For 1,052 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Ansen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Vertigo
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
1052 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    Richard Attenborough's glumly misconceived Chaplin trudges its way through the great comic's long, brilliant, scandal-ridden career without ever catching fire. [28 Dec 1992, p.56]
    • Newsweek
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Much of Patriot Games is routine: good guys and bad guys running around with heavy artillery. But at its best moments, Noyce and Ford snap the genre back to life. [8 June 1992, p.59]
    • Newsweek
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Unlike some other Landis movies, the harmlessly silly Three Amigos never wanders too far afield in pursuit of a laugh. It's a well-wrought giggle machine. [15 Dec 1986, p.83]
    • Newsweek
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 David Ansen
    Attempting a slapstick satire of suburban paranoia and xenophobia, Dante lavishes his considerable skills on a one-note, repetitive Dana Olsen screenplay which, at best, contains enough invention for a 20-minute skit. [06 Mar 1989, p.58]
    • Newsweek
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Clearly nobody will mistake this comedy thriller for a precision-made object -- the scenes seem held together with old shoelaces, and you could land a fleet of 747s through the holes in the plot. But two things are clear: the movie provides a generous helping of laughs, and Whoopi proves herself a screen comedienne with a long and bright future ahead of her. [20 Oct 1986, p.79]
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension doesn't play it safe. For that alone you may want to bless its demented little heart. Buckaroo Banzai may not work, but that's the risk of high-wire acts. At least it's up there trying. [20 Aug 1984, p.75]
    • Newsweek
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Urgent, gritty, sometimes weirdly funny, The Fighter might be considered his first feel-good movie. But Russell's too honest and acute an observer to serve up affirmation without leaving a subversive aftertaste of ambivalence and unease.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Rabbit Hole deftly sidesteps sentimentality and still wrenches your heart.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Warren Beatty's Heaven Can Wait is the most delightful movie the year has offered. Funny, fantastical, fast on its feet, this romantic fantasy comes closer than any film of the past decade to capturing the ingenious, madcap spirit of '30s comedies. [03 July 1978, p.90]
    • Newsweek
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    The Yugoslav-born Tesich is a wry romantic, a moonstruck jester, and his tendency toward excess is nicely complemented by Britisher Yates's crisp but delicate professionalism. With a superb cast at their disposal, they've taken a somewhat preposterous film noir plot and enriched it with quirky, meaty characterizations to produce a nervous comedy of menace about class distinctions and romantic and political obsession. [02 Mar 1981, p.81]
    • Newsweek
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Like many of Winterbottom's movies, it falls a step short of its full potential. Its tact is both its strength and its weakness. The climax feels rushed: it's the rare movie these days that feels too short.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Elf
    Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the “true spirit of Christmas” must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    Full of invention, but under the colorful icing is a slightly stale cake.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    Shot in stunning color by a gifted cinematographer named Caleb Deschanel, beautifully scored by Carmine Coppola in moods ranging from Arabian Nights impressionism to Wagnerian exaltation, the first hour of The Black Stallion is a state-of-the-art demonstration of film as a purely visual medium, a formal exercise that is nonetheless suffused with feeling. [29 Oct 1979, p.105]
    • Newsweek
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Compromising Positions has acting talent to burn and enough drollery to pass the time quite pleasantly. [9 Sept 1985, p.90]
    • Newsweek
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Ansen
    I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
    • Newsweek
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    To anyone who has seen half the movies he appropriates, and can therefore guess every twist of the plot miles before it happens, Foul Play's frenetic eagerness to please is about as refreshing as the whiff of an exhaust pipe on a hot city afternoon. [24 July 1978, p.59]
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    As breezy and charming an entertainment as any barnyard ever produced. [6 July 1981, p.75]
    • Newsweek
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    There's neither coyness nor self-importance in Brokeback Mountain--just close, compassionate observation, deeply committed performances, a bone-deep feeling for hardscrabble Western lives. Few films have captured so acutely the desolation of frustrated, repressed passion.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    Unfortunately, no one seems to have clued Demi in on the joke. Never known for her light touch, she appears to be act-ing (earnestly, humorlessly) in some other movie altogether, a dreary melodrama about a noble mom fighting for her child.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 David Ansen
    Maybe you have to be 14 to find all of this terribly clever.
    • Newsweek
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    This unpretentious, affectionate biography of the horn-rimmed Texas boy who changed the course of rock 'n' roll is a real movie, with a firm grasp on its characters, an honest-to-god plot and an old-fashioned heart. [26 June 1978, p.79]
    • Newsweek
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    It's a minimalist almost-love story told with epic flourishes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Fascinating but repetitious, Better Living Through Circuitry nevertheless does a good job describing the scene.
    • Newsweek
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Ansen
    It’s sad to see such stunning work self-destruct. You walk out haunted by the movie that might have been.
    • Newsweek
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Ansen
    Brings history to life with an uncanny sense of realism.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 David Ansen
    Only near the end does the mix of melodrama, mush and message get out of hand.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Ansen
    Everyone will be tickled pink by this sleek Mike Nichols remake.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Slightly soggy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Ansen
    Doubt stirs up a lot of stormy theatrical weather, but the stolid transfer from stage to screen does Shanley's play no favors.

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