For 466 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.3 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: 37 out of 466
466 movie reviews
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    What might have been a cinephile's wet dream turns out instead to be seductive, stimulating and sodden, in that order, in the three-chapter reflection on love and desire.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Ambling drama shows an exasperating lack of economy and a weakness for diatribe dialogue, but becomes progressively more involving after a laborious start.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    As an eco-political inquiry, the film is compelling even if its grounding in scientific fact could be more solid.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    A bigscreen feature executed with a cookie-cutter small-screen sensibility, this often charming but untextured fact-based period piece is buoyed along by the redoubtable Judi Dench.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While it tips its hat to screwball comedy, Puccini for Beginners owes more to contemporary sitcom. It also has way more in common with "Sex and the City" than "The L Word." None of that is entirely a bad thing in a film that never really soars but has enough breezy humor.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    There are simply too many characters jostling for attention and too many competing plot strands in a not-quite-seamless marriage of hard-edged social realism with a lyrical novelistic overlay. That said, the film is rich in poignant moments and negotiates its frequent shifts from violence to gentleness to sorrow with sensitivity.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The material is at heart an intimate allegorical fairy tale about rarefied philosophical concerns.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While the film carries no writer credit, the accompanying voiceover commentary from all five band-members feels canned, short on off-the-cuff spontaneity and hindsight perspective. Still, even if it has not much more depth than a VH1 Behind the Music special, the doc holds ample pleasures for '80s cultists.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Middleton's polished writing and amusing observations about the anxieties most people encounter when definitively farewelling their youth help compensate for her standard-issue direction.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While the director's penchant for extended silences and stagy character positioning make it all seem rather studied, the drama nonetheless is compellingly unsettling.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The non-linear structure works extremely well, making the drama a bracing emotional roller coaster of feel-good/feel-bad turns.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Jolie is even hotter, faster and more commanding than last time around as the fearless heiress/adventuress, plus a little more human. The less welcome news is that most of the same shortcomings that cramped the first installment are still dogging the sequel, which delivers on action but dawdles through downtime.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Director Chris Columbus has pasted the grungy "La Boheme" update onto film with slavish respect for the original material but a shortage of stylistic imagination and raw emotions.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While it's well acted and has strong moments on a scene-by-scene basis, the film lacks an emotional center, keeping the impact cool and diffuse where it should be affecting.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Only God Forgives is a hypnotic fugue on themes of violence and retribution, drenched in corrosive reds.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    A stylishly made but unyielding drama.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Superficial but entertaining new pic offers equal parts freshness and kitsch appeal set to a pulsating Latin soundtrack.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    To Be Takei follows multiple threads without pulling any one of them satisfyingly into focus, making it amusing and even poignant, though not quite the window into its subject's life that it might have been with a more penetrating observer.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    [Marquardt's] film sustains tension and is arrestingly lit and shot, exhibiting a sharp eye for expressive compositions and a persuasive feel for the sheer alienating physical density of New York City life.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Despite some hazy plot points, the tough, compelling drama comes together quite satisfyingly, standing alongside 1996's "The Funeral" as perhaps the most controlled and cohesive of Ferrara's uneven work of recent years.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Ambitiously structured in non-chronological fragments that form a fascinating puzzle, this raw drama about grief, guilt and redemption becomes ultimately overextended and overwrought in its final stretch.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Starts out bracingly but gradually loses focus. Ecuadorian writer-director Sebastian Cordero's screenplay trades in underdeveloped conflicts and blank characters, hinting far too early at the killer's probable identity.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    A fairly sustained barrage of broad undergraduate humor and gross-out gags that should tickle young auds looking for unsophisticated laughs.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Strikingly crafted but rather empty drama.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While Second Best is mildly engaging thanks largely to an appealingly self-effacing turn from Joe Pantoliano, writer-director Eric Weber's script could have used an extra polish or two.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While the premise has possibilities for some creepy, pulpy fun, writer-director Robert Parigi brings too little style or humor, instead going a more obvious, overwrought route.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The unapologetically derivative sci-fi outing doesn’t have the scripting muscle to deliver on its early promise. But the solid cast keeps it reasonably gripping nonetheless.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While devotees expecting Moretti's wry worldview may feel shortchanged, others will find this a profoundly moving experience, giving it fuel to cross borders into the arthouse niche.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While it plays more like stage or TV sketch-comedy shtick than film material, this modest, visually unimposing production remains entertaining thanks to its ironic observations and winning sense of folly.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Largely overcomes key cast weaknesses to deliver a jazzy, darkly textured rendering of the ghetto pulp of late African-American ex-con author Donald Goines.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    If the resulting drama, Stonewall, seldom escapes its cliches or cookie-cutter characters, it also recounts a political origin story in relatable, often affecting terms.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Sensitive direction and a touching performance from Emile Hirsch in the title role help counter some dramatic naivete and awkward, at times unintentional, humor in The Mudge Boy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Frequently hilarious but ultimately is a protracted one-joke affair that strays into undisciplined chaos.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The film goes more and more off-kilter, with its jumble of black comedy and bloodshed and its mild-mannered protagonist embroiled in violent crime making it an unsophisticated foray into Coen brothers territory.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The intense, uncomfortable drama’s downbeat nature is offset to a degree by the sensitivity of its observation, but the film serves primarily as a showcase for the emotionally raw lead performance of Rory Culkin.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    A flawed and overlong but ultimately affecting account of one man's struggle to regain control of his life.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The uneven drama remains reasonably engrossing thanks to affecting performances from Boyd Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Like the symmetrical word that supplies its title, the mordant comedy-drama recovers ground to become a boldly intriguing if not entirely satisfying subversion of American family values.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Sleek and engrossing, though awfully drawn out and short on psychological complexity, this is a straight-up police action thriller that adheres to a very familiar Hollywood template.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Shot in a woozy handheld style and laced with fussy visual affectations, the story mixes ripe sensuality with brooding menace in a tranquil pastoral setting. It’s not uninteresting but too self-consciously arty to rank Decker as a mature filmmaking voice.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Dramatically, Child of God is hit or miss; some scenes are ferociously captivating while others are given clumsy handling, almost to the point of indifference.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    This one is straight out of the old-school Sundance manual. Still, there's enough warmth, humor and heart in the very slick package, not to mention a gaggle of accomplished and well-cast actors.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Modest but engaging.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    If De Palma’s version was one part adolescent dream, three parts nightmare, with a sly streak of satire running through it, Peirce’s is a more earnest yet still engrossing take on the story that should connect with contemporary teens. At the very least it might send fledgling horror buffs scurrying to their Netflix queues to watch a vintage masterpiece of the genre.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The film sways awkwardly back and forth between prickly humor and pathos, rarely ringing true in either register.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    This oddball tale of a small-town gangster's troubled girlfriend hovers uncertainly on the edge of an absurdist universe.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The film's transitions between periods are not entirely seamless and its discourse often becomes didactic. However, the depth and intelligence it brings to issues of black politics and sexuality could help carve an appreciative theatrical audience in upscale gay and/or urban niches.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    While it's uneven, A Perfect Day builds to a nice melancholy conclusion. It underscores with gentle strokes the frustration and disillusionment of self-sacrificing workers confronted on a daily basis with feelings of futility in the face of corruption and compromise.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    A dynamic breakout performance from Gina Rodriguez helps this rap-infused drama about a young Los Angeles Latina overcome its patchy storytelling.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Audiences willing to tune in to its blend of surreal fantasy, droll comedy and poignancy will be rewarded.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Karim Ainouz has always been more attentive as a filmmaker to the creation of atmospheric and emotional texture than to story or character, and that bias inhibits this visually seductive drama from fully engaging beyond the aesthetic level.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Signals a talented newcomer in writer-director John Simpson and boasts a gripping central performance from popular British comedian Lee Evans.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The broad comedy is somewhat strained and obvious, and the hyper-real atmosphere encourages the cast to slice the prosciutto a little thickly. But the film's sweet-natured ingenuousness proves reasonably contagious.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Despite its crude, willfully naive style, this comedy of transgression, judgment and revenge becomes steadily more appealing as it progresses.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    Lapses into melodramatic self-importance and gratuitous stylistic flourishes that take the audience out of the action -- are outweighed by the steadily amplified emotional power of this ultimately moving drama.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    An ultimately moving drama about a displaced people. But its emotional kick is muffled by long-windedness, sentimental overkill and an overpopulated character gallery.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Rooney
    The film is absorbing on a scene-by-scene basis. But it connects the dots of Raymond’s life in a perfunctory way, without locating a fluid through-line or gaining emotional access to its elusive subject.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    As lethargic as the characters it portrays, the film requires greater staying power than many audiences will possess.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Young male auds should warm to its cool criminal ethos, sharp dialogue, charismatic cast and wry humor.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    A bland road movie running on empty. It's depressing to see a deluxe cast wasted on such by-the-numbers material -- from predictable plot to fabricated Hallmark sentiment to strenuous milking of warm-and-fuzzy laughs from the irrepressible spirit of three women whose youth is behind them.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    A moderately successful attempt to ape the standard Hollywood teen movie.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Underproduced and compromised by an uneven script and a tendency to descend into melodrama, the DV-lensed feature nonetheless is well acted and directed with confidence.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    While the direction is a little anonymous and could use some verve, the comedy-drama gets by thanks to a solid script, witty dialogue and engaging performances.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The delicate drama is sweet and sincere but a tad thin to resonate.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    As gratifying as it would be to report that the effortless touch, the livewire rhythms and the sparkling wit remain in evidence, those qualities prevail only intermittently in this strained though mildly enjoyable ensemble comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Not quite a documentary, it's more like a musical travelogue that doesn't quite sustain feature length and seems ideally suited to a shorter TV version for music webs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Despite its sharp visuals and evocative sense of place, the unevenly acted film never quite builds enough atmospheric dread to distract from its characters' somewhat implausible behavior.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The whole spirit of rebellion, passion and protest that should be a driving force for the characters plays more like a cultivated affectation.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    An elegant but empty and frustrating meditation on desire, obsession, love and possession, The Captive intellectualizes those subjects almost beyond the level of art-film parody.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    performances from Saoirse Ronan and Cynthia Nixon keep Stockholm, Pennsylvania intense and absorbing, but Nicole Beckwith's initial impulse to tell her confinement story as a stage play feels as if it might have been a sounder choice.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    While the systematic corruption of innocents under an outwardly benevolent protector makes for a disturbing scenario, Australian newcomer Ariel Kleiman dulls the unease with his studiedly enigmatic approach.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    A well-meaning but schematic drama about three generations of Chinese women in America.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    LUV
    Even if some of them are playing hackneyed gangster-film types, the strength of the actors makes it almost possible to forgive the formulaic plotting and artificially movie-ish developments. Candis and Justin Wilson's screenplay stretches credibility thinner and thinner as the story advances.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Wavering between wry humor and frank tenderness without fully committing to either, the film ends up stranded in an innocuously sweet middle ground. That’s a disappointment, especially since the movie gets off to an amusing start.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    A drama that steadily succumbs to self-conscious artiness, drunk on its own sense of contrived poetry and cloudy existential reflection.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The film lacks the accompanying media spotlight that boosted the Moore release and therefore appears unlikely to reach beyond a liberal audience with an already vehement aversion to Fox News' partisan coverage.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    This visually impressive yet emotional frigid fable could perhaps more accurately be tagged "The Bipolar Express."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The whimsical ugly-duckling fable becomes more uneven as it proceeds, straining too hard to manufacture its quirky charms.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Humor is inconsistent, and the film suffers from lack of shape and fluidity, playing more like a series of disjointed sketches. But there are more than enough high points to compensate.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    For high-concept melodrama that's low on complexity, this very solemn film takes itself way too seriously. But it's not entirely without interest, thanks to sleek visuals and decent chemistry between alluring leads Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Although amusing as often as not, the material remains more comedy-sketch fodder than a fully developed feature.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Whatever valid points are being explored are hopelessly clouded by the film's unwavering earnestness as it descends into silliness and excess.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Sanders and DeMicco’s script doesn’t have the robust plotting, consistent wit or flavorful character development of the best family animation. And some of the voice actors have too little to work with.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The story rarely gets fired up to "maximum thrust," to use the rocket-speed parlance of its heroes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    It’s not bad, but it’s ineffectual -- shuffling from one semi-satirical vignette to the next and then veering into soul-searching territory while generating only mild engagement.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    While staccato dialogue and edgy confrontations have always been the wordsmith's forte, the precision-tooled mechanics of an elaborate crime caper have not, and the physical direction here could use some muscle.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    An obvious labor of love, this hand-crafted film is beautifully made – photographed, scored and edited with a grubby lyricism that makes its shortage of plot momentum all the more frustrating.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Stars Zellweger and McGregor are too knowingly nudge-wink in their performances, too much contrived constructs to become real characters, let alone fuel the romantic comedy engine and make an audience care much whether they end up together.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Choreographed by long-term Li collaborator Corey Yuen, the martial arts confrontations supply plenty of spark, though they lack the more exhilarating stylistic flourishes of those in "Romeo."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    All the conviction the actors can muster can't make this script feel less pat.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    What might have looked intriguing on paper appears to have been largely pared away in the artsy mannerisms and loaded silences of Brit director Daniel Barber’s self-consciously elliptical treatment.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    A disjointed story of self-discovery, courage and redemption somewhat incongruously billed as a salute to Akira Kurosawa.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The glue that holds the sweet teen-fantasy together is star Anne Hathaway, who continues to evolve into a luminous young lead.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Winslet’s mix of grace, gumption and private sadness is the chief reason to keep watching, but she deserves a more dynamic film.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    The problem is that the romance as depicted is just not interesting enough to sustain realistic treatment. It's sweet but a tad dull. The two characters lack dimension, and their stereotypical situations seem entirely generic.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    It's involving but seldom deeply affecting, with the core drama continually shoved aside to examine more commonplace matters of parenting, abandonment and broken families.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    While it has about as much depth and nuance as the bubblegum Sino-pop tunes that pepper its soundtrack, Formula 17 is a fresh, sweet-natured affair with an attractive young cast that should play to the gay-teen niche.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    While there’s much to enjoy here – particularly in the touching performance of Hiam Abbass – there’s also plenty that is cliched and forced.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Restrained and elegant to a fault, this first feature from co-directors Tom Dolby and Tom Williams is too muted in its catharsis and too overcrowded with superfluous characters to be fully satisfying, but the delicate central performance keeps it watchable.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 David Rooney
    Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Hurt give compelling performances... But the coldly unrewarding drama is as distant and joyless as its protagonist, representing a disappointment for director Richard Kwietniowski.

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