David Edelstein

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For 1,884 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Edelstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The World's End
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
1884 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Gomorrah isn't memorable. The structure feels random, and the characters remain at arm's length. Next to HBO's "The Wire," which depicted an enormous financial ladder and also brought to life the characters on every rung, the movie is small potatoes: excellent journalism, so-so art.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    I hope I'm not raining on Beasts of the Southern Wild's deluge to say it doesn't always live up to its pretensions. There's a lot of unshaped babble and draggy landscape shots, and the music, so lovely in small doses, is numbing when it's ladled over everything.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Payne's movie is flat, depressed, and at times -- given this director's talent -- disappointingly curdled; it needs every quivering molecule of Nicholson's repressed rage to keep it alive and humming.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s absorbing for a long while, at least half its two-hour running time — an evocatively photographed soap opera with actors who are impossibly gorgeous and yet human-looking — but it goes on and on, piling on twists, adding devices so clunky they’d have embarrassed most nineteenth-century problem-dramatists, refusing to jell despite the actors’ prodigious suffering.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    For all its indirection, Meek's Cutoff is an utterly conventional film. But it's worth asking whether Reichardt's drowsy rhythms, stripped-down scenario, and female vantage add up to something illuminating. And here's where she earns at least some of those plaudits she's been getting.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Marathon of misery.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    War for the Planet of the Apes manages to be both alienating and sappy, and the biblical finale seems to come from a different universe altogether. It’s an awesome, dull movie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Frances Ha is an irritant when it lingers. When Baumbach’s touch is more glancing — when he cuts before the humiliation — it sings.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s another in a long, honorable line of films that chart the poisonous effects of colonialism on indigenous populations and their ecosystems, but with an unusually invigorating perspective, like a reverse-angle "Heart of Darkness."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag. The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It’s the writer, Diablo Cody, and the director, Jason Reitman, who have screws loose. Or maybe they’re just desperate to make their film a chick "Rushmore" or "Garden State."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    The movie’s take at times is fascinating. But it’s basically one long, sick joke played at half speed. It’s a ponderous, sick joke.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    It starts to feel less like a thriller than an actors’ workshop.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I found the film -- excruciatingly flat-footed, with one of the most exasperating scores (by Philip Glass) ever written. The most fascinating thing in the movie is a nose.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Lindholm finds a unique balance between social and individual responsibility. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    Selick has a great fantasy filmmaker's artistry, but he lacks that overflowing Geppetto-esque love that brings puppets to life. In Coraline, he's woozy with his own lyricism.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 David Edelstein
    Unsatisfying even if, like me, you're a lifelong aficionado of Nixon-bashing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    The elements of Precious are powerful and shocking, but the movie is programmed. It is its own study guide.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    It's almost criminal the way the central relationship of High Fidelity has been left such a void.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 David Edelstein
    I like — as always — what Chandor attempts: not just to denounce capitalism but to explain in detail how people go wrong. But the overcomposed, sedate A Most Violent Year lacks the one thing it most needs: violence.

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