James Berardinelli

Select another critic »
For 3,602 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 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Berardinelli's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Beauty and the Beast
Lowest review score: 0 Feast
Score distribution:
3602 movie reviews
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    The humor is typically sitcom-ish, tending more toward sophomoric gags than genuinely funny material.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    There are no real characters in Mary Magdalene – only icons. Actress Rooney Mara does what she can with the role but she isn’t helped by a one-dimensional script whose sole purpose seems to be to turn Mary into a first century feminist crusader.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 James Berardinelli
    The movie is a pointless retread with nothing to recommend it beyond McShane’s commanding presence.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    The synergy between the root cause of the peoples’ unrest and some of what we see today will not be lost on many viewers; it gives Peterloo a sense of immediacy that some history-based films don’t have. I learned things while sitting in the audience and that’s a claim I rarely make about any motion picture circa 2019.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    This is what serious horror is like and it’s not for everyone.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    My sense is that, while The Best of Enemies may be met by stinging criticism from the far left and far right (for different reasons), those with centrist leanings will appreciate it for what it is (as opposed to for what it isn’t).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    In Shazam!, the positives outweigh the negatives. The film’s fresh aspects are strong enough to keep the stale ones at bay.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    If ever there was a production that embodies all the negative Masterpiece Theater qualities, this is it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Although nowhere near as lush, artistic, and downright entertaining as the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway interpretation, The Highwaymen hews closer to the historical facts (with the climactic ambush being filmed on-location where it happened).
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Although it’s being marketed as a love story, The Aftermath is more about grief and recovery than romance. In fact, the film’s illicit relationship is a cold, passionless affair that generates as much heat as a dying ember in a snowstorm.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 James Berardinelli
    An unconventional tale of redemption that earns its upbeat ending by not falling prey to every cliché of the genre or giving in to the temptation to become too maudlin or sentimental.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    It’s made with families in mind – the material will resonate with children and parents (thankfully) will be sufficiently engaged not to wish to be elsewhere. Unaccompanied adults, however, may not be quite as enchanted.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    There’s something enormously refreshing about the openness and honesty found in Keith Behrman’s coming-of-age film, Giant Little Ones.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Us
    If there’s one thing that saves Us, it’s that, even as the movie descends into a narrative morass from which it never escapes, there are many individual scenes that, taken in isolation, pack a punch. The problem is that, once assembled into the larger whole, it doesn’t all work.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    The Hummingbird Project is too slow and confused to work as a thriller, a drama, or something in between.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    An unconventional heist film in which a majority of the action occurs after the loot has been liberated, Triple Frontier features impeccable photography, strong acting, and well-staged action scenes that ooze tension.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Captive State is a messy, incomplete affair. Attempts to assemble it into a workable package in the editing room didn’t work, so we’re left with a weird cross between "District 9" and "The Battle of Algiers" that doesn’t do either of those apparent inspirations justice.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Five Feet Apart’s final half-hour is disappointing and frustrating – and it has nothing to do with the eventual fates of the characters or their romance. What’s bothersome is that, after spending nearly 90 minutes of meticulously developing a sensitive, honest relationship between two ships passing in the night, the movie takes a turn into the ridiculous.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Older viewers are more likely to appreciate the film’s intentions than fully embrace the story and its characters. Kids, on the other hand, will probably enjoy the frenetic action sequences; plucky heroine; cute, talking animals; and colorful visual representations.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    By incorporating a strong Jamaican flavor and infusing the mix with reggae and dance, Elba provides something more interesting than the standard tale of gang warfare and drug deals that forms Yardie’s skeleton. However, although these unique elements form an effective distraction, their ability to captivate wears thin, exposing the threadbare, overfamiliar story that struggles mightily to keep viewers engaged.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    An intriguing blend of globetrotting neo-noir and road trip plot elements, The Wedding Guest often seems on the cusp of greatness without ever getting there. The film classifies more as a disappointment than a success because, despite its little triumphs, it fritters away too many opportunities and suffers through a turgid middle act.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Captain Marvel, coming only a year after the fantastic "Black Panther," is a disappointment. The acting and special effects are solid but the writing, by co-directors Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (elevated from the indie productions where they made their mark) with an assist from Geneva Robertson-Dworet, is lazy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    We don’t see many movies like Gloria Bell these days. Simple, adult character studies with major stars have become a rarity in today’s movie climate. Gloria Bell is sedate in its approach – it tells a story but the narrative is devoid of sensationalistic happenings and manipulative melodrama.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Saint Judy has a serious agenda and, in service of that, it eschews action scenes, thriller elements, and conventional contrivances. It tells a worthwhile story and provides a primer on aspects of immigration law without becoming didactic.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    For the movie’s first half, director Neil Jordan does a reasonably good job of it. Then, unfortunately, he falls victim to the most dreaded of horror movie clichés: supposedly smart characters doing irredeemably dumb things.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Fighting with My Family is as likable as it is generic. Pugh’s performance is the best thing about the movie but the story, despite Merchant’s comedic flourishes, feels stale at times.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Although the How to Train Your Dragon series hasn’t been reduced to the harebrained level of a big-screen children’s cartoon, the latest chapter is the least sophisticated of the movies, emphasizing slapstick humor, one-dimensional characterization, and obvious messages.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 James Berardinelli
    Happy Death Day 2U is a passable way to throw away 100 minutes if you’re willing to turn off your brain and pretend it’s making sense.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 James Berardinelli
    Rodriquez nails the pacing – it’s slow enough to allow for character development (at least where Alita is concerned) but ramps up during the well-choreographed battle and chase sequences. Everything moves along fine…at least until the final few minutes when it becomes apparent that we’re about to be victimized by a story that requires multiple installments to play out.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 James Berardinelli
    Cold Pursuit has a strong current of dark humor winding through the proceedings. With a nod or two to Quentin Tarantino, he has fashioned a bizarrely entertaining ode to violence, gangsters, and heavy snowfall in the Rockies.

Top Trailers