For 564 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 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 10 Gut
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 564
564 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Heartfelt but clumsy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 50 John DeFore
    Crude production values are a stumbling block for bare-bones tale.
    • 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
    • 50 John DeFore
    Though not novel enough to attract non-devotees of America's Pastime, the film should please fans on the small screen.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Twisty enough to please many arthouse patrons, though some will be rolling their eyes by the end.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Young actor Sitthiphon Disamoe helps keep the tale of a can-do kid from becoming too cute.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    One of the aspects that keeps Time from projecting an advertorial vibe, its indifference to outside voices, may also leave casual fans wanting a bit more.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Meditative, glossy doc provides some glimpses behind the curtain but isn't terribly enlightening.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Unfocused, overly long documentary raises provocative questions.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Kids with healthy attention spans may warm to its (literally) colorful characters and outside-the-frame action, but most will find it as lifeless as their parents do.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 John DeFore
    While a composited scene, in which has-been Lenny lectures his younger self about work ethic and wisdom, has an undeniable poignancy, actual tragedy remains far beyond the film's grasp -- as does any illumination beyond the unsurprising suggestion that Cooke just didn't want success as much as peers like LeBron James.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The movie doesn't really focus on many individuals long enough to make them compelling screen characters.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Though the film addresses some questions that remain a sticking point in helping abused women, it sheds little new light on them for viewers who've spent any time thinking about this upsettingly widespread phenomenon.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The easygoing comedy keeps a familiar story going despite minor plot hiccups.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    More impressionistic than enlightening, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's Detropia introduces us to some interesting citizens of Detroit and gives them a welcome opportunity to speak for themselves, but reveals little we don't already know.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Neither as frightening as a good horror flick nor as enlightening as a straight documentary, Rodney Ascher's The Nightmare borrows from both worlds in its depiction of the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A sharp-looking and enjoyable doc that celebrates the writer's legacy but, in its willfully obscure structure, seems a bit too bent on echoing his famous nonconformity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A likeable if not especially vibrant doc.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    An ordinary look at four extraordinary kids, Scott Hamilton Kennedy's Fame High sticks firmly to convention but will please viewers who can't help but want the doc's sympathetic teens to escape the heartbreak most would-be artists face.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A film that (whatever massive efforts were required to work around [Paul Walker's] absence) is as stupendously stupid and stupidly diverting as it could have hoped to be had everything gone as planned.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Despite an appealing cast, though, neither comedy nor suspense really takes flight until very near the end, largely due to a script that isn't equal to the filmmakers' enthusiasm.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Clearly intent on inspiring viewers, the informational film makes a fine sum-up for those who've found the last decade's geopolitics too much to keep track of, but isn't promising in commercial terms.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 John DeFore
    Sadly, this film's POV conceit -- in which all scenes are shot by the characters, whether they have a plausible reason to hold the camera up or not -- quickly becomes as grating as Kelly herself.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    An enjoyable entry into the swelling ranks of corrupt-the-youth comedies.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    In the absence of sympathetic characters, a little humor would have gone a long way here.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 John DeFore
    Despite its apparently sincere identification with its protagonist, Entertainment feels like a sick joke.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Though the inventions of Misan Sagay's script emphasize concerns over dowries and social rank that will be grating for many contemporary viewers, extracting little of the humor that Austen regularly found in such hang-ups, the picture's sour notes are balanced by fine performances and clear historical appeal.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Page's no-regrets spirit and the enraptured testimonials from those who knew her in her prime (including some swooning ex-lovers) overpowers clumsy filmmaking.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A feel-good picture that is a little less affecting than it might have been, but is entertaining enough.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The picture would go nowhere without the friendly chemistry between Lewis and costar Jonny Weston, as the wheelchair-bound high schooler who charms her. If young mothers had any time to go to movies, this one might draw them in droves.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Thomas Haden Church hits the exact balance of desperation and resignation demanded by the peculiar story.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Sam Eidson is perfect for the lead role, but that doesn't exactly guarantee the fanboy crowd will embrace the film.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Its feature-length assemblage of found footage, unified by an original soundtrack and eccentric narration by Tilda Swinton, will be too much of a good thing for some art-house patrons. But auds accustomed to the work of Bill Morrison and other archive-combing meditation artists should respond warmly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The Source does hold enough anthropological value to please some audiences. Despite lacking the recognition factor and lurid tragedy of a phenomenon like Jonestown, the story should attract viewers on the small screen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Unfocussed editing and Mark Rivett's unimaginative score contribute to a lightweight feel that is best suited to TV viewing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The movie's structure is peculiar, laying out a mystery and solving it early on, then spending half the film making us wonder how satisfying that solution was.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    While it offers some provocative moral quandaries, it serves mostly as a showcase for Patrick Stewart.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The film embraces ambiguity in the end, with a coda that places Marco and Carla on the same level but not in the same place. The scene's unsettled but peaceful mood seems an honest reflection of its characters' lives.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Intelligently assembled by Lemelson, a UCLA anthropologist, it addresses a Westerner's concerns without condescending to its subjects; though a three-family focus is hardly enough to make an authoritative-feeling portrait.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 John DeFore
    Lucy plays more like a big dumb superhero flick than sci-fi.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Few would fail to be touched by these stories, or by the sight of these men having generations of kids and grandkids gather to celebrate their accomplishment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    The film presupposes a bit more interest in the pair's friendship and personal lives than many viewers will have.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Though convincing in its argument that pimps and clients are treated much better than they should be in our legal system as compared to prostitutes, the film presents a picture of America's sex-trade landscape that will feel incomplete to many viewers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The documentary offers little to further the national discussion on this divisive topic, but its evenhandedness and unstrident tone will go down well with viewers accustomed to more heated treatments of it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Solid and informative... the affectionate film benefits from plenty of face time with its frank, amiably plain-vanilla subject.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Liz Marshall's Ghosts in Our Machine trades didacticism for first-person atmospherics.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    A dispiriting horror cheapie whose monsters-in-the-projects premise plays out like an anti-welfare parable.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    First-timer Naar both fails to convince us of his subject's musical genius and gives the impression he's leaving out important details.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    A great many of these individual scenes are funny... But the film fails to do what those rare, immortal rom-coms get right: take all its individually pleasing ingredients and make a satisfying movie out of them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Daniel Schechter's Life of Crime starts promisingly and ends with a smile but underwhelms in between.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Although it offers some insight into his distinctive technique, it could have gone much further. But viewers will appreciate spending time with this cheerful, unassuming man, and will enjoy seeing the artist acknowledged by celebrities who owe him so much
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Enjoyable but incomplete-feeling bio-doc both celebrates the Milius myth and tries to undo the damage it did to his reputation.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Creadon's doc benefits substantially from these kids, resulting in a film with modest commercial appeal that should have a healthy video afterlife with activism-minded students in college and graduate programs.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A likeable cast of relative newcomers buoys the film, which never quite finds the sweet spot.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Viewers will surely have their curiosity piqued, but may not walk out convinced of Jobriath's place in the pop Pantheon.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Co-directors Brent Hodge and Derik Murray go exclusively to interviewees who lived or worked with the oversized, overenergized man, all of whom clearly loved him, and if the tone of their remarks (affectionate, amazed at his charisma) is totally predictable, the specifics have enough color to hold the interest of a casual fan.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Charming at times but surprisingly cheap-feeling given the cast Heckerling has assembled.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Katz is much more interested in observing Jake's newfound emotional core — and probably a bit too confident that a moist-eyed Kroll can turn this quite likable but slight family reunion into something more touching.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Easygoing and always likeable but hardly packed with laughs.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Money for Nothing feels less prophetic than generally handwringing -- it's just enough to produce vague worry in the unschooled without moving policymakers to do anything they're not already doing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 John DeFore
    The Story of Luke suffers all the flaws associated with disability films and more. Familiar faces in the cast may attract notice in niche bookings, but no one involved will benefit from the exposure.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    While the film suffers from its own occasional sluggishness, it picks up as the lawmen watching our hero grow as strained as he is.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Modest but revealing documentary.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Nelson's amiable comedy occasionally gets fixated on things that don't serve its overall purpose and is too self-conscious to really shine. But it's a more competent, accessible film than its stealthy theatrical release suggests.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Art doc's stylistic quirks detract slightly from a sometimes fascinating portrait.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Despite a premise with broad appeal and a script boasting plenty of laughs among its misfires, the high school fable falters.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    There's a good deal of pleasure to draw from some of these bonding moments, especially among vets who haven't seen each other for years, but not enough to justify overshadowing the movie's other elements.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Although Weigert is convincing as Abby, Passon's attitude toward the character is hazy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    A niche theatrical run might draw fans of Goldthwait's previous work, this effort isn't likely to get as much help from critics as those sometimes did.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 John DeFore
    Overlong, willfully obscure and scatologically extreme, the film will elicit a variety of negative responses despite offering some individual elements that, on their own, would surely impress any of Barney's admirers. The work simultaneously is more fully realized and less creatively inspired than the Cremaster cycle.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    The audience it manages to reach will find it as vicerally satisfying as a doc on this subject can be.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    More a tone poem or gallery installation piece than a verite outing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    As she flails through a few dubious choices, the character may be on the kind of self-discovery path we've seen in countless other films; but Winstead makes the outcome seem far from preordained.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Though its even-tempered account may be more thorough than print and TV coverage at the time, the doc doesn't offer anything dramatic enough to draw many eyeballs at this late date.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    While Freeland's plotting is graceful, there are occasional moments of stiffness in the dialogue itself, brief rough patches her largely neophyte cast can't fix in the delivery.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Despite the story's elements of suspense, loss and determination, though, the picture has a mundane, low-stakes vibe that fails to make the most of its inspirational content.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    The film will frustrate viewers who insist on knowing which interviewees are recounting real experiences and which are perpetuating fictions hatched by the game's creator, Jeff Hull. But mystery is part of the appeal.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    A commendably restrained loser-turns-winner tale offering an unexpected second showcase for Terri star Jacob Wysocki, Matthew Lillard's Fat Kid Rules the World is less colorful than its grandeur-deluded title suggests.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    In his 4:44 Last Day on Earth, the auteur imagines the apocalypse from an aging NYC hipster's perspective, hitting melancholy notes that may ring true for a small segment of the art-house audience but, without the compelling presence of Willem Dafoe, would have little hope at the box office.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Less an introduction to the green-burial movement than a portrait of one man who embraced it after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, A Will for the Woods is more sentimental than journalistic.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    The essence of what made the man inspiring to so many — it's not the winning, but the effort that's important — comes through with gonglike clarity in Dexter Fletcher's film, a straight-down-the-ramp sports tale that plays to the average man's dreams of momentary greatness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Some of these gags are hilarious.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    While Big Boys addresses the extent to which journalists (particularly in the U.S., Gertten believes) too readily accept the claims of powerful entities, the film misses the opportunity to explore this issue in a more universal way.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Captivating for a long stretch.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    A melodrama benefitting from excellent performances but suffering from a too-obvious script.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Cartoonish hyperbole aside, the investigation does have its high points.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Feel-good documentary gathers great interviews but isn't sure what they add up to.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    It has little to offer a well-informed viewer.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    A film that flirts and flirts with explanations for its action without ever delivering.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    Good-looking but not very effective adaptation of the seedy classic by "Grifters" author Jim Thompson.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    Diverting but not enough to expand Kevin Hart's fan base much.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John DeFore
    A supernatural action comedy that can never live up to its exciting opening scenes, Don Coscarelli's John Dies at the End mixes horror-tinged mayhem with smart-alec laughs but loses momentum early and gets bogged down in exposition.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 John DeFore
    While Hobson's smarts are evident here, the picture's uniformly dim visuals and sometimes overplayed sound design are static enough to do a disservice to his work with the cast.

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