For 388 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Rooney's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Tracks
Lowest review score: 10 Boat Trip
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 388
388 movie reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Mike Leigh is at the peak of his powers with Vera Drake, a compassionate, morally complex drama that stands easily alongside his best work, "Secrets & Lies" and "Topsy-Turvy."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    The mesmerizing performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the celebrated writer dominates every scene, while director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman's penetrating study enthralls in every aspect.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Far from abandoning his trademark humor, however, the writer-director skillfully enlists it in the service of an emotional story, charting the heroine's journey from loss and torment to rediscovered strength and hope. Propelled by stellar performances and a script that resonates with intelligence, subtlety and surprises, this is by far Almodovar's best film in years.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    This is a beautifully crafted work and an acute evocation of its period both in look and attitude, and it’s no less deeply absorbing for being somewhat muted in tone.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    A riveting first feature of startling maturity and intelligence.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Crisply shot and edited, with effective use of Ashutosh Phatak’s graceful music, this is a powerful documentary that demands to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Gloria is a work of maturity, depth and emotional insight. There’s not a single false note here.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    An infectious blast of funky jazz played by a terrific cast and a director at the top of their respective games.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Alternately haunting, inspiring and dreamily meditative, this is a visually majestic film of transfixing moods and textures.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Where many filmmakers would have underlined the bleaker, harsher aspects, Girlhood presents the characters' grim reality without surrendering its lightness of touch, its compassion or its hope.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Visually, intellectually and emotionally, McDonagh’s film is one to savor.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Blending fiction with documentary and exquisite film craft with playful improvisational freedom, Andrei Konchalovsky delivers what might be the most captivating screen work of his post-Hollywood career with The Postman's White Nights.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A massive undertaking and an accomplished piece of filmmaking in a solid tradition of intelligent, meticulous literary adaptations.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Strikes a delicate balance of comedy and pathos with an uplifting final act that delivers a resoundingly satisfying emotional payoff.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Joyously re-creates the brief but resplendent reign of the legendary freakadelic drag troupe.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Craftily combining elements that speak directly to three different generations, this accomplished ensemble piece is shaping up to be the surprise homegrown hit of the season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Theater veteran Recoing is utterly compelling. Both the script and the resourceful, subtle actor provide enormous insight into the troubled character.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Rendered deeply moving by the director's peerless capacity to combine humor and compassion with honesty and despair.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A highly accomplished, compact feature, which, while it may be light on depth, is rich in humor, rhythm, energy and inventiveness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Exhaustively informative and powerfully emotional.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A delightful experience.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Enormously satisfying, superbly crafted.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Bold, inventive, sustained adrenaline rush of a movie.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    An accomplished marriage of elaborate style and content.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    This slow but brilliantly sustained journey into madness is fronted by a remarkable performance from Ralph Fiennes and superb backup from Miranda Richardson in a triple role.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A Thanksgiving family reunion comedy that sparkles with acerbic wit, original characters and genuine heart.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    This fascinating portrait of an eccentric visionary and his chaotic triple family life is an accomplished, enormously satisfying non-fiction work.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Dowd's graciousness and enthusiasm, and the enormous respect afforded him by industryites on record here, make this a thorough and satisfying acknowledgement of one man's unique contribution to popular music.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A thoughtful, melancholy story of love, loss, pain, betrayal and the lingering after-effects of tragedy, The Door in the Floor is an intelligent, impeccably acted, unsentimental drama.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Endowed with captivating simplicity, gentle humor, rich humanity and infectious generosity of spirit.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Finally. After "The Phantom of the Opera," "Rent" and "The Producers" botched the transfer from stage to screen, Dreamgirls gets it right. Bill Condon's adaptation of the 1981 show about a Motown trio's climb to crossover stardom pulls off the fundamental double-act those three musical pics all missed: It stays true to the source material while standing on its own as a fully reimagined movie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The story in itself is first-rate. However, it’s the very measured handling that makes it distinctive.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Propelled by Mads Mikkelsen’s shattering performance as the blameless man whose life threatens to be destroyed, the film is superbly acted by a cast that never strikes a false note or softens the impact with consolatory sentiment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A fascinating contemplation of adolescent sexuality that will be a star-making platform for its young lead, Marine Vacth.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The visceral fireworks of the characters’ arguments and the disintegration of trust among them are observed with unsettling intimacy in the script and in the emotional honesty of the performances...This is terrific stuff.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Focusing on the notoriously aggressive orca Tilikum, this gripping film presents a persuasive case against keeping the species – and by extension any wild animal – in captivity for the purposes of human entertainment.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The film is that rare modern horror movie that doesn’t simply fabricate its scares with the standard bag of postproduction tricks. Instead it builds them via a bracing command of traditional suspense tools... This is polished film craft.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    What distinguishes Borten and Wallack’s screenplay is its refusal to sentimentalize by providing humbling epiphanies to set Ron on the right path and endow him with empathy.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Funny and frank in its observations, the film is a delightful snapshot of female friendship at that age, from the giddy highs to the melancholy funks, from the sustaining bonds to the jealousies and stinging betrayals.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    No less impressive than the narrative mastery here, however, is the technical execution of this bold minimalist experiment.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Which Way is the Front Line is more than a chronicle of a life and a brilliant ten-year career cut short at age 40. It’s also a strangely beautiful insight into one man’s distinctive way of looking at and experiencing war.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Kent and editor Simon Njoo show maturity and trust in their material, expertly building tension through the insidious modulation from naturalistic dysfunctional family drama to all-out boogeyman terror.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The film is non-fiction storytelling of remarkable nuance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    While it's more dramatically diffuse than the reboot and lacks a definitive villain, the new film is shot through with a stirring reverence for the Marvel Comics characters and their universe.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    It's enriched by signature qualities – the humanistic, nonjudgmental gaze, the absence of sentimentality, the ultra-naturalistic style – that have always distinguished the Belgian brothers' fine body of work.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Keep On Keepin' On is both tender and joyous, a moving account of the mutual nourishment of artistic mentorship and the rewards of accentuating the positive in whatever life throws at you.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    An extraordinary and quietly disturbing film.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Light, thoroughly entertaining comedy;
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A touching, old-fashioned charmer that ultimately satisfies.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A thoughtful, restrained, refreshingly nonjudgmental melodrama that reflects on interesting questions regarding sexuality, identity and self-acceptance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The well-structured film goes beyond issues of sexuality, giving nuanced consideration to broader questions of love and loss, family and friendship, trust, lies and deception.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Consummately crafted and stunningly shot in magnificent locations deep in Brazil's remote northeastern badlands, the film unapologetically courts the commercial curve of the international arthouse arena with its rustic exotica and sensory overload of poetic imagery, giving it something of a grandiose air.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Mullan's increased maturity as a director is evident in his skill at manipulating light and dark dramatic tones, and shifting between moods of anger and plaintive melancholy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    First-time feature director Rob Marshall and Oscar-winning "Gods and Monsters" screenwriter Bill Condon have spun the dark tale of two murdering floozies into a widely palatable entertainment, but the long-gestating film comes up short in rhythm and personality.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The film is powered by a superbly controlled performance from Javier Bardem. While it lacks economy and could have used a firmer hand in shaping the key central relationship, this intelligent, arrestingly sober drama packs a cumulative punch.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Stylish, compelling crime caper full of smoothly navigated plot twists.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Eminently stylish, visually striking romantic thriller.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Compelling 24-hour odyssey into the life of a world-weary Gotham publicist, driven by a vivid performance from Al Pacino.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Its powerfully visual storytelling delivers great rewards as the meditative drama moves into increasingly complex, at times confrontational territory.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    This one comes up short in terms of visual flair. But it delivers amusingly observed characters, consistent laughs underscored by the poignancy of unfulfilled existences and winning performances from a terrific cast captained by Jennifer Aniston.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A darkly textured, powerfully suspenseful genre piece.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Director Matteo Garrone's measured approach and soulfully humane focus combine to dignify the characters, allowing the tale of solitude, longing and sorrow to inch quietly under the viewer's skin.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The comedy-drama hinges on the captivating dynamic between the two men, combining gentle humor and charm with a melancholy undercurrent of yearning.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Thoughtful, melancholy drama.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    This melancholy, insightfully scripted coming-of-age drama is moving without being manipulative and makes an assured calling card for writer-director Karen Moncrieff.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Working predominantly in English for the first time, the French director has crafted an absorbing tale about the merging of fiction with reality, propelled by contrasting performances from Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    An entertaining, deeply respectful assessment of the directors and actors who rode the countercultural wave of the 1970s.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    There’s a light touch in evidence, balancing the bleakness with odd lyrical moments and unexpected humor and tenderness that infuse the gentle drama with a bracing freshness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The gifted repertory company again creates an amusing gallery of incisively observed characters, riffing off each other with enjoyment levels that frequently prove contagious.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The film's unhurried pace will target it for discerning audiences only, but its wry humor and coolly amused observation of contemporary Japan should score with smart urbanites.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Visceral, witty and appropriately redundant, the sequel has a winning commercial recipe that's certain to cook up excellent returns in all areas.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Delves far more deeply into grisly physical manifestation than psychological motivation, making it seem something of an actorish vanity piece. But the drama is directed with arresting spareness and control.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    This is arguably Hurt's best role in years, and he bites into it with relish, managing to seem both manipulative and vulnerable, dour and droll at the same time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    An eloquent expression of both unorthodox romance and bitter disillusionment with the hypocritical institutions of family and society.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Over-plotted and at times incoherent but never dull, this is a stylishly designed, highly entertaining bloodbath full of offbeat comedy and inspired musical moments.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Driven by soulful performances and by a genuine sense of wonder for the unpredictable permutations of love and family.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    It recovers from an opening that's a little oblique to grow progressively more seductive as the two lost central characters become entwined.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    This skillfully acted, handsomely crafted frock piece toys cleverly with gender confusion and sexual identity.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    While it veers heavily toward pretentiousness, this striking metaphysical mystery is intensely compelling, conjuring a mood between European high-arthouse and the unsettling psychological horror of "Rosemary's Baby."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Full of surprising warmth and charm, unexpected plot turns and droll characters that bounce off each other in refreshing ways.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A stunningly crafted work from first-time feature director Nicole Kassell.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    While it could have used a punchier final act that distilled its themes more cogently and conclusively, this intelligently scripted drama about power and its many channels nonetheless delivers thanks to Stettner's stylish visual sense and, most of all, to the smart, commanding performances of leads Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Delivers continuous pinpricks of irreverent humor and subversive cultural commentary.
    • Variety
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Richly human in focus, the drama steadily cranks up its political and emotional charge.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Material that might have turned to standard dysfunctional family treacle in other hands is given stirring poignancy, warmth and emotional insight in Shona Auerbach's assured first feature.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Consistently fascinating material provides an uncommonly eloquent, provocative statement against globalization that's sure to stimulate thinking audiences.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Story of a still-grieving widower and his two troubled teenage sons is distinguished by its emotional integrity, sustained mood of aching melancholy and superbly understated performances.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A richly textured drama with an angry poetic edge that gets inside the obsessive subculture of New York graffiti artists, Bomb the System signals the arrival of a talented filmmaker in NYU film graduate Adam Bhala Lough.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The tireless volley of ideas and inventions make this a delight that should connect with kids and adults in both dubbed and original-language versions.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Somewhat haphazardly organized yet fascinatingly detailed and enriched by the candor and dignity of its shockingly deprived interview subjects.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    But despite less-than-ideal casting of the male roles, and a tendency to soften the Pulitzer Prize-winning work's thorny humor with a more sober tone, director John Madden has woven together an elegant, intelligent drama of a breed increasingly rare in mainstream American movies.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    An emotionally potent story told with great dignity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A model of poise and restraint, the film flows in a way that is deliberately undramatic, but made no less involving by the dreamy gentleness of its approach.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Numerous filmmakers have attempted to dramatize the terrorist activity that gripped Italy in the 1970s, but few have done so with the unsettling power of Marco Bellocchio's Good Morning, Night.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Pic's distinguished by a flawless cast, a gentle spirit of rebellion and a smart script by first-time screenwriter Michael Arndt that knows never to push its character quirks too hard.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Dave Grohl has more than clout in his corner in his terrifically entertaining documentary Sound City. He brings elements that can't be faked -- passion and heart -- to this lovingly assembled insider account of what it feels like to make real handcrafted rock music.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    No
    Anchored by an admirably measured performance from Gael Garcia Bernal as the maverick advertising ace who spearheaded the winning campaign, the quietly impassioned film seems a natural for intelligent arthouse audiences.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Lent distinguishing heft by its roster of screen veterans, this gripping drama provides an absorbing reflection on the courage and cost of dissent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    While on the surface, this is a variation on boyz-in-the-‘hood dramatic staples, the film is rooted in anglicized Arab culture yet universally accessible in its reflections on identity issues. It’s a very promising debut – slick, muscular, entertaining and emotionally satisfying.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Unfolding like an espionage thriller but with a methodical journalistic skill at organizing a mountain of facts, the film raises stimulating questions about transparency and freedom of information in a world in which governments and corporations have plenty to hide.

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