A.A. Dowd

A.A. Dowd
A.A. Dowd's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): AV Club Time Out Time Out Chicago

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B- 84% Crawl (2019) Crawl is dumb genre fun, but it's not too dumb... If any one thing holds back this modest, skillfully made potboiler from true B-movie glory, it's the human drama. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2019
D+ 56% The Lion King (2019) It's as if every creative decision were subordinate to the film's misguided insistence on realism, on keeping the mannerisms and movements of these magically intelligent creatures "believable." - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
C- 42% Stuber (2019) The demands of action and comedy, however, are apparently much too great a weight for this action-comedy to Lyft. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
B+ 82% Midsommar (2019) This is, in other words, a less perfectly crafted nightmare than Aster's last one. But there's a deranged integrity to its sprawl, and to the filmmaker's willingness to embrace the darkest, most unsparing aspects of human desire. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
C+ 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) There's just little here that the X-Men series hasn't shown audiences before. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
C+ 79% The Traitor (2019) There's just no real perspective on Buscetta, which separates this brisk but uninvolving history lesson from the truly great mob movies. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
D 10% Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo (2019) In practice, however, the film is a slog of epic proportions, its trancelike repetitiveness threatening to destroy this critic's fragile grasp on time itself, ushering me into a new plane of star-child boredom. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B 64% Frankie (2019) The whole thing struck me as pleasant, nicely judged, and unremarkable, right up to a final shot so graceful and moving that it sent waves of poignancy backwards through the movie. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
C- 51% Matthias and Maxime (2019) There was a time when I used to wish that Dolan would settle down a little-the manic energy of his work could be exhausting. But if this is the alternative, I take it all back. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B- 52% Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, une lumière) (2019) You have to go back to basically the start of the French filmmaker's career to find him working in such a stylistically restrained register. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
A- 100% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Shifts tonal gears in total service of its class politics, infecting the film's breezy dark-comedy with notes of rage and melancholy. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B+ 92% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Even its missteps are kind of fascinating, as an expression of Tarantino's generational unease. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
B+ 98% The Lighthouse (2019) Dafoe, especially, digs his maw deep into Eggers' stylishly, flavorfully archaic dialogue, in a performance that suggests a live-action version of the sea captain from The Simpsons. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
A- 100% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) Far from some stuffy costume drama, it's a deeply stirring romance with a modern soul, and also a forcefully, compassionately feminist one... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
B- 52% Young Ahmed (Le jeune Ahmed) (2019) It's reasonably gripping on a scene-by-scene level, and about as starkly unsentimental as any of the Dardennes' lean, urgent moral thrillers. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
C+ 74% A Hidden Life (Une vie cachée) (2019) We're meant, I think, to see A Hidden Life as a story of a man fighting to stay true to his beliefs, but Malick never successfully suggests any real temptation or doubt... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
B 85% The Whistlers (2019) A major change of pace for director and star alike. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
B+ 95% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2019) In a movie where just about every scene contains some inventive technique or choice, I was most taken with the way Diao boldly abstracts some of his action... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
B 92% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) There's plenty to admire, including the lead performance. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
B+ 68% Little Joe (2019) Creepy for how mundanely uncreepy it plays its scenario, Little Joe is an existential horror movie about our inability to understand our own complicated emotions, and the allure of relenting to a kind of thoughtless, unburdened happiness. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
B+ 100% Beanpole (Dylda) (2019) Balagov doesn't see his characters just as victims. He's as interested in their pathologies as he is in their dire circumstances. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
B- 89% Atlantics (Atlantique) (2019) Most successful as a look at a particular milieu, which makes one wonder if Diop might have been better off just making a longer nonfiction film on the subject. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
B 90% Zombi Child (2019) Does this strange brew entirely coalesce? Maybe not, but what it has going for it is Bonello's typically seductive craftsmanship... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
C+ 75% Sorry We Missed You (2019) Loach doesn't know when to say when. He continues to labor under the misconception that he has to drop the whole weight of the world onto his characters... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
B- 73% Les Misérables (2019) While I admired the one-day-in-David-Ayer-hell energy of the movie, I also found it bombastic and contrived. It's the police drama as police baton. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
B+ 87% Nighthawk (Bacurau) (2019) This truly unhinged genre fusion initially promises a very different kind of movie than what it becomes. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
B 83% Deerskin (Le daim) (2019) Deerskin is goofing on the sometimes-wide chasm separating the perception of a filmmaker's vision and the less sophisticated reality of it. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
C 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) The Dead Don't Die mostly settles for broad, glib political commentary. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
B+ 89% The Souvenir (2019) Without quite suggesting that heartache breeds instant maturity, The Souvenir itself stands as a kind of rebuttal to her youthful pretensions and aspirations. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
C 81% Long Shot (2019) But laziness, a common flaw of this star's man-child characters, seeps into the whole movie: It can't be bothered to convince us that this particular goofball could or even should win the girl. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
B- 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) An earnest, overstuffed, fitfully funny superhero melodrama, Endgame hits the buttons it wants to hit, and sometimes affectingly. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
B+ 84% Her Smell (2019) If the writer-director has a gift, it's for orchestrating caustic confrontation, and for a while, that's mainly what Her Smell offers, impressively and at length. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
C+ 57% Pet Sematary (2019) This may look like the same story, but the soul of it is missing-lost on the way out of the ground. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
B- 55% The Beach Bum (2019) This may be Korine's most accessible and deceptively lighthearted movie. But it only looks like a goof. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
B+ 94% Us (2019) It's a privilege to step back into the funhouse of [Peele's] imagination. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
B 74% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) This is an ugly, borderline vile piece of work. Thing is, it's also been made with craft, wit, and a frankly exhilarating disregard for how films like this are supposed to operate, how they usually sound and move. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
C 44% Captive State (2019) It's really rather impressive, the extent to which Captive State sucks everything even potentially fun out of the alien-invasion genre. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
C+ 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The Hidden World doesn't really stop giving you lovely things to gawk at. But as an act of storytelling, it's curiously perfunctory, never rising to the level of effort and care put into creating its cornucopia of visual pleasures. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
B- 69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) The happy surprise of Happy Death Day 2U is that it does find ways to tweak the formula of its predecessor, to break the cycle of franchise redundancy. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
C+ 80% Late Night (2019) They never quite cohere, and both ultimately lack the very bite missing from Katherine's fictional talk show-the closest to a truly withering gag here is Ike Barinholtz's amusing Dane Cook impersonation, though even that's a little past its sell date. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
B- 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) [A] shamelessly formulaic but fairly irresistible crowd-pleaser with a weird pedigree. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
B+ 81% The Lodge (2019) Fiala and Franz know how to draw out the unease through environment, in this case creating a sleepless atmosphere though the low light flowing into their snowbound setting. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
B 92% High Flying Bird (2019) By the end, Soderbergh has pulled off a kind of magic trick, bringing everything together in satisfying Ocean's fashion while acknowledging that the underlying problem-the misdistribution of power and profit in pro basketball-remains unsolved. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
B- 100% Honey Boy (2019) As a glorified form of drama therapy, Honey Boy is fascinating. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
C 56% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Extremely Wicked can't seem to commit to its ostensibly limited POV. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
B- 61% Native Son (2019) It's a provocative experiment. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
B- 77% The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) [I]n laying out the trajectory of the Theranos scam, Gibney illuminates the dark side of America's obsession with self-made success, tying its cautionary tale of moxie-without-results into a larger indictment of Silicon Valley. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
B+ 81% The Nightingale (2019) [A] ceaseless, numbing brutality-a Western revenge yarn of such heightened cruelty and suffering that it basically demands to be read as allegory. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
C+ 20% Serenity (2019) But though Serenity is blessed with a goofily enjoyable high concept, it doesn't exploit it very effectively. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
B- 38% Glass (2019) If Unbreakable was ahead of the curve, arriving as it did on the cusp of the superhero-movie boom, then Shyamalan's belated new sequel, Glass, is perversely and even admirably out of step. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019