Lawrence Van Gelder

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For 189 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lawrence Van Gelder's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 90 When We Were Kings
Lowest review score: 10 Vegas Vacation
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 189
  2. Negative: 48 out of 189
189 movie reviews
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Nearly every one of the film's emotional scenes is too predictable to hit its mark, but Mr. Jones's dry delivery has its moments.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Lawrence Van Gelder
    In films, as in the ring, heart and will without exceptional talent don't produce winners.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Written and directed by Deepa Mehta, this glossy melodrama, mixing references to Indian mysticism and the epic poetry of the "Ramayana" with late-20th-century feminism, teeters unsteadily between sociology and soap opera.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Lawrence Van Gelder
    All its 89 minutes of fast cuts, swooping overhead shots, sun, surf, song, sunburn and sex cannot obscure the extent of its shallowness.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Lawrence Van Gelder
    When it comes to father, sons and mob life, stick to "The Godfather."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    An inspiring film about an inspired teacher. It should leave all viewers with an ounce of curiosity eager to hit the streets with Dobsonian telescopes of their own.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Sublime in its involvement with the yearning of mankind to explore the heavens.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Lawrence Van Gelder
    All the special effects in the world cannot compensate for an inability to generate tension, establish and sustain pace or create any character whose survival is worth rooting for.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Filtered through tears, laughter and affection, the results -- are touching and fascinating though, by their nature unilluminated by dispassionate analysis.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Brims with understanding of the complexities of relationships, the frailties of humankind and the possibilities of joy.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 10 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Amateurish and incoherent.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Lawrence Van Gelder
    These tales of upward mobility seem at odds with Mr. PĂ©rez-Rey's choice to include a clip from the 1983 remake of "Scarface," in which Al Pacino, playing a Marielito thug, introduces a machine gun as his "little friend."
    • 16 Metascore
    • 10 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Not very funny, intellignet or grippingly plotted, it is likely to appeal only to those who think that anything to do with marijuana - smoking, sharing, stealing or selling - constitutes the Everest of rip-roaring hilarity. [17 Jan 1998]
    • The New York Times
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Lawrence Van Gelder
    For all its experimental intentions, Loudmouth Soup feels familiar: a claustrophobic Hollywood satire that's short on kinesis and long on conversation.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Lawrence Van Gelder
    While instructive on environmental concerns about the impact of logging, Butterfly does not reward those who seek dispassionate psychological insight into the zealous Ms. Hill.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Structurally, Sex, Politics and Cocktails is wildly, almost frantically inventive, with techniques ranging from stop-motion to split-screen to silent film-style intertitles. But no amount of directorial trickery can mask the essential vacuousness of the story and its characters.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Leelee Sobieski and Albert Brooks, especially Mr. Brooks, deliver outstanding performances in the first feature film to be directed by Ms. Lahti.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Though it is occasionally talky, and though its plot takes a while to crank up, The Last Starfighter, directed by Nick Castle, is more often than not good-humored, bent on action and even touching. [13 July 1984, p.C5]
    • The New York Times
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Lawrence Van Gelder
    An engaging and colorful but somewhat overbalanced documentary.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Director Curtis times his audience immersions into the ice bath of terror with such skill that moviegoers will scarcely have the leisure to ask why some of the renters aren't a bit more observant and curious about their dwelling.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Such a joyous celebration of sex and filmmaking that viewers will forgive its director for taking time out to enjoy a little of both.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 10 Lawrence Van Gelder
    To imagine the life of Harry Potter as a martial arts adventure told by a lobotomized Woody Allen is to have some idea of the fate that lies in store for moviegoers lured to the mediocrity that is Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Lawrence Van Gelder
    It is a measure of the shortcomings of this genial, well-meaning but ultimately unenchanting film that scene after scene is stolen by the second bananas.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Lawrence Van Gelder
    A tale of negligent homicide, class warfare, vengeance, jealousy and murder, Stephen King's Thinner has the outlines of Shakespearean tragedy and the intellectual content of a jack o'lantern. But as such ventures go, this Halloween handout is more treat than trick, if your tastes run to dripping blood and repellent skin ailments. The production is slick, the Maine scenery is bracing, the characters are well-acted, and in a mumbo-jumbo movie with a few loose ends, the makeup central to the plot and applied by Greg Cannom and Bob Laden to Robert John Burke in the leading role is most admirable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Mr. Drake can be rivetingly angry, intense, frenetic, frank and touching.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Given genuine life by the dimpled enchantress Nancy St. Alban, Nora makes palpable the bittersweet love at the honest heart of Some Fish Can Fly.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    The boys, particularly Mr. Webber as Pete, are astonishingly good, and Ms. Monaghan, who looks like a slightly more tomboyish Liv Tyler, makes a deep impression in a minor role. Mr. LaPaglia, of the television series "Without a Trace," brings a tender gravity to the shell-shocked Jim.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Though it could do with fewer talking-head interviews and more extended clips from these impassioned live performances, Young Rebels is essential viewing for anyone interested in rap music, free speech issues or the youth culture of contemporary Cuba.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Not often does a family film come along that is literate, clever, mischievous and just plain fun.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Lawrence Van Gelder
    Of these four plots, the story of Carmen's blended family is by far the most consistently engaging, largely because of the vibrant presence of Ms. Ferrera.

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