James Berardinelli

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For 3,073 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 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Cry, the Beloved Country
Lowest review score: 0 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Score distribution:
3073 movie reviews
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film's heart is undoubtedly in the right place, but so what? Fine ideals don't mean much when they're couched in an inert, pointless storyline.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Wassup Rockers is amateurish, but without the redeeming qualities found in "Kids" and "Bully."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Considering the talent involved and the strength of the source material, there's no way Edge of Darkness should have been this disappointing. Part of the problem is a direct result of condensation - there's no way to cram six hours of the dense mini-series upon which the movie is based into about 110 minutes without paying a penalty.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A major misstep and a disappointment of significant proportions. It may not be a failure for Eastwood the actor, but it's a big one for Eastwood the director.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A stillborn affair that could have been -- and should have been -- a whole lot hipper and funnier. If you've seen the two- minute theatrical trailer, you've seen nearly everything that's worthwhile in the feature.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Its failure to live up to even modest expectations is a blow. There's nothing righteous to be found here.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Allegiant tries to cram too little story into too much time. This results in dead spots and uneven pacing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The good news first: The Alamo is probably the most historically accurate depiction yet to reach the screen of the famous siege. The bad news is that "historically accurate" does not necessarily translate into "dramatically successful."
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Pompeii is a big, glorious, cheesy mess.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Pretty Persuasion reminds me of a half-hour TV series that has a great pilot episode, then falls apart in subsequent installments. Movies need to grow and change to keep things interesting; this one is stagnant.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Awake is short enough (about 85 minutes) that it doesn't wear out its welcome. It's not a good movie but it's silly and lively enough to keep most viewers from dozing off, even if that might be a more profitable use of their time.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A dull, meandering storyline and visuals all-but destroyed by a second-rate 3-D conversion make this movie inferior to its predecessors.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Someone please get director Ric Roman Waugh a tripod! Snitch might be a passable action-thriller but it's hard to say because every time an action scene comes along, the image shakes so badly it's impossible to keep anything in view or focus.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Dark Shadows is a mess, and it's unclear whether its bizarre recipe of comedy, campy horror, and gothic melodrama will satisfy anyone, regardless of their familiarity with the source material.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's not as clever as it thinks it is, not as funny or exciting as it should be, and not as engaging as it needs to be to prevent kids from losing interest and parents from falling asleep.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Neither smart enough nor funny enough to have cross-over appeal to any other demographic.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There’s no rule that main characters have to be likable, and DeHaan’s Lockhart isn’t, but they at least have to be interesting. He fails that litmus test.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    MouseHunt is "'Home Alone" with a rodent in the place of Macaulay Culkin.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This isn't just a horror movie with gore - it's a gore movie, period. Blood is its raison d'etre. It's not scary. It's not shocking. It just wallows in viscera. Ho-hum. Pass the ketchup.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Bridesmaids is bipolar filmmaking at its most disconcerting, with changes in tone so abrupt that they can cause whiplash. In part because of this and in part because the writing is often lazy and self-indulgent, the movie rarely works.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Put simply, this movie is dumb.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Last Action Hero is sporadically entertaining, but it could have been a whole lot more. Trimmed down and better edited, this film might have been a top-notch satire. As it is, however, it gets caught someplace in between action and comedy, and never really comes across as a solid example of either.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Unless you’re a fan of extreme sports photography, the 2015 Point Break lags behind its predecessor in most areas.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's something a little annoying about a movie that tries this shamelessly to be endearing and family friendly.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Reading a Sparks novel allows one's imagination to enter the equation. Watching one of his stories adapted on screen has exactly the opposite effect: it neuters the imagination. This is soap opera, pure and simple.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This new interpretation does few things better than the original, and many things worse.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Holiday is no vacation. Sloppy writing, an overindulgent editor, and poor casting have taken an intriguing premise and transformed it into an uneven mess.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    What a waste of a talented cast! There are times when it can be depressing to see so much acting potential wasted on a script unable to elicit the best from its stars, and this is one such occasion.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The story told by Jackson's The Lovely Bones is the same as the one related by Sebold, but it lacks the complexity and empathy evident in the book.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    One of those movies in which the principals talk a lot but don't say much.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A somewhat lackluster cop buddy movie that goes wrong in two big ways: (1) it fails to utilize Chan's full range of skills, relegating him to the role of a kickboxing action hero and virtually ignoring his comedic aptitude, and (2) it saddles him with a partner, played by the irritating Chris Tucker.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Aside from the inept "August Rush," there probably isn't a more clumsily manipulative motion picture out there this holiday season than P.S. I Love You.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film, which has the ingredients for a thoughtful, tense thriller throws away a compelling first half so it can descend into silliness and clichés.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    As coming of age stories go, Wah-Wah does little to distinguish itself.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Deliver us from directors who think that asking cast members to overact is the only way he can cover us the numerous ludicrous weaknesses of his screenplay.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A horror film that starts out creepy but ends up disjointed and borderline- incoherent. It's a shame that the final product isn't a little better packaged because, unlike many lame entries into the genre, this one actually contains a few interesting, philosophically titillating ideas.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The "Apatow formula" is pretty simple: raunchy comedy, likeable characters, and a dash of sweetness (but nothing too sweet). Drillbit Taylor fulfills the third characteristic but falls short in the other two.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The story's entire foundation is based upon a plot hole so gargantuan that anyone not suffering a brain cramp will identify it at once.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The movie ends up feeling superficial and mechanical. Warhol is a cut-and-dried villain rather than a complex individual.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This is not a good movie but, considering what Halloween has evolved into over the course of seven sequels, it's perhaps better than it has a right to be.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's no shortage of candidates for the fatal flaw: the artificial storyline; the presence of a ridiculously cliched character; the lack of chemistry between illicit lovers. Blaming one of these problems is probably unfair. The movie's failure is likely based on a fusion of all these, and perhaps a few others.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Some of the dialogue is astonishingly awful. Sex and relationships are constantly likened to animal interaction.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The occasional laughs provided aren't frequent enough or uproarious enough to warrant an investment of nearly two hours of a viewer's time.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The best way to sum up Freddy Vs. Jason is: good concept, mediocre execution.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Space between Us is what it looks like when a promising premise is betrayed by a dumbed-down, hackneyed screenplay.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's tame and rather bland, and the laughter it generates is half-hearted. Director Jesse Peretz commits the unpardonable sin of wasting the considerable comedic talent of Paul Rudd.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Renaissance Man is a movie of moments, too many of which are mediocre or unfulfilling.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    By de-mythologizing Alexander, Stone has turned him into an unbelievable individual. We accept great deeds from great people, not from sniveling whiners.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Friday the 13th is neither tense nor frightening (although, to be fair, it is at times creepy and atmospheric, due in part to budgetary limitations that led to a low-key style).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    As high camp, Willard might have something going for it, but not as a horror movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Yes, A Late Quartet is disappointing. But it's also pretty bad.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Despite high production standards and a slick advertising campaign, Primal Fear is as trite and routine as any made-for-TV courtroom drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    One of the cleverest moments in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator comes during the first five seconds: a memorial dedication to Kim Jong Il. It's all downhill from there.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    One of the most positive comments that can be made about Hick is that it advances Chloe Grace Moretz's claim to be one of the best young actresses emerging into today's spotlight.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The moment Showtime begins to take itself even remotely seriously, it loses whatever edge it might have had -- and that occurs less than 15 minutes into the proceedings. The best time for Showtime is no time.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The caper is a dud - so stupid and implausible from beginning to end that it's impossible to take it seriously for even the briefest of moments.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's no compelling reason to see Deal. Everything it offers is familiar to the extent where even though it's not a remake, it feels like one.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Saved by energetic musical numbers.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Instead of bringing intriguing characters with real problems and interesting dialogue to the bash, Kaplan and Elfont take the lazy approach of pulling generic stereotypes off the shelf and throwing them into a formulaic plot that doesn't offer one genuine surprise or meaningful moment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Pursuit of Happyness is long, dull, and depressing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Taken as a whole, Mad Dog and Glory is a disappointingly mixed bag. What's on the screen is passably diverting, but I often felt as if I was seeing only half the movie. With this intriguing premise and cast, the film should have offered more complete entertainment.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If not for Bornedal's stylish approach to the material and a couple of effectively chilling sequences, Nightwatch would have been a complete waste of time and effort.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A prefabricated example of shoddy workmanship.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Feel-good tripe: a string of clichés lashed together by a formulaic plot that features underwritten characters and sit-com style humor.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    I have never been a fan of the original Carrie, but, despite the different slant offered by The Rage, there's not enough new material here for me to like the sequel any better.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Several strokes short of a respectable finish.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It is possible to make an engaging action/adventure picture of this sort, but The Scorpion King isn't it. The movie isn't godawful, but it's far from inspired, and, as I sat through its 90 minute running length, I found my mind wandering.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    An amateurish effort that boasts direct-to-video characteristics, the latest version disappoints in almost every production aspect.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This lame animated fable, despite having "direct-to-video" written all over it, was released by Disney, in an act of unparalleled greed and desperation, into multiplexes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    And, while it's not bad enough for me to suggest that it should have been left where it came from, this certainly isn't a shining example of Australian cinema.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The movie is populated by dislikeable individuals doing unpleasant things but isn't redeemed by the vein of viciously black comedy that made "The War of the Roses" and "Bad Santa" such devilish pleasures.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    We have entered generic action movie territory and the idiosyncrasies that made the series special at the outset have been leeched out, papered over, or turned into obligatory inserts.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's a sense that a much better movie is trying to get out but it never attains escape velocity.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Instead of a satire, they give us a tired, tedious victory-for-the-underdog story, and the unevenness of Ferrell's comedy makes it less appealing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, much of what's good about Promised Land is easily forgotten as a result of the preachy, impossible-to-swallow final 15 minutes in which the protagonist is subjected to character assassination, the screenplay turns into a sermon, and narrative intelligence is discarded in favor of a message.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It is, at best, an oversized, overbudgeted Saturday morning cartoon.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Much of the film's comedy feels muted; Fun with Dick and Jane isn't a lot of fun.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The most likely facial expression to be elicited by Mona Lisa Smile is a grimace.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, the film stumbles, offering too few legitimate scares and displaying an overreliance on traditional horror movie clichés.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    With more attention to detail, this could have worked, but the time travel aspects are so badly executed that the movie as a whole falters and eventually rips apart at the seams.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The storyline is all over the place, with numerous unresolved subplots sprouting out of thin air and being left hanging (presumably to be resolved in future movies).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The dialogue is routine, frequently punctuated by cliches, and the character-building scenes do little more than waste time.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Elements of Across the Universe are shockingly awful and the film lasts at least 30 minutes past the bearable stage. But if you like the Beatles and the idea of hearing about 20 covers of their work fills you with a perverse joy, this may be the movie for you.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Although Shortbus doesn't work as porn (and I don't believe it's intended to), it also doesn't work as a serious drama. The storyline is juvenile and the characters remain poorly developed and incomplete.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Pitch Perfect looks, sounds, and feels like pretty much every other movie that features a singing or dancing competition.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Che
    What potentially could have been the greatest asset possessed by Che - its unapologetic length - turns into its greatest detriment.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The over-the-top acting is forgivable, but the plot's incoherence is not.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Take away Kristen Wiig, and Masterminds offers nothing. She is by far the best thing about the movie and easily outshines her SNL compatriots Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Jason Sudeikis.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Grumpier Old Men isn't as fun, spontaneous, or amusing as the original. In short, it's a poor retread that can't be redeemed by the pleasure of seeing Lemmon and Matthau together.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The movie doesn't offer enough to make it interesting or even diverting.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Director Brett Ratner has always been associated with spectacle but, even for him, this represents a misstep because the "wow!" factor is muted.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Never representative of more than mediocrity from a technical or story-based standpoint, the Ice Age series has reached a new nadir with its third entry.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There are times when the story behind the making of a film is more interesting than the finished product. This is one of those occasions.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A clear case of a narrative running out of steam. Exhaustingly repetitive, this movie attempts many of the same things its predecessor did but with less succes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The screenplay stretches the viewer's credulity far beyond the breaking point, asking us to accept dozens of absurd contrivances and coincidences.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Instead of being respectful of Bram Stoker's creation, it attempts to remake him as a tragic figure with superhero powers.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Amityville Horror fails as a movie, but, if you are searching for are a few good scares, you'll find them here.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's compelling in the way many B-movies are - cheap, sleazy, and lacking the depth we have come to associate with this director.

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