Alissa Simon

Alissa Simon
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Variety, Sight & Sound

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet Blue Box (2021) This multi-layered documentary will inspire much debate and deserves wide distribution. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2021
67% My Wonderful Wanda (Wanda, Mein Wunder) (2021) It's an engaging, mostly well-acted tale, full of surprising twists, even if some seem a bit too on the nose. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
34% Six Minutes to Midnight (2021) Unfortunately, the school's actual history remains more fascinating than the narrative written by Izzard, Celyn and Goddard. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2021
50% The Good Traitor (2020) Fascinating backroom politics circa WWII are undermined by banal marital melodrama in Danish director Christina Rosendahl's "The Good Traitor," resulting in a so-so period drama that raises more questions than it answers. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2021
94% The Man Who Sold His Skin (2021) On the whole, this is a stimulating work that highlights important issues and once again confirms Ben Hania as a rising talent. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
90% Rams (2021) Of course, the film's main selling point is the particular chemistry of its two leads. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
No Score Yet Broken Keys (2020) Keyrouz displays a talent for helming action and definitely knows how to build tension. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
No Score Yet My Favorite War (2020) Combines distinctive cutout animation with family photos and archival footage to forge a look at an authoritarian society through a young girl's eyes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
73% Blizzard of Souls (The Rifleman) (Dveselu putenis) (2019) A naïve teenager comes of age amid the carnage of World War I's Eastern Front in this propulsive adaptation of Aleksandrs Grins' 1934 patriotic classic "Blizzard of Souls." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2021
71% Brave Miss World (2013) Linor Abargil bravely confronts her experience as a victim of sexual assault in an uplifting documentary that would benefit from a clearer focus and more precise assembly. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2020
No Score Yet Love It Was Not (2020) The result of long years of research, "Love It Was Not" is remarkable not only for its unusual central story and unique creative execution, but also for its extensive eyewitness testimonies. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
No Score Yet Focus, Grandma (Koncentrisi se, Baba) (2020) Although the storyline feels a tad familiar and the humor is less sharp than in alica's debut "Fuse," there is considerable pleasure in watching the talented players in the ensemble. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2020
No Score Yet Havel (2020) "Havel" doesn't let pesky facts get in the way of a good story. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2020
No Score Yet The Death of Cinema and My Father Too (Moto Shel Hakolnoa Veshel Aba Sheli Gam) (2020) Even though his ultimate concoction leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, it also provides a platform from which to consider what constitutes a cinematic memorial. And to think about cinema's capacity to turn back time, but inability to stop it. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2020
No Score Yet Picture a Scientist (2020) It might be a while before we instinctively picture a scientist as a woman. Still, this attractive, solidly-made documentary helps lead the way. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2020
25% The Price of Desire (2015) Sadly, the fact that Brady and Francesco Scianna, the actor portraying her lover Badovici evince absolutely no on-screen chemistry undercuts audience belief in their great passion. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2020
86% Moon Man (2013) Stephan Schesch's feature debut remains true to Ungerer's drawings, but the narrative has been expanded a tad beyond the patience of wee ones, and lacks enough satirical bite to make it a cult film for adults. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
50% The Mindfulness Movement (2020) Although the film doesn't go that deep... it could benefit from the curiosity of the anxious and distracted who are seeking tools to cope with stress. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2020
95% The Twentieth Century (2020) Even without prior knowledge of our neighbor to the north, it can be enjoyed for its combination of supreme creativity, jaw-dropping audacity and amusing tongue-in-cheek dialogue. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2020
100% Twilight's Kiss (Suk Suk) (2021) Strong performances by veterans Tai Bo and Ben Yuen make the protagonists' struggle concrete and affecting. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
77% H Is For Happiness (2019) Provides feel-good entertainment for the entire family without pandering - and definitely without sacrificing style or substance. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2020
No Score Yet Cook F**k Kill (2019) A playful, provocative exploration of family violence and dysfunction that uses repetition, transgression, black comedy, and folk tales to make its points. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2019
73% The Sleepwalkers (Los Sonámbulos) (2019) As the leads, the fierce Rivas totally convinces as the concerned mother, as does the stunning D'elía as the conflicted daughter. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
60% The Moneychanger (Así habló el cambista) (2019) A continent-hopping dramedy that's not very funny and never catches fire. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2019
81% Wet Season (2019) Without artificial-seeming contrivance, Chen masterfully builds resonance through rhyming scenes, repeated images and reoccurring dialogue. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
86% The County (Héradid) (2019) "The County" is full of feisty female energy and imagery, and sprinkled with rousing "you go girl!" comic moments. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
96% Incitement (2020) "Incitement" is a compelling watch... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
62% Edie (2019) The only thing that does not disappoint is the ravishing and varied landscape, even if it is shot a bit like a tourist board advertisement. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
100% Those Who Remained (Akik maradtak) (2020) Perceptively directed by Barnabás Tóth, it taps into a deep well of honestly earned emotion as it tells the story of two traumatized survivors whose relationship helps them to heal and provides them with someone to live for. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019
No Score Yet Let There Be Light (Nech je svetlo) (2019) Although some may be frustrated by former documentarian kop's observational rather than overtly critical view of his country's rising nationalism, the film raises important and provocative questions for which there are no easy answers. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
92% The Cat Rescuers (2019) While the production package is merely workman-like, the commitment, honesty and heart of the main interviewees makes the material compelling. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
71% The Other Story (2019) A smartly cast and smoothly directed drama... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
70% Homeward (Evge) (2019) In addition to being short on character development and narrative logic, the universe of the screenplay penned by helmer Aliev and Marysia Nikitiuk, from an idea by first A.D. Novruz Hikmet, is definitely a male chauvinist one. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
88% The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul) (2019) As a medium, animation suits this adaptation well; it would have been nearly impossible to shoot as live fiction or on location. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
92% The Unknown Saint (Le miracle du saint inconnu) (2019) A droll, entertaining, absurdist fable about spirituality and greed that signals an important new talent. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
94% A Regular Woman (Nur Eine Frau) (2020) Much more accomplished and watchable than Hormann's previous film about a real-life crime, "3096 Days," "A Regular Woman" owes much to its fine cast and impeccable technical package. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2019
80% Volcano (2018) An impressively shot drama marbled with welcome notes of absurdist comedy and wry humor... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
No Score Yet My Extraordinary Summer with Tess (Mijn bijzonder rare week met Tess) (2019) Straightforward youth cinema with surprising emotional depth. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
64% Ghost Fleet (2019) Kudos to Service and Waldron for their worthy efforts in bringing both a vile practice and an indispensable organization to public attention, but "Ghost Fleet" should not be considered the last word on either. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
No Score Yet Out of Tune (2019) Aided by notable production and sound design and a spot-on score, Aspöck achieves a tricky balance of tone and sets a snappy pace. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
100% Aurora (2019) It poignantly addresses some big themes - including the plight of asylum seekers and female alcoholism - while capturing the feelings of restlessness derived from being stuck in a remote place with a lack of opportunity. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
88% Let Me Fall (2018) Like Z's two previous features, it is strongly acted and sensitively directed. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
No Score Yet The Little Comrade (Seltsimees laps) (2018) An affecting and richly visualized coming-of-age story set in Soviet Estonia during the Stalinist terror of the 1950s. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
78% The Last Suit (El último traje) (2018) [A] touching, albeit occasionally heavy-handed, drama... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
No Score Yet Smuggling Hendrix (2018) [A] delightful, droll, and intelligent comedy... captures the absurdity and tragedy of a complicated political situation with a consistently light touch. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2018
No Score Yet Love 1. Dog (Dragoste 1: Câine) (2018) The fact that the screenplay leaves so many things undefined allows attentive viewers to become more involved in the story and fill in the narrative gaps in their own minds. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2018
82% Ruben Brandt, Collector (2019) While Krstić is especially good at providing noir atmosphere (jazzy, smoke-filled dives, ominous shadows, and references to Mike Hammer films), he positively excels at high-octane action. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
100% One Day (Egy nap) (2018) [An] intense, intimate work... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2018
No Score Yet The Gentle Indifference of the World (2018) Although Yerzhanov tries something new by gussying up the narrative with allusions to French New Wave amour fou and gangster noir, "Gentle Indifference" still feels like a slight knock off of his earlier work. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
97% Border (Gräns) (2018) An exciting, intelligent mix of romance, Nordic noir, social realism, and supernatural horror that defies and subverts genre conventions. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018