James Berardinelli
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For 2,796 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 5.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Il Postino: The Postman
Lowest review score: 0 Captivity
Score distribution:
2,796 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 67 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An amazingly over-the-top anti-racism parable but, despite its obvious shortcomings, it is nevertheless effective and affecting.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The slow, uneven beginning is more than compensated for by the rousing climax.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 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.
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 84 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Oddly, the filmmaker best known for his Valentines to New York, Woody Allen, is not participant.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There are times when the film is flat-out silly (such as the spinning car assassination), but that's part of the movie's charm. At its worst, Wanted is never boring. At its best, it can be damn close to intoxicating. One word, written without apology, describes it best: fun.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The extreme nature of the gore isn't beside the point - it is the point. Raimi goes so far over the top in presenting these displays that they take on a campy, almost humorous appearance. It's impossible to take all this blood seriously. So, instead of being sickened, we're strangely amused - and this is all intentional.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's pure comic book/popcorn action. If that's your kind of movie, it's hard to go wrong with this one.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Hall Pass isn't by any means flawless, but its ability to integrate extreme scatological humor with moments of genuine feeling is rare.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Whedon has made the Bard accessible and that achievement places him alongside Branagh in the exclusive club of directors who can handle both superheroes and Shakespeare effectively.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As feel-good as any sports movie you're likely to find. It's a solid choice for family viewing, but is equally worthy of viewing by solo adults.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This movie has a driving plotline that "Ray" lacked - a love story. To me, that's what elevates this film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Emma lacks the depth of passion present in the other Austen films, but, in large part because it's trying for something lighter and breezier, it's still fun.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The acting is superb across-the-board, with the three younger performers deserving accolades.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Spanish Prisoner is for anyone who likes to think and feel along with the characters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's simple and well-told, although nothing about it is breathtakingly original.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A highly satirical work, albeit without the "in your face" style of "South Park."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There are no big-name stars. Barbara Serafian, who is excellent, has a thin, eclectic resume. She looks a little like Frances McDormand.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Away We Go is not as dramatically wrenching as "Revolutionary Road," but it's unquestionably more enjoyable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Unchallenging but easy to like. There's not enough here to capture the interest of those indifferent to romantic comedies, but fans - even of the casual variety - will find this to be a pleasant mid-summer diversion.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Tonally, Hope Springs is closer to Alexander Payne than Meyers although Frankel does his best to keep things from turning too dark.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The compelling and interesting aspect of Lucky You is not so much the compulsion that drives the main character but the way in which he interacts with those around him. The movie isn't a downer, but neither does it end with all loose ends nicely tied off. In this case, redemption does not equate with salvation.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The acting, especially by the male leads, is superlative.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In order to appreciate The Ruins, one has to be a die-hard fan of horror or bloody thrillers. Those in that category will discover that The Ruins delivers the goods.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    From an acting standpoint, Blake Lively makes a compelling case that she doesn't have what it takes to play this sort of a role; she lacks the chops to carry the elements of the movie in which she is expected to dominate.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Hundred-Foot Journey represents a pleasant diversion for those who have grown weary of traditional summer movie fare. The picture is about people and how they interact. There are no explosions or car chases.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film's climax is nothing short of hilarious. And Death at a Funeral doesn't discriminate when it comes to the type of humor it embraces it. Everything is in there, from physical hijinks to verbal repartee to naked man jokes to drugs and gross-out stuff.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    On balance, however, there are more things to like about Daybreakers than to dislike. The production is loaded with impressive touches, some more nuanced than others.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Prometheus is the antithesis of the "big, dumb summer movie." Its visuals and special effects can stand toe-to-toe with any of the season's spectacles, but are audiences ready for something with an intelligent, thought-provoking screenplay where the action is secondary? Prometheus is flawed, but stupidity cannot be numbered among its missteps.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film uses effective acting, deft dialogue, and a sly wit to entertain, if not educate.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    John Wick is a rousing action thriller of the sort rarely encountered in theaters these days. The once popular genre, which was headlined by the likes of Stallone and Schwarzenegger during its heyday, has been a dying breed during the past two decades.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As a melding of new techniques and technology with old-fashioned methods of storytelling, it's an opportunity for the Magic Kingdom to remind audiences that, when it comes to putting fairy tales on screen, they remain on a higher level.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In this motion picture, Oliver Stone presents his vision of the forces that drove and motivated the late President. And, factual or not, there's no denying that Nixon has moments when it is nothing short of compelling.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Works on its own terms, which is more than can be said of most horror films these days. If this is the kind of movie you're looking for, it delivers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The 2014 iteration isn't as good as its 1974 predecessor but it offers its share of small pleasures, not the least of which is the crisp, sharp dialogue that never loses its punch even when it veers close to the edge of pretentiousness.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    9
    This is post-apocalyptic adventure as imagined for a teen crowd, and what it lacks in depth it makes up for in action. With a slight running time of 80 minutes, 9 doesn't contain an ounce of fat on its animated bones.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Will work better for younger viewers than older ones. There's not much plot to absorb and there's plenty of action, so this is the kind of spectacle that will appeal to those without long attention spans.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It features a pair of well-developed characters, the plot contains some clever twists and turns, the dialogue is reasonable, and director Gary Fleder (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead) keeps the level of tension and intrigue high. Put together, all of that adds up to a worthwhile motion picture.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Cuteness is the watchword here. The dark, eerie atmosphere that oozed from every frame of "The Empire Strikes Back" is gone. Instead, for Return of the Jedi, we have good triumphing decisively over evil, a too-pat resolution to a love triangle, and walking teddy bears.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    My expectation is that Harry Brown will find its strongest adherents among those who remember Caine in The Ipcress File and Get Carter and are fascinated to explore his take on how that sort of character might have aged.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's a little along the same lines as "Ocean's 11" in what it achieves and, like that film, there's plenty of Oscar power among the actors - a combined 15 nominations, to be precise.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While Muriel's Wedding has its moments of exhilarating humor, it is, as often as not, downbeat and even mean-spirited.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The pieces and parts assembled herein are familiar, but the manner in which Affleck puts them together results in an engrossing two hours of cinema.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Understands baseball and the men who play it, and, for a film about the sport, that's half the battle.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Not everything in City Island works - some of the secrets are obvious plot devices - but, in terms of feel-good, undemanding entertainment, this is as good as anything I have seen thus far in 2010.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film makers understand that it's possible for a romantic comedy to appeal not only to the heart, but to the mind as well.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Like a time-travel movie, but without the time travel, The Mothman Prophecies delights in playing with cause-and-effect relationships.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The white hats are stained dark gray as if by ashes and soot. The villains are twisted, cruel, and vile. The heroes aren't much better.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Book of Life represents Guillermo del Toro's most hands-on foray (to date) into the realm of family friendly entertainment; this is closer in tone and sensibility to one of Tim Burton's offbeat animated films than one of Pixar's more "vanilla" productions.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film is unusual not so much because of its content - the man vs. nature story has always been a popular one, whether in print or on film - but in its restraint. Putting an actor, even an accomplished one such as Redford, alone on screen for more than 90 minutes is a risk.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Paranoid Park is a rare breed: a movie about teenagers in which the characters talk like real teenagers, act like real teenagers, and are played by real teenagers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Oozes atmosphere. The humor keeps it from becoming too creepy, but there are still a few chills to be had.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Living Out Loud is not a monumental motion picture. In fact, in many ways, it's quite the opposite - a quiet, unassuming story of friendship and love that uses richly-developed characters to charm its audience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    42
    Unfortunately, the generic bio-pic structure of 42 prevents it from ever becoming something great.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    St. Vincent may be a little kinder and gentler than the likes of "Bad Santa," but there's enough inappropriate behavior and comedic friction to fuel an entertaining 103 minutes.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Those for whom Spirit was made will find this to be a thoroughly enjoyable production. As a "kids' movie", Spirit is a resounding success.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Stoker is deliciously demented, and that's a good thing. This twisted coming-of-age tale takes us into "Carrie" territory without the supernatural element.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's lighter, brighter, funnier, faster-paced, and a whole lot more colorful than before.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Offers a clear-eyed chronicle of a female friendship that is more complex and honest than anything represented in a Hollywood film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Quirky and stylish, but not in a manner that comes across as overly artsy or pretentious.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Enjoyable enough that the sprinkles of artificial sweetness in the mix don't do lasting or irreparable damage.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There are enough laughs to justify it being labeled as a comedy but a stronger storyline than one normally associates with this kind of film. It's an enjoyable diversion amidst the big guns of summer.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Whatever social statement Ordinary People was making about its time has evaporated during the intervening years, leaving behind an open, honest drama lacking the emotional punch that would make it unforgettable today. Ordinary People should be devastating, but it's not. By any standards, it's still a good movie, but three decades have stripped away any pretense of greatness. [21 Feb 1999]
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An effective period piece thriller that incorporates love, lust, desperation, and madness into a stew thickened by a gothic atmosphere.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The equation of "drugs+booze+sex=happy ending" applies. Then along comes Harmony Korine with Spring Breakers and subverts an entire genre.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    What sets this apart from its many competitors for teen dollars is that not only does the movie feature a surprisingly edgy and intelligent script, but it offers a group of characters capable of holding an audience's interest for more than 90 minutes.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This feel-good motion picture is intelligently written and expertly directed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The great irony of this film, which is (at least on one level) about the power of writing, is that the words are of secondary importance to the overwhelming visual presentation.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An entertaining thriller. That said, it's the weakest of the films, falling a length or two behind "The Girl Who Played with Fire," and considerably more than that with respect to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    If there's a complaint to be made about Insidious, it's that the film's second half is unable to live up to the impossibly high standards set by the first half.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Big Fish is a clever, smart fantasy that targets the child inside every adult, without insulting the intelligence of either.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The trailers make Run All Night look like a fast-paced shoot-'em-up and, although those elements are present, this is a darker and grimmer experience.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Berg's picture is certainly an above average effort that provides a solid emotional punch.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's airheaded just like the songs it embraces but, if you enjoy them, there's every reason to believe you'll appreciate the film.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It engaged me throughout and I found the ending to be surprisingly hopeful.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This represesents the smartest high-budget, high-profile science fiction film to have come along in quite some time.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An intriguing and satisfying romance that may hold some appeal even for those who normally do not like films about affairs of the heart.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film's first 15 minutes are by far the most fun (and could be the best quarter-hour of any movie released this year), with Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock letting it all hang out.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    RED
    It's a lot of fun and, because of the high quality of the cast, there's no need to feel guilty about praising such an inherently silly motion picture.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Has its share of bitingly funny moments, and some of the comedy is quite inventive.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Nothing if not versatile. And, although perhaps not as funny as one might expect given the setup, it successfully grows the main characters beyond their stereotype roots.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The ensemble cast is diverse and accomplished, but, because of the time constraints, no one has enough time to register much of a positive or negative impression.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Has the potential to be a truly memorable film, and, for more than three-quarters of its running time, it is poised to live up to that potential. But then there are the final twenty minutes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Blomkamp's universe is a fascinating place to visit and the movie is stuffed with ideas - there's far too much here to satisfactorily explore in 109 minutes, especially when one considers that room must be made for action scenes. I departed the theater satisfied with what I'd seen but wanting more.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A disturbing and compelling motion picture that depicts the forces that try to suppress the human spirit, and the strength of these girls in overcoming it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ultimately, Clockers probably attempts too much, and ends up seeming overcrowded as a result.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is adult drama with an impeccable sense of period and a strong focus on character. With today's cinema sadly lacking in movies like this, it makes Inside Llewyn Davis all the more welcome, especially for those who care about the kind of music it honors.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Part documentary, part parody, and part something indefinable, the film manages to succeed on its own terms and entertain on just about anyone's.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For what Man on Fire delivers, it's worth enduring Scott's hyperkinetic visual techniques.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It proves capable of doing something that many more artistically ambitious films fail at: entertaining an audience for nearly two hours.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Crafted with flair and style, and without pretension, Confidence achieves the modest goal of being an entertaining cinematic adaptation of a B-movie script with an A-list cast.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The director is a poet of images.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    One aspect of Let Me In that makes this motion picture unique is the sense of pathos underlying the various relationships.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Has enough charm and whimsy to capture the attention and imagination of children and parents alike, and arguably represents one of the best live-action family films to enter theaters this year.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An uncommonly intelligent espionage thriller that explores the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by agents who go deep undercover in the service of their country.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's more heavy lifting than some will be willing to engage in but there's something welcome about a motion picture that doesn't hand out a dumbed-down resolution in a neatly wrapped package.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    At first glance, Inherent Vice might seem to be a detective story. Look a little closer, however, and it becomes clear that this is Paul Thomas Anderson's idea of a comedy. There's slapstick, lowbrow material, and enough strange characters and "completely different" moments to make Monty Python smile.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that the film doesn't resort to an easy cheat at the end. It plays things straight, and still manages to satisfy, making this one of Sandler's most appealing outings to date.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While Chris Brancato's script doesn't reveal anything new or surprising (students of history and fans of "The Cotton Club" already know how this film ends), it's a competent piece of storytelling that incorporates elements of human interest with the threat of escalating violence.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While this is probably the actor's best turn since Rocky, and he does a credible job that may earn him the opportunity to do more "serious" work in the future, Stallone's performance is outshone on all sides. That's not a knock against him; it's an acknowledgment that the supporting cast is about the best that it can be.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A fun, fantastic adventure, but, watching it, I had the sense that it could have been even better than it is. I was diverted and entertained, but never truly absorbed.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Eminently watchable and consistently entertaining...It has a candor that is unexpected and refreshing in a sea of too-often generic teen-themed films.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gets the most bang for its buck by letting the camera linger on the spectacle, and allowing tension, not flashiness, to be its hallmark.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A blistering satire of feel-good sports movies, this film makes its mark via the most direct route: it lampoons by adopting the tried-and-true "straight" formula and tweaking it a little.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A wonderfully nostalgic, and occasionally insightful, window into the recent past.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    What's missing from Mockingjay - Part 1 is a strong through-story. The previous films were characterized by engrossing, well-constructed story arcs but Mockingjay - Part 1 meanders.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is not Schrader's finest work. The script is not tight, the ending disappoints, and there's a little too much drawn from "American Gigolo." But there are some great one-liners, compelling actors, and well-developed characters.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As intense and as harrowing as any British thriller to emerge from the east side of the Atlantic in recent years, and there are some good titles vying for that distinction.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although This is 40 is too long and at times over-the-top, its essence is grounded in everyday moments and emotions that will have viewers nodding with understanding and recognition.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An unabashed excursion into feel good territory.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While Ernie's on-field accomplishments were extraordinary, it was the environment in which he struggled to achieve them that makes him the worthy subject of a motion picture.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's an unsettling piece that reminds us how even monsters aspire to living the American dream.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    When a director can take a reprehensible monster and, over the course of a scant 90 minutes, turn audience reaction from distaste to sympathy, that's the mark of an adept filmmaker. This occurs in Tsotsi.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Enjoyable for a movie in which pretty much nothing happens.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film's emotional truth and honesty allows us to forgive a great many flaws.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The two best words to describe the 2006 motion picture Miami Vice are "stylish" and "intense."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    By the time September arrives, This is the End will probably be in the running for "funniest comedy of the 2013 summer."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This isn't vintage De Niro but at least there's more substance here than in a lot of his other recent projects. Michelle Pfeiffer, who flirted with this sort of a role 25 years ago in "Married to the Mob," is enjoying something of a renaissance after working only sparingly for more than a decade.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A rare remake in that it's sufficiently different in the details to make it of interest to those familiar to the earlier endeavor.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy may be the best possible movie version of the story, but it illustrates that the big screen is not the ideal medium for a tale of this complexity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A curious mix of smarts and schmaltz.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although the storyline is predictable, the intelligent dialogue and top-drawer acting more than make up for the possible deficiency.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    One of the better offerings to be found in a year that has seen a drop-off in the quality of animated films.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For Your Consideration will not go down as one of Guest's crown jewels, but it's nevertheless engaging.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Broken Arrow is "Speed" gone nuclear. Yet, despite all the explosions, violence, special effects, and other choreographed excesses, this film doesn't have quite the same impact. It's fun, to be sure, and the wild ride doesn't let up for a moment, but the level of tension isn't quite as high.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A Game of Shadows is a stronger, better realized movie that builds upon the strengths of the original and jettisons some of the weaknesses.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie's realistic portrayal of the ingredients that can lead to bullying and other forms of unkindness inflicted on outsiders by those in power, speaks strongly to viewers watching in the 21st century.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Works uncommonly well because of the effective manner in which it blends together its various elements: the WW2 prison camp setting, the courtroom aspects, and the issues of honor, racism, and redemption.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Rise of the Guardians is enjoyable as a stand-alone adventure - not groundbreaking animation but a solidly entertaining 90 minutes for older children and adults.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A rich, multi- layered portrait of a director from Hollywood's Golden Age whose own life was as interesting as any of his movies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For those with the patience to sit through this kind of unhurried motion picture, Time Out offers a compelling character study of an individual under the kind of strain we can all relate to.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This film offers a compelling scenario of what could have happened. And Burger's look back through the recent mists of time is certainly no less likely or fascinating that Oliver Stone's in "JFK."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Blue Jasmine is an exercise in examining the lead character's mental degeneration. The end result, a performance-driven character study, offers an experience more akin to what one might expect from the late John Cassavetes than from the still very much alive Woody Allen.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Overall this is a compelling and sometimes disturbing motion picture.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Hawke has made this movie his way and the result is a story that is by turns romantic and disquieting. It's well worth the price of admission.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A compelling piece of cinema.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In many ways, the concept underlying Lolita is more provocative than the actual material, which tends to be a bit long-winded. This is more the fault of the book than of Lyne's approach.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The transformation sequences on their own are disturbing enough to upset sensitive viewers (even though the first one doesn't occur until an hour into the 97 minute film, making the first two-thirds of the movie relatively tame, with the exception of a few appearances by Jack, who looks like a "walking meatloaf").
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gordon-Levitt wears three hats (director, writer, actor) and all of them fit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although competently made and consistently engaging, there's nothing special about this animated superhero origin story.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    From an historical perspective, the story is interesting because it shows a different side of the war than what we're used to observing in motion pictures.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Monsters works not because of its representation of alien creatures or its somewhat derivative back story but because of the atypical manner in which it approaches the character-based narrative.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    First time director Jonathan Frakes (who also plays Riker, the Enterprise's second-in-command) injects some badly-needed energy and inventiveness into a series that, prior to this effort, was sinking under its own weight and boldly going nowhere.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Governess is solidly entertaining material with enough substance to lift it above the traditional period drama.

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