James Berardinelli

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For 3,048 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Godfather
Lowest review score: 0 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Score distribution:
3048 movie reviews
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The problem is that the writing is too weak for me to come close to recommending it.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The pacing is uneven, the frenetic action is rarely suspenseful, the dialogue is neither witty nor intelligent, and the anticlimactic endgame drags out to an improbable conclusion.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    An exercise in mediocrity. It's curious how little of the TV series' charm and appeal can be found in this uneven, plodding excuse for a reunion.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    For many adults, sitting through this will be an exercise in tedium. It offers about as much as an oversized, overlong Saturday morning cartoon and if that's where expectations are set, it probably won't disappoint. Talk about setting the bar low, though.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The "Da Vinci Code" was adequate but forgettable. "Angels & Demons" was godawful. Inferno is somewhere in between - watchable but by no means worth the money and effort necessary to see it theatrically.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    CQ
    Pretentious and self-indulgent -- those two words come to mind when considering CQ.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A mediocre diversion -– a movie better watched at home where the remote control can be used (if necessary) to fast forward to the film's best part: the obligatory end credit outtakes.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Legend seems like a movie Scorsese might have made if he wasn’t paying attention - the elements are present but they are clumsily assembled and the outcome underwhelms.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's more contrived melodrama in these two hours than romance fans could reasonably hope for.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If you take The Postman at face value - that it's a straightforward, post- apocalyptic adventure tale, then it could seem like one of the worst movies of the year, if not of all time.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If ever there was a movie that could cause even the most restless sleeper to fall into a deep slumber, this is it.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The energy is missing in the remake because the techniques, which are replicated in a straightforward fashion, are stale.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    What happens when movie producers cross "Three's Company" with "Masterpiece Theater?" The result would be similar to what Touchstone Pictures has provided with Casanova, a farcical romantic comedy period piece.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There is a perverse enjoyment to be had from something this cheesy, although not enough of one that I can recommend sitting through it. Still, as bad as Creature is, it can be fun, although the level of enjoyment is probably in direct proportion to the viewer's level of intoxication.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Half of what's going on is never explained, and what is explained, doesn't make much sense. And that's just the beginning of the problems encountered in director Paul Anderson's ("Mortal Kombat") poorly executed endeavor.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A script that, at its best, is inconsistent, and, at its worst, is laughably implausible and riddled with obvious flaws.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The narrative is simplistic and lacking in energy, and the characters are sketched instead of fully formed.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    At its best, Bad Santa 2 feels like an echo of its predecessor. At its worst, it’s unfunny, crass, and uncomfortable (not in a good way).
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The level of quality is such that this does not deserve a theatrical distribution and will only find appeal among pre-teen kids or those who have been fans of the games since their inception more than a decade ago.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Chernobyl Diaries is afflicted with a fatal flaw that damages many horror films: after a better-than-average setup and a promising first half, everything falls apart.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This isn't a family-friendly film - anyone over the age of about 8 will immediately recognize that significant chunks of the story don't make sense.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Here Comes the Boom is stale and vanilla. We know we're in trouble early when the first joke fails.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Ray
    Sluggish, conventional, and almost completely lacking in energy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's not so much a bad film as it is a disappointing one. A very disappointing one.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    When a movie wants to be sold as a spectacle, it had better deliver something more spectacular than this.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The problem lies in the screenplay which latches on to the few clever and/or funny elements in the film and runs them into the ground via repetition.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This movie isn't bad just because it follows a formula slavishly but because it does so without verve or passion.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Despite a slow start, the movie eventually slips into a congenial flow. Unfortunately, Guarding Tess ends up derailing because of a ill-conceived ending that has something to do with a silly kidnapping subplot.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The quality of the writing is more than a notch below that of our show. Most of the jokes aren't as witty, and the laughs come less frequently. Maybe it's because so many of the things they do in the movie are lifted directly from the show, but a lot of stuff seems stale.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film is preposterous to the point of distraction, where the necessary level of suspension of disbelief exceeds the capacity of a normal, thinking person.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    "28 Days Later," while not terribly original, was suspenseful and involving. 28 Weeks Later is neither. The characters aren't as sympathetic or interesting.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Okay, there are worse movies out there, but I'm hard-pressed to figure out why I'd waste my time and money watching something that's a half-baked retread of better movies I can stream from Netflix.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    For a while, the movie looks like it’s going to go dark but then chickens out and leaves the viewer with a palpable sense of dissatisfaction.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There are good things to be said about The Spirit, but not enough of them to outweigh the bad.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film occasionally pokes fun at itself, although not nearly as often as it should. I don't recommend it for anything more significant than a bottom-of-the-barrel rental or a desperation cable choice, but it delivers what it advertises, and I suppose that could be considered a virtue.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Aside from some cosmetic changes, little of what this Fright Night offers elevates it above the classification of "unnecessary."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Fred Claus is less enchanting than the 2003 fairy tale, "Elf" (which was directed by Vaughn's good buddy, Jon Favreau), but no worse than the inexplicably popular Tim Allen series.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Zoolander would have been better left as a stand-alone cult classic.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This isn't as much a movie as it is a recipe for a cinematic casserole in which the ingredients are clichés and rip-offs.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    You know you're in trouble when 50% of the running length is devoted to plot exposition, and the movie still doesn't make any sense.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's nothing here to appreciate for anyone who isn't a Sandler fan and, unfortunately, too little even for those who have dubbed themselves lifelong supporters.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Although Ford does not exactly mail in his performance, this is a lazy job, and far from his best work. On top of that, he has no chemistry with co-star (and heartthrob of the moment) Josh Hartnett.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This latest version, made with the MTV generation in mind, is arguably the least impressive of the filmed Counts.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Apt Pupil is the lack of sustained tension generated by director Bryan Singer.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    We're stuck with contrived plot contortions, dull interpersonal interaction, and unconvincing dialogue.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    All that's missing from Ivan Reitman's Six Days, Seven Nights is a plot with a moment's originality.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    By cramming far too much material into 114 minutes, The Huntsman: Winter’s War feels rushed and incomplete. It doesn’t help that the screenplay is at times awful, forcing accomplished actors to recite excruciatingly bad dialogue while maintaining a straight face.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    V/H/S comes across as a production that wants to be more than it is but, as they say, The Emperor has no clothes.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Enough is Apted at his most commercial, and, unfortunately, his least compelling.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    When I watch a comedy, I want it either to present endearing characters in fun situations or to make me laugh frequently. BASEketball accomplishes neither objective.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The ending seems predestined, and the overlong, tepid journey getting to that point isn't worth the price of admission.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Were it not for the participation of two A-list actors, Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, Before I Go to Sleep would have been headed straight to video. The inclusion of those two doesn't make the film any better, just less anonymous.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    I lost track of how many times I checked my watch during the nearly three interminable hours it took Heat to play itself to a predictable conclusion of a chase scene and a shoot-out.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In the case of Dangerous Minds, we get an idealized version of inner city life, where, though problems may require more than the wave of a magic wand to remove, the solutions still seem too facile.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If your reason for seeing In the Cut is to watch America's sweetheart stripped bare, you'll get what you're looking for. On the other hand, if you're looking for a good movie, this one will disappoint.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    While The Limits of Control offers some picturesque photography and grist for thought, it is ultimately too much like The Emperor's New Clothes to warrant anything approaching enthusiasm. The message is banal and the means by which it is presented reeks of artifice and pretention.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The kind of film that will work for an audience that's just interested in having an emotional experience (with a happy ending) without caring how obviously or clumsily they are manipulated. I find this sort of sledgehammer film making to be offensive, but there are those who enjoy it.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Ultimately, however, appreciation of The Phantom of the Opera will hinge upon your opinion of Lloyd Webber's skills as a composer.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Those familiar with the novel will undoubtedly agree that reading it is a more satisfying experience than watching this disappointing film. One expects more - much more, in fact - with a cast of this caliber.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Likely won't please fans of the original TV series, but the movie hasn't been made for them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Simply isn't a very good motion picture.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Because so little of it works, the film is disposable.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Tarnishes the image of its predecessor but the original Independence Day wasn’t all that good to begin with.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Other than a high cuteness factor, there's not much here. This is a warmed-over, low-end recycling of director Rob Reiner's own "When Harry Met Sally."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    I'm not a religious man but, Hallelujah! I may not be done with Meyer but at least I'll never again have to cope with the angst, self-absorption, and vampire mythology mutilation that characterized these five movies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    While few will debate Lee's ability as a director, this isn't close to being in his wheelhouse. Oldboy cries out for a Brian DePalma, a Quentin Tarantino, or even a David Lynch. The end result bears out the suspicion that Lee isn't right for the material, nor it for him.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Chris Elliott is appallingly bad as the title character. Although his role cries out for an over-the- top performance, Elliott's grating personae cancels out any positive contributions he can offer in that area.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Bullet to the Head is bloody and violent but not nearly as much fun as it should be.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Time Machine is stupid -- too stupid for the impressive special effects or the competently directed action sequences to wash away the bitter taste.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's nothing remotely memorable about this walk.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Science fiction has an obligation to seduce the viewer into applying the "willing suspension of disbelief." With its plot holes and head-scratching incongruities, Transcendence fails in this arena thereby making the production as a whole feel bloated and unsatisfying.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Poorly paced with a tendency to veer into the pretentious and littered with contrivances and dramatic short-cuts, I Origins fails to provide a single three-dimensional character or compelling relationship.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Break-Up is like Danny DeVito's "The War of the Roses," but without the wit, the acid, and the blacker-than-black humor.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    You laugh a few times but, in the end, you wonder why you bothered.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    What's missing is honesty. It has been supplanted by artifice.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The curious thing about Father of the Bride Part 2 is that not only is it the sequel to a remake, but it's the remake of a sequel. As such, it's a perfect illustration of stretching an idea too far. Certain premises lack the necessary material for a multiple features, and this is one such example
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A small group of viewers will find in Burlesque a gem to treasure for years to come. It's a bad movie lover's wet dream. For the average multiplex stalker, however, it exists somewhere between inconsequential and a waste of time, so that's where I'll peg it.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    As unlikely as it may sound, 2004 is the year when directors Kevin Smith and Garry Marshall have made virtually the same movie...Nevertheless, it's impossible to deny that Raising Helen is a near clone of "Jersey Girl."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's something missing and it becomes apparent early on. The movie isn't scary - not even a little bit.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's a cobbled together mess of clichés that fails to surprise at any of its turns.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Scream 4 is so obsessed with the self-referential element that made the original Scream unique that it loses the capacity to be genuinely scary or funny.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Yes, Unknown is preposterous. That in and of itself is not a reason to avoid the movie. The problems lie in the way the absurdity is presented and the manner in which the screenplay resolves once the "truth" is revealed.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Much of the average viewer's time in the theater will be spent waiting somewhat impatiently for the high-energy climax. Catnaps are an advisable way to survive some of the slow spots.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A standard-order romantic comedy with many of the expected twists and complications. It suffers from the flaw of not giving the lead characters enough time together.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    An unfocused mess, with poor chemistry all around and an ending that's as firm and satisfying as an overcooked noodle.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Isn't terrible. It's just disappointingly superficial -- a movie that has all the elements necessary to be a fascinating, involving character study, but never does more than scratch the surface.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The appeal is there for those who crave formulaic romantic drama, but there's little of interest for a wider audience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The best thing that can be said about Welcome to Me, as written by Eliot Laurence and directed by Shira Piven, is that it attempts to portray the real Borderline Personality Disorder as opposed to the Hollywood movie version of the disease. Unfortunately, that's about all it does.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    xXx
    For Vin Diesel, starring in XXX is a wonderfully smart career move. Too bad neither "wonderful" nor "smart" are applicable adjectives to describe this film.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A feeling of hopelessness pervades Sleepwalking.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's not a slowly-paced scene or a dull moment to be found. If nothing else, this film won't bore the average viewer. However, when Hackers has been dissected, what's uncovered beneath the flashy skin is an old-fashioned, film-by-numbers thriller.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film has lofty goals, but comes across as leaden and pretentious. It's a character study in which the lead participant is the least interesting person in the movie.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Viggo Mortensen looks the part but never brings it home with great conviction or passion. I never believed in the character and that greatly diminished the film's ability to argue its ethical case.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Pride has little to be proud about.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    While there are a lot of similarities between Rohmer's body of work and Baumbach's latest, the most crucial aspect linking the films is a difference: Rohmer's love of conversation and languorous pace engages the intellect; Baumbach provides a good alternative to an over-the-counter sleep aid.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This movie is a perfect example of what's wrong with many big-budget films today: no characters, no intelligence, and, worst of all, little fun.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    From the poor set design to the mediocre acting to the paint-by-numbers screenplay, this is TV fare at best.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's not so much a bad movie as it is a pointless one.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If you like Alicia Silverstone, you'll probably enjoy Excess Baggage. This dubious road movie/romance/caper flick is clearly a vehicle for the spritely starlet, and her winsome charm is one of its strengths.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Canyons is a sleazy soap opera that fails primarily because it gives us no one to care about and no reason why we should be interested that we don't care.

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