Melissa Anderson

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For 358 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 29% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melissa Anderson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Holy Motors
Lowest review score: 0 Another Happy Day
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 358
358 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Though these mismatched cops bounce well off each other, Tatum, in his first comedic lead role, is the better performer, both more riotous and affecting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    In its closing minutes Potter restores the calmer observational tone and mood that distinguish much of Ginger & Rosa, providing a lovely summation of its main character's age-appropriate contradictions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Ron Howard's documentary often plays as an advertorial gunning for maximum intergenerational appeal.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The biggest surprise here is Tatum, whose butch reticence has never been put to better use: His saddest farewell isn’t to his lady, but to a man even more uncommunicative than he is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The six surviving members of the original seven are always excellent company, though Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan's film at times seems frustratingly under-researched.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The played-out scenarios in Olnek's first feature, such as Jane's sessions with her therapist, are soon outnumbered by inspired silliness, like tears shed over a revolving dessert tray in a diner.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Though it’s a phlegmatic, sometimes stumbling thriller, Moka, directed and co-written by Frédéric Mermoud, still has its share of gripping suspense.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Guadagnino inserts a plot thread indicting Europe's response to the migrant crisis, shoehorning an issue of utmost gravity into a pulpy sex thriller. Not even this flamboyant project, however satisfying in its excesses otherwise, can accommodate the inept civics lesson.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The Island President also shows how the most high-minded idealists inevitably become deal-makers: The toothless agreement eventually ratified in Copenhagen - which calls for but doesn't require CO2 reductions - is lauded by Nasheed as "a very good, planet-saving document."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Amalric enlivens episodes of limp satire by wholly embracing his unrepentantly self-serving libertine character.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The Wise Kids suffers from a theater workshop-y tendency to rest too long on pauses and silences to convey dramatic heft. But the blunder is ultimately overshadowed by Cone's excellent young actors, particularly Torem, burrowing deeply into her character's zealotry and anguish about being left behind.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    HGBP too often relies on caricature.... Yet Cone, who is bighearted toward but not uncritical of his Bible-thumping characters, has a keen sense of seemingly incongruous details.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Conveying, with a light touch, important lessons for kids on the necessity of civic engagement, the perils of edit-ad conflicts, and the need to honor difference, Miss Minoes is also an ailurophile's dream, featuring a fantastic array of tabbies, calicos, and Birmans that always hit their marks.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    [A] densely packed but occasionally facile documentary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The pleasure of Jacquot's film is in watching various strains of discreet, heated, and deluded passionate attachment performed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Though nothing here is as rousing as "The Pajama Game's" raise-baiting "Seven and a Half Cents," the always-welcome Miranda Richardson steals the film in a small role as Barbara Castle, Labour P.M.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Surveillance is the work of a director who has made significant strides in both storytelling and control of the medium, deftly interweaving a grisly thriller, a sicko "Rashômon," a switcheroo, a psychotic love story, an imaginative paean to children, and an inspired resurrection of Julia Ormond.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The principals, especially Ejiofor, rise above the starchiness that often hampers portrayals of recent, monumental history.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Writer-director James C. Strouse's The Winning Season respects its misfits (and its audience) by not stripping away their foibles in the service of sports-movie clichés.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Usually an enervating process to witness onscreen, Steen's subtle calibrations of self-hatred and raging narcissism exhilarate.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Adults will be thrilled to see Anna Faris as nature documentarian Rachel. Greeting Yogi by speaking in "brown bear," the actress never fails to be seriously goofy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Like its central not-couple, two women tongue-tied about their desire for each other, So Yong Kim's Lovesong frustrates with its lack of articulation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    In equal parts mesmerizing and disorienting, Over Your Cities (the title comes from the biblical story of Lilith) plunges viewers into the earth, wind, and fire of Kiefer's massive-scale projects.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The outsize ideas, creativity, and spirit of this birdlike, unconventional-looking woman - called "my ugly little monster" by her mother, Vreeland resembles John Hurt in a jet-black wig - still dominate a project occasionally lacking the same attributes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Now 79, the man with the snow-white ponytail in the radio booth hasn't flagged; as one of Fass's contemporaries says, "He can let someone go on and on and on."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    The savage derangements of grief so guttingly explored by Ozon in Under the Sand (2000), a career-revitalizing project for Charlotte Rampling, are decorously treated in Frantz.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Crayton Robey's documentary on this queer cultural touchstone admirably presents both sides of the divide.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    As Alex Ross Perry's "The Color Wheel" - another micro-budgeted sibling story - shows, a film about relentlessly repellent characters is much more fascinating, if not courageous, than one that tries to explain, redeem, or forgive them so easily.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Tatum is touching as the stressed, decent provider trying to make something bad from his past not destroy his future. Yet the real surprise is Tracy Morgan, in a small but transformative role as the heavily medicated adult incarnation of Jonathan's childhood friend.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Real, dramatic tension erupts as the strains placed on the women's relationship surface, offering a candid look at what the stresses of parenthood can do to any couple.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Polytechnique smartly exposes the spectrum of misogyny without overplaying the connection between the two incidents. Which makes the concluding flash-forward scene all the more disappointing: Designed to give hope, it comes off as an emotional sop instead.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    Thankfully, Peddle's film is much more illuminating than a grad school seminar.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Melissa Anderson
    “Every love story is a ghost story,” David Foster Wallace wrote more than once. That evocative observation is probed in David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, a film that occasionally reaches a similar level of eloquence.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The first from the Democratic Republic of Congo to be distributed in the U.S. That in itself is worthy of some kind of celebration, even if Viva Riva! too lazily indulges in shapeless genre excess.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    In her second film, writer-director Julie Bertuccelli, adapting Judy Pascoe's 2002 novel, "Our Father Who Art in the Tree," is sometimes partial to clumsy dialogue and scattershot pacing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Terrified of alienating those who were raised on the originals, The Muppets panders to them instead, constantly blasting or restaging Top 40 hits from the past three-plus decades, continuing the cheap strategy that worked well on YouTube two years ago with the Muppets' cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Shameless Eisenhower-era corn.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The Hunter is too many films in one.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As with most fam-cam documentaries, dysfunction pushes the story along, tipping over into exploitation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A late-act crisis precipitated by scandalous maternity news is straight out of the Tyler Perry Academy of Plotting, and all the beseeching of the Lord sounds like little more than product placement.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Engaging ideas bubble up every so often in Colossal, a film that carries out magical thinking to its extreme. But the audacity of its conceit is inexorably tamed, becoming an all-too-familiar lesson on saying no.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Americano, which Demy also wrote and stars in, is an ambivalent, occasionally touching work of homage to his parents, yet one whose clumsiness only underscores the superiority of their directly quoted films.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    I can’t recall ever squirming as much as I did during Ronnie and Will’s first kiss; shiny, buff Hemsworth looks like he’s locking lips with an Andy Hardy–era Mickey Rooney in a wig.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Unremarkable, thinly sketched characters, many adorned with creative careers or hobbies, populate the romantic dramedy Save the Date, yet another unfocused movie about generic relationship quandaries.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The growing disgust of both his family and business associates, all hazily drawn, may knock the magnate down, but it's a limp substitute for the public fury that still burns after the fall of 2008.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Watching Nénette watch those who gape at her is an intriguing, multi-layered exercise of voyeurism, but one that wanes after our gaze is demanded for too long.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Reteaming with Silverstone, the alpha matchmaker of "Clueless," for Vamps, Heckerling uses the actress as the mouthpiece for her complaints about how dumb everyone is today. The writer-director's nostalgia feeds the laziest type of cultural critique: never piercing, just grumpy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Sentimental and pandering.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    In Luc Bondy’s largely inert False Confessions, the tedium is broken by the [Isabelle Huppert's] outfits, and by the way she moves in them.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Guggenheim's insistence on not engaging with the injustices that children of certain races and classes face outside of school makes his reiteration of the obvious-that "past all the noise and the debate, nothing will change without great teachers"-seem all the more willfully naïve.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The Coco of Fontaine's project--which she co-wrote with her sister, Camille, freely adapting Edmonde Charles-Roux's book L'Irrégulière: ou, Mon itinéraire Chanel--can be described as courtesan before couturiere.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Like its title, Turn Me On, Dammit! is a jokey pseudo-provocation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A warm and heartfelt but too often desultory and disorganized tribute to the down-to-earth intellectual.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    "I think their marriage was a mystery to everyone," an Eames worker notes - an observation true of every couple that you'll wish the filmmakers had explored more deeply.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    There's trouble in Paradis-and in a script that prizes frenzy over any actual feeling.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The sentiment, just like the repeated shots of Jacky lying in the fetal position in a tub, shadowboxing, and erupting into a bestial 'roid rage, typifies the film's habit of flattening an idea rather than developing it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Aiming to be a seriocomic movie of ideas but desperate not to offend or challenge, Let It Rain soon settles for being another smug comedy of bourgeois manners.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Though the redemption/coming-of-age narrative is highly predictable-with Glover appearing intermittently only to dispense bromides-Clarkson, at least, remains reliable.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Levine, previously a writer for "Nip/Tuck," sets the bar low, content to work within the shopworn crises, lazy epiphanies, and eye-rolling moments of redemption that have become standard formula in Amerindie family dramedies of the past 20 years.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Watching Balasko, a veteran actor-writer-director in thick-browed, frumped-up drag, sitting at her kitchen table reading Tolstoy and nibbling on dark chocolate with a cat in her lap, is one of The Hedgehog's purest delights. At the very least, it provides relief from the prating of that junior wisenheimer.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Most of the culinary footage is devoted to documenting-in flat, dull DV-the finalists' piece montée, or "sugar showpiece," in which sucrose is manipulated for its chemical properties, and dessert becomes a weird, often tacky sculpture.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A home-invasion movie as instantly forgettable as its title, Trespass is not without disturbing images: namely, Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman as spouses.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As far as teen comedies informed by 10th-grade English syllabi go, Easy A, partly inspired by "The Scarlet Letter," is remedial ed compared with "Clueless" and "10 Things I Hate About You."
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Lang's film, the last he made in the U.S., exposed the immorality of the death penalty; Hyams's retread offers only more plot and longer, louder car chases.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    More accurately titled "Vidal Sassoon: The Slavering Advertorial," Craig Teper's obsequious documentary on the stylist who popularized geometric haircuts in the '60s is in desperate need of shaping and trimming itself.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    In Davis's case, marveling at yet another fine performance doesn't stop you from wishing that her first leading role was in a worthier vehicle
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    It's about as exciting as watching David Blaine play Stratego and makes you miss the power of the first four films all the more: the uncontainable yearning of the Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Tellingly, it's not the queers, but a cop--Seymour Pine, the 90-year-old retired NYPD morals inspector who led the raid on the Stonewall Inn--who gets the last word.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    More an intriguing premise than a successful film, the Malmö-set Sound of Noise, about a group of "musical terrorists," quickly loses its novelty and becomes about as bold as a Swedish production of "Stomp."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Ben Wheatley's muddled adaptation of the dystopian 1975 novel High-Rise — one of many Ballard books that examine the pathologizing effects of modern technology and convenience — suffers from being both too literal and too obtuse in its alterations.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    In its rushed, implausible moment of reckoning, Douchebag ends up validating the frat-boy credo: Bros before hos.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Eva Hesse relies too heavily on ventriloquism to recapitulate the high and low points of the artist
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As too often happens in nonfiction movies, their exploration of these concepts is undermined by ill-considered execution.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    In all fairness, Swank's unsubtle performance is often an extension of the bluntly dumb lines she and other cast members must deliver.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Obit rarely strays from the anodyne tone of the advertorial.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A typically bombastic lives-of-the-artists production made even more stilted by having all the actors (including the Spanish ones) speak accented English.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Once the second act begins with a title card announcing "The Last 3 Months"-the amount of time John spends cooking up labyrinthine plans to spring Lara-Haggis's film becomes interminably nonsensical.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Occasionally diverting but ultimately forgettable, My One and Only will become unforgivable if it inspires other former competitors from "Dancing With the Stars" to go in search of lost time.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Too cute by half, Beware the Gonzo will appeal to the 20 people left on earth who insist on broadsheets over iPad apps and/or those bewitched by star Ezra Miller's pretty cheekbones.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Constance Marks's documentary on Kevin Clash, the kind, gentle man who created the Muppet beloved by every single child in the world, rushes through the intriguing points its interviewees bring up to devote more time to banalities.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A comedy of manners in need of Ritalin.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Ozon's fractured-working-class-family magical realism, liberally adapted from Rose Tremain's short story, "Moth," works best in specific moments.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Even with her beatific face (the actress looks like one of Parmigianino's Madonnas), Farmiga is never wholly believable as a woman shaken by a crisis of belief.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    No matter how many trips to Kung Fu Island our hero makes, nothing in Black Dynamite captures the exhilarating absurdity of Pam Grier hiding razors in her Afro in "Coffy"--or the loony genre experimentation in "Pootie Tang."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Works best when its director tamps down his impulse to enhance the performances with florid narratives, focusing on just the singer and the song.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Weitz and screenwriter Eric Eason are unable to commit fully even to this sudsy vision, tacking on a coda that completely undermines their already timid message.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Joy
    Russell enthusiasts — and I consider myself one — often applaud the director's abiding interest in the messiness of his characters' lives, most vividly on display in American Hustle, a movie animated by flamboyant dissemblers and depressives. But the disorder found in Joy is a reflection not of any quicksilver dynamics among the actors but of the odd tonal shifts in the film itself.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Bell, unlike Katherine Heigl and Sandra Bullock, who executive-produced their big-screen debasements of 2009, brings enough effervescence to the film that she's able to spark believable chemistry with a usual dud like Josh Duhamel.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Keshavarz's earnest, well-intentioned first feature on women's oppression in Iran has trouble resisting its own heavy hand.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    The brothers' latest also has a certain buoyancy...The fizziness, though, proves fleeting, and Hail, Caesar! too often goes flat.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Like the first two Millennium movies, this final installment feels thoughtlessly put together, its script unpruned and rushed through, all to capitalize on the staggering worldwide popularity of its dead author.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Unlike "The Company Men," which successfully explored the moral conscience and despair of its corporate titans and middle managers, Margin Call's bids for sympathy for its most conflicted character, Spacey's Sam, fail.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    These horrors, and the absorbing performances of Watts and McGregor, will soon be undermined by a surfeit of sentiment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Despite From Afar's lumbering solemnity, Castro, a Chilean actor best known for his collaborations with compatriot Pablo Larraín, proves ever supple.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A clumsy spoof of Hollywood, EP always roots for its hapless heroine. But where this trifle fascinates most is in its connections to David Lynch's masterpiece.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    As in the films that precede it, the mysteries--and terrors--of desire also propel Handsome Harry, which reunites Gordon with Luminous Motion's Jamey Sheridan, here in the title role.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Star Léa Seydoux — in her second collaboration with Jacquot (the first being 2012's Farewell, My Queen, in which she plays an adoring reader to Marie Antoinette) — further demonstrates, with each sly, gap-toothed grin, a keen understanding of power and impotence.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Making a kid "the old-fashioned way" becomes the plot engine for the second time this year - after Jennifer Westfeldt's "Friends With Kids" - in Gayby, a comedy that, much like the perfunctory p-in-the-v it depicts, gives about 30 seconds of pleasure before going limp.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    Tsukerman is not interested in disproving or discounting theories, but merely assembling them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melissa Anderson
    A docudrama with a good heart but a heavy hand.

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