David Sterritt

David Sterritt
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
David Sterritt has been Film Critic of The Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper, for more than 30 years. As a syndicated writer for the Monitor News Service he has contributed articles on film, theater, and music to The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other periodicals. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Film Comment, Cineaste, Variety, American Film, Stagebill, down beat, and other publications. His reviews were heard for many years on Monitor Radio, carried by Public Radio International, and he is a former film critic for All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Television appearances include ABC?s Nightline, the CBS Morning News, PBS?s Cinema, the Discovery Channel?s World Monitor, and programs on CNN, MSNBC, the Fox News Channel, MSG Metro, and CNBC. He is Professor of Theater and Film at the C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University and a member of the Film Studies Faculty at Columbia University, and he has taught at New York University and the City University of New York. His collected Monitor film criticism is housed by invitation in the Harvard Film Archive at Harvard University. He holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University. He served for five years on the Selection Committee of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center, and is Chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as a member of the National Society of Film Critics and other professional organizations. He lectures frequently at museums, universities, film festivals, libraries, cinema clubs, etc. His book "The Films of Jean-Luc Godard: Seeing the Invisible" was published last year by Cambridge University Press, which published his book "The Films of Alfred Hitchcock" in 1993. He is also the author of "Mad to Be Saved: The Beats, the '50s, and Film" (Southern Illinois University Press, 1998) and the editor of "Jean-Luc Godard: Interviews" and "Robert Altman: Interviews," both from University Press of Mississippi. Other recent publications include "From Psychology to Spirit" in the anthology "Jean-Luc Godard?s Hail Mary: Women and the Sacred in Film" from Southern Illinois University Press; "Notes" in the anthology "Meredith Monk" from The Johns Hopkins University Press; essays in the Hitchcock Annual, the Austrian film magazine Blimp, the Columbia University magazine 21st C, the Long Island University journal Ventures in Research, the Canadian journal Mosaic, and (forthcoming) the American journals Wide Angle and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, as well as program essays for the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. He is currently coediting "Terry Gilliam: Interviews"
Location: New York, NY
Official Websites: filmscouts.com/rooms95/press

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
60% School Ties (1992) But why did the filmmakers relegate their story to the 1950s, as if such attitudes weren't still alive and dangerous? - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2019
2/5 83% The Original Kings of Comedy (2000) Sometimes they're truly hilarious; sometimes they're lazy enough to milk laughs from scattershot vulgarity; and sometimes they try to pummel the audience into submission with humor... - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
49% Jurassic Park III (2001) If velociraptors are so smart, why didn't they chomp up the camera before this cinematic clone got loose and sullied their good name? - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2019
32% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) This sequel has lots of color and Christmas warmth to recommend it. Its portrait of urban American is ridiculously romanticized, though, and the climatic fight with two silly-sinister bad guys is as nasty as it is cartoonish. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
4/4 90% Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom) (1974) Made near the end of Buñuel's career, it's not his greatest movie, but it contains some of his most memorable moments. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
55% Immortal Beloved (1994) The results are always excessive and sometimes quite aggravating, but they're weirdly appropriate to the subject of the story, an over-the-top artiste who seemed excessive and aggravating to many of his 19th-century cronies. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
37% Poetic Justice (1993) Its ambitious aims are commendable in themselves, but regrettable since they overinflate what might have been a simpler and better film. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/5 67% Jeffrey (1995) The play's impressionistic tableaux of homosexual life doesn't translate with complete success to the screen, but there are many hilarious lines. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 73% The Indian in the Cupboard (1995) The story is sensitively told, reminding young moviegoers that history is made of real people, not the caricatures who inhabit Hollywood myths. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/4 31% Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995) Little of the yarn is very adventurous, despite its title, but the watery scenes are prettily photographed by the great Laszlo Kovacs. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 44% First Knight (1995) Excali-BORE. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 73% Double Happiness (1995) Mina Shum's debut film is consistently warm and amusing, although its energy flags a bit as the story unfolds. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 79% Clueless (1995) For a while, it's like really cool, with lots of energy and stuff, but then it gets like major repetitious, and you wish it was like over, y'know? - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/5 11% Bushwhacked (1995) This is basically an outdoor edition of Home Alone. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 80% Burnt by the Sun (1994) Deep, historically revealing, unforgettable. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 96% Belle de Jour (1968) Radiant cinematography. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 38% Batman Forever (1995) Directed by Joel Schumacher with occasional gestures toward social commentary, and enough spectacle to mask the movie's deep-down emptiness. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 No Score Yet Art for Teachers of Children (1995) Deliberately rough-hewn, commendably serious-minded docudrama. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 36% An Awfully Big Adventure (1995) The filmmakers appear to be aiming for laughs much of the time, and on this level their efforts fall completely flat. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 44% A Walk in the Clouds (1995) The tale is far from original, but director Alfonso Arau bathes it in a golden glow that goes beyond nostalgia to sheer dreaminess. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 94% River of Grass (1995) Evocatively directed in Florida locations by gifted newcomer Kelly Reichardt. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 67% J'ai pas sommeil (I Can't Sleep) (I'm Not Sleepy) (1995) Directed by Claire Denis with so much tact and circumspection that the story runs short of dramatic and emotional power. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/4 28% Dangerous Minds (1995) Movie stars have tamed sassy kids in movies from The Blackboard Jungle to Stand and Deliver, but it's hard to remember an example more patronizing or sentimentalized than this one. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 89% The Brothers McMullen (1995) The acting and scripting are too uneven for either the drama or the comedy to gather much steam. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 45% Stepmom (1998) The movie is reasonably smart and touching when it deals with the plight of a family on the rocks, but it pushes too many emotional buttons. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/4 55% Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997) Charles Sturridge's fantasy is too slow and complicated for very young viewers, but others will enjoy its wholesome story and detailed depiction of the World War I era, not to mention the fairyland scenes, which are truly magical. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2/4 75% Eye of God (1997) The story doesn't quite add up to a well-told drama, but there's rock-solid acting by Martha Plimpton, Kevin Anderson, Hal Holbrook as the local sheriff, and Nick Stahl. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
67% The Devil's Advocate (1997) Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves attack their roles with gusto. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2/4 80% Deep Crimson (1996) Mexican director Arturo Ripstein applies his usual degree of cinematic imagination to the sordid tale, - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
36% Legend (1985) If a movie can have so much money and talent poured into it, and still come out this stale and tedious, something larger may be happening than the failure of one misbegotten project. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
3/4 50% Oliver & Company (1988) There are some exciting sequences, but the picture ranks far below classic animal-toons like Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
26% Hook (1991) It lights up your eyes, but it doesn't quite warm your heart. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
41% Young Guns (1988) The polite word for his kind of filmmaking is "classical.'' Another word is "trite." - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
43% Space Jam (1996) There are some hearty laughs, to be sure. Basketball buffs and comedy-lovers will chuckle at the sight of NBA stars reduced to silly stumblebums when the aliens purloin their talent. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
40% A Chorus Line (1985) The show's format proves too slippery for the director to manage properly. The stagebound setting gets boring; the action doesn't build a steady momentum; and the characters do far too much hanging around until the camera's ready to point at them again. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
62% Pretty Woman (1990) The message is plain: Men, especially rich men, have all the power. So be sure to do what they tell you, and maybe they'll treat you nicely. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
2.5/4 68% 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Junger spins hilariously written scenes with split-second timing, although the story sags during its long middle portion. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
59% Deep Blue Sea (1999) It's just the thing for moviegoers wanting violent adventure, split-second editing, and enough water-drenched cinematography to make "Titanic" look parched. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
3/4 49% The First Wives Club (1996) The dialogue is often silly but Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn deliver it with enough crackerjack energy to keep audiences laughing. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
2/4 35% Gummo (1997) Different viewers might find different portions worthy of anything from zero to four stars, but anyone with a faint heart or weak stomach should stay miles away from it. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
52% Death Becomes Her (1992) This pitch-dark comedy may be seen as a biting satire on the tendency to fetishize personal appearance and youthfulness. But its inventiveness quickly wears thin, and the filmmakers show an unhealthy fascination with the spectacle of mutilated women. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
2/4 27% Event Horizon (1997) The settings and visual effects are imaginatively done, but the dialogue is silly and the plot is a mishmash. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
53% The Cable Guy (1996) Matthew Broderick is a perfect straight man for Carrey, bringing his quiet intelligence to what's basically a one-dimensional character. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
52% Return to Oz (1985) Return to Oz isn't a musical and doesn't match the wit and magic of the 1939 original. But it's an appealing picture on its own terms, if you can overlook a couple of big miscalculations. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
80% Bird (1988) "Bird'' is a movie that demands your full attention, refusing to yield all its meanings if you sit back and let it wash over you. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
50% Mommie Dearest (1981) With its hysterical sessions of psychological (and occasionally physical) torment, the movie is so wretchedly written and flatly constructed that it's easy to regard as a misguided horror flick. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
53% Mars Attacks! (1996) Of course, nobody expects a movie called Mars Attacks! to be fraught with deeper meanings. Still, it's disappointingly frivolous. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
50% Willow (1988) Sometime during the second hour I pinpointed the trouble: The movie is so full of tricks and gimmicks that it doesn't care enough about being just plain funny. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/4 59% Face (2002) Well made, nice performances, very slowly paced. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
4/5 60% Wendigo (2002) Fessenden's latest horror yarn is a smart and scary voyage into the uncanny realm where hard realities,mind-spinning myths, and hallucinatory visions blur. - Christian Science Monitor EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018