Dennis Harvey

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For 959 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dennis Harvey's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Listen to Me Marlon
Lowest review score: 0 Vulgar
Score distribution:
959 movie reviews
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A mediocre ensemble comedy-drama that's not particularly funny, involving or even nostalgic.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    It's a picture that's akin to a terrarium of plastic flowers -- gaudily decorative, but airless and lifeless.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Mature in terms of production polish and pro performances, writer-director Rob Margolies' feature debut, Lifelines (until recently called "Wherever You Are"), stumbles in a familiar way: It crams in so many family dysfunctions and plot crises in search of cathartic impact that credibility is stretched to the breaking point.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Grim in theme yet seldom effective or convincing in execution.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    For a supernatural thriller that spends so much time on material that is neither supernatural nor thrilling, there’s not nearly enough effort put into credible, complex character writing, leaving the cast only so much ability to fill in the gaps.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    So little happens in The Boy, and so little suspense is effectively built around its central figure, that by the time things finally do heat up the movie has flatlined too completely for us to care.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The leads are given the thankless task of maintaining grim poker faces through scene after scene of high contrivance and cliche-ridden dialogue.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A mean-spirited farce whose strenuous bad taste seldom translates into actual laughs.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This crude, shrill day in the life of three ill-matched Manhattan women will prove as irksome to most viewers as it is to the protags.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    By-the-numbers slasher picture Smiley starts by borrowing the key concept of "Candyman," ends with a denouement heavily indebted to "Scream," and stuffs its middle with a dismayingly high quotient of lazy false scares.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The Toy Soldiers sports a basic competence in assembly that slightly elevates its material. The same can’t be said of the performers, though they try, some achieving a semblance of naturalism, others more inept or hammy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The main thing early reels have going for them isn’t any actual cleverness or wit, but Neff’s pleasant riffing within a stock slacker-bro role. When his character stops having fun, so does the audience. Though needless to say, the unimaginative references to prior/better horror flicks just keep on a-comin’.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Nothing feels fresh here — not even Christopher Plummer hamming it up as a crusty-coot grandpa — and Philip Martin’s routinely polished direction only underscores the cliche-composting of Richard D’Ovidio’s script.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Sparing no maudlin contrivance in a quest to jerk tears that remain stubbornly dry, this hokum is slickly executed by producer Mark Williams in his feature directorial debut. But the result never rises above polished plastic, formulaic, and pedestrian.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Too underground in feel.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Writer-director Nancy Kissam's inexplicably named feature feels a tad Frankensteinian, sewing second-hand ideas together most inorganically.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Saw
    A crude concoction sewn together from the severed parts of prior horror/serial killer pics.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Its central theme being the struggle between Christianity and homophobia -- though what's onscreen is far too vanilla in both content and execution to spark much enthusiasm.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    All this sounds like a surefire recipe for knowing, trashy fun, but something got burnt in the oven.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A stilted, heavy-handed parable about fascistic intolerance.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    While competently made, Dark Summer makes no effort to lend its characters any psychological complexity, or even much distinguishing personality. Nor are the proceedings very scary.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Although it’s being marketed as a horror film, The Curse of Downers Grove turns out to be something else — a messy hash of teen soap opera, stalker thriller and whatnot whose titular, possibly supernatural aspect is basically irrelevant.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Picture aims for nonstop thrill ride, but for all its brainless brawn, it has plenty of stops and few real thrills.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Its humor and sentimentality equally labored, this by-the-numbers picture will look better, albeit still not good, as a latenight cable or streaming time-killer.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Emerges as an oddly sour, unappealing road-trip scenario.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Jared Leto gained some 70 pounds. Seemingly following his lead, the pic itself is heavy, lethargic, and exasperating.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The Pact 2 simply stretches out rather than elaborating on its predecessor’s already thin premise, creating holes that are poorly patched over with false scares and unconvincing character behavior.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    If outrageous concepts were all, this latest fillip in the oft-eccentric history of Japanese "pink" (softcore sexploitation) cinema would be genius. But the crazy ideas in Takao Nakano's script just fitfully amuse under Mitsuru Meike's draggy direction.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This shameless knockoff marches lock-stepped through moves that were already looking as tired as the Macarena.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The polished, bland low-budget presentation doesn’t raise much tension, and the script springs no real surprises
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    It's equal parts wacky, sappy and sniggery.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Leaves nothing to the imagination: Michael Myers is always right there in plain sight, committing mayhem sans suspenseful buildup or mystique.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    31
    Rob Zombie truly loves horror movies. But he still hasn’t made a good one, and “31” is a perfect encapsulation of the reasons why: It’s a fanboy’s highlight reel of homages, without any of the credibility or context that made most of the films he’s inspired by so fine.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    At times plays as if it were aimed at children, but more often simply seems to be aiming blind at whatever genre cliche the five credited writers fix upon in any given scene.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Pic's complete lack of cinematic verve, along with bland tech work, do much to drain the juice out of what should have been a fierce, fun battle of the sexes.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Offers plenty of splat with its slapstick. But this strenuous zombie yukfest is no more sophisticated than its nail-on-head title -- making it a joke no smarter than the movies it riffs on.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    There are some unintentional laughs to be had from this hectic, silly, defiantly un-scary mashup of stock “cabin in the woods” and alien-invasion formulae. But that dubious plus won’t be enough to soften the scorn of horror fans who plunk down hard cash for this feeble, somewhat amateurish if enthusiastic retread.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A technically competent but painfully broad dramedy about a larcenous mother-and-son duo in the Midwest. This gender-flipped, latter-day "Paper Moon" lacks that film's judicious restraint, among other things, alternating hick Americana cartoonishness with maudlin appeals to the tear ducts.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Yields few surprises, compensating with de rigueur false scares, unmemorable deaths and the kind of improbably exaggerated gore.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Slick but derivative and forgettable on all levels.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    13
    A starry cast and glossier production values simply work against the black-and-white original's strengths in this stillborn thriller about a deadly game of chance.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This soggy stab at neo-noir finds Italian-born writer-director Emanuele Della Valle out of her element in a pretentious meller set on the Jersey shore.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Without the songs, the underdeveloped bisexual triangle would seem shapeless. Even with the music, the film is a poorly crafted grab-bag of ideas barely elaborated upon enough to sustain a 20-minute short.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Likely lack of much critical enthusiasm or positive word-of-mouth will induce quick theatrical falloff, with better news likely down the line for rental merchants.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This not particularly well shot/organized feature isn't very engaging on the human level, either.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Julio Medem’s film is a smiling-through-tears saga whose generally tasteful execution can’t ultimately salvage a whopping load of maudlin contrivance, all designed to burnish the halo around St. Penelope.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Johnson (who scripted "Grumpy Old Men") flattens out any promise so completely that the feature resembles nothing so much as a subpar "Hallmark Hall of Fame" entry.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    As willfully lowbrow dumb fun goes, it’s pretty painless.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    [A] rather sleazy time-killer.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Even in a more fluid package, this mix of camp comedy and bathos would seem artificial.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A lot of interesting, funny performers aren’t very interesting or funny in director Kat Corio’s A Case of You.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Much of this makes little sense, but it's hard to care.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    When not serving up sentimental contrivance, Shirin in Love is just tepidly cute, with wan comic situations and lines that provide little opportunity for a game-enough cast.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The three director-producers’ inability to come up with stronger narrative or thematic organization makes “It’s Better to Jump” play like the professionally polished side product of a vacation stay.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Only those scared of being bored to death need fear Locker 13, an omnibus of horror stories that could hardly be more tame, talky and tepid, both individually and as a whole.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    At best routinely assembled -- at worst barely competent. The slapstick is labored, and the bigger setpieces flat.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Even more empty a luxury vehicle than its predecessor, M:I 2 pushes the envelope in terms of just how much flashy packaging an audience will buy when there's absolutely nada inside.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Equal parts gory mayhem, convoluted mystery and rote romance, none of which gel together very well.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The pic provides lots of sexy, neon-hued eye-candy but not many images of deeper resonance.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    If the film had a loopier or more fable-styled atmosphere, the concept might have seemed easier to swallow. But Fleming treats Stephen Zotnowski’s script with a glossy literalism that doesn’t do it or the actors any favors.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Flashbacks within flashbacks exhaust viewer patience in this snarky mix of crime, action and sadism.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Despite retaining the basic narrative architecture of its classic source, Hollywood Seagull too often feels like a trite, sudsy take on privilege, ambition and angst among showbiz players and wannabes — one that seemingly exists mostly to showcase real-life C-listers, aspirants and pals in the tradition of Henry Jaglom’s films.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    The referentiality of “Kuso,” its general snark, and even its defensive self-criticism (characters state “I hate this movie!” more than once) fail to make it any more funny or inspired, let alone any less of a shapeless chore to sit through.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A pat, hollow exercises with few tricks (or treats) up its sleeve.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Despite its occasional visual interest, avant-garde package is far from the accessible tortured-artist portrait helmer essayed 15 years ago in "Vincent." Even committed dance and experimental cinema fans are likely to find this rough sledding.
    • 8 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Fangs aside, it sticks with the same basic menu of T&A and lowbrow humor.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A disappointingly rote entry in the '70s teen nostalgia sweepstakes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Uncertain whether to go for straight suspense or gross-out effects, genre in-joking or schlock cinema-of-parodic-excess, Eli Roth's backwoods horror opus Cabin Fever seldom sticks with any one tactic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This aimless, lifeless time-killer about four teenage girls prepping for their rock-band gig in a school talent show proves entirely the wrong choice.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Ass Backwards proves that no amount of comic talent can shine — or raise a chuckle — in the absence of even halfway decent material.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    An inauspicious feature debut for director Harv Glazer and all three scenarists, the "Big"-meets-breakdancing comedy will be kickin' it to ancillary by swimsuit season.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Reasonably slick but empty, Eloise is no “Session 9” as far as haunted-former-mental-hospital horrors go. Heck, it’s not even a “Grave Encounters 2.”
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Evan M. Wiener’s screenplay throws in too many disparate elements without developing any of them very effectively, while Grau’s direction is slick but unable to provide the tension or consistency needed.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Though the film ultimately hinges on a “forbidden” Muslim-Christian romance, almost nothing is made of the enormous hurdles that would be present in this time and place.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    While the 1984 film has aged, its now-familiar jolts still pack more punch than this pic's recycled ones, which sometimes register so tepidly as to cause snickers.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Vehicle for Dana Carvey as a chameleonic crime-fighting imbecile is noisy, colorful and fart-gag-filled enough to amuse undiscriminating auds under the age of 10.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    This generic horror meller would be most at home debuting on Syfy -- perhaps double-billed with "Pinata: Survival Island."
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Nobody — not even viewers willing to settle for good, unclean B-movie fun — is done any favors by something as crude as (re)Assignment, which gracelessly mashes together hardboiled crime-melodrama cliches and an unintentionally funny “Oh no! I’m a chick now!!” gender-change narrative hook.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Juggles three separate time periods -- and is completely formulaic in each one.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    A few minutes of good snowboarding footage -- all in the first reel, alas -- after which it's strictly downhill, bunny-slope style.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Rates a notch below the KISS-centric "Detroit Rock City" and a couple above Jerry Springer's "Ringmaster" -- in other words, closer to stupid-fun than stupid-toxic.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    For those who enjoy fashion-model-looking twentysomethings yelling at each other in bathrooms while doing too much cocaine, voila! Heaven is a place called London.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    A nail in the coffin if not the heart of teen comedies.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    It’s hard to imagine anyone, however, having a “Eureka!” experience watching these lame movies, this latest least of all.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    A relatively pain-free, if brain-free, diversion.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Hectic, sketchy and finally dull.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    A catchy but irrelevant title is the first of many problems with Excuse Me for Living, which throws together a lot of superficially flashy elements that never gel in any organic way.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Mead’s six Vampire Academy books (there’s also an ongoing spinoff series, “Bloodlines”) are relatively brainy and complex within their young-adult subgenre, but their virtues have been reduced to a derivative hash here.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Raze is a brutally monotonous fight-to-the-death-contest actioner whose novelty element — all-female competitors — is undermined by lack of imagination on every other level.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Bringing absolutely no fresh angles to a time-tested formula that's seemed particularly overworked of late.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Yet the overall look, though derivative ("The Matrix," "Blade Runner," "Waterworld," etc.), rates as Battlefield's one non-guilty pleasure.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Gut
    A psychological thriller requires some psychology as well as thrills, two things almost entirely absent from Gut. Its title isn't the only terse thing about this monotonous quasi-horror tale, which aims for a minimalist intensity by providing precious little character detailing or location color.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Credit for being offbeat can only do so much to redeem a neither-fish-nor-fowl bore like After the Dark, whose exploitable elements go tastefully unexploited while its gestures toward profundity turn out to be playing air guitar.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Looking good but lacking much in the way of personality or gray matter -- rather like its characters -- Valentine is a straightforward slasher pic that's acceptably scary until a weak finale.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Misses with its blowhard treatment of a silly, obvious script. Results might hazard "Battlefield Earth" comparison if new pic were a tad more fun.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    This dumb, derivative teen slasher movie would be uninspiring coming from any writer-director, let alone one with several genre classics under his belt.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    The kind of willfully obscure, excessively stylized exercise that's bound to exasperate most viewers while enthralling a few.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    The four-years-in-the-making, badly recycled (not to mention awful) sequel might stain the honor of the Lampoon label if it hadn't already produced several even worse films.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Not bad enough to qualify as a memorable dud, multinational production nonetheless misses mark on every level.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    A cheaper, cheesier sequel that's worse than its predecessor on every level (save being a half-hour shorter) and takes no special advantage of the stereoscopic process.

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