For 424 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 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Rooney's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Capote
Lowest review score: 10 Boat Trip
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 424
424 movie reviews
    • 85 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Alternately haunting, inspiring and dreamily meditative, this is a visually majestic film of transfixing moods and textures.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Visually, intellectually and emotionally, McDonagh’s film is one to savor.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    A riveting first feature of startling maturity and intelligence.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    Gloria is a work of maturity, depth and emotional insight. There’s not a single false note here.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 David Rooney
    James D. Cooper’s rollicking film is a heady return to Swinging Sixties England at the height of the Mod explosion that’s packed with primo archival material and killer tunes. It’s also a vigorous testament to the rewards of creative collaboration, shining a spotlight on two highly unorthodox, self-invented rock entrepreneurs.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A delightful experience.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    An extraordinary and quietly disturbing film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Essentially, this is a film about existential emptiness, and yet it’s beautiful and alive, as filled with humor as it is with melancholy.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The film's smart craftsmanship is ultimately less noteworthy than its humanizing, prejudice-challenging immersion into the lives of people who inhabit L.A.'s low-end drug and sex industry.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The story in itself is first-rate. However, it’s the very measured handling that makes it distinctive.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Joyously re-creates the brief but resplendent reign of the legendary freakadelic drag troupe.
    • 86 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Allen's dialogue is witty, his plotting zings along with forward momentum in all the right places, and his observation of elastic moral principles in flux is both mischievous and unsettling, yielding a tasty final-act Hitchcockian twist.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Endowed with captivating simplicity, gentle humor, rich humanity and infectious generosity of spirit.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The story's acceleration from anxiety to panic to hellish chaos is expertly managed, but more impressively, so is the control of internal narrative logic.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Rendered deeply moving by the director's peerless capacity to combine humor and compassion with honesty and despair.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Mond's skill at working with actors is equal to his fully developed visual style and assured modulation of atmosphere and tone. This may be a small movie, but it's an impressively rigorous one without an ounce of flab.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    An accomplished marriage of elaborate style and content.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The level of socially accepted discrimination exposed here provokes both heartbreak and anger.
    • 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
    No less impressive than the narrative mastery here, however, is the technical execution of this bold minimalist experiment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Bold, inventive, sustained adrenaline rush of a movie.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Exhaustively informative and powerfully emotional.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    The film is non-fiction storytelling of remarkable nuance.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A fascinating contemplation of adolescent sexuality that will be a star-making platform for its young lead, Marine Vacth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    Enormously satisfying, superbly crafted.
    • 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.
    • 89 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 David Rooney
    A massive undertaking and an accomplished piece of filmmaking in a solid tradition of intelligent, meticulous literary adaptations.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Thoughtful, melancholy drama.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The filmmakers' reluctance to over-explain character motivations has mostly kept their films out of the mainstream and will continue to do so here, but there's no shortage of impressions that resonate. And the performances of both Reynolds and Mendelsohn are fortified with deep feeling, working in admirable tandem.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    What makes this film such a warm and touching portrait is that it reveals a woman who, even at her lowest, never loses her sense of humor.
    • 71 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The film is imbued with an engaging mix of warmth and prickliness by the lovely, lived-in performances of Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    This skillfully acted, handsomely crafted frock piece toys cleverly with gender confusion and sexual identity.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Consistently fascinating material provides an uncommonly eloquent, provocative statement against globalization that's sure to stimulate thinking audiences.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    An emotionally potent story told with great dignity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Gerard Johnstone, a first-time writer-director from New Zealand, demonstrates a sly command of deadpan humor along with an assured grasp of seasoned horror tropes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Its powerfully visual storytelling delivers great rewards as the meditative drama moves into increasingly complex, at times confrontational territory.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    What makes the sharp-as-a-tack nonagenarian Apfel such splendid company is that beneath the busy prints and multi-layered accessories is a woman who is less an eccentric than an ineffably sane, sensible commentator on her own colorful life and the world she inhabits.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Acted with smart restraint and shot with corresponding composure, this is a somber, slow-moving drama built out of small but acutely observed moments of naturalistic human behavior.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    What makes the film work is that this potentially lurid material is treated at all times with sensitivity and probing psychological seriousness.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    This twisty fairy-tale mash-up shows an appreciation for the virtues of old-fashioned storytelling, along with a welcome dash of subversive wit. It benefits from respect for the source material, enticing production values and a populous gallery of sharp character portraits from a delightful cast.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    One of the strengths of Sattler’s screenplay is his refusal to make this a straightforward drama about enemies, injustice or dehumanizing persecution. He makes it about empathy, and in doing so broadens the intimate story to find thematic universality.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Eminently stylish, visually striking romantic thriller.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    While that awkward final section shows Jia's lack of assurance working in English, the misstep is instantly erased in a beautiful concluding sequence that reaffirms the film's aching depth of feeling and extraordinary sense of place.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Somewhat haphazardly organized yet fascinatingly detailed and enriched by the candor and dignity of its shockingly deprived interview subjects.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Stylish, compelling crime caper full of smoothly navigated plot twists.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    There are tradeoffs with the switch to a more epic, ambitious canvas, but Gareth Evans’ action sequel in most ways that count is an even more masterful jolt of high-energy genre filmmaking.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Mandela is straightforward storytelling of a type that’s somewhat out of fashion, but ultimately no less stirring for it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    A thoughtful, restrained, refreshingly nonjudgmental melodrama that reflects on interesting questions regarding sexuality, identity and self-acceptance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    The director’s austere minimalism has always been suspended between the mesmerizing and the distancing, and in his latest feature, the concentration on elliptical observation, mood and texture signals an almost complete rejection of narrative.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    What makes 20,000 Days on Earth distinctive is that it provides an overview of the man and his art while creating the illusion that this has come together organically -- out of poetic ruminations, casual encounters, ghost-like visitations and good old Freudian psychoanalysis.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Creepy, suspenseful and sustained, this skillfully made lo-fi horror movie plays knowingly with genre tropes and yet never winks at the audience, giving it a refreshing face-value earnestness that makes it all the more gripping.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Rooney
    Exhaustively tracking the five-year battle to overthrow California’s ban on same-sex marriage, they distill the dense legal process into a lucid narrative while illuminating the human drama of the plaintiffs, and by extension, the countless gay men and lesbians they represent.

Top Trailers