For 712 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John DeFore's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 0 The Trouble with Terkel
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 712
712 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
    • 100 John DeFore
    A smart-ass charmer, merciless tearjerker and sincere celebration of teenage creativity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    As funny as the first go-round, more beautiful to look at, and better conceived.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    One of the most enriching and enjoyable docs about a filmmaker in recent memory.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    The fact that not every terrible thing can be remedied or appropriately punished is a tough lesson even for adults to learn, but A Monster Calls helps find the sense in it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    Dreamy, poetry-filled and prone to veering off on tangents, the picture teases viewers with such self-assurance it's difficult to believe the twentysomething director is a first-timer.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    When the film moves out of the paranoiac realm and into action, the violence is deeply satisfying, the twists delightful.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    As the melee comes to feel like it may never end, the film executes a masterful narrative shift that will produce instant lumps in many viewers' throats.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    It's as honest and clear-eyed about the past as its predecessor, another in a filmography of unpredictable gems. It may be most like Dazed in that the public could take a while to appreciate it for what it is.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A very funny Kiwi take on vampire lore and its application to the modern world.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Focused much more intently on video journals Gleason made as his illness progressed, the film both documents his rapid physical decline and ponders the many existential issues it raises — especially for a married couple expecting their first child in a few months.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A thoroughly engaging film about an inimitable New York painter.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    An elegant meditation on one of the most distinctive bodies of work in contemporary art.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A highly enjoyable look at a career spent duping the art world.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Strong, entertaining portrait of a hard-to-pin-down online phenomenon.
    • 62 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Rising well above the typical making-of feature, the documentary will fascinate buffs when shown alongside the operas themselves.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    As much as Don't Think Twice focuses on professional envy, though, it remains a love letter to this weirdo art form called improv.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Despite the obvious sadness at its heart, the doc benefits from an unforced optimism.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Star-stuffed, well paced and very funny.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A time capsule capturing the flavor of early-'70s bohemian life in Oklahoma and Texas.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    An icky but engrossing docu-chiller that may provoke OCD-like ratproofing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The birds are not only gorgeous but, as they poke for food and rustle around, entertaining.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The director ties themes together at the end with more finesse than usual, letting a couple of meaningful visuals speak for themselves where he might have thrown in a line or two of explanatory dialogue. And as for that final twist, it's a doozy.
    • 66 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A trapped-in-a-house thriller pitting thieves against an unexpectedly resourceful victim, the lean and mean pic offers scares aplenty and at least a couple of game-changing twists.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A funny and tender drawn-from-life love story.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Aubrey Plaza proves she can carry a film with this multiplex-friendly comedy about time travel.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    This picture satisfies fully on entertainment terms without cheapening its real-world concerns.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A quiet stunner of a drama.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The picture is one part vintage Woody Allen, a few parts Screwball-era comedy of remarriage, and a vigorous shake of Gerwig herself, without whose particular spirit — "so pure," as an admirer puts it here, and "a little stupid" — this scenario might have trouble getting off the ground.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    It's an invigorating chance to experience from afar an ordeal that, unless your name is Eliot Spitzer, you and I will never have to endure.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Straight history is not the whole point here, as Nelson enthusiastically conjures a sense of what it felt like to be a Panther and to be a young black person inspired by them.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Frederic Jardin's gripping Sleepless Night maintains a consistently high pitch without growing monotonous.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Buzzing attentively but not exclusively around cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, director Leah Wolchok strikes a pleasing balance between office minutiae and comic greatest hits; she gets enough face time with individual artists to please comedy nerds while keeping things wholly accessible to casual fans.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    At some point, we realize we've stopped counting the '80s dance hits we recognize (or trying to figure out when that Frankie Goes to Hollywood remix will end) and have become invested in the social lives of the men and women on camera.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Following up on his lauded debut, Welcome to Pine Hill, Miller again blends fiction and reality to fine effect.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A comedy in both the current and the original senses of the word, Little Hours earns its laughs before ensuring a happy end.
    • 80 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
    Maclean's screenplay is unshowy but keen.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The ironies of gentrification will be a chief attraction for this lovely new 4K restoration of the 16mm original. But that theme is just a bonus in a picture whose in-the-trenches look at poverty is humane and, sadly, perpetually timely.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A mournful testament to a vibrant piece of global film history almost entirely wiped out of existence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Steph Green's first feature has more going for it than a solid dramatic turn by Will Forte.
    • 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.
    • 69 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A vital, gripping film.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The picture is fresh and frightening, a strong arthouse contender certain to leave audiences talking.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    An assured doc debut that knows how to stand out in a crowded field, Craig Atkinson's Do Not Resist avoids the handwringing format of other (very welcome) examinations of 21st-century American policing, offering instead something like a despairing tone poem.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    As entertaining as any showbiz documentary in recent memory.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Notes on Blindness is more than sufficient to prove that sightlessness, however unwelcome, is a richer experience than we may assume.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Thorny, blood-boiling and finely made.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Lola Kirke stands in no one's shadow here, delivering a quietly winning performance that would ensure viewer identification even if her character's challenging first-love plight weren't so universal.
    • 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."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Beautiful and sensitive to character but gripping when it needs to be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Energetic, laugh-stuffed and very colorful (it would be a feat to make a dull film about these people).

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