For 724 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John DeFore's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Lowest review score: 0 The Trouble with Terkel
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 724
724 movie reviews
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    German Kral's Our Last Tango balances between a studious fascination with the dance form's history and an embrace of the passions it stokes. Far more engrossing than the usual doc of this sort.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Foodstuffs, metaphysics and a heap of raunchy action add up to something surprisingly hilarious.
    • 81 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The artwork is achingly delicate, but there's nothing subtle about Belladonna of Sadness, a blast of psychedelic madness full of rape, tyranny and Satanism.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A thoughtful, emotionally tricky debut benefitting from two strong lead performances.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A first-rate music film capturing a restless desire to communicate beyond the boundaries of any single idiom.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Few who see the picture will fail to be charmed.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A textbook case in which personal eccentricities and addictions collide with musical brilliance, the story of New Orleans pianist James Booker is so colorful it's hard to believe nobody has made a biopic yet
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The result is uniquely powerful, putting faces and human consequences to a political dispute that seemingly will never end.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Throughout the film, a talent-rich gang of cinematographers (many doc-makers in their own right, like Approaching the Elephant's Amanda Rose Wilder and Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo's Jessica Oreck) favor that intimacy over the big picture.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film will have a hard time attracting attention outside the community of veterans. But that doesn't diminish its ability to put us in the shoes of ordinary men balancing boredom with life-or-death action on a daily basis.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    In a brisk hour and a half Vreeland gives a good sense of her impact, while telling stories of so many love affairs and ego clashes Art Addict never feels a bit like a history lesson.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Well-lensed observational doc exposes an obscure economic reality in Mongolia.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A return to form for John Sayles.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Entertaining and comprehensive in its account of the man's career.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    This film complements rather than duplicating the recent fest title "Butterfly Girl," which also refused to settle for generic notions of bravery and endurance to hone in on an individual teen's specific experience of illness.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Newfoundland-set comedy is formulaic but pleasing.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Warm-hearted and entertaining, if more sad than its quirky premise suggests.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A history lesson that holds some pleasures even for those who know its material by heart.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    It's a welcome human-scale outing for a director who stumbled upon leaping from 2000's breakout debut Girlfight to the would-be tentpole dud Aeon Flux.
    • 72 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Minimalist in terms of action and scope but attentive to the texture of what is onscreen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Through interviews and photos, Crump susses out the appeal of moving boulders and dirt with massive construction machinery.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An affecting brainteaser with echoes of Lynchian dissociation.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Dior and I is a fashion doc with both a sense of history and a feel for the energy of a work in progress.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The story's conclusion benefits from a closure that is satisfying despite — and even because of — its predictability.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Catherine Gund's Born to Fly works very well as a portrait of a maverick artistic sensibility, even if it will leave some viewers wanting more in terms of performance footage.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though the script's handling of the decision itself is uncomfortably abrupt, everything leading up to it benefits from a convincing, lived-in vibe.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Rossier strikes a delicate but credible balance between the former leader's unambiguous statements that he didn't know anything about assassinations and critics' insistence that, even if he didn't specifically give orders, he was "politically and morally responsible."
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A cinematic hangout with a playfully prickly but very sympathetic subject, affording us a chance to sit at his feet while sampling a body of work that impresses on many levels.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Byington's two-chuckle-a-minute script is mostly interested in Larry's constant, evasive patter, which continues whether the target of his words appears to care what he's saying or not.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though Whelan's debut filmmaking effort wears some of its homemade characteristics proudly, it wrangles more than enough credible interviewees to make its points.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Hess gets her romance just grounded enough to handle the comic extremes supplied by the supporting cast.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Well conceived and unmanipulative, it will play well with auds attuned to its social-justice themes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Gathering vintage interviews from a couple of different documentaries, the film movingly observes a man who can be physically unsettled by things he saw several decades prior.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    What starts out as a familiar kind of portrait...eventually grows a layer or two more complex.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though too inside-baseball for many casual art fans, it should find some takers in its nationwide tour of bookings at art houses and museums.
    • 74 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    It's a thrill, and one that seriously rewards big-screen viewing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A compassionate and psychologically revealing doc.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though it doesn't answer every question it raises and may occasionally confuse the uninitiated, the polished film easily stirs indignation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The heavily stylized film further demonstrates the actor's ability to create self-contained worlds behind the camera.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Sumptuous and romantic in an attractively old-fashioned way despite a hitch designed to give some contemporary American idealists pause -- the writer's lover is married, with no interest in divorce -- the film satisfies in a wholly commercial way.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Both an engaging character study and a useful introduction to issues surrounding biodiversity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    [A] minor but enjoyable doc.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A cast of young actors is uniformly strong, as is Lance Gewer's photography.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Deathgasm is a giddy avalanche of gore and heavy metal-drenched mayhem that takes itself not even a tiny bit seriously.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A thoroughly entertaining doc that serves also as a primer on Brand's shockingly successful comedy career and an introduction to his singular personality.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The filmmakers get astonishing access, eventually earning enough trust that they get to visit Guzman's family home and interview his mother, who proudly recalls how fascinated he was with stacks of play money as a child.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film pulls off the action climax of this spy-vs-spy narrative quite well given its obviously limited means. But Avalanche will attract more attention for its sneaky ethic...and for its efforts at recreating a period-appropriate look.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Subjects Bill Andrews and Aubrey de Grey are colorful in quite different but complementary ways.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    It is tightly in sync with protagonists who find it impossible to move on despite distractions that might be catalytic in other films.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    [A] sweet, semi-romantic road trip.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The filmmakers prefer, smartly, to focus on the people in present-tense need, making them not statistics to be debated but human stories.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Heavily dependent on Wes Anderson's aesthetic but charming nonetheless.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The movie, in which Shenk and Cohen (makers of the standout eco-doc The Island President) take the reins ably from Davis Guggenheim, hardly can hope to create the sensation of its Oscar-winning predecessor. But it finds plenty to add, both in cementing the urgency of Gore's message and in finding cause for hope.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Kelly depicts a deep filial love that isn't dependent on complete telepathic understanding.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    This may not be adequate compensation for the end of their series, which gave them so many more opportunities to try on new personalities and take one-gag ideas for a spin. But it will delight the show's fans while winning over others unlucky enough never to have seen it.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Malik Bader's Cash Only is one of the more convincingly gritty indies to hit fests in several seasons.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A deceptively slight film that strikes the right balance between realist family drama and earnestness.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Far less sensationalistic or cutesy-provocative than its title suggests, the film borrows its subject's infamy to add gravity to some family drama but does so in a good-hearted way.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Occasionally stupid (stretching even fright-flick conventions) but scary nonetheless, the picture should please horror fans.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Coon and Skousen supply just enough information about the boys' post-Raiders lives to satisfy our curiosity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Jaw-dropping and surprisingly kind-hearted considering the circumstances.
    • 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.

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