David Edelstein

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For 1,858 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 The Adventures of Tintin
Lowest review score: 0 Movie 43
Score distribution:
1858 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Living with Mason and his parents over time you feel an intimacy, an empathy, a shared stake. I’m not saying Boyhood is the greatest film I’ve ever seen, but I’m thinking there’s my life before I saw it and my life now, and it’s different; I know movies can do something that just last week I didn’t. They can make time visible.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Hype would bruise Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, which is so delicate in its touch that the usual superlatives sound unusually shrill. It’s the gentlest, most suggestive of great films.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    His palette here is deep-toned, with bottomless blacks and supersaturated oranges and blues--as if the Walt Disney of "Pinocchio" had collaborated with Goya.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The coup de grâce is especially graceless because everything we know is already visible in Marinca’s eyes. The actress is extraordinary.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 70 David Edelstein
    The movie nails all this, and it’s smashingly effective as melodrama. But McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Bird clearly knows the great silent clowns: The slapstick he devises is balletic.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Watching the opening of A Hard Day's Night is like getting a direct injection of happiness.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The movie is as cornball as all get-out and — once you discern the narrative arc — as predictable. But then there’s the part that’s — as we serious cinephiles like to say — infuckingcredible.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Haynes has calibrated the film so precisely to Blanchett’s talents that he couldn’t have rendered her better with animation.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's an entertainingly cynical small movie. Aaron Sorkin's dialogue tumbles out so fast it's as if the characters want their brains to keep pace with their processors; they talk like they keyboard, like Fincher directs, with no time for niceties.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Raoul Peck’s driving, free-form documentary I Am Not Your Negro is not a direct response to Donald Trump’s delighted recognition of the lone nonwhite face he saw at one of his rallies: “Look at my African-American over here!” But the movie feels, if anything, even timelier, which is to say, timeless.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping - an unholy masterwork.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    What makes it so good is that no one is bad. These humans, desperate to do right, are caught up in a perfect storm of inhumanity. The evil is in the ecosystem.
    • 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?
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The movie has momentously disturbing ideas but a fine grain, its images suitable for framing — or hiding away in the attic.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Perhaps the most awesome thing in Mr. Turner is how Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope hint at Turner’s paintings in their landscapes — not to make the film look painterly but to suggest what Turner saw before transmuting reality into art.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The Hurt Locker might be the first Iraq-set film to break through to a mass audience because it doesn't lead with the paralysis of the guilt-ridden Yank. The horror is there, but under the rush.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The new Pixar picture Wall-E is one for the ages, a masterpiece to be savored before or after the end of the world.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    A warm, ingratiating, and fitfully hilarious epicurean road movie with a steady ache-an ache like a red-wine hangover.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It might be the cinema's most astonishing holy war film. The Lord of the Rings took seven years and an army of gifted artists to execute, and the striving of its makers is in every splendid frame. It's more than a movie--it's a gift.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This teeming, tear-duct-draining, exhaustingly inventive, surreal animated comedy is going to be a new pop-culture touchstone. In all kinds of ways it’s a mind-opener.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Shot by shot, scene by scene, it's a fluid and enthralling piece of work. I wasn't bored for a millisecond.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Something sacred passes between Trintignant and Riva. The actress's eyes signal deep awareness as the sounds coming out of her mouth become animalistic.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    My first viewing left me dazzled but slightly confused; a second deeply impressed; a third rhapsodic. I wish I hadn't needed to rediagram it in my head to turn it into the masterpiece it so obviously wants to be.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The German comedy Toni Erdmann makes the best case imaginable for the importance of tone.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This tight, relatively low-key, step-by-step procedural has a stronger impact than any horror movie.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The actors carry the music in their gait, their gestures, the rhythms of their speech, so that their singing and dancing is a small but exquisite step up from the way that they normally talk and walk. To rhapsodize about La La Land is to complete the experience. You want to sing its praises, literally.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis is an exquisitely crafted tale of woe with heartfelt early-sixties folk music — and an overarching snottiness.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Cantet's real-time classroom scenes are revelations: They make you understand that teaching is moment to moment, an endless series of negotiations that hang on intangibles—on imagination and empathy and the struggle to stay centered. This is a remarkable movie.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    If Timbuktu has a “takeaway,” it’s a deeply humanist one and so, in this context, political: that there’s no such thing as a monolithic Muslim culture; that the threat is nowhere near as great to Westerners as to the people of Mali, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.; that ideology is deaf and blind and anti-life; and that cinema (and all art) can blow it to what I’d once have called Timbuktu.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Anderson’s fearless, bighearted filmmaking is an antidote to the toxic cloud of Manifest Destiny. He has made a mad American classic.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    Fashioned by a buff, The Lord of the Rings is a banquet for the buff in us all. I left exhausted, happy, intoxicated.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    For grown-ups, the film will touch something deeper: the heartfelt wish that childhood memories will never fade.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    I love when non-fiction filmmakers stretch the form and attempt, with as much honesty as they can muster, to put us in the middle of the events they describe. They give us stunning hybrids like "Waltz With Bashir," "Persepolis," and, now, Tower.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    One of the most enthralling three hours you'll ever spend at the theater.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The Queen is the most reverent irreverent comedy imaginable. Or maybe it's the most irreverent reverent comedy. Either way, it's a small masterpiece.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    So Polley has gone meta — exuberantly, entertainingly, with all her heart.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It has taken an animated film to go where live-action dramas and even documentaries haven't--to tickle our synapses and slip into our bloodstream.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It’s a near masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Ida
    The movie’s chill is hard to shake off. It’s a grimly potent portrait of repression, of what happens to a society that buries its past in an unmarked grave — and lives its present in a state of corrosive denial.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 David Edelstein
    In the main 13th makes connections that haven’t been made in a mainstream documentary before.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    What Steven Spielberg has accomplished in Saving Private Ryan is to make violence terrible again.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    For all the horror, it's the drive toward life, not the decay, that lingers in the mind. As a modern heroine, Ree Dolly has no peer, and Winter's Bone is the year's most stirring film.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The brilliance of Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is that, without a shift in tone, the film begins to seem like a tragedy populated by clowns, its males clinging to ancient laws to compensate for feebleness of character.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    That rare mainstream cop thriller that refuses to telegraph its outcome in the first 15 minutes or, for much of its running time, to tell you how to feel about its protagonists.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Excruciatingly bad...Probably if Redux hadn't been acclaimed as a newly minted masterpiece, I wouldn't have felt so compelled to blow raspberries.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Her
    In Her, Jonze transforms his music-video aesthetic into something magically personal. The montages — silent, flickering inserts of Theodore and his ex-wife recollected in tranquility — are sublime.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Of all the great vocal characterizations...the showstopper is Brooks, who hasn't had a part this good since "Lost in America" (1985). His Marlin is tender, cranky, hysterical, yet somehow lucid.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    In totalitarian societies, artists have found all sorts of ways - some brilliantly imaginative - to disguise their political protest, but Panahi has no subterfuges left. This Is Not a Film ends with a whimper that is a bang. He must be freed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    A monument to process -- to the minutiae of making art -- Topsy-Turvy leaves you upside down and breathless.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It’s mesmerizing, too vivid to be evanescent, too precious to hold.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Everything I've ever dreamed of in a crazy comedy. It's close to pure farce, yet its laughs are grounded in loneliness, impotence, self-loathing, and that most discomfiting of vices to dramatize: envy. The action is surreal, the emotions are violently real.
    • 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."
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    For all its wizardry, The Incredibles isn't among my favorite animated movies. Weirdly enough, I think of it, instead, as one of my favorite live-action superhero pictures.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 David Edelstein
    Rahim is an exciting, unpredictable presence, and Arestrup’s César has a stature that’s nearly Shakespearean.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Crowe's world is an open ecosystem --transcendentally open. This movie is his boombox held aloft.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The film isn't in the same key as Pekar's comic: The tempo is buoyant, puckish, and even more "meta" than the original.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The exhilaration is slow to build. It doesn't come from any one thing but from countless crosscurrents, tiny bits of color that fill out the portrait.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Mad Max: Fury Road is certainly a blast and a half: You don’t just watch it, you rock out to it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A sharp-witted, visually layered, gorgeously designed, meticulously directed piece of formula pablum.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Riveting and so suggestive that you can't consume it passively: You have to brood on it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    The movie is a slot machine that never stops spitting quarters.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    I’ve never seen a film that captures the inner world of an artist with such delicacy.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Satrapi’s parents ship her off to a French school in Vienna, but she’s rudderless, ungrounded. She’s drawn back to a devastated Tehran, where she can’t design a life, either. This great film, by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, is that life, designed. It freed her mind; it frees ours.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The resulting film is bizarre to the point of ­trippiness, yet it’s one of the most lucid portraits of evil I’ve ever seen.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    This is the Bill Murray performance we've been waiting for: Saturday Night Live meets Chekhov.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The Best of Youth doesn't have a boring millisecond. It isn't an art film, with longueurs; it's a mini-series with the sweep of a classic novel, with tons of plot.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Ulrich Mühe gives a marvelously self-contained performance. There isn't an ounce of fat on his body, or in his acting: He has pared himself down to a pair of eyes that prowl the faces of his character's countrymen for signs of arrogance--i.e., of independent thinking.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is the most intoxicatingly beautiful martial arts picture I've ever seen.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Except for a screamingly funny climax in which he attempts to kidnap Pamela Anderson (who reportedly wasn't in on the joke), I found the Borat feature (directed by Larry Charles, who does similar duties on "Curb Your Enthusiasm") depressing; and the paroxysms of the audience reinforced the feeling that I was watching a bearbaiting or pigsticking.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    The movie doesn’t expand in your mind — it shrinks along with its protagonist, its conclusion a reductio ad absurdum.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    A meticulous, thoroughly engrossing lesson in how not to win friends (or wars) and influence people (or potential terrorists).
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    A haunting, morbidly romantic melodrama with obvious links to "Vertigo," but from a reverse angle.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Like his protagonist, Bahrani never gives up on William; his camera never stops probing. He loves West's face, and he honors its mystery.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    It’s sensational in the open air and subtle in smaller, enclosed spaces. It has sweep and intimacy. And, yes, we need this movie now.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is the best movie I've seen in a decade. For once it's no hyperbole to say, "Unforgettable!"
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    For my money, Flags (however clunky) cuts more deeply, but Letters is more difficult to shake off. Together, they leave you with the feeling that even a just and necessary war is an abomination.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Pitch-perfect -- not just the most enjoyable movie of the year but the first (after Crumb) to get the tone of a certain strain of "underground" comic right.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It's the way Cuarón demonstrates how a simple teen comedy can suddenly blossom into a study of sexual mores, a Mexican political allegory, a song of lamentation -- and still be breezy and funny and sexy as hell.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Hoffman goes beyond the surface mannerisms and diction. He disappears into Capote.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    As a go-for-it music movie, Whiplash is just about peerless. The fear is contagious, but so is the jazz vibe: When Andrew snatches up his sticks and the band launches into a standard—say, Hank Levy’s “Whiplash”—it’s hard not to smile, judder, and sway.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It becomes a meditation on the dual nature of film, on a "reality" at once true and false, essential and tainted.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic styling is The Grand Budapest Hotel, an exquisitely calibrated, deadpan-comic miniature that expands in the mind and becomes richer and more tragic.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    The movie goes on for three hours without an emotional letup — it’s finally overwhelming.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    The hotel scenes go on a tad long, but what holds us is that we’re right in the room as history is being made — with the guy, the actual guy, soon to be notorious all over the world.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    It's like an Ingmar Bergman film with the loss of religious faith replaced with a sort of socioeconomic nebulousness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    Away From Her is a twilight-of-life love story, one that harshly demolishes our romantic notions of love and loyalty, then replaces them with something deeper and, finally, more consoling.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Edelstein
    That's the beauty of Mafioso: that what begins as a comedy of disconnection becomes a tragicomedy of connection -- of roots that go deep and branches that span continents.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    As he proved in his Iraq-centered "No End in Sight," policy wonk turned documentarian Charles Ferguson has no peer when it comes to tracking the course of a preventable catastrophe.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 David Edelstein
    A glorious, visceral mess -- The film is, by most criteria, an ungainly piece of storytelling. Yet it sweeps you up and hurtles you along like water from an exploded dike.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Poetry in motion: It's eggsquisite.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Edelstein
    This is the kind of Western in which we know there will be blood but pray there won’t be, because the violence is bound to be gratuitous, absurd, with a needless finality. Hell or High Water is a rare humanist Western: Finality is the true villain.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Up
    By all means, see Up in its 3-D incarnation: The cliff drops are vertiginous, and the scores of balloons--bunched into the shape of one giant balloon--are as pluckable as grapes.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Birdman is the very definition of a tour de force, and Iñárritu’s overheated technique meshes perfectly with the (enjoyable) overacting—the performers know this is a theatrical exercise and obviously relish the chance to Do It Big. But what comes out of the characters’ mouths is not so fresh.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Edelstein
    Pure and universal.

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