David Sterritt

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For 2,004 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Sterritt's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Another Road Home
Lowest review score: 0 Head Over Heels
Score distribution:
2004 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The main performances are generally weak, although the smaller ones are sometimes brilliant, and the yarn never builds much momentum as it leapfrogs from one subplot to another. [28 Dec 1990, Arts, p.14]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The acting is sincere and the camera work is pretty, but this art-movie variation on "The Sixth Sense" doesn't have enough energy to fulfill the high promise of Berliner's previous picture, the enchanting "Ma vie en rose."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    Used Cars is full of used characters, used ideas, and used jokes, many of which are in astonishingly bad taste.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    Blending animation and live action, this ferocious fantasy is hopelessly vulgar in ways never dreamed of by "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    Armageddon may sell tickets, thanks largely to a high-powered marketing machine that's been conducting its own countdown for the past several months. But it's not a pretty picture.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    Judged by the standards of ordinary filmmaking, it's as strange, suggestive, and surreal as other Lynch pictures have been. Judged by the standards of Lynch's own career, however, it's amazingly stale and second-hand… [and] contains not a single moment of genuinely felt emotion. [1 Sept 1992]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    John Hughes pours his usual slickness and sentimentality all over everything. [27 Feb 1987]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The combination of caveman dialogue, overcooked action, and anything-for-an-effect performances is maddeningly crude even by cop-movie standards. [22 May 1987, p.23]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The stagebound setting gets boring; the action doesn't build a steady momentum; and the characters do far too much hanging around until the camera's ready to point at them again.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    A second-rate adaptation of the second-rate Choderlos de Laclos novel: two hours of pretty people sitting in pretty rooms and talking about sex. [23 Dec 1988, A& L, p.19]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The Abyss' isn't abysmal, but it's a replay of hits we've already seen - a recycled "close encounters of the wet kind'' with far too few ideas of its own. [18 Aug 1989, Arts, p.10]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 89 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    As before, the movie is more impressive for its finely detailed vision of Los Angeles as a futuristic slum than for its story, acting, or message. It's all downhill after the first few eye-dazzling minutes. [2 Oct 1992]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    In all, it's “Diner,'' female style. Directed by Donald Petrie from a blatantly manipulative screenplay that took four people to cook up. [24 Oct 1988]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    Verhoeven's lurid thriller has moments of welcome self-parody, but most of the action manages to be sensationalistic, homophobic, and tedious at the same time. [20 Mar 1992, Arts, p.12]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The director, Taylor Hackford, doesn't have the cinematic savvy to sustain so many tensions in a meaningful way; and the screenplay strays far over the line between incisive political comment and heavy-handed Red-baiting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The message of the film is that life isn't neat and predictable like a well-arranged business trip; yet everything in the picture is so calculated that there's no life to it. [23 Dec 1988, A& L, p.19]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    While the production is attractive in a calendar-photo sort of way, there's not a speck of genuine feeling in its glossy images.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 David Sterritt
    The Witches of Eastwick, based on John Updike's novel, takes just about every wrong turn it can find. Perhaps this was predictable, with a wild-driving director like George Miller at the wheel. What's surprising is how many opportunities for vulgarity and stupidity the film invents for itself, even beyond the book's built-in temptations to excess. [12 June 1987, p.21]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 63 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Amiably bland actors can be fun to watch, as Tom Hanks has proved. Freeman is no Hanks, though, and The Hitchhiker's Guide won't boost anyone's career into hyperspace. Or give your mind a workout.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The movie is a mish-mash of action-adventure clich├ęs, book-ended with lame attempts at psychological interest. Written, directed, and acted with ham-fisted heaviness.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Like the recent "Mona Lisa Smile," this tale could have been an effective feminist fable if it weren't so calculated.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Bataille was a serious philosopher as well as a sensation-seeking writer, but you'd never guess his provocative ideas from this updated version.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    By the time it ended, I'd stopped caring. I suspect most moviegoers will do the same. Here's hoping Shelton scurries back to the athletic world in a hurry.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    At 225 minutes long, it feels like a trilogy in itself. That wouldn't be a problem if it had energy and imagination, but those qualities are missing, as is any sense of historical or philosophical context.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The consequences aren't remotely as comic as they're meant to be.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The story takes place in 2013, but you'd hardly know it from the age-old clichés Kevin Costner purloins to tell this overblown action yarn, which relies so heavily on ideas borrowed from John Ford westerns that the Hollywood giant should have been credited as codirector; too bad Costner can't invest them with Ford's kind of life and originality, though.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    xXx
    The infuriating thing about XXX isn't that it delivers thrills and spills to moviegoers who don't know any better, but that its Hollywood hype reinforces the notion that brain-dead entertainment is what movies are all about.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    It's picaresque, all right, but full of ethnic stereotypes, and filmed much too blandly to compete with the superb ''Black Stallion'' of a few years ago.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    De Niro and Hoffman almost give comic life to this brainless, vulgar farce.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Most of the characters are one-dimensional, and Avary's over-the-top directing doesn't make them interesting for more than a few isolated moments.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Was this spiritless stuff really directed by Paul and Chris Weitz of "American Pie" fame? How the rebels have mellowed!
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The plot is a shameless plea for vigilante violence, and the dignity of the black hero is outweighed by the ethnically marked evil of his Hispanic antagonist. Beneath its crisp veneer, much of the movie is a high-energy hymn to hate.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Lachow goes for cuteness and whimsy every chance he gets, missing a lot more often than he hits.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The picture goes for sentimentality rather than substance every chance it gets, and the cast falls right into its syrupy trap.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Stoner jokes, awful gags, and just stupid stuff equate to one bad movie.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The movie means well, but neither its emotions nor its performances ring very true.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Fans of unregenerate underground moviemaking will have a ball.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The acting ranges from adequate (Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey) to awful (Lindsay Crouse and everyone else).
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Everyone tries very hard to make the story sweet and funny, but the soggy screenplay defeats them every time.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Falls flat on screen, weighed down by far-fetched plot twists.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The satire is intermittently amusing, but Arcand adds little to the arsenal of standard mockumentary tricks, and the interesting cast doesn't get many interesting things to do.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The story is a string of sub-Scorsese clichés, and if engaging actors like Malkovich and Hopper seem to be sleepwalking through their roles, imagine how unwatchable Diesel manages to be.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The picture's real interest lies in detailing the villain's sadistic crimes, though, and this is rarely fun or edifying to watch.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    As soon as I finish writing this review, I'm going to try traveling a few hours in the past. That way, I can improve my life by skipping this movie!
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The movie is gorgeously filmed and contains some fascinating lore about life in northern climes. But the plot is tritely predictable and far-fetched. Julia Ormond, Gabriel Byrne, and Vanessa Redgrave are among the performers who deliver less than their best.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The acting is uneven and most of the romancing seems so mismatched.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Labors mightily to be a frolicsome entertainment, but the results are - well, labored. The dialogue isn't snappy, the story isn't surprising, there's little chemistry between the stars.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Larry and Andy Wachowski directed this lurid, sexually explicit thriller.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Luc Besson's screenplay is dumb, but has just enough weird touches to give occasional glimmers of interest.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    What really hurts is the movie's shallow screenwriting, self-indulgent acting, and woozy camerawork.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    If you want a movie time trip, the 1960 version is a far smoother ride.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Tennant's featherweight comedy is clearly pitched at the date-movie crowd, and couples may enjoy it if they can get past the picture's simplistic ethnic stereotypes and its willingness to wish away every real-life family problem the characters will surely face after the feel-good finale.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The suspense sequences are straight from the standard Hollywood blueprint, and the movie as a whole is so sloppily assembled that it's almost incoherent at times.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Movie stars have tamed sassy kids in movies from "The Blackboard Jungle" to "Stand and Deliver," but it's hard to remember an example more patronizing or sentimentalized than this one.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    If a mildly magical story is what you're after, it'll be worth the price of admission. Otherwise save your milk money for something more substantial.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Unoriginal.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Dull despite its suspense-driven story.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Four chuckles and a lively final-credits sequence are a mighty poor score for 99 minutes of alleged comedy, and the sentimental stuff is even worse.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    How could such a high-octane cast produce such low-octane horror?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Rarely have Gibson's tears seemed more fictional than in this supposedly authentic account of a historical event that's far too tragic to merit such superficial treatment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Eventually you realize the whole movie has been about young showoffs who think it's uproarious to gross out neighborhood grownups.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Carpenter pulls out all the action-adventure stops, but he and coscripter Larry Sulkis forgot to write dialogue the audience could listen to without howling in disbelief.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The animation is deft but the screenplay is stilted, the voice-performances are unimaginative, and the whole project is surprisingly clumsy in its efforts to please young and old alike. A major disappointment.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Not even veteran talents like Dukakis and Scheider can surmount the artificial dialogue, arbitrary plot twists, and wan humor of this disappointing comedy-drama.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Too bad (Arnold) can't save the movie from it's superstitious clap-trap, sadistic violence, and sheer silliness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The picture is effectively made, but viewers will want to erase the horrific violence that erupts in scene after scene, leading to an unusually mean-spirited finale.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    How did a dignified pro like Duvall get stuck in this fender-bender?
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Hal Hartley's innovative comedy-drama is more ambitious than successful, but it deserves credit for trying something genuinely unusual.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Suffers from a lack of chemistry.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Shots of blood and naked bodies clash bizarrely with Coppola's more quaint and engaging notions; the result may be intended as a dialectical encounter, but seems more like a head-on collision.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Great premise, but the ensuing trials and tribulations - not to mention hapless attempts at comedy - are as off-key as a karaoke scene in which Hudson sounds worse than any audition Simon Cowell has ever had to sit through.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The blend of live action and animation is competently done, but the subtly mean-spirited screenplay has more sour meows than hearty laughs.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The film has enough wild driving to satisfy any "French Connection" fan or "Bullitt" buff, but there's precious little for anyone else to enjoy. 2 foolish + 2 flashy = 4 get it!
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Almost entirely devoted to combat violence and sentimental interludes.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    In short, this movie is exactly the kind of starry-eyed escapist fantasy that Dr. Powell suspects Prot of having. It's harmless enough, since we can be cured just by leaving the theater.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    I doubt if the results would have satisfied Kahlo, whose originality in matters of life, art, and ideas was vastly more far-reaching.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Nicolas Cage, Ving Rhames, and Steve Buscemi are among the few performers who emerge with a shred of dignity at the end.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Whatever novelty this series ever possessed has gone down the proverbial tube. The actors are on autopilot, and Adam Herz's screenplay panders to its immature target audience so cravenly and relentlessly that it verges on incompetence.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    This low-budget drama tries very hard to convey messages of tolerance and compassion, but it's too weakly acted and directed to have much impact.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The problem with Possession isn't that it's filmed in a lackluster way, but that it shouldn't have been filmed at all. Byatt's novel is an adventure in language, telling its story through a kaleidoscopic array of Victorian-style poetry and prose, alongside gripping accounts of the characters' activities and escapades.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Serial killing and other insanity in the French countryside, with ineptly dubbed English dialogue.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The kind of comedy that aims at "edginess" and "sassiness" without managing to be edgy or sassy for a second.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Some scenes paint a convincing portrait of Stern as a witty opponent of stuffiness, prudery, and hypocrisy. Others mix gross-out humor with nasty doses of racism, sexism, and homophobia that reveal a dark side to Stern's professional personality.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    A few mildly amusing gags don't outweigh the trite situations and mean-spirited attitude of this comedy.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    This belated "reimagining" is as beguiling as a dried-out palm tree.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    It has a degree of sociological interest, but it would be more effective if the material were shaped into a more coherent form.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    A director of Frankenheimer's stature deserves less sensationalistic material, and so does his audience.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Even MacLachlan's surprisingly witty performance can't compensate for the trite screenplay and Mistry's lack of charisma.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    As a movie, it's mediocre.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    A romantic comedy-drama has to make sense, though, and Love Actually doesn't, actually.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Repetitious teen-targeted fluff.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Action freaks may enjoy the chasing and chomping, but there's no hint of human interest or moviemaking imagination.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Poor writing and directing are the culprits - and whatever possessed the gifted Moore to make her role a nonstop Diane Keaton imitation? There oughta be a law!
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Goldmember comes after years of escalating vulgarity have thrown the need for caution -- and cleverness -- out of fashion.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    There's nothing special about this movie -- it's just business as usual for today's debased action-movie genre.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    Add a megadose of bombastic James Horner music and a perfunctory love-affair subplot and you have a movie that's its own worst enemy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    The film is as tricky and superficial as its low-life characters, using visual flimflam to mask its lack of substance.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    An interesting cast is wasted in this misanthropic thriller.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    It soon gets down to its real business: fights, face-offs, and showdowns mired in the shallowest sort of Hollywood machismo.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 David Sterritt
    For a movie about people with hugely complicated inner lives, this sadly unconvincing drama stays resolutely on the surface, rarely hinting at anything like an insight or idea.

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