James Berardinelli

James Berardinelli
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I was born in September 1967 in the town of New Brunswick, New Jersey (USA). I started writing when I was about 9 years old, and suffered through the traumatic experience of reading chapters from my stories in front of my entire fourth grade class. However, although my "first love" was writing, too many tales of starving authors scared me off that path, so I decided to become an engineer instead. I attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1985 through 1990, obtaining both a BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering. Putting my education to use, I went to work for a company called Bellcore, which pays well enough for me to keep up the mortgage, maintain a home theater, finance film festival trips, and buy the 25-30 gallons of gasoline I need each week to attend screenings. As for my "film history"... As a child, I did not attend many movies. In fact, the first one I remember going to was JAWS, at a drive-in. During my junior high and high school years, I rarely ventured into a theater, but my interest in movies escalated while I was at college. In 1991, the year before I started reviewing, I saw about 30 films. The number jumped up to 180 in 1992, when I wrote capsule reviews for my own use. Starting in 1993, the year I "went public" on the Usenet newsgroups, I began seeing between 220 and 250 theatrical releases per year.
Publications: ReelViews
Location: New Jersey, US
Official Websites: reelviews.net

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2.5/4 71% The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021) There's nothing here to elevate The Electrical Life of Louis Wain out of the "generic bio-pic" basket. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2021
3/4 83% Dune (2021) Director Denis Villeneuve's vision is evident in every frame. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2021
3/4 86% The Last Duel (2021) [Its] themes coupled with the atypical manner in which they are presented give The Last Duel more substance than one might expect from a medieval melodrama. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2021
3/4 40% Halloween Kills (2021) Halloween Kills is one of the better sequels (put it alongside Halloween 4 and H20 and a shade below the 2018 production) and contains all the elements to make it popular among horror film lovers regardless of their ages. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2021
3/4 84% Lamb (2021) Lamb is at its most successful when seen as a slice of mythology or a dark, warped modern-day fable. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2021
3.5/4 84% No Time To Die (2021) The film's occasional overreaches aren't always a negative; the high points are very high and, when it's all over, most viewers will remember them. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
3/4 73% The Many Saints of Newark (2021) Even a seasoned Sopranos viewer will never feel completely sure of where the story is going. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2021
2/4 61% Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) If 2018's Venom felt like an afterthought, then the sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, feels like an afterthought to an afterthought. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2021
2/4 30% The Addams Family 2 (2021) It's something to watch featuring familiar characters. Expectations of anything more are misplaced where this franchise is concerned. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2021
2/4 29% Dear Evan Hansen (2021) The numbers are mostly dreary ballads and every time someone starts singing, the movie is the poorer for it. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2021
2/4 78% The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) Stripping away the live elements, one finds a movie at the heart of this all. It's a pretty bad movie, as even some of the most die-hard adherents will admit. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2021
3/4 82% Copshop (2021) It's among the best Tarantino-influenced thrillers to have made it to theaters in the last quarter-century. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2021
2.5/4 76% Blue Bayou (2021) The lead performances are sterling. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
3/4 79% Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021) Although the climax is a little too fluffy (and tries too hard for a happy ending for all), the production's effervescent quality is counterbalanced by its willingness to wade into deep waters when the narrative demands it. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2021
2.5/4 86% The Card Counter (2021) There are too few high cards in the movie's deck for it to be considered a winning hand. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2021
0.5/4 42% Cinderella (2021) Looking at the list of Cinderella adaptations I have seen, none comes close to this level of badness. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2021
3/4 92% Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) As the MCU emerges from the long shadow of the Infinity Saga, the newest members of the ever-growing ensemble make a compelling case for belonging among the candidates for the next iteration of The Avengers. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 2, 2021
2.5/4 96% Chimes at Midnight (1965) Most are advised that watching the movie feels more like homework than entertainment. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2021
1.5/4 31% He's All That (2021) Undemanding movie-goers on the lookout for a movie featuring pretty people in a vapid rom-com that might find this movie to their liking. For everyone else, this is decidedly not "all that." - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2021
3/4 84% Candyman (2021) The new Candyman proves to be a worthy follow-up to its namesake. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2021
2/4 37% Reminiscence (2021) Although Reminiscence is made with care and competence and features a strong underlying premise, the film as a whole is forgettable. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
3/4 86% The Night House (2021) It's a quietly intense alternative to generic horror movies that provides its share of scares without the need to splatter the screen with blood and viscera. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2021
2.5/4 71% Annette (2021) At a time when so many movies feel like cookie-cutter representations of better past tellings, there's more than a little virtue of taking an offbeat and oddball path, even if the detour is too long and has a few too many potholes. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2021
2/4 74% Big Trouble in Little China (1986) It's sporadically amusing but not consistently funny. There's plenty of action but minimal tension. And the story never tries hard to be even a little convincing. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2021
3/4 67% Respect (2021) Tommy achieves her goal of highlighting the courage and tenacity of the main character. Plus we get what amounts to a "greatest hits" compilation as voiced by Jennifer Hudson. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2021
2.5/4 80% Free Guy (2021) As a comedic satire of gaming and an offbeat romantic comedy, Free Guy is amiable and entertaining, if a little too long. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2021
3/4 90% The Suicide Squad (2021) With The Suicide Squad, Gunn shows that there are ways to keep things edgy while at the same time offering enough humor and action to maintain the crowd-pleasing elements. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2021
2.5/4 79% Black Widow (2021) Black Widow represents the MCU looking back when it should be moving forward. Everything about the movie seems small, even the big action set-pieces - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2021
2.5/4 88% Nine Days (2021) Although interesting in many aspects, Nine Days is as often frustrating as it is compelling, and the denouement feels forced. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2021
3.5/4 92% No Sudden Move (2020) Working with a precise screenplay credited to Ed Solomon, Soderbergh constructs a masterful tale of escalating crime, filled with anti-heroes, outright villains, and low-key twists at every turn. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2021
3/4 86% Vivo (2021) This is one of the best, if not the best, animated films to have gone directly to Netflix. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2021
3.5/4 99% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) They Shall Not Grow Old isn't just a compelling motion picture; it's an important slice of cinema. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2021
3/4 88% The Green Knight (2021) The Green Knight has its share of flaws but there's a freshness to Lowery's approach that demands to be noticed. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2021
3/4 62% Jungle Cruise (2021) It may not be another Pirates of the Caribbean but it exists as a reminder that inspiration can come from unusual places. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2021
2/4 50% Old (2021) While it's not hard to envision how the ideas in the movie could result in something compelling, the execution is lacking. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2021
2/4 26% Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) It doesn't take long before A New Legacy feels more like a two-hour commercial for the entire WB catalog than a movie in its own right. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2021
3/4 91% Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021) Roadrunner seems more like a retrospective of someone who's still alive than someone whose story ended three years ago. That's what happens when a life is lived in large part in front of cameras. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
3/4 97% Hiroshima Mon Amour (1960) I was arrested by the way in which the film was shot and what it was saying, but I'll admit to not caring much about the two people at the center of Resnais' drama. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
2.5/4 50% The Forever Purge (2021) The Forever Purge is adept at providing the violence and gore fans expect from an exploitation flick. And, despite its pretense of offering political commentary, that's really all this movie is. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2021
2/4 52% The Tomorrow War (2021) It has been said that time travel movies are easy to do badly and difficult to do well. If that's the case, then The Tomorrow War falls into the former category. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2021
1/4 42% The Ice Road (2021) The Ice Road may be the worst direct-to-Netflix movie to feature a major star. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2021
2/4 59% F9 (2021) Non-stop action only works when it's handled with a deft hand and Justin Lin, after having taken a break after helming installments #3-6, seems out of practice. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
2.5/4 91% Luca (2021) It's generic and ordinary and, although it contains sufficient material to engage children, its ability to hold the attention of older viewers is less sure. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2021
1.5/4 27% The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021) Rarely have I seen the volcanic Jackson look so disinterested; this is the closest he's ever come to phoning it in. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2021
2/4 27% Awake (2021) The promise of an intriguing premise results in expectations that the film, which rarely diverges from the familiar feel of a post-apocalyptic road movie, is unable to capture. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
3/4 94% In the Heights (2021) Fortunately, the music is always at the ready to recalibrate the production's momentum and get it back on track. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
4/4 98% Ikiru (1956) A thoughtful, existential meditation about the meaning of life and what constitutes a life well-lived, Ikiru is almost guaranteed to prod the viewer to examine his or her own mortality and ponder how, in the end, the scales will tip. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
2.5/4 55% The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) It's an adequate horror movie with the requisite atmospherics and jump-scares, and it provides Conjuring fans with their fix. However, as the latest chapter of what is now a trilogy, it's a disappointment. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
2/4 49% Spirit Untamed (2021) Anyone old enough to know better... will see the movie as a bland retread of the Netflix series - a made-on-the-cheap cash grab with minimal artistic merit. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
2.5/4 74% Cruella (2021) An unremarkable (although certainly not awful) family film (with a PG-13 rating) that lacks a compelling reason to exist. - ReelViews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021