Al Alexander

Al Alexander
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Al has been a film critic for The Patriot Ledger in suburban Boston since 1988, and the senior film critic there since 2001. His reviews also appear in newspapers associated with the nationwide Gannett chain. He is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association.
Publications: The Patriot Ledger

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
C 37% Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Dripping with phony sentiment and enough garish platitudes to provoke nausea, the film version of the Tony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is utterly bereft of lyricism. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2021
B 69% The Nowhere Inn (2021) Albeit undeniably entertaining, too often what we witness is too clever for its own good, too on the nose and too predictable. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2021
B- 43% Cinderella (2021) What it lacks in heart and conviction it compensates handsomely via eye-popping costumes by Ellen Mirojnick and dazzling choreography by Ashley Wallen and Jenny Griffin. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2021
B+ 84% Candyman (2021) Manages to both pay homage and steering the story in thrilling new directions. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2021
B 71% Together (2021) It's clumsy, yes, but it provides a valuable glimpse at where we stand, and where we're headed, by bravely ripping off all our masks. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2021
B 96% CODA (2021) In pleading her case for the deaf, [Sian] Heder is mostly effective. You only wish she'd made a film as gritty as the people and places she's championing. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2021
B+ 70% Annette (2021) It's an exciting, no-holds-barred style of filmmaking that's wholly original and refreshing in its willingness to shatter barriers and yet remain true to the essence of its art. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2021
A- 91% Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021) Although what Neville uncovers won't surprise you; it definitely moves you. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2021
A- 100% The One and Only Dick Gregory (2021) Gregory's story [is] both inspiring and fascinating. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2021
C 50% Old (2021) It's "Cocoon" in reverse with good actors doing bad work in service of a beach day gone fatally awry. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2021
B+ 93% Val (2021) "Val" renders you empathetic toward a man who "had it all" one minute and lost it all the next. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2021
B- 62% Jungle Cruise (2021) For the most part, the movie's two luminous stars share just enough wattage to light the screen with cheeky banter and faint touches of a potentially sizzling romance. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2021
A- 96% Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021) It leaves you amazed that the multi-hyphenate star -- actor, singer, dancer -- has never suppressed that effervescent smile in the face of decades of racism, type-casting and a rape. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2021
C- 88% Zola (2021) It's not just the way it crawls under your skin with its paean to one misguided woman's self-involvement; it's also the idea that a nation of social media addicts would find this rambling crime spree of any importance. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2021
A 99% Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) A moving, highly entertaining bit of "lost footage" Ahmir Thompson has skillfully weaved into a glorious tapestry of a place and time when, as the Rev. Al Sharpton astutely notes, was "when the Negro died and Black was born." - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2021
C 66% Fatherhood (2021) Some, no doubt, will slurp this sap up. Not me. It gave my jaded ticker nothing but heartburn. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
B+ 91% Luca (2021) It rarely reaches the heights of other Pixar gems, but the clever melding of surf and turf entices with its own share of pleasures; each lure so colorful and scrumptious, you swallow it hook, line and sinker. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
D 16% Infinite (2021) I don't want to leave the impression "Infinite" is bad because in actuality, it's purely awful, a dopey actionioner filled with wonky science, inane dialogue and a plot so laughable it leaves you in hysterics. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2021
B 49% Spirit Untamed (2021) A smooth ride for moviegoers hungering for an animated tale unburdened by strained pop-cultural references and scatological humor. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2021
C-- 74% Cruella (2021) This clogged-up mess doesn't need two Emmas. It needs an enema. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2021
C 26% The Woman in the Window (2021) It's all "what you see is what you get." And what's to be gotten is precariously thin, beginning with Adams' failure to render her schizoid character the least bit compelling. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2021
C 75% The Boy from Medellín (2021) "The Boy from Medellin" is all glitz and little substance. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
B- 66% Wrath of Man (2021) It's entertaining, to be sure, in a sick sort of way. But it's also empty and instantly forgettable. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
B- 44% Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) Jordan is a bonafide movie star with charisma, class and enough acting chops to sell any flick, even one as rote as this one. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
B 90% Together Together (2021) A refreshingly different perspective of male-female relationships in which hormones and neurotransmitters aren't nearly as important as empathy and understanding. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
A- 100% 2021 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action (2021) A compelling set of nominees topped by the slick and timely "Two Distant Strangers." - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
B- 100% 2021 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2021) A below-par set of nominees with the poignant "Colette" the standout. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
C 85% 2021 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation (2021) Other than the brilliant, deeply moving "If Anything Happens I Love You," this is a surprisingly weak bunch of shorts. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
B- 83% Olympia (2020) It's an all too conventional look at a highly unconventional woman. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
B- 37% Cherry (2021) Like a scrumptious looking sundae, the visuals are delicious in their appearance, but what lies beyond the aesthetics is just a lot of empty calories topped by a Cherry lacking both meaning and matter. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
B- 98% The Father (2021) "The Father" isn't always convincing, but Hopkins is recurrently fantastic. And watching him turn on a dime from charming and witty to nasty and belligerent is a marvel. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
B- 63% French Exit (2021) When you have Pfieffer in your corner spinning silk out of cliches, you simply can't resist taking the off-ramp to "French Exit," a glossy destination with just enough strange magic to fitfully enchant. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
B- 86% The Courier (2020) As mild-mannered salesman Greville Wynne, Cumberbatch sticks it to the commies with enough unassuming panache to stave off both nuclear war and the fallout of a banal script. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
C 26% Voyagers (2021) "Voyagers" is just another empty treatise on unbending order breeding deadly disorder. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
D 49% Coming 2 America (2021) Films just don't get cheesier than Eddie Murphy dusting off Akeem's royal mantle to deposit a No. 2 on his loyal fandom. Boy, does it stink! Would you expect anything more from a film featuring a farting lion? - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2021
A 94% Nomadland (2021) The focus is on McDormand's Fern ... but Zhao's valentine to the disenfranchised is inclusive and communal in every way America is not. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2021
B- 75% Pieces of a Woman (2020) What saves it are Kirby's outstanding interpretations of a woman who's lost not only her will to live, but to care. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2021
B- 75% The Mauritanian (2021) Rahim's turn as Salahi stands as a career-best, upstaging even Foster in snatching not just our attention, but our empathy for a credibly accused associate of Osama bin Laden. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
B 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) There are few revelations involved in King's telling of the life and death of Black Panther icon Fred Hampton, but it sufficiently motivates rage at the systemic racism that left a 21-year-old community organizer lying in a pool of blood. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
A- 98% Minari (2020) The movie is bittersweet but affirming. But even more impressive is its timeliness . . . as immigrants are under assault by a seemingly growing gaggle of white supremacists. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
B 98% Two of Us (Deux) (2021) A terrific love story in which amour not only conquers, it heals. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2021
B- 57% Malcolm & Marie (2021) The actors are constantly operating in the considerable shadows of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, as they attempt to "Woolf" down well-chewed scenery. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B+ 89% Supernova (2021) The obviousness of the big reveal is indicative of the story's precise clockwork. But it's no less powerful in its impact, as it boldly asks what use is love and friendship without memory. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
A- 93% Saint Maud (2020) Maud's fall from grace is a riveting spectacle for the senses. It's shocking and disturbing, but it's often oddly beautiful. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
B+ 91% The White Tiger (2020) It's thrilling. But it's foremost a cautionary tale of what can happen when you spat upon a certain class of people once too often. It can get ugly, fast. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
B+ 99% MLK/FBI (2021) It's the story of two men, King and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in which resentment and jealousy fueled an unprecedented abuse of power by the latter upon the former. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
B+ 98% One Night in Miami (2020) It's an engaging mix of fine acting and timely ideas, all in service of a frank examination of race in America, a nation where principles of equality too often get forgotten. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
B 93% Herself (2021) Dunne holds you firmly in her grip as both a writer and actress possessing an intense passion for speaking up for the thousands of voiceless women lacking her bully pulpit. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
B+ 84% Us Kids (2021) What Snyder -- in her follow-up to the even more wrenching "Newtown" -- coaxes from the Parkland kids isn't so much their newfound activism, but the deeply submerged grief and sorrow they refuse to let rise to the surface. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
B 96% Zappa (2020) An often fascinating career retrospective chronicling the unlikeliest of American rock stars, a living, breathing contradiction in every aspect of his 52 too-short years on Earth. - The Patriot Ledger EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020