David Edelstein, Slate
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For 719 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 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Edelstein's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 In the Bedroom
Lowest review score: 0 15 Minutes
Score distribution:
719 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Pirates is OK, in patches even better.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The Slums of Beverly Hills never gels, but it has a likable spirit, and it's exceedingly easy on the eye, with lots of pretty girls and wry evocations of '70s fashions and decor.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie is sweet but deeply suspect: It's like "Lost Horizon" re-imagined by a realtor.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Kill Bill is about nothing more (or less) than its director's passion for the mindless action pictures that got him through adolescence. It isn't sex without love: It's an orgy with just enough love.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's a daring and original effort, yet so noncommittal--so purposely vague--that it's apt to leave you flummoxed: at once stricken and etherized.
    • 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.
    • 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.)
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's true that the movie, arrested between documentary and drama, doesn't quite do justice to either medium: The actors playing Joe and Simon don't have anything like "lines" to simulate "drama," or even just "conversation," while the real guys often fall back on bland English understatement.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Even with her stinko lines, Weaver has never been as flabbergastingly gorgeous and charismatic. She's tall and lean and meteor-hard, and you can almost believe there's really acid in her blood, and that no alien in its right mind would mess with her.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    After an electrifyingly feral opening, the movie settles down into a cogent courtroom drama, with no real cinematic highs but no jaw-dropping lows, either.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The film is seamlessly made, its mood balanced dreamily between sexy-funny and sexy-scary.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A simple, chronological history, narrated with melancholy gravitas by Morgan Freeman.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    A thriller of serpentine excitement all the way up to that dud of a climax.
    • 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
    When those talking heads metamorphose into familiar ranting heads, it becomes another mesmerizing right-wing horror show.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Charming self-made vehicle.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Amounts to a pantheistic love-in: "A Fish Called Wanda" for vegetarians.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Pure misery.
    • 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.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I must admit that I find those motifs -- and the Farrellys' universe in general -- more sweet than offensive, and I liked Say It Isn't So just so. So there.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Elektra isn't half-bad--only maybe two-fifths.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I prefer the Farrellys when they're disreputable and push the boundaries of taste, because they're otherwise a tad sentimental.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Fascinating for the issues--ethical, aesthetic, psychoanalytic--it raises. But it doesn't fully come together.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    What a shock when George Lucas finds his footing and the saga once again takes hold.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    There is nothing wrong with the action sequences beyond their sheer length and number. They're in the "Road Warrior" mode: hyper-fast and vicious.
    • 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!)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Too long, too sexist, and too--shall we say--flaccid. But it has its moments.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Brokeback Mountain could use a little more of it--by which I mean more sweat and other bodily fluids. Ang Lee's formalism is so extreme that it's often laughable, and the sex is depicted as a holy union: Gay love has never been so sacred.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    To work onscreen, Thank You for Smoking needed to be fast, scruffy, and offhand. But even the good lines here last a self-congratulatory beat too long. Aaron Eckhart is likable, but he's too hangdog and naturalistic for a part that could have used a brisk young Jack Lemmon type.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The movie is better than you've heard, although that's not saying a lot.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    More entertaining than it needs to be.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    It's a charcoal draft of a movie -- magically allusive on some levels and utterly opaque on others, a strange combination of the overexplicit and the unwritten.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    He does gorgeous work, but in Mission to Mars he's only going through the motions.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The movie doesn't have any undercurrents, psychological or cinematic. -- The Blessed Mother ends up looking like a drunken housewife.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Succeeds in dramatizing the resentment and guilt on all sides without just adding to the noise.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    A perfectly decent second-banana, Rob Schneider, has been over-optimistically elevated to the top of the bunch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Swinton is good enough to take your mind off the not-too-compelling ambiguities.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The picture has some fun slapstick set pieces and an inventively manic turn by Gibson.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The film is overnarrated and in spots overwritten, but Brooks, who's primarily a screenwriter, does well with actors, and he has coaxed an extraordinary performance out of the young Jordana Brewster.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Some people are finding it difficult to live with the idea that Kaleil could put his employees through hell, lose $60 million of other people's money, and wind up a movie star.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    I think Levinson missed a chance to get something unique and audacious on screen.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    A second-rate but bearable black comedy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    There are times when Dafoe's accent strays into Billy Crystal Yiddish, but the notion of Vlad the Impaler aging into a finicky old Jew has its own kind of piquancy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Crowe gets to use his real Aussie voice, which works better with that poker face, and his underplaying at times has a psychotic intensity. But Ryan looks dopey when she's supposed to be stressed-out.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The director's beautiful detachment suggests a kind of cowardice.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The film has no spirit of inquiry -- no spirit at all, really.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Has anyone involved in this disaster ever heard a real story?
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Sporadically funny but uneasily revisionist screwball comedy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Am I the only one who finds the substance of this movie repulsive?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Law gives a doozy of a performance: He's fond of bulging his eyes, curling his head like a gargoyle, and displaying a set of rotten yellow teeth. This is some of the most flamboyantly bad acting since Brad Pitt in "Twelve Monkeys" (1995). An Oscar nomination would appear inevitable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    I suppose it's too much to expect Pirandellian stature from the madness of Chuck Barris -- but that's about the only thing that would have made this mixed-up ego trip work.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The sheer novelty of the enterprise is probably why Once Upon a Time in the Midlands has gotten so many rave reviews when it's actually sort of … middling.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The preview—if that's truly what it is—has a beginning, a middle, and an end; a host of good lines; and so many goofy surprises that it's hard to believe that there's anything more to see in the picture itself. I mean … they wouldn't show you the entire movie in the coming attraction, would they?
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    At times, you could actually mistake Tears of the Sun for a blunt modern parable instead of an opportunistic mixture of up-to-the-minute atrocities and old-fashioned corn.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Superficially respectful but ultimately cruel.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    As a scare picture, Signs is good enough. As a religious parable, it's scarier -- and I don't mean that as a compliment.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Size really is about all that this tedious, underpopulated beanbag of an epic has going for it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    As drama, Hilary and Jackie is merely sketchy and superficial. As a portrait of the artist, it's puritanical crap.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The movie is a polished muddle, fitfully amusing but with no spine.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Max
    As a ravishingly photographed, high-minded meditation on the potential of art and therapy to exorcise the vilest sort of psychological poison, it is positively riotous -- an Everest of idiocy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    In LaBute's movies, people are either clueless dupes or psychotic manipulators, while art is meant to rub your face in unpleasant "truths." And I think he takes a little too much pleasure in that nose-rubbing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    That City by the Sea isn't laughed off the screen is testament to Caton-Jones' attention to actors and to some tightly written scenes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The Recruit is like vaudeville night at Bellevue.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Coarse and chaotic remake.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Anger Management is bearable up to its protracted climax, set in Yankee Stadium, which gets my vote for the most excruciating wind-up of any comedy, ever.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The director's knee-jerk anti-capitalism often sticks in my (white, well-fed) craw.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Cameron has never been known for his dialogue, but Titanic carries some stinkers that wouldn't make the final draft of a "Days of Our Lives" script.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Sour and mostly feeble, with a depressingly curdled worldview. It bears no resemblance to Allen's surreal, open-ended comedies.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    As a movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has no inner life -- no pulse -- of its own: It's secondhand.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Just don't believe the anti-hype. There are lots of reasons to have a good cry these days -- here's a nice, warm place to get squeezed.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The only moments of conviction come from an Asian-American dominatrix called Pearl (Lucy Liu), who brings far more glee to the task of beating people up than the picture's star or director. If the audience could have half as much fun as Pearl is having, Payback would be a kick.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The chief casualties are the good actors, who are forced to turn themselves into cartoons.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    I like my God, though, like I like my comedies: ruder, cruder, and able to show me things I haven't seen before. Bruce Almighty is sadly miracle-free.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The scale of the enterprise is thrilling; it's too bad the movie is so muddled on so many different levels.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    What's a shock is the crudeness with which Spielberg fills the scenario in -- how he neuters his protagonist and short-circuits the inner workings of his human characters.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    You could get high on this movie's technique, dizzy on its storytelling. Yet it's one of the most lucid bad trips ever made.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Denzel Washington is so powerfully earnest an actor that you never want to laugh at him -- even when you ought to be in stitches.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Johnson rips off a lot of "Batman," especially in the cathedral climax, but that's not so bad: The movie looks best when it looks like other, better movies.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    I was all revved up to have a whale of a fascist good time, and S.W.A.T. left me let down and pissed-off.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Brutally exciting and sometimes brutally inept.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    I laughed -- but mostly to keep from getting depressed about the devolution of mainstream movies.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    "The Silence of the Lambs," was morbid but also a rich and satisfying serial-killer thriller—a cunning weave of the fairy tale, the forensic, and the fetishistic. Hannibal, on the other hand, is simply a fat slab of sadism.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    A passably diverting entry in the Tarantino genre of splatter and yuks and soulfully bumbling hit men.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    You have to admire a movie that endeavors to moosh together every successful cross-cultural action picture ever made.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    He's (Reeves) not as good as he was playing a menacing Georgia wife-beater in The Gift, but he's an awfully convincing jerk.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    A few billion 1s and 0s in search of a movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    It has a gritty feel and a tight, methodical, one-thing-after-another tempo.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    At its best, 25th Hour is a melancholy tone poem -- But the movie is also muddled by its own ambitions. There is simply no connection between the themes of Benioff's screenplay and 9/11, and every time Lee over-inflates the story, he loses its real pulse.