David Edelstein

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For 1,857 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 Listen to Me Marlon
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
1857 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Only the generic title disappoints. Leo Rockas, who turned Lady Susan’s epistles into an Austen-esque novel, suggests Flirtation and Forbearance or Coquetry and Caution. But by any title this is a treat.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    As the father-in-law, Langella has one of those thankless antagonist roles — the rigid, killjoy patriarch — that older actors take for the paycheck and almost never pull off. As usual these days, he’s remarkable.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The documentary could hardly be more timely or essential.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The film is a triumph of technology and safe “family” storytelling. It’s dazzling — almost no one will dislike it.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The unexpected element is a series of letters (some never before heard) Joplin wrote to her family back home in Port Arthur, Texas, read by Chan Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power) in a voice that captures the cadences of Joplin’s speech without being an imitation. The letters are heartbreaking in their own way.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    By the end of Heaven Knows What, you see Ilya’s fragile, unguarded soul through Harley’s eyes, and the film’s discordances sound like the music of the spheres.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This is an extraordinary film.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Cornish, like Edgar Wright (who directed "Shaun of the Dead" and was an executive producer here), can parody a genre in a way that revitalizes it, that reminds you why the genre was born in the first place. The movie is in a different galaxy than "Cowboys & Aliens": It has, in both senses, guts.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Soderbergh’s alleged last theatrical film is paranoid and hopeless, but he leaves the field with a bounce in his step.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    My chief complaint is that these mutants are a little--well, vanilla. I wish the X-Men had a touch of kinkiness to go with their weird abilities.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The neat thing about Jonathan Parker's modern-day Bartleby (Outsider Pictures) is that it brings out all the vaudeville undercurrents in Melville's dark tale and turns it into a surreal tragi-sitcom for our own era.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Given that the movie doesn't have a single narrative surprise--you always know where it's going and why, commercially speaking, it's going there--it's amazing how good Blood Diamond is. I guess that's the surprise.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Relatively speaking, Catching Fire is terrific. Even nonrelatively, it's pretty damn good.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    There's a thrilling madness to Phoenix's Method.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Abrams and his writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) have come up with a way to make you dig the souped-up new scenery while pining for the familiar--a good thing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Whatever this universe is, you're inside it, with your mouth open, wishing that all sporting events could be this exhilarating, that all human bodies could work this way, that all simpleminded movies could be this mindfully empty-headed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's fun to see actors doing what they do and to see them through the eyes of a director.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's an elegant, civilized, and deeply liberal piece of craftsmanship, with the sort of social conscience you rarely encounter in a modern American thriller.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The magnetic Alexander Skarsgard is the leader, Benji, a soft-spoken dreamboat, ever-direct but with a haunted quality, with something in reserve. Ellen Page gives a Lili Taylor–worthy performance (high praise) as a suspicious, abrasive young woman.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The surprise is that, given the number of female college presidents, professors, and students, victims are still so reliably blamed, punishments so reliably weak, and serial offenders (responsible for 91 percent of all sexual assaults) so reliably undisturbed.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    One job of memoir is to show the world through another's eyes and inspire you to live more alertly, and that is the glory of The Beaches of Agnès.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Woodsman should be pretty intolerable, but the writing-line by line-is heartfelt and probing, the direction gives the actors room to stretch out, and the performances are miraculous.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A sturdy piece of work, an old-fashioned conversion narrative with some high-tech zip.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Impressive and heartfelt.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Computer-generated animated movies with wall-to-wall jokes can be excruciating, but these jokes are the funniest money can buy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    If you’ve seen Linklater’s other films, you know that time for him isn’t just a factor, it’s a character, a player.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Children of Men is a bouillabaisse of up-to-the-minute terrors. It's a wow, though.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    God, I love Plummer's performance - the twiddling fingers, the tipsy sway of the head, the reverberating roar, as well as the pathos of a man who can't stop acting long enough to hear the cry of his own soul.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It has been sexed up, opened out, and finished off with a disappointing bang-bang climax, but it's still good fun.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The film has a kamikaze comic spirit that's spectacularly disarming.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The whole movie is like that: gleaming, but with a whiff of the charnel house. Dirty Pretty Things doesn't quite cut to the bone, but it gets as far as a couple of vital organs.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The poetic Swedish vampire picture (with arterial spray) "Let the Right One In" has been hauntingly well transplanted to the high desert of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and renamed Let Me In.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    I could quibble with the conventionally romantic ending and a couple of small but not-so-cosmetic alterations, but on the whole, this is just how I'd always imagined one of my favorite comic novels should look and sound.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Admirable and wondrously strange--as well as gorgeous, funny, dreamlike, mesmerizing, squirmy, and occasionally annoying.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The Farrellys have set themselves the awesome task of arguing passionately for the non-importance of appearance while at the same time making relentless sport of it. The happy news is that they pull it off: In Shallow Hal, they've contrived a deeply humanist gross-out comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The film is marvelous fun on its own terms -- I laughed all the way through it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    However cheeky and blasphemous, this is, at heart, a rather sweet little fable. Which of course would mean nothing if it weren’t explosively funny.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Sensationally effective.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Obviously, this sort of taboo-flouting imagery isn't for everyone, but Park's vision is all of a piece.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    At its best, the movie evokes that blend of thrill and terror that comes from mixing two chemicals together without being sure that an instant later you'll still be standing there in one piece.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The most engrossing part of Truth is the gradual, grueling retreat from the story, first by its participants and then by the network that broadcast it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A truly unformulaic comedy of lust and greed, a farce that seems to write itself, slap-happily, as it goes along.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    As both men lie to loved ones to keep their exchange alive, the tension builds and becomes unbearable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's one of the best kinds of documentaries--not calculated but serendipitous.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The first two thirds and change of I Am Legend is terrific mindless fun: crackerjack action with gnashing vampires barely glimpsed (and scarier for that) and how’d-they-do-that New York locations that retroactively justify the traffic jams.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    It's both fractured and fluid, with a helter-skelter syntax and a ceaselessly infectious backbeat. Beyond that, it's a blast.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    This vital documentary gives you a world of hurt, prescribes nothing, and calls the ultimate questions you can ask as an American.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The movie has an intriguing wild card in Bess Armstrong as an ex-prostitute turned Zen masseuse. I'm not sure if she's meant to be brilliantly evolved or an idiot -- or if the actress is really good or really, really terrible. But her chemistry with Forster is terrific.

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