James Berardinelli

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For 3,649 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 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Hustler
Lowest review score: 0 Feast
Score distribution:
3649 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    Although Child’s Play is only 90 minutes long, it’s one of those movies where you check your watch so often you think it has stopped.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Even though Toy Story 4 sometimes feels like a regurgitation and retread of the earlier films, there’s something warm and comforting about spending 100 minutes in their company again.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    Men in Black International is more than just an afterthought; it’s an unfortunate afterthought. Popular interest has long since evaporated and providing a new paint coat (courtesy of stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson) can’t change that foundational fact.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    No one steals scenes from Samuel L. Jackson when he’s in this mode. His entire modus operandi is to be the biggest, baddest motherf... (watch your mouth!) on the planet. Nevertheless, Regina Hall gives him a run for his money – something she does with a lot less screen time.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    For romance junkies, the film checks all the boxes. For those who want a little more, it comes complete with a smart script, likeable leads, and a willingness to occasionally tweak a trope or two. My only complaint about Plus One is that the ending feels a little rushed.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This isn’t Jarmusch at his best but it’s more accessible than some of his films and doesn’t demand more from an audience than to sit back and be amused.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Although not “bad” in a conventional sense, it’s a disappointingly mediocre effort that doesn’t have a lot to offer potential viewers over age 10. It’s a perfect example of what can happen when a sequel exists simply because its predecessor made a lot of money.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Dark Phoenix is closer to the comic book story than the previous iteration, retaining many of the core elements. Unfortunately, it suffers from a massive condensation that not only mutes the film’s emotional impact but creates an erratic tone.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Domino is a lackluster, hard-to-swallow police procedural with soap opera-ish subplots and flat characters.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ma
    Many years ago, an acquaintance of mine said “Who needs good art when you’ve got great trash” and that applies here. Although I would stop short of calling this a “gem,” it is at times creepily effective, at least during its first three-fourths. As the film approaches its climax, it loses some of its uniqueness but there’s plenty to like about it before it starts to feel overly familiar.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Overall, however, Rocketman works because it isn’t constrained by the beats of a traditional bio-pic. Although the movie will be rightfully and enthusiastically embraced by the singer’s fans, it has something to offer those with no more than a casual recognition and appreciation of the man’s music.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There are too many gaps in the cross-generational/cross-gender appeal for the movie to emerge as one of the 2019 summer movie season’s big winners. Some will argue this is all set-up for next year’s Kong/Godzilla rematch. After watching King of the Monsters, however, I sadly find myself less excited about that outing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    When the end credits roll, it’s hard to decide whether the most appropriate feeling should be disgust, despair, or despondency. This is one of 2019’s worst films.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    For a movie about magic, that’s one element sorely lacking in this retread.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Perhaps the best way to describe Booksmart, the assured directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, is John Hughes for the 21st century. Although Hughes never came close to the level of raunchiness on display here, when one peels back the layer of vulgarity and R-rated dialogue, the beating heart of an honest teen-oriented comedy can be found.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    To work, The Professor demands that the viewer believe in Richard and, from about the 15-minute point, I didn’t.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    "Before Sunrise" is a great movie. The Sun is also a Star isn’t. It’s not horrible and it may please its target audience but it misses an opportunity to have a deeper and less surgically-targeted impact than what it achieves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The John Wick series, now on cruise control for its third installment, has fallen into a trap. The filmmakers have become so intent on delivering “more of the same” that they have lost all sense of proportion.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    More like the dramatization of an Encyclopedia Britannica entry than a fully rendered movie, Tolkien provides details about the fantasy author’s life and tries to explore his motivations and influences but loses sight of the character in the process.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Pokemon: Detective Pikachu isn’t a movie. It’s a cog in a multibillion-dollar media empire, a soulless feature-length example of product placement at its most blatant.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, while director AJ Jankel (Super Mario Bros – yes, she’s the one responsible for that) captures aspects of the hostility toward lesbian relationships in that earlier era, she does it without nuance. Her framing of characters is black-and-white and the far-too-pat ending offers an unearned resolution.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Ask Dr. Ruth takes the caricature of the middle-aged, diminutive sex therapist and, through the use of documentary techniques, expands and deepens the viewer’s understanding of the woman behind the image.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    The only thing of interest is the zany, over-the-top and against-type performance by Dennis Quaid, who shows what happens when “ruggedly handsome” gets an infusion of a diabolical Dirty Harry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Long Shot, a production that’s as much a fantasy in the political realm as in the romantic one, is a pleasant trifle that leaves behind a warm fuzzy feeling, which is all one can realistically ask of movie of this sort.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, Kelly’s reach exceeds his grasp and the movie’s thematic content comes across as muddled and superficial.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Avengers: Endgame isn’t as brash, surprising, or relentless as its predecessor but it’s a worthy conclusion to the Infinity War duology and provides a satisfying end to the First Avengers Era.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Enough conspiracies and secret codes to make Dan Brown sit up and take notice. All this and more can be found in David Robert Mitchell’s bizarre, trippy Under the Silver Lake, where the plot at times seems as perpetually stoned as Andrew Garfield’s lead character.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    When the movie goes “boo!” and the viewer tries hard to stifle a yawn, something has gone wrong.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Somewhere buried in the structurally unsound and unevenly paced Red Joan, there exists the material for not only one but two intriguing motion pictures. Unfortunately, neither manages to struggle to the surface and we’re left with a mediocre mash-up of an old-fashioned spy movie and the story of a son coping with the sins of his mother.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The humor is typically sitcom-ish, tending more toward sophomoric gags than genuinely funny material.

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