James Berardinelli

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For 3,246 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 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Life of Brian (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Knock Off
Score distribution:
3246 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ransom isn't a bad thriller, it's just not a great one. There's a little too much pointless running around, a subplot that leads nowhere, and a certain creeping predictability that argues for a shorter running length.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While the sluggish beginning and ending mar this Star Trek outing somewhat, there's still enough here to please fans of the series, and, to a lesser extent, movie-goers in general.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Winter's Bone is a welcome reminder that thrillers don't have to be loud and boisterous to grab the attention and keep it captive.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although at times fictionalized to make for a more cinematic retelling, the movie is largely accurate and rigorously avoids exploitation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    May be the best family movie of the 2002 summer film-going season. There's a simple reason for this - the picture seems to have been put together with the recognition that some members of the audience may be above the age of ten.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Sex Drive's first 30 minutes may lead one to suspect there's nothing new to be seen here, but it undergoes a transformation once the preliminaries have been dispensed with. John Hughes would be pleased - and so also might Judd Apatow.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The chief pleasure to be derived from watching Cold Souls is that it's a journey into the unexpected.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It is involving and entertaining, and features an intriguing, independent heroine.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The two actors, Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves), give such forceful performances and interact so well that it's impossible not to be mesmerized by their interaction.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Romanticizes gangland Chicago, but no more so than other films set in the same period. And, like almost every movie about the mob, this one deals with themes of family, loyalty, and betrayal -- albeit without the intensity of some of the great ones ("The Godfather," "Goodfellas").
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Fantastic Beasts is an enjoyable stand-alone but its position as the progenitor of a new franchise remains unclear.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a film to be enjoyed on a psychological level for its keen understanding of the contradictory impulses that drive sexual and social intercourse.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    One of the singular pleasures of films like The Invisible Woman is the window they offer into the lives of deceased authors who are known primarily to modern audiences only through the words they committed to paper.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As a bio-pic, De-Lovely is pretty standard, run-of-the-mill stuff (albeit with an interesting framing device). However, as a "best hits" collection of Cole Porter's music, it is unparalleled.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Eastwood has crafted something that works both as a sports drama and as an examination of the birth pains of the racially unified South Africa.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's a deliciously amusing and sometimes surprisingly poignant look at the difficulties of being a 15-year old outsider whose chief goals in life are getting laid and making sure his parents don't split up.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    What starts out as a talky, modern-day re-interpretation of "Pygmalion" (Henry Higgins is explicitly mentioned) turns into something heart-wrenchingly bleak.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Isn't quite good enough to elicit a purr, but it represents better-than-average movie-making that doesn't demand a dumb, distracted audience.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a solid family film material, although one suspects the children will get a little more out of it than their parents.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's certainly a successful adaptation, features numerous memorable performances (mostly by the supporting players), and is worth a post-holiday expenditure of time and money.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s a fun film that breezes by and, despite any liberties it takes with history, offers a valuable look at Wonder Woman’s real origin story. For adults with curiosity, this makes for an offbeat companion piece to the big-budget blockbuster.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A lot takes place during The Painted Veil's two-hour running length, but most of what happens occurs within the hearts and minds of the leads.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film’s climax is tautly executed; the way everything plays out is a whirl of brutal, violent beauty.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Diplomacy will work for those who appreciate dialogue-based character films in which plot is of secondary importance. This is a showcase for acting.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    At its heart, Harrison's Flowers is a love story, albeit a graphic and difficult one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With fresh dialogue and a willingness to show his protagonists in a less-than-favorable light, Demme has found a way to make this entry memorable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Rocky Balboa is not as good as "Rocky," but it allows us to forget the other four sequels, none of which was memorable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Cairo Time is a valentine to Egypt.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Solid performances, an intelligent script, and sure-handed direction. The result is a movie that kept me involved from start to finish.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ultimately, Goodbye Solo works because the screenplay, actors, and director combine to craft honest, compelling individuals.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Night Listener is by no means an example of perfect filmmaking, but it is the kind of movie that stays with you.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Amateur is a curious mixture of high art and delicious campiness, and the result is a funny, insightful, and almost-hypnotic motion picture.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For the most part, Big Eyes works because of its restraint - something rarely claimed about one of Burton's cinematic offspring.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's a slight-but-enjoyable effort, and it features something a little on the surprising side: an optimistic ending.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    My sense is that adults will be more taken with Ponyo than their offspring.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Well paced and energetic; it's unlikely to bore anyone.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    If you want daring or original, Fools Rush In isn't the movie to see. Like 90% of all romantic comedies, it follows a time-honored formula that allows little room for variation.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Rather than perpetuating racial stereotypes, Eve's Bayou defies them, creating several well-rounded characters and placing them in a deceptively complex story that builds to a forceful conclusion.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In "Rocky," it was less about beating Apollo Creed than showing grit, earning respect, and getting the girl. Fundamentally, Southpaw isn't much different.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    When Interview with the Vampire works, it's as compelling and engrossing a piece of entertainment as is available on film today. When it falters, the weaknesses seem magnified.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film is as faithful to Greek mythology as Thor is to tales of the Norse Gods, but it ultimately doesn't matter. Tarsem's goal is to give viewers an experience a little different from the norm and, to that end, he succeeds. The "wow!" factor is in full evidence.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Compelling and life-affirming.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    At a time when many mystery thrillers fall apart in the final fifteen minutes, Headhunters maintains its integrity.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This film is an autopsy of a family that has been sundered by the death of the father and primary care-giver.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    War of the Worlds is not vintage Spielberg, and it's on the grim side for a summer action blockbuster, but it's worth the time and money invested.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Talky and intelligent, and never takes the cheap way out. It's also something of a downer.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Does what it sets out to do: educates about a mostly unknown historical figure (without doctoring the facts too much), entertains, and uplifts.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    At a time when juvenile movies often dominate theaters, this is an adult movie through-and-through, and evidence that there are filmmakers who care about entertaining a more mature audience.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Slow moving and low key, and, when the final credits roll, you feel like you have spent nearly two hours in the company of a few real people, not constructs of a writer's imagination.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a more personal movie for Burton than one might initially suspect. The very fact that he elected to re-tell this story after 28 years is an indication of how much it means to him. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, as a kid, he had a dog named Sparky.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a thriller with a high quotient of comedic elements or, if you prefer, a comedy with a high quotient of thriller elements. As is always the case with a production of Joel & Ethan, it's difficult to classify, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film is at its best when it is at its most goofy, at times coming close to the laugh-aloud outrageousness of Will Ferrell's "Anchorman."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The characters are interesting and capture our sympathy and, although there are things to criticize about the final forty-five minutes, it brings the saga to a conclusion. There's a lot to like about The Place Beyond the Pines even if it isn't the feel-good movie of the spring.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's great fun, but certainly not great art.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Kingdom of Heaven may have problems, but it delivers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    If there's anything special about the film, it's that on this occasion, the emotional realism of the characters, especially Slade, is heartwrenchingly believable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There aren't many surprises, but the script is written with a degree of wit, and there are some bitingly funny one-liners (all of which are delivered by Garofalo).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While parts of Moonraker are rather silly (a trend during Roger Moore's tenure), solid special effects, well-executed action sequences, and a strict reliance upon the "Bond Formula" keep this film among Moore's better entries as the British superspy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a dark comedy; the tone is such that it benefits from Jack Black emphasizing the less appealing aspects of his personality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Predestination is science fiction for a thoughtful crowd. This isn't an action oriented film nor should it be mistaken for a blockbuster.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Volume 2 can claim to be bigger and better than its predecessor, although it still suffers from some of the narrative sleight-of-hand issues that kept Guardians of Galaxy from achieving greatness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's still a lot of fun, and I welcome any film that keeps me entertained for nearly the entire running length.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's pretty much assumed throughout art and literature that the collapse of civilization will result in the rise of barbarism. That assumption underlies Mad Max, where the strong prey on the weak, and Max steps in to be the equalizer.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie that "Mars Attacks!" wanted to be, but wasn't. This is a snappy, clever, often-funny motion picture that provides the perfect blend of science fiction-style action with comic dialogue.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Pig in the City has been designed with the goal of recapturing the enchanting feel of the original while taking the story in new and different directions. It succeeds at both aims, standing as a worthy sequel to one of the decade's most innovative family features.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The characters in Brick Lane must define themselves and determine where "home" is before they can move forward, and that dramatic conflict lies at the heart of this motion picture.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Its plot-by-numbers story doesn't offer much in the way of surprises, and it doesn't have the emotional power of a Leaving Las Vegas or the euphoric quality of The Brothers McMullen. But Sabrina is fun in its own way, and, though clearly flawed, it nevertheless offers two hours' solid diversion (the overlong running time, by the way, is one of those flaws).
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Casting helps the film work. Uma Thurman is among the few actresses who can pull off this role: the hot, buff, slightly deranged superhero and her dowdy, un-sexy alter-ego.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Regardless of the medium, this is an effectively brutal story of swords, sorcery, demons, and heroes, with an Oedipal hint or two thrown in for flavor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    When it comes to mockumentary parodies, no one does it better than Christopher Guest.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Westerns often take themselves seriously and, while Appaloosa is no "Blazing Saddles," there's a refreshing vein of understated humor running throughout the production.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Robots is more than a load of spare parts, but there are some sprockets and rivets missing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei make the most of their limited screen time, injecting straight comedy into a movie that occasionally comes close to losing its sense of humor.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Because the script is smart enough not to insult us and to develop a group of interesting characters, the act of watching the film is an entertaining experience rather than a tedious exercise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There are times when it borders on the pretentious but there’s a real, emotional payoff and it doesn’t hurt that veteran actors Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel give Top 10 career performances.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie is imperfect and overlong but it’s never boring.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Once you leave Wonderland, you may feel like you need a shower, but, while you're in the moment, it's a compelling journey into the depths of hell on earth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While any or all of the events related during the course of the film might seem to form the backbone of an unendurably boring motion picture, everything comes alive because of Poppy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie The Road is nowhere close to its literary sire, but it's probably the best one could hope for from a movie version.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    X-Men: Apocalypse is a competently made superhero action film but it’s not a game-changer and its brand of action seems a little too familiar.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The final chapter of the trilogy has saved the best for last and will at least deflect the most serious concerns of those who think this series has taken too many extra laps.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Functions as much as a primer on how to conduct underground filmmaking as it does an offbeat romantic comedy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Bridget Jones’s Baby exceeds expectations and, as a result, makes us willing to forgive the delay in bringing the character back to theaters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Catch a Fire isn't edgy like some of Noyce's previous titles nor is it a big-budget endeavor with A-list stars. Instead, it's a simple and sincere tale of inspiration.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite being well made and supremely acted, Candy is a true feel-bad experience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Under the relentless glare of the Midnight Sun, the only darkness is in the hearts and actions of the characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With Honeydripper, Sayles has done what he always does: bring together a group of characters and allow us to relish their interaction. His affection for the characters is both obvious and infectious. We like them, warts and all.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Upside of Anger belongs to Joan Allen (for whom director/screenwriter Mike Binder developed the project).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although targeted primarily for girls in the 12-to-19-year old range, there's enough truth about friendship, love, and life in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants to offer solid entertainment to almost anyone who gives it a chance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Scream is a rarity: a horror movie spoof that succeeds almost as well at provoking scares as laughs.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Structured as a comedy, albeit a dark one.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A flawed but entertaining (and perhaps informative) tale.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Offers the prospect of seeing beyond the stereotypes that plague Native Americans in even the best films.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In a head-to-head comparison, one would be hard-pressed not to declare that "Precious" is the better film - it makes fewer compromises and doesn't shy from showing the true ugliness only hinted at in this movie, but The Blind Side is more accessible. It's easier to digest. In the end, both films tell stories of triumph over adversity - a category of drama that uplifts while offering a dollop of social commentary.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Stirring and emotionally forceful.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The picture is neither flawless nor foolproof, but it's smart and tight enough to keep audiences off-balance and entertained for the running length.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For a viewer in the mood for something rude, crude, and lewd, it would be difficult to find a more satisfying food.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Jack the Giant Slayer is an enjoyable fantasy/adventure whose magic is partially undermined by marginal 3-D.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For once, with How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Hollywood offers a love story that concentrates on the simple nuances of the romance rather than smothering us in an overly- melodramatic narrative featuring old boyfriends, jealousy, and hard-to-swallow misunderstandings.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's better than 90% of the animated fare of the last few years. It's refreshing not to have to qualify the movie's appeal by appending the words, "for the kids."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The biggest problem with In the Heart of the Sea is its episodic nature. Especially during the post-sinking saga, things don’t flow smoothly.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gallo's script is quirky and filled with a number of hilariously strange comic moments.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Vintage Moore, which means that it will enthrall many and enrage an equal number of viewers.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Heartfelt, but not to the degree that it becomes cloying.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For the most part, this movie hits the right notes and gives its audience a dose of white-knuckle tension.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There’s an inevitability about The Danish Girl being well received by critics and at awards ceremonies. This is, after all, a movie with a strong social message about tolerance and inclusivity. Dramatically, however, it’s a mixed bag.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Chris Cooper, the consummate professional, has no trouble making viewers feel sympathy for a potential killer.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Tarantino keeps things moving along nicely, with a heavier dose of humor and less violence than in Pulp Fiction, but, on the whole, this movie seems more like the work of one of his wannabes than something from the director himself.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's familiar enough to be comfortable but not so familiar that it feels worn and repetitive.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A lot of people are going to describe it as a waste of time, yet there's a likeability to the quirky characters that held my interest while tickling my funny bone.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although Shrek Forever After is not as funny or as impudent is its great-grandparent, some of its comedic jabs land solid blows to the funny bone.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Then again, it's worth noting that this Hollywood production is actually saying something, rather than just churning out eye-popping special effects while relying on a regurgitated plot.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The narrative is little more than a flimsy envelope -- it's the men and women who are sealed within that make Sling Blade worth watching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Hunger Games represents the best first book adaptation of any of the three series. It surpasses Christopher Columbus' "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone" by a whisker and Catherine Hardwicke's "Twilight" by considerably more than that.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Compelling material, especially for those who believe that the lives and loves of the dead can impact the trajectory of the existences of the living.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The humor in this movie is smart enough that even a moderate level of intoxication or inebriation is not necessary to enjoy it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Director Marc Webb brings the same kind of deft craftmanship for drama and low-key humor that he exhibited in "500 Days of Summer" and the result is emotionally true and dramatically solid.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The special effects are first rate - not always the case with Star Trek movies, although Abrams has been given a budget the likes of which directors Nicholas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, and William Shatner would have salivated over.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film conveys energy, color, and movement from start to finish, irrespective of whether Polina is dancing, bartending, or trying to catch a few moments of sleep in a laundromat.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Marshall, who helmed the underrated horror film, "The Descent," has a flair for the visual. Some of the mountainscapes, captured by use of a helicopter, are nothing short of spectacular.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Neither as effective nor as ambitious as Kubrick's masterpiece, but it's still a compelling cinematic experience for those who are willing to abandon themselves to the unforced, measured rhythms of an issues-based motion picture.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The acting is uniformly superb.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Mother delights in confounding viewer expectations. In fact, just when you think it's over, a couple of plot developments remain lurking around the next corner.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Spectre is the most “traditional” of the Craig Bonds. Although a little light on gadgets, it has everything else,
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An amazingly over-the-top anti-racism parable but, despite its obvious shortcomings, it is nevertheless effective and affecting.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With impeccable period detail, strong character development, superior acting, and a surprisingly fast pace, this film represents welcome counterprogramming to the typical loud and vacuous summertime multiplex fare.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie may be marketed to art house audiences but it has something to say to (and about) us all.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This one delivers.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Not a great film, but it's an excuse to have an evening of pure enjoyment with a little culture painlessly mixed in.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is essentially a familiar story told with consummate skill.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite providing an opportunity to spend 147 minutes in the company of people we have grown to know and love over the years and advancing the narrative toward its final cataclysmic confrontation, The Deathly Hallows Part One underachieves. At a time when Harry Potter should be soaring to new heights, it remains curiously grounded.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The best one-liners, like the best fight scenes, are reserved for Schwarzenegger. It's too soon to tell whether Terminator Genisys will have a catch phrase like "I'll be back" or "Hasta la vista, baby" but there are several candidates. Much of the film's comedy results from The Terminator's failed attempts to emulate human behavior.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While such a loud, brash interpretation may not go down in cinematic history as the definitive version of the play, hopefully it will open a few eyes and widen the audience willing to venture into any movie bearing the credit "based on the play by William Shakespeare."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Fuqua takes a genre picture and, by diverting the story onto an unconventional path, generates a sense of urgency. Tears of the Sun is not a great movie, but it is satisfying, and represents an example of accomplished filmmaking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The voice work is on-target - the child actors, none of whom have played these parts before and many of whom have limited professional experience, nail their characters. They sound just like we expect them to sound.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a simple story of human drama that provides an incentive to spend a couple of hours in a movie theater during a spring that has not provided many such reasons.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The cast is comprised of unfamiliar faces, which enhances the pseudo-reality of the milieu. The principals - Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan - are professional actors with credits (many on television) to their names. But they are not "known" stars and that allows them to be accepted with ease into these roles.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It is at times serious and at times very funny. But it is always perceptive, and that quality, more than any other, is what makes it worth a recommendation.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Alpha Dog isn't a happy movie, but it's dramatically solid and the impressions it leaves will not be easily shaken.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie's sincerity helps it get over some of the most difficult hurdles and the feeling after leaving theater is one of having experienced something worthwhile albeit unremarkable.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It isn't as delirious a journey as we experienced a decade ago, but it's still filled with wonder, monsters, and thrills.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Fast-paced with a morbid sense of humor and copious pop culture references, Kingsman breezes along at a nice clip until it gets a little bogged down during its final third.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The tendency for an actor in a role like this is to overact. The result is often disastrous, reducing a character into a caricature. Hugh Dancy, adopting an American accent as effectively as the mannerisms of someone on the moderate portion of the Asperger's spectrum, makes Adam believable and generally sympathetic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There's nothing here to astound or surprise; the movie neither exceeds nor falls below expectations. Those who love Hardy and/or the less-filmy romances of his era will derive the most from Far from the Madding Crowd.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Hard-core science fiction fans will likely greet Sunshine with a smile. Others may find this to be an odd motion picture, but there's enough going on that even those who are expecting something flashier should still be engaged.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An occasionally maddening and sometimes brilliant motion picture that varies between being insightfully sharp and insufferably self-indulgent. Regardless of whether you appreciate the movie or not, it's likely to stay with you.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As chick flicks go, this is one men can attend with the expectation that they might just enjoy experiencing two hours alongside these down-to-earth, appealing characters.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps best of all, this is a rare instance in which the 3-D, while not an asset, is at least not a detriment.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Allen appears determined to craft a motion picture that can be laughed at without plumbing any especially deep neuroses of the human condition.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite being a little rough around the edges (as is often the case with the work of maverick documentarians), This Film Is Not Yet Rated is more than just an angry diatribe against the MPAA.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The result is a mature and challenging motion picture, and something that will stick with viewers after the screen has gone dark.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Up
    Up is not as transcendent as last year's "WALL-E," and doesn't rank near the top of Pixar's pantheon of great features, but it's a solid (and in some ways innovative) fantasy adventure that mixes comedy, action, and drama into a satisfying whole.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In the best tradition of mystery thrillers of this sort, it satisfies enough on an emotional level that we're willing to forgive any intellectual, procedural, and logical shortcomings.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The performances are uniformly strong and there are some powerful scenes but the overall story arc is less insightful or affecting than one might hope.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    What is missing in depth and philosophical intent is compensated for with humor and humanization.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Thumbsucker is true to its nature, and that makes Justin's eventual transformation all the more rewarding.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Connie (Robert Pattinson) is one of those individuals who constantly seems to be on the edge of a violent explosion and that potential makes watching Good Time a frequently exhausting experience.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Reaction to The Weather Man may depend upon an individual's ability to tolerate spending 100 minutes in the company of an unpleasant protagonist. There's no doubt this can be an uncomfortable experience, but it can also be rewarding for those who are willing to endure the discomfort.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Imperfect, but magical nonetheless.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    ATL
    Robinson has assembled an impressive young cast comprised primarily of rappers (such as Tip Harris, a.k.a. T.I.) and fresh faces (newcomer Lauren London).
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For those who buy into the precept that "good things are worth waiting for," The Walk unquestionably delivers.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A remake, done right, was not a bad idea. And, fortunately in this case, it has been accomplished with some flair. The result is a lightweight source of entertainment that maximizes humor and minimizes serious stuff.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A deliciously nasty, dark comedy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie is fresh, fun, and breezy.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film revels in blood and gore, but this is not just a run-of-the-mill splatter film. There's a lot of intelligence in both the script and in Alexandre Aja's direction.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Not mainstream fare, but neither is it as willfully obtuse as "Melancholia."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Denzel Washington plays Denzel Washington, good cop. This isn't a great performance, but Washington wasn't brought in to show off his acting chops.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Lightweight, although it exhibits enough heft for us to develop an emotional connection with the main character. I have always appreciated a smartly written motion picture, and, whatever flaws Igby Goes Down may possess, it is undeniably that.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As a date movie or for a solo night out, Blast from the Past offers more than standard romantic comedy fare.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Life of Pi is a curious juxtaposition of the mundane and the majestic; a film that strives for something grander than what it perhaps achieves.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The best pure thriller of 2003 to-date.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Whether this is an accurate depiction of how things are in real life, I cannot say, but it's almost always how they are in the movies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Director Zhang Yimou's ambitious attempt to blend martial arts action with Shakespearean melodrama. It's not a perfect marriage but it offers two hours of solidly over-the-top entertainment featuring incredible visuals and powerful performances by international icons Gong Li and Chow Yun Fat.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Even considering some of its late-innings flaws, this is an engaging movie that doesn't mistake histrionics and bile for solid family reunion drama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film's success or failure depends almost entirely on a viewer's ability to relate to and become involved in the lives of the characters. We are with them for less than a week and, during that short time, we come to understand the lifetime of hurt and misunderstanding that stands between them.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It has been argued that for characters to be three-dimensional, they must have a past, a present, and a future, not to mention an arc. The Merry Gentleman offers a counter-argument for those who would dispute this.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    To date, no motion picture has adequately captured the soaring highs and devastating lows associated with a long distance relationship, but Going the Distance comes as close as any movie has.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The absence of a strong narrative is the film’s weakest aspect. The Coens are so absorbed by their mimicry that they don’t invest a lot of effort in the connective tissue.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Aside from the likable performers, Forces of Nature's greatest strength is that it flouts several established conventions of the genre.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A drama about isolation and communication, The Band's Visit is characterized both by strongly delineated characters and low-key comedy. The movie is not lightweight but it is at times lighthearted.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Vincere is Ida's story, but it says as much about fascist Italy and its ruler as it does about the central character.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Costner, who has never been the most emotive of actors, is perfect for this role.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This brash, glitzy, energetic entertainment has the power to hold an audience enraptured, but, at the same time, there's a sense that what we're experiencing is just candy for the eyes and ears.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A workmanlike thriller that provides solid performances; a mixture of comedy, tension, and drama; and an engaging storyline. But there's nothing extraordinary about the movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The only thing of real importance in A Man of No Importance is Albert Finney's performance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    DiCaprio wears the persona of Hoover with ease, again reminding audiences that the young man who made so many girls swoon with Titanic has grown into an actor of great range and capability.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The inevitable sequel, arriving three years later, isn't as giddily entertaining as its predecessor but much of the charm remains, making this an ideal destination for a family excursion.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Saw
    Saw is for hard-gore horror aficionados only.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The acting by Scarlett Johansson is so raw and sincere that the film leaves an impact despite its deficiencies.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Camilla Belle is an impressive newcomer - this could be her breakthrough appearance.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In addition to telling an involving story, This Is England is insightful and informative.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The key to the film's success is that it uses the burned out premise as the springboard for a comedy, not an action flick.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is not a "nice" movie -- it deals with some pretty intense issues (like incest and suicide) -- but it is both bold and inventive, and works because of an unforced approach.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Tropic Thunder understands movies, understands the system in which they are created and, most of all, knows what it takes to make an audience roar with laughter.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A respectable and satisfying historical romantic melodrama.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The emotional resonance that results from the focus on several unique individuals is what makes this a worthwhile viewing experience.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Through a mixture of imaginative storytelling, impressive animatronics, and irresistible cuteness, Babe casts a spell over all viewers -- young, old, or somewhere in between.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For those who enjoy ghost stories and are willing to be patient with a movie that gradually unveils its secrets rather than uncovering them all in an orgy of violence and terror, The Orphanage fills a need. The spell it casts early does not evaporate until the epilogue is finished.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Paradoxically, there's a lot less gore. There is blood, of course, but nothing excessive by slasher-movie standards, and there are no depictions of spilled entrails. Craven has remembered that scares are more important that graphic displays of human insides and bodily fluids.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Appealing and genial with plenty of solid laughs, and worthy of a recommendation for those who appreciate this kind of thing. Just don't expect material that's edgy, dark, or challenging. Consider Love Actually the antidote to "Mystic River."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Solidly entertaining.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite flouting Hollywood clichés, it nevertheless manages to be both romantic and funny even though it starts with the separation of the main couple.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Director Kevin Macdonald has fashioned a film that is at times nearly as harrowing as his previous endeavor, "Touching the Void."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Russell is the reason to go to the theater. He will continue to hold your attention when things around him -– like the storyline -– lose steam and credibility.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Woo, who is known and appreciated for his unique stylistic approach to violence and bloodshed, creates a kinetic ballet of bullets and explosions that drives the adrenaline level through the roof.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The strength of the cast assembled by Australian-born director John Hillcoat is eye-opening.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's not as endearing as "Moonrise Kingdom" but not as tedious as "The Darjeeling Limited." It offers an engaging 90+ minutes of unconventional, comedy-tinged adventure that references numerous classic movies while developing a style and narrative approach all its own.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Much of this movie seems like a retread of Jurassic Park (with a little King Kong thrown in at the end), not because director Steven Spielberg is intentionally copying himself, but because there's really not much more that he can do with the premise.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Mud
    Reese Witherspoon's unglamorous, understated supporting work recalls the kinds of films she made before becoming a movie star. Other recognizable faces include Sam Shepard, Joe Don Baker, Michael Shannon, and Sarah Paulson.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s a well-made, serious drama arriving in an era when those qualities rarely describe multiplex fare.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Empire of the Sun remains a solidly engaging story of heroism in the face of adversity, as filtered through the eyes of a boy obsessed with planes and flight.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Jim Henson's creations have always appealed on more than one level, offering adorable playmates and positive messages to children and surprisingly sophisticated humor to adults. MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, the fifth big screen feature to star Kermit the Frog and friends, and the second directed by Brian Henson, delivers exactly what fans -- young and old -- expect.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An atmospheric period-piece murder mystery, The Limehouse Golem combines elements of Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper into a Victorian-era gothic stew that, although perhaps not as ultimately satisfying as it might have been, nevertheless provides for an unsettling two hours.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The slow, uneven beginning is more than compensated for by the rousing climax.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As a dramatic thriller, it does what it needs to do to keep the audience involved and interested, even if some of its most theatrical tricks and twists are more the products of a writer’s invention than actual Washington D.C. activities.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    These are fascinating, three-dimensional individuals brought into the foreground by a pair of today's finest actors.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The result is an entertainingly sudsy trip through early 16th century English history.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s an attempt to wed philosophical science fiction concepts with bloody horror - a dubious endeavor that somehow works. The movie doesn’t seek to be a mindless gore-fest but neither does it show restraint when it comes to violence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Uses drawn images to peer into the dark corners of teenage life: bullying, self-loathing, and depression.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gruesomely engaging.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As it currently stands, Kill Bill is a victim of its director's ego and its distributor's greed. The moments of greatness make it worth seeing, and there's certainly plenty of entertainment to be found here, but it's hard not to lament what might have been.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's not a stretch to say the movie works in large part because of the charm and sparkle of the three leads: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An accomplished film that uses dark humor to leaven its serious topics.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It is for a particular audience - those who like films that concentrate on character rather than plot, and who aren't put off by subtitles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite being saddled with bad prosthetics and a ridiculous wig, Diesel displays more acting ability than in the testosterone-soaked genre where he has carved out a niche.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There's nothing special, shocking, or precedent-setting about the film, but it functions on a level that 007 fans will appreciate - as eye and ear candy for those who prefer action to exposition and character development.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    If there's a drawback, it's that the plot is trite. Hero is an exemplary example of visual poetry. The narrative is clearly of secondary concern.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    On balance, more of the movie works than doesn't, but this isn't 140 minutes of unqualified successes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An infectious mix of romance, mystery, and magic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite the many laughs Love and Death offers, it never takes cheap shots. It has a vibrant, beating heart - and that makes the comedy all the more worthwhile.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although the plot rarely excels, the actors bring enough to their roles to transform this motion picture into a satisfying weeper.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There's something to be said for the power of a classic, even if it has been given an imperfect makeover.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Holofcener has an ear for dialogue, and, as is often the case with the best character- centered films, a chief pleasure is simply enjoying what the participants have to say to one another.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The kind of movie where it's necessary to put aside pretensions and enjoy the product on its terms, with all the sexiness, violence, gore, and camp as part of the parcel. This is three-plus hours of gleeful-but-guilty escapism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The biggest weakness of the novel is characterization, and the same flaw is fully evident in the screen adaptation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For two-thirds of its running length, Zack and Miri is vintage Smith - profane humor that knows no boundaries and obeys no rules. What's most amazing about Smith's barrage of hard-R jokes isn't the range of subjects he covers, but how few of them "miss."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Doesn't have any pretensions. It is what it sets out to be: an effective piece of big money, early summer entertainment designed to blow viewers away.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's an uplifting motion picture that will bring smiles to faces, and Boyle's trademark irreverence keeps the feel-good experience from becoming too saccharine.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Will Smith gives his all in a role that requires him to undergo a subtle physical transformation, adopt a credible Nigerian accent, and provide a controlled, modulated performance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Joy
    The story is quirky and offbeat but the dialogue and acting set Joy up as an engaging late-year repast.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With a minimalist plot, Grace Is Gone turns its primary focus on John Cusack, giving the actor an opportunity to display both his talent and his range.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A bloody fairy tale with no moral and a lot of juice.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There are times when Brideshead Revisited shows its seams. For those with an affinity for this kind of movie - and you know whether this applies to you - Brideshead Revisited is a worthy, although not superior, motion picture.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The question hanging over Private Parts' financial success is whether enough non-Stern fans will venture to see what they may view as a "cult" or "niche" film. Most who take a chance, regardless of what prejudices they harbor against WXRK's top personality, will find themselves rewarded by a surprisingly pleasant two hours.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Here's a pleasant little romantic comedy that doesn't try too hard and has the virtue of doing a few things differently.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Liberal Arts is a parfait - a light, enjoyable concoction that goes down easily but doesn't linger. The movie is great "in the moment" but may be difficult to recall with any specificity after time has elapsed.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Only time and Matrix Revolutions will determine if the material contained here is just a noisy, visually lively distraction or whether there are deeper currents we're not yet aware of.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Because of the dominance of the central figure and the way in which The Cruise has been assembled, it functions more as a character study than a travelogue, and that makes for an engaging time in a darkened theater.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While not stunningly original, is fresh and compelling enough to hold the viewer's attention through its entire running length.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    So jam-packed with self-referential humor, pop culture cameos, and nods to some of the greatest moments in animation, that it's almost impossible not to like it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie carries a mild PG rating but may be too intense for younger children.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Some of what occurs in Lucky Number Slevin is done with a wink and a nod, although McGuinan (á là Tarantino) doesn't skimp on the gore.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A solid motion picture with a universal message and occasional splashes of genius, but it is remarkable only as Holly Hunter's performance is concerned.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Highlighted by an awards-worthy performance by Saoirse Ronan and structured around a light, witty script by Gerwig, the movie delivers a well-targeted snapshot of a year-in-the-life of an ordinary high school senior.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Taken as a whole, Shallow Grave is a reasonably enjoyable (for those captivated by this sort of thing) black comedy/noir thriller that justifies at least a portion of the praise being heaped upon it from overseas.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While Cheryl's journey is interesting, it isn't as compelling as the one embarked upon by Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild). The most arresting aspect of Wild isn't Cheryl's perambulation along the 1000-mile long Pacific Crest Trail but the memories that percolate to the surface as flashbacks.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film doesn't have much of a narrative, and the ending is a little too mystical, but there's still plenty here to engage the attention of all but the most restless of movie-goers.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film is too energetic, too jaw-droppingly campy, and too silly not to be enjoyed and celebrated on some level. "Cheesy" doesn't even begin to describe it, yet that's at the heart of its perverse charm. Now, that's entertainment!
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Summer Hours attracted two of France's acting luminaries, and their presence elevates the material. Charles Berling has the central role; the movie is largely told from his perspective. Juliette Binoche, with blonde hair, has a secondary part.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The New World is beautiful and lyrical and, except for the ill-advised voiceovers, a treat for more than one of the senses.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It celebrates art, hope, and dreams, and you don't have to like hip-hop to appreciate the message or the way in which it is delivered.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The vision of director Alex Proyas lifts this film above its sad history.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There's something beautiful about a well-made tragic love story. It may not be as uplifting as one with a happy ending, but it's more cathartic.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Happenstance represents an intriguing meditation on the unseen forces that no one can escape.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Never pretends to be something that it isn't. Oh, there are costumes, to be sure, but that's just to facilitate the setting of the 18th century. Anyone who mistakes this for a costume drama is not aware of what kind of film they have ventured into.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The strength of Push is its relentlessness. The movie doesn't pause for anything and, when it provides exposition, it does so without bringing the action to a grinding halt.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    When it comes to The Raid: Redemption, there are no pretentions. Pure and simple, this is about violence. As we used to say, "kickin' ass and takin' names."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For the most part, Safety Not Guaranteed is a pleasant viewing experience, but there is a flaw. While Darius is bonding with Kenneth, Jeff is reconnecting with his past. This subplot goes nowhere.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Robert Downey Jr. is perfect as Harry. He brings the right mix of cynicism, self-doubt, and unpretentiousness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ultimately, despite flirting with some darker subjects, Little Miss Sunshine lives up to its name.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Coulter is a TV veteran but a motion picture newcomer. His work here indicates he is someone to watch. The pacing is slow and deliberate, but the story never ceases to intrigue.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    We Are Marshall is precisely what one expects from a true sports story: it's uplifting and inspiring.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With a cast like this, one has a right to expect something amazing, so the fact that We Own the Night is merely "entertaining" might cause disappointment in some quarters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As a satire and an off-the-wall comedy, Bubba Ho-Tep hits the bullseye. As a horror movie, it's less successful. Maybe we're too busy laughing to be scared.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Black Sea contains its share of fantastical elements and the ending in particular evidences gaping holes of logic and physics but, as a "refrigerator film," it works well.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film is more than a little odd but it has fun with its offbeat premise and moves along breezily until it gets bogged down in the third act.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A Girl Like Her offers an emotionally honest examination of an important and often overlooked societal problem.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, the running time is too short for us to get to know, or care about, the characters in a way that would make the film's themes strike a responsive chord.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The stunning Lisa Ray, a Bollywood exile, makes one of the most beautiful widows ever to grace the screen. Vidula Javalgekar gives a memorable turn as the infirm "Auntie." But the real find is Sarala, a Sri Lankan girl who memorized dialogue in a language she does not understand and delivers it with conviction.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is a pure popcorn movie -- the kind of film one can unabashedly enjoy for what it is. There's plenty of visual flash and dizzying action, but not at the expense of the other qualities that make for a complete motion picture experience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Wave’s centerpiece is a critical ten-minute span between when the rockslide occurs and the wave reaches civilization. Played out in real time, this is a period of sustained and effective tension. It’s real, raw, and ragged.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A classic example of a pedestrian motion picture being lifted out of mediocrity by an arresting lead performance. Zooey Deschanel doesn't just elevate Winter Passing; she carries it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Charlotte's Web has all the requisite elements that a family film needs to succeed and endure: humor, drama, pathos, and an emotionally satisfying ending.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's not a great film, but it succeeds in being both tender and cathartic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Inventing the Abbotts has the cast and characters to be something special; the script just isn't ambitious enough.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    My admiration for I Am Love is higher than my appreciation, and its appeal will be limited to an exclusive audience.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Offers nothing more spectacular than a character study. And, although The Good Girl's protagonist may be trapped by routine, that's one claim that can never be made about the movie.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While there's quite a bit more graphic bloodshed and brutality here than in any of the late screen icon's vehicles, Payback is a worthy '90s successor to his kind of movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    War Horse's primary attraction is not the story of how it makes us feel but its impressive re-creation of the Great War's battlefields and some stunningly beautiful camerawork by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It requires only four words to describe Earth: glorious photography, annoying narration.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As it's unspooling on screen, the film is hugely entertaining, but there are several significant plot holes that grow wider the more closely they're investigated.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Moments of light comedy keeps the tone from becoming too heavy without sabotaging the movie's dramatic underpinning.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Not great Disney but good enough to engage viewers young and old.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although Volver has a tendency to stray too far down tangential paths, it is ultimately satisfying.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    After starting with a lackluster introduction and a by-the-numbers heist sequence, the film concludes with an upbeat and appealing final act that recalls "Big Night."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The result is solidly entertaining - not quite as good as "Horton Hears a Who" or "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - but unquestionably better than "The Cat in the Hat."

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