For 784 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 1.8 points lower 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: 0 Armed Response
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 75 out of 784
784 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Viewers will suspect from early on that things aren't as straightforward as they appear, and Clark's screenplay addresses those suspicions only to the extent it must to justify its characters' behavior.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The ironies of Plimpton's life are handled delicately, made just obvious enough for viewers to mull themselves.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film's diagnosis -- money's corrupting influence, the tendency of powerful people to entrench themselves -- is hardly new, but it's voiced here with enough smarts and conviction to earn respect from non-plutocrat viewers of all political stripes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Though it mostly summarizes available arguments instead of uncovering new facts, it's an accessible primer.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film delivers almost exactly what fans of the first installment are hoping for.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Hitting all the rom-com notes with wit and some charm, it'll be a crowd-pleaser.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Well-lensed observational doc exposes an obscure economic reality in Mongolia.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Heavily dependent on Wes Anderson's aesthetic but charming nonetheless.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    More structure and polish doesn't keep Lynn Shelton's latest from being recognizably hers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Enjoyable heist pic is more talk than action.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Revealing tour doc showcases a quick wit and a bruised soul.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 77 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The story's conclusion benefits from a closure that is satisfying despite — and even because of — its predictability.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Action takes a backseat to local color in well-acted drama.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Taking an approach that's as unassuming as its almost instantly lovable subject, the film neither plays up the novelty of teens obsessed with Bible trivia nor attempts to gin up fake intrigue.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The heavily stylized film further demonstrates the actor's ability to create self-contained worlds behind the camera.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A compassionate and psychologically revealing doc.
    • 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
    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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Newfoundland-set comedy is formulaic but pleasing.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Blood-spattered crime comedy benefits from whip-smart pacing and quirky Scandinavian attitude.
    • 46 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 44 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An account of one modern expedition that draws fruitfully upon the lore of another.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The city isn't the star of the film, nor is Lehane's excellent dialogue, and neither is Roskam, here making a sure-footed jump to America after his Belgian debut Bullhead. The picture belongs to Tom Hardy, whose astonishingly sensitive performance even the great James Gandolfini steps gently around.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Kline remains a pleasure to watch, surviving the character's deepening self-pity and making his suspiciously unwriterly carelessness with words (he refers to the trophy head of a wild boar as a "cow") almost charming.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The picture is deeply weird, with an entrancement factor almost entirely dependent on the performance of Michael Parks.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film will appeal to art lovers, but some viewers who can hardly tell their Cezannes from Chagalls will find the story fascinating as well.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Cutter Hodierne's Fishing Without Nets is a tense drama with well-drawn characters and only as much action as its story requires.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    An affecting drama made more poignant by honest-feeling autobiographical elements.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The tale is surprising, and directors Carlos Aguilo and Mandy Jacobson blaze right through it -- recounting ins and outs across an entire continent in ways that will challenge most viewers in the West.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Comic subplots are less zany than flatly hopeless, occasionally acting as deflating metaphors for army life.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Subjects Bill Andrews and Aubrey de Grey are colorful in quite different but complementary ways.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A sober drama that makes class central to the story without ever sounding like it has an agenda.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Paul Schneider shines in the role, stumbling through a dating world that has changed since his character got hitched, thanks mostly to social media.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Having downplayed its love story at the start, the picture swells romantically in an unexpectedly pleasing way. It may not be enough to convince audiences that Starr should be Hollywood's next romantic lead, but for these two characters, the chemistry is just right.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A perfectly chosen cast sells this unhurried comedy, which flows unconventionally but is still, by a long stretch, the most mainstream-friendly picture Bujalski has made.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    More lightweight than its ample talk of weighty subjects suggests, the film is nevertheless enjoyable.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Bert Marcus offers more sociology than boxing fans may expect, using mean-streets origin stories not just for biographical intrigue but to comment on hardships his subjects faced later in life.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Metalhead is uninterested in caricature or easy laughs, and its embodiment of guitar-hero obsession is one much more closely resembling someone you knew in high school, albeit someone who's had an exceptionally hard time dealing with childhood trauma.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Coon and Skousen supply just enough information about the boys' post-Raiders lives to satisfy our curiosity.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The world of In Country may sound like a joke to outsiders, and may well be a misguided hobby for some of its subjects. But the film suggests we'd make a big mistake to write it all off as foolish fantasy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Gibney is convincing on every front. And while Apple (big surprise) refused to cooperate — meaning that key players like Jony Ive and Tim Cook are all but invisible in this story — he gets enough of Jobs' collaborators on camera to lend emotional color to the portrait.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Both actors stay sharp through some pretty degrading moments, and if Palmer and screenwriter Tess Morris are bent on serious button-pushing in the closing scenes, at least they garnish it with playfulness and wit.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Moviegoers may expect something sexier than what they get here, but Neil LaBute's focus on just-talk between Broderick and co-star Alice Eve, funny but never uproarious, provides its own modest rewards.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Grimy and sad but not sensationalistic, the debut feature is like Drugstore Cowboy drained of its hipness and sex appeal.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The film is focused enough on relationships not to sound preachy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Digging around in the crannies of his highly unusual home but never becoming intrusive, the doc feels like it was made by a friend, in a good way.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    This polished, comprehensive-feeling film makes clear how much of the work was done by our neighbors to the north.

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