Peter Hartlaub

Peter Hartlaub

Agrees with the Tomatometer 76% of the time.

Publications:
Hearst Newspapers , Houston Chronicle , San Francisco Chronicle
Total Reviews:
481

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 481
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/4 31% Annabelle (2014) " The movie tries to be more than just a creepy doll freakout, and delivers the requisite scares. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 2, 2014
2/4 63% The Maze Runner (2014) " The writers seem to have been reared in the "Lost" school of storytelling, happy to pile on three more questions for every answer. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 18, 2014
2/4 69% Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) " It's kind of sad to see Rufus the Pelican getting way more screen time and plot significance than characters played by Kris Kristofferson and Ashley Judd. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 11, 2014
3/4 88% The Drop (2014) " Hardy gets the vast majority of screen time, and he handles the heavy lifting like a pro. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 11, 2014
1/4 36% The November Man (2014) " Often frustrating and at times incomprehensible, the Bourne/Bond clone keeps the pulse racing but ultimately fails to satisfy. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 26, 2014
1/4 44% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) " It is, in almost every way, inferior to its predecessor. It's poorly paced and repetitive. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 21, 2014
3/4 18% When The Game Stands Tall (2014) " The greater narrative always remains on track, often leading to unexpected places. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 21, 2014
3/4 90% The Kill Team (2014) " The scope of the film can be frustratingly narrow. But even this limited view into the events of the Maywand District murders is gripping cinema. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 31, 2014
2/4 44% Planes: Fire And Rescue (2014) " It's not a poor movie. But it's definitely a better movie for the kids. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 17, 2014
1/4 18% Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) " Imagine if instead of creating new music, a recording artist kept putting out the exact same album, just playing the songs a little louder each time. That's what it feels like watching "Transformers: Age of Extinction." " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 26, 2014
2/4 55% Ping Pong Summer (2014) " The stakes are low throughout the film - even the bullies are mostly bluster - making the big finish an anticlimax. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 19, 2014
3/4 92% How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) " DeBlois, who also wrote the script, successfully juggles the multiple story lines, shifting allegiances and uncharted lands. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 12, 2014
2/4 35% God's Pocket (2014) " Too many of the attempts at "The Sopranos"-style comic drama fail. Maybe the comedy beats are a little off. Or maybe these people are just too gloomy to generate much hilarity. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted May 15, 2014
1/4 16% Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014) " Mostly, the film reaffirms how hard it is to make a movie as unforgettable and enduring as "The Wizard of Oz." Good chance you'll forget this one on the way home from the theater. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted May 8, 2014
2/4 19% Transcendence (2014) " The directorial debut for ace cinematographer Wally Pfister is always watchable, but the narrative flaws and logical leaps sabotage sustained enjoyment. "Transcendence" looks and sounds like a Christopher Nolan film that got attacked by malware. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 18, 2014
3/4 66% The Railway Man (2014) " Firth and Kidman are both up for the challenge, complementing the compelling story with measured and memorable performances. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 18, 2014
89% Bears (2014) " Bonus points for all but eliminating the easy scatological humor. Does a bear (poop) in the woods? You won't find out watching "Bears." " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 18, 2014
2/4 48% Rio 2 (2014) " It's like the last "Hobbit" movie - so much time passes between side plots that you have to jog the memory when a minor character appears again. Who's that toucan again? Is he a bad guy? " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 10, 2014
4/4 79% The Raid 2 (2014) " Crystal clear, vibrant and brutally violent. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 3, 2014
3/4 97% Ernest & CĂ©lestine (2014) " The message is simple, the ending earthshaking and a few scenes border on overly precious. But as the stakes are raised for the pair, a surprising depth of character emerges. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 27, 2014
3/4 73% Enemy (2014) " "Enemy" is what might happen if someone let Terrence Malick make a "Twilight Zone" episode, with a quick rewrite by David Cronenberg. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 20, 2014
3/4 79% Muppets Most Wanted (2014) " It just feels like something the original Muppet creators might have done. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 20, 2014
2/4 78% Veronica Mars (2014) " Newcomers will be less pleased, discovering a product that looks and feels like a scaled-up television show. The inside jokes and receiving line of nudge-wink cameos only adds to the small-screen feel. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 13, 2014
2/4 79% Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) " Needing to fill an extra 85 minutes, the filmmakers clumsily explore the characters' therapeutic needs. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 6, 2014
2/4 21% Son Of God (2014) " Never again will a Sunday school student get lower than a C-minus on this material. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Feb 27, 2014
3/4 89% The Wind Rises (2014) " Miyazaki is arguably at the Kubrick/Polanski level, where his lesser films still yield great rewards. Even during the moments that don't soar, "The Wind Rises" continues tosatisfy. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Feb 20, 2014
1/4 15% Endless Love (2014) " The real victim in all of this is Spencer, who is still writing books and must watch his tragic novel about dangerous obsession and true heartbreak get mangled anew every two generations. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Feb 13, 2014
2/4 61% Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films 2014 (2014) " The live-action shorts include some strong filmmaking but are the least satisfying of the programs. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jan 30, 2014
3/4 100% Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films 2014 (2014) " The animated shorts program has two clear standouts - both visually stunning and emotionally satisfying. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jan 30, 2014
4/4 100% Oscar Nominated Documentary Short Films 2014 (2014) " The documentary shorts are the most consistent in their excellence, and conveniently fall into a unifying theme of humanity prevailing through suffering and struggle. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jan 30, 2014
2/4 10% The Nut Job (2014) " Someone spent a lot of time making the architecture and production design match the era. Grandparents getting dragged to "The Nut Job" will be appreciative. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jan 16, 2014
3/4 55% Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) " Under taut direction from Kenneth Branagh (who also plays the Russian heavy), Pine is convincing as a character who is pushing papers one day, and dodging assassins in Moscow the next. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jan 16, 2014
2/4 29% Grudge Match (2013) " "Grudge Match" at its core is an affront to the cinema gods, an attempt to capitalize off two iconic films for a few cheap laughs. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Dec 26, 2013
3/4 75% Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) " It's clear that the people who created the first "Anchorman" wanted to hang out on a set again together. That's better than getting back together just to make money. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Dec 17, 2013
4/4 89% Frozen (2013) " The music consistently entertains. The writing in particular is smart, with nuanced characters and a premium on clever wordplay over cheap laughs and deprecating humor. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 26, 2013
1/4 39% Delivery Man (2013) " "Delivery Man" is nowhere near the worst film of 2013, but it is definitely the most exhausting. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 21, 2013
3/4 84% The Armstrong Lie (2013) " None of the athlete's words really answer Gibney's central question. Perhaps we're just supposed to see it in his eyes. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 14, 2013
3/4 69% About Time (2013) " For moviegoers who can't fathom any situation worth $10.50 to witness everlasting love, steer clear of "About Time." But the drama offers something for almost everyone else ... " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 31, 2013
1/4 18% Free Birds (2013) " All sidekicks and sight gags, with little story cohesion or purpose. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 31, 2013
2/4 60% Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013) " Some of the pranks are masterfully executed; the beauty pageant and a disastrous funeral near the beginning stand out. But on the whole, "Bad Grandpa" can't locate a consistent groove. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 24, 2013
2/4 29% Machete Kills (2013) " "Machete Kills" is exploitation cinema, in the same way that a teen who pays $28 at the mall for a Sex Pistols T-shirt is a punk rocker. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 10, 2013
2/4 63% Linsanity (2013) " You may have watched Lin's rise to national prominence the first time, but it's still easy to get caught up in the moment. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 3, 2013
2/4 70% Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) " A humorous yet unfocused romp, so unwilling to settle on a single theme that hyperactivity medication should be handed out with the 3-D glasses. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 27, 2013
3/4 89% Rush (2013) " Howard proves that directing action is one of his underrated strengths. The racing scenes are dynamic and easy to follow, with a sheen that brings the 1970s into sharp relief. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 26, 2013
2/4 6% Battle of the Year (2013) " The story is a derivative quilt, patching together cliches from every sports movie since 1976. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 19, 2013
3/4 82% Prisoners (2013) " Even when audiences start to question the logical leaps, the performances and visuals remain first-rate. The movie doesn't feel bloated. And the final scenes are anything but a cop-out. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 19, 2013
2.5/4 38% Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) " If Insidious 2 exists solely because Insidious 1 made a ton of money, then at least credit Wan for making quality control a priority. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 12, 2013
1/4 2% Getaway (2013) " You've probably seen this movie before, watching a child play with his toy Hot Wheels cars after eating multiple bowls of sugary breakfast cereal. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 29, 2013
1/4 12% The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) " Every moviegoer will have his own breaking point, when "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" surpasses the mundane and enters the ridiculous. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 22, 2013
2.5/4 26% Planes (2013) " Many will enter theaters thinking this is a Pixar film, with the raised expectations that accompany that mistake. But even cynical animation fans will see there's quality here. After a little turbulence, "Planes" comes in for a nice landing. " ‐ San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 8, 2013
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