John Anderson
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For 170 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Anderson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Lowest review score: 0 Nothing Like the Holidays
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 170
  2. Negative: 25 out of 170
170 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    It's doubtful Milarepa will be opening in Beijing any time soon; all the more reason it deserves a look.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    The landscape is dire, the architecture is haunted, children disappear by the dozens and antique toys inexplicably spark to life. That Mr. Radcliffe doesn't is part of the problem.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    What keeps Ain’t in It for My Health from being a really satisfying portrait isn’t a lack of access, but a lack of intimacy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    One of the brighter aspects of Life of Crime, which otherwise ambles along good naturedly, is the casting.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Hyams the director ("Sudden Death," "Timecop," "The Star Chamber") operates at too much of a fevered pitch for things not to eventually get out of hand -- accelerating violence and horror eventually hit maximum velocity and warp into nonsense, no matter how erudite the script.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    The ending, for instance, is so ridiculously tidy it squeaks. But en route to its kitchen-sink climax, "Man" manages to both amuse and provoke, to cleave to convention and promote ideas.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, Thale does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    A trashy little movie about drinking, football and drinking, is also one of those films that pretends to moralize about the very behavior it milks for every giggle it can get.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Less magical is the blind adherence to formula evident in most of Taken 2. As they might say in the advertising department, it's an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. But it could have been much more.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    If the screenplay to Kill the Messenger were a news story, any capable copydesk would have kicked it back to the reporter — not for a shortage of facts, but a lack of dramatic soul.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    It is Mr. Kinnear's slippery charm that keeps Thin Ice from sinking into the frosty Wisconsin slush toward which it seems to be heading from the start.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Writer-director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, who in his feature debut has lashed together a sturdy vehicle for unadorned morality and pragmatic justice.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Adult Beginners presents itself less as humor than as a study in Gen-X sociology and psychology. What happens when people raised in relative ease and who expect to live an even better life than their parents are left emotionally unequipped for reality? It might be touching. It might even be important. But it’s not exactly a lot of laughs.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    What may feel like Mr. Sfar's indulgences are sometimes just that, but one could hardly make an honest movie about Gainsbourg that wasn't as recklessly ambitious as this.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    It's not that the movie is never funny. It's just that you don't feel very good when it is.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    For those more concerned with what “The Avengers” movies do best — outsize spectacle and wry comedy — Age of Ultron has to be declared a victory.
    • Wall Street Journal
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Camp X-Ray isn’t anti-American, despite much of Ali’s rhetoric. It is about the evils of ignorance, wherever it rears its ugly head.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Although Born Romantic is sweetly intentioned and staunchly on the side of love, it meanders long to enough to alienate whatever affection it otherwise earns.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    But as Isaac, Rifkin is simply transcendent, giving what is the most accomplished performance of the year. He does not, however, have a completely successful movie around him.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Veber, also responsible for "The Dinner Game," apparently has a finger on the pulse of French audiences and Gallic-minded Americans, but there's just not a lot of freshness in this Closet.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Exposes director Khan's stage roots -- he has no feel for the close-up, although his use of the frame itself, and negative space, is occasionally thrilling.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Not as bad as it sounds nor as good as it might have been.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Even as Cecil lives his life slightly adjacent to history, building a heroic film around him requires herculean effort.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    What's so unfunny about peace, love and understanding? Plenty, it turns out. But for much of the movie, viewers will be asking themselves where the conflict is. And, by extension, the drama.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Does it all have to be so tedious? To the movie's credit, many of the inside jokes are pretty funny, and Mr. Lundgren is close to hilarious as a dissipated Swede named Gunner.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    A movie that commits sins of excess, except regarding Thornton. There's not nearly enough of him.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Mr. Nixey is doing an Alfred Hitchcock homage within a movie lacking anything as subversive, or skilled, as Hitchcock.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Subtle it is not. Well-intentioned it certainly is. No one but the youngest in the family will care very much about it, though. And they may well be filled with wonderment trying to figure out what this big Babe person is all about.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Go see it. But you'll feel cheap in the morning.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Director Les Mayfield ("Miracle on 34th Street") has his moments, of course, but what ultimately was needed in the case of Flubber was a movie with more bounce and less talk.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The most profound thing the remarkably dread-filled drama Day Night Day Night tells us is what it doesn't tell us.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    While Amma's teachings of love, inner peace and Karma, or action, resonate in the film -- obviously, Amma is a woman called to God -- her background remains pretty much a mystery. Less National Geographic and more personal history would have added a dimension to "Darshan."
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Likké should be applauded for tackling a subject that's bristling with sociopolitical thorns and that raises some provocative questions, particularly about what we find attractive in other people and why.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The cast is really fine, but the script requires a lot of hard swallowing. The story moves along briskly and colorfully but gets further and further from the intimate atmosphere that initially makes it so appealing. [25 Apr 1997]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    One of the reasons documentaries often take so long to make is the filmmakers' need to keep their subject from giving a performance. They want something genuine, something that materializes only when the camera disappears. Nothing Mr. Courtney is says is inaccurate or, God knows, dishonest. But it isn't quite true either.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    A greatest-hits collection of plot devices and emotional cues from such films as "Gorillas in the Mist" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," making it something of a trained chimp, one that apes a lot of good movies while making itself look ridiculous.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The problem for Mr. Krieger is that his film has been trying to dazzle us with all manner of sleight of hand and hokum and now undertakes the construction of a conventional romance. The movie starts spinning its wheels.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    There aren't many bright spots in Lovelace, although one is Amanda Seyfried's intoxicating smile, and another is the retinal insult delivered by a 16mm projector flaring out at the audience during the movie's opening moments, and which feels like an accusation. It's the odd film that indicts you just for watching. But Lovelace is an eccentric piece of cinema, made by unlikely people.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Any self-respecting period piece, historical drama or even caper movie - and The Debt is all three - balances issues of global significance with interpersonal drama. The problem here is that the personal eclipses the global. The stakes are too low.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    By convoluting the various planes of experience, by overlapping and obscuring ostensible realities and ostensible dreams, Mr. Nolan deprives us the opportunity of investing emotionally in any of it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The type of film with which Mr. Ratner has claimed to be infatuated is itself like a caper - it requires precise execution. Tower Heist is more like that 10-story Snoopy, as he drunkenly bobs along Central Park West.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The difficulty is that Brassed Off operates at an emotional pitch that starts at a crescendo and never relents--rendering almost everything equally inconsequential.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Doesn't the reigning genius of the German language deserve his own "Shakespeare in Love"? Sure. But as Goethe scampers about Leipzig, comically failing his doctoral exam, spilling his books and looking bemused, young Johann might as well be auditioning for his own Disney Channel program.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Hot Pursuit is about two women finding sisterly common ground despite ethnic, religious, philosophical, temperamental and/or phonetic differences. It also seems an inevitable stop on Hollywood’s perpetual recycling drive, which caters to an audience perfectly content with the creaky and familiar.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    It's a purely sensory journey until the pictures start making editorial comments, in slaughterhouses and garbage dumps.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Safe House is a sturdy enough thriller, but one that consistently defaults to the less interesting of its two lead characters.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    For all its immersion in the roar, grease and danger of Formula One, the fact-based Rush — about the sport's great rivalry of the 1970s — is also more predictable than a pit stop, something well-suited to Mr. Howard. He's made perfectly palatable pictures, but never a truly great one, partly because he has such a weakness for the commercial and a consequent gift for the obvious.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    This is a movie for younger children -- they won't notice that the children deliver their lines with all the conviction of an airline flight boarding announcement.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    Proyas is trying simultaneously to create a pure thriller and sci-fi nightmare along with his tongue-in-cheek critique of artifice. And this doesn't work out quite so well.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    In their engaging, fast-paced and ultimately ludicrous combo of espionage and mayhem, the makers of The November Man give us a very Putin-like villain in Arkady Federov (veteran Serbian actor Lazar Ristovski).
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The assumption among many when the movie was postponed was that Paramount Classics felt New Yorkers weren't emotionally equipped for something bright or frothy or vivacious. They needn't have been concerned.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The movie thus moves from truly creepy to truly inane, which is, unfortunately, all too common in films of this ilk.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    Stay Alive spends a lot of time inside the video game system, and what will terrify the audience very early on is the realization that there's better acting in the video game than on the big screen.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The go-for-broke plot twists are daring, but because there's no sense of background to the characters, one gets the sense it's all being made up as Baigelman goes along.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    Does for industrialists, politicians, pro-football owners and lawyers what Christopher Guest's "Best in Show' did for dog owners -- but without the skewer.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    Follows a leadenly predictable path that will be more than familiar to anyone who's seen a recent sports movie, or any Sandler movie.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    A sad farewell to the promising Project Greenlight concept, this Feast leaves viewers with nothing satisfying to tuck into.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    Reitman's attempt to show he can re-create the success of his biggest comedy ever. What he proves instead is that, given time and money, a comedy director can devolve into a lower life form.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    There's not enough sustained musical momentum to simulate the energy of an actual rave; the characters are likable but unremarkable.
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    That this is the first film for director Joe Mantello, who was nominated for a Tony for directing the stage version, may be compounding the problem. But frankly, if someone wanted to do a parody of a gay film like this, it's hard to imagine the sloganeering being much different.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    A documentary as messy as the movement it tries to portray, 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film possesses energy, passion and about a dozen documentaries inside it yearning to breathe free.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    A goofball movie, in the way "Malkovich" was, but it tries too hard.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    It only serves to remind one of better movies, at a time when one needs no reminders.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The only thing left unsliced is the ham in BloodRayne, yet another video game adaptation by German genre specialist Uwe Boll and a movie with more fading - or faded - talent than an Italian basketball team.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The island locale rings with reggae music regardless of its proximity to Jamaica, and any action sequence is rendered in painfully deliberate slo-mo.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    Ultimately, Supercross is an example of how too much of anything will get annoying -- including VVRRRROOOOOOOMMM and flying bikes.

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