Peter Debruge

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For 1,106 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Peter Debruge's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Waves
Lowest review score: 0 Another Gay Movie
Score distribution:
1106 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    This isn’t the kind of storytelling that flatters the audience’s intelligence, and yet, spelling things out ensures that viewers who don’t like to work too hard can follow along easily and focus on the film’s other pleasures — namely, Pearce’s performance and the twisty case of the missing “Vermeer.”
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    It’s one of the most daring films ever made, not so much because of anything it overtly depicts as what this controversial classic reveals about the infinitely complicated psychology of human sexuality.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Peter Debruge
    This attractive but calculated attempt to connect 'Scooby-Doo' to other Hanna-Barbera characters abandons the show's fun teen-detective format.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Debruge
    Will there be young people who love this movie as much as their parents loved Coolidge’s “Valley Girl”? Sure, that’s bound to happen, but no one will be talking about this movie in 37 years. And with no new music — just second-rate covers of classic songs — it may well be forgotten in fewer than 37 days, lost to the void of VOD.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Debruge
    Far more than the memoir, the film presents a manicured version of the way Michelle Obama sees herself — and yet, even such a carefully image-managed impression can be telling, since it diverges so significantly from the way the world perceives her.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    It’s also made fresh by the myriad literary and cinematic references Wu weaves into Aster’s correspondence with “Paul.” With its slightly nerdy, play-on-wordy title, The Half of It alludes to the ancient Greek belief that two-faced humans were separated by the gods, devoting their lives to finding their lost soulmates (if you like the idea, read Plato’s “Symposium,” or check out “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”).
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Debruge
    Extraction isn’t the smartest movie you’ll see during lockdown, but it’s liable to be the most kinetic — assuming you have Netflix, since it’s the service’s big tentpole of the season, a dumbed-down bit of blow-uppy distraction that’s every bit as entertaining as the equivalent pyrotechnic offering from a theatrical motion picture studio might have been.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Debruge
    While The Willoughbys might not be very original, its novelty comes through in the delivery and execution, owing to a witty screenplay (by Pearn and Mark Stanleigh) that combines nimble wordplay with highly compressed, well-paced plotting.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    Abe
    It’s kind of a tradition among cooking-themed movies (from “Like Water for Chocolate” to “Chocolat”) for a bit of magical embellishment to sneak into the kitchen. Abe is stubbornly earthbound by contrast, but that’s OK. It’s more responsible this way, and young audiences will devour it with no less enthusiasm.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    Circus of Books is an affectionate look at one of the most unusual mom and pop businesses in America, directed by the person who knew Mom and Pop best.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Peter Debruge
    They’re also among the most visible contemporary Chicano artists Los Angeles has to offer, and better a self-serving documentary than none at all.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Debruge
    It’s courageous of Yang to share such a tribute to his father, though the most important things remain unspoken.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    Set almost entirely in a corrupt cop’s Moscow apartment, Why Don’t You Just Die! is a neatly conceived dark-comedy chamber piece — à la the Wachowski siblings’ clockwork-perfect queer-noir “Bound” or Sidney Lumet’s airtight but otherwise diabolical “Deathtrap” — in which a simple setup spirals into unimaginably twisted mayhem.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Debruge
    In light of my own experience with the film, I recommend the following. See it twice: a virgin viewing, simply to take in the strange counterintuitive way the story unfolds, and then again, with a bit of distance, knowing where the journey is headed, so that you might fully appreciate the genius of its construction. I’m convinced that A White, White Day is the work of one of the most important voices of this emerging generation, arriving at a stage where we have yet to learn his language.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    Brian Cox rages robustly and arrestingly against the dying of the light in The Etruscan Smile, an unabashedly formulaic yet undeniably affecting coming-to-terms drama that may cause as much discomfort as delight for those who recognize bits and pieces of their own fathers (or themselves) in the cantankerous character Cox portrays so persuasively.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Peter Debruge
    The film’s unexpected ending is both effective and unconscionable, factually accurate and virtually impossible to accept, in part because Günther has manipulated us to make his point. He wants to deliver a statement about the American dream, but we’re not obliged to accept his conclusion. Maybe it’s just the movie that’s rigged.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Peter Debruge
    Shane Mack’s screenplay is not without laughs, but it is certainly lacking in prudence.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Debruge
    Levine’s an emerging talent known only to theater audiences at the moment, owing to his dual roles in Matthew Lopez’s “The Inheritance,” although Minyan makes clear that we are dealing with a performer of uncommon gifts.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Peter Debruge
    The real achievement of Human Nature is that it takes a complex subject and distills it into such an engaging 95-minute package. That’s the successful experiment underlying this particular project, in which viewers happen to serve as the guinea pigs in how such technical information can be presented in a more effective way.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Debruge
    In spite of its tweaks to gender roles, the duo’s sexcapades and Snow’s spirited performance, Hooking Up doesn’t offer much by way of surprise, which doesn’t mean that as the odd, amiable couple head toward their personal reckonings, you won’t find yourself rooting for them. Separately and together.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Peter Debruge
    The movie is an exasperating puzzle with most of the pieces missing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    The Hunt turns out to be a good deal smarter — and no more extreme — than most studio horror films, while its political angle at least encourages debate, suggesting that there’s more to this hot potato than mere provocation.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    Resistance tells a story that’s plenty strong on its own terms, and if anything, it’s a bonus that one of the key participants should survive to become famous. Afforded depth and gravitas by Angelo Milli’s string score, the film hardly needs the framing device in which Ed Harris appears as Gen. George S. Patton, regaling his troops with Marceau’s story before inviting him onstage for his first public show.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Debruge
    The film even pokes fun at itself in the process, fully aware that Spenser Confidential isn’t meant to be taken as seriously as Wahlberg’s last few movies — and just as well, since irreverence plays well on Netflix.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Peter Debruge
    Turns out there are a lot of things that have gone unsaid in movies until now, and Saint Frances goes there in a way that’s not only enlightening, but entertaining as well. This exceptionally frank, refreshingly nonjudgmental indie was written by and stars Kelly O’Sullivan, a “girl next door” type whose no-nonsense approach to issues facing both her gender and her generation leaves ample room for laughter — à la Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck.”
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Peter Debruge
    There Is No Evil comes across as four films for the price of one, none of its segments anemic, and each contributing fresh insights to the paradoxes of capital punishment in Iran.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Peter Debruge
    There’s a stylistic and narrative elegance to Petzold’s approach, with its clean lensing and repeated use of a single piece of music (the rolling piano Adagio from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974), that suggests restraint, where a queer filmmaker might have propelled things into camp territory. In a way, it’s a shame that Undine stops short, since the material feels thin, and the statement as murky as the lake to which the camera ultimately returns.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Peter Debruge
    Depp plays it surly throughout, dominating those around him, but Minami has a strong screen presence as well (despite struggling somewhat with the dialogue in her first English-language role). As Aileen, she needs only to look at Gene, and he will yield to her demands. The two characters read as equals here, despite their polar-opposite personalities, and that unusual chemistry fuels the dangerous reporting ahead of them.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Peter Debruge
    The movie doesn’t show a complex enough representation of either adult life or the New York literary world to offer much depth to grownups (it’s far more engaged with Joanna’s romantic life and dream sequences set at the Waldorf Astoria), which means that My Salinger Year must have been intended to inspire young women for whom 1995 seems like the ancient past.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Peter Debruge
    The emperor is naked, Greed wants us to realize, but unless we agree to radically rethink our own wardrobes, does it make any difference?

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