For 121 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Petrakis' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Daughter from Danang
Lowest review score: 12 Urban Legends: Final Cut
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 121
  2. Negative: 20 out of 121
121 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 John Petrakis
    Brilliant documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 John Petrakis
    Moskowitz may soon find himself in the same boat as many of the artists he is analyzing, because Stone Reader is going to be one tough act to follow.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 John Petrakis
    Davies has said that he loves the "poetry of the ordinary." In that sense, he doesn't just wax nostalgic about the good old days, but rather, he makes us question and reevaluate those things we may not remember so readily-not the general, but the specific.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    One of those rare movies that manages to maintain the hushed intensity and claustrophobic anxiety that is normally associated with theater or prose.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    A story of faith and redemption, as viewed through the blurry and bloodshot eyes of a young man.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    The beauty of The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack lies in its ability to transform itself into a sad tale of loss, regret and missed opportunities while it also remains a solid documentary about a once-influential artist seeking his place in the sun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    The concerts are hypnotic, the music is swell, and the entire package moves along at just the right pace.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    May be a bit sentimental for some, but I found its patient examination of how the forces of optimism can be overwhelmed by a wave of cruelty to be both moving and wise.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    One of those welcome visitors, a movie that turns out to be much more than we expected.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    Most of the performers have limited acting experience, but they are perfect for their parts, exhibiting the courage, stamina and wariness essential to live in such a harsh environment.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    May not have the size and grandeur of some of the biographical and political epics being released this fall, but I defy you to find a better written, more honest -- or yes, more satisfying and delicious -- movie this year. [27 September 1996, Friday, p.C]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    Once you get used to the broad gestures, visual stylings and reach-for-the-sky emotions, you may find yourself luxuriating in this movie's undeniable grandeur.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    One of those small films that will, one hopes, find a larger audience through word of mouth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    By the time the film is over, you may not feel differently about the key issues than you first did, but you will have many more facts (sound) and opinions (fury) to consider.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    Beautiful little film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    This wise, clever Israeli film reintroduces the once-popular concept of film as allegory, as it follows a Christian pilgrim on his bumpy road to salvation.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    Bennett also co-wrote the script, based loosely on her own experiences, and is the best thing about the film. A physical cross between Holly Hunter and Christine Lahti, she's quite convincing as she tries to figure out what has gone wrong in her personal life - and how she can fix it before it is too late.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    It's rare to find an American movie that works so well structurally from beginning to end, including a second act that withstands the plethora of fast-moving action, and a climax that is satisfying and well earned.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 John Petrakis
    Unstrung Heroes is an extremely moving and surprisingly funny love sonnet to family, tolerance and the joys of individuality.... One of the best films of the year. [15 Sep 1995]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Stumbles a bit towards the end when it focuses too much on a convoluted robbery attempt, but overall, it is a slick and intelligent look at life in the passing lane.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Has an assured air, rich with scenes of affection, anger and reconciliation, along with moments of unfeigned humor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    This cynical film paints a hugely unflattering portrait of life in Hollywood's fast lane. I have no way of knowing exactly how much is exaggeration, but I've got a creepy feeling that the film is closer to the mark than I want to believe.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    The Dinner Game works thanks to some exceptionally strong acting, impeccable timing and rapid-fire delivery of many funny lines.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    The key to the film, however, is the joyous performance of Mike Myers, who plays both the Beatle-mopped Austin Powers and the bald-headed Dr. Evil.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Reminiscent of classic old Westerns.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    It's hard to focus on the travails when the music is so lively and good.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    If the mark of a successful documentary is its ability to make us examine a tired subject in a fresh way, then Eyes is a rip-roaring success.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Though the final journey drags at times, the early expository scenes in the shadows of Saint Sophia and assorted mosques are impressive and quite moving.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    The acting is amateurish at times, but always convincing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Takes a couple of curious turns that you will either applaud or hiss at, depending on the type of film you are looking for.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    This film would be an excellent companion piece to Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire," which deals with angels looking down on this scarred city. Berlin Babylon isn't nearly as lush, but in its own curious way, it's every bit as spiritual.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    A welcome respite from the high-volume ugliness of rock extravaganza.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    What is most impressive about Kurosawa's direction is how he uses the entire frame, complete with expository background action, to fill in the story blanks. His eagerness to suggest, rather than declare, marks him as a director with confidence to spare.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    A cinematic treat, thanks to the well-defined supporting characters, the flawless attention to detail and a performance by the great Roshan Seth - one of the most underrated actors of his generation - which is just about perfect.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    A powerful indictment of a religious mind set and is sure to spark plenty of post-screening discussion.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Breillat has long been fascinated with the idea that women are not allowed to go through puberty in private but instead seem to be on display for all to watch, a situation that has no parallel with boys. A Real Young Girl seems acutely aware of this paradox.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Spins a fairy tale web that is hard to escape.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Valentin is cut from the Woody Allen school of movie kids. With oversized black glasses and small-size suits, he is the total know-it-all package, right down to his insightful voice-over.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    If Shackleton's adventure was to be the swan song for those 19th century explorers whose exploits stirred the imagination of young men around the globe, it was a magnificent way to say farewell.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    In true Chris Smith fashion, he seems far less interested in the homes themselves than in the touching relationship between homeowner and abode.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    A salute to those who were blessed not only with savvy and courage, but something between an uncanny sense of foresight and an unforeseen stroke of good fortune.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Gives you your money's worth and then some.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Those not well versed in the rap music world may be a little lost at times, but you don't need to know your Ice-T's from your Cool-J's to realize that as far as these shootings are concerned, something is rotten in the state of California.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    The overriding sense one gets from this short but powerful film is awe.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    A pleasure to watch and also serves as a reminder of a time when "right over might" was at the core of a powerful country's credo. [28 May 1999, Tempo, p.5]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Plenty of fun, less for its many plot twists than for its large and varied assortment of vibrant characters. [12 Mar 1999]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    When Aimee and Jaguar gets on one of its frequent rolls, it can evoke memories of Bertolucci or even De Sica.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Clueless is no "Fast Times" when it comes to character development or the merging of comedy and drama, and it might have worked better if it had been more story-oriented and plot-centered. But thanks to Heckerling's spirited direction and cutting-edge script, it is, "like . . . majorly and furiously golden." [19 July 1995]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    Solid acting anchors "Laughter," but it's Margret Vilhjalmsdottir and Ugla Egilsdottir as Freya and Agga who carry the load.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    At this point, "The Corruptor" looks as if it's going to be just a rehash of an early Dirty Harry movie, but it surprises by taking us inside Chinatown, where we discover just how sinister and elaborate the relationships between the police and the businessmen can be. [12 Mar 1999]
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 John Petrakis
    This new version is quite faithful to Conrad's novel, not only in content but also in tone. [13 Dec 1996]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    The problem is that we never see Dex employing the Steve technique to bed a female.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    This is the debut feature for Columbia College graduate Gilio, and it shows great promise.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    There is something inherently dishonest about Dark Days.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Works better as a sociological study than as a gripping drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Some films, oddly enough, can be too ambitious for their own good, which is the case with Restaurant.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Much to enjoy in this potpourri of silly fun and forbidden games, but a bit less ambition and a tad more focus might have helped.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Has a melodramatic glow.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Halfway through, it becomes clear that the filmmakers don't know how to end the film.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Never regains its raw power once the sultry Unger retreats from the front seat of her Chevy to the privacy of her suburban bedroom.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    So look for (Francis) at the 2000 games in Sydney, which may provide a more heated ending to this lukewarm story.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    A multilayered documentary that explores music and friendship, and in its own quiet way, the battle with fame.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    The film is surprisingly easy to sit through, digest and even enjoy. Why? A lot has to do with Hogan's well-documented charisma as a performer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    The film doesn't always take advantage of its dramatic potential (except for its strong soundtrack), as it relies too heavily on scenes of crazed warriors in makeup and costume, running and screaming and jumping up and down.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    By the end we are left with a mildly amusing comedy and the lingering memory of a sterling cast that deserved better material.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Any Chekhov is better than no Chekhov, but it would be a shame if this was your introduction to one of the greatest plays of the last 100 years.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    There's nothing more uplifting than a documentary that celebrates a man's capacity to dream, and nothing more depressing than one that mocks those dreams. Stephen Earnhart's Mule Skinner Blues walks the razor's edge between these approaches.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Feels more like a music video than a serious look back at a time, a place and a very smart, funny and unconventional man.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Less a pure documentary than it is a fact-finding mission, with the real story waiting to be presented somewhere down the line.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    The landscapes and backgrounds of the Min Valley and the Nanking Road, not to mention the cuddly pandas themselves, are the big-ticket items here.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Falls prey to the all-too-contemporary problem of complicating the tale until the ending is not only obvious, but prayed for between yawns. [9 February 1999, Tempo, p.2]
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    If you are willing to overlook the occasional missed block, clumsy tackle or dropped pass, there is more than enough in Varsity Blues to keep you engrossed.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    A hit and miss proposition, with an abundance of laughs and emotional highlights to help brighten the dimly lit corners of cliche-mongering.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Ultimately a disappointment because it refuses to take any aspect of itself seriously.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    The animation itself is just OK. And the reworked script, despite some funny one-liners, is pretty much there just to pull the story along to its inevitable conclusion. [19 March 1999, Friday, p. A]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    As much a curiosity piece as anything else.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    So laden with forced plot twists that it will never be able to recover.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. [20 December 1996, Friday, p.J]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    It has terrific moments, but whenever it starts to cruise along nicely, it hits a comedic pothole that forces it to sputter on down the road.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 John Petrakis
    A shy and depressed college graduate falls in love with a Bohemian artist, as in Woody Allen's "Manhattan."
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Too-loud, poorly directed and seriously overedited.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Though this film shows flashes of the electric writer Mamet was to become, Lakeboat is mostly distant thunder over choppy waters.
    • 10 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    A decent idea that never goes deep enough for genuine satisfaction.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Rife with wrong people in major jobs, which leads to a movie that lacks the requisite verve to make to it sparkle.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Surprisingly lacking in revelatory moments.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    This is a big-hearted film with admirable ambitions, and the ending is appropriately bittersweet, with victory and comeuppance occupying the same time and frame.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    The ultimate shallowness of this film is reflected in the fact that their key bonding moment occurs when they bungee-jump off a bridge together.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Works so well for the first 40 minutes or so, that when the bottom falls out of it, I felt more than disappointed. I felt betrayed.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    The very strong performances in this low-budget film deserve a better narrative structure to strut their stuff.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    The plot thickens and thickens and thickens until it chokes on a tangled mess of double-crosses.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Has the potential to be much more than it is, especially with the collection of able actors on hand.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    When the final twist has been turned and the last corpse has hit the ground, it is a film that could have been twice as good if it had been half as complicated.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    The shadow of Gena Rowlands looms over this picture like a cinematic eclipse. [25 January 1999, Tempo, p.5]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Absorbing in places, but considering the large and diverse pool the filmmakers had to draw from, it's a surprisingly repetitive and predictable collection of big-city sagas.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    It gussies up the tale with so many random subplots that by the time we cut through the morass, the film is over.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Like many horror films, it loses steam as it gets more graphic.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Any serious message has been sacrificed on the altar of excess, making us realize why the stylish story probably worked better as a graphic comic book than as a film.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Perfect late-summer drive-in fare.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    Ostensibly a story about first love in college, and I never believed a frame of it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 John Petrakis
    What it gains in fun, the film loses in credibility, as the production number itself more closely resembles a high-priced Las Vegas extravaganza than a quickly organized charity event.