Andrew Barker

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For 212 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Andrew Barker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Lowest review score: 0 Mother's Day
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 212
  2. Negative: 33 out of 212
212 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Estevan Oriol’s entertaining, energetic, better-than-it-had-to-be documentary Cypress Hill: Insane in the Brain offers a more complete picture of this massively popular yet often underestimated grou
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    If it’s sometimes a little rough around the edges and not always structurally coherent, well, the same was true of these bands.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Oh aces her leading role with customary aplomb, and Stewart makes for a game scene partner, but Shim’s economical-to-a-fault screenplay rarely allows them enough downtime to fully flesh out their characters.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    It’s hard to say whether a film this bonkers “works” or not, but it’s impossible not to admire both the craft and the extravagant bad taste behind its go-for-broke energy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Despite its doctoral dissertation-style title, “All the Streets Are Silent” lacks a thesis: less a sociological study of the rapper-skater convergence than a celebration of a very specific type of guy in a very specific fragment of space and time.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    Though boasting a few adequate action sequences, and foregoing the more gonzo schlockiness of peer projects like The Meg and Shark Night, the film’s human characters make for drab company, leaving one with little to do but admire the scenery, waiting for dinnertime.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    The film itself, unfortunately, is generally less interesting than the business matters behind it, a thoroughly competent affair that tosses in just enough off-the-wall elements to liven up a fairly basic retread of the original’s formula.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    There’s a valedictory glossiness to the film that sometimes underserves the warts-and-all power of the work in question – as a fan-centric retrospective, it hits plenty of the right notes; but as a chance to more thoroughly explore a complicated, still-influential landmark, it never digs quite deeply enough.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    Cahill gets so bogged down in hair-splitting rules and exposition that he loses track of the bigger themes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    All Together Now has enough of Haley’s signature humanism to elevate it above the average teen melodrama, but only just.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Buoyed by a charismatic performance from star and co-screenwriter Trai Byers, The 24th can at times be cumbersomely didactic and formulaic, but it finds plenty of contemporary relevance in a story that should be far more widely known than it is.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    There’s something quite comforting in seeing her (Austen) work returned to a more natural habitat: adapted into handsome, clever, faithfully unambitious films like Autumn de Wilde’s Emma.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    The problem is that so many of its virtues feel compromised.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Andrew Barker
    At once dreamlike and ruthlessly naturalistic, steadily composed yet shot through with roiling currents of anxiety, Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a quietly devastating gem.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Neither reinvents the wheel nor even attempts to redesign it all that much, but at least it gets where it wants to go, thanks in no small part to the work of Allison Janney, Viola Davis, and young actor Mckenna Grace.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    It benefits from a smart, snappy script and a well-rounded cast, and gives its director the chance to employ virtually every camera trick known to man. What it can’t do, however, is generate even the slightest bit of interest in what happens to any of its characters.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    As fizzy as a freshly poured glass of Perrier-Jouët, though considerably less complex, writer-director Alexis Michalik’s Cyrano, My Love attempts to give the “Shakespeare in Love” treatment to the timeless French play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” with shamelessly derivative yet undeniably entertaining results.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    Centered on characters who act without much in the way of logic, with much of its dialogue confined to clipped bursts of unsatisfying Hemingwayisms, “Dirt Music” is a fine-looking romance that never finds the right key.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    A touching and surprising portrait of an actor who had much more going on in his life – from a serious illness to some seriously left-field artistic inclinations – than was mentioned in his obituaries.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    It’s an admirably strange, thematically muddled curiosity from a talented filmmaker who allows his ambitions to outpace his execution.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    The Black Godfather does yeoman’s work introducing a figure that few outsiders have likely heard of, but who needs no introduction in the power corridors of the entertainment industry.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    On a level of pure craft, then, John Wick 3 is unquestionably great action filmmaking – certainly the most technically accomplished of the series thus far, with a good dozen scenes that could only have been pulled off by a director, a stunt team, an editor and a cast working at the absolute highest level. But as masterfully executed as the action is, watching two-plus hours of mayhem without any palpable dramatic stakes, or nuance, or any emotion at all save bloodlust offers undeniably diminishing returns.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    The film – stately, well-acted, and ultimately unsubstantial – dilutes its considerable charms with hoary literary biopic conventions, and then risks strangling them entirely with its reductively literal takes on the vagaries of artistic inspiration.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    The only perspective that’s missing here is that of Peep himself, and that hole at the center of the narrative gives the film a haunting impact.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Fresh off of memorable supporting parts in “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Support the Girls,” Richardson gives a star turn every bit as charismatic and assured as the film is formulaic and forgettable, bringing soul, style and nuance to a character that could have easily been a condescending caricature.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    Admirably acted and powered by a loopy internal rhythm, the film nonetheless wears out its welcome long before it’s done inflicting indignities on its heroine, arriving at its main point early and then repeating it again and again.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    It’s certainly more interested in ideas than characters, and the film stumbles when it makes half-hearted attempts at romantic intrigue or tragic backstories, but its subversive view of race, money and power in modern sports couldn’t be more timely.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    Serenity sees a usually reliable screenwriter-turned-director take a bold swing and miss the mark completely, so intent on pulling the rug out from under you that he never notices you weren’t even standing on it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Released in Mexico late last year, Caro’s seriocomic adaptation alternates between a tense, well-acted chamber drama and an at times overly didactic parable, but its focus on our newfound willingness to collect all of our darkest secrets behind such an easily pierced veil – do we realize how precarious that tightrope we’re walking is? On some level, are we secretly hoping we might fall? – provides for plenty of squeamish entertainment.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    The film never captures the bonkers, go-for-broke energy that made the ill-fated likes of “Cloud Atlas” or “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” such enjoyable noble failures, too caught up in hitting the same old blockbuster beats to stop and wonder where the story’s weirder threads might have lead.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    In the end, In Harm’s Way struggles to please so many theoretical audiences that it winds up feeling like a film for no one at all.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Most of the surface pleasures of filmic Potterdom (the chiaroscuro tones, the overqualified character actors, the superb costuming, James Newton Howard’s warmly enveloping score) have survived intact, but real magic is in short supply.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Boasting the sort of shocking brutality and unnerving menace that has become Saulnier’s signature, Hold the Dark is also a strangely seductive film, and one that understands the difference between simple plot resolution and catharsis, leading us on a journey into Alaska’s frigid heart of darkness that poses more questions than it answers.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Stretching to more than two hours, Quincy stumbles into some pacing problems as it goes, and considering the sheer number of turns the man’s life took, one wonders if a miniseries might have served him better.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    The only problem is that it’s easier to be impressed by the ingenuity of the staging and the architecture of the screenplay than it is to stay invested in the characters.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    As a onetime Girl Scout den mother turned brass-knuckled avenging angel, Garner gives everything that is asked of her, from brute physicality to dewy-eyed tenderness, but this half-witted calamity botches just about everything else. Drably by-the-numbers except for the moments where it goes gobsmackingly off-the-rails, Peppermint misfires from start to finish.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Employing just about every trick from the Hammer Horror playbook without wasting time trying to make any sense, it provides a serviceable 96 minutes of standard-issue jump scares and supernatural hokum.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Weaving together a dizzying array of archival material and previously unseen personal home movies, director Matthew Jones never quite cracks the man behind the music, but he nonetheless offers an appropriately hyperactive snapshot of a colorful era.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 Andrew Barker
    It should come as no surprise that “Happytime” comes up farcically short as a metaphor for racism. But its most fatal miscalculation is the decision to frontload so many of its crassest setpieces into the first 15 or 20 minutes, depriving the rest of the film of the shock value that is its entire raison d’etre.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    In the end, it can never decide what kind of film it wants to be, drifting into drab formlessness when it needs to find moments of poetry, and reverting to dull clichés when it wants to indulge its thriller instincts, winding up as frosty and uninviting as its setting.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    It has a kicky, kinetic heist movie at its heart, and its action sequences are machine-tooled spectacles of the first order. Its performances, starting with Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and extending to the film-stealing Donald Glover as his wily frenemy Lando Calrissian, are consistently entertaining.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    In almost every respect, this sequel is an improvement on its 2016 predecessor: Sharper, grosser, more narratively coherent and funnier overall, with a few welcome new additions. It’s a film willing to throw everything — jokes, references, heads, blood, guts and even a little bit of vomit — against the wall, rarely concerned about how much of it sticks.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Few popes in living memory have seemed as recognizably human as Francis — for all its access, and for all the inherent empathy of its director, Wenders’ film is never able to completely connect the dots between the man and the figure.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    Coasting for as long as it can on the considerable charms of its star, Breaking In is otherwise a work of profound half-assedness, running through the paces of its bare-bones framework with all the verve, energy and invention of a night-watchman winding down the last hour of his shift.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    Noble intentions are derailed by deeply confused execution in writer-director Deon Taylor’s Traffik, which attempts to marry cheap genre thrills with an unflinching depiction of the horrors of international sex trafficking, only to cheapen the latter and cast a grimy pall over the former.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Thanks to some likable performances from Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris, it’s an entirely watchable if entirely by-the-numbers throwback to the sweet-and-sour Sundance-style indie films of yore. But there’s a blurry boundary between “vintage” and simply “passé,” and Kodachrome is too often caught on the wrong side of that line.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    The Wife is Close’s film from start to finish, and several of the supporting performances fail to rise to her level, with Pryce and Slater the only ones who manage to impress in her orbit.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Though it offers a decent enough primer on dance music history, it’s so eager to play all the hits that it never quite settles into any particular groove.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    “Gospel” is Novack’s first solo feature, though she co-directed “Eat This New York” with husband Andrew Rossi, whose “Page One: Inside the New York Times” she also produced, and she seems to have an implicit understanding that shot composition is every bit as important in a documentary as in a narrative feature.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Andrew Barker
    The Hurricane Heist is...a perfect storm of deliriously watchable inanity and ineptitude. It may be a strong early candidate for the worst movie of 2018, but don’t let that deter you – bad movies this fun don’t come along every day.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Andrew Barker
    Dull, flavorless, and fundamentally incurious, “The Outsider” is a clueless misfire, the cinematic equivalent of a study-abroad student showing off the kanji forearm tattoo whose meaning he never bothered to learn.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Most of Oh Lucy! passes by breezily, and in different hands this could easily be a crowdpleasing comedy...but when Hirayanagi opts to plunge deeper, you realize the darkness has been there waiting all along.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Downplaying some of the property’s sillier elements when not jettisoning them entirely, and streamlining the narrative into a rousing and at times even emotional action film, “Death Cure” is the most successful entry in the franchise by far.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Humor Me manages to earn its audience’s indulgence, if never its full affection.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Despite the indomitable Shaye’s best efforts, however, new director Adam Robitel is rarely successful in shaking the cobwebs off this increasingly creaky franchise: The Last Key is wildly uneven, confused and confusing, and it appears to leave the “Insidious” saga written into a corner yet again.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    [ Jessica M. Thompson’s ] simply-structured film is harrowingly effective in its streamlined, low-frills way: sensitive without ever being sanctimonious, brutally frank without ever lapsing into exploitation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    This riotously endearing comedy is substantially funnier, sharper, and more peculiar than that premise is bound to make it sound.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    As admirable as its aims may be, however, M.F.A.’s themes call for a careful, consistent tone that it is rarely able to maintain, and an increasingly ridiculous third act squanders much of the empathy and engagement that Leite works so hard to build in the early going.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    As dull as it gets, Flatliners never sinks all the way into outright fiasco, and there’s enough talent both behind and in front of the camera to keep things on the right side of basic competence. The actors do what they can with the material, and Oplev happens upon a few decent visual ideas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Plenty entertaining and occasionally very funny, “Ninjago” nonetheless displays symptoms of diminishing returns, and Lego might want to shuffle its pieces a bit before building yet another film with this same model.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    At times a tad too subtle, Thelma is nonetheless an unnervingly effective slow-burn, and those with the patience for Trier’s patient accumulation of detail will find it pays off in unexpected ways.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Green looks for small but meaningful ways to complicate and deepen the well-trod story he’s telling, and by the end, those complications help the film earn its uplift.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Its unabashedly folky, less-is-more approach proves quietly moving.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    It
    As spine-tingling as a number of individual scenes are, the film struggles to find a proper rhythm. Scene-to-scene transitions are static and disjointed, settling into a cycle of “…and then this happened” without deepening the overall dread or steadily uncovering pieces of a central mystery. Curiously, It grows less intense as it goes.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Brassily shot, and assembled with no shortage of energy and humor, Served Like a Girl provides a close, emotionally vivid look at the often ignored female experience of the military.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    By any normal standards, teen horror flick Wish Upon is a pretty bad movie. But its badness is of such a distinct and kooky character that it can’t help but exert an inadvertent charm.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Wonder Woman is the first major studio superhero film directed by a woman, and it shows in a number of subtle, yet important ways.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    The franchise has lost a bit of its luster with every successive installment, but never has a “Pirates” film felt this inessential, this depressingly pro forma.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Everyone’s Life contains a few of the most effective individual scenes in the director’s recent filmography, as well as some of the most befuddling.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Andrew Barker
    This portrait of the artist as an old woman is a gentle-hearted gem, as profoundly subtle as it is subtly profound.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Though energetically shot and blessed with some appealing performances (including winningly strange cameos for theater darlings Lin-Manuel Miranda and Darren Criss), Speech & Debate never manages to make a convincing case for itself.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Band Aid has wit and nasty charm to burn in the earlygoing, generating enough goodwill to power it through an uneven final act.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Andrew Barker
    Funny, warm, and broken-in in all the right ways, Win It All marries Swanberg’s loping, observational style with a plot that wouldn’t have been out of place in an old-school Warner Bros. melodrama, and ends up dealing a surprisingly strong hand.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Virtuosic kick-ass filmmaking can be its own reward, but to paraphrase “Idiocracy,” you still need to care about whose ass it is, and why it’s being kicked.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Rock Dog is cluttered with incompatible subplots that never quite seem to belong in the same film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Gorgeously shot, and helmed with a sense of daring and verve that belies Hamilton’s greenness to feature filmmaking, this is a debut of obvious promise, although its story never quite rises to the level of its craft.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Crown Heights doesn’t break much new ground, and it takes a while to find its footing, but thanks to strong, unshowy performances from Lakeith Stanfield and Nnamdi Asomugha, the film does project the feelings of helplessness and frustration that come from fighting against such an immovable object.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Viewed in a vacuum, it’s hard to fault the movie’s earnestness; Hallström’s canine cinema pedigree (which includes the superior “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”) shows through; and Rachel Portman’s score is understandably sentimental without going completely saccharine.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Rarely do five minutes elapse between some sort of laugh-out-loud absurdity, and the distinction between the film’s intentional and unintentional comedy grows hazier as it goes.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    It’s essentially a hangout movie populated exclusively with some of the worst people imaginable, rarely with any sort of solid scene-setting or straight-men to provide context.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Hardly the most probing or edifying of rock docs, this A24-backed, one-night-only theatrical release is nonetheless a riotously enjoyable, appropriately deafening flashback to one of the last moments in music history when a bunch of knuckleheads with guitars could conquer the world on chutzpah alone.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Handsomely shot and entertainingly paced, “Before the Flood” may not tackle too much new ground, but given the sincerity of its message, its ability to assemble such a watchable and comprehensive account gives it an undeniable urgency.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    The band still sounds phenomenal onstage, and the concert scenes are expertly shot, with plenty of roaming on-the-ground footage to take in the audience ambiance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Their Finest is the sort of crowd-pleaser that knows the difference between satisfying its viewers and flattering them, all the while showcasing surprising performances from Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin, and an entirely unsurprising one from Bill Nighy — a master scene-stealer pulling off yet another brazen heist.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    A classic case of a literary adaptation capturing the high-gloss trappings of its source without getting a handle on its story or themes, The Secret Scripture is like a nicely decorated Craftsman home built on a foundation of Jell-O, with a toilet where the kitchen sink should be. It looks nice on first glance, but spend any time there, and things start to get messy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    That it succeeds more often than not is due in no small part to Heche and Oh, who are wonderfully unafraid to make their characters deplorable people, and also able to invest their downfalls with sincere pathos, complicating any schadenfreude one might be expecting to find.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Andrew Barker
    Demme proves he’s still a wily master of the craft, and the director’s work here makes this more than just a fans-only proposition.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    Groping for grand tragedy and finding only actorly melodrama, shooting for political contrarianism but landing instead on reactionary conventionalism, American Pastoral is as flat and strangled as its source is furious and expansive.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Éternité is a meditative, gorgeous-looking film imbued with such gentle sensitivity that it’s difficult to dislike. Yet the experience of watching it is much like sitting in an opulent garden café on a glorious spring morning, waiting for a meal that never arrives.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    Like many a poorly-plotted video game, “Kingsglaive” manages to skate by for a while on the sheer splendor of its visuals.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Imperium’s depiction of the white-nationalist underground is ultimately background for a straightforward potboiler, and the film is at its best when it stays in that arena.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Andrew Barker
    Attempting to naturalistically capture the hugely internal process of mourning, but rarely managing to offer much of an opening into that process, Curran’s tasteful, challenging yet ultimately inscrutable debut feature never quite lives up to the caliber of her fine cast.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    We never get more than a glimmer of personality within these well-worn character types, and West never digs beneath them to offer any sort of commentary or criticism.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Andrew Barker
    Very obviously a first feature, Lights Out is full of camp (most of it clearly intentional, some perhaps not), and its underlying mythology is confused and often ridiculous. But there’s an invigorating leanness — and a giddy, almost innocent energy — to the filmmaking.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    An arresting visual experience, Kicks has style to spare, and in fact it probably should have spared a little, as this first-time director sometimes crowds his film with more auteurial flourishes than his rather simple story can support. Nonetheless, this is a debut of undeniable promise, both for its director and its largely unknown cast.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Much like classic car customization, effective cinematic storytelling is often all about the detailing, and Ricardo de Montreuil’s Lowriders, which sets a tale of inter-generational rivalry and artistic awakening amidst East LA’s Latino car culture, has style and local color to spare.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    A melodrama with soft-rock ballads where its beating heart should be.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    As an indictment of Wall Street chicanery, it’s largely toothless; as a pure thriller, it only quickens the pulse once or twice; as a conspiracy saga, its central mystery falls flat. Yet somehow the film hangs together surprisingly well.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Andrew Barker
    The problem with “Alice” is its lack of narrative imagination.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Andrew Barker
    Being Charlie is far from a home run, but it’s the kind of solidly struck single after a string of strikeouts that can be just the thing to help set a veteran back on track.

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