James Berardinelli

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For 4,249 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Ikiru
Lowest review score: 0 Feast
Score distribution:
4249 movie reviews
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Empire of Light offers an appetizer of nostalgia for those who remember theaters during the early 1980s but the main course isn’t the easiest to digest, despite several strong performances.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The cynic in me believes this movie may have been constructed primarily for end-of-the-year plaudits because there doesn’t seem to be another compelling reason for it to exist.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Violent Night isn’t going to go down as a classic (although it may have cult classic potential) but, despite all the gore and violence and other R-rated material, it’s arguably less offensive than the kind of bilge proliferated by Netflix and Lifetime/Hallmark/etc. in the name of Holiday Cheer. There are certainly worse ways to spend a chilly December evening.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s crisply paced and, although there are times when Lady Chatterley’s Lover seems like little more than an intellectually-approved bodice-ripper, it’s an impressively mounted production that looks good and is emotionally true to the characters and their era.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    This is one of those grim movies that requires viewers to endure the experience; however, instead of providing a worthwhile payoff, it never varies from the expected trajectory and leaves the viewer as cold at the end as the emotional temperature of the key relationships.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Glass Onion is a late year present from a director who rarely disappoints.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    The problem with Bones and All isn’t that it’s disgusting or shocking or transgressive; it’s that it’s a tedious slog.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The Fabelmans isn’t likely to go down as “Great Spielberg” or even “Very Good Spielberg” but it’s a warm, enjoyable plunge into the 1950s and 1960s.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although not on the same high level as certain other chronicles of investigative journalism – All the Presidents Men (Watergate), Spotlight (Catholic Church sex scandals), and The Post (the Pentagon Papers) – She Said nevertheless offers many of the same qualities that made those earlier movies both compelling and memorable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A dark satire that skewers privilege and eviscerates the famous, the wealthy, and professional critics (gulp), this film from prolific TV director Mark Mylod takes no prisoners.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    n the one hand, The Wonder is a fascinating examination of the war between the sacred and the scientific. On the other hand, despite its strong sense of atmosphere and an intense performance by lead actress Florence Pugh, it’s strangely uninvolving.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an overlong blockbuster in search of an editor. It’s a series of impressive action sequences without a compelling narrative to connect them. It’s a frustrating example of how financial success, not creative impetus, drives the existence of sequels, and it illustrates how unwieldy, contradictory, and overstuffed the MCU has become.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Movie-going isn’t a civics assignment but Till is a sufficiently powerful motion picture that it offers more than a history lesson.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    It’s not that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with the film. Some of the individual moments are impactful or effective at evoking nostalgia. But, as they say, the whole is less than the sum of the parts. It feels like a watered-down replica of other, better coming-of-age stories.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Tar isn’t based on a true story but it possesses an emotional and intellectual honesty that makes it seem more real than countless made-for-mass-consumption biopics.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In a streaming series spread out over four or six hours, this might have offered compelling content (and certainly would have seemed less rushed) but, in its current format, it’s more frustrating than satisfying and the facile ending doesn’t hit the right spot.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Although this features high wattage stars, it represents a curiously anachronistic attempt at escapist fare.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Black Adam embraces many of the worst elements and tropes of the superhero genre, resulting in a loud, discordant experience replete with fist-fights, pyrotechnics, and an overdose of CGI.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The tapestry is large enough for the big screen and the overall experience will reward the movie-goer far more than something slick and superficial like Don’t Worry Darling.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Editing is increasingly a lost art and there are times when Triangle of Sadness might have been more effective had it been presented with greater economy. Stylistically, however, that’s Ostlund. We’ve seen it before and doubtlessly we’ll see it again. There’s enough here to make it worth enduring the length.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although Halloween Ends is a better-than-serviceable slasher film, its old-school approach to horror might feel dated in comparison to the flow of new, more intricately plotted films in Hollywood’s post-pandemic pipeline.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    With its whiplash-inducing tonal inconsistencies and sloppily assembled narrative, Amsterdam often feels like a pastiche of (take your pick) Monty Python, The Coen Brothers, or Wes Anderson grafted onto a crime caper/espionage thriller with a strong allegorical message about fascism.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Smile represents the latest in an impressive roster of horror films that have pushed the envelope, daring to go where most cookie-cutter fright-fests of the past decade have avoided treading. This is a dark, uncompromising movie that explores serious subjects like trauma and suicide.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The director may be able to make a compelling case for why he made Blonde the way he did but I can make an equally compelling case for why only a masochist would want to sit through the whole thing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The pacing is too leisurely and, although Ungar is invested in telling Galvan’s story and fleshing out the man behind the dubious legend, there are times when it feels like he’s bypassing a more intense rendition of the same basic story. Bandit offers more of a diversion than an experience.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Although there are a number of problems with the production, the most glaring is the screenplay. The flaws of the final act are so flagrant that nothing short of a rewrite would have solved them.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Many of the characters might have longer, more fully fleshed-out arcs. But what Prince-Bythewood provides is more than enough for a rousing motion picture filled with well-choreographed battle scenes effectively folded into stories of human interest.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In terms of humor, See How They Run is more amusing than outrageous. Outside of the few instances of slapstick and physical comedy, it is designed to generate smiles (rather than provoke belly laughs). The script is clever and silly at the same time. (That may seem contradictory but it’s not.)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s experimental without being off-putting and it uses its 100 minutes to build out a character who was frustratingly incomplete in X.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Smith has infused this final chapter of the accidental trilogy with an odd tone. It’s a comedy that wants to be serious but has trouble finding the right pitch.

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