For 563 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John DeFore's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Lowest review score: 10 Gut
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 563
563 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Grim backwoods tale takes its time building momentum.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Despite its successful attempts to show how oil has affected everyday citizens in nearby Nigeria, the film remains fairly dry.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Nielsson somewhat frustratingly avoids giving us many cues to the passage of time, but nevertheless the film captures some of the drama generated by the public's impatience and Mugabe's maneuvering during the long drafting process
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The picture is fresh and frightening, a strong arthouse contender certain to leave audiences talking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Action takes a backseat to local color in well-acted drama.
    • 86 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The doc could benefit from more information about what led up to that day.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Despite the obvious sadness at its heart, the doc benefits from an unforced optimism.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    In-depth account of Army deployment in an Afghanistan hotspot shows soldiering at its most rugged.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    An elegant meditation on one of the most distinctive bodies of work in contemporary art.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Very much a work of its time, the documentary offers unique perspectives for fans of both the saxophonist and the pioneering filmmaker, but is unlikely to attract a broad audience beyond those camps.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    The Queen of Versailles will prompt loathing not only among the so-called 99 Percent, but among those in the top 1 percent who would like someone more sane to represent them on camera.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A deeply satisfying pop biopic whose subject's bifurcated creative life lends itself to an unconventional structure.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Thorny, blood-boiling and finely made.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A highly entertaining documentary revealing a serious talent behind the one-note present-day reputation.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Rising well above the typical making-of feature, the documentary will fascinate buffs when shown alongside the operas themselves.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The birds are not only gorgeous but, as they poke for food and rustle around, entertaining.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    The result is uniquely powerful, putting faces and human consequences to a political dispute that seemingly will never end.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 78 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Honest and well made but lacking a strong hook.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A chilly allegory whose antihero is both compelling and repulsive.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    It may never be quite solid enough for us to be truly worried about its inhabitants' happiness, but watching them pursue that happiness is a uniquely diverting experience.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Coon and Skousen supply just enough information about the boys' post-Raiders lives to satisfy our curiosity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A time capsule capturing the flavor of early-'70s bohemian life in Oklahoma and Texas.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A vital, gripping film.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Heartfelt but clumsy.
    • 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
    Talking heads aside, the movie gets a big boost from the wealth of news footage and post-standoff reportage the filmmakers cull from archives.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A very funny Kiwi take on vampire lore and its application to the modern world.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Writer-director Richard Ayoade's feature debut is witty and quirky, with a gripping performance by Paddy Considine.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Less an investigation into or comprehensive summary of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal than a look at the feelings it elicited, Amir Bar-Lev's Happy Valley is more concerned with the phenomenon of team spirit than any single question of fact or moral judgment.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A convincing and refreshingly indirect examination of handed-down emotional flaws.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Following up on his lauded debut, Welcome to Pine Hill, Miller again blends fiction and reality to fine effect.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Frederic Jardin's gripping Sleepless Night maintains a consistently high pitch without growing monotonous.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 John DeFore
    As funny as the first go-round, more beautiful to look at, and better conceived.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A documentary so stuffed with eye-soothing images one prays it can seduce a climate-change skeptic or two.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Benefitting from likeable, good-natured subjects and the peculiar pastimes with which they fill their cooped-up hours, the doc certainly gets us interested in and rooting for the Angulo boys.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    A deceptively slight film that strikes the right balance between realist family drama and earnestness.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 John DeFore
    A smart-ass charmer, merciless tearjerker and sincere celebration of teenage creativity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Energetic, laugh-stuffed and very colorful (it would be a feat to make a dull film about these people).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A thoroughly engaging film about an inimitable New York painter.
    • 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
    • 60 John DeFore
    The doc's structure is a countdown to opening night, but planning goes smoothly enough that little drama accompanies that ticking clock.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Crude production values are a stumbling block for bare-bones tale.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Knowing and funny without straining to be clever, the found-footage-style pic works better than the Duplass Brothers' 2008 Baghead, with which it has some elements in common.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    The filmmakers' access is remarkable, and they eventually compound the film's novelty in an exciting way (spoilers below). But claims that this film opens our eyes to unknown practices are exaggerated.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A highly enjoyable look at a career spent duping the art world.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The plot reversals of the third act happen rather abruptly, perhaps unbelievably, in comparison to what precedes them. But those who've been in Margaret's shoes may find this appropriate — an honest acknowledgement of the false starts that can result when a newly hatched idealist tries to apply abstract principles to messy human emotions.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    A mournful testament to a vibrant piece of global film history almost entirely wiped out of existence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John DeFore
    Few who see the picture will fail to be charmed.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John DeFore
    Damning documentary pairs an individual sex-abuse case with analysis of institutional dysfunction at the Vatican.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Though not novel enough to attract non-devotees of America's Pastime, the film should please fans on the small screen.
    • 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.

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