John Anderson

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For 173 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 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Anderson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Get Low
Lowest review score: 0 Nothing Like the Holidays
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 173
  2. Negative: 26 out of 173
173 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    There are not a lot of moments in documentary cinema that equal Citizenfour. Ms. Poitras was already at work on a film about government surveillance when Mr. Snowden presented himself, and she’s something of a lightning rod, too, one with little evident sympathy for Obama administration data mining.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    Anderson, who makes as impressive a directing debut as has been seen in some time, creates a perfectly modulated mystery that doesn't even feel like one. It's a character play, and Hall, Reilly and Paltrow are so convincingly damaged they take on the properties of fine china.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    The filmmaking is fluid and electric; the acting, precise; the archetypal storytelling, seamless and brutal. What happens in “La Jaula de Oro” might enrage audiences, and probably for a variety of reasons. But there’s no getting away without it leaving a mark.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    Frank is a genuine original in a summer sea of sameness, and a darkly comedic manifesto against the cultural status quo.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    Director David Mackenzie's gripping, convincing and convincingly violent convict drama owes its authenticity largely to the experiences of ex-prison therapist Jonathan Asser, who wrote its screenplay. But the opening 10 minutes are a virtuosic example of virtually wordless filmmaking.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    Kon's best work yet.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The Square is journalism, but Noujaim’s agenda is greater than mere reportage.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Conventional it is not. Engrossing it is.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    So refreshing and funny and, in its way, sophisticated.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The situation is fascinating, and given an illuminating investigation here.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Something about Eklavya: The Royal Guard suggests a lost film by David Lean. With some muted echoes of "Hamlet." And a whiff of "Rigoletto."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    It also happens to feature a pair of performances that eclipse all else around them.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Mr. Ostlund positions his troubled characters in an environment of polished ash and Scandinavian spotlessness, under which there are dark mutterings — the constant creak of tow cables and un-oiled metal.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    A very entertaining black comedy for very mysterious reasons.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    “Montage” is about expression. As such, it’s a more honest tribute to Mr. Cobain than any conventional documentary could pretend to be.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Gracefully bittersweet and balanced. [16 April 1999, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    With a mood and setting worthy of a murder story by Jack London, this audience-friendly, atmospheric work could be remade as a thriller, although that’s really what it is already.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Anita may be a tribute doc, but it’s one with real heft.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Martin is marvelous; through sheer charisma, he takes over certain scenes as if no one else is there.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    It's weird, wacky territory you enter in The Price of Milk, and we don't just mean New Zealand.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Steven Soderbergh takes Gray (who appeared in his little-appreciated gem "King of the Hill") places he's never been on-screen. Motion, color and brazen stylizing enhance what is at times a genuinely hysterical work on rationalized terror.[9 May 1997, p.F12]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Guaranteed to fan antigovernment sentiments among its audiences, Dinosaur 13 is less about paleontology than it is about prosecutorial overreach, political gamesmanship, dinosaur swindlers and true crime — if in fact crimes were even committed, and/or committed by the people accused.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Witty, wacky, multicharacter comedy My Best Day features a rural milieu that’s authentically American.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The taste with which one is left is not savory, exactly, but it certainly lingers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    In addition to its terrifically bratty performance by the epically bratty Posey, House of Yes contains some of the smarter (and smarter-assed) writing of the year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Likely to create considerable nervous tension among viewers who think they've seen this all before. They haven't.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Naturally, Mr. Murray is a joy to watch. And he has brought so much joy to so many grumpy people he deserves whatever accolades he can accrue, even for a career-assessment comedy like St. Vincent.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    White Bird in a Blizzard is an alibi for Mr. Araki to flex his considerable muscle as a visual artist, using a palette that ranges from the blissful to the grotesque, and an atmospheric score by those eminences of the ambient, Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Odd, funny film.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    While the movie's star -- and ruler, and ship's captain, and grand poobah -- is Haneke himself, his actors are sublime.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    World War II is often called the “last good war,” which has also meant that it was the last global conflict out of which the studios could make an unabashedly heroic movie. Fury is not that movie. And because it is not, it provides a few psychic disturbances beyond its shocking gore, burning soldiers blowing their brains out, children hanged from trees by the SS and imminent rape.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    What she finds is good for her and good for us -- a journey of realization for anyone who's ever felt lost in the crowd.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The special effects are effective and aggressive, although one might occasionally confuse a divine vortex with a flushed toilet.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The visuals are kinetic, the pacing frenetic; the violence, or at least its aftermath, doesn’t just border on the excessive, it makes major incursions. But given the criminal milieu at hand, nothing less would have seemed plausible, or equal to the heightened, sordid sensibility Mr. Johnson creates in the film’s opening moments and maintains right up to an ending that is among the more perverse in recent memory.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    A virulent but thoroughly entertaining trilogy of tales about the besieged lower classes of Edinburgh, ripe with vulgarity, self-loathing, violence and economic disorder.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    As pure comedy, The D Train is far more cringe-worthy than outright hilarious. But as a study in human nature, it’s beyond provocative — and maybe even instructive.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Consistently daffy, consistently amusing.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    To resort to strictly ethnocentric references, Fanaa is equal parts MGM extravaganza, Shakespeare lite and James Bond. In their heart of hearts, isn't that what movie audiences really want?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Sleepwalk With Me makes the subject palatable, funny and maybe even touching.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The trick is getting from a conclusion made five minutes into a movie to an ending 90 minutes away. It can be a scary prospect. In The Sweetest Thing it is mostly a hoot.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Following Woody Allen, Ang Lee and any number of sitcoms, Georgia Lee constructs her well-shot, well-written film around three daughters.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 John Anderson
    Despite a certain emotional chill, what holds this Mechanic together is - no surprise - the core Carlino story.

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