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 Tarnation
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
719 movie reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    Too bloated with its own significance to deliver the requisite thrills.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    Isn't bad as these things go, although these things go nowhere a healthy individual should want to. Having never claimed to be a healthy individual, I found it tolerable.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    Using R.E.M.'s impassioned "Everybody Hurts"--written by Michael Stipe after the suicide of Kurt Cobain--to underscore shots of Kidman and Ferrell feeling blue about their inability to pair off is an aesthetic crime. The Ephrons should be fined and forced to do a few hundred hours of community service.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    The film features plot turns of howling implausibility, leading up to a mechanical climax that resolves the story without forcing either of the principal characters to make the uncommercial decision to blow the other away.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    In any case, the best performance is by Bridgette Wilson-Sampras as the conniving but peppy slut at the perfume counter. Her big scene--farcical, filthy, surprising--is also the best in the movie. Otherwise, Shopgirl is sadly vacuous, with a sadly vacuous center.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    I found it tiresomely undramatic, even saccharine. Not to mention monotonous.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Edelstein
    It skips lightly over the surface of its rich material, more preoccupied with making pretty pictures than dipping below the surface so that you can experience the world through the eyes of its traumatized, yet increasingly savvy, heroine.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    This is a rhythmless, stupefying work. A person with no discernible pulse ought not to be directing a movie about disco.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Much of K-Pax consists of Spacey grinning like Stevie Wonder behind sunglasses, -- taking dippy steps, and bobbing his head as if attached to an invisible Walkman.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    When a movie wrenches you with the deaths of children then leaves you with nothing to take home but your confusion, it can make you thirsty for the blood of directors.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    It's another dumb vengeance picture -- "In the Bedroom" for meatheads.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    This is an extraordinary -- and unfathomable -- piece of whitewashing: a true snow job.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    At times the movie's crudeness has an eerie beauty, but the musical fantasies are a bewildering hash, and the protracted climax on death row is nearly unendurable.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    It's like a memorial service with killer special effects.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The performances are so terrible that it's hard to know whether Cronenberg wants to signal that much of what we're seeing isn't "real" or he has just forgotten how to write for hemoglobular flesh vessels--i.e., human beings.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Psychologically thin, artistically flabby, and symbolically opaque.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    An affectless piece of moviemaking.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    This mad prophet says it will die in a week.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    A melodrama in which the clichés prove more lethal than the bullets.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    There's no dramatic trajectory here at all.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    So sniggeringly one-sided that the picture has no tension.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The Hong Kong vet director, Ronny Yu, did a bang-up job in 1998 with "Bride of Chucky," but he can't do much for this one except keep it moving, light it scarily, and pump that plasma.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    It underscores the gruesome legacy of Saturday Night Live in American movies...They haven't liberated screen comedy, they've left it neutered--or, should I say, Spade.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    At least Kudrow won't get the blame for Marci X: What really sinks the movie is Wayans.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Bizarrely depressing.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The filmmakers have separated themselves from all the emotions of filmmaking except anger.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    I'm genuinely of two minds about the picture. I want to say it's subtle, but I also want to say it's heavy-handed. I want to say it's incisive, but I have too many problems with its psychological elisions to let it off the hook.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    It's a mystery how such a hodgepodge, at once incoherent and overfamiliar, could have come together on screen.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The final illuminations (people have demons, a mind is a terrible thing to lose) are a poor return on nearly two hours of ear-buckling, eye-stabbing incoherence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    A somnolent load of wank.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Monumentally unimaginative. Thumbs down!
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Schrader is like a reformed addict who isn't even honest enough to show what once gave him pleasure. He's the most dangerous kind of crusader. In Auto Focus, he makes you hate sex and movies equally.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    As messy and flat-footed as its predecessor is nimble and shapely. It's an ugly, bloated, repetitive movie that builds to a punch line that should have come an hour earlier (at least).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Ends up leaving you starved for a single moment of unhyped emotion. You can barely see the characters for Luhrmann screaming.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    And you wait--and wait--for the magic of movies.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The laborious title of an even more laborious Cockney action movie that some people think is the cat's pajamas crossbred with the bee's knees.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    It's no wonder that Crowe can't generate any real feeling. The narrative is alien to him on every level. The ear-grating dialogue is a good indication that he didn't know what he was doing; he's usually pitch-perfect.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The premise is admittedly a killer--fun to think about, fun to see realized, not so fun to see screwed up in the last half-hour.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    My real problem with Matchstick Men is that it didn't con me well enough: I saw every trick up its sleeve in the first 20 minutes. If everything had been what it seemed--now, that would have been a stunning twist.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The whole movie is like that: showy stunts, explosions, over-the-top acting, fiesta colors, lurid angles, and a sense of nothing--nada--at stake.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    125 minutes is a long time to stare at a movie that's basically in bleached blue-and-white with occasional splotches of brick red. The palette reinforces the monotony of the storyline.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    As usual with Penn, I don't completely buy the character, but I completely buy that he has brilliantly internalized SOMETHING. He goes to some weird psychological places, our Sean.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    It's a schlock melodrama dolled up in arty frontier vestments.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    This is a movie that sends you out shuddering, chuckling nervously, wanting to tell the people in line for the next show, "It's the feel-bad movie of the year!"
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    I found the movie cheap, muddled, and thoroughly devoid of insight.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Emminently skippable.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    I'm not sure if the movie's lack of momentum is the fault of the director, the screenwriter, or the star, Romano. But most likely, it represents the luckless convergence of three dismayingly low-watt talents.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The film that Nicholas Hytner has directed (from a screenplay by the playwright Wendy Wasserstein) is slick, sweet, and disastrously unmoving -- even people who live to cry at the movies will find themselves depressingly dry-eyed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    When it comes to weaving personal stories in and out of the special-effects set pieces, the director has the most colossal antitalent since Ed Wood Jr.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    King Arthur is profoundly stupid and inept, but it's an endless source of giggles once you realize that its historical revisionism has nothing to do with archeological discoveries and everything to do with the fact that no one at Disney would green-light an old-fashioned talky love triangle with a hero who dies and an adulterous heroine who ends up in a nunnery.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The photography is excellent! the music is striking! the movie is a stinker!
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The first 45 minutes or so is stupefying--flat, disjointed, missing all human connective tissue.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Inexpressiveness is what separates the film from its models (chiefly Antonioni) and what makes it so exasperating.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    I wonder if anything could have made this misfire work.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Lost Highway, David Lynch's first movie in five years, is a virtuoso symphony of bad vibes.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Lousy remake.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Borderline incoherent, theologically unsatisfying, and short to the point of dwarfism on suspense.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    Michael Caton-Jones' pompous and coarsely stupid inflation of what remains a superior thriller, Fred Zinnemann's The Day of the Jackal (1973).
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    A thesis movie, almost a manifesto for despair, and certainly worthy of the aforementioned NR-DS rating. Except that its bad vibes don't linger. Have dinner and smart conversation with friends, hug a child, pick up a good book--and poof, life returns with a happy vengeance.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    A depressing comeback for Jane Fonda, but it's still nice to see her in movies again, and in something that isn't dripping with self-actualizing virtue like her last projects.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    An overinflated B-movie with no grace, no subtext, no wit, and featuring beefcake/cheesecake actors who look like they've been plucked from the soaps.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    9 Songs could have been "Last Rock Show in London." Unfortunately, it's stupefyingly dull, even with good music and at the short but resonant length of 69 minutes.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    The acting in this movie is unusually bad--atrocious, even.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 David Edelstein
    A sour little psychodrama.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Profoundly unnecessary -- cluttered, padded even at 90 minutes, indifferently narrated by Anthony Hopkins, and consistently misdirected by Ron Howard.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    He (Annaud) doesn't have a clue how to dramatize the romance. Fiennes, whose eyes are extremely close together, stares with a mixture of rage and longing at Weisz, whose eyes are extremely far apart, and the film turns into "The Dating Game" designed by Picasso.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The movie is one dead, overcomposed scene after another.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Material so utterly conventional that you can predict every plot turn after the first half-hour.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Yeah, they made a ton of junky movies in Hong Kong, but those were dazzlingly fluid and high-flying junky movies. This American retread has the same sort of hack plot but none of the bravura. It makes them look like monkeys, and not bulletproof ones.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The script plays goofy games, stopping the action for Tarantino-style small talk; piling on alternate, "Rashomon"-style flashbacks; and divulging its characters' secrets in no particular order.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Hordes of good actors evidently lined up to appear in Confidence, which wastes Weisz, Guzman, Logue, Forster, and Paul Giamatti, among others. Midway through, a grizzled Andy Garcia shambles in, chewing on a cigar, as an FBI agent; he's so fatuously hammy that his true narrative function is never in doubt.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The movie is a big, noisy mess, with a howler at its center: Overrouged psychiatrist Michael Douglas.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    I wouldn't exactly call it entertainment; I found myself wanting to apologize on behalf of obnoxious heterosexual Jewish men the world over.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    DiVito turns actors like Robin Williams, Edward Norton, and Catherine Keener into nothing less horrific than giant Danny DeVitos.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    One of the least entertaining satires ever made.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    A riot of sleazy camera moves, bad acting, and maladroit profane dialogue.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    George Lucas does it his way in the pallid Phantom Menace. Even cultists will wish he'd hired a director and some writers.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Let's just say that in spite of its malignant sun-scorched palette, absurdist visions, and narrative loop the loops, the picture looks in hindsight like the same old vigilante crap.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Libel on one of the true visionaries of American business in the 20th century, a man unfairly demonized for doing what others strove to do but doing it faster and better.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The movie is barely sufferable.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    I had a hard time maintaining interest in (let along liking) any of these self-involved Hollywood twerps, and scene after scene is a grating mixture of self-aggrandizement and masochism.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Serves up some of the most gruesomely misogynistic imagery in years, then ends with a bid for understanding. Are its makers so deluded that they think they're making the world a more compassionate place?
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Linda Hunt's spooky nun speaks of "a hundred levels of consciousness" between death and full, earthbound awareness: Where on that continuum do the executives who green-lighted Dragonfly reside?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The 12 scenes of Irreversible--each shot in a single, semi-improvised take--constitute something of a tour de force. But so would being dragged through the streets by a wire noose.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The movie is bafflingly boring and ridiculous. Its loginess is exacerbated by the pacing of the writer-director, Martin Brest.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    This is a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie -- The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre -- that thinks it's an act of faith.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Kaufman proves again how miraculously in synch with his material he can be. Directing a fourth-rate, maladroit, derivative mystery, he becomes a fourth-rate, maladroit, derivative director--worse even than a TV-movie hack.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    A sickeningly manipulative, by-the-numbers revenge movie.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    You have to feel for the army of talented FX people who must have spent months on scenes--trying to compensate, with their artistry, for the lack of dramatic logic--and having to listen to those lines over and over.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Con Air is boring to the marrow.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    George Clooney is all by himself among living leading men in making smarm pass triumphantly for charm. But the movie lacks momentum, clarity, a decent payoff, and a location with the personality of Vegas.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    It's impressive, in the sense that a sucker-punch impresses itself on your skull.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    Made for the most excruciating two-and-a-half hours I've ever spent in a theater.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    It used to be that Midler was a life force, but whenever she tries to play one, she looks like she's floating in formaldehyde.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    It may or may not be the worst movie ever made, but it is one of the most unhinged.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    The only surprise about U-Turn is the good reviews it got from people who should know better.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    What was already a raucous put-on, a goof on Aldrich's brutal action movies, is now a hyperbolic, gross-out cartoon, with a cast of enormous ex-football stars (plus the 7-foot-2-inch Indian wrestler Dalip Singh) only adding to the air of facetiousness.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 David Edelstein
    There are no real people in The Producers --only actors laboring to dispel whatever magic they once were thought to possess. The director, Susan Stroman, has brought the Broadway smash to the screen (where it began, almost 40 years ago) with cataclysmic results.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Unfathomably awful.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    I found it so oppressively smug that I had to get up and pace the aisles three or four times, and I'd have bolted if I hadn't been duty bound to stick it out.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    There's something reassuring about the fact that The Avengers is so rotten: proof yet again that people with piles of money can hire wizard production designers but can't fake class.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Probably the most horrifying stuff I've seen all week.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    This is another of those post-Saturday Night Live vehicles in which ineptitude and laziness are supposed to be taken as irony: It's not bad, it's "bad." Actually, it's "terrible":
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Turns into a moronic, psycho-on-the-loose picture pretty quickly.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    I'm at a loss to account for how OFF this film is -- how a movie can seem so conscientiously earnest yet so creepily exploitive. It's like a Christmas stocking over a crematory.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    A buddy cop movie that pretends to spoof buddy cop movies along with reality TV shows, Showtime is so lazy and artless that … that … it saps my will to come up with a good quip: Witless in itself, it is the source of witlessness in others.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Like being run over by a garbage truck that backs up and dumps its load on top of you. It's a sloppy and vulgar burlesque, one of the most repulsive kiddie movies ever made.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    The politics of Dogville are on par with a third-rate gangster picture: cheap, opportunistic nihilism, with no enlivening sense of humor.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Turns into a pea-brained hodgepodge of "The Omen" (1976), "The Sixth Sense" (1999), and about 30 Grade-Z Bela Lugosi mad-scientist movies.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Russell is a manically inventive writer-director--maybe the most fearless talent of his generation. It's not a contradiction to say that I admire him more than ever while pronouncing Huckabees an unmitigated disaster.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 10 David Edelstein
    Lordy, what a stinker.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    If it isn't the worst sequel ever made, it's only because it has too much competition: Impersonal and frenetic, it's a landmark Hollywood disgrace.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    A picture that will be hailed without controversy as the worst of its kind ever made.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    It all adds up to one of the most brazen pieces of blame-shifting in exploitation-picture history.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    Benigni's movie made me want to throw up.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    The most appalling comedy of the millennium after "Joe Dirt," which is so supernaturally terrible that it levitated me out of the theater after 40 minutes.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    I'd like to tell you about the remake of The Amityville Horror (MGM), but I ankled after less than five minutes. It was something about the little girl holding the stuffed animal getting blown away with a shotgun at point-blank range.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 0 David Edelstein
    Domino seemed to me the end of the world for movies--a glimpse of a future so excruciating that I'd prefer to take my chances with Hitchcock's eye-gouging avians.