For 504 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 20% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 78% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Fear's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Norte, the End of History
Lowest review score: 20 The Blind Side
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 504
  2. Negative: 34 out of 504
504 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Schemel is a major rock & roll survivor; Hit So Hard is a minor rockumentary at best, as well as a seriously missed opportunity.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Lovers of the TV biker drama may find pleasure in the duo's surreal scenes together, but everyone else will likely view this story about a writer (Hunnam), his film-obsessed drug-addict brother (Chris O'Dowd) and a viral amateur-porn movie as one limp farce.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    No matter how may times Identity Thief switches tracks, nothing works — it fails as a star vehicle, a recession-era satire, a WTF white-collar-grunt revenge tale, a "Midnight Run"–style buddy flick, a gross-out laughfest and a bathetic tale of broken souls. No amount of stolen guises can fix it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    The pleasure of watching the star sling barbs at Sarsgaard's sandpaper-dry android, shyly court sexy librarian Susan Sarandon and rage against geriatric befuddlement doesn't offset what's essentially a mediocre character study dipped in sci-fi conventions and Social Security–age sentimentality.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    When Canet isn't dabbling in schmaltz, he's forcing text-message gags and metaphor-heavy vermin jokes down viewers' throats in a lame attempt at levity. Emotional fraudulence does indeed constitute a lie, just not a white one.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Never finds a common ground between the fantastic and the heartfelt. Such unintegrated flip-flopping between a muted character study and a horror flick relying on cheap scare tactics leaves you feeling mildly schizophrenic
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    This is a movie too enamored of its own tawdriness, turning every violent act and violation into gratuitously salacious grindhouse set pieces.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Even with Gallic neomusical royalty like Catherine Deneuve joining in the fray, the whole endeavor reeks of the filmmaker throwing everything against the wall yet barely making anything stick.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Such passé testosterone worship might have been passable if the filmmaking weren’t so amateurish--every emotional exchange is accompanied by insipid, high-volume pop songs--and the film’s self-satisfied chest-thumping didn’t extend to its creator as well.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    The books' ingenious wunderkind is MIA here, replaced instead by a generic eye-rolling, motormouthed preteen bopping around rote set pieces.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    A former stand-up comic, Miller lends a sense of puckish mischief to his tenderhearted, troubled Cupid, yet everything else about this drama - even the cultural and spirit-of-'68 historical touches - feels like Nesher is simply mashing several stock elements together and gracelessly parading them around.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Huppert fans have long been tolerant of her hit-and-miss filmography, and while her double act with the rubber-faced Poelvoorde provides a few well-played scenes-two words: horsey rides-it's not enough to liven up a trite story of loosening up.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    The pity is that the people in People Like Us ultimately don't feel any more dimensional than the archetypes dutifully dotting his lowest-denominator multiplex fodder. He's just picked a different set of clichés to ransack.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Mea Maxima Culpa only gets messier the more it tries to iris out to a larger indictment. The central tragedy ends up diluted to a fault.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Though the director includes a few brief humdingers — a fight that involves a Rube Goldberg–ish tangle of wires; some munitions-fueled mayhem in a farmhouse — it’s not enough to keep viewers from wishing they were thumbing through a John le Carré novel instead.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    This isn't a film, it's a recording of canned ham-tasty, certainly, but creaky nonetheless.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    It’s unfair to blame Hess solely for condescension comedy’s bad aftertaste--he’s not the only perpetrator--but his particular brand is the most graceless.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Their brotherly bickering may be a useful time killer until the new Arrested Development episodes drop, but it's ultimately foamy filler added to a frustratingly frothy film that says nothing about its subject.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    While the filmmaker may favor a classic Amerindie art-house style - shaky cameras, peekaboo framing, fill-in-the-gaps storytelling - he doesn't offer much in the way of corresponding insight regarding this social-issue case study, preferring to just construct a bare-bones stage on which his gifted performers can rage.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Innocence is lost - as well as 90 minutes of your precious, precious time.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Even "Bwana Devil" showed less crassness in its attempts to wow, however, and the more this cardboard blockbuster piles on the cut-rate F/X, the less anyone - the cast, the filmmaker, you - can muster up the energy to care.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    At the very least, this mush pot reminds us that countries other than ours also produce melodramatic mediocrities.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    This Age-of-Aquarius relic's dedication to utopian ideals is great; this superficial portrait, however, is merely grating.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Awkward banter, a lack of narrative thrust and concentrated character deep-digging, and a performance by Sally Hawkins as a Russian maid that seems beamed in from another movie all contribute to the cinematic equivalent of a half-baked fruitcake.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    A sense of the man himself seems absent in Fábio Barreto's portrait, however, and other than a rally scene with prescient Occupy Wall Street overtones, you're mostly left with facts, dates and iconic poses.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    It may be petty to dismiss such a rags-to-much-better-rags story, but given how manipulatively constructed this music doc is, even in its rawest moments, you still leave feeling like you've been played.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    This full-clip misfire reminds us of a valuable lesson: Not even talent, tastefully dressed tough guys and a metropolitan backdrop dripping with after-hours menace can compensate for a complete lack of momentum or drama.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Other than an impromptu spectacle in a downtown record store, little of the chops and charisma Buckley fils had in spades is channeled; this is still the usual Let Us Now Praise Famous Men karaoke session, wrapped up in some extra-discordantly warbled notes.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Kutcher is surprisingly anticharismatic as a star. A smarmy grin and looking good while shirtless does not equal screen presence, dude.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    A few awesome firefights does not an action film make, and even De Niro's Ronin-esque interlude can't shake the feeling that the thrill, like the '80s, is gone.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Whistle-blowing works best without gratuitous pop-doc debris, but there are only so many dry, fact-heavy testimonies from engineers you can take before a certain dullness uneasily settles in.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Even the show's disciples may feel like they've been cheated.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    A huge hit in its native country, Hun Jang's epic doesn't lack for spectacle or incident: In addition to its war-what-is-it-good-for? moralizing, it also piles on bloody battle scenes, subplots involving a sniper and a supply chest, and a nihilistic last-minute twist. What you don't get is the sense that this pumped-up combat-fatigue chronicle is pandering-or, for that matter, particularly original.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Childers's varied, charitable life story warrants a movie, but whether that means it's okay to simply mash up sappy Christian piety and action-movie chaos is highly debatable.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Other than the Pottersploitation and presence of current It nerd Baruchel, this fantasy-action-comedy might have been spat out into multiplexes any summer over the previous two decades, yet it would seem like forgettable abracadabra filler regardless of the date.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Subversive elements or not, this is essentially little more than a TV soap opera spiced with hot-button topics (gender issues, clandestine gay trysts), and the combo of TV melodramatics and mumblecore-ish aesthetics eventually wears out its welcome.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    And though Capper captures a few truly intimate moments, like the star humbly participating in a Rasta ritual, the whole thing ends up feeling like a superficial cross between a starstruck version of Vice’s gonzo travelogues and a highly (ahem) stage-managed portrait of an artist in transition.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Say what you will about this collection of less-than-feature-length films: There’s truth in its advertising. The sketchlike movies here are indeed shorts, and stars do lend their presence.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    A business-as-usual slog.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    This tale of a rich brat (Jonet) is a banal, tone-deaf dud.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Barkin may be the equal of Gena Rowlands or Liv Ullmann. Her director's clumsiness, however, suggests he isn't fit to hold Cassavetes's or Bergman's old camera cases.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Rather than presenting the original Czech version, American distributors have opted to release an English-dubbed edition, headed up by writer, director and actor Vivian Schilling (who voices the kidnapped doll Buttercup) - and the result is a tonal disaster.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    A favorite at this year's SXSW, Kyle Smith's real-time look at curdled relationships is a modest take on indie psychodramatics - and little else.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    They quickly smother whatever greatness was inherent in the material. Faulkner’s vivid, tragic and tender world is nowhere to be found here, and it's a deal breaker by any other name.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Whether anyone over the age of 16 will find the film's proud amateurism and choir-preaching personally enlightening, much less profound, is anyone's guess.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Ron Honsa's PBS-appropriate doc pays lip service to the utopian space's history, and features (too-)brief snippets of performances and modern-dance legends - Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Suzanne Farrell - praising the landmark.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    The question is, could someone turn these full-frontal-dudity snapshots into a satisfying, cohesive movie? Answer: no, but not for lack of trying.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Ugh! For a movie devoted to an alleged geek-rebel underdog, this coming-of-age flick couldn't be more conformist, from its familiar faux quirk to the interchangeable emo-pop songs peppering each sugary montage.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    It’s a waste, for sure — of talent and your time.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    In all aspects, The Girl can’t help it — this is headline-torn cinema du tearjerking at its most generic.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    The fact that director Darragh Byrne has laden things with a Celtic Whimsy 101 score and a sketched outline of a script makes it even tougher for Meaney to lift this film out of its social-drama rut.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    They're not doing themselves any favors by letting this oldie out of the vault.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    This could have been a true urban mosaic. Instead, we simply get a vision of Paris as the city of lite.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Vallée and his lead get high marks for kittenish revisionism. In all other respects, however, this movie is indistinguishable from every other throne-and-scepter biopic to hit the screen.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    You never lose the nagging sense that you're simply watching a high-school drama club's production of '40s fatalism chic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    As it is, this attempt at an Altmanesque ensemble piece feels a little dramatically flat even as it's dazzling your retinas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Once this cultural exploration devolves into just a forum for grating geek griping and Jar-Jar Binks hatred, however, you'll wish you could escape to a galaxy far, far away.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    After the novelty of these backgrounds and comin'-at-ya bits wears off, Mars Needs Moms has to rely on Fogler's obnoxious Jack Black Jr. shtick, a weak subplot involving a '60s-obsessed Martian graffiti artist (Harnois) and rote video-game-y action sequences to carry it along-and that simply won't cut it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Despite toggling among the three characters' story lines, the film is barely concerned with the who, what or where of the incidents, much less a deeper why. It simply wants to milk this real-life example of courage (and chaos) under fire for multiplex thrills, reducing everything to a cheap adrenaline rush set to a pulsing soundtrack.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Just because you tart up a typical romantic comedy with trash talk doesn't make it edgy or real.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    There’s something admirable about the anything-goes energy that Van Peebles brings to this tall tale, but the amateurishness and Video Toaster–era technical tricks start to grate after a bit. It’s a funky, free-form fairy tale, but one that only a mutha could truly love.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Filmmaker Gérald Hustache-Mathieu has fun recasting Monroevian moments and setting up parallels between the fromage-hawking hottie and the late silver-screen sex symbol - bring on the Miller, DiMaggio and JFK avatars.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Thor accomplishes its essential goal and little else, which is to introduce the mighty warrior to the Marvel screen universe.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    No stranger to controversy, Fifth Generation Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige (Farewell, My Concubine) has always taken his country to task over bureaucratic and social issues; here, the director goes after both old-media exploitation and new-media omnipresence, and the result is less than cutting.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Only Leo, always a dependable supporting actor, turns her character into something resembling a three-dimensional person. Watching her tentatively reconnect with her maternal instincts is a welcome surprise. Everything else here just feels like another descent into mediocre Amerindie miserablism.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    So it's the story of a down-and-out bigwig vindicating himself by revising his crowning cultural moment. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Only jackanapes and jackasses would deny that the experience of war can cause psychic damage, but does that mean we have to sit through such a schematic, dogmatic melodrama about the subject?
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Porterfield has proved he can do grit and atmosphere. Should the young director ever decide to channel this talent into storytelling with purpose and a point, he might be someone to watch out for.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Given how prominent the postcard sultriness of her backdrop is compared with the story's emotional ping-pong, all she ends up with is a kinder, chicer Adrian Lyne movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 David Fear
    Strange Powers works best when inadvertently capturing the toll of living in the shadow of a genius. When it comes to examining the genius himself, it's woefully out of tune.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Even if Women in Trouble didn’t keep bringing to mind a superior artist, the film would still be badly written (DOA tangents about cunnilingus and kink don’t make dialogue edgy, only vulgar), not to mention unevenly paced and an embarrassment to all involved.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    A veteran of the Saw franchise, Darren Lynn Bousman trades torture-porn antics for an old-fashioned Euro-horror vibe, complete with old dark houses and creepy maids; he then wastes what little suspense he generates with endless dorm-room philosophical debates about faith versus atheism and religio-conspiracy theories so far-fetched they'd embarrass Dan Brown.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    It’s just blinkered middle-class pandering at its most shameless.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    The film does offer some revealing anecdotes about his infamous Monroe sessions, but mostly, it simply slouches from one sensationalistic, salacious bit to the next, sans any historical context. Worse, filmmaker Shannah Laumeister continually rhapsodizes on-camera about her own “soul mate” relationship with the subject—leaving viewers feeling mad as hell.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Thanks to his pitch-perfect portrayal of Parks and Recreation's Type A–personality-run-amuck boss, we're willing to forgive Rob Lowe for virtually anything. This pitiful excuse for a political satire, however, seriously tests that theory.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    What, exactly, is the payoff for suffering through such painfully bad filmmaking for 93 minutes? Forget about getting "A Few Good Men"–style military melodramatics; this movie quickly proves that even a few good performances, lines of dialogue or music cues are a pipe dream. Your loyalty will not be rewarded.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    This haphazard "exposé" only proves that hackery plus hot air [time] does not equal skillful muckraking.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    They've taken an intriguing story about female neuroses with gothic overtones and turned it into a graceless, butt-ugly attempt at Twilight-lite.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Jones may be a charismatic comedian, but no amount of her skilled mugging, Britpop tunes or help from supporting stars (Brooke Shields, Bill Nighy) can transform this derivative ugly duckling into a comic Anglophile swan.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Then observe as all but the hard-core Colferphiles slink out embarrassed, feeling as confused and discombobulated as if they too just took an electric bolt to the brain.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    What really hurts is seeing Jamie Travis's name attached; for those of us who love his extraordinary "Patterns" trilogy, watching the talented Toronto filmmaker add his characterically kitschy touch to such a witless, faux-edgy movie can only be described as a Travis-ty.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    A completely incoherent mess.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Performances barely meet a junior-collegiate theater-troupe level, the narration hits maxi-fromage heights, and just when you think it can't get any more derivative, out comes a glowing suitcase à la "Pulp Fiction." Rock bottom has now been firmly established.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Such pitiable incompetence isn't charming, it's embarrassing - and simply inexcusable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Kari Skogland’s flashy yet dead-on-arrival drama turns Belfast’s backstreet battlefields into music-video backgrounds.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    This bloody, messy action film devolves into a plain ol' bloody mess.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    The only thing that remains a mystery is why anyone thinks they can pass off a poorly made, predictable-to-a-fault movie as inspiring entertainment.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    There’s a need for redemption here, to be certain, and it has nothing to do with the narrative.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Given that porn star and academic Lorelei Lee cowrote the script, we can assume that the film's portrayal of the cine-erotica industry is accurate. Which simply means that, while totally botching little things like how people speak, act and live in the real world, the film gets at least one thing right.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Such manic fumblings and desperate crassness might be more forgivable were any of it actually, y’know, funny, but other than Olivia Colman’s occasional cameos as a raging therapist, the laughs have been granted a leave of absence.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    The movie adaptation's version of religion may be more nuanced than the usual Left Behind fire-and-brimstone sermonizing you find in much contemporary pro-Christian cinema, but it still leaves behind a sulfuric stink.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Nothing - script, performances, comedy, drama - works in the slightest. To answer the title: Where do we start?
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    This film will make you cry tears. They won’t be happy ones.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Director Michael Corrente has delivered decent petty-criminal movies before - see 1994's "Federal Hill" - but every aspect here smacks of faux-street toughness at its worst.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Those of us who dig the comedian's hyperactive persona may feel that the meter is now officially running on his amiable rocker-doofus act; everyone else will simply marvel that a Christmas season could produce such an unfunny, unentertaining lump of coal.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    No matter; this aggressively humorless farce would play like a dead rabbit pulled out of a hat, regardless of the casting choices.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    Fess up: You want to see Los Angeles get blowed up real good, and it's a measure of this movie's incompetence that it can't even deliver that vicarious thrill properly.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    As for parents: Are you cool with feeling like you're having artificial sweetener sandblasted into your eyeballs for 87 minutes?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    The "bumpkins are people too" message will certainly please the Appalachian Anti-Defamation League; midnight-movie fans, however, will recognize that this mess misses the mark by a country mile.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 20 David Fear
    We've come to expect diminishing returns from the once-promising Mexican director who then gave the world "Babel," but the combination of wallowing humanistic-cinema overkill and outright ridiculousness he lays out here represents a new low. Biutiful is not a tragedy. It's a straight-up travesty.

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