Sandra Hall

Sandra Hall

Agrees with the Tomatometer 77% of the time.

Publications:
Brisbane Times , Sydney Morning Herald , The Age (Australia)
Total Reviews:
379

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 379
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
2/5 64% The Maze Runner (2014) " The sophistication of The Hunger Games and its sequels is setting a benchmark that none of the series' rivals has yet managed to match. This one doesn't change anything." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 12, 2014
3/5 33% The Giver (2014) " The problems show up during the climactic action sequences. Logic is jettisoned and once that happens, the basic flaws in the whole scenario become all too obvious." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 10, 2014
2/5 50% The Reckoning (2014) " The cop-shop scenes generate little vitality and the same goes for Green's working relationship with Viva Bianca, who does a lot of standing around in search of the right expression in the thankless role of his fellow detective." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 10, 2014
3/5 99% Boyhood (2014) " But the film's best bits don't give us nearly enough to justify those accolades or dispel the feeling that you're being taken on a leisurely meander through lives short on surprises and revelations. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 4, 2014
4/5 94% Felony (2014) " Edgerton and Saville have refused to short-change any of their characters, and their complexities ensure an ending that makes you think -- and go on thinking about one of the finest Australian films to come along this year." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 28, 2014
3/5 18% And So It Goes (2014) " Douglas and Keaton do just as well with the romantic angle, mostly because he's so adept at dispelling any whiff of mawkishness. Oren's essential orneriness remains, no matter what, and the film turns out to be a lot of fun because of him." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 11, 2014
4/5 82% Begin Again (2014) " John Carney is not afraid of a cliche. After all, Begin Again is a musical, a genre that has always thrived on them. And he does know how to shape them to his own design, which is low-key and slightly tongue-in-cheek." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 4, 2014
3.5/5 65% Kvinden i buret (The Keeper of Lost Causes) " On a strictly mechanical level, it all works and if you can adapt to its glum brand of wit, you can extract a few laughs from it. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 30, 2014
4/5 91% A Most Wanted Man (2014) " He [Philip Seymour Hoffman] is cast as a German intelligence operative and there are times when the precision of the accent combines with his husky baritone to bring his dialogue close to poetry." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 30, 2014
3.5/5 42% Words And Pictures (2014) " Binoche's big throaty laugh is heard to appealing effect and Owen's performance has more depth to it than anything I've seen from him before. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 14, 2014
4/5 91% Charlie's Country " It's de Heer's triumph. Most of his films have been about outsiders and this one is the most eloquent of all, a poignant expression of his talents as a filmmaker and his sensitivity and generosity as a human being. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 14, 2014
1.5/5 41% The Face of Love (2014) " There is something very dispiriting in watching talent [Ed Harris & Annette Bening] struggling to save something as ill-conceived as this. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 4, 2014
2.5/5 100% My Sweet Pepper Land " Admittedly, the denouement is slightly off the pace and it all fades to an anticlimax, but wide blue skies, craggy bluffs and sure-footed mountain ponies are all put to good use." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 19, 2014
3/5 100% The Babadook (2014) " I'm no fan of horror movies but this one delivers a convincingly powerful study in domestic havoc. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 19, 2014
3.5/5 88% Chef (2014) " You become so thoroughly steeped in Casper's day-to-day routine that there are few dull spots. [And] John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale both help to keep the banter flowing and the whole thing rolls along with an unaffected and easygoing good humour." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 12, 2014
4.5/5 73% Healing " A prison story with a twist, it's set in the Victorian countryside and graced with moments of pastoral beauty, thanks to Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 7, 2014
4/5 83% Belle (2014) " It's fascinating to go into the Inns of Court and watch the landholders and the abolitionists battle it out before the unflappable Wilkinson, who really rises to the occasion as the most exalted legal brain in the land." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 7, 2014
2.5/5 19% Transcendence (2014) " With a script as loopy as this one, it pays to cast intelligent-looking actors. They can delude you into feeling as if you're watching something interesting. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
3.5/5 70% 52 Tuesdays " It's slow going at times but there's a nice balance to it and in the bravado Billie adopts as she attempts to find a way into the future, there's something both poignant and strangely gallant. Better still, she's "authentic". " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
3.5/5 87% Like Father, Like Son (2014) " There are times when the script seems just too schematic - as if Kore-eda has decided that we should all sit still while he lays out the nature versus nurture debate. Then the small truths which enrich each scene take over. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
2.5/5 24% The Other Woman (2014) " Everything in this movie is overcooked and pushed far beyond its power to amuse. In the end, it becomes a screeching bore." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted May 2, 2014
2.5/5 41% Divergent (2014) " The conflicts inherent in old-fashioned high school movies are accommodated, with bullying to stir the blood and romance to set the heart thumping. But Divergent's assimilation of all this fails to excite. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 9, 2014
3.5/5 79% Muppets Most Wanted (2014) " A lot of effort has gone into giving it the look and feel of a '60s heist movie. Sadly it had a disappointing opening at the US box office. It deserves better. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 9, 2014
3.5/5 95% The LEGO Movie (2014) " With all this going for the film, you can understand why Lego should be so pleased with it and why it's already had such world box-office success. But its relentless action and pounding soundtrack sent me out feeling battered rather than uplifted." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 2, 2014
3.5/5 75% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) " There's nothing inhibited about this cut and its parade of genitalia in close-up. Strip the plot down, or rather, dress it up, and it's about a quest." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Mar 26, 2014
3/5 52% Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) " You're swept along by Olanna and Odenigbo's efforts to keep one step ahead of the troops and the bombs. Any sense of the film's datedness is shaken off as the ferocious tribalism at the centre of the conflict finds its parallels in today's African wars." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Mar 26, 2014
4/5 99% Wadjda (2013) " It's a provocative but credible premise and in exploring it, Al Mansour has come up with an engagingly subversive character. Wadjda is a delight." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Mar 21, 2014
4.5/5 84% The Armstrong Lie (2013) " It's a meticulous examination of a particularly ruthless brand of power game-playing." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Mar 11, 2014
3/5 88% Hannah Arendt (2013) " Von Trotta's style is pretty stolid. She aims for documentary thoroughness rather than exhilarating drama. Nonetheless, it's good to see a film that gets its narrative charge from the ferment of intellectual debate. It's a rare breed." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Mar 11, 2014
3/5 82% Tracks (2014) " The film falls short when it comes to evoking the loneliness of being surrounded by all that space." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Mar 4, 2014
4/5 93% All Is Lost (2013) " Chandor has produced a minimalist gem." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Feb 28, 2014
3.5/5 66% The Railway Man (2014) " The film strains so hard trying to sustain the emotional intensity that Teplitzky has whipped up, that there's no energy left for the big finish. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Dec 23, 2013
4/5 97% Gravity (2013) " It's a technical marvel -- appropriately breathtaking in its evocation of space's vastness and the buffeting suffered by the two astronauts in their efforts to anchor themselves to something solid. But Cuaron also knows how suspense works." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Dec 18, 2013
3.5/5 65% Thor: The Dark World (2013) " Comic-book superheroes have become so angst-ridden in recent years it's a relief to be around one who has hung on to his sense of humour." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Dec 18, 2013
3.5/5 91% Mystery Road (2014) " Mystery Road's links to the classic Hollywood western are as obvious as its hero's cowboy boots and white hat but they do nothing to diminish its Australianness. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Dec 17, 2013
3/5 17% Zambezia (2013) " In the end, the cast proves to be too big, the storyline too muddled." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Apr 15, 2013
3.5/5 94% Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (2012) " She wanted you to look and look again, and this film is full of images which make you do just that. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Nov 22, 2012
4/5 82% Shadow Dancer (2013) " Shadow Dancer is a quietly devastating story of the poisonous effect of northern Irish politics on the life of a single family. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 12, 2012
3/5 21% Taken 2 (2012) " This one was done by the aptly named Olivier Megaton, and he's done well with his brief, which requires him to keep the action flowing seamlessly and preposterously while showing off as many tourist sites as possible. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Oct 4, 2012
2/5 61% Tai Chi Zero (2012) " None of this is as enchanting as it wants to be -- despite Fung's energetic mixing of styles and references. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 27, 2012
3/5 47% Bait (2012) " The film is a throwback to the heyday of the Australian exploitation movie. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 20, 2012
3.5/5 79% Ruby Sparks (2012) " So it falls short - which makes it an especially frustrating experience. There's so much to like and so many potentially interesting ideas to embrace that I really wanted it to work. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 20, 2012
3.5/5 26% Kath & Kimderella (2012) " Not since Edna Everage's first film appearance 40 years ago in Bruce Beresford's The Adventures of Barry McKenzie has Australian suburbia been so thoroughly scrutinised, analysed and satirised. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Sep 6, 2012
3.5/5 57% Love (2011) " Eubank is not strong on literal explanations - or on the science underpinning his story. He is an impressionist, alert to the waves of nostalgia that can be unleashed by a single visual metaphor." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 30, 2012
4/5 94% Moonrise Kingdom (2012) " There are many echoes of Anderson's earlier films, particularly Rushmore and Tenenbaums. He's an unapologetic romantic and Moonrise Kingdom is a study in wish-fulfillment. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 30, 2012
2/5 30% Total Recall (2012) " The physical glory goes to Beckinsale and Biel who slug it out ferociously. The only problem is that in the clinches it's difficult to tell them apart. Not that it matters. Nothing does. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 23, 2012
3.5/5 91% The Sapphires (2013) " It is a film with a way of disarming your critical faculties." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Aug 10, 2012
3.5/5 73% The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) " It works well, without being quite good enough to banish the thought that it's all about the box office. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jul 5, 2012
3/5 34% Swerve (2013) " Once that body tumbles down the mine shaft, we're in a different -- and inferior -- movie." — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 8, 2012
3/5 67% Friends With Kids (2012) " There's much to like here but it's a bumpy ride and for all its banter, it takes itself very seriously. " — Sydney Morning Herald
Posted Jun 6, 2012
Showing 1 - 50 of 379
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