David Edelstein

David Edelstein
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I started way back at the Harvard Crimson, then moved on to the Boston Phoenix, then the Village Voice, then the New York Post, then oblivion, then Slate and Fresh Air. I also wrote a book with Christine Vachon called Shooting to Kill and a couple of plays, chiefly Blaming Mom (a comedy).
Favorites:
The Lady Eve, The General, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Shop Around the Corner, The Godfather, Smiles of a Summer Night, Rules of the Game, Jaws, Ride the High Country, His Girl Friday, Bride of Frankenstein, Seven Samurai, Ashes and Diamonds, Touch of Evil, Singing in the Rain, Night of the Living Dead, and about 100 others.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
35% Shaft (2019) It stinks to heaven. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2019
53% The Dead Don't Die (2019) The Dead Don't Die is not unenjoyable but not quite enjoyable, either. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
32% Domino (2019) Underfunded, sketchily written, and heavily cut (maybe one reason the writing seems sketchy), Brian De Palma's Domino still puts contemporary thrillers to shame. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
23% Dark Phoenix (2019) Like most good superhero movies, Dark Phoenix operates on two levels, comic-book fantastical and psychological. Like most not-so-good ones, it doesn't do justice to either aspect. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) Rocketman has unusual dramatic heft for a jukebox musical, but that's a big curve on which to grade - the characters are still skin-deep. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2019
40% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) This thing is an unholy mess. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
57% Brightburn (2019) I wish there were more to Brightburn. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) I never thought I'd say these words and am horrified doing so, but I miss Gilbert Gottfried's voice as the evil bird sidekick, Iago. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
61% Trial by Fire (2019) The movie is painstakingly well made and murderously hard to sit through. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) The movie should by rights be a "Wow!" But it feels bloated, self-conscious, and pretentious, with long waits between its few dazzling fights. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
89% The Souvenir (2019) There is nothing in The Souvenir that's obvious or banal or that represents anything other than a struggle to get something inchoate onscreen in a way no one else has. That by itself is unspeakably moving. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
53% Charlie Says (2019) You want to see how a person could surrender herself - her self - to something so diabolical, which demands a higher level of insanity than the filmmakers can muster. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
81% Long Shot (2019) I generally like Rogen a lot but this performance is bad - worse than it even seems because of the drain it is on the movie. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
57% J.T. LeRoy (2019) JT LeRoy isn't a bad movie, and with these actresses it's certainly worth seeing. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Even at three-plus hours, the gargantuan Avengers: Endgame is light on its feet and more freely inventive than it needed to be. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) It's a bummer when the bad guy shows up and Shazam becomes like every other superhero movie - worse, really, because the storyboarding is so poor that it's hard to tell what's going on. In the climax, Sandberg misses nearly every one of his marks. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
45% The Cell (2000) The Cell is pretty silly. But I admired its cinematic ambition until the final scenes. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
55% The Beach Bum (2019) The Beach Bum would be more entertaining if it weren't the same scene over and over, with escalation in lieu of evolution. But that's Korine's strategy, for better or worse, possibly both. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
93% Diane (2019) Trying to forestall our loneliness is what connects us. That's not a depressing conclusion - it's the beginning of a design for living. In its mundane way, Diane gives you a glimpse of the sublime. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
39% But I'm a Cheerleader (2000) As it happens, I couldn't agree more with the point of view of But I'm a Cheerleader, but I couldn't like the movie less. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
73% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) For all the absurdist-tragic trappings... this is still your basic boneheaded, right-wing action movie - skewed so that its heroes' moral relativism is meant to be a sign of their manly integrity. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
56% The Hummingbird Project (2019) [Skarsgård is] often the best part of anything he's in, but here he's uncanny. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
94% The Mustang (2019) I've been lucky enough to see equine therapy up close, and The Mustang brought the sensation back of having to slow down and breathe with a horse and in the process leave yourself behind. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
27% The Aftermath (2019) An emotionally constipated movie about emotional constipation. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
94% Us (2019) It's what you want an artist of Peele's sensibility and stature to attempt - to broaden his canvas, deepen his psychological insight, and add new cinematic tools to his kit. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) At full strength... Captain Marvel is a goddess emitting her own light - an astral version of Liberty at the battlements, sublime and terrifying. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
31% Mapplethorpe (2019) It's Mapplethorpe Vanilla. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2019
97% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) Erlingsson has a magnetic heroine in Geirharðsdóttir, who's lithe and athletic without being a show off, and underplays as a good soldier would. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) For some, it'll be a moving conclusion to an epic series. For others, it'll be one less kids' franchise to worry about. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
92% Paddleton (2019) To get a sense of how excruciating the first hour is, you need to imagine Dumb and Dumber played for tears instead of laughs. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
60% Greta (2019) The film is intense and features a performance by Chloë Grace Moretz that's more committed than this swill deserves. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
95% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) The movie is a knockout. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Stalk-and-kill movies bear some resemblance to classic farces, but no horror movies have taken the similarities as far as Happy Death Day and its busier, just-as-fun sequel, Happy Death 2 U. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
44% The Prodigy (2019) The film is cruelly well-made. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
88% To Dust (2019) Shmuel's trancelike idiocy is broad for my taste, but Röhrig's helplessness is affecting and has a larger resonance. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
92% High Flying Bird (2019) High Flying Bird is an unshapely piece of storytelling - there are gaps in the plot, and it never locks into a rhythm - but [its] mournfulness and resentment seep into you. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
77% Never Look Away (2019) It's Middlebrow Realism, comrades. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
22% Miss Bala (2019) The souped-up plot is certainly indigestible, and there's a steady stream of bad laughs, but something genuinely frightening comes through: a woman's sense of disempowerment by men on all sides of the law. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
89% Arctic (2019) The movie really takes your mind off your own troubles. I liked it a lot. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
19% Serenity (2019) It didn't work for me: I was too hung up on the fanciness (and, in truth, ridiculousness) of the final half-hour to feel everything Knight wanted me to feel. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
14% An Acceptable Loss (2019) Chappelle... seems too high-minded and earnest to commit to making a shapely thriller. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
37% Glass (2019) Oh, these poor actors. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
80% Buffalo Boys (2019) [A] moderately entertaining, immoderately splattery spaghetti Western... - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
80% Perfectos Desconocidos (2019) It's very entertaining in a middlebrow Broadway comedy kind of way. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
88% The Vanishing (2019) The movie is phenomenally well made and the three actors who fall apart on our watch suffer magnificently. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
88% Rust Creek (2019) It's tight without being punishing, and its humor takes you happily by surprise. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
11% Holmes and Watson (2018) No brain cells are harmed by Holmes & Watson, just given a few hours to rest and regenerate. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) The defense concedes that the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex hits its marks with the subtlety of a legal brief. But that's not fatal. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
66% Vice (2018) Acknowledging the intense secrecy that continues to surround Cheney, those titles close with the assurance that the filmmakers have "done their f***ing best." Their fucking best turns out to be pretty good, and in the case of Bale, pretty f***ing great. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
70% The Mule (2018) A modest but reasonably suspenseful and abidingly eerie portrait of the aged white American male trying vainly to forestall rejection and irrelevance. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018