For 324 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John DeFore's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 10 Raze
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 324
324 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    As funny as the first go-round, more beautiful to look at, and better conceived.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A truly moving meditation on identity, family and (as the title of his previous short immodestly put it) the meaning of life, Hertzfeldt's magnum opus is more cosmically satisfying than "The Tree of Life."
    • 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 Balabueró'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.
    • 56 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.
    • 72 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
    • 78 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.
    • 69 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.
    • 63 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    It's easy to imagine exhibitors running scared from the documentary, but audiences who find it will be rewarded with a serious and provocative film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An eye-opener about what it's like to live with a variety of mental illnesses, including obsessive-compulsive disorder -- and, however tenuously, to recover from them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Inevitable or not, it's fun watching two middle-aged lunkheads reverting to adolescent competitiveness, and the fun is compounded by secrecy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though the film sets out only to chronicle the group's life, not the history of the disease, some viewers will wish for a parting message making sense of where things stand today, with the disease mostly vanished from headlines but still destroying lives around the world.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A class-conscious Scandinavian crime film whose impact is dulled by some extraneous subplots, Daniél Espinosa's Easy Money nevertheless makes a solid vehicle for Joel Kinnaman.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The premise, and the hijinks that follow, are about as outrageous as anything in today's crop of raunchy comedies. But Nørgaard offers them with a much drier wit than Hollywood typically delivers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Anne Émond's quietly raw Nuit #1 begins as a highbrow sex film but quickly becomes something much more interesting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Burning Man takes its time getting us to feel for a troubled character but gets the hook in solidly once it decides to.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Jones is great in the part, even if this movie doesn't quite prove she should be carrying films on her own, and the actress makes her character's clumsy heartache feel like more than a plot point.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A solid primer that augments exposition with a powerful sensual streak, Mark Hall's Sushi: The Global Catch aims to be a comprehensive look at the raw-fish phenomenon.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A stunt-documentary whose conceit overlaps with the finding-yourself appeal of a road movie, Joseph Garner's Craigslist Joe is humbly charming.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A too-rare instance in which a gifted young actor signs on for a fright flick without coming away tainted, The Awakening places Rebecca Hall in a convincing historical setting and gives her more to do than widen her eyes in fear.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Warm-hearted and entertaining, if more sad than its quirky premise suggests.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Robot & Frank reminds quirk-hardened veterans that an odd premise and big heart don't have to add up to too-precious awards bait.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Well conceived and unmanipulative, it will play well with auds attuned to its social-justice themes.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The topic's appeal is broad, but Whitehair's tight focus on one activist family keeps this film from being the one to reach an audience beyond those already involved in the issue.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Its high-octane but low-stakes action might be just the thing for moviegoers weary of summer's operatic superheroes.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A quick pace and always-enjoyable lead Joseph Gordon-Levitt will please moviegoers, even if the picture's ticking-clock approach isn't as invigoratingly pulpy here as in the Koepp-penned "Snake Eyes" and "Panic Room."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A feel-good raunch-com whose dirty-talk plot comes from a convincingly female perspective instead of feeling like cut-and-paste Apatow.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Adoptees themselves almost certainly will find Somewhere Between an empowering reminder that tens of thousands of kids have walked this path before.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    In the last 15 minutes of the film, he burns up some of the credibility he established by not pushing extreme situations too far earlier on.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The doc has little to say about the Michelin ranking system that hasn't been said, but offers enough behind-the-scenes interest to entertain foodies and inspire a few additions to their dining-experience bucket lists.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A deceptively slight film that strikes the right balance between realist family drama and earnestness.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Occasionally stupid (stretching even fright-flick conventions) but scary nonetheless, the picture should please horror fans.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Alternates languidly between wistful nostalgia and a more clear-eyed assessment of its protagonist's choices.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An engrossing two-hander combining the smart-talk microcosm of "My Dinner With Andre" and the sexual dynamics of a Philip Roth novel, David Trueba's Madrid, 1987 is more universal than its title suggests and holds a strong art house appeal.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film offers a privileged perspective on crucial moments in Johnny Cash's career, and serious fans will likely warm to it on the small screen.