For 72 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Anderson's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Get Low
Lowest review score: 10 Charlie Countryman
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 72
  2. Negative: 6 out of 72
72 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    Felix (Duvall) simply wants to host his own goodbye, maybe have a band, and the reasons why are the reasons Get Low is essential viewing. That, and the acting.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    The pulp-fictional hero is inhabited by the charismatic Andy Lau who, together with Chinese stars Bingbing Li, Ms. Lau and Tony Leung Ka-fai, makes Detective Dee the most purely entertaining film of our vanishing summer.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    One of the assets of Stranger Things is its air of mystery, and the actors give the indelible impression that they have much locked away inside.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The deliriously talented Lake Bell wrote, produced, directed and stars in this peculiar bit of comedy magic, set amid the cutthroat world of Hollywood voiceover artists.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    Years after its initial release, Ornette: Made in America, part of Milestone's continuing "Project Shirley," still feels fresh - its moves always surprising, yet always somehow perfect.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig's work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    While much of The World Before Her speaks to global womanhood, other aspects are more specific to India, but that’s what gives the film much of its life and spark.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    A mood piece, a character study and an exercise in poetic gesture possessed of a sort of evanescent, secular spirituality.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Like the film itself, Porter’s handful of devoted, charismatic attorneys do a righteous job of reminding people that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that the criminal justice system seems otherwise disposed.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The Square is journalism, but Noujaim’s agenda is greater than mere reportage.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Anita may be a tribute doc, but it’s one with real heft.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The source of all this information was a real-life KGB agent, Vladimir Vetrov, code named Farewell, and with the usual adjustments for drama his story gets a respectable retelling in this nervy French production.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    It's a trip into a primordial world and primeval sensibilities, and if you're looking to shake off the mall-movie blahs, there are few better places to look.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The common problem of Solondz's characters is an inability to see the world in shades of grey, which is fitting in a film where color-garish, boring or just plain ugly-is so important, and the actors are working off palettes of such extreme emotions. A few of them-notably Ms. Rampling, Mr. Hinds and Ms. Sheedy-are as good here as they've ever been.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    A delicious thriller that gets under the skin à la "All About Eve," albeit with a twist: The craft here is still theater, but of the workplace rather than the stage.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The truth is, Mr. Farina would be considered Oscar material if "Joe May" were a bigger film. As it is, he'll have to settle for being great.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Ms. Israel's movie proves, once again, that the best nonfiction cinema possesses the same attributes as good fiction: Strong characters, conflict, story arc, visual style.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    With Mr. Harrelson, Mr. Moverman has created an antihero of epic proportions and indiscretions.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    What makes this nominee for the best-foreign-film Oscar singular among Holocaust movies is the way it characterizes the banality of life underground.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Conventional it is not. Engrossing it is.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The situation is fascinating, and given an illuminating investigation here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The scope of the subject is such that when Mr. Jarecki's voiceover cuts into the narrative, imposing a personal angle on the national story, it reduces the sense of significance its creator aimed for. But that's a fairly backhanded endorsement of a very potent movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Soko is terrific, but it is Mr. Lindon who delivers the performance of the film, his internalized consternation amounting to an eloquent dispatch from the war between the sexes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    There's a near-sacred history in Hollywood of non-U.S.- born directors providing fresh perspectives on America. Miloš Forman. Alfred Hitchcock. Ang Lee. Ernst Lubitsch. Billy Wilder. For Prisoners, a stress-inducing trip into child abduction, the director is Quebecois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who gives us an American "hero" guaranteed to push many buttons, many times, and who might not have been allowed to be quite so awful, under a different director's lens.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    "Witty and brisk" is not the name of a French breakfast cereal, but it does describe a certain brand of French film, the type that coquettishly flirts with comedy while sprinting in the direction of dry, sophisticated charm. Such is Haute Cuisine.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    [The Kings of Summer] is much more interested in the laughs that can be mined from character rather than plot. Galletta’s script, Vogt-Roberts’ direction and the distinctive play of the actors, notably Offerman and Mullally, lets the viewer know who everyone is right away, and the gag lines flow.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Helmers Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin... don’t quite get to the issues behind the trio’s infamous performance at the historic Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow last year, but the young women’s vulnerability and defiance make for stirring viewing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Despite its dubious inhabitants, the film consistently entertains by throwing the kinds of curves one should see coming but doesn’t.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Some parts of the film are drily academic, but much of it is quite beautiful and artfully put together by the director.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The screenwriter/playwrights have processed the characters’ last words in ways that imbue them with as much humanity as possible.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    People might have laughed at the old Jack Rebney, but they were laughing at themselves as well. And counting their blessings. Everyone has a cranky side. Unlike Mr. Rebney's, it isn't usually gawked at by 20 million people.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini show the same appreciation for eccentrics and humanity they brought to "American Splendor" and Mr. Dano's Louis is a delicately wrought wonder.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    This is a movie about longing, desire, desperation and the abandonment of principle - quite a collection of themes, all universal.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The film is almost distractingly beautiful to look at, something that accentuates the tension between the film's conflicting quantities, i.e., the glories of the physical world, and the corrupted humanity it hosts.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Goofily funny, and silly, and in many ways follows the currents of contemporary comedy into the gulf stream of inanity. And yet Ned turns out to be a strangely moving figure, a comic foil worthy of affection, perhaps even respect.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Mr. Carnahan has till now been pigeonholed, and rightly, by comedy shoot-'em-ups like "Smokin' Aces" and "The A-Team." But here he is with The Grey - certainly an adventure film but one with a spiritual ingredient that is both surprising and fiercely resonant.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The film benefits enormously from having the luminous Rebecca Hall as its lead. It also gains an ominous gravity from the haunted, wounded and wobbly England in which it's set.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Lawless is one of those films that, through seeming serendipity, has a cast that defines its moment. There have been others - "The Breakfast Club," "The Godfather" and "Silverado," to name one irrelevant and two relevant examples. But Lawless really lucked out.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Sleepwalk With Me makes the subject palatable, funny and maybe even touching.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Likely to create considerable nervous tension among viewers who think they've seen this all before. They haven't.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The film grows increasingly mirthful as the characters come into focus, and the casting is the key: Ms. Garner, who also helped produce the film, has a gift for catty roles, and Ms. Wilde is so funny she should play hookers all the time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Noisy, frenetic, grandiose and essentially a soap opera, director J.J. Abrams's second contribution to the franchise has everything, including romance: Never before have Capt. James T. Kirk and his Vulcan antagonist, Mr. Spock, seemed so very much in love.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Mr. Damon brings both a weary optimism and convincing physicality to Max, who is no revolutionary. He just wants to live, and is willing to don an exoskeletal combat suit and fight robots to do it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Mr. Nixey is doing an Alfred Hitchcock homage within a movie lacking anything as subversive, or skilled, as Hitchcock.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    It's a purely sensory journey until the pictures start making editorial comments, in slaughterhouses and garbage dumps.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    Pathetically unfunny most of the time.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    Despite all the nervous tension, the central drama is flawed - Jonathan isn't trying to find a killer. He is the killer. Something is lacking in the dramatic equation.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    As an experiment in Academy Award psychology, Albert Nobbs is fascinating. As drama? It is, forgive us, a drag.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 John Anderson
    The director's apparent blindness to the epic banality of her subjects suggests that the whole project is one royally misguided mess.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 John Anderson
    Fredrik Bond’s direction and Matt Drake’s screenplay deliver a charisma-free trip into a world of gratuitous violence, contrivances and tedium.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 10 John Anderson
    Shockingly, the kind of cringe-inducing material upon which Mr. Mazer has built a career as a writer for Sacha Baron Cohen ("Bruno," "Borat," "Da Ali G Show") doesn't work when rendered by types who could have been cast in "Notting Hill" (someone even makes a Hugh Grant joke). It's rather close to excruciating.