David Edelstein

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For 1,855 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Edelstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Life of Pi
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
1855 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie is a collision between inspiration and tastelessness, between the defiantly quirky and the wholesomely homogenized. I hated it in principle--I hate most modern Disney cartoons--but adored a good deal of it in practice.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Here's what's depressing: that, given the millions spent on defense by multinational conglomerates, our last best hope isn't the courts but the fickle attentions of glossy magazines and the noblesse oblige of celebrities.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Apart from having no particular reason to exist onscreen, especially at these prices, it's not half bad.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's totally implausible, and yet it gets at something unnervingly real: the way that people can blow a budding relationship by being too honest with each other.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    All its themes are laid out like index cards on a screenwriter's bulletin board, and each plot turn seems so inevitable that you'll think you saw this movie in a previous life. (You did.)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's tricky, it's surprising, and it's largely faithful to the original mini-series, but in context it's a nonevent. It's like a time bomb that's never dismantled but never explodes. The movie is good enough that the ending leaves you … not angry, exactly. Unfulfilled.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Frustratingly anemic, the filmmakers hiding behind their good taste and sensitivity. They might as well have gone for broke, since Plath and Hughes' daughter accused them of monstrous exploitation anyway.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Apart from a few choice flashbacks, the action is crawlingly linear--and opaque.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Too long, too sexist, and too--shall we say--flaccid. But it has its moments.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s puffed up in obvious ways but disarmingly puckish in others. As that capering pirate, De Niro is god-awful--yet his gung-ho spirit wins him Brownie points.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s a cracker­jack piece of filmmaking, a declaration that he’s (Eastwood) not yet ready to be classified as an Old Master, that he can out-Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow. Morally, though, he has regressed from the heights of Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). In more ways than one, the Iraq occupation is seen through the sight of a high-powered rifle. The movie is scandalously blinkered.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Given the movie’s bloody stew of greed and sadism, its unbalanced frames and ear-scraping soundscape, its moral tidiness can bring a smile to your otherwise appalled face.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I half-admire its exquisite balancing act, squeezing laughs out of its leading lady's wardrobe, vocabulary, gestures, and cretinously oblivious Beverly Hills sense of entitlement, while simultaneously demonstrating her brilliance, sturdy ethics, and unflappable egalitarianism.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    With its featherweight premise, casually amoral heroes, and exotic locales, it conjures up an era (the '60s and '70s) when twisty, romantic heist pictures were routinely ground out as tax shelters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I wish it were as much fun as its prospectus. The truth is that The Truth About Charlie gets increasingly tiresome.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Aeon Flux is not that terrible. It's certainly more fun than a lot of films that get lovingly showcased.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    If Boiler Room isn't an especially challenging movie, it's still a damn good melodrama -- a boilermaker.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    This is familiar terrain jazzed up by unfamiliar voices--principally Terrence Howard and his high-pitched, singsong drawl. You don't quite know what he's thinking; he might even be demented. But he keeps you watching and guessing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Charming self-made vehicle.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Amounts to a pantheistic love-in: "A Fish Called Wanda" for vegetarians.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    As I've implied, this is a great midnight movie: I enjoyed every patchily edited, ham-fisted scene. But I don't like seeing the wonderful Kate Winslet look stupid, or the wonderful Laura Linney abase herself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s world away from the mystery and irrevocable tragedy that Barnes evokes in his slim novel. The climactic revelation is very sad, but it doesn’t wound you.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I'm not sure what Kontroll adds up to, but if you're looking for a rackety journey into the bowels of urban life, this is your movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Margot at the Wedding doesn’t develop; it just skips from one squirmy scene to the next.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Zoo
    Devor doesn't endorse horse-on-man sex, but he does attempt--with sympathy--to account for the appeal.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Holy Rollers fuses a somber, old-world palette with a jittery urban unease--a good mix of tones. It’s also wonderfully acted.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A wee, breezy thing with painterly cinematography (by Jean Yves Escoffier) and with actors who are mostly fun to watch. It sails by in 103 minutes and the clunky stuff isn't painful, which makes a change from LaBute's usual grueling studies in human callousness and depravity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Scene by scene, Jindabyne has dramatic force, but it's an awfully long slog. Carver's smartest tactic was never outstaying his welcome.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Too bad the movies collapses at the end when we find out what's really going on. Baghead is so much more vivid when it's indefinite.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s campier than its predecessor, but its gung ho union of black, white, and Asian gangs against reactionaries who’d destroy them is a virtuosic assertion of punky Parisian multiculturalism.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It would be imprecise to say that the thrill is gone, because The Lost World recovers from its turgid opening and comes to life, or does so in spasms.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It gets the job done and then some, but it's ugly and clumsily shaped, and every scene is there to rack up sociological points.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    There's too much miserable reality and not a lot of transcendent dance, and the director, Stephen Daldry, doesn't cover the action from enough angles.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I don't know what Pollock is supposed to be about, but as it stands—by default—it's the most blood-freezing Jewish-mother nightmare ever filmed. Pollock would give Woody Allen the willies.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    By now we’ve seen so many good, bad, and indifferent Sherlocks that it’s almost a relief to get something different, however wrongheaded. And there’s no such thing as too much Downey.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Though a mess by all conventional narrative standards, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a fascinating case study in the rules of “universe” storytelling. Chief among them is that a film may not be self-contained — it must constantly allude to worlds outside its own. Marvel fans want extra characters, extra subplots, in-jokes that pander to their supposed breadth of knowledge. They don’t want closure.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A ferocious yet lyrical piece of filmmaking--an enchanted bloodbath.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A slick, not-too-thoughtful love story.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Even if you find the satire in Josie and the Pussycats self-serving, you might still love the movie, buy the soundtrack, and surrender to the hype. That's what happened to me.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Levinson must think he's on safe ground morally by keeping Bandits bloodless, as if the absence of carnage somehow makes kidnapping and armed robbery wholesome.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It doesn't entirely gel, but few directors could explore the collision of the ego and the outside world with such sympathy or purpose. It's possible that the NC-17 has never been used to such PG-13 ends.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie is meant to get into you like a virus, and it does.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    In any case, the last twenty minutes of Breaking Dawn are so harrowing that it's possible to forget that most of the acting is soap-operatic (the guy who plays Carlisle is aging to look like Liberace) and the dialogue from hunger. The movie's that primal.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Something appalling about the way he turns to the camera with a look of sorrow: Michael Moore as a suffering Christ. It's an insult to his own movie, which at its considerable best transcends his thuggish personality.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Once the surprise of seeing something so miserable depicted with such wit and poetry wears off, you’re left with a nagging ugh, as well as the feeling that this emotional/psychological syndrome isn’t nearly as universal as Kaufman thinks it is.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    This isn't an objectionable movie, just a mild, obvious, and rather limp one, with plenty of little jolts but no ejaculatory payoff.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Moverman is attempting something hugely ambitious with Time Out of Mind: a socially conscious, existential-displacement art movie. I think it would have worked better with a little less rigor and a little more intimacy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie itself isn’t dull. It’s moderately stylish, moderately suspenseful, fun in patches. It hits its marks. But the setup lacks urgency.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Spy
    Feig keeps throwing so much stuff at you — gross-out gags, chases, brutal violence, not to mention actors working their heads off — that he finally wears down your resistance. In the end, I admired him for keeping this ramshackle construction together, casting performers I adore, and proving that Melissa McCarthy can, indeed, hold a gun. A mixed victory. A definitively mixed review.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Closer is in the same arena as Labute, and I found it sour and airless, with the feel of a mathematical proof. The acting is superb, though, with one key exception. Jude Law.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Mr. 3000 is refreshing because it ends on a slightly sour, dissonant note: Stan wins, but not in the way he imagines. It's a nice change from the sports films that end with fists pumping and crowds going nuts.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    One of the more enjoyably terrible movies of the year.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The decomposition of the soul is the goal of a Stasi incarceration, the promised end for an enemy of the state, and there is something about the movie’s pacing--the silences, the drone of the narration ("The name of your enemy is hope?…?")--that wears you down.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie isn't unwatchable. It's clumsily good-natured, the actors are appealing, and there are worse ways to spend two hours than looking at pretty young girls in shorts kicking balls. But the movie is way, way too pleased with itself.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    When those talking heads metamorphose into familiar ranting heads, it becomes another mesmerizing right-wing horror show.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I like the movie, though. It forced me to rethink the way sexual desire saturates everything, along with extreme vulnerability of children.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Jolie gets the dirty/ennobling job done. If the narrative is finally unsatisfying, it’s because the last vital chapter — the way in which Zamperini was able to have a life after years of unspeakable cruelty and the dashing of his Olympic hopes — is signaled in a couple of title cards before the closing credits. Unbroken proves that Zamperini could take it and make it — but make what of it?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie gets funnier and less obvious as it goes along, and Zooey Deschanel is a hoot as a disdainfully bored co-worker who ritually insults the zombie chain-store shoppers -- but what is The Good Girl saying, exactly?
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Ken Hixon's script contrives a lot of mutual-healing set pieces and then sadly but shrewdly aborts them: That makes the drama more Chekhovian than "quite real."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    As in his pithy, tuneful songs-many written from different perspectives, in different styles-Merritt is committed to stylizing his misery instead of boring you with it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Danny Huston is screamingly funny as the alternately finicky and savage Head Ghoul--he’s like something spewed forth from the bowels of the Politburo. The problem is structural.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    An appropriately generic title for a droning, high-toned little heist picture with no dash and no raison d'être.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Bachelorette has some big gaps, and it isn't what you'd call fun - it's not "Bridesmaids 2." But lovely women doing genuinely ugly things makes for a potent combination.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's too florid, too calculated, too too. Here's my emotional declaration: I love Richard Curtis' work. But I can't help feeling that the Bard of Embarrassment could use a touch more shame.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The film is too wan and distanced to sweep you up, but it holds you.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Extraordinary Measures has a soppy piano-and-strings score, but the primal fear of loss sharpens every scene.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Pirates is OK, in patches even better.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A feminist sitcom tricked up with garish violence and garrulous hit men.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The screenwriter, James Solomon, does the poor job only a liberal could at making the case for a Cheneyesque "dark side," and he isn't helped by Kline's wooden acting. Too bad. The Conspirator is eloquent enough to let the other side have its say.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Ozon devises tantalizing scenarios and immerses himself completely--then seems happy to tread water.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Con-artist caper comedies are almost always piffle, but there's a fierce, cruel competition at the heart of Heartbreakers that gives it some bite.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s an unusually warm world, full of helpful wealthy people and friendly faces. That’s the conundrum. It’s too shallow to nourish the spirit of a man like Bobby. But it’s too rich to leave.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The prolific Patrice Leconte takes a break from mythic, life-and-death scenarios with My Best Friend, a sitcom that threatens to take a rockier emotional path before swerving back into the comfy zone. It’s better when it’s threatening, but Leconte knows his audience.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Yes, I cringed at the casting, too, especially when, watching the trailer, I heard Parker deliver the narration in the same voice she used for Carrie in "Sex and the City." But Kate is funnier - less arch - than Carrie, and Parker reminds you what a dizzy, all-in, high-risk comic actress she can be when she's not too busy showing off the couture.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    For all its indirection, Meek's Cutoff is an utterly conventional film. But it's worth asking whether Reichardt's drowsy rhythms, stripped-down scenario, and female vantage add up to something illuminating. And here's where she earns at least some of those plaudits she's been getting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Araki is trying to work from the inside out; and he captures feelings about sexual exploitation that I've never seen onscreen--not all of them negative.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A decent-enough rambunctious Southern-drive-in sort of time-waster, missing only the bare boobs that would make it the perfect socially irresponsible sexist entertainment for rednecks and uptight liberal elites who'd like to live the country-boy dream for a few hours. (Howdy, y'all!)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie says that the rebellious spirit that generates art can also consume and destroy -- that there's no undangerous way to ride the tiger.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Payne's movie is flat, depressed, and at times -- given this director's talent -- disappointingly curdled; it needs every quivering molecule of Nicholson's repressed rage to keep it alive and humming.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie should be seen with a large, responsive audience--the better to live with it in the moment instead of worrying about where it’s going.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The whole movie is a good try.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Mistress America is hit-and-miss. It’s not as burdened by blame as other Baumbach films — Gerwig leavens him. But it’s labored.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The battle scenes are loud and jangly and dissonant enough to unnerve you — they work. But I’d like to see a congressional committee grill Bay and screenwriter Chuck Hogan about what’s going on half the time.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The combination of childlike glee and grown-up precision is a wonder. The movie actually earns the right to exist, which is no mean feat.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The pretty good thriller Lockout peaks with its first shot...When the camera moves and the plot kicks in - as it must - the movie loses its witty economy. Things get cluttered.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I also thrilled to identify with a male lead (Jon Favreau) who's as brilliant and crazy and self-absorbed as Woody Allen or Albert Brooks but whose self-absorption doesn't shape and color everything else in the movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Apart from Theron and Christina Ricci as her lover, there's nothing in Monster that rises above the level of doggedly well-meaning, although the film is worth seeing for the acting and as a sort of palate-teaser for Broomfield and Churchill's documentary.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    If you can forget what it’s saying, Divergent is fairly entertaining.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Panic Room is fluidly made, and it keeps the audience quiet and unpleasantly gripped. But the only surprise is the absence of surprise; that trap is in too-plain view.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The glibness exhausts you, and the Coens are emotionally so far outside their subject that Intolerable Cruelty is finally no different from most of the other dumb slapstick spoofs that pass for screwball comedy these days.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The best scene is when Hellboy and Abe get drunk and sing out raucously, which after "Hancock" suggests a trend toward superhero alcoholism.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It would be easy to dismiss as 100 percent ersatz if it didn't rekindle at least some of the old excitement - and if the magic of Spielberg's older movies didn't filter through, like light from a distant galaxy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Woody Allen’s philosophical thriller Irrational Man is irrationally entertaining. It shouldn’t work. It’s laughably plotted and sketchily written. Intellectually, it’s jejune — or at least high in jejunosity. But if you can manage to keep your eye-rolling in check, you might find yourself getting into it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The X-Files isn't so much a bad movie as it is a crackerjack piece of television. It's crisply made--not sodden like many of the "Star Trek" pictures. But it's as annoyingly open-ended as the rest of the series' episodes.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Bello is an excellent actress and makes Sophie’s anguish credible, although she can’t rise above the material.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Ant-Man isn’t much more than pleasant (Peyton Reed directs limply), but anything Marvel that doesn’t feel Marvel-ish makes me smile.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A more down-to-earth actor would sentimentalize Breakfast on Pluto and make for an awkward fit with its peculiar mix of tones. Murphy's strangeness--his chill estrangement--makes his campy "Kitten" persona more poignant.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s absorbing for a long while, at least half its two-hour running time — an evocatively photographed soap opera with actors who are impossibly gorgeous and yet human-looking — but it goes on and on, piling on twists, adding devices so clunky they’d have embarrassed most nineteenth-century problem-dramatists, refusing to jell despite the actors’ prodigious suffering.

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