For 26 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Semley's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Song to Song
Lowest review score: 12 CHIPS
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 26
  2. Negative: 12 out of 26
26 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 John Semley
    Film, not film, whatever it is, Cameraperson plays like a study not only of cinema itself, but a warm, welcome reminder that there is (ideally) an intelligence, and maybe even a bit of grace, behind the moving images that wedge themselves in our memory; that they are the handiwork of a living, thinking, feeling, sneezing human being, someone who is both camera and person.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 John Semley
    Where Song to Song most distinguishes itself among Malick’s uniquely rich filmography is its abiding despair. It is his most pessimistic film since "Badlands."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 John Semley
    There’s no doubt that the world needs more iconoclasts, whistle-blowers and anti-authoritarian rabble-rousers. But it deserves better than Julian Assange.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 John Semley
    Rat Film is most compelling when it moves out of the history of Baltimore's civic-planning and pest-control schemes and settles on its denizens, both human and rodent.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 John Semley
    It’s hard to imagine another filmmaker who could invest the lives of straight, middle-class, norm-y, aggressively bro-y, immaculately groomed college sports jocks with a sense of vital anarchy and resounding humanity.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 John Semley
    Willie may not have a heart of gold. But he’s got a heart of bloody, barely thumping meat, same as the rest of us. And in this bitter season of unceasing, frostbitten darkness, it’s heart enough.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 John Semley
    It may not have the easy, feel-good family flick sheen to win over the box office, but it’s clever and compassionate enough to pay down a few big-ticket karmic debts.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 John Semley
    That the plot is totally stupid is Boss Baby’s saving grace. It’s the rare cartoon that actually feels like a cartoon, propelled by its goofiness and sheer energy and rarely bogged down by boring, polemical lesson-learning.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 John Semley
    For a filmmaker who was frequently drawn back to the subject of suffering, and especially the anguish of the individual cast against the collective will of cruel, foolish authority, it’s a perfectly fitting farewell.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 John Semley
    Loving Vincent is gorgeous. It's a film of immersive beauty.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 John Semley
    What enlivens My Scientology is Theroux himself: watching him stumble from one idea to the next, interact with intense actors pulling their best Tom Cruise grins, butt heads with Rathbun, bicker with church insiders and throw their own idiotic lingo back in their faces.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 John Semley
    The nature of this fantasy is boringly feel-good and aspirational.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 John Semley
    Regrettably, the film’s place-setting opening lays the scene for a different, more exciting film that never really unfolds.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 John Semley
    The Peanuts Movie is a sloppy mash-up of disconnected vignettes and rehashed jokes, all lazily reverse-engineered from the premise that a Peanuts movie is a thing that people will like and will happily pay to see.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 John Semley
    I won’t presume to understand what passes for popular taste. But seeing an audience in the tens of thousands lose their mind for Hart’s jokes about hating his family and the hypothetical perils of dating a woman with only one shoulder, I can’t help but feel skeptical.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 John Semley
    Pretty much everything about Rings is incoherent. And the most incoherent thing of all is the film’s arrival a decade and a half after Verbinski’s original remake (if such a term even makes sense).
    • 32 Metascore
    • 38 John Semley
    For faithful and faithless alike, The Shack may seem stupid, laughable, blasphemous, poorly acted and totally banal. And yet there are probably worse things then being told it’s righteous to forgive and that love is good.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 38 John Semley
    Nevertheless, as the sort of rote horror movie that’s fun to laugh at, The Recall has its moments.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 38 John Semley
    And that’s how Detroit unfolds: like a horror film. The film flattens its historical personages and its particularities of time-and-place into excruciating exploitation – somewhere between a Straw Dogs-style “survive the night” home invasion narrative, Milgram experiment moral problem play and racial torture porn.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 25 John Semley
    The performances, the writing, the direction, Segel’s D.F.W. impression, everything is just fine. But The End of the Tour is disgraceful. It feels like it’s towing out the real Wallace’s ghost to perform some soppy parody of himself.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 John Semley
    It’s the kind of film that can’t even bother to commit to its own cynicism, which makes it the most deeply cynical kind of film there is.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 25 John Semley
    More manipulative, maudlin trash from the Disney-Pixar content farm.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 John Semley
    The problem with the Purge films is they feel like they’re made for people who would actually take part in the purge.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 John Semley
    Office Christmas Party is a hopeless muddle. A joyless, laughless – that’s right, not even one laugh – affair that proves how indulgent and (worse) boring ensemble comedies such as this become when the ensemble has next to no natural chemistry and even less of a script to riff off of.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 12 John Semley
    It’s not uniquely bad, nor so bad it’s good. It’s factually, quantifiably bad. Overcooked, underdressed, sloppy, indigestible: just your classic crap hamburger of a movie.

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