Dennis Harvey

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For 1,233 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dennis Harvey's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Listen to Me Marlon
Lowest review score: 0 Vulgar
Score distribution:
1233 movie reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It’s a film more gritty than stylish, but in any case with all key contributions lashed to the service of a tricky narrative with scant gratuitous fat or flamboyance.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    In any case, it’s skillful enough to satisfy most viewers, if not quite sufficiently original in concept or striking in execution to leave a lasting imprint.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It does provide engrossing studies in human interest, as well as an empathetic look at the particular struggles of U.S. immigration in the new millennium.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    None of this is particularly credible, let alone memorable, but it’s all executed with sufficient energy and humor to make for an enjoyable night’s entertainment.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    At nearly 100 minutes — way too many for material this flimsy — Followed even has time for a couple clumsily maudlin bits, not excluding brief yet awesomely trite address of “the homeless issue” in downtown L.A. A movie like this doesn’t need to have a social conscience. It ought to have worried first about having a brain, period.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Miss Juneteenth richly captures the slow pace of ebbing small-town Texas life, even if you might wish there were a bit more narrative momentum to pick up the slack in writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ first feature.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It’s compelling enough in its non-hyperbolic take on familiar genre elements, even if the depth of tragedy aimed for proves as much out of reach as any nerve-wracking suspense.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    Exit Plan has been retitled from “Suicide Tourist” for its U.S. release, and while the original monicker was certainly punchier, the new one perhaps better captures the gist of a movie that’s ultimately a little too polite and vague to make much of its intriguing premise.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Harvey
    That writer-director Jeremy Hersh’s debut feature is a screen original surprises, not because it’s “stagy” (though he has written plays), but because its engagingly argumentative virtues aren’t typical for movies anymore, if they ever were.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The core narrative is rather simple, and the political metaphor not especially subtle. But the overall concept, from Foulkes and her trio of story collaborators, has a bracingly original air, from the film’s period anachronisms to its impressive design elements.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The pileup of disasters is such that this tale might easily have been spun as some kind of grotesque comedy. But writer-director Christian Sparkes’ second feature plays it straight, narrowly evading viewer disbelief via strong principal performances and sufficiently urgent execution.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It’s a nicely economical tale of supernatural vengeance that benefits from its small scale and lived-in atmospherics.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Wilson’s nimble half-brat, half-she-devil performance is key to our buying the basic premise, aided by solid supporting cast contributions. James grows less intimidating the more dialogue he’s given in an otherwise trim script by marital duo Ruckus and Lane Skye.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    This first narrative feature by cinematographer and documentarian Andrew Wonder is an intriguingly offbeat character sketch that falls somewhere short of a fully-rounded portrait. Nonetheless, his arresting subject matter and refined aesthetic make for a promising debut worthy of discerning viewers’ attention.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Actor Philip Barantini’s first directorial feature is nothing wildly original in content or style. Still, it punches both elements across with a satisfying low-key confidence, and does not shrink from occasionally letting things get pretty rough.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This overlong tale spends most of its nearly two hours as a somewhat draggy, talky mystery before finally deciding to be a thriller, with credibility lacking throughout.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    The result is an earnest, sometimes skillful effort that nonetheless often feels slack and underwritten, as well as ultimately less-than-rewarding.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    Those looking for much in the way of real insight will find this amiable enterprise doesn’t stray very far from a general, standard-stoner-yuks tenor of “OMG I was SO HIGH!!!”
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Not everything here works, including some lead casting. But this daylight noir should please viewers willing to roll along with a crime meller more interested in character quirks than action thrills.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    Competently crafted, Tammy is too glib to be poignant and too defeatist to be amusing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    A relatively modest, low-key tale about global refugee issues that are usually portrayed in a higher dramatic key, The Flood makes a somewhat underwhelming first impression. But it gradually overcomes that to arrive at a potent (if still quiet) cumulative impact, bolstered by strong performances from leads Ivanno Jeremiah and Lena Headey.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The film successfully mixes together a lot of things, from the waterfront tourist-town setting of “Jaws” to a general teen fantasy-adventure feel that tempers (without weakening) horror content variably redolent of “It,” “Fright Night” and myriad other predecessors. If originality isn’t a strong suit here, the film’s conviction and polish make that a minor sin.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    Despite sufficient gore, there’s more style than bite to this undead opus, which does not excel at scares or action set-pieces.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    Bit
    On the one hand, it’s nice that in 2020 this hook should (despite our current political chaos) seem no big deal. On the other, one does wish this exercise in blase attitudinizing paid a little more attention to suspense, thrills, plot, mythology, and the other basic horror elements it leaves underdeveloped.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    This is a competently crafted movie too shallow to come up with much reason why we should root for these people, and too derivative to make their vertiginous rise and fall more than forgettable formula entertainment.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    There’s nothing particularly elegant about the way Planet of the Humans arrives at that downbeat thesis. Though well-shot and edited, the material here is simply too sprawling to avoid feeling crammed into one ungainly package even narrator Gibbs admits “might seem overwhelming.”
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    If your sense of humor favors stupid ideas done smartly, however, Butt Boy offers pleasures that aren’t even all that guilt-inducing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    1BR
    With its aspects of human captivity, brainwashing, collective insanity and ersatz utopianism, Marmor could have taken his story in myriad tonal directions. But instead of a wild ride, his film emerges a competent one that holds the attention, yet also feels like a missed chance at something truly memorable from a promisingly offbeat premise.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    It’s a conventional buildup-to-process-of-cast-elimination suspenser that’s unfortunately low on actual suspense, let alone thrills or narrative invention.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    To the Stars needn’t have taken itself so seriously, but the fact that it ultimately does is exactly what turns it from a potentially charming, bittersweet fable to a pretentiously overblown yet undercooked Amerindie soap opera.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Lazy Susan aims hazily between the sad-sack valentine likes of “Muriel’s Wedding” and something more satirically misanthropic, missing a target it never quite commits to in the first place.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    Despite a capable cast and reasonably energetic execution from director Jon Abrahams, this violent caper lacks any real wit or novelty.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    If There’s Something in the Water isn’t the most sophisticated treatment of the issues it scrutinizes, it nonetheless makes a very convincing case for protections against environmental harm being applied equally to all members of society.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Harvey
    As cinematographer and editor in addition to writer, director and producer, Vasyanovych is very much in charge of a vision whose aesthetics are rigidly controlled. The ironically titled “Atlantis” may well alienate some viewers with its austerity, but those willing to tough it out will feel rewarded.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    This uninspired detour into impersonally commercial English-language terrain for Bosnian director Danis Tanovic (an Oscar winner for 2001’s “No Man’s Land”) should provide Patterson’s fans and undemanding miscellaneous viewers with an acceptably slick if not-particularly-suspenseful crime potboiler for home viewing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    An overcomplicated stew of apparent madness, conspiracy, supernatural powers and revenge whose narrative elements never quite mesh or even come to full fruition individually. Nonetheless, this quasi-horror mixed bag will hold viewers’ attention for its originality even as it flags in both credibility and suspense.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    The capable cast and brisk pacing keep attention held toward a happy ending that pleases even if it is a bit pat, not to mention inevitable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    All this certainly constitutes an intriguing footnote to horror cinema history. But Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen’s film could’ve used more distance from its principal interviewee, a producer here.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Thanks largely to the performers (and Crystal in particular), the end result is diverting enough if unmemorable.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    It’s not enough just to be offbeat. Defy whatever rules it might, a movie has to find its own beat, and After Midnight still seems to be weighing its options when the final credits roll.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    There’s a relaxed yet energetic comic rapport between players that suggests a good time was had by all.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    It’s an inspired goof — for a while, before it turns into waaaaaay too much of a good thing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    A very entertaining recap that grows more disturbing as it wades into the dysfunctional behavior that doomed the show.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    This is a well-cast, artfully handled effort that exercises sufficient restraint to really earn its requisite laughter and tears.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Densely packed yet lively and entertaining documentary, whose accessibility is heightened by some narrative play-acting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    This adventurous seriocomedy has enough surprising elements and off-kilter humor to keep one intrigued, even if the payoff is debatable.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Uncle Frank recalls plenty of prior coming-out (and coming-of-age) sagas, but revisits their familiar terrain with a confident and skilled mix of humor and character-dynamic shorthand.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Though this tale of a new widow’s apparent haunting gets progressively lost in a narrative maze that’s complicated without being particularly rewarding, director David Bruckner suffuses the action with enough dread and unpleasant goosings to make this an above-average genre exercise.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Haphazard as “Woman” can seem, it all somehow pulls together at last with a satisfying smack.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    It’s basic action entertainment of a somewhat old-fashioned ilk, giving viewers exactly what they expect in a borderline-hokey yet satisfying way.
    • 7 Metascore
    • 10 Dennis Harvey
    It’s very hard to satirize things that are already inherently ridiculous, and mockumentary Reality Queen! has the misfortune of being even more vacuous — not to mention less funny — than the empty-calorie celebrities it parodies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    The best thing the film has going for it is editor Avner Shiloah’s scrambled channel-surfing assembly, which seldom sticks with any bit long enough for it to get too stale. Still, VHYes feels overextended even at the 66 slim minutes it takes to reach the final credits.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    This fever dream feels more derivative than distinctive, entertaining and eventful as it is. Still, it’s a well-cast, well-crafted stab at something offbeat.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    It’s Looks 10, Personality 4, however, as director Andrew Desmond and collaborator Arthur Morin’s screenplay doesn’t quite provide enough incident to properly milk its own premise, making for a supernatural thriller that ends just as it’s beginning to work up a sweat.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    Overlong, undercooked Rabid can’t settle on a unified tone for its actors, let alone its narrative. Even its misanthropy ultimately feels indecisive and trifling.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Code 8 is better than a mere calling-card film, though one senses a desire to check all the boxes of fan expectation and professional packaging rated higher than the kinds of personal expression that might have lent it a more memorable idiosyncrasy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Even as a luxe fantasy of danger and hotness, the film falls short — though competently assembled in general, real high style is lacking. Too many scenes take place in empty warehouses or obviously dressed sound stages, budgetary concerns apparently hobbling the story’s feinted milieu of decadent haunts of the criminal-rich.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    A sub-Tennessee Williams potboiler triangle between restless sexpot, impotent husband, and hunky handyman ever-so-slowly congeals into a lumpy gumbo of thriller elements in Grand Isle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    An eerie suspense exercise that starts out looking like a supernatural tale — one of several viewer presumptions this cleverly engineered narrative eventually pulls the rug out from under.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    A watchable if familiar rural melodrama.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 10 Dennis Harvey
    Stridently dumb action thriller.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    A respectable if non-revelatory cruise through a familiar terrain of mean streets and men in blue.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    High on energy if low on credibility.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    Ultimately it seems a message movie not quite willing to deliver any clear message, as well as a genre film shy about admitting as much. It’s too melodramatic to be taken as gritty realism, yet not suspenseful enough to work as a straight thriller.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    There’s no complexity to anyone or anything here. Even the hint of family conflict in the portrayal of our heroes’ children as bratty teens goes nowhere in the director and Cain DeVore’s screenplay, which at times teeters on the edge between simple and simple-minded.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Given their evident talent for packaging (as opposed to content), Hillege and van Driel might next consider doing something of a more purely genre-based nature, where depth or its lack thereof won’t matter much.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    That this mashup of too many familiar action-thriller elements doesn’t emerge a generic mess is a credit to all involved. That it’s passably entertaining but also instantly forgettable comes as less of a surprise.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    What’s ultimately less impressive is Stevens’ script, which to varying degrees draws on the templates of “The Amityville Horror,” “The Shining,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and other conspicuous predecessors, but lacks the original fillip or three that might have turned an enjoyable exercise into something really first rate.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    With its general tone of inspirational uplift that’s too often spelled out in dialogue rather than felt, The Great Alaskan Race bears the same relation to “faith-based entertainment” that it does to action-adventure cinema: It gestures in that direction, yet doesn’t actually make the commitment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Dennis Harvey
    Wolff has made a debut feature as impressive in its deliberate modesty and unpretentiousness as it is in matters of psychological nuance and technical skill.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    If you’ve ever wanted a mashup of Disney princess movies and “The Stepford Wives” or imagined “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a swoony YA fantasy, Paradise Hills is absolutely the movie for you.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Dennis Harvey
    Bombastically dumb new chiller that probably would have been called "Killer App" if that title hadn't already been used several times.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    There’s a lot of excellent atmospherics here that are more unsettling than the actual violence, which in turn is all the more effective for largely being kept just off-screen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    The emotions we witness and feel should have more force given the obviously stressful circumstances depicted. But they feel like all the edges have been sawed off to flatter both the subjects and principal actors.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    Beyond de rigueur jump scares, Mary has little real atmosphere or suspense, and that is at least partly due to the fact that its supernatural force is so generically ill-defined.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Ultimately, Stante’s raw energy and sure hand with actors are more encouraging than the screenplay’s lack of depth is bothersome.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    Though professionally smooth in execution, Semper Fi has the frustrating sum impact of a movie at fundamental conflict with itself.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Cuck is powerful so long as we’re simply trapped observing Ronnie’s all-too-palpable incomprehension and childlike tantrums over his dead-end circumstances. But when those circumstances start to feel rigged, the film’s value as analysis of a hot-button social phenomenon begins to cool.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Harvey
    Whether classified as straight-up genre piece or substance-abuse drama in disguise, this is a dive into psychedelic hedonism that succeeds in constantly topping itself, rather than succumbing to shock-value fatigue like the aforementioned Noé joints.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    The Disappearance of My Mother is a successful piece of documentary filmmaking inasmuch as it’s entertaining and dextrously crafted. But its precise intent is unclear.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Well acted (though Garriga doesn’t quite make a coherent character out of Lauren, or create believable marital chemistry with Scott), this is a smooth movie that maybe should have been a little less tidy for maximum impact.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    The result isn’t exactly a docudrama indictment like “Traffic,” a thriller a la “Sicario,” a plea for innocent victims, or a Tarantino-esque bloody crime comedy. Rather, Running With the Devil is all the above, confidently blending together many narrative and tonal elements into a surprisingly cohesive whole.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Harvey
    This film offers an engrossing mix of history, investigation and activism.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Dennis Harvey
    This undeniably slick, energetic contraption plays somewhere between grating and numbing.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    This “Capital” succeeds as a well-acted crisscrosser of a melodrama between two awkwardly entangled families in upstate New York. Where it falls well short is in attaining the level of biting social commentary Virzi drew from the same material.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    This is a worthy enterprise that errs on the side of caution, carrying the slightly stale whiff of awards-bait cinema in which greatness is frequently signaled but inspiration somehow lacking.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    It’s the kind of enterprise that has everything but a single fresh idea, or even moment. ... The sombre tone feels forced rather than earned, because everything here comes out of The Giant Golden Book Of Coulda Beena Contenda Cliches.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Dennis Harvey
    The overly finished language and theatrical intensity levels that might be potently effective onstage lose any pretense of naturalism under the camera’s unblinking gaze.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 20 Dennis Harvey
    Making underwhelming use of its not-bad ... conceit, Benson’s sci-fi-tinged script is not at all ingeniously plotted, insists we care about tritely sketched characters, and is never credible enough to transcend an air of escalating silliness.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It offers nothing particularly new, yet it fulfills the only requirement that really matters for this kind of movie — it’s scary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    Entertaining but uneven, the result is a deliberately over-the-top sci-fi horror exercise that loses some focus as the action grows more psychedelically unhinged — its oscillating tone not necessarily helped by Nicolas Cage growing likewise, in one of his less inspired gonzo-style performances.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Thanks to Michell and a fine cast, it works admirably well — at least to a point, at which some viewers may feel [screenwriter Christian] Torpe piles on one crisis too many.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    Though not in their class, Ms. Purple aims for something of the bruised romance of alienation and ennui that Antonioni made his name on (most notably “La Notte” and “L’Eclisse”). The fact that it even lands in the same ballpark without growing too pretentious or mannered — though it’s admittedly a little of both — is admirable, not least for simply being so out-of-step with any current cinematic vogue.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    It’s a modest, touching dram
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Dennis Harvey
    A clever indie suspense that draws on fantasy-tinged notions of virtual reality and identity exchange to create an ingenious tale more in the realm of an intimately-scaled thriller than sci-fi.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Dennis Harvey
    At times Schimberg’s gambits feel too coy, their aim too dry despite the sensational hooks. But more often than not, the immediate impact is engagingly droll, and there’s no questioning the overall adventurousness, confidence and originality.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    While “War” may be a duly formulaic feel-gooder at heart, it also soft-pedals the more potentially heavy-handed emotional beats to pleasing effect.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dennis Harvey
    The late journalist’s career and witticisms are smoothly encapsulated by veteran documentarian Janice Engel’s slick feature.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Dennis Harvey
    A diverting yet awkward mix of farcical elements and earnest feeliness. The two never quite gel, and it’s hard to care about the nice characters who somewhat improbably put up with wildly insufferable ones. There’s some invention and good humor here, yet the whole feels inorganic.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 0 Dennis Harvey
    Bad in ways that sometimes provoke a disbelieving guffaw, but more often stir pained embarrassment.

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