David Hiltbrand

David Hiltbrand
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Ken Burns: The Civil War (2015) An extraordinary, encyclopedic study of the bloody battle between the states. Documentarian Ken Burns has woven together an engrossingly detailed narrative, interviews with historians, an amazing collection of archival photographs - People Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
C 20% The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990) It's a feckless little outing for the Mean Green Machine, with a ridiculous romantic entanglement. Plus, at two hours, this cheap production is about 45 minutes too long. - People Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
1.5/4 11% Seventh Son (2015) Seventh Son may try to harness alchemy and witchcraft, but sadly, there's no magic here. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2015
2.5/4 81% The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) You can tell the script is short on punch lines by how often it resorts to poop and fart jokes, the last refuge of the desperate gag writer. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2015
2/4 37% Project Almanac (2015) The premise, which initially has a certain interior logic, grows implausible and then nonsensical. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2015
1/4 11% The Boy Next Door (2015) This isn't a very demanding role for Lopez, but she still fails to carry it off. In fact, nothing about this film is convincing. It all feels notably artificial. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2015
1/4 12% Taken 3 (2015) Nothing gets taken here except your ticket money. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2015
1.5/4 51% Unbroken (2014) Unbroken is a fitting title for this excruciating cinematic treatment of the flyboy's ordeal. It plays like an endless, unrelieved gauntlet of suffering, an onslaught untempered by grace or redemption. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2014
87% Antarctica: A Year on Ice (2014) Mostly what you get is a chronicle of tedious routine carried out in a killing climate. That gives this documentary a flavor that is strong and genuine. Just not very appealing. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2014
2/4 34% Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) The Horrible Bosses comedy franchise is like a recipe full of ingredients that you'd think would go well together. But the taste ends up being off anyway. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2014
1/4 30% Dumb and Dumber To (2014) The film clearly aspires to (three) stoogery with these lojinks. And it still aims too low. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2014
2.5/4 89% Big Hero 6 (2014) Gorgeous and disturbing, Big Hero 6 is a departure for Disney: a film targeted at older kids, and the studio's first venture into straight-up comic book culture. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2014
2.5/4 96% Citizenfour (2014) This is a complicated story, but it's efficiently laid out by Poitras in this smartly edited project. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2014
2.5/4 86% John Wick (2014) Director Chad Stahelski handles the frenzied fusillade with flair. The action scenes in John Wick, while brutal, are also rather breathtaking. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2014
2.5/4 24% Dracula Untold (2014) The idea is to humanize one of the most fearful monsters in the Western crypt. But Dracula Untold goes way overboard, past domestication and into canonization. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2014
1.5/4 61% I Am Ali (2014) Unless you have an insatiable appetite for goo-goo father-daughter talks, the recordings are tedious. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2014
2/4 61% Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) It's a film where you start chuckling as soon as someone says something like, "I just want everything to be perfect tonight." - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2014
1/4 6% The Identical (2014) Trading strictly in visual and narrative cliches, The Identical is so solemn and silly that at times you could swear it was a lampoon. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2014
3/4 99% Starred Up (2014) The raw emotions on display need no translation. David Mackenzie directs the film in a piercingly realistic style. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2014
2/4 67% Life Of Crime (2014) Life of Crime is like an errant golf putt that appears headed for the hole, but just keeps rolling and rolling, all the way off the green. In other words, just missed . . . by a mile. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2014
2/4 81% Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar (2014) It's the human element in Island of Lemurs: Madagascar that disappoints. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2014
1.5/4 19% When The Game Stands Tall (2014) When the Game Stands Tall is more manipulative than a hulking chiropractor. It's so busy beatifying its protagonist that it makes him into a grave idol rather than a man. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2014
1.5/4 73% Dinosaur 13 (2014) These events would have been better handled in a single installment of Dateline. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2014
2/4 59% Finding Fela! (2014) The constant flipping between stagecraft and reality creates a dissonant static that prevents any satisfying connection with the film. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2014
1.5/4 32% The Expendables 3 (2014) This Sylvester Stallone franchise has devolved into the clown car of action movies: a casting gimmick to see how many AARP actors you can cram into one vehicle. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2014
3.5/4 74% Alive Inside (2014) Alive Inside is a small but vibrant miracle. The documentary finds hope and joy in one of our nation's bleakest settings, nursing homes. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2014
3/4 91% Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Guardians of the Galaxy is an open fire hydrant of a summer movie: more fun than should be allowed in such hot weather. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2014
2.5/4 58% Hercules (2014) The battle scenes, though rousing, fall short of epic. But it's reliably fun to watch - up until the brutish, smudgy conclusion ... - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2014
1.5/4 43% Planes: Fire And Rescue (2014) The same lame puns wedged into a succession of situations, rather than a story. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2014
1.5/4 12% Rage (2014) There isn't an original frame or line of dialogue in Rage. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2014
3/4 51% Earth to Echo (2014) Sure, Earth to Echo is derivative, but it's refreshingly updated. Echo, I.M. home. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2014
2.5/4 24% Tammy (2014) McCarthy bum-rushes the role like John Candy with a sour, combative disposition, reacting to every humiliation and rejection with feisty hostility. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2014
2/4 18% Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) Go if you must, but bring earplugs. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2014
94% The Normal Heart (2014) Overscored and overwrought, The Normal Heart is a tough pill to swallow. The direction of Ryan Murphy (Glee) is piercingly staccato (and visually inconsistent). The tender moments don't resonate, and the fraught moments feel hysterical. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2014
1/4 14% Blended (2014) Blended throws a lot of things on the screen, but in the end, it has to confront its awkward and artificial "romance." And that's just ugly. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2014
1.5/4 64% Million Dollar Arm (2014) Million Dollar Arm pulls so hard on your heartstrings, it tears most of the tendons in its pitching arm. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2014
3/4 72% Neighbors (2014) It's the most rollicking frat comedy since Revenge of the Nerds II. (Miss you, Booger.) - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2014
3/4 54% Fading Gigolo (2014) Fading Gigolo gets an extra star merely for showcasing the egg cream, the Brooklyn beverage that is the nectar of the gods. Shalom! - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2014
1/4 46% Walking With The Enemy (2014) A badly written, poorly acted, bathetic pageant of bad wigs and worse accents, rendered with production values on a par with NBC's recent Sound of Music mummery. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2014
3/4 67% The Railway Man (2014) Beautifully acted, The Railway Man is profoundly moving, and yet, somehow, its sentimental ending manages to be both unearned and predictable. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2014
2.5/4 86% Alan Partridge (2014) After making a crackling good impression, Alan Partridge overstays its welcome to a harrowing extent. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2014
2/4 21% Frankie & Alice (2014) Berry has proven she's willing to take on enormous challenges, and she certainly exceeds her grasp here. Perhaps that's why Frankie & Alice plays more like an elaborate acting workshop than a movie. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2014
2/4 20% Sabotage (2014) This is the type of movie best enjoyed as a late-night indulgence on cable. Really late at night, when your eyes are still partially open, but your brain has called it quits. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2014
2.5/4 66% Bad Words (2014) Go see Bad Words for its breathtakingly wicked setup. Just be aware the spell wears off. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2014
2.5/4 80% Muppets Most Wanted (2014) Sunny and cheerful, Muppets Most Wanted is a cascade of epic silliness, good for a few fleeting and familiar chuckles. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2014
2/4 19% The Single Moms Club (2014) The moral here is that no challenge is insurmountable if you form a club. And keep a wine opener handy. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2014
2.5/4 79% Veronica Mars (2014) Veronica Mars is a great deal more than a bonus episode, but slightly less than a movie. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2014
2.5/4 44% 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) With its slo-mo ultraviolence, gushers of blood, impressive 3-D effects, homoerotic subtext, and self-important plot, this is a fan boy's fantasy, a four-star wonderment. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2014
1/4 5% The Outsider (2014) Just know, then, that when the big caper finally arrives, you will neither grasp nor care about what's going on. - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2014
2/4 5% I, Frankenstein (2014) The special effects are pretty good and the fight scenes are adequate. But the film loses steam in the fourth act ... - Philadelphia Inquirer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2014