Jesse Cataldo

Jesse Cataldo

Agrees with the Tomatometer 67% of the time.

Publications:
House Next Door , Slant Magazine
Total Reviews:
155

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 155
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
2/4 —— Dos disparos (Two Gun Shots) " The lack of tangible dramatic follow-through leaves the film feeling incomplete, indistinguishable from so much other undercooked festival fare." — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 15, 2014
2.5/4 88% The Drop (2014) " With its optimistic ending, the film muddies its previous statements regarding the danger of unthinkingly hanging on to totems of the past." — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 9, 2014
2.5/4 53% Bird People (2014) " Pascale Ferran's film isn't daring enough to fully embrace the narrative fragmentation that it sporadically assumes." — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 8, 2014
3.5/4 —— The Naked Room (2014) " By eschewing even basic B-roll footage, it ends up feeling even more stripped down than Frederick Wiseman's patient inquisitions, yet nearly as complex overall. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Aug 25, 2014
2.5/4 98% Love Is Strange (2014) " Ira Sachs's push for heartrending poetry makes it clear that the film is putting too fine a gloss on the acute pains of one small tragedy." — Slant Magazine
Posted Aug 18, 2014
3/4 91% A Most Wanted Man (2014) " Anton Corbijn constructs a stifling world of shadowy surveillance and intersecting national interests, building on John Le Carré's sense of moral and emotional exhaustion." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jul 21, 2014
2/4 62% Mood Indigo (2014) " Michel Gondry bungles his adaptation of the Boris Vian novel by indulging in homespun craftwork at the expense of plot and character detail." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jul 13, 2014
3.5/4 90% Closed Curtain (2014) " The next step in Jafar Panahi's personal cinema of captivity, a fully fictionalized, wildly bewildering work which imagines a man at war with his own creative impulse." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jul 7, 2014
3/4 69% They Came Together (2014) " What results is chaotic but ultimately focused, bound by an intense devotion to disassembling genre and narrative standards." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jun 23, 2014
2.5/4 83% Dormant Beauty (2014) " The film puts too many elements into play, which means it ends up darting hopelessly between a series of underdeveloped storylines. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Jun 2, 2014
3/4 100% Gebo And The Shadow (2014) " It defines Manoel de Oliveira's late period, during which his movies have continued to shrink in size and scope while remaining thematically expansive." — Slant Magazine
Posted May 22, 2014
2/4 72% Palo Alto (2014) " It presents little that wasn't already done better in Myth of the American Sleepover, an equally evocative tale of longing that was far more successful at matching teen tropes with atmospheric naturalism." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 24, 2014
3/4 92% Venus in Fur (2014) " After years of respectable filmmaking, it's refreshing to witness a reinvigorated Roman Polanski willing to once again delve deep into seedy psychodrama. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 22, 2014
3/4 86% Night Moves (2014) " Like Michael Cera's two recent films with Sebastian Silva, Night Moves reveals the dark core contained within an actor's nice-guy neuroticism." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 22, 2014
2.5/4 96% Blue Ruin (2014) " By reducing its principals to stock figures in an extended chess game, it ends up providing steady, neatly staged thrills, but little else of substance." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 20, 2014
2.5/4 60% Five Star " In the end, it reduces public-housing dwellers to the same stock roles they occupy in less thoughtful films, limiting their stories rather than allowing them to develop." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 18, 2014
4/4 89% Russian Ark (2002) " Despite an undeniable attraction to the majestic, Aleksandr Sokurov seems equally adverse to straightforward spectacle, approaching potentially colossal subjects from odd, specific angles." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 12, 2014
2.5/4 79% The Raid 2 (2014) " It's all showy viscera, no ballet, and wan attempts at the gravity of something like Drug War." — Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 24, 2014
4/4 78% Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death) " True to its title, Albert Serra's new film approaches death as both narrative endpoint and formal focus, its initial vivacious mischief giving way to a Manichean fable about the waning of the light. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 20, 2014
2.5/4 73% Enemy (2014) " Jake Gyllenhaal embodies the two roles with real presence, establishing Adam's sniveling wimp and Anthony's striding jerk as two believably discrete sides of the same coin. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 10, 2014
3/4 80% The Island Of St. Matthews (2014) " William Jerome Everson's films tend to place an acute focus on the tension between memory and forgetting, as well as the way an event's significance can transform depending on perspective." — Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 3, 2014
3.5/4 92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) " It's fitting that a recurring piece of pastry plays a role in the story, since Wes Anderson seems to be daring us to view his work as mere confection, while offering subtle evidence that there's more at play. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Feb 28, 2014
—— Jo nan-ja-deul (Intruders) " Using personal differences, economic rifts, and familiar city-versus-country conflicts to lay the groundwork for a complex murder mystery, Intruders remains a consistently entertaining and surprising sophomore effort." — House Next Door
Posted Feb 21, 2014
2.5/4 93% Child's Pose (2014) " The film thrives on ambiguity, keeping all things blurry outside its main character's focused perspective, its myopia sustained by Luminița Gheorghiu's tough, quietly intense performance." — Slant Magazine
Posted Feb 17, 2014
2/4 32% The Monuments Men (2014) " George Clooney's film boils a big, messy maelstrom of theft and uncertainty down to a digestible, faintly appetizing mush." — Slant Magazine
Posted Feb 6, 2014
2/4 50% Beyond Outrage (2014) " If Takeshi Kitano does go forward with the rumored third volume, hopefully he'll conceive of some fresh angle on this increasingly dry material." — Slant Magazine
Posted Dec 27, 2013
1.5/4 39% Here Comes the Devil (2013) " The film is eventually revealed as less interested in subverting or playing off its influences than rigorously retracing them." — Slant Magazine
Posted Dec 9, 2013
3/4 93% American Hustle (2013) " Formally ostentatious and unrepentantly messy, the film manages to implicitly convey the overdriven, coked-up confusion that many '70s period pieces make painfully overt. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Dec 4, 2013
1.5/4 42% Oldboy (2013) " Spike Lee's version loses the one thing that really worked in the original, the sense of moral complication emerging out of the intertwined action of two men hell-bent on retribution." — Slant Magazine
Posted Nov 26, 2013
3.5/4 100% Cousin Jules (2013) " Approaching his lifestyle with ambivalence, the film still accords Jules enormous respect, showing an almost holy appreciation for the beautiful process of his blacksmithing work." — Slant Magazine
Posted Nov 25, 2013
2/4 92% Philomena (2013) " A human-interest story that claims spite for human-interest stories, the film has some pretty divisive issues at its core that leave it torn between contrasting approaches. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Nov 15, 2013
2.5/4 93% Dallas Buyers Club (2013) " Conventional but never sanctimonious, it balances out its familiar recovery angle with a healthy measure of sardonic wit." — Slant Magazine
Posted Oct 25, 2013
3.5/4 64% Bastards (2013) " Conditioning the audience to find dread in every seemingly innocent gesture, the film turns even the simplest touch between family members into something tinged with menace. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Oct 8, 2013
2.5/4 53% Jimmy P. (2014) " Seems to struggle in making its interesting ideas apparent, leaving them stranded beneath the dry surface of an otherwise ordinary procedural." — Slant Magazine
Posted Oct 1, 2013
3/4 80% I Used To Be Darker (2013) " The songs performed here function as the creative end point of emotional trauma, revealing pain gradually transfigured into art." — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 30, 2013
4/4 89% The Wind Rises (2014) " A work like this serves to remind us of the shining beacons Miyazaki's left behind him, the testaments to pursuing beauty in the face of so much ugliness, themselves lasting reminders of the quiet rewards of determination." — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 21, 2013
93% Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody's Daughter Hae-Won) " Despite the grim fatalism of these characters, the focus is less on universal questions of mortality than the lengthening shadows cast by the passage of time." — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 16, 2013
1/4 29% The Family (2013) " A film whose only distinguishing characteristic is how big a mess it makes of its already meager ambitions. " — Slant Magazine
Posted Sep 12, 2013
2.5/4 83% Drinking Buddies (2013) " Less precise and cohesive than much of Joe Swanberg's recent work, as its small, improvisational skeleton struggles to meet the demands of the more ambitious story it's trying to tell." — Slant Magazine
Posted Aug 2, 2013
3/4 40% Only God Forgives (2013) " It takes the basic form of the revenge flick and dips it in tar, making for a movie that comes out sticky, nasty, and black." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jul 15, 2013
4/4 87% Computer Chess (2013) " A movie which sits at the nexus between spoken and written language, the latter mostly of the programming variety." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jul 11, 2013
38% Short Circuit 2 (1988) " Short Circuit 3 is the sort of kid-friendly, mass-audience-seeking movie that, if released today, would have tried to play off its shortcomings with ironic distance, noisy clatter and special effects." — House Next Door
Posted Jul 2, 2013
2.5/4 80% Crystal Fairy (2013) " There's so much baggage involved in the kind of dilettantish games Jamie and Crystal are playing that it's a shame that the film never fully engages with these enticing issues." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jun 28, 2013
4/4 94% Museum Hours (2013) " Jem Cohen's film finds its most salient tension in the fraught relationship between known and unknown objects." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jun 24, 2013
2/4 83% This Is the End (2013) " It's disheartening that, despite some half-hearted overtures toward shifting the comedy paradigm, the filmmakers make little attempt to expand their comedic palette." — Slant Magazine
Posted Jun 10, 2013
3.5/4 85% Sightseers (2013) " This sardonic depiction of Britain, as a land where a thin veneer of strained politesse and fussy specificity of tastes masks a throbbing heart of darkness, makes for Ben Wheatley's best film yet. " — Slant Magazine
Posted May 7, 2013
3.5/4 98% Before Midnight (2013) " These films have always been about the power of words, their ability to bridge gulfs of time and space, the thrill of ideas and opinions taking definitive shape." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 23, 2013
—— Alberi " More than anything, Alberi is about the essential significance of nature, the way it provides not only the physical necessities for life, but the overarching structure for all its systems and processes. " — House Next Door
Posted Apr 23, 2013
3/4 81% Lenny Cooke (2013) " An effective bit of human drama, competently, and sometimes movingly, telling a story that deserves to be told." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 22, 2013
1.5/4 86% The Patience Stone (2013) " While Atiq Rahimi's film may peel away the many layers of its female lead like an onion, the end result is still just an onion." — Slant Magazine
Posted Apr 17, 2013
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