David Edelstein

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For 1,905 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 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Edelstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Marjorie Prime
Lowest review score: 0 Domino
Score distribution:
1905 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's an unusually funny, literate, worked-out script, and Mendes seems hell-bent on making the best Bond since "Goldfinger" - or the best, period, given that he exhumes Bond's old Aston Martin only to shoot it cheekily to pieces.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The camera moves with heightened sensitivity, as if on currents of emotion, and Kendrick is infinitely winning. She’s that rare thing, a movie star with a trained soprano.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Manito is the rare little movie that gets bigger as it goes along--so big that it can hardly contain its own emotion.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Most of all, I enjoyed the picture's subtext, which is that Smith has become so sensitized to Internet abuse -- that the cathartic climax consists of tracking down bellicose posters (all of whom turn out to be adolescent dweebs) and pummeling the crap out of them.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    There is a special kind of pleasure in hearing jokes that have no redeeming social value. I'd like to think that this IS their social value-an invitation to free the mind.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Kill Team, an essential film no matter what your political convictions. The setting is Afghanistan, but it might be Iraq or Vietnam or anywhere with occupying forces. It might be Gaza. This map of hell is timeless, placeless.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Clement and Waititi are intimate with the conventions of vampire movies and reality TV and must have had a crazy-great time blending the unblendable in the best SCTV tradition. But it’s the absence of camp that I keep coming back to. They scale it down and play it real. They’re undeadpan.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This is lovely, momentous piffle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A fascinatingly strange and chaotic ballet set to familiar noir motifs.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This world is ravishingly beautiful, but there’s also something oppressive about its exoticism. The color doesn’t just saturate the frame; it thickens it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Unknown Known is a worthy addition to Morris’s body of work, an epic search that demonstrates the limits of language, the ease of sidestepping truth.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    There's nothing like a film about wayward passions to remind you how differently people feel things.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Boorman pays a price for his neutrality: The General isn't an emotional grabber. But on its own terms it's nearly perfect. The magic is there but below the surface.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    For all the movie's pixilated transitions, fisticuffs, and hyper-alert climaxes at the roulette table, there's a kind of temperamental evenness that's perfectly in sync with the protagonist.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I urge you not to pass up Black Book, especially on a wide screen. It's a marvelous movie-movie, with a new screen goddess. Van Houten has a soft, heart-shaped face on top of a body so naturally, ripely beautiful it has its own kind of truth.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In Married Life, Ira Sachs aims a bit lower than Green but obliterates his target: The funny, the scary, the campy, the sad--they’re all splendidly of a piece.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I think this tale of woe can principally be seen as a plea for a heightened sense of community. It takes a village to keep us all afloat.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A pungently funny and heartfelt piece of wish fulfillment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It’s Moss who takes the film to a higher, scarier level. After years of playing Peggy Olson on "Mad Men", she knows how to smile and nod and say one thing while obviously meaning the exact opposite, and when at last she unleashes the truth, it’s with demonic intensity. She turns subtext into horror-poetry.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    You get a bad feeling early in Project Nim, the brilliant, traumatizing documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire).
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Bug
    Has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This one is alive with discoveries--of locations, characters, the actors who embody them, and even the medium. In The Go-Getter, filmmaking itself feels like Manifest Destiny.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    If high-toned futuristic time-travel pictures with a splash of romance float your boat the way they do mine, you'll have yourself a time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This is a rare case in which Marvel has freed a director’s imagination instead of straitjacketing it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The tagline for Tiller Russell’s riveting new documentary, The Seven Five is “Meet the dirtiest cop in NYC history,” which I suspect does a profound disservice to a lot of other NYC policemen, past and present — although none of them are likely to write letters of complaint.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Despite its downbeat context (a plague at its height), the movie is a crowd-­pleaser — graceful and funny enough to distract you from its gaps and elisions.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    If you can get past the craven concessions to formula, though, it’s rather underful--I mean, wonderful. Taking his cues from John Tenniel’s famous illustrations, Burton indulges his delight in disproportion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This Merchant of Venice comes roaring to life--when it stops, in effect, apologizing for its terrible anti-Semitic worldview and just gives itself over to some of the most furious courtroom drama ever written.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    What the film does have is coruscating anger, impish wit, and a breathtaking style.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Transcends its murkiness and eats into the mind. Cure is what ails you.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Venus in Fur is both kinky and can pass as a form of self-flagellation. One additional, not-small thing: It allows him to demonstrate, with a minimum of means, his superb craftsmanship.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Say what you will about Mad Mel Gibson, he’s a driven, febrile artist, and there isn’t a second in his war film Hacksaw Ridge — not even the ones that should register as clichés — that doesn’t burn with his peculiar intensity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Writer-director Azazel Jacobs has made a very smart movie about a very dumb idea.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie works smashingly, especially if you haven't seen its Hong Kong counterpart and haven't a clue what's coming. But for all its snap, crackle, and pop, it's nowhere near as galvanic emotionally.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    If you have a penchant for mood pieces that flirt with genre but are too pretentious to deliver the full climactic payload, Personal Shopper is for you. I loved nearly all of it, disposed to forgive Assayas his arty withholding for the pleasure of watching Stewart through his eyes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I’ve seen Upstream Color twice and liked it enormously while never being certain of anything.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This is one of the last Gandolfini performances, and it’s the ultimate proof that he could change his look and sound and rhythm without losing the source of his power: the connection to that inner baby ever starved for love and nourishment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie ends abruptly-too abruptly for my taste-but the gaiety lingers through the closing credits. Not even apocalypse can dispel the sexy vibes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A minimalist exercise in maximalist suspense.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Vigalondo demonstrates that even the dumbest genres can be used to profound ends — not cheapening serious things but kicking them to the next metaphoric level. A woman finding her inner strength is inspiring. But a woman finding her inner giant monster who kicks butt — that’s just so cool.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    No wonder Hawke was so hot to pass the script onto Linklater. He's superb, by the way.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Movies don’t always have to be “how things are.” When they’re as warm and rousing as Creed, they can be “how we want to make things.”
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Leigh has been giving actors their tongues for decades, and of all his films, Happy-Go-Lucky is the easiest, the least labored.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The first half of The Yellow Handkerchief is the half-movie of the year, and the rest isn’t bad--just more sentimental, more ordinary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Band’s Visit resounds with tenderness and melancholy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    But Cate Blanchett ... ahhhh. She doesn't impersonate Katharine Hepburn, she channels her.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The result, however clichéd, is spectacularly unnerving: hair-trigger horror.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    At its midpoint, the film could go either way: toward "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" psychosis or something more hopeful and humanistic. It’s a testament to Saavedra’s tough performance that even with a happy ending, you wouldn’t want to leave her with your kids.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Sensationally made and in patches pretty nerve-jangling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Hackman gives the con-man lines a simple, straight-ahead urgency that makes the man first hilarious and then, as the pleasures of human company are withdrawn and his resentment begins to bubble up, inexplicably touching. This is a great performance.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The whole movie, of course, is a setting for its jewel, Catalina Sandino Moreno as Maria: With her clear, round eyes, long dark hair, and radiant transparency, she brings to mind two of the loveliest ingénues of the last quarter-century -- Meg Tilly and Jennifer Connelly.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In the flawless cast, Williams is the most affecting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Bahrani’s casting of Dern is genius. She’s such a profoundly unaffected actress that you instantly buy her aversion to her son’s lucre. She has a moral and aesthetic problem with that tacky mansion on the waterway. She wouldn’t fit in there.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    For Greenfield, the Siegels are a brilliant metaphor for everything farkakte about the U.S. economy and the culture that shaped it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Private Parts is so riotous that you almost don't remember how unfunny Stern can be on his radio show.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Powerful and then some.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie is good enough to put a chill into the late-summer air. Salva has nasty surprises in the grim, minor-key last third, during which the feeling dawns on you that sleep for the next few nights won't come easily.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The film is, finally, a brilliant tap dance over a void: There’s no real drama when the inner life of the female lead is so shrouded, even if that’s the point.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The bad news is that Before Sunset is not as delirious an experience as its predecessor. The good news is that it's wonderful anyway, and in ways that tell us something about our romance with "Before Sunrise."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Essentially a solemn, splintered meditation on lost love: a movie about personal space, in space.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It thaws the soul.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    An extraordinarily potent brew.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Makes for quite an emotional roller-coaster ride. You don't know whether to celebrate or mock, to laugh or weep.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It proves that male action stars can triumph not only over space but, more important, over time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    True Grit isn't as momentous an event as you might hope, but once you adjust to its deliberate rhythms (it starts slowly), it's a charming, deadpan Western comedy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I'm looking forward to buying Blades of Glory on DVD so I can get my head around the phenomenal skating routines. Obviously, there were wires and lifts and computer-generated effects, but for my money it looked like the lumbering Ferrell and nerdy Heder were Olympic-worthy stylists.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie made me laugh a lot anyway. It has a big, inventive cast of loons and a great premise.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The fun is in the one-thing-after-another delirium the movie induces, and in our breathless anticipation of what they'll hurl at us next.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    One of the more lyrical sci-fi action thrillers ever made, in which space and time become love slaves to the directors' witty visual fancies.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A nutty, zany, wacky, unruly, spastically hilarious hodgepodge that hits at least twice as often as it misses—which is a big deal, since there are more gags per square foot of celluloid than in any film since Joe Dante's "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990).
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Guilt and alienation from Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel, so arty, enervated, and allegorical it might have been made by a European in the early sixties.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It’s better to have a well-made, unapologetic action-adventure like this one than a creepy stab at replication.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Frank's writing is razor-sharp, his filmmaking whistle-clean. As a fan of sharp razors and clean whistles, I enjoyed The Lookout--yet I did feel let down by the climax, which ought to have been blunter and messier and crazier and more cathartic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In The Town, he (Renner) doesn't signal that Jem is a sociopath... It's a deeply unnerving performance, beyond good or evil.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The mixture of cartoony stylization and regional realism is completely original--and a testament to the genius eye for color of the great cinematographer Roger Deakins and the designer Dennis Gassner.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    An uncommonly well-crafted historical feminist tearjerker--both anti-patriarchal and a monument to motherhood.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Being a puckish Swedish, the writer-director Ruben Ostland slips into a tone that makes Force Majeure almost seem like a deadpan — frozen — comedy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The first two thirds are gangbusters, with marauding bands of tarted-up young witches who look only slightly less scary than Lindsay Lohan and her pals on an average night.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    As splashy as Killer Joe is, it's also, beat by beat, meticulously orchestrated, with no shortcuts to the carnage. When it comes to mapping psychoses, Letts and Friedkin are diabolically single-minded cartographers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    If I seem cool, it might be because I came in hoping for the same level of blood-and-thunder as in the Evangelical scenes of "There Will Be Blood," whereas The Master is a cerebral experience. But Anderson has gone about exploring fundamental tensions in the American character with more discipline than I once thought him capable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    If his (Zhang's) fight scenes don't fully intoxicate, though, his color and compositional rigor compensate for much. See Hero on the biggest screen you can find, and sit close enough for all that spiraling silk to tickle your nostril hairs.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Cheadle is extraordinary.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie has none of the smugness of "­American Beauty": You could dream of living in a world like this.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Before it loses its fizz--maybe two thirds of the way through--Volver offers the headiest pleasures imaginable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    For all its relative subtlety, Kill Bill, Vol. 2 remains a cartoon: Its wit is broadsword rather than rapier, and its motives are elemental. The banter is second-tier Tarantino: a cut above his imitators, but below the standard set by "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Host packs a lot into its two tumultuous hours: lyrically disgusting special effects, hair-raising chases, outlandish political satire, and best of all, a dysfunctional-family psychodrama--an odyssey that's like a grisly reworking of "Little Miss Sunshine."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Unexpectedly delectable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A passionate and rousing piece of filmmaking--a civics lesson with the punch of a good melodrama.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Gatekeepers doesn't play like agitprop. The storytelling is strong, the images stark. The camera roams among multiple monitors showing multiple satellite views while an ambient score works on your nerves.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Coppola’s The Beguiled doesn’t have the southern-gothic kick of its predecessor. It’s not a horror movie. Its power is in its undercurrents, in the sense that what we’re seeing isn’t inevitable but a sort of worst-case scenario of genders in opposition. No one is wholly good or bad. Both sides are beguiled.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    No part of us is allowed to relax. Ever.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Somehow, Assisted Living jells. Maggie Riley is astoundingly convincing, and she and Bonsignore's Todd have an unforced chemistry that catches you off guard.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A senseless blast.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    True Crime gives you sleaze on toast--a heap of tabloid bathos, a dusting of high-mindedness, a dash of gallows humor. It's a bizarre concoction, but it's riveting.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Director Dennis Dugan knows his way around shin-whacking slapstick, and Sandler is mesmerizing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It’s our sense of adventure that matters in the end. We must cultivate confusion and dare to be disoriented.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's a prizewinning combination, terribly English and totally Hollywood, and Firth is, once more, uncanny: He evokes, in mid-stammer, existential dread.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Gives off the same vapor of impending tragedy—of a fate neither just nor unjust but ineffably, wrenchingly right.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie has so much texture that once it gets you, you're good and got.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Even more than his other genre mash-ups, this is a switchback journey through Tarantino’s twisted inner landscape, where cinema and history, misogyny and feminism, sadism and romanticism collide and split and re-bond in bizarre new hybrids. The movie is an ungainly pastiche, yet on some wacked-out Jungian level it’s all of a piece.

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