For 53 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jen Chaney's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 51
Highest review score: 80 I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
Lowest review score: 12 Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 53
  2. Negative: 13 out of 53
53 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Thanks to remarkable access to her subject, and a refusal to turn away during even the most personal moments, Karasawa has made something deeper: a portrait of Stritch just as the aging process is beginning to punch holes in her concrete dam of a personality.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    I Am Big Bird breezes by a couple of opportunities to dig deeper into thornier subject matter, but those minor oversights don’t hurt the film in any significant way.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Sunshine Superman, a portrait of BASE jumping founding father Carl Boenish, effectively captures the irrepressible energy of a man who never tired of taking flying leaps. But it also does something even rarer for the documentary genre: It demands to be shown on an IMAX screen.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Jen Chaney
    This movie’s pleasures are less about its villains and more about the interplay between Pegg and Frost.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Jen Chaney
    One could describe Boseman’s performance in Get on Up as electrifying, and that would not be wrong. But it’s more accurate to say that watching Boseman transform into James Brown, who died in 2006 at 73, is like watching a dude invent electricity while the idea for electricity is still occurring to him.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Jen Chaney
    What is often surprising in this entertaining and fluidly acted portrait of females in flux is the specific way things get messy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    This is a film about people whose stories are still being written, and who, despite their palpable sense of exhaustion, are still seeking healing and hope. There are no Hollywood endings here. That’s just the truth, which Gurchiani has proved she’s committed to capturing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Its ongoing reveal of interconnected, rough-edged characters, as well as a tone that’s a twangy, noirish brew of the Coen brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, and Winter’s Bone, are ultimately what make the movie unsettling and absorbing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    What Mickle really gets right, and what makes this far and away a more artful and effective work of skin-crawly horror than its predecessor, is atmosphere.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    To Pond and Marcolina’s credit, this isn’t just a character study of an ever-adventurous klepto-gran. The documentary also raises questions about whether a professional liar can ever really stop lying.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    A Five Star Life steers away from pat answers and stereotypically Hollywood conclusions, a narrative direction that’s all the more refreshing with a woman in the lead role. But in its second half, Tognazzi’s movie derails as it starts trying to hammer home its points with too much force.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    As a tightly constructed look at the more serious symptoms of Peter Pan syndrome, The Almost Man mostly works. The fact that it departs from the usual vehicles for good-natured, non-threatening Vince Vaughn jackassery is refreshing, albeit in an often jarring, disturbing way.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    It becomes clear that this isn’t just a documentary that seeks to demystify green burials. It’s one that tries, and largely succeeds, to demystify the process of letting go of life.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    By building the documentary around an ensemble cast, Lears and Blotnick demonstrate, in terms of content as well as filmmaking, that the voices of a few can galvanize the voices of many.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    These guys are so fascinating, in fact, that it feels like In Country could and should have gone longer than 80 minutes so that the movie could delve more deeply into their psyches and provide more context behind how these reenactments were born.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    As illuminating as that article may have been, though, Emptying The Skies, a documentary based on Franzen’s story that borrows its headline as its title, ultimately makes a more searing imprint on the psyche.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Jen Chaney
    Like its predecessors, doesn’t need CGI, 3-D glasses or even praise from film critics. It just needs to please its audience with amped-up, old-school thrills that make its target demo whoop and holler with every zoom, smash and ka-BOOM. Consider this review a declaration that it does just that.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Jen Chaney
    A derivative but nevertheless good-hearted movie that’s peppered with enough clever touches to engage adults as well as moviegoers of the smaller, squirmier variety.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Jen Chaney
    Wolf — who wrote Teenage with Jon Savage, author of “Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture 1875-1945” — deftly weaves together various media in a way that breathes its own youthful, stream-of-conscious life into the documentary genre.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Jen Chaney
    Yes, the whole movie feels overstuffed and overlong, and the non-action scenes are often dragged down by stilted dialogue. But Furious 7 buzzes with a frenetic energy so contagious, there’s no sense in resisting it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    As an enjoyable documentary about the history behind a surprising game-changer of a song, this film works well. But it misses the opportunity to take its material to the next level and say something bigger.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    The film captures its lush, leafy settings with an understated evocativeness that fully immerses the audience in its sense of place. The problem is that the movie ultimately leans too heavily on that sense of understatement, failing to let genuine, unexpected emotion fully break through to the surface.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    It doesn’t provide enough rigorously reported context about what happened in 1991 to feel like anything close to a definitive portrait of the Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas saga.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    It’s a perfectly pleasant cinema-studies seminar, but one that stops just short of teaching its students anything truly insightful.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    My Old Lady isn’t the tart slice of dessert that its initial scenes suggest it might be. In fact, it only becomes truly compelling in its second half, as Horovitz drives toward darker material and farther away from the light.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    A film in search of a tighter edit and a stronger point of view. It meanders from scene to scene, calling to mind the images of leaking faucets and dribbling IV fluid that appear here in close-up.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    The fact that this overlong, often preposterous comedy succeeds at all (which it does, only occasionally) proves that the Vaughn/Wilson charm can still work a measure of magic.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    Decoding Annie Parker could have shown much more effectively and deeply that the fight against an often ruthless disease can be won by women attacking it from multiple sides. Instead, it sticks mostly to one track, taking audience members on a journey that, sadly, via the movies or their own lives, they already may know a little too well.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    The Disney animators still take great care to capture the majestic beauty in the jagged landscapes and towering conifers of the Yellowstone-esque Piston Peak Park. Unfortunately, the same contours and shading don’t apply to the characters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is like the family movie equivalent of a Krabby Patty: It tastes fine and will satisfy some cravings. But it’s ultimately a product cranked out to make money and keep our consumer-driven society, much like Bikini Bottom’s, chugging along without significant disruption.

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