James Plath

James Plath

Agrees with the Tomatometer 79% of the time.

Besides reviewing films for Movie Metropolis, James Plath teaches American literature, journalism, creative writing, and American pop culture at Illinois Wesleyan University. The father of four grown children and two small ones at home, he's still a kid at heart and fondly remembers going to matinees in his northwest Chicago neighborhood to watch double features for just fifty cents. "An "A" movie was usually paired with a "B" movie, and when both were finished, if you wanted to hang around and watch them all over again, you could. No one kicked you out. That's when my appreciation of film began, and it continues just as strong today."
The Sound of Music, It's a Wonderful Life, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Casablanca, Airplane!
Movie Metropolis
Critics' Group:
Online Film Critics Society
Total Reviews:
Total QuickRatings:
Bloomington, Illinois

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 633
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
7/10 93% The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) " "The Adventures of Ichabod Crane" still stands as one of the best versions of Irving's famous tale." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Aug 14, 2014
8/10 88% Tarzan (1999) " There's nothing Broadway about this Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, but the wow factor is still there." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Aug 14, 2014
6/10 89% Bears (2014) " I'm not suggesting that every nature film narrator should sound like David Attenborough, but John C. Reilly really seems an odd choice." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Aug 14, 2014
5/10 36% Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004) " The animation has a Saturday morning look to it, with an overall brighter, yellower cast, and the film feels like a cartoon short that's been put on the rack and stretched until it qualified as a "full-length feature."" — Movie Metropolis
Posted Aug 14, 2014
7/10 83% Hercules (1997) " 'Hercules' may be second-tier Disney, but it's TOP second tier, not far behind the studio's best animated work." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Aug 14, 2014
7/10 24% The Other Woman (2014) " It's lightweight, formulaic fun that would normally hover in the 6 out of 10 range, but Mann's antics push it into 7 territory." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Aug 14, 2014
6/10 22% Need For Speed (2014) " Despite all the flaws, there's no denying the visceral feeling that "Need for Speed" evokes. I found myself tensed up throughout most of it, and that served to remind me that however simplistic and clichéd this film was, it still had me in its grip." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 28, 2014
7/10 —— American Girl: Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight (2014) " This one is intended for girls ages 3-12, and few outside the target audience will want to watch. But it IS going to be popular with girls who like dance, and that would be, what, most of them?" — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 28, 2014
6/10 58% Dom Hemingway (2014) " Jude Law gives a bravura performance as the title character, but you can't escape the feeling that this 2013 crime comedy-drama could have been either funnier or more dramatic." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 28, 2014
7/10 56% Made in America (2014) " While music doesn't take a back seat, it's more of a passenger than a driver. It feels like nonstop music without the generic concert format. But you learn or intuit something in the process." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 17, 2014
7/10 48% Rio 2 (2014) " 'Rio 2' explodes with personality and atmosphere, and if you're suffering any sort of World Cup letdown, this energetic Amazonian adventure is a good way to taper off." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 16, 2014
7/10 40% No Clue (2014) " Although it's a relatively low-budget indie flick, I'd rate "No Clue" among my top three film noir/P.I. spoofs-right up there with "The Cheap Detective" (1978) and "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" (1982)." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 16, 2014
7/10 79% The Birdcage (1996) " Robin Williams plays off of a flaming Nathan Lane with delicious understatement and anchors a farce that moves along at a brisk pace-with or without heels." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jul 16, 2014
7/10 —— Cowgirls 'N Angels 2: Dakota's Summer (2014) " There's a place for light drama and formulaic, feel-good movies, and as that genre goes, 'Cowgirls 'n Angels 2: Dakota's Summer' is an entertaining, solid film." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Apr 20, 2014
7/10 50% The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) " Somehow, out of a no-win situation, Stiller manages to make a likable movie that entertains and also provides a little get-out-of-the-basement inspiration." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Apr 19, 2014
8/10 97% Once (2007) " If "The Commitments" shows the gritty, robust side of Dublin and the Irish music scene, "Once" shows us a softer, more romantic side." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Apr 18, 2014
6/10 91% The King of Comedy (1983) " I'm going to side with the dissenters this time. I can see where it might be perceived as a dark comedy, but that label doesn't absolve it from an overarching sense that Scorsese didn't push this one far enough." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Apr 9, 2014
7/10 76% The Pirate Fairy (2014) " 'The Pirate Fairy' is good enough to have opened in theaters instead of going direct to home video. It's wonderfully animated, packed with energy, and full of fun references to the 1953 film 'Peter Pan.'" — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 29, 2014
6/10 38% Delivery Man (2013) " 'Delivery Man' is a little like the main character: just good enough to make you care a little and smile a lot." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 28, 2014
5/10 24% Walking With Dinosaurs (2013) " Basically Fox took a concept with wide appeal and reduced it to children's fare." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 27, 2014
5/10 —— Barbie: The Pearl Princess (2014) " Mattel-Universal went to the well way too many times for a mermaid-themed Barbie movie, and "The Pearl Princess" feels trapped at the bottom." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 22, 2014
6/10 —— Wicked Blood (2014) " Picture 'The Sopranos' transplanted to the South, with . . . all of the mob action happening in an area that seems so rural you'd think they'd be dealing in raccoon pelts instead of meth." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 15, 2014
8/10 97% 12 Years a Slave (2013) " Much of it is difficult to watch, but '12 Years a Slave' is that rare film that's both important in its message and a darned good film all the same." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 8, 2014
7/10 86% The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) " For some viewers, the agony will be watching Charlton Heston (over)act, and the ecstasy Rex Harrison. But it IS refreshing for a period film to cover such new and (pun intended) artistic ground." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Mar 2, 2014
7/10 —— The 300 Spartans (1962) " As sword-and-sandal films go, 'The 300 Spartans' is a good one, but don't expect hard-edged action and graphic violence of the '300' sort. " — Movie Metropolis
Posted Feb 21, 2014
7/10 —— The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) " If you're put off by the missionary impulse, then this film probably isn't for you-even though Bergman brings an honest earnestness to the film that's hard to resist." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Feb 11, 2014
5/10 18% Free Birds (2013) " These birds are good to look at, and you can easily get caught up in the characters. But the situation is a bit too much to swallow . . . even for Thanksgiving." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Feb 9, 2014
7/10 85% The Jungle Book (1967) " Disney had perhaps the clearest vision of any creative talent in Hollywood, and 'The Jungle Book' is the last project with which he was personally involved. Though he died before it hit theaters, he would have been proud of the final cut. " — Movie Metropolis
Posted Feb 8, 2014
7/10 65% Thor: The Dark World (2013) " There's more action this time around, and less deliberate alignment of the Marvel universe. The result is a film that flows better and gives the characters a little more room to be themselves. " — Movie Metropolis
Posted Feb 8, 2014
5/10 —— Code Red (2014) " Despite the camera cop-outs, 'Code Red' still struck me as a surprisingly decent addition to a subgenre that's crowded with substandard entries." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 29, 2014
6/10 58% Reaching for the Moon (2013) " Despite the film's shortcomings, this story of a decade-long affair that poet Elizabeth Bishop had with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares manages to hold your attention, and largely because of the characters. " — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 28, 2014
8/10 —— The White Queen (Tv Series) (2014) " If you can brush aside concerns about historical accuracy (including a 15th century that seems a lot cleaner than you'd expect), 'The White Queen' is a rewarding experience." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 27, 2014
7/10 68% Terraferma (2013) " The visuals are memorable, and so are the characters and their moral dilemmas." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 22, 2014
6/10 37% The Fifth Estate (2013) " Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl do a fine job of drawing us into their characters, but because 'The Fifth Estate' is an uneven and sometimes confusing thriller, it's not enough." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 21, 2014
7/10 39% A Chorus Line (1985) " 'A Chorus Line' will certainly give people who think they want a career in dance some idea of whether they're up to the challenge. And the rest of the audience will never look at a musical chorus line the same way." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 18, 2014
9/10 94% In the Heat of the Night (1967) " If you're collecting Best Pictures, 'In the Heat of the Night' was completely deserving of the Oscar then, and remains a taut crime drama almost 50 years later." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 18, 2014
8/10 92% Le Joli Mai (1963) " The people and cinematography are compelling, and so, by extension, is this 1962 documentary." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 15, 2014
7/10 70% Far From Vietnam (Loin du Vietnam) (1967) " It's fascinating to see a dissenting opinion and wonder where the truth really lies." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Jan 15, 2014
7/10 41% Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) " A good special effects family movie that's every bit as accomplished as 'The Lightning Thief' and possibly better-even if it doesn't follow the fantasy novels like a road map." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 21, 2013
7/10 75% Lone Survivor (2014) " A slam-bang action film that's plenty realistic, with a full two-thirds devoted to the battle for survival that ensues when a mission to capture or kill a top Taliban leader goes about as wrong as any mission can go." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 21, 2013
7/10 74% Carmen Jones (1954) " If you're not a fan of opera, you probably won't care much for 'Carmen Jones,' despite some pretty solid acting and scenes that bring postwar America to life." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 17, 2013
8/10 80% Saving Mr. Banks (2013) " A funny, bittersweet account of how 'Mary Poppins' finally came to the big screen after 20 years of fruitless negotiations, with Emma Thompson turning in an Oscar-worthy performance as author P.L. Travers." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 16, 2013
7/10 100% Desk Set (1957) " A winning comedy that's as leisurely as the Eisenhower years, with just a hint of the rebellion that's coming down the pike." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
7/10 43% North to Alaska (1960) " I can't in good conscience call this one of John Wayne's best movies, but I have to say that 'North to Alaska' has always been one of my favorites. It's just plain fun." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
7/10 80% The Black Swan (1942) " Of the old-time pirate movies, the top tier may be crowded with films like 'Captain Blood,' 'The Sea Hawk,' and 'The Crimson Pirate.' But 'The Black Swan' ranks just under those." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
8/10 100% The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) " 'The Ghost and Mrs. Muir' easily could have stumbled into melodrama or dramedy. It works as well as it does because of understatement, and it's still a charming and captivating film more than 60 years later." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
6/10 31% The Lone Ranger (2013) " How can a Western featuring a madam with a shooting ivory leg be as bad as critics warned? It's not. And 'The Lone Ranger,' for all its flaws, is still a fun popcorn movie." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
8/10 97% Big (1988) " If "Splash" was the film that gave the 'Bosom Buddies' star his first big movie role, "Big" was the one that showed the industry and audiences that this guy Hanks can act." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
7/10 —— The Call of the Wild (1935) " Jack London's The Call of the Wild has been a difficult book to adapt to film, but this William Wellman-directed entry is still the best. It's probably one of the more interesting films from the first half of the '30s. " — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
7/10 —— Jesse James (1939) " 'Jesse James' has rich-looking production values and a story to tell that borders on the mythic . . . or the demythologized. In this, the filmmakers couldn't decide." — Movie Metropolis
Posted Dec 10, 2013
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