James Berardinelli

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For 3,376 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 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Inglourious Basterds
Lowest review score: 0 A Hole in My Heart
Score distribution:
3376 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Thematically rich, impeccably crafted, and intellectually stimulating, the only area where this movie falls a little short is in its emotional impact.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This is unlike any other film I have seen... it's a great romance. It's willingness to flout conventions and eschew formulas is just one of many things to celebrate about this charmingly eccentric movie.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Easily the best non-Disney animated movie in recent memory, and it is good enough to rival such titles as “The Lion King” and “Aladdin.”
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    I suspect that mainstream audiences will find plenty of things to take pleasure in, even though some viewers may be bewildered by what the Coens do. But for those who share my taste in comedy, this is a must-not-miss.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Using perfectly composed shots to amplify an emotionally resonant story, the film successfully argues that "artistic" films do not have to be boring.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Mulan effortlessly blends serious, comic, and cute elements into a whole that should entertain the majority of movie-goers, regardless of race, gender, or age.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    In the midst of summer's cinematic thunder and lightning, this is a rare moment of tranquility.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Sayles cannily blends drama, romance, mystery, and social observation into a satisfying, if slightly overlong, whole. In the hands of a lesser film maker, this material could easily have degenerated into routine melodrama, but Sayles keeps it on a consistently high level.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Overall, it's a story of triumph and adventure - of oppression ended and freedom begun.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This is a movie to restore the faith of those who had given up on science fiction after "The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions." By adeptly combining action and ideas, it proves that Hollywood can still produce astonishing entertainment.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Mrs. Brown will delight and touch any viewer who seeks it out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This is a rare, "feel good" motion picture that doesn't insult our intelligence while making its play for our emotions.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    By entering such fertile, intellectually stimulating and psychologically rich territory, Estes provides us with a freshman feature that is far beyond the generic coming-of-age tale Mean Creek initially seems to be.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    One of the best thrillers I have seen this year: tight, taut, and unpredictable.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    That Sayles is able to say these things in the context of a compelling story with well-defined characters makes this one of the early fall triumphs of 2004.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Represents solid family entertainment, and will find a special place in the hearts of those who adore the "Godfather" movies and the TV series "The Sopranos."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The average thriller, even if it's set in a faraway or futuristic world, tends to offer visceral, ephemeral excitement, and not much else. However, while Gattaca has the energy and tautness to compare with the best of those, its thought-provoking script and thematic richness elevate it to the next level.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    For those who have the patience to become absorbed in this kind of drama, Vera Drake offers a stunningly real character portrait whose image will linger long after the movie has faded.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Not as corrosive as Russell's debut feature, "Spanking the Monkey," it's just as wild, just as strange, and even funnier.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Fatoumata Coulibaly's peformance is striking. She plays her character with a mixture of determination and compassion.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    It's likely that 2004 won't offer a better movie about a mid-life crisis.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This is one of Levinson's best films, and the screenplay, co-penned by noted writer David Mamet (along with Hilary Henkin), is brilliantly on-target.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This is a simple story of hope and triumph, of one girl with the drive to succeed defying the odds and following her dream. It's not an original tale -- movies like this abound -- but Nava's point-of-view is fresh.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Cinematic magic.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    On the Waterfront may have baggage, but that doesn't prevent it from being one of the great American productions of the mid-20th century.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This is most definitely NOT a date movie. But if you appreciate films that are more substance than style, that take challenges and don't follow formulas, and that feature Oscar-caliber performances, Closer is not to be missed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Isn't just fine family entertainment, it's superior family entertainment.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    It is a rich and challenging motion picture that both affirms life and emphasizes its fragility. Eastwood touches our hearts and energizes our minds without resorting to overt manipulation.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The Sea Inside is uplifting. This is a movie that may cause viewers to both laugh and cry.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This role could represent a career performance for Cheadle, whose forceful and multi-dimensional portrayal keeps Hotel Rwanda at a consistently high level.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Everything in Out of Sight is smart -- the dialogue, the characters, and the storyline.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The kind of daring feature that doesn't open every Friday at the local multiplex; its frank, sometimes politically incorrect approach towards the act and politics of sex is refreshing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    A wonderful motion picture, even given the weaknesses of the source material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The film is so boisterously entertaining that it's easy for the unsuspecting viewer not to realize that there's a message here.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Two and one- half hours of gripping entertainment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The Wings of the Dove is not a happy tale, but it is a vivid and unforgettable one, featuring multi- dimensional characters, beautiful cinematography, impressive set design, and accomplished acting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Downfall and Bruno Ganz are deserving of Oscars they will not get.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    There's no doubt that it's a flawed movie, but it's one of the most wonderfully entertaining flawed movies made.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The most visually inventive comic book adaptation to make its way to a movie screen.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Truly a tale for our time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    This enigmatic and in some ways maddening motion picture has the power to haunt every viewer it reaches.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Isn't just heartwarming and inspiring, it's a remarkable look at a group of children whose most noteworthy trait is that they are ordinary.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Only now can we truly step back and admire the full tapestry that it has taken George Lucas and his ILM wizards nearly three decades to weave.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The action scenes are, for the most part, kinetic and exciting - things that have rarely been true of fights and chases in the superhero's previous incarnations.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    From a pure entertainment perspective, it is arguably the most enjoyable motion picture of the season. Sky High is funny, smart, energetic, subversive, and has a few substantive things to say.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Actually three movies in one: a wildlife film about how grizzly bears behave in their natural habitat, a character study of an eccentric environmentalist, and a chilling, voyeuristic narrative of how death stalks that man.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Rude, raunchy, uproarious, yet with elements that are surprisingly sweet.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The material is intellectual, but the treatment is not. Proof is a stirring motion picture that challenges our views on a great many things about life, some of which we take for granted. And, by opening up the play, Madden has made it less talky and more cinematic without losing the quintessential elements that made it such a success on stage.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    One of the most refreshing things about this movie is the manner in which it combines genres in unexpected ways.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The exceptionally strong cast showcases American, British, and Australian actresses, all of whom show an astonishing willingness to appear in physically unflattering circumstances (no makeup, hair and skin caked with drying mud).
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The brilliance of Bennett's movie is that it concentrates on the characters and their interaction and never becomes a mouthpiece for one side or the other with respect to the death penalty.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Despite an occasional narrative hiccup, this is a rich and moving motion picture.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    And, while there's nothing revolutionary or extraordinary about the dramatic narrative, the subtext gives Winterbottom's movie its force.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Like other actors who successfully create a cinematic doppelganger of a real person, Strathairn gets under the character's skin.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Taking advantage of the studio's breathtakingly intricate animation, directors Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg have breathed vitality into this, the fifth "new wave" Disney animated picture.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Mandoki has given us a powerful motion picture. Even those who disagree with the film's politics will be haunted by its message.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    From the first scene, however, it's obvious that the writing/directing team of Andy and Larry Wachowski are aiming for something considerably higher than rudimentary titillation. And, by taking chances and twisting conventions, they have hit paydirt.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Writer/director Mangold never compromises the integrity of his painfully-intense script. There isn't one crowd-pleasing moment in the entire movie, except perhaps the last scene, which offers a flicker of hope.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Jarhead is about how the experience of being in the military fundamentally changes an individual. In this case, the focus isn't about the madness of slaughter in the jungle, but the madness of inaction in the desert.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Of Austen's novels, none is more beloved than this one, so it's good to see it once again brought to the screen with the pride which it deserves.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    In today's environment, it's a rare thing to find a movie with interesting characters in dense, intelligent storylines, but that's what Syriana offers. It is one of the best films of 2005.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Storaro and Bertolucci have fashioned a visual masterpiece in The Conformist, with some of the best use of light and shadow ever in a motion picture. This isn't just photography, it's art -- powerful, beautiful, and effective. (Review of 1994 Release)
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    It offers a feel-good experience, but without the heavy dose of schmaltz that often accompanies such a production.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The best of the trio of human performers is Naomi Watts. She also has the most difficult job - not only is the role physical, but it requires her to play off something that isn't there.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Not only could one argue that this is the best "serious" work the director has ever attempted, but it's presented in a way that even the most seasoned Allen fan will have difficulty recognizing the iconic filmmaker's fingerprints.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    One of the best things about True Lies is that it's genuinely funny.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    It's an ingenious premise that first-time director Jan De Bont has turned into a tremendously well-executed motion picture.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Putting aside all the controversy, however, viewers are left with an expertly-directed and well-acted historical epic that disappoints only in its shallow perspective of the Irish/British and Irish/Irish conflicts.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Yet, even on those occasions when the screenplay falters, the actors are there to take up the slack.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Not only was I touched by the characters and engrossed by their story during the 120 minutes they were on screen, but I could have easily spent another hour or two with them.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    It is Lee's job as a film maker to imbue these images with life, and that's a task he easily accomplishes.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    A beautiful film, not only in the way it was photographed, but for the manner through which the characters are revealed to us.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    V for Vendetta represents 2006's first memorable motion picture - a visually sumptuous concoction that combines political allegory, bloody action, and a few stunning cinematic moments into a solid piece of entertainment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    These are two fascinating characters, and watching them thrust and parry proves to be as impossible to turn away from as observing a grotesque roadside accident.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Superman Returns is not only a credit to the first two Superman movies; it may be the best of the series. Its combination of romance and fantasy adventure is unparalleled in superhero comic book-to-movie sagas.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Superman II delivers on the promise hinted at in "Superman." Which is the better film? That's a hard choice to make, since both succeed in different ways.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    World Trade Center is Stone's most potent motion picture since "Platoon," and may be the most accessible across-the-board since "Wall Street."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The film's look is impressive; it's the most successful rotoscoping effort to date (far surpassing Richard Linklater's duo of "Waking Life" and "A Scanner Darkly"), and causes every frame to drip atmosphere.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The rarest of movies - a literary multi-character drama. From the erudition of the voiceover narrative to the three dimensionality of the characters, Field's film is the closest it's possible to get to a book without reading one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    A solid starting point for those unfamiliar with Apted's greatest work, and a must-see for those who have been down this road before.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Mehta has created a pair of memorable characters who are easy to empathize with, and who gratifyingly are never transformed from flesh-and-blood individuals into mere symbols.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    With Deliver Us from Evil, Berg has been uncompromising in the picture she paints. She pulls no punches and makes no apologies.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    With its rare mixture of intelligent plotting, flawless acting, and start-to- finish tension, Copycat is a force to be reckoned with.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    As embodied by Liam Neeson, Rob Roy is a tremendous protagonist -- a naive man whose belief in honor and whose love for a woman, family, and clan make him a figure to cheer for.

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