David Edelstein
Select another critic »
For 1,667 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 3.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Edelstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Apostle
Lowest review score: 0 Movie 43
Score distribution:
1,667 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In dramatic terms, Osama couldn't be much simpler. The director is aiming for a sort of tone poem of repression, the girl robbed first of her childhood, then of her burgeoning womanhood.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I hate to damage so fragile a work with overpraise, but, gay or straight, if you don't see yourself in this movie, you need to get a life.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I found the first half-hour a snooze, but once I adjusted to the movie's rhythms, I was completely enraptured. Ferran weaves the love affair into nature, but not in the mystical, sanctified manner of Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In spite of its standard biopic gaps and simplifications, Walk the Line gets the big things right.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Everything we love about biblical-movie kitsch is here, only concentrated and heightened.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A minor-key ghost story with major jolts.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It’s romantic, tragic, and inexorably strange.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The film is, in fact, a cunning exercise in subjectivity and withheld information--and once you accept those parameters, it’s riveting.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Breezy, brief, and often a howl.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    After warming up with "The Thin Red Line" and "The New World," Malick has succeeded in fully creating his own film syntax, his own temporal reality, and lo, it is … kind of goofy. But riveting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Living Out Loud becomes an ode to openness, to letting in everything that the world throws at you.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Belongs to that most promiscuous of genres -- the go-for-it sports melodrama -- but transcends it and then some.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In addition to being fast, funny, and unpretentious, Brave is a happy antidote to all the recent films in which women triumph by besting men at their own macho games.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    With an actor as great as Gene Hackman in the lead, a lot of scenes even breathe.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Knocked Up feels very NOW. The banter is bruisingly funny, the characters BRILLIANTLY childish, the portrait of our culture's narrowing gap between children and their elders hysterical--in all senses.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A thriller that isn't kinky isn't much of a thriller. And Cellular has the best kinky phone gimmick since "Sorry, Wrong Number" (1948).
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Gooses you even in its barren patches and gets fresher and funnier as it goes along. It builds to a shriekingly funny (and scary) revelation and a dénouement so brilliant it's almost demonic.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The first real Jackie Chan picture crafted for the American market, is a terrific piece of junk filmmaking.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Tumbleweeds is gorgeously nuanced.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    No movie in the last decade has succeeded in psyching out critics and audiences as fully as the powerful, rambling war epic The Thin Red Line.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It’s smoothly written and smartly paced, and Michael Douglas is riveting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A dazzling, repellent exercise in which the case against men is closed before it's opened.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I've heard it said that Le Carré's work lost its savor with the end of the Cold War, which is as dumb as discounting "Coriolanus" because Romans and ­Volscians are no longer killing each other. Le Carré's subject was the national character and what happened to it under threat and in the absence of public scrutiny. It could hardly be, mutatis mutandis, more contemporary.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I reckon 90 of the movie's 106 minutes are thriller heaven. The windup, alas, isn't in the same league: Both humdrum and confusingly staged, it pales beside the volcanic climaxes of Franklin's "One False Move" (1992) and "Devil in a Blue Dress."
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Before Midnight counts on our previous investment to keep us riveted. We are. And we want them back in spirit on that train to Vienna as much as they do. What’s next — After Sunrise?
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Even though the film is full of laughs, the jokes hover on the edge of the abyss: This is a world in which lurid colors and extravagant gestures are means of filling the void.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's rich, but slow, and children younger than eight (like mine) might get restless. But this big kid was lost in admiration.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    For all the artfulness, the feel of the film is rough-hewn, almost primitive. It’s a fabulous tree house of a movie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    That title would suit a melodrama with an emphasis on doomed love, which is not what Loach has crafted. There is a (chaste) love story and plenty of bloodletting. But what engages him and his screenwriter, Paul Laverty, is the growing tension between brother Irish rebels.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    There is a long and honorable tradition of broad intermarriage comedies (from the Romans to Abie's Irish Rose to La Cage aux Folles), and this one comes at least shoulder-high to the best. It has been directed by Joel Zwick in a happy, bustling style and acted with madcap ethnic relish.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Kohn’s gripping Manda Bala is the opposite of a high-school science doc. It’s a free-form portrait of a place--Brazil--with scary running motifs: kidnapping, mutilation, plastic surgery, bulletproofing, and frog farming.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Feels more like The Bill Clinton Story than "Primary Colors" (1998). It's a paean to naughty boys who dream of potency and become enraptured by their own scams -- a great American archetype.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's hard to do justice to Hawkins's acting, because you never actually see it: Her Rita simply is.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Fey's comic gifts mesh with Wiseman's first-hand research, and the wit becomes dazzling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    James Scurlock's documentary Maxed Out, tells the bone-chilling, bloodcurdling, hair-raising story of a country (guess which one?) that's up to its eyeballs in credit-card debt.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Even given the spate of post-apocalyptic and dystopian films that rule the multiplexes, this is the bleakest “franchise” in human history, and I’m curious if there will be any balm whatsoever in the next close encounter of the furred kind.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    What makes the movie such an unexpectedly potent little number is that Adventureland comes to stand for Stagnationland; the real roller coaster (i.e., life) is just outside the park.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    By the time this twisty, probing, altogether enthralling movie hits its final notes, the crimes against the Constitution and humanity have been upstaged by personal demons. Which is our woe as well.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A giddy ballet in which the women whirl around a still, clueless man.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Ted
    Ted runs out of invention in its last act (the bear is coveted by a chillingly deadpan sociopath, played by Giovanni Ribisi, and the villain's fat son), but I can't think of a better movie to see if you're male and want to get high and relive your idiot adolescence.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Since washing out as a pretty-boy leading man, Law is what he always should have been: a high-strung character actor. In Black Sea, he’s convincingly hard, like Jason Statham with more vocal colors and without the shtick.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Young Edie Martin, with her chaotic swarm of red ringlets and deadpan dutifulness (she has few lines, but they’re goodies), is the movie’s sign of eternal spring--the butterfly atop the just-opened blossom.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's better to think of Magic Mike as arty but energetic soft-core porn, with no pickle shots but plenty of juice. You should see it if only for McConaughey, an underrated leading man who finally gets a chance to use his strange timing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie got me where I live, but I think that even non-Park Slope real-estate owners will have a blast at Duplex: It's one of the most unnerving slapstick extravaganzas I've ever seen.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Slattery adapted the book with Alex Metcalf and gets the tone just right. The film is damnably amusing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Square is inner-world-shaking.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In outline, In Darkness is a standard conversion melodrama, but little within those parameters is easy. The darkness lingers into the light.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I Love You, Man is totally formulaic, but the formula is unnervingly (and hilariously) inside out.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Cave of Forgotten Dreams is sometimes frozen by Herzog's awe. But it's hard not to love him for always trying to look beyond the surface of things, to find a common chord in the landscape of dreams.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The greatness of Golden Door is its tone; sympathetic but always wry.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A tender, even-tempered elegy to a writer who at his peak could ingest staggering (literally) amounts of drugs and alcohol and transform, like Popeye after a can of spinach, into a superhuman version of himself--more trenchant, more cutting, more hilarious than any political journalist before or since.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The most miraculous thing about Man on Wire is not the physical feat itself, 1,350 feet above the ground, but that as you watch it, the era gone, the World Trade Center gone, the movie feels as if it's in the present tense. That nutty existentialist acrobat pulled it off. For an instant, he froze time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Sachs hits notes we've rarely heard in gay cinema, in which the hedonist bleeds into the humanist, the ephemeral into the enduring.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A sharp-witted, visually layered, gorgeously designed, meticulously directed piece of formula pablum.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    In a scant hour and a quarter it enlarges your notion of what theater and cinema, what art itself, can do — it dissolves every boundary it meets.

Top Trailers