Dennis Harvey

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For 928 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 The Hottie & the Nottie
Score distribution:
928 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The result here may not be fully revealing of his process, but it’s as close as we’re going to get.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A unique, breezy pastiche that’s as nostalgic as a TV Land binge-watch, and as intimate as having one’s ear pleasurably bent by a garrulous “man of the world” at a dinner party.
    • 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.
    • 65 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A winning musical detective story about a failed, forgotten early '70s rocker.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Has the built-in curiosity value of watching real people evolve on camera -- a fascination increased by subjects' original, variably sustained commitment to countercultural ideals.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    There’s plenty of archival interview and concert footage here, in addition to that shot by the directing duo, edited together into a package as tight and ingratiating as the music itself — of which there is, naturally, a ton soundtracked.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Nevertheless, Babygirl has sufficient authenticity and charm as a summer-in-the-city miniature to easily hold attention, however modest its payoff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    What at first looks like a heartwarming portrait of a highly blended modern family turns into a no less engrossing illustration of that situation's possible pitfalls in Off and Running.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The script by Roth, Lopez, and Lopez’s frequent collaborator, Guillermo Amoedo, giddily piles crisis upon crisis, with none of the customary mercy reserved for leading characters.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Deals in sometimes queasy areas of underage sexuality and emotional extremes; again, deftness and confidence ultimately put across a screenplay (this time by Anthony S. Cipriano) overloaded with sensational incident.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Cleverly complex, if not quite as scary or memorable as one might have hoped.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Sometimes first-person to a borderline-indulgent fault, docu still offers potent spur for discussion on the blurry line between forgiveness and tolerance toward terrorism.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A big-reveal thriller with surprises that really do surprise -- and are worth waiting for through an audaciously long buildup -- A Perfect Getaway finds writer-director David Twohy in popcorn form with a muscularity not seen since 2000's "Pitch Black."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Another entertaining mix of agitpop, pranksterism and autobiography.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Hell House is a slice of contempo life many viewers will find bizarre and disturbing, not necessarily in the precautionary-moral way its subjects intend. Briskly paced docu is well handled in tech departments.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Neither sexually explicit nor showily lyrical, Undertow nonetheless has a sensuous, romantic feel that balances same-sex love with an equally empathetic view toward the adoring, then bewildered, then enraged wife.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Primarily humorous in a believe-it-or-not fashion.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An unbeatable cast lends satisfying emotional texture.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Transcends mere torture porn -- though there's plenty for the squeamish to squirm over here -- in its deftly controlled mix of empathy, grotesquerie and sardonic humor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Pace is sleek, airless and apt.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Offers a diverting package of surreal, rude stoner and pop culture-based humor that will delight youthful viewers while bewildering stray elders.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The grounding material here is with the elderly Vidal himself... Unfailingly witty and devastatingly insightful, he personifies that near-extinct species — the public intellectual.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A first feature for helmer Bradley King and co-scenarist BP Cooper (though the latter has produced several indies), Time Lapse works due to both their escalating pileup of well-thought-out complications and credible character psychologies nicely communicated by expert performances.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While Olds and Paul Felten’s screenplay requires some significant credulity leaps, The Fixer is flavorsome, engaging and unpredictable enough that one can give those gaps a pass, at least to an extent.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Those already well-versed in Georgia’s recent history will get the most from a series of real-life character sketches occasionally cryptic for their lack of contextualizing explanation. But the docu’s ample human interest and handsome lensing, despite much visual evidence of a struggling economy, will hold interest for most viewers.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Pi
    The film's imaginative, diverse images create a mind's-eye urban claustrophobia; such intensity may exhaust over 85 minutes' course, but it's never less than impressive.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    While written epilogues provide upbeat updates on the subjects’ endeavors, the overall impression is one of a draining uphill struggle for relatively little personal reward given the enormous stakes involved in the planet’s continued ecological destruction.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The pic reveals itself as a horror-action-comedy a la "Evil Dead," with amusing twists of fate and over-the-top gore.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Good-humored but not campy in its regard of some genuinely fascinating research, and full of trippy visuals, this science-fair bonanza would have been a midnight staple in the era of “The Hellstrom Chronicles.”
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Those who seek neat narrative resolution to any mystery may leave underwhelmed. Still, the hard-won acceptance of uncertainty that Robinson and Howell allow their protagonist provides its own, more abstract satisfaction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The occasional heavy-handed or clumsy elements don’t seriously impair a film whose high spirits, talented cast and luridly intriguing subject consistently entertain, even if they seldom truly surprise.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Cohn handles all the performers very deftly.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Genially cartoonish but also rather sweet.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An agreeable tone and cast make Sherman’s Way go down easy.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An amiable, fast-paced entry that should win over fans.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    David Schwimmer's first bigscreen directing effort reveals something very different: a thoroughly competent mainstream craftsman who imposes no individual character on formulaic material.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    What makes this involving beyond its subject's slightly freakish fascination is helmer Ilana Trachtman's capturing of a complex family dynamic in which Lior isn't the only intriguing personality.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan's fourth feature collaboration is a vivid period whirlwind that impressively showcases the comic thesp's more dramatic side.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A retro sci-fi tale that takes its time stoking a low-key absurdism to high silliness. Initial slow going pays off in cumulative laughs.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It's all efficiently nerve-jangling, with Tyler and Speedman credibly registering every hue of panic. Still, after such a long, creepy, cannily restrained buildup, it must be said the resolution is rather flat, a full-circle postscript rote.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    This high-grade concert film will enthrall fans and amuse more open-minded newbies, though it suffers from the most dynamic material being largely clustered in the pic’s front section.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    The lead performers, the brighter fillips in Daniel Taplitz’s screenplay and Marcos Siega’s (“Pretty Persuasion”) assured direction make this a pleasing item overall.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Harrelson shines, particularly in framing scenes with Sandra Oh as a tactful court psychiatrist.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Evaluating this project in conventional feature terms is a lost cause; relevant contexts are purely avant-garde and pornographic. Suffice it to say that helmer's careful attention to framing camera, music and content signal primary allegiance to Art rather than Smut.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    The latest from the culty maker of “Suicide Club,” “Love Exposure” and last year’s TIFF Midnight Madness audience-award winner, “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?,” is so insistently over-the-top from the start that the results are just fairly amusing when they ought to be exhilarating.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    For a film with such a narrow scope, this one oddly refuses to ask some of the basic questions that might have enriched our understanding.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    The fact that the films that serve as her models often sported the same flaws doesn’t excuse this fairly poker-faced spoof’s sometimes borderline-torpid pace and disappointing fade-out.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Zarcoff does a good job building tension.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    A bright, snappy culture-clash farce in the mode of "Desperately Seeking Susan" and its ilk, Kiss Me, Guido plays gay and Italian-American stereotypes against one another to good-natured, crowd-pleasing results.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Fans excited to see John Carpenter back in bigscreen action after nine years' absence will find limited cause for joy in The Ward, a horror opus that briskly -- maybe too briskly -- charts ghostly doings at a nuthouse.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    It’s pleasant enough cinematic comfort food, but even so, you may be hungry again soon afterward.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Recycles familiar ideas, with just enough droll wit to score as a nifty normal-folk-doing-stupid-deadly-things comedy a la "Fargo."
    • 26 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    The track record of SNL-drawn movies is dire ("It's Pat," "Stuart Saves His Family," "Blues Brothers 2000"), and this one stands just a peg higher, as an amiable, if flyweight, di-version.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Lutsik takes aim at reckless capitalism --- as well as the increasing Westernization of Russian filmmaking --- with a disquieting allegory that in both themes and aesthetic is an audacious throwback to pre-WWII Soviet cinema formalism.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    The picture delivers enough of the expected goods, if seldom with the wit or panache of the series' best.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Respectable but unmemorable end result may suffer from comparison with the similarly themed, albeit differently angled, “Traffic.”
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Unspectacular but quietly absorbing.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Unlike the vast majority of rude bigscreen comedies these days, "Prison" may actually improve with repeat viewings, since its best aspects are offhand enough to be missed the first time around.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Despite the tale's real-life basis and a solid Ed Harris as their fictive equivalents' alcoholic dad, Touching Home emerges as a formulaic triumph-over-odds tale with too little distinguishing detail.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Even the most deliberately airy amusement can use more ingenious structuring and assertive personality than Pineiro is inclined to provide at this (still early) stage in his career.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Despite a second half that feels more routine than its first, Pride is a definite crowd-pleaser.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Shy on the celebrity-gawking (and celebrity input) that marks many fashion documentaries, and neither gossipy nor an objective appreciation of his impact and legacy, picture is a successful portrait on its own terms, save one: It's unlikely to excite much theatrical interest.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Pleasant, if mediocre family fare.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Sometimes spare to a fault (especially scriptwise), low-key effort nonetheless holds attention with its naturalistic, nonsensationalized approach.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    This year's kinder, gentler "Animal House."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    An unusually low-key Filipino drama whose neo-realist air generally triumphs over the script's violent, tearful contrivances.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Its inspiring portraits of hardworking subjects make a fine case for raising the bar by rewarding excellence rather than punishing failure.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Outlaws & Angels trades in the lurid character psychology and crude ironies of the spaghetti Western — an idiom whose cynical worst-case-scenario view of humanity seems more acceptable to modern audiences than the good-shall-triumph faith of the traditional Hollywood western.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Picture's ambition, cogency and decent performances make up for its uneven aspects. Woody Harrelson has some especially good moments as a cop.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Siren is lively if occasionally rough around the edges, packing a satisfying amount of action and a couple of amusingly nasty surprises into its short running time.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    This update of 1950s drive-in sci-fiers finds the right balance between icky, funny and scary, with sheer energy compensating for a script that could have used more parodic panache.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    This entertaining-enough quartet of loosely interwoven terror tales falls right into the middle ground of horror omnibuses, with no outright duds but no truly memorable (or scary) segments either.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Whatever literary talent Leroy was praised for shouldn’t have been so quickly forgotten and dismissed by those who’d once championed it. However, that praise was won under false pretenses — and while you can criticize Leroy fans for claiming to love the writing when they really fell in love with the myth it came packaged in, you can’t blame them for feeling ripped off.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    If “Soul’s” script errs on the side of simplicity, it does effectively downplay the cliches inherent in its unambitious story arc. And the foregrounded local culture is always engaging, with meticulous but unshowy attention to period detail on all levels.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    It has a somewhat routine midlevel-cable-production feel. But the content is engaging, and the use of old movie clips to illustrate biographical details... is amusing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Solid, straightforward docu should prove a durable broadcast and educational item for years to come.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    It’s not that “My Love” feels inherently dubious; it’s that its execution is just a little too smiling-through-tears slick to be swallowed whole.

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