Barbara VanDenburgh

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For 253 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Barbara VanDenburgh's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 A Hidden Life
Lowest review score: 20 Wonder Wheel
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 253
253 movie reviews
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s a film that gets brilliantly to the truth of how and why we fall in love, and replicates that sensation — and the heartache that follows.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    When it reaches its boiling point, Les Misérables absolutely roils.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s an unnecessarily complicated puzzle-box construction that only serves to cheapen the story and diminish its impact
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The writing and editing aren’t up to the task of retrofitting Alcott’s straightforward narrative with a sophisticated chronology and rob it of dramatic tension in the process.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Barbara VanDenburgh
    A Hidden Life is less a story than an experience, a spiritual journey made accessible through light and sound. Malick doesn’t transcend cinema. He sanctifies it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Queen & Slim is strongest when it lets the images and the acting do the lion’s share of the talking.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The report is important. Its findings and the attempts to undermine them and the investigators, shouldn’t be forgotten. That The Report tries to keep these lessons in a fickle public’s consciousness is a good thing. If only anything committed to screen here were memorable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It adds up to a marginally more interesting experience than the first “Frozen,” but this sequel would have benefited from venturing a touch further into the unknown.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s behind the wheel with Miles that Ford v Ferrari becomes a well-oiled entertainment machine, a thrill ride with a driver’s-eye view of the world’s most exciting track. Everything that doesn’t work is just a distant speck in the rearview mirror.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    All pleasures in Last Christmas are as slight. Like the Christmas shop and its baubles, it’s shiny and attractive and intermittently distracting, but it’s all just so much glitter on cheap plastic. It’s angling hard for holiday cheer, but there’s nothing more joyless than forced whimsy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    First Love might not ultimately mean much, but its wily mix of colorful elements – romance, organized crime, slapstick and ultra-violence – makes for a bracingly weird cinematic experience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Brittany is funny and authentic, but she can also be prickly and stubborn, even hard to like. You know, the way real people are.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The Kitchen requires Scorsese levels of charisma to work, and only McCarthy comes close out of sheer professionalism.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Tel Aviv on Fire, like the soap opera that shares its name, doesn't attempt to grapple with the complexities of the conflict. "Is there nothing between bombs and surrender?" it asks, pleading for moderation. Moderation gets you a pleasant-enough comedy. But not much more.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Tarantino has always worn his love of cinema on his sleeve, fetishistic and in the form of homage. But here, that love is reverent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    While Midsommar is too overwrought to be a masterpiece, it’s also too entertaining in its abject lunacy and assured in its craftsmanship to be considered a sophomore slump. Aster is a filmmaker still defining his voice, and despite the growing pains, Midsommar is an intriguing step in its evolution.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The Proposal makes for a fascinating and not-a-little-morbid piece of artistic trolling.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    “Last Black Man” pulses with undeniable energy and the promise of other, even better films to come. As director Joe Talbot’s first movie, it’s impossible to imagine it will be his last.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It’s ironic that a film about bucking formula is itself so formulaic. There’s nothing wrong with such inoffensive pleasantness, but if Late Night wants to advocate setting fire to the system in pursuit of more meaningful art, it should have led the charge.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It all has the air of a community theater troupe performing in a Disney parade, overeager in the exaggerated artifice. That's well enough for an amusement park, but on film it's embarrassing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    How do you make a legend as imposing as Shakespeare flesh? All Is True suggests you can't, if not even Branagh, Dench, McKellen, et al. can bring him down to earth. Maybe it's for the best that the real man is unknowable, that man is simply the work itself.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Barbara VanDenburgh
    It doesn’t just maintain the momentum built in the previous chapters but further ramps up the emotional stakes and physical complexity. It’s like gorging on candy for two hours, only you get to walk away from the theater without a stomachache.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    A cunning civics lesson about religious pluralism that will have civic-minded citizens throwing up the devil horns even if they’re not quite ready to proclaim mocking allegiance to Satan.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Movie-release schedules are set by studios months in advance, and many are the movie that had the misfortune to open at an inopportune time. But Hotel Mumbai is responsible for myriad other poor creative decisions that make a spectacle of misery.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Barbara VanDenburgh
    What seems primed to play out like a by-the-numbers social message movie with a classic redemption arc becomes something much more sophisticated, and much more challenging for the viewer. Schoenaerts' performance deserves much of the praise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Barbara VanDenburgh
    For all its thematic and behind-the-scenes innovations, cinematically Captain Marvel feels like a step backward for the MCU. Fresh off the heels of the all-or-nothing bombast of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the righteous representation of “Black Panther” and the giddy lunacy of “Thor: Ragnarok,” Captain Marvel is a retreat into a bland formula.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Even if your veins pump with more popcorn butter than blood, Alita: Battle Angel can get a bit too stupid to bear, like watching a pair of 13-year-old boys play a very expensive video game they designed themselves.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Barbara VanDenburgh
    The problem isn’t that it pokes fun at romantic comedies, it’s that it itself isn’t a terribly good one.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Barbara VanDenburgh
    While it necessarily lacks the joy of discovery the first movie brought, “The Lego Movie 2” is still a breathless romp, landing enough jokes a minute to discourage over-analysis. It’s a good time at the movies, which is all a Lego movie really owes us for the price of admission.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Barbara VanDenburgh
    Destroyer frequently zombie-shuffles into unintentional hilarity, confusing darkness for depth, ugliness for complexity, convolution for smarts. It is just too self-serious to take seriously.

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