For 200 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Hartl's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Brazil
Lowest review score: 10 Drop Dead Gorgeous
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 200
200 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    For all its occasional long-windedness and visual dazzle, Brazil may be the "Strangelove" of the 1980s.
    • Film.com
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    A giddy delight, with Michael Douglas delivering what may be the most relaxed and inventive performance of his career, and Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr. trailing not far behind.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    Raucously entertaining.
    • Film.com
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    For me, the experience was much like seeing Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" and George Lucas' "American Graffiti" before the hype machines kicked in.
    • Film.com
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    Scathingly hilarious...To Die For could be the "Dr. Strangelove" of its genre, a movie that puts even John Waters' somewhat similar "Serial Mom" in the shade.
    • Film.com
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    The other key part is Schindler's Jewish accountant, played with self-effacing brilliance by Ben Kingsley, who gives the movie just the touch of warmth and sanity it needs.
    • Film.com
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 John Hartl
    Breathlessly imaginative.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    The best thing about the new Exorcist is the spiffed-up soundtrack.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    The film has smarts, but what really makes it fascinating is its huge heart...and the film soars because of that.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Practically perfect in its unpretentious way, MGM's Get Shorty is the kind of smart, witty, polished entertainment that restores one's faith in the studio system.
    • Film.com
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    An appalling masterpiece.
    • Film.com
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    There's a sense of ease and contentment to it that has never been so prominent in Allen's work before.
    • Film.com
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Sean Penn gives the most riveting, selfless performance of his career.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Everything clicks here.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Feels like the first truly honest attempt to deal with the horrors of combat - and the terrible responsibility shared by all survivors.
    • Film.com
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    In his finest, funniest, most poignant film to date, Tim Burton plays cinematic alchemist, turning drive-in schlock into movie gold.
    • Film.com
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Could be called the "Red Badge of Courage" of World War II movies.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Perhaps the primary reason A Room With a View is so involving is that Ivory has cast the film perfectly, and given each of the actors ample room to breathe. Even the characters you're not supposed to like are allowed their moments of vulnerable humanity.
    • Film.com
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Quentin Tarantino's latest movie puts an epic spin on a favorite genre, taking it to time-tripping levels rarely tested by its forerunners.
    • Film.com
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Affliction could be their (Nolte, Coburn) finest couple of hours on film; they do seem to be father and son, rather than actors playing these roles.
    • Film.com
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    L.A. Confidential is at the same time his (Hanson) most personal movie and Hollywood filmmaking at its best.
    • Film.com
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    It's as wise and funny and revealing as anything ever created by Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
    • Film.com
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    This is an ambitious movie that attempts too much rather than too little.
    • Film.com
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Wickedly funny, scathingly original new comedy.
    • Film.com
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    All but guarantees that you'll want to see Chicken Run more than once.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    In the hands of Minghella and his star, Matt Damon, Ripley has become a more complex character, in some ways more understandable and approachable, in other ways as enigmatic as ever.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    He (Anderson) simply doesn't allow for dull moments, and his gifts for irony and showmanship are clearly appreciated by a collection of actors who have rarely been better.
    • Film.com
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 John Hartl
    Hilarious and high-spirited.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    Much of this is funny, some of it is scary and a lot of it is as twisty as a mystery thriller. Very little of it, thanks to a superb cast, is predictable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    It's extremely well-made by a filmmaker who knows what he's doing and doesn't let the limitations of a $100,000 budget get in his way. The photography, acting, editing and use of sound effects and music are quite professional; McNaughton's movie looks and sounds as if it cost much more. It's also genuinely upsetting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    Wonderfully confident and strange, Take Me to the River marks an auspicious directing debut for Matt Sobel. There’s not a stale moment in it.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    The movie is a model of clear, precise storytelling, of state-of-the-art technique used to advance a story rather than show off.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    A classic European film noir with an irresistible score by Miles Davis, it builds tension from a series of seemingly minor mistakes that echo the political/military context of the postwar era.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    With its opening line, “Imagine you’re dead,” The Family Fang instantly invites its soon-to-be-captive audience on an absorbing, provocative, slightly fantastic path that’s like few others.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 John Hartl
    Zandvliet is a relatively young and inexperienced director, but his spare use of music and widescreen images is assured and even inspired.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    So meticulously acted that you feel you're reading the characters' minds.
    • Film.com
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Altman lucked out when he cast a singer, Ronee Blakley, in a major role in "Nashville," but he has not been as fortunate here with Annie Ross and Lyle Lovett, who lack Blakley's soulful dramatic presence.
    • Film.com
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Rowdy, funny, surprisingly sweet.
    • Film.com
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    The boy (Osment) has an uncanny ability to suggest Cole's secretive, haunted soul, and he seems to have inspired Willis to give perhaps his most self-effacing performance.
    • Film.com
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    The engine that drives Jerry Maguire is Cruise, giving the kind of performance that all but deconstructs his recent series of glib leading-man roles.
    • Film.com
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    It's the survivors of this tragedy that must make peace with their fate, and the film finally rests with them.
    • Film.com
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    (Thornton) does a remarkable job in all three categories, but what you're likely to remember most clearly is his performance.
    • Film.com
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Runs on wit and creativity.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    A wry, rambling, smart comedy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Quite a spicy brew.
    • Film.com
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Ewan McGregor in a raw, funny, star-making performance.
    • Film.com
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    A terrific feature-length cartoon.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    As a writer, LaBute is capable of creating long dialogue scenes that never seem stagey or artificial. As a director, he has the confidence to stay with those words.
    • Film.com
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Grass is often closer to the sobering tone of the PBS show than it is to the silly "Weed," with its stoned, barely literate potheads discussing the quality of their dope.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    There are some cheap shots, and there's an argument to be made about whether the film is sending up stereotypes or simply perpetuating them. But for every dubious moment, there are plenty that connect.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    The script also happens to be quite literate and laceratingly funny, and Damon -- no big surprise here -- turns out to be the perfect actor to deliver Will's zingers.
    • Film.com
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    The most popular entry in last year's Seattle International Film Festival family series.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    An exhilarating piece of popular entertainment.
    • Film.com
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    A chronicle of the exasperating circumstances that yield cinema gold -- or lead. It almost doesn't matter which; it's the process that counts here.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Charming and imaginative.
    • Film.com
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    This long, sometimes hard-to-watch movie is a challenge, but it has authority and raw power.
    • Film.com
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    All of it is vital and involving, and some of it is hilarious...I've rarely seen a group of people in a darkened theater react as viscerally as they do to Reservoir Dogs.
    • Film.com
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    Typically low-key and lovely.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 John Hartl
    If Unforgiven occasionally overstates its case, this is the best work Eastwood has done as a director since The Outlaw Josey Wales 16 years ago.
    • Film.com
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    A Man Called Ove has some tear-jerking moments, but the film is so carefully designed — with long, circular takes that seem to surround the main characters at crucial fateful points — that technique often triumphs over sentimentality.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Achingly sad and dismayingly familiar.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Ingeniously using his low budget to address his ambitions, Johnson has directed, co-written (and starred in) a unique science-fiction film.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    If The Eagle Huntress sounds familiar, that’s because the outline of a modern feminist epic is always there in the background. What’s surprising is how fresh and charming the movie manages to be.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    The full title, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, is pure, over-the-top Herzog: simultaneously an embrace of fresh internet technology and an attempt to suggest a mythical dimension.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    A powerful new documentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Some scenes hold up better than others, and there’s always a question about the film’s intentions: Is this voyeurism or is it satire taking off on the Playboy era? Condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency in 1960, Private Property is less dated than you might think.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Swedish director Roar Uthaug (“Cold Prey“) depends on well-crafted suspense, spot-on casting and ingenious special effects to tell the story of a dedicated geologist (Kristoffer Joner) who prophesies watery disaster in touristy Norway.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    The whole may be less than its parts, but the parts are pretty impressive.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    The ingenious cinematographer, Bobby Shore, uses the Newfoundland locations to achieve some of his most striking effects. The result is sort of a horror film, but not really. It’s too funny to be categorized that way.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    The first-time director, Cesar Augusto Acevida, composes his frames carefully, using closing doorways to suggest alienation, as John Ford did in “The Searchers.” The harvesting and crop fire scenes recall Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven.”
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Eisenstein in Guanajuato is an outrageous comic-erotic extravaganza that has more of a narrative arc than most Greenaway movies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    For all its rough edges and gruesome touches, Patriots Day is a heartfelt and ambitious attempt to turn mayhem into something that’s emotionally valid.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    A unique and satisfying new documentary.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    The laughs are sometimes bigger than expected, and so are the emotions stirred by the bittersweet finale.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    The pace is swift, archival clips are well-chosen and conspiracy theories pile up in a way that seems intentionally funny.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Slick and raunchy when it might have been grindingly realistic, Viva is finally all heart.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    I.F. Stone, an underground journalist who died in1989, left a rich legacy that is celebrated in a timely new documentary, All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 John Hartl
    Engaging and constantly surprising.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    The darkly comic tone is often just right, and the casting occasionally pays off.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Best of all is a Halloween party where the Falls are complimented on their "costume," then outed.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Technically, Titanic is a marvel.
    • Film.com
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    This might have been a very good movie if it had lost about one of its three hours.
    • Film.com
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    It's not a profound film, but it is heartfelt, and Burns has done his best to keep it clear and emotionally direct.
    • Film.com
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    One
    A movie that keeps you wondering about its characters' true feelings and motives long after you've left the theater.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    A sweet, funny exercise in nostalgia, though it's also self-congratulatory and awfully calculating.
    • Film.com
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Closer to "M*A*S*H" than "Dr. Strangelove," which in itself wouldn't be a bad thing. But for all its engaging qualities, Three Kings doesn't seem to know what kind of beast it is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Before it finally twists itself into a pretzel in the third act, this paranoid thriller creates a scary mood and allows its leading actors to go all the way with it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Its honesty and insights are refreshing.
    • Film.com
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Gorgeous and troubling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    For all the cynicism on the soundtrack and the occasional lapses in tone, this is a remarkably generous comedy.
    • Film.com
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    The story moves beyond the limitations of its setting, transforming itself into an affecting parable about the lengths to which parents will go to protect their children from trauma, cruelty and knowledge of evil.
    • Film.com
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Warm and fuzzy and amusing enough to be slightly more than an innocuous baby-sitter for the kids.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    (Morris) sees Leuchter's story as more personal, more about one individual's self-absorption and folly, than an indictment of a particular system.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Norton's performance, which is every bit as varied as his Oscar-nominated work in Primal Fear, once more demonstrates that he's one of the most remarkable chameleons working in film.
    • Film.com
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    The graphic battles may grow repetitious toward the end, the final scenes are almost sadistically drawn out, and the script often lacks humor. But this movie moves.
    • Film.com
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    A tasty/tacky treat.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    A very romantic picture.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    There's an almost natty precision about this picture that's so rare these days in American movies that it provides satisfaction in itself.
    • Film.com
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    So campy that it almost plays like a sendup of the series. It is to Alien what "The Bride of Frankenstein" was to other 1930s Frankenstein movies, and it even shares some of the same themes.
    • Film.com
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 John Hartl
    Even as you question the central premise, Brooks makes you want to buy into it.
    • Film.com

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