Ian Buckwalter

Agrees with the Tomatometer 84% of the time.

Publications:
DCist , NPR , NPR.org , The Atlantic , The Washingtonian , Washington City Paper
Critics' Group:
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
Total Reviews:
442

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 51 - 100 of 442
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
7.5/10 63% Unmade In China (2013) " Unmade in China is nominally about filmmaking, but what Kofman and Barklow do well is to use their unusual position within the Chinese state machine to make a thinly veiled movie about politics." — NPR
Posted Apr 18, 2013
9/10 84% Upstream Color (2013) " Carruth may be something that the movies haven't yet seen, perhaps the first great realization of the democratization of filmmaking that digital technology and the Internet promised." — The Atlantic
Posted Apr 12, 2013
7/10 62% Evil Dead (2013) " This Evil Dead is polished and meticulously planned, and it benefits from the attention to detail as well as from Alvarez's obvious love for the spirit of the source material." — NPR
Posted Apr 4, 2013
5/10 65% Starbuck (2013) " Scott's take on the importance of family is an admirable one, to a point, until it moves past that to espouse an uncomfortably regressive morality." — Washington City Paper
Posted Mar 29, 2013
3/10 48% Olympus Has Fallen (2013) " It has to be a joke, right?" — NPR
Posted Mar 21, 2013
4/10 43% The Call (2013) " The shoddy attention to character, plausibility, and detail is particularly surprising coming from Anderson, a director of smart indie thrillers like The Machinist, Session 9 and Transsiberian." — NPR
Posted Mar 14, 2013
3.5/10 36% The ABCs of Death (2013) " There are just too many stories to fit into two hours - and even with fewer weak links, The ABCs of Death might have fallen short all the same." — NPR
Posted Mar 7, 2013
7.9/10 83% Side Effects (2013) " Soderbergh is less interested in making statements than he is in skillfully fulfilling genre expectations." — The Atlantic
Posted Mar 1, 2013
6/10 52% Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) " At its heart, the film is just a simple fairy tale, an epic reduced to an engaging adventure of a bedtime story." — NPR
Posted Feb 28, 2013
5.5/10 60% Rubberneck (2013) " Both the mystery and the character piece wind up feeling incomplete." — NPR
Posted Feb 21, 2013
7.5/10 78% Red Flag (2013) " Karpovsky's anxiety-ridden shtick here combines the crippling doubt and self-loathing of many Woody Allen protagonists with the obnoxious solipsism of Larry David." — NPR
Posted Feb 21, 2013
0/10 14% A Good Day To Die Hard (2013) " This is the Magpie School of action filmmaking: Anytime things start to make so little sense that you might lose the audience, just throw something shiny up on screen to distract." — NPR
Posted Feb 14, 2013
9.5/10 93% The Gatekeepers (2013) " The subjects' openness is refreshing - and sometimes frightening. " — The Atlantic
Posted Feb 7, 2013
7/10 100% Sound City (2013) " A celebration of just how unbelievably awesome it is to make rock music for a living - not to mention being so successful at it that you can get your childhood heroes to come over and jam." — NPR
Posted Jan 31, 2013
9/10 100% Resolution (2013) " A smart and chilling indie horror from co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead ..." — NPR
Posted Jan 24, 2013
6/10 65% Mama (2013) " Surprisingly, this patchwork pastiche often works." — NPR
Posted Jan 17, 2013
8.5/10 88% Django Unchained (2012) " The sometimes cartoonish and silly violence serves a purpose: It contrasts the moments of truly disturbing violence that Tarantino puts on display, always within the context of the brutality doled out to slaves at the hands of white masters." — The Washingtonian
Posted Dec 28, 2012
9.5/10 87% Tabu (2012) " Few films are this smart about subtly couching their allegorical aspirations within more straightforward narratives; fewer still are able to do so with such energetically inventive virtuoso style." — NPR
Posted Dec 27, 2012
7/10 70% Les Misérables (2012) " The music and the magnetic performances make many of the directorial missteps fade into the background." — NPR
Posted Dec 25, 2012
5.5/10 65% The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) " Jackson seems to be going through the motions of epic fantasy filmmaking." — The Washingtonian
Posted Dec 17, 2012
9/10 89% Consuming Spirits (2012) " The effect is that of disjointed, haunted reverie, of alternate realities colliding, soundtracked by mumbled asides and an uneasy murmur of background noise." — NPR
Posted Dec 11, 2012
5.5/10 33% Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (2012) " The dominance of the madcap side of the film's split personality lays an airy veneer over Dolly and Joseph's woes, making them seem inconsequential - as unsubstantial as an observation about wedding-day weather." — NPR
Posted Dec 6, 2012
6.5/10 51% Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012) " Day of Reckoning is somehow not just the best film in the series, but a damn fine piece of action filmmaking by any measure." — The Atlantic
Posted Nov 30, 2012
6.8/10 75% Killing Them Softly (2012) " A political harangue with the blunt force of a shotgun stock to the temple, couched inelegantly into a generic tale of gangland justice and revenge; yet recognizing and even growing annoyed with its deficiences, I still sort of loved it." — The Washingtonian
Posted Nov 30, 2012
6/10 37% The Collection (2012) " Genre aficionados are likely to revel in every crunched bone, gratuitous decapitation and slow-motion iron-maiden impaling." — NPR
Posted Nov 29, 2012
5.8/10 94% The Sessions (2012) " Achieves its sunny disposition by pulling punches." — The Atlantic
Posted Nov 23, 2012
8.5 82% De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone) (2012) " Demonstrates that one can take a pat inspirational story and infuse it with the hardship required to make that inspiration feel earned." — The Atlantic
Posted Nov 23, 2012
7.5/10 63% Anna Karenina (2012) " What Wright has made here is a musical without songs. " — The Washingtonian
Posted Nov 16, 2012
5.9/10 88% Funeral Kings (2012) " That headlong hormonal rush toward what boys perceive as the benefits of adulthood is what the brothers McManus capture here with candor and occasional hilarity." — NPR
Posted Nov 15, 2012
8/10 92% Skyfall (2012) " A sly, deconstructionist approach to Bond combined with a climactic sequence that is hands-down the best, most gorgeously shot, and most breathtakingly thrilling in the franchise's history make this one of the most satisfying and well-made entries." — The Washingtonian
Posted Nov 9, 2012
9/10 91% Holy Motors (2012) " A film that not only demands repeat viewings but also makes that an attractive proposition." — The Washingtonian
Posted Nov 9, 2012
8/10 90% Lincoln (2012) " This Lincoln isn't an abstracted, infallible ideal, but rather a deeply conflicted, often lonely leader simply trying to do the right thing - even if that means a few wrong things along the way." — NPR
Posted Nov 8, 2012
7/10 100% High Ground (2012) " Brown takes advantage of the opportunity to present a broad array of feelings, less on the nature of these conflicts in particular and more on the mindset of the soldier in war - and the difficulties faced when no longer in the midst of the conflict." — NPR
Posted Nov 1, 2012
5/10 66% Cloud Atlas (2012) " A gorgeously shot package that blends the past, present, and future into diverse, lushly imagined realities that at least manage the task of feeling like they're from a single work. If only that work actually succeeded in fulfilling its lofty aspirations." — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 26, 2012
6/10 50% Sassy Pants (2012) " Sweet and well-intentioned, Sassy Pants is difficult to dislike, despite its missteps." — NPR
Posted Oct 25, 2012
7.5/10 38% Nobody Walks (2012) " Russo-Young's characters simply feel like complex, confused people trying desperately to be happy without also destroying their lives with their poor impulse control." — NPR
Posted Oct 18, 2012
7.9/10 68% Wuthering Heights (2012) " Even more striking than Arnold's impressionistic style is the way in which she strips these characters down to their abusive and vindictive cores. " — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 12, 2012
7/10 96% Argo (2012) " Easily Affleck's best directed film yet, Argo also ticks off a number of boxes on the Best Picture nominee checklist: grand scope, historical basis, uplifting story of human triumph. The movie's great escape sequence goes a little overboard,though." — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 12, 2012
7.5/10 63% Sinister (2012) " ...a bone-chilling occult thriller..." — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 12, 2012
6.5 94% Photographic Memory (2012) " Some might characterize what filmmaker Ross McElwee does as navel-gazing. But in the hands of this veteran documentarian, that which might be self-indulgent egomania from a lesser artist is often the stuff of quiet revelation." — NPR
Posted Oct 11, 2012
6.5/10 55% V/H/S (2012) " The mostly played-out found footage aesthetic has its limitations, and V/H/S doesn't escape all of them. But the collected directors do manage to make many of those limitations into the films' strengths." — The Atlantic
Posted Oct 9, 2012
8.8/10 93% Looper (2012) " Part science fiction, part mob movie, and with a nice infusion of dark comedy at just the right moments, Looper is Johnson's best movie yet, and manages to be hugely entertaining, affecting, and thought-provoking. " — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 9, 2012
8/10 85% The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) " Perks seems like the work of a much more experienced director, maintaining fidelity to the source material without sacrificing any cinematic qualities, triggering genuine sentimentality and nostalgia through interaction between sound and image." — The Atlantic
Posted Oct 9, 2012
7/10 84% Detropia (2012) " Grady and Ewing, employing the observational, often visually poetic style that has become their trademark, capture this city at a crossroads." — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 9, 2012
6/10 54% The Inbetweeners (2012) " Plenty of funny bits, and apart from some fairly appalling underlying sexism -- guys, screw up all you like, the movie says, because the nice, pretty girls will forgive any transgression -- it actually attempts to have heart as well. " — The Atlantic
Posted Oct 9, 2012
5.5/10 66% The Good Doctor (2012) " Wants to be a twisty nail-biter, but never creates much suspense or surprise. " — The Atlantic
Posted Oct 9, 2012
7.5/10 67% Lawless (2012) " The cinematic equivalent of a murder ballad: rambling, violent, and more concerned with style and presentation than meaningful character development. Which sounds like a complaint, but in the case of Lawless, is high praise." — The Washingtonian
Posted Oct 9, 2012
4/10 45% Hotel Transylvania (2012) " At its core, this movie is little more than Twilight told from the other side of the tracks, only with far more fart jokes." — NPR
Posted Sep 27, 2012
6/10 60% Francine (2012) " A little aimlessness never makes the film seem overlong ... not at a brief 74 minutes, and the immersive, quiet desperation of Leo's performance more than compensates, as does the directors' keen eye for detail." — NPR
Posted Sep 13, 2012
2.5/10 22% Serving Up Richard (2012) " [It] forgets a vital piece of the equation: Jokes work better when they're funny." — NPR
Posted Sep 6, 2012
5/10 53% Little Birds (2012) " Despair may be an emotion of emptiness, of the absence of hope, but that doesn't mean a movie about someone spiraling down into that emotion has to feel so empty as well." — NPR
Posted Aug 30, 2012
Showing 51 - 100 of 442
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