James Berardinelli

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For 3,866 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Lowest review score: 0 The Neon Demon
Score distribution:
3866 movie reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Brandon has apparently inherited a great deal from his father both in terms of his filmmaking techniques and his taste in material. As science fiction, Possessor is a little disappointing – it does too little with a pregnant premise crying out for deeper inspection. As horror, however, it’s a rousing success – a shocking and disturbing gem that doesn’t betray itself by softening things during the final act.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    As the title character, Millie Bobbie Brown shines in a way she hasn’t in her non-"Stranger Things" appearances.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The film’s characters are as recognizably human as they are oddballs and the narrative arc could be loosely described as a coming-of-age story for a thirtysomething woman who exists in a state of extreme arrested development.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The period detail is impeccable and The Devil All the Time gets high marks for its establishment of time and place.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Other films have told similar stories with greater power. Director William Olsson appears unwilling to fully commit to the darkness that a movie of this sort would need to embrace to be both ephemerally disturbing (which it is) and memorable (which it isn’t).
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In short, although Blackbird is effective as a buzz-kill and features a few nicely choreographed scenes, too little about the film feels like real life and who wants a fantasy film that’s such a relentless downer?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie never loses sight of its twin objectives: maintain suspense and emphasize a message about the enduring, pernicious power of racism.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Broken Hearts Gallery meanders through its fantasy island version of New York City with meet-cutes and complications-with-exes until it reaches the inevitable climax.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Kaufman once again reminds us that, without a Jonze or a Gondry to shape and prune the writer’s constructs, we’re destined to become stuck in a frustrating morass of eccentricity and self-indulgence.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    By mixing slapstick humor, outright silliness, and a psychedelic edge, Doff trades tension for laughs. He also has a political point to make about class divisions and the haves-and-have-nots.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    This isn’t a good movie in the conventional sense of the word but it may hit the sweet spot for those who have declared their affection for the slacker musicians originated by Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter more than 30 years ago.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This more lenient attitude toward the original 1998 film has allowed director Niki Caro to be less reverent in her approach. The result is satisfyingly fresh. 2020’s Mulan follows the same general trajectory as its predecessor but numerous changes – some small, some large – have given it a unique identity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The film contains some of Nolan’s most ambitious action sequences to-date but one wonders whether the plot density – a not inconsiderable obstacle for some who prefer not to devote their undivided attention for 2 ½ hours – might prove to be problematic.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    By taking a different road, Iannucci has provided something that captures the essence of David Copperfield without being constrained by every detail.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s an arthouse production made with arthouse audiences in mind but I found it to be a more compelling experience than the equally “important” (but entirely too safe) "Radioactive," which played in the same general historical era with less zest.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although it would be fair to say there are “feel good” moments in the movie, the film as a whole seeks to dig a little deeper. It’s not as effective as the effervescently witty "500 Days of Summer," but there are times when it strives for a similar sensibility.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Underwritten yet nevertheless enjoyable.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Most of the movie involves Rogen interacting with Rogen and this is problematic on a number of levels. First, neither version of Rogen has a good feel for the shifting tone of the movie. Secondly, without another human to play off, Rogen is frequently stiff. Or, to put it another way, he has zero chemistry with himself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    With an abrupt and unwelcome shift in tone and a surprisingly ordinary resolution, The Burnt Orange Heresy falls short of its Hitchcockian aspirations.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Howard is an affectionate but unremarkable biography of Ashman that uses archived clips and new interviews to present an overview of the man’s life with a special attention on his later years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In the end, however, it’s all a rather hollow experience (as is too often the case with existential horror).
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    For what it is, Summerland is solidly made, but don’t expect anything extraordinary from the production.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Although it does an adequate job of illustrating the reasons why history remembers Curie, it feels more like a Victorian/Edwardian era soap opera than the chronicle of a scientific pioneer.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Hanks’ script is an example of economical storytelling and the end result is a thrilling 75 minutes of the kinds of things one expects from well-made submarine movies.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    While Palm Springs doesn’t stray too far from the idea introduced by "Groundhog Day," it’s the first derivative film to be more deserving of a commendation than derision. Or, to put another way, it feels more like an homage than a rip-off.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Old Guard blends the intelligence of a well-written dramatic sci-fi/fantasy tale with the action/adventure of a big budget motion picture.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The Beach House is a middling horror film with aspirations of recalling The Fog or The Mist but lacking the screenplay to come close to either.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    It’s no surprise that this is one of the best films of the year (and would have retained that distinction in any year it was released, not just this one).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For those who appreciate the genre, this is a better-than-average merging of technical craftsmanship, narrative coherence, and competent acting.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Truth is layered and offers a treat for those who savor acting on the highest level, but it is a step down from his best films and may hold its strongest appeal for those who label themselves cineastes and art house movie-lovers.

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