James Berardinelli

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For 3,194 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 3.7 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 Captivity
Score distribution:
3194 movie reviews
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's lighter, brighter, funnier, faster-paced, and a whole lot more colorful than before.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Freaky Friday is motion picture cotton candy - sweet while it lasts, easily disposed of, and insubstantial. It will please those who seek it out, and probably won't horrify or disgust anyone who ends up seeing it for other reasons (dragged along, bribed, or otherwise coerced). There are enough clever and/or funny moments to provoke laughter from even a scowling 13-year old boy who wants to be next door watching Terminator 3 for the third time.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The romantic comedy doesn't have much, but it has Kidman.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Characters are left half-developed or undeveloped so that as much plot as possible can be crammed into two hours. The result, while not wholly unsatisfying, will disappoint those used to the cinematic richness we have come to expect from this collaboration.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Someone please get director Ric Roman Waugh a tripod! Snitch might be a passable action-thriller but it's hard to say because every time an action scene comes along, the image shakes so badly it's impossible to keep anything in view or focus.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Despite being largely uninspired, the dialogue is peppered with enough profanity and salacious comments to keep the undiscriminating interested.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite being overlong, Blackhat is mostly engaging. The narrative features one major change of direction and things get increasingly preposterous as the climax approaches, but that's not unusual in this genre.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Won't win points for originality, but the screenplay includes some snappy dialogue, smart observations, and an uplifting message about the importance of friendship.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Functions as much as a primer on how to conduct underground filmmaking as it does an offbeat romantic comedy.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Transporter 3 is the most frustrating entry into a series that has never set the bar terribly high.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There are times when Austin Powers drags. It can be difficult to sustain even the best humor for ninety minutes, and this film, for all of the laughs it offers, is far from the best.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Above all, however, Kevin Spacey is the reason to see Casino Jack. This movie will stand alongside "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty" as examples of what the actor is capable of accomplishing when he is properly motivated.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There’s enough variety here that everyone’s funny bone should be tickled from time-to-time.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Doomsday tries to cram so much into its limited 105 minutes that aspects end up feeling rushed and confused (especially the political situation in England) and the ending is perfunctory.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    For those looking for something positive, this is the only movie I can recall that features music from both ABBA ("Does Your Mother Know") and Handel ("Zadok the Priest"). Let's hear it for musical diversity!
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As Nina, Aniston not only displays a surprising capacity for both comedy and drama, but she shines with the kind of star quality that only a handful of current performers exhibit.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Woman in Gold is arguably of more interest for its historical perspective than for its drama. Although there is some suspense in the courtroom proceedings, no one would mistake this for the next "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "The Verdict."
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    I am by nature a cynic and am easily turned off by manufactured sentiment. I dislike "Terms of Endearment" intensely. That I was fully immersed in this world and invested in the characters’ lives is a testament to the movie’s strength.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The overall experience fails to satisfy on a basic level. This is one of those films it's easier to be impressed with than it is to like.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    All that's missing from Ivan Reitman's Six Days, Seven Nights is a plot with a moment's originality.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The thing that makes The Accountant unique, however, and elevates it above the garden variety action-thriller, is that the title character’s “superpowers” result from his autism.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A kinetic, visually dazzling thriller that's actually a notch above many of its predecessors - albeit only a small notch.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Not a masterpiece, but it's an example of how imagination, craftsmanship, and technological bravura can fashion superior entertainment out of something that is far from flawless.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    It's solidly entertaining for what it is and, while it does little to truly rejuvenate the franchise, at least it lessens the pain caused by two gimmicky cross-over pictures that sucked too much juice out of what was one of the 1980s' most surprisingly tense sci-fi action pictures.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Like "The Apostle," it exists off the beaten path and will not satisfy mainstream viewers. Yet, for those who do not demand a firm adherence to formulas and genre-driven expectations, this movie offers the chance to see something a little different.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Apt Pupil is the lack of sustained tension generated by director Bryan Singer.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    This balls-to-the-walls action/adventure makes the average James Bond film look like something by Eric Rohmer. It’s high rent Steven Segal - fights, explosions, and more fights, but with a flair.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ender's Game is uneven - at times almost maddeningly so - with the first half offering more enjoyment than the second. Perhaps that's because, in military-style movies, I often prefer the training segments to the battle sequences.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    On the whole, The Expendables 2 is more satisfying than "The Expendables."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The venerable series is looking outmoded and outdated. Media saturation and age have taken their toll.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Labeling The Call as "relentlessly dumb" would be an overestimation of its intelligence. This is as brain-dead as a movie can be and it assumes the audience will have the I.Q. of a rutabaga.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Like much of what transpires during the course of this production, it’s just crass.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Whatever else it may be, Irreversible is disturbingly unforgettable. It is impossible to have a blasé reaction to a film this visceral. Indifference is not an option.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    The Brown Bunny is one long, self-indulgent bore topped off with a hard-core porn scene featuring Gallo and co-star Chloë Sevigny.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The movie is still a little rough around the edges, featuring its share of scenes that, for one reason or another, don't work, but the overall effect is one of pleasant entertainment.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The actors can't be faulted for any of Lovelace's missteps.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The strength of the acting and the modulation of the screenplay transforms what could have been a run-of-the-mill Lifetime disease-of-the-week movie into something more insightful and intelligent.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Humor is subjective, but this movie made me feel as if I had been subjected to something unpleasant.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Anonymous is well-paced and never threatens to bore or become too scholarly.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The final result is an unnecessarily-long thriller that contains far more talking than action. Pakula's direction is lackluster, showing little of the style that permeated his two most impressive pictures, "All the President's Men" and "Presumed Innocent".
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Jack Reacher has the distinction of being little more than it initially appears to be: a clumsily condensed mystery/thriller novel made into a movie that offers little more than every other clumsily condensed mystery/thriller novel made into a movie.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The delicate air of romance that often makes this sort of film worthwhile is absent. French Kiss does it by the numbers, not from the heart.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    If there are any "24" fans who have wondered what the TV series might be like if Liam Neeson replaced Kiefer Sutherland, Taken provides an opportunity to have that question answered.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Against the backdrop represented by stark images of abandoned buildings and lost dreams, the tale that is City by the Sea emerges, with the power of the visual cues giving this film its forcefulness.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, Voight is not in every scene, and, when he's absent, Varsity Blues has a tendency to flounder, descending into the realm of formulaic sports movie melodrama.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Those looking for a clear-cut chronology of how the murders happened are destined for disappointment. Flashbacks of the crime are short and ambiguous.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The final production is so jammed with subplots and secondary characters that it often feels like the Cliffs Notes version of a complex novel.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There are fitful sparks between him (Kutcher) and Portman, but he is unable to sustain viewer interest in his character. She becomes the dominant figure and that throws off No Strings Attached's balance and impacts the all-important chemistry.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie is low-key but each scene is packed with information. Full understanding demands full attention.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's easy to be cynical about a movie like this which, despite its factual basis, is more product than story. The pandering is obvious.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    A slow, meandering misfire of a movie.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    A muddle of a film - an overlong bore that either mistakenly thinks it's something more than a humdrum romance or has incorporated a variety of pretentions as window-dressing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    At times darkly funny and at other times depressingly tragic. It's safe to say there aren't any movies out there quite like this one.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Constantine will appeal most strongly to those with a penchant for vivid cinematic comic book adaptations.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The French have an entirely different idea of what constitutes a "comedy" from the Americans. Little White Lies is classified as a "comedy" in its country of origin. I suppose that's meant in a Shakespearean sense, because there's not a lot of humor in Canet's screenplay, which is primarily dramatic and includes scenes of outright tragedy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    No Reservations may not be a modern day classic but, despite the relatively small budget, it has more heart than nearly anything currently playing in multiplexes.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It does what all good coming of age movies do, and that makes it a worthy and welcome entry into the genre.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Never representative of more than mediocrity from a technical or story-based standpoint, the Ice Age series has reached a new nadir with its third entry.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Saint is more of a character-based thriller than a strict stunts-and-explosions film, which is a good thing because the action sequences are mostly flat and obligatory. Even when he generates a degree of tension, director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) is unable to sustain it, and the disappointing ending is not only long and drawn out, but lacks a sense of closure.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Stay away from Birth not because of what goes on (or doesn't) in a bathtub, but because this is not a very good movie.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Although Going in Style’s heist represents a high point and gets props for being suitably clever, it’s swamped by bad melodrama and lame comedy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Guilt Trip is cinematic comfort food for road trip fans who aren't given indigestion by Streisand.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The movie is replete with bloody encounters, sly asides, and one-liners, but the tone is awkward and uneven. There are also some serious structural problems that we're supposed to brush aside.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Marginally worth seeing if you're a Pacino fan but, even then, waiting for the DVD is the smart bet.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A standard-order romantic comedy with many of the expected twists and complications. It suffers from the flaw of not giving the lead characters enough time together.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Like fruitcake, movies like this are ubiquitous at this time of the year but rarely are they devoured with great relish or enthusiasm.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Towards the end, Murder By Numbers reverts to form with cheesy clichés, plot twists, and a fair amount of unnecessary action, but that's easily the film's low point.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    A Perfect Murder has inexplicably managed to eliminate almost everything that was worthwhile about "Dial M for Murder," leaving behind the nearly-unwatchable wreckage of a would-be '90s thriller.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The film has an undeniable energy, and, at times, it works as light entertainment, but there is a problem. The central character is consistently aggravating.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The last 60 minutes offer adventure as rousing as anything provided in either of the previous installments. Unfortunately, that doesn't account for the other 108 minutes of this gorged, self-indulgent, and uneven production.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    This is a Beauty & the Beast romance between Nicole Kidman and Chewbacca.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    An inelegant combination of two unrelated shorts that falls far short of the director's previous work in terms of both thematic content and narrative strength.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It is sweet and sentimental and embraces the fantasy (although it would have worked better without the treacly pop songs on the soundtrack).
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There's enough fun to be had that it's almost possible to ignore the stupidity of the story and the cavity that replaces character development.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There are lengthy stretches during this movie when it's deadly dull. This is the kind of film that's ideal for DVD viewing. Judicious use of the fast forward button will greatly increase The Ten's appeal.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Much of the average viewer's time in the theater will be spent waiting somewhat impatiently for the high-energy climax. Catnaps are an advisable way to survive some of the slow spots.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Poseidon is devoid of anything that might conjure up memories of the Winslet/DiCaprio coupling. Its straightforward action/adventure approach is both a strength and a weakness.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The result is an entertainingly sudsy trip through early 16th century English history.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The real standout is Alfred Molina, hamming it up as a desert entrepreneur who races ostriches and avoids paying taxes.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Director Jon Favreau keeps the tone light but, aside from the occasional low-key gag or one-liner, the humor is never allowed to upstage the more serious elements.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The result is an action-oriented survival tale, not unlike the kind of movie that Stallone or Schwarzenegger might have made back in the '80s.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    A tighter version of the same story might have captured and held my interest, but this one had the proceedings wandering like the riderless camels in the desert.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    This is a mixed bag - passable entertainment made palatable largely by Law, but the question of "Why?" (more than "What's it all about?") still lingers where this remake is concerned.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This is a lame psychological thriller with an obvious story trajectory. It's a wannabe film noir with no atmosphere whatsoever.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The heist-inspired elements aren't well thought through and it becomes a question of which is harder to swallow: the mechanics of the story or the idea that a couple of sixtysomethings can kick this much ass.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    A palatable film. It offers a few solid laughs and will provoke some smiles.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A deliciously nasty, dark comedy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film is too light and juvenile to be viewed as some sort of darkly subversive satire in which the director is laughing at those of us who take it all semi-seriously.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Death of a President is celluloid mediocrity. It's neither interesting nor convincing.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Good German, Steven Soderbergh's film noir homage, is nearly perfect when it comes to style and tone, but it concentrates so single-mindedly on the mechanics of the narrative that it loses sight of its characters.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Demolition founders and its overt symbolism feels forced instead of organic. The production is uncomfortable and artificial, lacking internal logic and tonal consistency.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the strangest thing about 2012 is that the bad parts of the film are among the most enjoyable, because they're so over-the-top ridiculous that it's impossible not to break out laughing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    They had 28 years, and this is the best they could come up with?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's a solid, entertaining monster movie that, at its best, recalls not only its three decades-old namesake but Alien as well.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the most curious and counterproductive aspect of The Fifth Estate, the so-called "Wikileaks movie," is the decision by director Bill Condon and screenwriter Josh Singer to establish the film as a thriller.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This is a joyless experience made all the sadder because most viewers still remember the naughty delights delivered by "American Pie."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Director Clark Johnson and screenwriter George Nolfi (adapting the novel by Gerald Petievich) do an excellent job of setting things up and getting the story underway. Unfortunately, some of their hard work is undone during the movie's final third.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Oddly, the filmmaker best known for his Valentines to New York, Woody Allen, is not participant.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There's a little bit of "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" in Shoot 'Em Up, although this production isn't as smart or as slick.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Whether the core flaw lies in the script or is the result of overly aggressive editing, the final result is offers only sporadic glimpses of the compelling thriller Broken City fails to evolve into.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In the end, Conspiracy Theory fails to work as an action film, a romance, or a mystery -- all of which it aspires to be.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Pretty much a one-trick pony, and, after a while, that trick loses its ability to impress.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With its idea of an insurgency striking against an implacable evil empire, there's more than a little "Star Wars" in Terminator: Savlation, although not even at its "Empire Strikes Back" bleakest was Lucas' series this dark.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    It is as comfortable and predictable as any Saturday morning cartoon, although with higher production values and a spiffier look.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Sometimes funny, sometimes clever, and occasionally involving, but it's never brilliant and its edge is compromised by the neutering that accompanies the teen-friendly PG-13 rating.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Bottom line: Do I recommend Antichrist? Tough to do, but tough not to. For those who are intrigued by the controversy, it may be worth the sacrifice, if only so you can evaluate it from a position of knowledge.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The 1972 movie was better paced and presented a superior story but this one has its own pleasures. It's an interesting failure - a film that works more successfully as a study of technique and writing than as a motion picture.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Kalifornia is disturbing, and, while it doesn't overdo the blood, neither is the violence understated.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    At its heart, Harrison's Flowers is a love story, albeit a graphic and difficult one.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Two and one- half hours of gripping entertainment.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    What is missing in depth and philosophical intent is compensated for with humor and humanization.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Riddick isn't perfect but it's a good high-octane sci-fi tinged action/thriller.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    One of the great unanswered questions in Hollywood is how Chevy Chase still gets work. Although his appeal is not as incomprehensible as that of, say, Pauly Shore, it's not obvious, either; "range" is one word no one will ever use in conjunction with Chase's acting ability.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Green Dragon is Bui's recreation of Camp Pendleton, circa 1975 (filming actually took place in Camp Pendleton).
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Would be a thoroughly entertaining affair if it wasn't for one thing: the plot. The annoying and pointless storyline is a constant irritant because it diverts our attention from the real reason to see this movie - the easygoing chemistry between actors Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Although each episode might be marginally entertaining in its own right, the overall effect is that the movie isn't funny enough, exciting enough, or dramatic enough to warrant two hours of an audience member's time.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The curious thing about Father of the Bride Part 2 is that not only is it the sequel to a remake, but it's the remake of a sequel. As such, it's a perfect illustration of stretching an idea too far. Certain premises lack the necessary material for a multiple features, and this is one such example
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The sloppiness of the ending doesn't only damage The Black Dahlia, it sinks the project.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An Unfinished Life isn't original, but, for those who enjoy this sort of drama, it's an opportunity to remember how, in the right circumstances, on-screen characters can touch our hearts.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Imagine Me & You isn't unpleasant, but it is unremarkable. If nothing else, it proves that gay romances can be just as uninspired as their heterosexual counterparts.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gerwig transforms the ordinary screenplay into something that is by turns charming, touching, and funny.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Even children, who will be enthralled by all the puppies, may have a hard time not fidgeting for protracted portions of the running time.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    When it comes to war love stories, The Promise isn’t going to challenge Casablanca. The movie is stronger when presenting the political situation than the romantic one.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Despicable Me 3 is an example of how even the most promising animated franchises can hit a wall if allowed to continue too long.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite following its stage inspiration and bringing structure to Fellini's "8 1/2" (the ultimate source material), Nine still suffers at times from a lack of narrative drive and it doesn't have the surreal, dreamlike quality of "8 1/2" to fall back upon.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Tone is critical to a movie of this nature, and Fleischer gets it right.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There's nothing quite like watching Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac performing at a hoedown and getting into it with the audience.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The bad news is that Silent House is 88 minutes long, and the final half hour represents a descent into an anticlimax that ends with a scene as dumb as it is disappointing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If movies were rated solely on the basis of style, The Quick and the Dead would score highly indeed. With its dazzling photography, inventive camera angles, and throbbing bass score, the film is an experience for the eyes and ears. Director Sam Raimi and cinematographer Dante Spinotti have woven a beautifully elaborate tapestry: colorful and evocative -- and depressingly two-dimensional.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There's still quite a bit of the essence of "Dead Poets Society" in The Emperor's Club. Thankfully, however, the level of schmaltz and manipulation has been greatly reduced.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Inventing the Abbotts has the cast and characters to be something special; the script just isn't ambitious enough.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Adequate light entertainment for those who enjoy thrillers, but it is uneven and the underwhelming ending will disappoint those who enjoyed the delicious irony served up by its predecessor.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite its uneven tone, the film is compelling and, perhaps more importantly, relevant even though the actual historical events occurred two decades ago.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film’s climax is tautly executed; the way everything plays out is a whirl of brutal, violent beauty.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    If there's one thing this motion picture proves, it's that "The Naked Gun 33 1/3" wasn't the final insult from a founding ZAZ (Zucker/Abrams/Zucker) member; this is.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    While few will debate Lee's ability as a director, this isn't close to being in his wheelhouse. Oldboy cries out for a Brian DePalma, a Quentin Tarantino, or even a David Lynch. The end result bears out the suspicion that Lee isn't right for the material, nor it for him.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Angel-A is an intriguing film, but more of an interesting failure than an offbeat success.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The result is tepid humor and a less-than-compelling feel-good story of redemption and re-kindled romance.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A blend of lackluster comedy and lazy plotting, the film feels a lot like bad Hitchcock.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie is imperfect and overlong but it’s never boring.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Two words that come to mind when considering The Judge are generic and predictable. It's also well-intentioned and earnest (perhaps to a fault).
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Ready to Wear doesn't have enough substance to justify its length, nor does it possess enough raw humor to leaven the flat spots. The jokes are inconsistently funny, with some being worth giggles, some eliciting hearty chuckles, and some prompting little more than shrugs.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    The comedy is embarrassingly unfunny, the attempts at drama are badly acted and sometimes cringe-worthy, and the copious amounts of blood during the fight sequences fall short of being amusing while sabotaging any hope of taking them seriously.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    From a purely technical perspective, Charlotte Gray is expertly made -- the cinematography and music are evocative, and lead actress Cate Blanchett has no problem holding our attention. But, while Armstrong gets the notes right, she fails to play them with inspiration.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It worked once, but the novelty factor is gone. The cheese is still there, but this time it's overlaid with a cynical sense that the only reason the movie exists is because the first one made so much money.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    As a shoot-'em-up, blast-'em-to-pieces film, it's not half bad. As a futuristic time travel movie, however, it has some very serious problems.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    No one will ever confuse Ron Howard with Robert Altman. So, instead of a potentially hilarious satire, we're left with, as one character in the film puts it, "a joyous celebration of boobery."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The end result is a pleasant experience that is more appropriate for families than for adults unaccompanied by young offspring.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It would be disingenuous for me to claim that Ted 2 isn't funny. Although I was often bored by the plodding direction of the story, I laughed from time-to-time.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Theory of Flight is far from a perfect movie, but it offers enough highlights that, on balance, it's worth a recommendation. The solid acting camouflages a great many other deficiencies.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Divergent is less action-oriented than "The Hunger Games" but no less compelling.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It has the sensibilities of a late-'80s/early-'90s forgettable big-screen sit com and probably won't find many interested viewers who aren't card-carrying AARP members.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    trong on characters and relationships, but weak on some of the details that would elevate it from merely "good" to "great."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Project X's first-person verisimilitude is the movie's primary strength and most damning weakness.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The problem with this movie is that Wallace has attempted to squeeze a 500-page book into a 130-minute motion picture, something that can't be done without major sacrifices.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The voices were chosen more for their big name appeal than for their ability to bring life to the drawings. The storyline is flat, linear, and shallow.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's not so much a bad film as it is a disappointing one. A very disappointing one.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A cagey, claustrophobic noir thriller highlighted by a few clever plot twists, some nicely- honed dialogue, and a half-dozen top-notch performances.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Bogged down by many of the problems that have plagued Disney's recent traditional animated features: anonymous voice work, poor plot structure, and the mistaken belief that the Disney brand will elevate anything to a "must see" level for viewers starved for family friendly fare. If there's a bright side to Chicken Little, it's that kids will love it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    21
    21 doesn't spin a good enough yarn.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    For those who remember Egoyan at the top of his craft, there's no way to represent this as anything less than another disappointment.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    So howlingly awful that it has unwittingly found a place in that elite group of films that can claim to be "so bad they're good."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Entirely inoffensive, so it makes for perfect family fare -– but only if the children are young enough to be indiscriminating about what they're seeing.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    In the end, it's the self-mocking aura that save this film from being a waste of two hours.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Were it not for the high profile names of "Hanks" and "Kasdan", this would be a perfect candidate for a direct-to-video release.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The lack of a creative driver behind the film leads to a level of fundamental dissatisfaction. The movie delivers all the necessary elements but their impact is dull.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Lockout is painful. Not painful in the way Uwe Boll or "Sex and the City" movies are painful. But painful enough that I kept waiting for Nicolas Cage to show up. Or Katherine Heigl. Or, god forbid, both.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Bullet to the Head is bloody and violent but not nearly as much fun as it should be.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the greatest strength of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is that, despite a badly-paced middle, it boasts a strong beginning and end.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    As a B-movie whodunnit designed for fast consumption by popcorn munching crowds of inattentive viewers, it’s solidly entertaining. But as a complex, Hitchcockian (as in the obvious inspiration, Rear Window) thriller, it misses by a wide margin.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Of course, the problem with Angels & Demons is that to get to the final 40 minutes, it's necessary to endure the first 90, and that would be defined as cruel and unusual punishment.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The chief pleasure of High Crimes (and it's a limited one) comes from watching Morgan Freeman, who can bring a sense of integrity to even the silliest thriller.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Best of all, it proves that there are still directors cut from the John Waters mold who aren't content just to push the envelope -- they rip right through it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Wonderful World feels like a modern-day half-baked riff on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's something a little annoying about a movie that tries this shamelessly to be endearing and family friendly.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    It's not the best of modern fairy tales but it's sincere and Christina Ricci's earnest and vulnerable performance touches the heart. Penelope is flawed but not irredeemably so.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    My evaluation is to wait-list Admission and catch it when it reaches the less demanding platform of home video.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The exceptionally strong cast showcases American, British, and Australian actresses, all of whom show an astonishing willingness to appear in physically unflattering circumstances (no makeup, hair and skin caked with drying mud).
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Enjoyable and inviting.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    For a strangely-titled, female-oriented drama about mothers and daughters bonding, try "The Joy Luck Club" and leave Ya-Ya as a phrase uttered by one-year olds who have yet to learn how to talk.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Martian Child wants to make us cry. It nearly made me gag. This is an exercise in shameless and inept emotional manipulation.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The rousing success of the final 45 minutes cannot entirely counterbalance the stumbling uncertainty of the first 90 minutes.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    With a cast featuring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, and Ricky Gervais, one has a right to expect something amusing from Night at the Museum. Oddly, not only is the movie unfunny, but it rarely tries for laughs.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The movie doesn't come close to the family-friendly comedic pseudo-incest flirted with in "Back to the Future." That, apparently, is deemed too unsettling for today's audiences. So 17 Again none-too-cleverly tap dances around these issues.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Proposal follows a paint-by-numbers script, it fails one key acid test: it doesn't sell the romance.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    "Mindless" applies, and Book of Secrets is more like a tame, endlessly repetitive amusement park ride than a motion picture.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    xXx
    For Vin Diesel, starring in XXX is a wonderfully smart career move. Too bad neither "wonderful" nor "smart" are applicable adjectives to describe this film.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Represents solid family entertainment, and will find a special place in the hearts of those who adore the "Godfather" movies and the TV series "The Sopranos."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The acting by Scarlett Johansson is so raw and sincere that the film leaves an impact despite its deficiencies.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the thing that most surprised me is how fingernails-on-blackboard awful the music is.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Much of the film's comedy feels muted; Fun with Dick and Jane isn't a lot of fun.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    Devoid of life, intelligence, humor, and anything else that could entertain even the most undemanding viewer, this film is a perfect example of something that should have been shipped to landfills, not multiplexes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    All-in-all, however, even though Chaplin is fitfully entertaining, it fails to touch enough emotional chords to make it of more than passing interest.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    And, while it's not bad enough for me to suggest that it should have been left where it came from, this certainly isn't a shining example of Australian cinema.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gorgeous photography and strong acting keep the formula from becoming stale. For those who don't mind pictures that fall into predictable rhythms, A Good Year represents a pleasant diversion.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Despite its flaws, The Box remains intriguing; however, as its mysteries are solved, the prevailing sense is one of frustration rather than satisfaction. That makes The Box worthy of the dubious label of "an interesting failure."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The film has its charms but the end result feels like warmed-over James Bond… and not even especially good 007, at that.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Whatever small pleasures it may offer are wiped out by the frustrating sense of incompleteness that accompanies the arrival of the end credits.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Failure to Launch fails at more than just launching. It fails at romance and comedy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The film is preposterous to the point of distraction, where the necessary level of suspension of disbelief exceeds the capacity of a normal, thinking person.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Builds up enough good will during its successful first half that we're willing to forgive some of the strange and disappointing convolutions the plot takes us through during the final 45 minutes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    A gripping, powerful motion picture -- arguably the most forceful depiction of Jesus' death ever to be committed to film. It leaves an indelible imprint on the psyche; viewers of this movie may never look at a crucifix in quite the same way.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    While "Love, Actually" succeeded in providing well-developed characters in (mostly) interesting situations, He's Just Not That Into You is often flat with subplots that feel rushed and/or contrived.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Represents a disappointing way for the science fiction trilogy to bow out. Overlong and underwhelming, The Matrix Revolutions reinforces the thinking that it’s a rare movie series in which the final chapter is the strongest.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Enjoyable for a movie in which pretty much nothing happens.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    Jennifer's Body mixes, matches, and crosses three popular genres: horror, comedy, and teen angst. Unfortunately, it fails at all of them - and "fails" might be too kind a term.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The product is akin to a mediocre '80s sex comedy (with minimal nudity) and "daring" is a descriptor only the most naïve and puritanical would employ.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    One of those movies in which the principals talk a lot but don't say much.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    It is a cinematic abomination -- a source of embarrassment for everyone involved.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    This remake replaces suspense with boredom and witty dialogue with lame lines any self-respecting actor should be embarrassed to utter.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    One could argue that such an approach isn't all bad - after all, it allows us to know and like the characters - but there are times when Ladder 49 gets a little too cute.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    A small group of viewers will find in Burlesque a gem to treasure for years to come. It's a bad movie lover's wet dream. For the average multiplex stalker, however, it exists somewhere between inconsequential and a waste of time, so that's where I'll peg it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There’s no rule that main characters have to be likable, and DeHaan’s Lockhart isn’t, but they at least have to be interesting. He fails that litmus test.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An emotionally rewarding experience: strong performances from leads Henry Hooper and Mia Wasikowska and a tender love story conveyed with genuine feeling.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, as with too many films being made with the international market in mind, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a jumble of overhyped action scenes, trite dialogue, painfully bad “character development”, and awful writing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Swing Vote marries mild satire with Capra-esque melodrama in a formula that works surprisingly well.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The movie veers with surprising ease between comedy and tragedy. Some scenes are hilarious; others are somber.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It's compelling in the way many B-movies are - cheap, sleazy, and lacking the depth we have come to associate with this director.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    I walked out of the original Shall We Dance? with a silly grin on my face. I left this one shaking my head, wondering where it had all gone wrong.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This is not a good movie but, considering what Halloween has evolved into over the course of seven sequels, it's perhaps better than it has a right to be.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Recommended only for die-hard fans of the TV show. Others are advised to wait until this is available in a smaller format.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For me, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the epitome of what a summer movie should be. There’s sufficient spectacle to satisfy the “wow!” factor, some hammy performances by actors in their wheelhouses, a half-dozen solid laughs, and a script that, if not likely to be called “clever” or “smart”, doesn’t demand a frontal lobotomy to be enjoyed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's something missing and it becomes apparent early on. The movie isn't scary - not even a little bit.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Day After Tomorrow is filled with bad dialogue, stock peril situations, and sketchy character development, but it's a big enough spectacle that those things don't completely derail the film's capacity to be enjoyed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Director Brett Ratner has always been associated with spectacle but, even for him, this represents a misstep because the "wow!" factor is muted.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Crash has a couple of concepts which are, admittedly, fascinating and original, but not a whole lot more.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is one of those rare horror movies that concentrates on suspense and terror rather than on gore and a high body count.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Despite high production standards and a slick advertising campaign, Primal Fear is as trite and routine as any made-for-TV courtroom drama.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There's hardly a single aspect of this motion picture that seems more than superficially credible, and if the United States government is really run in the Keystone Cops manner depicted in Wayne Beach and David Hodgin's script, then this country is in a great deal more trouble than anyone suspects.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Cursed with two of the least interesting bad guys in recent memory. While McGivens and Armand are unquestionably villainous, there's nothing about them to cause audiences to hiss. They're boring.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Max
    Max is a throwback of sorts - a movie about the relationship between a boy and his dog. Lassie springs to mind as the genre classic, but this has a closer kinship to Rin Tin Tin. Although its sensibilities are old-fashioned, the movie offers a modern look and feel.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There's not a surprising moment in the movie yet it works in spite of the stale, insipid storyline. That has a lot to do with lead actress Katherine Heigl and a little to do with the glowing embers between her and her co-star, James Marsden.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Take away Kristen Wiig, and Masterminds offers nothing. She is by far the best thing about the movie and easily outshines her SNL compatriots Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Jason Sudeikis.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Links between climate change, population growth, and a potentially catastrophic worldwide famine are reduced to background plot points. The moral/ethical conundrums of the “solution” are paid lip service but not aggressively integrated into the story.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The book is richer, but this is a solid, endearing telling of the same essential story, and is well worth the price of admission for those who appreciate romantic fantasy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Call Project Almanac a "shaky-cam special", and it's a damn shame. The resultant production, both shaken and stirred, transforms a potentially entertaining pulp time travel story into a misbegotten exercise in frustration.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The premise is inherently interesting, but the screenplay (by Glen & Les Charles) is unwilling to take chances. Instead, it uses stock events to push events forward.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Redundant and unnecessary.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The General's Daughter is for all those who enjoy mystery/thrillers that neither attempt to break new ground nor are afraid to employ familiar plot devices.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    It's a perfect choice for a mother/daughter evening out...decently constructed, solidly performed, and not too naïve.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For what Man on Fire delivers, it's worth enduring Scott's hyperkinetic visual techniques.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    That Sayles is able to say these things in the context of a compelling story with well-defined characters makes this one of the early fall triumphs of 2004.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The movie is pleasant but unspectacular, and at times it borders on being too cute.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The strength of the cast speaks volumes about the "prestige" aspect of the production. In addition to Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, and Alexander Skarsgard contribute.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Wyatt Earp's attempts to cover so many years lead to too many scenes with little emotional power. The film doesn't shoot blanks, and it is better than Tombstone, but, considering the names involved, a little disappointment isn't out of the question.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, although Blair Witch owes much to the spirit of "The Blair Witch Project," it’s an inferior production. This is as much a result of stylistic and narrative choices as it is a reflection of how the horror landscape has changed in the last 17 years.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Delivers its share of cheap scares but never unlocks the door to the creepiness that would have made this is memorable movie-going experience.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    It's juvenile from start to finish, which is fine if you're young, but not so great if your sole purpose in a theater is to accompany someone who's young.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As a means of non-participatory time travel and non-intellectual stimulation, it's successful. Toe-tapping and eye-rolling are equally forgivable. Rock on.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    An exercise in mediocrity. It's curious how little of the TV series' charm and appeal can be found in this uneven, plodding excuse for a reunion.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    A soulless jumble of ineptly assembled cliches and pabulum that plays like a 95-minute commercial for NBA properties.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Although Ford does not exactly mail in his performance, this is a lazy job, and far from his best work. On top of that, he has no chemistry with co-star (and heartthrob of the moment) Josh Hartnett.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The action sequences were often nail-biters, the lead characters were well-developed, and the dialogue was intelligent.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With a cast of characters so large that Robert Altman would feel at home, Big Trouble manages to do a lot of clever little things and generate quite a few big laughs without wearing out its welcome.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The good news first: The Alamo is probably the most historically accurate depiction yet to reach the screen of the famous siege. The bad news is that "historically accurate" does not necessarily translate into "dramatically successful."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Instead of a satire, they give us a tired, tedious victory-for-the-underdog story, and the unevenness of Ferrell's comedy makes it less appealing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In pandering to Hollywood standards about how stories like this should unfold, LaBute has lost his edge.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie works because so much of what's on screen will resonate with viewers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    The movie starts cheating the audience early, and never lets up.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    As it is, it's a passable diversion.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    There are bad movies and annoying movies, and this one contains elements of both.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In the case of Dangerous Minds, we get an idealized version of inner city life, where, though problems may require more than the wave of a magic wand to remove, the solutions still seem too facile.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It's a bit of a throwback and a solid family film and, at the time, represented a well-intentioned leap of faith of the sort that studios rarely take.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Dilemma downshifts from slapstick to melodrama and back so abruptly that it is at times jarring.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This time around, however, the magic has fizzled. Based solely on merit, Now You See Me 2 is a sequel that should never have been made.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    It's a cloying, humorless motion picture whose only assets are the work of Jim Henson's Creature Shop and a couple of good one-liners by a pair of rodents.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Sadly, the result is a disappointment. Sure, the aerial battles are technically adept and occasionally exhilarating, but it's almost painful to sit through some of the "drama" that occurs on the ground.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    One of the most curious aspects of If I Stay is the way it rigorously ignores religion and spirituality. With the exception of an undefined "white light" image that recurs, the movie never once mentions "God" (as an entity). For a movie that is so much about death, it seems like an odd omission.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Most of the time, it's just repetitive.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The final half-hour contains enough contrivances and holes to challenge even the most generous movie-goer's suspension of disbelief.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Deliver us from directors who think that asking cast members to overact is the only way he can cover us the numerous ludicrous weaknesses of his screenplay.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If your reason for seeing In the Cut is to watch America's sweetheart stripped bare, you'll get what you're looking for. On the other hand, if you're looking for a good movie, this one will disappoint.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Weak dramatically, and that limits its overall effectiveness.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The book tore at my heart; the movie left me strangely unmoved.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Despite a slow start, the movie eventually slips into a congenial flow. Unfortunately, Guarding Tess ends up derailing because of a ill-conceived ending that has something to do with a silly kidnapping subplot.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The musical sequences throb with energy and this allows We Are Your Friends to maintain its trajectory when its momentum flags.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Director Stephen Daldry has fashioned an emotionally powerful cinematic testimony about that horrific late summer day.

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