Gary Goldstein

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For 518 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gary Goldstein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Pearl Button
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 94 out of 518
518 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    Mills peppers his fresh script with an assortment of throwaway lines, kooky character beats and off-kilter emotional truths. That he packs so much memorable silliness into one 80-minute film is quite the feat. Sequel, please.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    This handsomely made suspense yarn proves an engrossing, pulse-quickening journey.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Although affecting and well acted, the family drama Bad Hurt is too airless and depressing to fully engage.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    A unique, unsettling experience.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The product is more pop vanity project — and one that's a bit late to the party — than onion-peeling dissection.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, there's a lack of structure, context and point of view to the largely gray, grim, hardscrabble world presented here.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A stirring snapshot of America from 1963 to 1968 and the many rock 'n' roll thrills, cultural and political watersheds, and whirling emotions that erupted in between. It's also deviously smart and darkly funny.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Goldstein
    Alexander Sokurov's Faust is a grueling side show of a film, a morbid, mightily uninvolving piece.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's the candid moments of joy and accomplishment -- Welcker finding out she's an Intel contest finalist, Khan learning he's been accepted to Yale, high school valedictorian Cisneros thanking her devoted parents in her graduation speech -- that really make this one soar.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Kazemy and Boosheri are excellent, and Soheil Parsa and Nasrin Pakkho are also fine as Atefeh's doting, liberal parents. And if Keshavarz is less successful managing the film's sometimes choppy narrative, she is clearly willing to take risks on all fronts. More power to her.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    The elder Makhmalbaf, who wrote and directed, puts many spins on this ethereal mood piece — it is by turns poetic, impressionistic, metaphorical and even a bit trippy — without satisfying such genre basics as structure, depth and resolution.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A beautifully rendered, lovingly constructed action-comedy that's sure to please kids and adults alike.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    Writer-director-star David Thorpe attempts to probe the whys and wherefores of what he calls the stereotypical "gay male voice," but he ends up crafting a naval-gazing self-portrait that's unflattering, inconclusive and, at times, a bit specious.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    This engaging, funny and frank new film also proves something of a cop-out, especially given the bullet train of a narrative concocted by writer-director Patrick Brice.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    It's the flesh-and-blood lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as a profoundly conflicted Muslim wife and mother that seals this cinematic deal. She's superb.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] highly watchable portrait.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Honest and unadorned though the film may be, it's ultimately just not that involving.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Chittenden and Tzu-yi are expressive actors, but, like the film itself, are hamstrung by the project's self-imposed confines.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Punchy dialogue, sharply drawn characters and excellent performances fuel Glass Chin.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Best appreciated for its sweet eccentricities (beginning with reggae lover Jack's would-be dreadlocks), optimistic outlook and authentic New York vibe, as much as for its commitment to being exactly what it is: an affectionate homage to working-class underdogs trying to carve out their own little corners of happiness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Healy and Embry commit to their enervating roles with a heady mix of desperation and gusto, while Koechner is cleverly modulated as the evening's madman emcee. But Paxton, as the complicit yet impassive Violet, remains mostly a shiny accessory.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A revealing, disturbing look at how political and corporate forces have seemingly undermined the freedom and safety of our nation's equine population.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    [It's] too bad Cindy Kleine, the documentary's producer-director-narrator — and Gregory's wife — didn't better organize this rangy survey of the eclectic actor, theater director, artist and raconteur.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    With a two-state solution still elusive, "State 194" may feel a bit like yesterday's news — literally and figuratively. But as an aid to better understanding this vital, complex dispute, the film is definitely worth a look.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    For a movie about art and artists, it's not a particularly visually inspired or vibrantly crafted work. Still, Foulkes... holds interest with his off-kilter narcissism, obsessive creative process and frank views on his place — or lack thereof — in the art world.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Cailley never truly builds a narrative head of steam, resulting in periods of logy pacing and diffused focus. Still, the strong leads, several amusing moments and a clutch of intriguing character bits sketch what might have been.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    The cast does what it can with — and clearly self-improves upon — the essentially thin, at times choppy material.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Despite its family-friendly trappings, "Cats" is largely serious stuff; deliberately paced, thematically dark and often wistfully told, with enough moments of survival-oriented tension and dread to question its G rating.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The largely engaging class-reunion dramedy 10 Years allows audiences to pretend they went to high school with the likes of Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Kate Mara.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    They all share their amazing war stories and life memories with great humility and warmth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] vital and involving documentary.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] compelling and energetic documentary.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The Afghanistan war documentary The Hornet's Nest is a kinetic, immersive experience, particularly in its deeply felt human moments.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Brimming with sharp asides and clever throwaways...plus astute observations on literary pretension and misguided youth, Adult World is a winner.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    [A] colorful, absorbing documentary.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Quirky, creepy and increasingly involving, the Montreal-set thriller Good Neighbors throws a trio of offbeat apartment dwellers together under one shaky roof as a serial killer wreaks havoc around town.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Wish You Were Here is mystery moviemaking at its most intriguing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Despite its gorgeous soundtrack, historical sweep and wealth of archival material, (the film) is weakened by sluggish pacing and an overly detailed, increasingly narrow focus.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Schwarz and Hunter never dig all that deep — in fact, it all seems pretty tame by today's reality TV standards — but the film remains an evocative, enjoyable ride.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    [An] enjoyable, relatable documentary.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    The warm and charming White Wedding is like "The Hangover" off steroids. It's another get-me-to-the-church-on-time obstacle course but filled with smart social commentary, romantic wisdom, credible complications and memorable characters.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, this well-acted cautionary tale is hampered by a lack of visual finesse and a script in need of a narrative rethink and a dialogue polish.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Though unevenly told and at times too fanciful for its own good, Electrick Children marks an intriguing feature debut for its risk-taking writer-director, Rebecca Thomas.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Gary Goldstein
    Heli is a stunning piece of filmmaking. It's a hypnotic, starkly beautiful, often disturbing drama that puts a working-class Mexican family in the cross hairs of its country's drug war.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    If you can adjust to the film's uneven rhythms and often illusory vibe, there's a treasure trove of off-kilter humor, affecting pathos and first-class acting to be savored.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Although it may not be the most vivid or exciting subject for cinematic exploration, the documentary Seeds of Time offers a vital, clear-headed look at the effects of climate change on global food security.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Although evocative and nicely observed, the coming-of-age drama Yosemite ultimately proves too low-key and elliptical to make much of an impression.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The various sleights of hand are impressive even if we're afforded little insight into their actual execution. Still, it's fun stuff.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Though Torn contains its share of convincingly lived-in moments, there's a heavy-handed quality to both Jeremiah Birnbaum's direction and the script by Michael Richter that often undermines the movie's potential to truly grip and move.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    It's impossible not to root for these driven, high-spirited participants - and for the longevity of this invaluable program.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    The Railway Man is an impressively crafted, skillfully acted, highly absorbing journey into a dark corner of world history.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    It's a fun, nostalgic, informative journey. Aided by vivid archival footage and photos, the movie charts the evolution of the song through the Holocaust, the birth of Israel and the modern Jewish Diaspora.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    This gripping, innovatively constructed flashback commands attention.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The film proves not only a stirring look at education's potential to rally and invigorate but also a vital snapshot of contemporary rural America.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Although What If nobly attempts to honor and embellish the tropes of the genre rather than reinvent them, the filmmakers get tripped up on their own good intentions and uncertain comedic instincts.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Loyalties are tested, futures are reconsidered and the body count climbs in the effective action import New World.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Despite the film's unvarnished emotionality and even-handed messaging, Courtney never seems to have found an appropriate focus, resulting in a work that's less urgent and involving than its intense subject matter might have dictated.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    Although children may enjoy the animal action (there's also a fun pelican and a yellow sea turtle) and parents might appreciate the movie's genuinely sweet moments, this is exceedingly mild entertainment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The pervasive historical reenactments and voiceovers, however, while clearly well-intended, often turn this otherwise vital film into an uneasy hybrid of authenticity and artifice.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Kid-Thing proves as disturbing for what it is as for what it's not.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    This compelling psychological horror-thriller contains a tremendous amount of heart. That would be largely thanks to a moving and deeply sensitive lead performance by Jim Sturgess
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Goldstein
    Add one more extraordinary survival tale to the canon of Holocaust documentaries: No Place on Earth.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    A stirring commentary on our better angels.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The well-observed script touches on a number of everyday issues about the aging process — whether you're pushing 40 or passing 60 — that add a tender and enlightening layer to this engaging, leisurely paced film.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Skims a host of provocative surfaces without truly dissecting the self-absorbed playboy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Sweet, slight and frequently familiar, Geography Club, based on Brent Hartinger's novel about sexual identity among suburban teens, often feels as if it's circling its expiration date.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Engaging, naturalistic performances and nicely explored real-world issues add to this absorbing film's down-to-earth appeal.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    By turns sweet and tart, airy and rich and, above all, a thoroughly irresistible confection.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Goldstein
    For all its gore and violence, stabs at tension and nightmarish intrigue, the film proves a slow-going, largely unsatisfying ride.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Writer-director Zak Hilditch, with a strong assist from cinematographer Bonnie Elliott (who's bathed her frames in a kind of eerie sulfuric yellow), has crafted an urgent yet strangely simple and humanistic doomsday scenario.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The film's more heartfelt moments are what ultimately work best.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Until being young and gay is a nonissue for everyone everywhere, these kinds of stories will always have their place.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    To his credit, writer-director Nathan Morlando has crafted a stylishly shot and evocatively designed period piece. But it's the dashing, quietly charismatic Speedman who proves the main draw, holding our attention even when the movie doesn't.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Despite his cogent finger-pointing, nifty graphs and succinct highlighting of recent climate change history, longtime followers of the hyper-partisan topic may not find much terribly new or revealing here.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    An exceptionally intimate, human-scaled picture. It's also quite a special piece of work.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    It all adds up to create a dicey morality tale that's as improbable as it is strangely believable.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Goldstein
    This underdeveloped, lackluster glance at brotherhood practically demands a response of "Is that all there is?" at its 70-minute fadeout.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    The inventively shot and constructed documentary For No Good Reason is an absorbing look at the unique, surreal work of British cartoonist Ralph Steadman.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Kundo: Age of the Rampant is an often entertaining if overlong look at the last days of Korea's Joseon Dynasty.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Despite the Mexican American comic's engaging presence, amusing observations and deft imitations, "Fluffy" is a standard-issue comedy concert film far better suited to a 90-minute cable TV slot than the big screen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The result is an unhurried, visually compelling look at a man and his music - as well as of a bygone America filled with shuttered downtowns and the ghosts of such late musicians as Elvis Presley and blues pioneer Robert Johnson.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    Given the number and range of kids in view, there's a limit to how much specificity can be jammed into one movie.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Unfortunately, Berman skips past the darker implications of Hefner's sexual universe and omits discussion of how the periodical business -- and access to erotic imagery -- has changed in the Internet age. Still, the movie remains an involving look at an American icon as well as an adept snapshot of our national zeitgeist from the McCarthy era through the Reagan years.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The heartland drama Jackie & Ryan may prove too low-key and deliberately paced for less patient viewers, but distinct pleasures are to be had from this compactly shot film's easy rhythms, affecting tone and nicely modulated performances.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Goldstein
    This tonal mishmash is a misfire of literally gross proportions.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    With its gorgeous big-sky vistas, stirring shots of the majestic mustangs and intimate bits between trainers and trainees, Wild Horse proves a warm and memorable ride.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    What a pleasure to see a simple, finely tuned dramedy about real adults with real emotions in a real-life situation.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    Antiviral is often fascinating to watch. If Cronenberg's not yet a dead ringer for his iconic dad, he's taken an intriguing first step.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    You don't have to be a "Star Wars" nut to enjoy this fast-paced film, though it's sure to resonate most with those whose childhoods - and beyond - were shaped by the 1977 phenomenon.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    How Norman and his gang learn the ropes, work the game and earn their fleeting, if nerve-wracking moment in the sun proves an enjoyable, well-crafted ride in the hands of writer-director John Stockwell.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    The film, named for "Calvin" creator Bill Watterson, offers not only an in-depth look at the comic strip's unique influence but also a concise snapshot of the dwindling state of newspapers and their "funny pages."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Goldstein
    A lovely performance by Ethiopian supermodel-actress Liya Kebede as supermodel-activist Waris Dirie works wonders to elevate this uneven, occasionally awkward but often absorbing film.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    An involving primer on the realities of homegrown versus global industrialization.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    This engaging, nicely observed look at a 30ish L.A. couple who allow each other a one-night stand to help reheat their 7-year-old marital bed moves quickly and simply.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    With admirable economy, writer-director Billy Senese has crafted an eerie piece that's as much an effective cautionary tale as it is a stirring film of ideas — and ideals.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    I Am Not a Hipster is the kind of lovingly crafted, deeply affecting drama that gives small indie films a good name. It's also a terrific showcase for first-time feature writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton and his superb leading man, Dominic Bogart.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    It's an enjoyable snapshot that effectively explores the colliding - often complicit - worlds of fame, entertainment publicity, the public's infatuation with gossip and the dogged paparazzi at the epicenter of it all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Goldstein
    A forgettable title and a barely there theatrical release don't do justice to the captivating and nostalgic coming-of-age dramedy That's What I Am.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Goldstein
    Kudos to writer-director Antonino D'Ambrosio for taking such an eclectic and disparate number of aims, thoughts, subjects and mediums and creating the smart and inspiring - and uniquely whole -documentary that is Let Fury Have the Hour.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Goldstein
    Given the subjectively interpretive nature of scripture and ancient religious history, which informs most of the Christian-centric debate here, the result is an often dense, contradictory discourse.

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