James Berardinelli

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For 3,779 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 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Singin' in the Rain
Lowest review score: 0 A Hole in My Heart
Score distribution:
3779 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The movie demands a willing suspension of disbelief and, for those who can accommodate, it opens a portal into a hellish, allegorical nightmare about the placid myth of suburbia gone wrong.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The humor avoids becoming too outrageous. This is like an indie version of Olivia Wilde’s "Booksmart," which was filmed after Banana Split despite being released earlier. Both films offer complex perspectives of high school-oriented female friendships without demanding a happy ending for the happy ending.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although there are some structural and pacing issues, the film as a whole works by doing David Lynch’s favorite trick: finding the rot underlying the seemingly placid exterior of small town America.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Bloodshot suffers from a world-building failure. With too little time and emphasis placed on crafting the setting and exploring some of the rich possibilities of the milieu in which events transpire, the movie turns into little more than a ho-hum Vin Diesel action film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Spenser Confidential is a perfect Netflix movie – a mid-budget action/thriller featuring a recognizable star and not requiring much in the way of attention or dedication from a viewer.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Despite narrative issues, the film is overall affecting and effective with Ben Affleck’s powerful performance being a driving force.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s solidly entertaining, contains an element of emotional resonance, looks and sounds great, but isn’t special.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    For all his passion to tell this story, Heckler doesn’t seem sure of the best way to conclude it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Whannell fails to address how easily the power of invisibility can be foiled in today’s world where anyone can buy cheap (less than $200) infrared goggles for overnight delivery.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    Watching 63 Up as a stand-alone endeavor may not seem remarkable. In fact, it may even be a little boring. But watching it as part of the larger picture imbues it with immediacy and power.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Harrison Ford gives as dignified a performance as he has managed in many years. And the cinematography (by veteran Janusz Kaminski) is glorious. But the tonal shifts threaten to cause whiplash and the “improvements” made to London’s book (presumably to make it more cinematic) undermine both the thematic and narrative integrity of the tale.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The chief problem with Seberg, as is often the case with biopics, is that the filmmakers never really find the character underlying the historical figure.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 25 James Berardinelli
    The biggest shock of this new movie re-imagination is that it makes the original seem fresh and smart by comparison. Perhaps that makes this whole endeavor nothing more than TV producer Aaron Spelling’s posthumous fantasy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It’s a 99-minute commercial designed to drive sales of merchandise. Okay, it’s not as bad as "Super Mario Brothers," but that’s damning with faint praise.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Taken as a whole, the approach doesn’t work and ultimately comes across as more off-putting than successful.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The movie starts with a series of kaleidoscopic, high-energy scenes that prove to be Birds of Prey’s high point. Even in these early moments, there’s a sense that narrative isn’t going to be a big selling point for this movie and those misgivings prove to be correct.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Unevenly paced and with a miscast lead, the movie fails to get us to care about its automaton main character as she goes through the motions in a generic spy thriller.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Ritchie’s strengths as a filmmaker don’t include developing complex female personalities so Dockery’s Rosalind is more like a male fantasy caricature of a strong woman than an actual character.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    So, for Bad Boys for Life, we avoid a trip into the lowest depths of hell in favor of a dead end.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Even the characters with the most screen time are (at best) slightly developed – there’s just enough humanity for us to be interested in whether they survive, although any emotional attachment is minimal.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The movie stands out as one of the year’s most memorable experiences.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    It’s a big-screen cartoon and, although it may work for its target audience – video game-consuming pre-teen boys – other viewers may find the production to be lacking in anything beyond a little visual razzle-dazzle.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Jamie Foxx, compelled to take the role for personal reasons, turns in what could arguable be the best performance of a varied career. (Others might say that the distinction belongs to his work in Ray.)
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Gerwig is trying for something a little different, juggling the time frame and creating a “meta” ending to make the story’s feminist themes overt and incorporate an ambiguous “twist” that some will see as clever and others may find heretical.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    With Bombshell, thanks in large part to the contributions of his actors, Roach has crafted a compelling “ripped from the headlines” motion picture that unfolds like a page-turner. Unfortunately, with little room for nuance or detail, it lacks the depth necessary to make it more than a superficial dissection of what amounted to low-hanging fruit in the 2010s series of major headline sexual harassment revelations.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    An individual’s appreciation of Cats may rest on a previous love of the stage play; others are more likely to throw up a hairball than purr in contentment.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The movie consists of a bunch of random events and, if you pause long enough to consider things like plot and motivation (something you’re not supposed to do), it becomes evident that most of the movie doesn’t make any sense. Add to that an anti-climactic ending, scattershot editing, and too many extraneous characters and the last Star Wars movie is the most bloated and least satisfying of all the main-line adventures.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    The edgy, claustrophobic approach to filmmaking is there, as is the importance of setting. There’s never a clear sense of where the movie is headed and, when it gets there, it arrives with a bang.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    By keeping the tone from becoming too somber and generating a degree of sympathy for Jewell, Eastwood has crafted an engaging (albeit fictionalized) account of the triumph of ordinary men over the establishment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Next Level feels a little too much like a money grab and, although moderately entertaining on a popcorn level, there’s a sense of missed opportunity.

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