James Berardinelli

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For 3,493 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Casablanca
Lowest review score: 0 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Score distribution:
3493 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is the sequel Halloween fans have been awaiting for four decades. With John Carpenter whispering in his ear (the original director returned in an “advisory” capacity and as co-composer), David Gordon Green has taken the series back to its roots.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This isn’t just another “cancer movie.”
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Bad Times at the El Royale has problems beyond its inability to stick the ending but that’s the one that ultimately sinks it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Old Man & the Gun’s problems relate to a lack of balance. The movie is fine when it focuses on Redford – at least until the anti-climactic final act when it loses energy and momentum – but dead-in-the-water where the other actors/characters are concerned.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    When movies address fertility problems – something they rarely do in the first place – it’s usually with something less than the honesty on display in Private Life.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, along with his determination to burrow into the lead character’s psyche, Oscar-winning Damien Chazelle (whose statuette came for "La La Land") fully embraces the shaky-cam handheld approach.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It doesn’t offer a story of any surprising depth or emotional strength. It’s straightforward which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the limitations of this telling of Colette’s life is defined by a familiar quality.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Crisply paced but undercut by hard-to-swallow plot contrivances, the movie doesn’t waste much time, taking only about an hour and a quarter to unspool.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    To the extent that Venom works, it’s as a comedy not an action/adventure superhero film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    All movies have a perspective. The one presented in The Hate U Give is measured but unmistakable. The film is incisive; its manipulation is covert and strategic, engendering feeling without seeming intrusive.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Cooper directs with a sure hand, never overextending himself, and Lady Gaga proves to be a natural performer (she’s more believable in the role than Barbra Streisand was 42 years ago). She and Cooper exhibit a strong, primal chemistry. The movie works because we believe in them and have a rooting interest in their star-crossed, doomed love affair.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Made for the National Geographic Channel, Science Fair was devised as a television project. As such, it’s more than worthy of the time spent viewing it. The material is strong enough, however, that for those who appreciate documentaries of this sort, it’s a reasonable candidate for theatrical viewing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    There’s a sense that, in trying to add humor and cinema-friendly “touches” to her narrative, Gleason occasionally takes us too far from reality and, during those times, the movies loses its focus on the 16-year old protagonist, Jamie Winkle (Joey King).
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    In his latest diatribe, Moore throws everything at the viewer including the kitchen sink and hopes something – anything – will stick. Sadly, not much does.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although there are times when the story loses its focus (mostly during the scattershot and occasionally confusing second half), the overall impression is one of satisfaction and the animation is better than anything to emerge from Japan since Miyazaki “retired.”
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Narratively, The Song of Sway Lake doesn’t have much going for it but when it comes to capturing the tone of a specific locale, the approach of director Ari Gold is without peer.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Life Itself starts out with great promise – a dizzying first act that creates the tapestry of a character’s life by offering a kaleidoscope of moments from his past. It’s poignant, effective, and punctuated by actions that are breathtakingly sudden and unexpected. However, after the strong beginning, the movie takes a conventional turn.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Unlike the Harry Potter movies, The House with a Clock in Its Walls fails to find the sweet spot for cross-generational appeal.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Lack of focus is ultimately the undoing of sophomore feature director Yann Demange – despite crafting several compelling stand-alone sequences, he is unable to stitch everything together into a compelling whole.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    A fully disengaged brain is probably the key to enjoying Final Score. Employing even basic logic engenders a recognition of how truly stupid this screenplay is, especially when it comes to the resolution.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Although there’s admittedly some perverse entertainment value to be found in this soap-opera derived mystery, the movie never rises to the level of something gripping like "Gone Girl." It’s occasionally fun in a trashy sort of way, but nothing more.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Black is a capable action director so the individual fight scenes are well-executed and occasionally involving. It might have helped the excitement level if we had more than a passing affinity for any of the characters.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The sense of verisimilitude helps to ground the drama. Although MDMA goes to some dark places and features its share of ugly scenes, it’s ultimately a story of hope and redemption. It helps to remember that Wang has become a successful businesswoman and now filmmaker.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Ultimately, however, the movie is so desperate for a conventional ending that it subverts everything it was willing to try earlier.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The overall package, despite suffering from some third-act narrative problems, generally goes down easily and boasts a strong, lived-in performance by Shannon Purser (Barbara from the first season of Stranger Things).
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Peppermint isn’t preaching a message; it’s intended as escapist fun. The problem is, there’s nothing “fun” about sitting through this 100-minute exercise in robotic butchery.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Five Fingers of Marseilles is simultaneously familiar and unique. As befits a film set in an isolated corner of the pre-and-post-Apartheid country, the movie incorporates its contemporaneous circumstances into the plot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An unevenly paced but ultimately winning romantic comedy, Juliet, Naked is the latest success based on a Hornby novel, joining "Brooklyn," "High Fidelity," "About a Boy," and "Fever Pitch."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There’s nothing momentous about The Wife but it functions equally effectively as a character-based drama and an allegorical statement about the power dynamic between men and women in pre-21st century marriages.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    A taut, effectively paced mystery-thriller with a powerful emotional component

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