Ian Buckwalter

Select another critic »
NPR
For 117 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ian Buckwalter's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 95 Tabu
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 117
  2. Negative: 13 out of 117
117 movie reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    Promoting understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the bees and our intertwined relationship with them is also presented as a vital part of the equation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    This is a film built around its star, just as surely as any of its cheesier '80s forebears.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Ian Buckwalter
    Neil Jordan seems well aware that audiences may be feeling deep fatigue about vampires. So with his latest, the director of Interview With the Vampire makes a vampire film that seeks to reinvent the species, while harking back to a more classical — read: less sparkly — take on the genre.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    He's hardly a cuddly figure, but neither does he come across as an intimidating presence. After all, it's hard to think of anyone in cantankerous terms after they've just lovingly described the history of the beloved old hand-knitted stuffed animal that is their oldest possession.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 55 Ian Buckwalter
    This all essentially serves to distract from the fact that all that really happens in the film is that the company manages to eventually reach the mountain.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 78 Ian Buckwalter
    The film plays by genre rules - explicit gore included - even as it turns them on their severed head.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Ian Buckwalter
    It's Rush who makes these characters push one another toward healing, and that feels forced. There are moments of poignancy, but mostly the film feels inert and unremarkable, an off-the-shelf indie-spiration fable that employs a manipulatively cruel twist to move the story away from its inherent darkness and toward an uplifting climactic montage.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Ian Buckwalter
    At times Francine feels like a documentary as well, an intimate observational work in the mode of Frederick Wiseman or the Maysles brothers, where the omnipresence of the camera puts the characters so at ease that they reveal subtle moments of character that they might otherwise hide out of self-consciousness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Ian Buckwalter
    A skilled cast is Blakeson's greatest asset in his attempt to elevate his material above its pulpy limitations. All three are better actors than this sort of movie might call for.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Ian Buckwalter
    A hilarious meta-comedy in which Karpovsky, playing a version of himself, goes on a roadshow tour for a movie he's directed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Like zombie auteur George Romero at his best, Grau locks his sights on his social commentary of choice and goes after it with the zeal of a 19-year-old cannibal girl sinking an ax into the skull of her next meal. The result is messy, but it makes more than a meal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Director Guillermo del Toro knows that the charm in the clash of scale - or armor-plated titans isn't necessarily tied to the low budgets and laughable production design of those guilty-pleasure TV shows. And with Pacific Rim, he cracks the code.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 65 Ian Buckwalter
    There's black comedy, and then, in the darkest corner of an airtight box buried deep underground, there's the humor of Big Bad Wolves.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    Lemmy gives the filmmakers enough time and candid access to create a profile of the man that goes deeper than just the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - even though in Lemmy's case, there's enough of a surplus of all three to power multiple documentaries.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 65 Ian Buckwalter
    The movie might not be a vengeance-driven wolf-man cage fight, but in subverting those escapist expectations, it sinks its teeth far deeper and more memorably.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 55 Ian Buckwalter
    Watching these two actors move from being sweetly flirtatious to doing real emotional battle may not entirely compensate for the movie's other failings, but it goes a long way toward making amends.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    It's also a testament to the strength of Claude-Michel Schonberg's music that everything after the show-stopping lament of Fantine's "I Dreamed a Dream" doesn't come across as so much padding.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    Just as Ulysses illustrates the reflective nature of his journey by constantly turning back the hands of the house's clocks, each film of Maddin's is a reset button for the past. The director operates like a ghost himself, going back over his personal history and the history of cinema in an endless loop until he gets them right.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    There's no denying its status as a rousing and thoroughly enjoyable Old Hollywood-style adventure.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    It's impossible for all of them to work, but the sheer volume of material, delivered by a cast dedicated to the absolute absurdity of the setups — Fantana's new career as a kitten photographer, Kind's side business running a fast-food chain with a specialty in fried bat, Burgundy nursing and training a live shark while blind and living in a lighthouse — is a kind of comedy carpet-bombing. All it takes is a certain percentage of hits for things to detonate.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Ian Buckwalter
    I'd like to credit Mangold, along with writers Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback and Scott Frank for their good intentions; the smaller scope and lighter tone of their film is a tonic after bloated doom and gloom of "Man of Steel."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    Both Jeff and the film have a way of sneaking up on you.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 72 Ian Buckwalter
    Machete works because at no time does it ever ask the audience to take any of this too seriously, yet the nudges and winks are never so forceful that it feels like it's begging for your laughter.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Ian Buckwalter
    What sets Dupieux's film apart is its unexpected secondary dimension: an absurdist meta-commentary on cinema itself that hilariously articulates the notion that the movies stop existing the moment we stop watching, like the sound of an unobserved tree falling in the forest.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Ian Buckwalter
    Sfar's imaginative direction and the film's lush visual sense, along with a hugely charismatic performance by Eric Elmosnino in the title role, do manage to elevate much of the formula elements.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Ian Buckwalter
    This is a film about people who are lost, and the filmmakers draw a direct line between their characters' existential wanderings and the religious obsessions they find for themselves.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 42 Ian Buckwalter
    What's most surprising, given the latitude provided by all that conjecture, is that the Durst - "David Marks" for the purposes of the film - who emerges is less a character study than a thumbnail sketch.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    Leigh, a novelist making her cinematic debut here, directs with a cold and distancing eye. Sleeping Beauty has the deliberate grace of Kubrick, and while comparisons to the sex parties of "Eyes Wide Shut" are inevitable, Leigh's approach is even more sexless and sterile than the master's.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Ian Buckwalter
    Effective scares, respectful nods to its inspiration and a few new twists make the question of whether this new Evil Dead succeeds in matching its inspiration superfluous. This is one remake that succeeds on its own blood-soaked terms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 45 Ian Buckwalter
    When faced with the choice of which gag to go for, Horrible Bosses generally selects the raunchiest laugh possible, all other considerations be damned.

Top Trailers