Dennis Harvey

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For 864 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 5.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dennis Harvey's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Listen to Me Marlon
Lowest review score: 0 Vulgar
Score distribution:
864 movie reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A most enjoyable flashback. Laura Archibald's documentary about Ground Zero for the 1960s folk explosion -- and its enormous influence on the shape of rock music to come -- isn't assembled in a particularly distinctive manner, but the materials and voices culled offer more than enough reward in themselves.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Ably filmed by veteran stage producer-director Rowan Joseph, Bradley Rand Smith's theatrical script provides a bravura thespian workout for Ben McKenzie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    What makes Luke Meyer’s documentary interesting isn’t so much the music or even the incipient stardom, but rather the push-pull between high-stakes biz pressure and subjects who — being 13 years old or so — hardly have the attention spans for the drudgery and minutiae a “career” requires.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While the overall feel is a bit derivative and contrived, there are nonetheless plenty of bitingly sharp lines and performance moments to keep this well-cast ensemble piece percolating along.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A sturdy recap of the titular organization’s short, tumultuous history.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Visceral and engrossing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It goes down as easy as a cherry Coke.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Under the Boardwalk provides an amiable overview of one very famous board game's history and impact, alongside a moderately engaging portrait of players preparing for the 2009 World Monopoly Championship.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A feel-good comic ensembler that's hard to resist.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Rouses excitement mostly from stuntwork and thesp agility rather than CGI excess.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Succeeds as light entertainment -- even if at the cost of the material's greater potential.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A handsome package whose atmospherics outclass merely serviceable plot and character elements.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Very striking stylistic control is exerted in this absorbing if overlong tale of angst-ridden high school competitors.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Force of personality and terrific vintage performance clips make a keeper of Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Progress does a remarkable job weaving together these and many other big ideas in a crisp, coherent, easy-to-take fashion that somehow never becomes an informational overload.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Consistently engaging due to the wealth of generally unfamiliar archival footage, which reveals social trends, sweeping overview should provoke healthy debate.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Winningly unpretentious tale uses a wispy romantic narrative as a vehicle for attractive original tunes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Chilling, often moving docudrama focuses not so much on the mayhem or murderer, but on the bewildered, occasionally courageous reactions of ordinary citizens caught in the inexplicable violence.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A horror comedy much closer to the actor-riffing drollery of Edgar Wright and Christopher Guest than "Scary Movie"-style splatstick, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead is one sly slice of the ridiculous.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    At first a little tabloid in tenor and editorial style, pic soon distances itself from the myriad court TV shows with a fine balance of everyday detail and verite drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    At a moment when public discourse seems so often focused on exacerbating hostile divisions, this docu’s joyful embrace of human (as well as edible) variety as “the spice of life” seems particularly, well, filling.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Narrower focus may lend this less crossover appeal than "Step Into Liquid," which was practically a recruitment poster for the surfing lifestyle. But such a tight focus might also make Billabong a repeat must-see for more dedicated boarders and wannabes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An easy watch, thanks to the splendors of frosty scenery and furry canines.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Neil Marshall's flair for visceral action more than compensates for his script's lack of conceptual novelty in Doomsday. Principally South Africa-shot tale of a post-apocalyptic Great Britain cobbles together large chunks of "Escape From New York," "The Road Warrior," "28 Days Later" and "Resident Evil," but those with a taste for revved-up, splattery fantasy thrills won't be complaining.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Equal parts colorful character study and real-world procedural, docu by Daniel Kraus retains interest throughout, even if it delivers just partial insight into the man, job and milieu.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Routine in some aspects, but compensates via psychologically sharp writing and performances.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Second feature from duo David Wain and Ken Marino of comedy group the State is, like their "Wet Hot American Summer," uneven but often hilarious.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Despite its handsome look and good thesping workout for Sam Rockwell, the story stretches a bit thin over feature length.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While not necessarily the definitive cinematic account of Chavez’s life or the UFW movement, Cesar’s Last Fast provides a well-crafted, sometimes stirring encapsulation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The pic is a bit clunky at times in its structure of blackout-separated chapters, and its subjects aren’t the most articulate folks, but it’s all kept relatable by their almost unshakably upbeat attitudes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Providing an inspiration for active retirement, the ex-Harlem Renaissance chorus girls profiled in docu Been Rich All My Life are still shaking booty while most of their contemporaries can only shuffle their walkers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It's shiny, amusing, incessantly clever, but sometimes a tad too snarky for its own good.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The popular human-interest story of a child prodigy becomes an engrossing meditation on truth, media exploitation and the value of art in My Kid Could Paint That.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An imperfect but compelling thriller.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Thornton carries the film with relaxed authority, though the earnest tone doesn't let him explore the nuttier aspects of a character who, from any reasoned distance ought look more screwy than heroic. Madsen is radiant.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A fairly sexy, serious-minded drama hobbled by its lack of real conceptual ambition.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Bleakly Dickensian as all this sounds, much of China Blue is charming, because its subjects are.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Very English, very period and very polite.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Draws on extensive archival materials to etch an absorbing portrait of a singular counterculture mini-phenom that will be manna to music fans.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Though lacking the emotional depth and almost epic scope that made “Henry Fool” loom so large after Hartley’s anecdotal, idiosyncratic early features, Ned Rifle is a far more satisfactory extension of its memorable characters than the misbegotten “Fay Grim.”
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Producer Charles Evans Jr.'s directorial debut finds an engrossing suspense angle in the involvement of Victor DeNoble, an idealistic scientist-turned-whistleblower whose suppressed corporate research became the bombshell catalyst in that struggle.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Resolutely unshowy, sometimes almost too lower-case in its observations, Yosemite pays off in an authenticity that pervades both individual scene rhythms and performances.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Often grotesque, though never in the "Sick and Twisted" juvenile gross-out mode, dreamlike feature is as lovingly crafted as it is unsettlingly sour-sweet, with Mark Growden's avant-garde folk score in perfect synch.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Nearly half over before it finds a consistent groove, let alone a decent hit-to-miss joke ratio.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The sense of immediacy and excitement is contagious.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Crisp handling, some clever twists and a welcome streak of dry humor hold attention throughout
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Getting so close to real-life mental illness, via footage that spans many years, renders Tarnation a uniquely potent experience.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Warm and entertaining enough, with Brenda Blethyn doing a variation on her "Little Voice" vulgarian amid appealing support perfs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A basically admiring if critical portrait, documentary by Henriette Mantel and Stephen Skrovan (strangely, both standup comics and TV comedy writer-producers) finds more than enough absorbing material to hold interest through nearly three-hour runtime.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Picture ultimately pulls off a fairly ambitious narrative agenda with a wrap both credible and crowdpleasing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Daryl Wein's engrossing portrait of Richard Berkowitz is freshly engaging largely due to the subject himself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Trivial-sounding hook manages to float a funny but complex meditation on identity, ethnicity and cultural expectations that should be as accessible to teens as adults.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An amusingly over-the-top horror comedy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Gyllenhaal, in her most substantial role since "Secretary," does a fine, unshowy job of limning Sherry's faults without alienating the viewer or pleading for sympathy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Plays out in quite a different offscreen context than did last year's similarly themed sleeper "Startup.com."
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The richness of the tale told here makes this competently packaged feature a keeper nonetheless.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Performances are aptly quirky and ingratiating, Holdridge's seriocomic balance nicely judged. But the most outstanding element in an accomplished low-budget package is Robert Murphy's lensing, which recalls "Manhattan" in its B&W celebration of a cityscape.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An ensemble seriocomedy that's initially loose to a fault, but gradually wins one over with its shaggy charm -- and by the close has grown more ambitious, and poignant, than initial reels lead you to expect.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Hardcore feels like umpteen post-“Star Wars” action blockbusters trash-compacted into one — and whether that fundamentally appeals or not, the ingenuity of effort is undeniably high.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    For the most part, pic’s sheer good-naturedness pulls off a not particularly inspired crusty-old-coot-thawed-by-young-scamp concept, maintaining an agreeable tonal balance despite occasional wobbles between spoof, sentimentality and silliness.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Despite its faltering touch with the story's darker, more melodramatic threads, Her Majesty nonetheless proves winning overall thanks to a predominant emphasis on nostalgia, whimsy (heroine's royal audience fantasies include one full-on production number) and droll-to-broad humor.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Works best as a straightforward appreciation of the music. Though docu's structure wears out full viewer interest after an hour or so, few will come away with staid prejudices (i.e. that turntablism isn't "real" musicianship) intact.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A romantic comedy that treads familiar "Green Card" terrain with considerable charm if no great style or originality.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Slick, ingratiating and high-spirited enough to win over gay men of all colors.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An unconventional, ultimately rather sweet buddy pic that’s an audiovisual treat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A sparely plotted, low-key but ultimately rewarding slice of South Dakota reservation life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Numerous lovely, quirky moments.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An Honest Liar is a highly entertaining portrait of James “the Amazing” Randi.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Long, relatively low-key but always engaging, I Am Not Madame Bovary wears its expansive scale lightly.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A respectful, illuminating appreciation of a few of the estimated 13 million yogis in India.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Though T-Rex leaves some questions unaddressed, and ends with little resolution to protag’s various challenges, it’s compelling throughout.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A film whose charms are odd and indefinable by design.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The picture wobbles a bit before emerging a successful low-key satire of literary fraud and morbid personality cults.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The writer-director-producer’s pulsing, pencil-etched, pastel-hued animation style is a pleasure to behold as ever.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A suitably unfussy tribute to a band that disdained even the slightest rock-star flash, We Jam Econo tells the story of the Minutemen, whose regrettably brief but brilliant career did much to expand punk's parameters during the early 1980s.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Pic’s real delight is its sheer resourcefulness, as stunts and FX are re-created on a shoestring in one of the most elaborate amateur features ever made.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Doesn't rise much above sitcom level in material or execution, but provides enough laughs and goodwill to be disarmingly entertaining.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While this free-ranging agenda might easily have seemed overly random or pretentious, Olson’s confessional tenor lends it all a stream-of-consciousness intimacy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A pleasingly non-formulaic romantic seriocomedy, Definitely, Maybe has charm and some depth.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Often exhilarating docu charts several breakdancing crews' path to the Battle of the Year, which hosts national winners from 18 countries -- not excluding Israel, Belgium or Latvia -- in dazzling competitive displays.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A primal tragedy rendered with exquisite imagery and very little dialogue or exposition, Andrea Pallaoro’s Medeas is a striking debut feature that will fascinate some viewers and exasperate others.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Thorsten Schutte’s entirely archival assemblage is most likely to be appreciated by the previously converted, as its stimulating if somewhat patchy overview of a multi-various career skims over or omits too many aspects to comprise a definitive introduction.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Sean Penn delivers a compelling, ambitious work that will satisfy most admirers of the book.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Just when the picture seems to be settling into torture porn, it begins pulling a series of clever twists -- although they lose some punch when you realize the script depends on one whopping coincidence.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    There’s an upbeat tenor to Desert Runners that develops real rooting value for the protags.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Marson’s lively narrative employs a lot of diverse voices as well as a surprising amount of archival footage in telling a story that’s ethically complex yet easy to follow.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While “Autopsy” lives up to its title, providing plenty of grisly medical gore, the forensics induce less squirming than the exacting yet playful way Ovredal keeps making us anticipate more unnatural acts as the Tildens realize something is seriously amiss.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Leaves just an anecdotal impact, but handsome lensing, acoustic score and male leads’ playful rapport lend it gentle appeal.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Though the darker tonal shift toward the end is a bit jarring, director/scenarist Gilady demonstrates a deft, confident hand with the storytelling, cast and general packaging, and makes assertive use of the dramatic desert setting.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Docmeister Arthur Dong brings empathetic balance and emotional heft to the discord between fundamentalist Christian parents and their gay children.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The result is modest, but has an earned emotional payoff.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Minimally plotted but beautifully atmospheric nightmare.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The Book Thief has been brought to the screen with quiet effectiveness and scrupulous taste by director Brian Percival and writer Michael Petroni.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Cheerfully gory, derivative and silly, Bounty Killer aspires to nothing more or less than trashy fun for genre fans, and this umpteenth “Mad Max”-style dystopian actioner delivers on that modest but admirable score
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A fascinating story, albeit with some missed opportunities in the telling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While aspects verge on sitcom terrain, this tale of a pregnant small-town woman caught between a bad marriage and a risky affair is mostly as funny and charming as intended.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Actress Clea DuVall’s debut feature as writer-director is an ensemble piece that breaks no new ground in themes or execution, but is pleasingly accomplished on all levels.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A pleasant romantic drama that works best when focused on the romance -- or on the waves, since the principal characters spend a lot of time surfing.

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