For 388 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John DeFore's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 10 I Kissed a Vampire
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 388
388 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Well conceived and unmanipulative, it will play well with auds attuned to its social-justice themes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Warm-hearted and entertaining, if more sad than its quirky premise suggests.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film delivers almost exactly what fans of the first installment are hoping for.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The picture survives its excesses thanks to winning chemistry between stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, who animate banter-heavy dialogue and click so well one wonders why they haven't shared the screen before.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A documentary so stuffed with eye-soothing images one prays it can seduce a climate-change skeptic or two.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Fans will love its intimate mood and class-act portrayal of its subject; Dion Beebe's cinematography boasts the expected polish, but the film will likely be most popular on small screens.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Damning documentary pairs an individual sex-abuse case with analysis of institutional dysfunction at the Vatican.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A must-see for fans of the cult musician and a moving, if sometimes oblique, look at gender-identity issues, it will find many admirers in niche bookings.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    One of rock's underheralded pioneers gets his due in Beware of Mr. Baker, an affectionate but unfawning portrait that finds the drummer of Cream still keeping the beat despite hardships both institutional and self-inflicted (heavy on the latter).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A cast of young actors is uniformly strong, as is Lance Gewer's photography.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A small but scrappy road-tripper whose solid sense of place and sure-handed blend of poignancy and unsentimental humor should earn it fans on the arthouse circuit.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A rare film dealing with Christian evangelism in a realistic way that neither mocks nor proselytizes, New Jerusalem quietly observes as a man tries to comfort his troubled best friend by bringing him to Jesus.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Self-contained enough for theatrical audiences new to the series, it will play best with those who've come to care for these Brits over time.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A quietly marvelous travelogue condensing months' worth of observation into a single sleepless night, Bill and Turner Ross's Tchoupitoulas follows their widely praised "45365."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Becker is now completely paralyzed, unable even to speak. But Vile keeps him almost entirely offscreen until the last thirty minutes, preferring to introduce him as he once was: Uncommonly positive and single-minded in his obsession with the electric guitar.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Its account of the week beginning January 25 feels like a solid, layman-friendly addition to the West's understanding of this chunk of history.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    If the premise isn't as attention-grabbing as Rubber's was, the execution should help build the filmmaker's following.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A history lesson that holds some pleasures even for those who know its material by heart.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    When rehearsals finally give way to full, unconventional production numbers, it's hard to imagine any way Hunky Dory could get much better.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Despite the familiarity of this setup, Way Back is a charmer, putting refreshingly little emphasis on Duncan's romantic needs and allowing family melodrama to erupt and simmer down without pat resolution.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A broken-family melodrama with a minimum of histrionics, Scott McGehee's and David Siegel's What Maisie Knew begins from scenes that will be familiar to most viewers who've witnessed a custody battle. Things get pretty orchestrated from that familiar scenario onward, but never to the point of unbelievability.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    What might have been annoyingly solipsistic proves mostly charming and poignant instead, largely thanks to Nance's cinematic ingenuity, but also because of his ability to both probe his feelings and hold them at a distance.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Hess gets her romance just grounded enough to handle the comic extremes supplied by the supporting cast.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    [A] sweet, semi-romantic road trip.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A film whose fascination with bees and their mammoth impact on the global food chain extends far beyond the subject of colony collapse disorder. Arthouse audiences will eat it up.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The ironies of Plimpton's life are handled delicately, made just obvious enough for viewers to mull themselves.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Laughs come less frequently here than in Humpday and Your Sister's Sister, but the writer-director's empathy for floundering characters is intact.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though it mostly summarizes available arguments instead of uncovering new facts, it's an accessible primer.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Co-directors Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson balance humor and fun with a little fear in a thoroughly accessible way.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    If certain pieces of the last act are less convincing than what precedes it, the themes underlying the illicit emigration resonate with the viewer's knowledge that, in the real world, two of these Cubans actually did escape.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Less twisted than Natali's last film, Splice, it's sufficiently novel to uphold his reputation as a filmmaker not content telling conventional fanboy stories.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The democratic nature of the project and its exploration here jibes with the story of the Vogels, who (to put it mildly) don't conform to the stereotype of the filthy-rich art patron.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A compelling tale even for viewers with no interest in the sweet science.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Funny but less successful as comedy than as a cry of you-screwed-us-up solidarity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Capturing the spirit of an artist and the quickly-fading moment in media history when his work could have real nationwide impact, Michael Stevens' Herblock: The Black & The White pays homage to the great editorial cartoonist with testimonials from a who's-who of D.C. journalists and opinion-makers.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Thoughtful and less sensationalistic than its premise might suggest, it's made for arthouses and offers a fine showcase for costar Rutger Hauer.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Although laughs do come... the film is happy to observe wryly as boredom and failure threaten to overwhelm the men.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Well-lensed observational doc exposes an obscure economic reality in Mongolia.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Far from being overkill, the well-conceived drama featuring A-listers Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth in key roles, will bring this infuriating tale of injustice to many mainstream moviegoers for the first time.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The heavily stylized film further demonstrates the actor's ability to create self-contained worlds behind the camera.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Hitting all the rom-com notes with wit and some charm, it'll be a crowd-pleaser.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Mike Mendez's shamelessly Corman-esque Big Ass Spider! does almost everything just a tiny bit better than it needs to.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A self-aware laffer that indulges in rom-com contrivance up until the point it judo-flips them to its own ends.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The doc could benefit from more information about what led up to that day.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Honest and well made but lacking a strong hook.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An enjoyably naughty trip through Divine's career that happily makes time to introduce us to Glenn Milstead, the sweet kid and fledgling hairdresser who transformed himself so daringly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Aftermath's avoidance of Holocaust-film tropes lets the picture address weighty historical and moral issues while fitting into the genre shoes of a small-town thriller.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The earnest doc offers enough spirit-lifting moments to prove its thesis and leave viewers inspired.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A return to form for John Sayles.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Ever-curious, self-deprecating about occasions in which his fumbling English keeps him from making questions clear, Gondry works with sweet earnestness to understand his subject and convey that understanding to us.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The doc happily devotes most of its time to a stylish, energetic account of Hanna's career to date and the impact it has had on a generation of women.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A compact, effective thriller set in way-rural Ireland, Jeremy Lovering's In Fear makes the most of three actors, a car and a network of narrow roads winding through the woods.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Engaging characters and the persistent appeal of dinosaurs benefit the doc, whose Byzantine legal content might otherwise be off-putting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    More structure and polish doesn't keep Lynn Shelton's latest from being recognizably hers.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Enjoyable heist pic is more talk than action.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Meyer and Luke Matheny's script is full of the kind of nit-picky detail one hears when birders converse, and milks some life lessons out of philosophical differences between "listers" and "watchers."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The story's conclusion benefits from a closure that is satisfying despite — and even because of — its predictability.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    However off-putting this fragmentary approach might be for those who'd prefer a clean chronology of important works and their assimilation into academic histories of art, it's clear by the end that the aesthetic fits the subject like a glove.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Mitt humanizes a man who was never nearly as good with his target audience as he was with his family.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Less a rock-doc than a surprisingly affecting look at sibling dynamics in a creative family where one brother is vastly more successful than the other.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Sadly believable and benefiting from an unshowy performance by first-timer Gina Piersanti, it will have many viewers eager to see what Hittman does next.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A chilly allegory whose antihero is both compelling and repulsive.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The personalities and rhetoric are colorful and the film's presentation is lively, though some viewers will wish for a little more rigor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Etxeberria is a good match for the film's Cassavetes-inspired character study. She's no Gena Rowlands, but this woman is clearly under the influence of something that might destroy more lives than hers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Action takes a backseat to local color in well-acted drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    If the three hours of filming Cameron did in the Trench yield little obvious drama, the story of how the Deepsea Challenger reached those depths makes up for it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    More warm-hearted than funny, Schwarz's feature debut benefits from an intelligent script and sympathetic lead performance by Griffin Dunne
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Newfoundland-set comedy is formulaic but pleasing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The new film adds slices to our understanding of life in this war but not so much so that it feels essential.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Just looking at men of this age adds new depth to questions about legalizing gay marriage and further normalizing the kind of institutionalized responsibilities straight people take for granted.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Blood-spattered crime comedy benefits from whip-smart pacing and quirky Scandinavian attitude.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Where some other recent observation-only docs (a format seemingly on the rise among festival entries) have suffered from sluggish pacing or needless obscurity, Light benefits from Yoonha Park's editing, which keeps things moving without suffering from ADHD.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An account of one modern expedition that draws fruitfully upon the lore of another.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A fable-like horror mystery with strong comic and romantic tendencies, Alexandre Aja's Horns draws on source material by cult scribe (and son of Stephen King) Joe Hill to deliver something much more beguiling than the straighter genre fare (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) that made his name.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Talking heads aside, the movie gets a big boost from the wealth of news footage and post-standoff reportage the filmmakers cull from archives.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Grashaw's convincing drama distills this underexposed world into the story of a single young man trying to survive a system designed to break him.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Kink is quite convincing in presenting this one workplace as a happy, sane environment where people respect each other and aren't manipulated into doing things they don't ultimately enjoy. But it leaves plenty of room to presume that Kink.com is an outlier in the industry.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Being haunted by a ghost here is less like a horror movie than like many of the other secrets teenagers share -- working out matters of life and death that no one around them has a clue about.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A feel-good flick about a serial killer who just wants what's best for her daughter. Broad and not too spicy, the London-set Indian rom-com is a crowd-pleaser.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    For all her desk-stashed booze and inappropriately tight skirts, the movie offers Diaz a pretty bland badness.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Ruffalo gives voice to the film's unironic point of view.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Too dark for a very broad audience, it will flummox some viewers drawn by its cast but will strike others with its more-than-prickly approach and standoffish humor.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The wild card in all this remains Seann William Scott's Steve Stifler, the rampaging id whose indignation at his peers' maturity provides most of the film's real laughs.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A fairy tale about parenting that stays kid-friendly without completely glossing over the darker themes of its premise.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Lightweight but likeably uncynical.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Twisty enough to please many arthouse patrons, though some will be rolling their eyes by the end.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Convincing in its depiction of late-20s romantic anxiety (if not of that age bracket's real estate realities), it is broadly appealing without bowing too deeply to formula.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Annette Bening captivates as the self-delusionist, with Ed Harris ruggedly irresistible as the object of her fantasy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Matthew Akers' film is a personally revealing look at an artist most famous for maintaining stone-faced silence for three months.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Modest but revealing documentary.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Falling somewhere between the X Games and Jackass on the Knievel Scale of Senseless Self-Endangerment, the crew known as Nitro Circus offers more physical and technical prowess than Johnny Knoxville's crew without stooping to anything so disciplined it might accidentally be called a sport.