Alan Scherstuhl

Alan Scherstuhl
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Alan Scherstuhl is film editor at the Village Voice. He also covers books, music, and other matters for the Voice, in addition to writing Studies in Crap, his ongoing humor column about bizarre books and ephemera found at junkshops. He is on Twitter at @studiesincrap.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Leder's film never lets us forget that it's a feel-good Hollywood fantasy "inspired" by real life, but there's a heart thumping beneath the gloss, with some fire in its blood - and some hurt, too. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
33% Welcome to Marwen (2018) At its worst, Zemeckis' Marwen isn't an exploration of the limits of the imaginations of Zemeckis' generation of moviemakers - it's an example of it. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
65% Aquaman (2018) [Aquaman[ has seven seas' worth of the simpler kind of wonder, the razzle-dazzle imaginative kind. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Newsie dancing and performing bicycle tricks. Those spoonfuls of sugar help the plotty, predictable lows go down. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
82% Ben is Back (2018) Ben Is Back's pained heart is a flinty, confident Julia Roberts character realizing at last that there are some problems she can't conquer. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
26% Mortal Engines (2018) This adaptation lurches too abruptly from set piece to set piece to make the basics clear, and between the occasional bursts of wonder, I found the film too dark and uninviting to command my full attention. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) It's a film of two faces, one exposed and glowing, the other blotted out entirely, its vulnerability painted over. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Its funky pulse, vibrant cartooning and neon-graffiti aesthetic make the other movies about Marvel superheroes look staid and safe by comparison. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
97% Schindler's List (1993) Schindler's List is monumental because it demands that we imagine the abominable, but it's great because of its creator's conviction that to ignore injustice is to sanction it. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
51% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) I found Mowgli magnificent, the best kiddo adventure movie I've seen this year, a spirited pulp extravaganza of surprising thematic weight. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
89% Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018) Happy as Lazzaro offers no explanations for its disruptions of time and space, for its jolting inconsistencies, for its baldly symbolic surprises or even for its characters' continued hopefulness. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
100% United Skates (2018) Round and round it flows - why not jump on in? - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
75% The Mercy (2018) Here's a man-vs.-nature sailing story with a significant difference. Rather than a rousing testament to the human spirit, James Marsh's The Mercy examines a failure to triumph, the kind of tragedy that rarely gets blown up into a movie. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
84% Creed II (2018) Creed II does have a pulse, even if you know almost everything that's going to happen a couple of breaths before it does. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) At Eternity's Gate is committed to what its subject saw - how its subject saw - rather than just how commandingly its star reels through his big speeches. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
90% A Private War (2018) Hard-edged and harrowed, Rosamund Pike is magnificent in A Private War. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
74% Anchor and Hope (2018) Too often, viewers just have to take a movie love story's word for it that its characters actually belong together. Not so in Carlos Marques-Marcet's loose, observant Anchor and Hope. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
73% Chef Flynn (2018) What sets this lively, engaging doc apart is that we see Flynn become a culinary star through the eyes of his mother. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
86% Under the Wire (2018) The film unfolds as a sort of first-person procedural, a vivid step-by-step account of a reporting trip to hell. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
62% Outlaw King (2018) Mel Gibson's film isn't just this movie's unofficial prequel: It's the larger animal upon which this one is a parasite. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
90% Searching for Ingmar Bergman (Ingmar Bergman - Vermächtnis eines Jahrhundertgenies) (2018) Little here will surprise cineastes but much of it will charm them. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
22% River Runs Red (2018) The acting is stiff, the pacing sluggish, the framing uncertain, the music an intrusive mush and the scenario schematic. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
73% El Angel (El ángel) (2018) Ortega and Ferro portray this gorgeous sociopath as utterly disaffected, a young man turned on mostly by desires he can't quite articulate, even to other criminals. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
100% Miss Kiet's Children (2017) Much like a day at elementary school, this verite wonder called Miss Kiet's Children is exhausting, heartening, raucous, tender, occasionally dull, sometimes tearful and ultimately a vital public good. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
95% This Is Congo (2018) McCabe and his editor, Alyse Ardell Spiegel, sketch out a searing abbreviated history of the country, one of several flourishes distinguishing a film that's brisk in metabolism but rich in urgent incident. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Director Edgerton resists the impulse toward satire, toward scoring laughs off right-wing kookery. - Houston Press EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) The swift yet lengthy Bohemian Rhapsody often verges on becoming something as thrilling as Queen itself - and then crashes back into the off-putting, the ill-considered or the ridiculous. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
98% On Her Shoulders (2018) Like its subject's life, Alexandria Bombach's On Her Shoulders is a sometimes wearying blur of formal meetings, press appearances and glad-handing encounters with well-meaning officials. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
100% A Bread Factory, Part Two: Walk with Me a While (2018) If Part One centered on the role of the arts in the lives of these characters and their community, Part Two finds their lives becoming art. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
100% A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold (2018) A sort of cinematic state-of-the-arts speech, is endlessly warm, playful and lovable, a sprawling and prankish hangout comedy with no clear precedent. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
No Score Yet London Fields (2018) It dashes joylessly through dense material, too quickly for individual moments to register, much less resonate. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
92% The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) It's a relaxed study of greatness, of exquisite physical comedy, of how'd-he-do-that stuntwork, of a vigorous cinema artist who saw new and enduring possibilities for his medium. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
100% Transformer (2018) Overall, though, Del Monte has crafted a warm portrait of the birth of a woman from a man who found that he had even more strength than he ever realized. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
94% Wildlife (2018) Dano's film is shrewd and exacting, composed with rigor yet alert to the rhythms of its performers. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
87% What They Had (2018) This brittle and cantankerous comic drama, written and directed by actress Elizabeth Chomko and boasting a top-shelf cast, zeroes in on wrenching choices millions of adults face as their parents age: how to care for them while still living a life. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
62% The Oath (2018) I somehow never once found myself tempted to sneak a peek at my phone to check in on our real American hellscape. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
91% The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) With piercing hilarity, The Kindergarten Teacher dares us to work out for ourselves, from moment to moment, whether Lisa is a hero, a monster, or something in between. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
90% The Sentence (2018) Here's a true surprise in 2018: a documentary about an American injustice that will likely leave you, by its end, blubbering tears of relieved joy. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
32% Loving Pablo (2018) A lavishly entertaining, deeply amoral drug-life biopic that's never believable for a second. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) What fun is a puzzle box with contents that are so common? - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
97% The Hate U Give (2018) The film runs 132 minutes, but everything in it is vital. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) A pleasurably breezy crime story and character study. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
94% Private Life (2018) Jenkins allows both of her leads actually to be leads: They share the film and most scenes, and much of its vital power arises from the connection between them. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
32% Loving Pablo (2018) More a greatest hits than a story, the kind of radically compressed life-of-a-legend movie where everything happens in a giddy, ridiculous gush. - Miami New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
89% Studio 54 (2018) This all makes for a shallow but vivid history. - New Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
99% Science Fair (2018) Science Fair has been engineered to please crowds, and at that it's a rousing success. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
87% Colette (2018) Colette has little to tell us about actual writing, the endless hours spent toiling with the page, but it's electric on the subject of how the world was changing - and how she seized from the chaos the life that she truly wanted. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
99% Free Solo (2018) To watch Honnold think through each ledge of his climbs can stop the heart; to watch him navigate human emotion might melt it. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
67% American Chaos (2018) The film, I suspect, will have some minor historical value, but I fear that watching Stern well up on election night won't offer much insight to people alive now. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
66% Lizzie (2018) While dutifully feminist in its outlook, the film strips Lizzie while never laying her bare. - Denver Westword EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018