For 482 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John DeFore's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Lowest review score: 10 I Kissed a Vampire
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 482
482 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 John DeFore
    The work Richard Linklater and company started in 1995's Before Sunrise retains a clarity of spirit undimmed by 18 years.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 John DeFore
    A smart-ass charmer, merciless tearjerker and sincere celebration of teenage creativity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    A mismatched-friends drama whose overall sensitivity is belied by a couple of clumsily contrived plot points, Sean Baker's Starlet pairs story and setting perfectly.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    A genuinely moving look at life in a group foster home that avoids most of the usual routes into viewers' hearts.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    The force of Darby's personality -- a rich stew of righteousness, arrogance and self-delusion -- gives the doc a psychological appeal independent of politics.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    Rescued from decay after the director's 2011 death and looking radiant in a 2K restoration, this quiet gem is a time capsule whose potential audience may be small, but will be transported.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    As funny as the first go-round, more beautiful to look at, and better conceived.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    All but a must-see for anyone who knows enough to care about the way laws govern information transfer in the digital age, Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is an inspiring account of the life of, and an infuriating chronology of the persecution of, one of the Internet's most impressive prodigies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    Spy
    Laugh-stuffed and making excellent use of its marquee-grade supporting cast, it promises to be a home run in its early summer release.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A highly entertaining documentary revealing a serious talent behind the one-note present-day reputation.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A thoroughly engaging film about an inimitable New York painter.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Hersonski enriches this evidence by bringing in survivors of the ghetto, who tell stories of life there while watching the film themselves.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A moving and effective film whose subject may lack the hot-button boxoffice appeal of the director's "An Inconvenient Truth" but is at least a crisis practically everyone agrees actually exists.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    RED
    Even the more cartoonish performances, like John Malkovich's acid-damaged paranoiac, fit the movie's vision of the vanished, wild-and-woolly heyday of spycraft.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Overall, though, the project brings enough good into this rough corner of the world that viewers can walk out with honest cause to be hopeful for its inhabitants.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    As entertaining as any showbiz documentary in recent memory.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Frederic Jardin's gripping Sleepless Night maintains a consistently high pitch without growing monotonous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A pure-bliss celebration of Paul Simon's landmark album Graceland coupled with an interesting if not unbiased look at the controversy surrounding its release.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Finding smart ways to bring novelty to the franchise without forsaking what made the original so much fun (and in fact doubling down on some of those qualities), Barry Sonnenfeld's Men in Black 3 easily erases the second installment's vague but unpleasant memory and -- though we might hope producers will quit while they're ahead -- paves the way for future installments.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The result is uniquely powerful, putting faces and human consequences to a political dispute that seemingly will never end.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Aubrey Plaza proves she can carry a film with this multiplex-friendly comedy about time travel.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Rising well above the typical making-of feature, the documentary will fascinate buffs when shown alongside the operas themselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A disability-centric documentary that moves viewers without resorting to trite devices, Seung-Jun Yi's Planet of Snail takes a condition most of us would find unbearable and demystifies it while finding room for poetry.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Carol Morley's sadly fascinating Dreams of a Life, which plays like a more artful cousin to TV's true-crime documentaries, slowly assembles a portrait of Vincent, unfolding in a way that should earn fans in its niche theatrical run.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Nothing about the plot is novel, but the film easily maintains a low simmer that picks up in the final act, as Miller has to fight to keep his sinking ship staffed.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Inherently unpreachy but making its point more effectively than many participants in the debate can, the film should find vocal advocates in a niche theatrical run.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The picture is fresh and frightening, a strong arthouse contender certain to leave audiences talking.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Strong, entertaining portrait of a hard-to-pin-down online phenomenon.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The feel-good documentary is engaging enough to draw a respectable audience at arthouses, but distribs should work for exposure within communities like the ones this school serves.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Jaume BalabuerĂ³'s effective thriller Sleep Tight puts more value on slow-building bad vibes than on pulled-curtain shock, but its treatment of mental illness and voyeurism, lightly salted with pitch-black humor, will feel pleasingly familiar to fans of the older film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Some of these trekkers are more resilient than others, but all seem to agree there's a high, maybe insurmountable barrier between them and civilians. However sympathetic we are, they say, we can hardly understand what they've been through. High Ground makes that difficult task a little easier.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Thorny, blood-boiling and finely made.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Though certainly not for everyone (and not for kids of any age), the regret-tinged film displays a distinctive voice and will be embraced by devotees of offbeat animation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The birds are not only gorgeous but, as they poke for food and rustle around, entertaining.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The effective documentary makes her attitudes and techniques look unarguably commonsensical, for the most part; while many distributors will shy away from such graphic material, the film may thrive in niche bookings and will benefit from enthusiastic word-of-mouth on video.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Park's unsettling visuals and his handling of the cast make the occasional holes in Wentworth Miller's script practically irrelevant.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A character-driven take on true-crime fare, Alex Karpovsky's Rubberneck marks a solid dramatic turn for a filmmaker best known for playing comedic parts in indie films like "Tiny Furniture."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    More than most adaptations, this is a film true to Shakespeare's practice of employing all means at hand to keep the crowd entertained.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Throughout, the film's subjects convince us they're doing nothing more than being themselves, so much so that a cynical advisor told Sutton he should market his film as a documentary. That label would prepare potential viewers for Pavilion's lack of story, but it would make a lie of the movie's patient, finely drawn loveliness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Costa's inquiry into that life offers a deeply felt angle on the broader realities of life in Paraguay during the '80s; while the intimate film is unlikely to expand beyond niche theatrical bookings, it will affect many who see it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Batmanglij balances emotional tension with practical danger nicely, a must in a story whose activist protagonists can make no distinction between the personal and the political.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A vital, gripping film.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Pure joy for Beatles fans and, one guesses, charming enough to seduce some viewers who wouldn't mind never hearing "She Loves You" ever again.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The good-looking, easygoing doc settles in with its two subjects, offering not just an intimate perspective on the playwright's biography but some touching reflections on the comforts and perils of long-term friendship.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A trove of great stills and movie footage accompanies the colorful anecdotes, but the film's most consistent pleasure is the way interviewees recall the moments before the tape rolled on an immortal recording.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A thrill-stuffed sports doc whose daredevil subject will quickly endear himself even to viewers who've never heard his name.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A mournful testament to a vibrant piece of global film history almost entirely wiped out of existence.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A loving biography of a guitarist whose work was "not folk, not blues, not gospel," but drew from and colored those genres and more.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Choosing it for his debut as director, Bateman demonstrates the same knack for timing and fine shadings of attitude as he does onscreen.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Steph Green's first feature has more going for it than a solid dramatic turn by Will Forte.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The ritualized presentation of these disasters... adds up to a kind of unsettling spiritual experience, a communion with the dead that demands the quiet participation of a group
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Very funny at the outset and escalating steadily for most of its brisk running time, the film represents a big win for neophyte screenwriters Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A powerful documentary that reminds those of us who've moved on to other worries that this one is far from finished -- and that a government that proclaimed outrage during the summer of 2010 has seemingly done little to prevent or prepare for another such catastrophe.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Carbone's script doesn't tell a story so much as watch the fluctuations in emotional energy here, quietly observing activities both directly and indirectly related to the loss. As a director he's patient but never sluggish, taking time to appreciate the still landscapes his characters move through.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Katz has a clear investment in Healy's character and convincingly depicts his choices as inevitable even when they become anything but.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Funny, fascinating, and packing a surprisingly poignant twist, the doc will get plenty of free publicity and, for unsqueamish moviegoers, will live up to the hype.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    An elegant meditation on one of the most distinctive bodies of work in contemporary art.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    What moviegoers do get is a film both thoughtful and convincing, sympathetic but not flattering to a man who had just three years after this period's end to make himself immortal.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    It's laugh-packed, self-aware in a manner that lets everyone in on the joke, and goofily satisfying in the action department.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Sometimes tender, sometimes frantic and always funny, the film's surprising coherence is exemplified in a climactic scene that pairs credible heartbreak with pure slapstick.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Though some plot elements are pushily therapeutic, they're offset by others whose novelty distinguishes Rudderless from movies of its sort.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Visually ravishing, thought-provoking and benefitting from just enough playfulness to set it apart from the nature-doc herd, the film is eco-relevant without being at all dominated by climate change, which is only one of many subjects discussed.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A deeply satisfying pop biopic whose subject's bifurcated creative life lends itself to an unconventional structure.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A thoughtful, emotionally tricky debut benefitting from two strong lead performances.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A very funny Kiwi take on vampire lore and its application to the modern world.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Few who see the picture will fail to be charmed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Berg's film is very tightly focused, examining just one arena of abuse and dutifully addressing only cases in which an accuser is willing to appear on camera.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A quiet stunner of a drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    In tracing the origins of this restaurant staple, Ian Cheney's The Search for General Tso is as much an immigration history as a culinary one, observing how a people who were demonized as low-wage laborers found entrepreneurial success in small and large towns across the country.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's Ten Thousand Saints offers both a premise and a setting ripe for nostalgic sentimentality but indulges in little of it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Maclean's screenplay is unshowy but keen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Exciting and enlightening, the still-timely film ranks with docs like The Weather Underground in its evocation of a more politically engaged era.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Funny, dark, and riding a very fine line in its depiction of mental illness, it may be the best thing we could hope would emerge from the side of Wiig that gave us Gilly.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    While the film plays strongly as both mystery and haunted love story, Bush also gets plenty of mileage simply from the drama of one man's attitude toward himself, if such a thing even exists.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Cutting through many of the easy signifiers found in bad-behavior comedies to get at what it actually feels like to be an intimacy-phobic mess, Trainwreck finds Judd Apatow putting his directing chops in service of Amy Schumer's deeply felt but cracklingly funny screenplay.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Technically puckish where appropriate but grounded by strong performances from Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder, the film is not awards bait but makes some Big Thinker biographies that are look staid.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Star-stuffed, well paced and very funny.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Grim backwoods tale takes its time building momentum.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    In-depth account of Army deployment in an Afghanistan hotspot shows soldiering at its most rugged.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Horror and cold humor commingle in Dogtooth, a Greek import whose screenwriters approach scenario construction like misanthropic social scientists planning an experiment -- one whose result suggests that governments might want to rethink policies allowing parents to home-school their children.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though Carell and Rudd are both saddled with characters that just aren't as interesting as many they've played in the past, the movie benefits from having drawn many gifted comedians to supporting roles.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Convincingly argued and extremely polished, it has theatrical potential for auds whose reservoir of worry about humanity's future hasn't already run dry.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Centurion delivers some large-scale action but plays almost like a Roman-era Western in its depiction of a few soldiers trying to get home alive after the slaughter of their comrades.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Jaw-dropping and surprisingly kind-hearted considering the circumstances.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A clever DIY comedy that could be this year's "Humpday" for art house audiences in search of characters they recognize from their own lives.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Entertaining and comprehensive in its account of the man's career.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Successful to a point (though seemingly unaware of the chuckles it produces in between shrieks), the movie has strong prospects with genre audiences but won't spawn a phenomenon resembling the filmmakers' previous franchise.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A portrait of the short-lived artist that will move fans while letting the uninitiated witness enough onstage highlights to leave them wanting more.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A risky bet that pays off solidly, Jodie Foster's much-delayed The Beaver survives its life/art parallels -- thanks to its star, Mel Gibson -- to deliver a hopeful portrait of mental illness that is quirky, serious and sensitive.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Writer-director Richard Ayoade's feature debut is witty and quirky, with a gripping performance by Paddy Considine.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    One of the things making Goon so enjoyable is its fairy-tale suggestion that all humanity's violent impulses can be exorcized in a Zamboni-groomed ice rink.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Following up "Humpday" with another low-rent charmer, Lynn Shelton moves from two- to three-character dynamics.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Moves at an absurd pace and dares anyone above 25 to keep up, yet the stream of genre-hopping jokes and sight gags makes the movie an entertaining ride.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel's latest collaboration offers a more relatable rom-com scenario while generating laughs that should still satisfy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" fans.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Beautifully put together in just about every way, it will be potent stuff on the small screen but deserves its moment in theaters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Following the template of documentaries bent on scaring viewers silly, Oasis winds up with a segment pointing to glimmers of hope, one of which addresses the marketing challenge of convincing citizens that recycled waste water is safe for drinking.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Portrait of Wally may be too narrowly focused for some viewers, but offers an engaging narrative and high-profile subject that should attract audiences at fests and in specialized theatrical bookings.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Redlegs marks the promising directorial debut of film critic Brandon Harris.

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