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
76% 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
47% 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
95% 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
26% 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
32% 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
55% 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
94% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) The movie is a knockout. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
68% 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
89% 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
93% 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
76% 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
88% 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
79% Buffalo Boys (2019) [A] moderately entertaining, immoderately splattery spaghetti Western... - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
83% 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
85% 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
85% 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
10% 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
78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Blunt sings well and dances efficiently (she's best in a music-hall number in which she gets to play Cockney and show some sass), but she's a mite robotic. She makes you appreciate how well the part fit Julie Andrews. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
90% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) This is the acid test for a good journalistic documentary: No matter how far back it reaches, Divide and Conquer always feels as if it's in the present tense. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
81% Ben is Back (2018) Ben Is Back makes you dream of a world in which no one needs movies like Ben Is Back. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
90% Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018) Part of the movie's fun - and it is fun, once you adjust to its uninsistent rhythms - is how it forces you to share Lazarro's go-along-to-get-along ebullience. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
93% The Favourite (2018) Though mostly twaddle as history, Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite is wonderful, nasty fun, a period drama (wigs, breeches, beauty spots) that holds the screen with gnashing teeth and slashing nails. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
78% Green Book (2018) The acting is better than the dialogue, which is better than the plotting. And I have to confess that in the current, insanely divisive political climate, I enjoyed Green Book's spoon-feeding mightily. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
62% Outlaw King (2018) I suppose what I'm asking is, "What's not to like?" - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Edgerton proves an incisive filmmaker. Every beat has weight. Every close-up registers. He values silence - he trusts you to feel things along with his characters. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) This is the sort of film that traditionally marks the start of an artist's "late phase" - one in which old motifs are brought back in different keys and tested, and in which the bounds of realism are loosened. For the Coens, it's a thrilling new frontier. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Some of the liberties do Mercury and Queen an injustice, but most are harmless (if dim). A hundred small things wrong barely matter when there are one or two big things right. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
82% The Other Side of the Wind (2018) Don't dig too deep into The Other Side of the Wind: It's largely surface. But what a surface. And what a chest of toys for a man who never lost his childlike delight in playing with the medium. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
66% Suspiria (2018) The movie would be a hoot if it didn't drag on for two and a half hours and feature witches who talk so much that Hansel and Gretel would fling themselves into the oven to get it over with. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
68% Beautiful Boy (2018) A test of an actor is playing someone who's split in so many ways that he moves forward while looking backwards and vice versa, and Chalamet is already a master. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
79% Halloween (2018) After a purposefully slow start, the movie builds and becomes relentless. Maybe you can't go home again, but in the age of fanboy auteurs, you can go back to Haddonfield. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
58% The Signal (2008) The schlock-horror signal in which they've been bathed makes them believe that their grindhouse misogyny is the human condition. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Bad Times at the El Royale isn't an event. But I was never too bored. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
29% Venom (2018) It's hard to mess up a car chase up and down the streets of San Francisco and Fleischer certainly doesn't, though at these speeds we should be gasping and laughing instead of just nodding our heads. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2018
86% The Land of Steady Habits (2018) A great actor when his motor is running fast, Mendelsohn is surprisingly attractive at slower speeds and better when Holofcener makes him twist. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Jenkins has cemented his style: lush romance on top, hyper-realistic despair just beneath the surface. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2018
89% A Star Is Born (2018) Lady Gaga triumphs as a young woman averse to artifice and fame-hounding. The movie is a hell of a magic act. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018