to think of another American film with this range of moods: satirical, sometimes hilarious, yet suffused with a sense of loss and riddled with the kind of violence that makes you recoil and lean forward simultaneously.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The exhilaration is slow to build. It doesn't come from any one thing but from countless crosscurrents, tiny bits of color that fill out the portrait.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Fashioned by a buff, The Lord of the Rings is a banquet for the buff in us all. I left exhausted, happy, intoxicated.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    By the climax, we can hardly breathe -- The outcome is less important than our utter and complete empathy with this man. As we await what he does, we breathe with him, in and out. This is an astonishing movie.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It might be the cinema's most astonishing holy war film. The Lord of the Rings took seven years and an army of gifted artists to execute, and the striving of its makers is in every splendid frame. It's more than a movie--it's a gift.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is the best movie I've seen in a decade. For once it's no hyperbole to say, "Unforgettable!"
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The fact that Duvall gives such a glorious performance in The Apostle is likely to distract people from the fact that he has also written and directed a glorious movie--the most vivid and radiantly made of 1997.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The band's implosion and reassembly makes for one of the most marvelous rock documentaries of all time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    A collage of pain that breaks over you like a wave. Every second you can feel the cost to Caouette of what he's showing: The sounds and the images are like a pipeline from his unconscious to the screen.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is the most intoxicatingly beautiful martial arts picture I've ever seen.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    I loved it. Or, to put it another way, I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. I loved every gorgeous sick disgusting ravishing overbaked blood-spurting artificial frame of it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    An absolutely magical fusion of deadpan Ealing comedy and Gothic horror.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    No, I couldn't be more pleased with what the screenwriter, Steven Kloves, and the director, Mike Newell, have wrought this time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Munich is the most potent, the most vital, the best movie of the year.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The film is phenomenally well directed by Kevin Macdonald and edited by Justine Wright to bring out every bit of scary volatility in the most casual interactions.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Ulrich Mühe gives a marvelously self-contained performance. There isn't an ounce of fat on his body, or in his acting: He has pared himself down to a pair of eyes that prowl the faces of his character's countrymen for signs of arrogance--i.e., of independent thinking.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Indigènes is a stupendous work--and why that new title stinks to heaven.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Anyone who loves live-wire acting will gasp in awe at Blanchett, more emotionally exposed than ever, and, most of all, at Dame Judi, who’s so electric she makes you quiver.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It's a Parisian romantic roundelay with sundry couples connecting and disconnecting, but it looks and sounds like no sex comedy ever made: It's transcendentally yummy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    I’ve sat through so many claustrophobic examples of the genre I forgot how exhilarating, how pure a great one could be. Interview is a great one--electric as theater and cinema.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Very entertaining (and doesn’t overstay its welcome) but it’s a little depressing to contemplate.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Lake of Fire centers on abortion, but Kaye understands that while dead fetuses are the hook, the agenda covers the whole life cycle.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    His (Sidney Lumet) touch in Before the Devil is so sure, so perfectly weighted, that it’s hard to imagine him capable of making a bad movie. The thing is just enthralling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    A brilliant study in the link between moral corruption and narcissism.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It’s a near masterpiece.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The Savages is a delightful movie--the perfect companion piece (and antidote) to the year’s other superb convalescent-dementia picture, "Away From Her."
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Satrapi’s parents ship her off to a French school in Vienna, but she’s rudderless, ungrounded. She’s drawn back to a devastated Tehran, where she can’t design a life, either. This great film, by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, is that life, designed. It freed her mind; it frees ours.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Burton, bless him, constricts the space and concentrates the melodrama; he finds the perfect balance between the funereal and the ferocious. Above all, he treasures these ghouls: He digs both their bloodlust and their melancholy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    We’ve never sat through anything with Cloverfield’s subjective sting. You’d have to be tougher than I was not to be blown sideways by it.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The coup de grâce is especially graceless because everything we know is already visible in Marinca’s eyes. The actress is extraordinary.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Paranoid Park is a supernaturally perfect fusion of Van Sant’s current conceptual-art-project head-trip aesthetic and Blake Nelson’s finely tuned first-person “young adult” novel.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    In The Flight of the Red Balloon, the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien uses Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 masterpiece "The Red Balloon" as a springboard for his own masterpiece--a distinctively modern and allusive one, yet so tender and plaintive that you understand what Hou is up to on a preconscious level.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Loyal assistant, Pepper Potts, isn't much of a part, but Gwyneth Paltrow is a presence. She stands around looking amused and flabbergastingly pretty, slinging wisecracks with serene aplomb.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The Edge of Heaven is powerfully unsettled--it comes together by not coming together.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It takes about an hour after it's over for the heart to slow, the brain to recalibrate, and the nonsensicalness of the thing to sink in.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Chris & Don is the rarest of documentaries: a realistic portrait of the human spirit.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It was splendid! No, it’s not a larky kid-pic. We're firmly in the realm of English horror.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Among the most enraging (documentaries) I've ever seen, and while it's fine and heartfelt and I commend it to those of you with strong constitutions, it is the film that has finally broken me.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The whole thing is irresistibly preposterous.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Is A Christmas Tale a masterpiece? Maybe. I have to play with it longer. It's certainly Desplechin's most accessible film, in part because its dysfunctional-family-holiday-reunion genre is so comfy and its palette so warm.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The film is lyrical, expansive, unbearably beautiful.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The ensemble is stupendous--howlingly great--and the music goes deep.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The movie is a political remake of "The Passion of the Christ," only more aestheticized: It's rigorous, evocative, and, in spite of its grisly imagery, elegant. It's a triumph--of masochistic literal-mindedness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Doubt is still overpowering; it took me a while when it was over to stop shaking. It's the dramatist’s business to sow doubt, to set down points of view that can't be reconciled, and Shanley makes visceral the notion that one can be right but never absolutely right, that doubt might be our last, best hope.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    There isn't a banal moment in Winslet's performance--not a gesture, not a word. Is Winslet now the best English-speaking film actress of her generation? I think so.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Up
    By all means, see Up in its 3-D incarnation: The cliff drops are vertiginous, and the scores of balloons--bunched into the shape of one giant balloon--are as pluckable as grapes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Troell’s entrancingly beautiful Everlasting Moments uses surfaces--light, texture, faces--to hint at another world, a shadow realm.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Like his protagonist, Bahrani never gives up on William; his camera never stops probing. He loves West's face, and he honors its mystery.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Observe and Report is the rare "action-comedy" (almost always a muddled hybrid) that earns its cathartic climax. The blood is real because the psychosis is real. But somehow--the magic of comedy--it's also uproarious.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    No filmmaker I know has gotten as close to a professional athlete as James Toback gets to Mike Tyson in his new documentary.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The Hurt Locker might be the first Iraq-set film to break through to a mass audience because it doesn't lead with the paralysis of the guilt-ridden Yank. The horror is there, but under the rush.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Truly, this is manna from hell.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Séraphine is one of the most evocative films about an artist I've ever seen--and in its treatment of madness one of the least condescending.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Sheridan’s actors work with their intellects fully engaged--and they engage us on levels we barely knew we had.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Endlessly enchanting.

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