Barbara VanDenburgh

Barbara VanDenburgh

Agrees with the Tomatometer 83% of the time.

Publications:
Arizona Republic
Total Reviews:
77

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 77
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
4/5 95% Particle Fever (2014) " Even the most math-averse viewer will be on pins and needs to know the results." — Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 20, 2014
3/5 —— The Only Real Game (2014) " As well-intentioned, feel-good humanitarian acts go, "The Only Real Game" hits one out of the park for fanatics of America's favorite pastime or good-hearted folk with a little extra scratch in search of a new pet project." — Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 6, 2014
2.5/5 68% Visitors (2014) " This is a dialogue-free documentary composed of beautiful black-and-white photography set to an atmospheric Philip Glass score, and it's a patience-straining exercise in narrative asceticism." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 27, 2014
1.5/5 25% Pompeii (2014) " One of the most bloodless films to ever kill thousands of people in a fell swoop." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 20, 2014
1.5/5 11% Barefoot (2014) " "Barefoot" plays its romance straight and glossy, trying to pass off serious mental illness as a cutesy character quirk that needs only the balm of true love to resolve itself." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 20, 2014
3/5 69% About Last Night (2014) " Modern touches and an engaging cast make the recycled material feel fresh enough for a one-night stand at the multiplex." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 12, 2014
4.5/5 94% The Past (2013) " Farhadi again burrows deep into his characters to tell an achingly intimate story, spinning grand tragedies out of minor lives in which the past lingers in the air, a perfume that haunts long after its wearer has left the room." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jan 23, 2014
3/5 58% Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) " Elba has long been better than the film roles he's been offered, a tradition that continues with his leading role here." — Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 25, 2013
2/5 25% Walking With Dinosaurs (2013) " Unfortunately, there's no majestic visual this movie can't undercut with bathroom humor as the charmless characters chatter simply to fill the space. Not even aurora borealis is spared." — Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 18, 2013
2.5/5 38% Delivery Man (2013) " With its edges sandpapered smooth, the story about an affable loser discovering he has fathered 533 children is rendered ludicrously feel-good and nonsensical." — Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 21, 2013
3.5/5 46% The Book Thief (2013) " If you can't do a thing right, sometimes it's best not to do it at all. Thankfully, "The Book Thief" gets more right than it doesn't." — Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 14, 2013
3/5 66% Great Expectations (2013) " Director Mike Newell approaches the sprawling bildungsroman with a stiff formalism, sacrificing all cinematic excitement for the sake of exalting great performances." — Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 8, 2013
3/5 70% Man of Tai Chi (2013) " Like Reeves' wooden dialogue, it's fun despite not being very good." — Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 31, 2013
4/5 93% Mother Of George (2013) " It's a powerfully sensual movie, gorgeously lensed colors and textures conveying its characters emotional states while thoughtfully exploring the range of human sexuality through Adenike's experience." — Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 17, 2013
1.5/5 29% 2 Jacks (2013) " Mostly, it makes you feel like the only sober person at a party you can't leave." — Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 17, 2013
2/5 27% Sweetwater (2013) " It bludgeons with intent, even dabbling in some "Deadwood"-level verbal shock-and-awe; without wit or intelligence, it's merely baroque affectation playacting at depth." — Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 10, 2013
3/5 60% Bad Milo! (2013) " This movie is about a monster that crawls out of a man's butt and starts killing people." — Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 3, 2013
3.5/5 78% Metallica Through the Never (2013) " The 3-D concert footage is unassailably cool. Less assured is the occasional storyline threaded through the film." — Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 26, 2013
2/5 38% Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) " All the standard spooks pop up: creepy baby toys, a piano that plays itself, a lady in white roaming the house, predictable jump-scares galore." — Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 12, 2013
3.5/5 73% Populaire (2013) " "Populaire" is catnip for a certain breed of twee Francophile." — Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 12, 2013
4/5 86% The Patience Stone (2013) " The film burns with the collective anger of exiles, unfolding as an indictment of the Islamic customs and religious practices that oppress women in their native countries." — Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 5, 2013
3/5 58% Riddick (2013) " Riddick's at his most fun when the pressure's on, and he retreats to plan something special for his new visitors. All the build-up pays off with tense showdowns in the dark, thrilling restraint and ominous suggestion giving way to slasher gore." — Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 5, 2013
5/5 99% Short Term 12 (2013) " An authentic drama couched in character that never stoops to manipulation." — Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 29, 2013
2.5/5 42% Closed Circuit (2013) " It's a film that eschews intrigue and insinuation for government agents who monologue about the dangers of free speech and fair trials while garroting their victims." — Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 28, 2013
2/5 30% Austenland (2013) " The film does little delving into what could make a modern woman so hung up on the romantic conventions of yesteryear, even less with complications of class conflict." — Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 22, 2013
2/5 5% Paranoia (2013) " "Paranoia" is ostensibly a thriller, but there's nothing remotely thrilling about it. The slick, plodding bore is as exciting as watching somebody else tap out text messages." — Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 15, 2013
3/5 83% Prince Avalanche (2013) " The movie feels like there wasn't a script. Like Green just handed Rudd and Hirsche two pairs of overalls, a few bottles of grain alcohol and set the cameras rolling as they bromanced it out over a weekend in the woods." — Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 8, 2013
3.5/5 86% Computer Chess (2013) " It approaches its subjects not with the gleeful, madcap hilarity of a Christopher Guest mockumentary ("Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind"), but with the calculated precision of lines of code." — Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 1, 2013
3/5 52% The To Do List (2013) " The film is flush with done-to-death gross-out gags, bodily fluids serving as too many punch lines. Yes, girls can dish out F-bombs and body objectification as well as the boys can, but that shouldn't be the whole joke." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jul 25, 2013
1.5/5 13% R.I.P.D. (2013) " It's an unpleasant way to pass a couple summer hours." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jul 19, 2013
4/5 99% 20 Feet From Stardom (2013) " Music documentarian Morgan Neville uses a mix of live interviews and archival footage to let the singers, and their music, tell their stories of vocal triumph and thwarted ambition." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jul 4, 2013
3.5/5 64% Unfinished Song (2013) " Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave would be captivating reading the nutrition label on a bag of crisps, so it's no surprise that they elevate "Unfinished Song"..." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 27, 2013
2.5/5 49% Rédemption (2013) " "Redemption" doesn't have the chutzpah to let loose and be as dumb as it needs to be, so it instead bores the audience comatose with long stretches of sad-face Statham putzing around an apartment to justify the too-brief bursts of giddy bone-breaking." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 27, 2013
3/5 65% The Heat (2013) " It's disappointing that "The Heat" doesn't do more than take an established film template - in this case, the buddy-cop flick - throw in a Tarantino-size helping of F-bombs, cast a couple of women and call it a day." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 27, 2013
1.5/5 22% Rushlights (2013) " They say it isn't nice to kick a dog when it's down. But man, there are a lot of dogs in "Rushlights"..." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 20, 2013
3.5/5 87% What Maisie Knew (2013) " A raw, uncomfortable examination of a family torn apart by two parents who love their daughter only half as much as they love themselves." — Arizona Republic
Posted May 23, 2013
4/5 75% Pieta (2013) " For all its cringe-inducing horror, "Pieta" is visually restrained, striking visceral blows with psychological precision while making little use of gore." — Arizona Republic
Posted May 16, 2013
3/5 42% Midnight's Children (2013) " Faithfully adapted from Salman Rushdie's award-winning 1981 novel, the movie feels both too packed and too slight, overflowing with vivid details but lacking the structure to support their weight." — Arizona Republic
Posted May 9, 2013
2.5/5 54% The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013) " It most disappoints as a thriller, the flashbacks and voiceovers and romantic entanglements so dominating the proceedings you forget that someone is bound and gagged in real time." — Arizona Republic
Posted May 9, 2013
2.5/5 49% Pain & Gain (2013) " You can't thread a needle this fine with a script filtered through Bay's puerile id." — Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 25, 2013
2/5 42% Leonie (2013) " It hits all the expected beats of a thoroughly vanilla biopic as an aging Leonie reflects on her unconventional life via plodding voiceover while doddering through a forest collecting berries." — Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 18, 2013
3/5 62% Nicky's Family (2013) " The story is good enough to tell itself, and the filmmakers should have let it." — Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 28, 2013
2/5 48% Olympus Has Fallen (2013) " "Olympus" has a strictly director-for-hire vibe; anyone with access to a Roland Emmerich movie or two (namely "Independence Day") and a mad-libbed action script could have churned out something similar." — Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 21, 2013
3/5 69% Greedy Lying Bastards (2013) " In Rosebraugh's uncompromising hands, it plays out like a strident screed for those already burning with righteous indignation." — Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 7, 2013
4/5 87% Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2013) " Herzog's longing for the ideological purity in which these lives are lived, free of paperwork and bureaucracy, taxes and technology, drives the film, which lacks an overall story arc." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 28, 2013
3/5 56% Snitch (2013) " For all its lunkheadedness, "Snitch" is a shockingly deeper, less action-oriented affair than one would expect ..." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 21, 2013
2/5 12% Safe Haven (2013) " "Safe Haven" plays out less like a love story than it does a two-hour audition tape Julianne Hough commissioned to land a lucrative lip-gloss-modeling contract." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 13, 2013
2/5 19% Identity Thief (2013) " The film's few chuckles can be chalked up to the sheer comedic charisma of McCarthy and Bateman." — Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 7, 2013
4/5 80% Warm Bodies (2013) " No, it's not the best zombie film, but it may well be the cutest." — Arizona Republic
Posted Jan 31, 2013
3/5 46% Bullet to the Head (2013) " An unapologetic rock 'em, sock 'em rumble of exploding squibs and bourbon bottles, the film could just as easily have been titled "Guns, Boobs and Booze."" — Arizona Republic
Posted Jan 31, 2013
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