Diego Semerene

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For 133 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Diego Semerene's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Beginners
Lowest review score: 0 The Moment
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 133
  2. Negative: 48 out of 133
133 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Diego Semerene
    One of the most distinct pleasures of Beginners is the way it puts together fragments of someone's life-presumably the filmmaker's, although little does it matter-with humility, and without vying for some complete whole.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Diego Semerene
    Tomboy is one of those little big films whose simplicity and concision suggest the excess of meaning that language (cinematic or otherwise) could never account for.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Diego Semerene
    Alain Guiraudie's film portrays cruising as a danger-seeking and astoundingly repetitive affair, intimately linked to death itself.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    We experience the delay of the fantasy of the happy old couple in their country home in cinematic time as, for most of the film, the only body these lovers have is the spellbinding combination of visual fragments serving as apparitions to their voices.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is pure pedagogic bliss.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Filmmakers Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas have crafted a beautiful tale of alienation, solitude, and existential anxiety.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Cristián Jiménez's film knows how entangled the will to know is with the will to make love.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    The film captures Vreeland's perhaps unwitting philosophical integrity just as much as it drowns us in the exuberance of her work.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    A raw, sophisticated, and stomach-turning look at what it means to be a young woman in Serbia, what it means to be a woman tout court.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    It ever so subtly zeros in on the extreme particularities of a remote place to find something universal, or at the very least easily comprehensible about despair.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Slavoj Žižek manages to explain some of Lacanian psychoanalysis's most inscrutable notions with disarming clarity and infectious urgency.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Cruising for Alain Guiraudie seems to be the way of nature, a drive that doesn't discriminate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Mitra Farahani rescues the doc from becoming a talking-head fest by embracing her creative self as a character and exposing the travails of her own authorship process.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    The pleasure in watching the film becomes a linguistic one as Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart masterfully sharpen their words and hurl them at each other like projectiles out of a blowpipe.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    It's a quiet thud of a film, which embraces, with grace and precision, the nastiness of growing up with desire stuck in one's throat like a muffled scream.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Cinema hasn't been this close to the dusty cogs of desire's machinery and unapologetic about pleasure since Pasolini.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Diego Semerene
    Bleakness, Arturo Ripstein's film implies, demands different kinds of labor from a man than from a woman.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Going back to the scene of trauma is a familiar Latin American strategy for dealing with its wars and dictatorships through art, but The Tiniest Place takes a disturbingly literal approach to such wound-scratching homecoming.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    An over-the-top Russian musical about hipsters set in 1950s Moscow, where getting a non-pastel-colored tie is a mafia-mediated operation and a saxophone is considered a concealed weapon? Yes, please.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Rampling is very much aware of the camera's every intention and possibility. Perhaps too aware, like the kind of over-educated narcissist for whom real spontaneity is too costly a risk.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    What's easy to appreciate in the documentary, however, is the way it reassembles the Dzi Croquettes' trajectory without polishing off its jagged edges. It's through their brilliance and their flaws that they become muses.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    W.E.'s is a kind of dynamic pleasure that allows for non-shameful identification with the feminine and a fantasy of becoming what we see.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Its lightheartedness and overtly traditional narrative structure become a smart strategy for crafting what is ultimately a very nuanced political critique of capital.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Hovering over the narrative is the fear of the domino effect that change can enact, the dread that one person's "queerness" may perhaps expose everyone else's.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    While We the Party can be insensitive, or blind, to the misogyny and homophobia of the general culture (the token gay teen is a finger-snapping, head-bobbing fashionista), it takes the issues of race and class quite seriously.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The juxtaposition between the gorgeous natural beauty of a remote beach with the stubborn human need to escape somewhere, no matter what cost, is what really enthralls in the film.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    While this uncataloguable and entrancing film gazes back in nostalgia to a time of performance-art priapism when everyone seems to have known Warhol, it also leaves room for a particularly hopeful diagnosis of the present.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    A lighthearted critique on the fetishized notion of the "non-actor," the ethics (or lack thereof) of the "docudrama," and the packaging of national despair for exportation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The film is at its best when it lingers on intimacy and the characters' incompetency to manage it.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The hilarity of the film creeps up slowly and from every angle, not through the facile immediacy of short-lived laughter.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Its most redeeming quality is that it isn't so quick to neuter its queer characters into a package-friendly "gay couple" aesthetic a la Modern Family.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The film is at its finest as a catalogue of Yossi's unspoken ache, less so when it begins to flirt with the clichés of the love story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    It often seems more intent on spelling out its awareness of the politics involved than in lingering on the aching human engaged in the libidinal transactions.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The documentary is committed not to some pseudo-factual documentary tradition, but to a more engaging realist poesis.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The film provides welcome context for the semi-hysteria that recently took over the U.S. media in regard to Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Lee Isaac Chung's film exudes a wonderful sense of originality, a daring and organic playfulness rarely found in American indie cinema.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    It's to Carine Roitfeld's own credit and director Fabien Constant's funky and frenetic pacing that the doc feels neither like a corporate hagiography nor like mere fashionista masturbation material.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Filmmaker Juan Manuel Echavarría's hands-off approach hinders us from mocking the believers' naïveté.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The documentary not only humanizes Ingmar Bergman as the absent lover-cum-father of everyday life, but works as a priceless oral history of cinema.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Gastón Solnicki's mapping out of his family's narrative from within never feels exploitative or self-absorbed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Driven by a no-nonsense ethos, the film avoids sentimentality the same way its main character avoids sentiment.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Though it begins with the aesthetic and conceptual rigor of Blade Runner, it quickly veers toward the gratuitous outlandishness of a Bruce La Bruce film.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    This is a film about the invisible things passed down from generation to generation, that nasty inheritance that cages us into patterns and puzzles we try to solve in someone else's name.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    For its general ludic obsession with all things generally thought of as disgusting, the German film Wetlands is stuck in the anal stage.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The film refuses to tease us with suspense, overwhelm us with sentimentality, or defy us with nuance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Desiree Akhavan's tale of queer post-breakup funk shows more nuance, and racial dimension, than its cinematic cousins.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    It suggests that a disease isn't a product of one single person's body, but the eruption of an entire family history of unarticulated desire.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    The film's denouement is at once shocking and organic because it echoes a well-paced but nasty children's fable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    It exploits the military aesthetics that lend themselves so well to breathtaking sounds and visuals without fetishizing them.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Caetano Gotardo's triptych of short tales features a sense of experimentation and poetic license mostly seen in European cinema.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Diego Semerene
    Writer-director Alanté Kavaité's film is a string of softly weaved pictorial metaphors steeped in reverie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    Queen of the Sun is honey pornography with an activist heart.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    The unconventional choice of extra-curricular activity for Luz sheds light onto the strange sport of powerlifting, in which teen girls are constantly weighed and sometimes told that they have 40 minutes to get three pounds off their bodies so they can compete.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    At the very least, The Pill could have been a pleasant exercise in screenwriting sharpness if Fred and Mindy's situation had been confined and (un-)resolved within the confines of its very promising first scene.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    Director Casper Andreas does a good job conserving a simultaneous sense of disgust and attraction for the way big-city dreams end up stripping off wannabes from everything but their bodies.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    The film works as a charming aesthetic exercise with its jerky camera and inadvertent cuts, as a contemplation on intergenerational female bonding.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    It's Jonathan Caouette's insistence in going back to his nightmarish old footage, or the old footage that he purposefully renders nightmarish, that seems more interesting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    An exposé of how the financial structures that make businesses possible in America seem to conspire against genuine good will and non-self-serving ambition.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    It's the moments when director Alan Brown stops worrying about clarifying plot and character motivation and lets the performances bring those into being that makes this an authentic project.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    Mahdi Fleifel's usage of a domestic archive of home-video images inherited from his father lends the doc a simultaneous sense of historical gravitas and intimacy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    It finds its strength in painting a portrait of Brazilian heterosexual gender relations as an always-volatile symbiosis between feminine hysteria and ruthless machismo.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    It chooses the delicateness of a fable instead of the narrative recklessness we've come to expect from Bruce La Bruce.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    The film dabbles in the French romantic-comedy tradition and simultaneously spoofs it, committing to neither.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Diego Semerene
    It leaves room for a few flights of fancy where the lack of verisimilitude feels less like screenplay filler and more like unabashed poetic license.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Autoerotic's take on the me-me-me generation's inability for actual contact seems appropriate, but it lacks the nuance that makes "Denise Calls Up" so delicious to watch.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The extreme largesse of Anselm Kiefer's project, his radical certainties and devotion, all call for a more intrusive probing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The figure of the poor white girl whose sex work is justified by a really noble cause, set of circumstances or sheer charisma, is, of course, not a new cinematic premise.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Cargo can feel like a "film about human trafficking" from beginning to end.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    While The First Rasta never goes beyond the surfaces of conventional documentary making of the most average kind, its reticence becomes whimsical every time the elderly interviewees break into song soon after reminiscing.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The tension between the amateurish interviewer and the star interviewees gives the documentary a layer of authenticity that its otherwise formulaic structure and storytelling fail to find.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye tries so hard to keep up with the quirkiness and theatricality of its subjects that it ends up canceling them out.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Sassy Pants has a slightly ludic atmosphere akin to another tale of teen alienation, Dear Lemon Lima, but it unfolds like a fable in which only Bethany doesn't feel like a canned caricature.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Without a consistent stylistic playfulness to match the histrionic scenarios, the action often feels just plain silly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    It's as though the director, like his subjects, was too comfortable in the safe familiarity of the surface to find the place where it betrays us.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The film's moral lesson is too contradictory to be taken seriously.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    It would have been nice if the film had surrendered to its lunacy more blatantly, more carelessly.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The film only feels interesting when it focuses on looking at what the characters aren't doing and listening to what they aren't saying.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Instead of looking for depth or verisimilar romance, director Michael Mayer turns his characters into mere cogs in a pseudo-suspenseful thriller.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Juliette Binoche's face, as we know, can tell a million stories in a simple and brief rearrangement of her facial muscles.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    In Joe Swanberg's disaffected little film, the drama is never explicit, or even fully conscious.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    Shana Betz's too-insistent refusal to commit to the melodramatic or to the suspenseful only makes the film seem like empty dramatization.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The film never explores the depths and nuances that could actually place Jobriath in conversation with figures who came after him, however reductively.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The film's educational impetus is to announce to the world that even picture-perfect Norwegians continue to pay a heavy price for the horrors of WWII.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    It botches itself out of its own epic ambitions, an aesthetic slickness that seems to contradict, if not betray, its subject matter, and a maddeningly subdued critical spirit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Diego Semerene
    The filmmakers aren't really interested in the space between what these women say and what they mean.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Hood to Coast mostly suffers from an incessant soundtrack that stuffs the film with a peppiness that blocks the tragedy of its characters from view, as well as their overcoming it.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    For a film so proud of its trail-blazing status ("the first 3D erotic movie"), 3d Sex and Zen is certainly driven by the same good old symptoms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    In the documentary, the game is a make-believe war of pent-up frustrations linking race, nation, and manhood, one which teenage boys named Mohamed can actually win.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Private Romeo feels more like a side project from the producers of Glee than some kind of novel queering of Shakespeare's text.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Oh, the hilarious awkwardness of placing privileged white kids in a place where they don't belong.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Though there's something refreshing, and disturbingly familiar, about Kevin Sheppard's spontaneity, he's certainly not the most interesting thing about the film.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    A shallow film that leaves us knowing exactly what we're seeing, and able to predict what the characters will say to each other in the mostly uninspired and overtly familiar dialogue.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Bruno Barreto's insistence that this pass for a product that Hollywood might have spawned smoothens a journey built on sharp edges.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Sergio Castellitto's film quickly turns out to be more interested in reveling in the secrets of its storyline than in its sentiments.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    Whatever predictable plot the film tries to unfold never lives up to the excitement of its conceptual gimmick.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    The drama over dinner comes in small analgesic portions, and the secrets feel canned and the dialogue is too pretty to be believable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    It's difficult to swallow the premise of yet another tale of a heroic white Westerner with good intentions trying to give hope to Middle-Eastern misery.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    The film is simply too conscious of its form and its global-market ambitions to ever feel honestly interested in the themes it purports to cherish.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    The film is, like its main character, too naïve to understand or, at least, to deploy the reparative powers of camp.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    The dialogue is so disaffected it's as if humans were replicants even before going through the aforementioned twin-making procedure.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    The unapologetic lack of political correctness never goes beyond a one-dimensional and tentative provocation.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Diego Semerene
    The allegorical possibilities of a disintegrating wall point to a film that could have been.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    Judging from The Sleeping Beauty, and the previous "Bluebeard," the provocations stop with the choice of the material, as the tone and style of these films are jarringly well-behaved.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    This time-tested project of tracing gayness back to when its shame was so explicitly enforced feels not only passé, and naïve, but mostly unproductive in a post-Judith Butler world in which drag queens are on TV teaching biological women how to better perform womanhood.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    The actors are left to go through the motions of a sterile script that director Dennis Lee tries to bring to life not through, for example, Watson's brilliant capacity for facial nuance, but through canned artifice.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    Taking the pedestrian and decidedly unsexy American male to Paris so he can become a sexual human being attuned to life's small pleasures is a tired device that perhaps only Woody Allen could possibly resurrect from the stinky pile of cinematic clichés.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    Rarely leaves the realm of the obvious and the literal.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    Having the far from goody-goody Kathleen Turner play a holier-than-thou mother bent on winning a devout church title is an inherently hilarious premise.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    The Samaritan treads a fine line between film-noir moodiness and crime-thriller triteness, mostly settling for the latter.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    While it lends itself to some interesting insight on the politics of non-exclusive, fuck-buddy dynamics, its characters are ultimately too one-dimensional and their dialogue too theatrical to sustain an involving cinematic experience.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    As hard as he tries, we never truly believe there's a lot at stake for Garner, who seems to cruise through America like a gringo taking a favela tour in Rio.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    Doug Langway's film is often too cheesy to, well, bear.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    There's no pointing toward something other than the work itself, no poetic digression, no suggestion of a conceptual dimensionality to the work being produced.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    A Man's Story does a major disservice to an artiste of fashion with a pretty amazing and prolific oeuvre by reducing him to a Bravo-like personality - a personality whose pettiness Boateng's work, though perhaps not his ego, clearly exceeds.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    In Our Nature's visual style seems plastered on or allocated, not developed with any sort of authorial singularity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    It produces a collection of one-dimensional facts strung together with an utmost respect for chronology and documentary-making's most stale conventions.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    If the film defies conventional form, it does so without the gravitas that conceptual cohesion brings, quickly rendering its experimentation into gratuitous aesthetic masturbation.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    This is kind of didactic topical movie that distributes its rhetoric evenly between characters with clear distinction as to who's playing devil's advocate to the other one's points.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    Throughout, Sonja Bennett embodies slackness as an affectation, not a raw response to a culture of authenticity-killing productivity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Diego Semerene
    The film uses its critique of white privilege as a means to woo the legitimizing gaze of international audiences.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 12 Diego Semerene
    One of the film's main problems is the fact that Shlain is so invested in connecting her father's scientific findings... with an astonishingly linear history of the world that she fails to see the more private connections that flicker in and out of her verbose voiceover.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 12 Diego Semerene
    L!fe Happens wants us to believe its message is one of female independence and empowerment.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 12 Diego Semerene
    The film has, at its source, a pool of affectations that so often constitute, or plague, American indie films--and, perhaps, American culture more generally.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 12 Diego Semerene
    The film decides very early on, as part of its premise, to reduce Louisa Krause's King Kelly to a one-dimensional narcissist.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 12 Diego Semerene
    Tammy Caplan and Joe Tyler Gold's film gives off the alienating feel of an inside joke that you miss in the off chance you're not part of the professional magic business.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 12 Diego Semerene
    Writer-director Anders Morgenthaler's film is practically an exercise in over-explication.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    This is didactic self-help drivel of the worst kind, as filmmaker Rupam Sarmah creates a return-to-the-origin narrative contaminated by what Kathryn Bond Stockton would surely call "kid Orientalism."
    • 39 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    I'm not sure what part of Snowmen doesn't scream completely inappropriate, sentimental Manichean drivel.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    A Warrior's Heart is so inept at developing itself as a film that it hands in all of its devices to the soundtrack itself and becomes a music video.
    • Slant Magazine
    • 52 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    You know a film isn't going to be considered high art when the guy to your left at the press screening is a reporter from Extra and the guy to your right lets out a loud "That's awesome, man" after each scene.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    There's an enormous amount of perverse pleasure to be had here for those who get off on the annihilation of nuance.
    • 1 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    For a film so bent on naturalizing the presumably hilarious incongruity of "the sexes," it sure features lots and lots of that site of horror: a naked male body. And for comedic purposes, of course.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 0 Diego Semerene
    The film is a hybrid of a Lifetime movie focused on a "strong woman," a run-of-the-mill murder mystery, and a yogurt commercial from hell.

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