Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Amy Nicholson is the host of the podcast "Unspooled" and critic for KPCC's Film Week. Formerly, she was the chief film critic for MTV News and LA Weekly. Her other credits include the New York Times, Variety, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and the Guardian, as well as the podcast miniseries "Zoom," "The Canon," "Quentin Tarantino Presents," "Halloween Unmasked," and "Skillset." She has served on the jury for Sundance and SXSW, and screened submissions for Sundance, AFI, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Amy holds a double B.A. in Film Studies and Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma as well as a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. Her first book, "Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor," was published by Cahiers du Cinema, and her second, "Extra Girls," will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2022. Reach her on Twitter at @theamynicholson.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
D+ 43% South of Heaven (2021) A Texas melodrama that's as convincing as a taxidermied jackalope - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2021
B- 61% Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) This is, in essence, a slapstick blood bath about two threesomes both in desperate need of throuples therapy. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2021
88% Wife of a Spy (Supai no tsuma) (2021) It's a great movie about fear, paranoia, and trying to do the right thing. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
21% The Starling (2021) Everything in this film is a symbol... It feels like a waste. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
96% I'm Your Man (2021) I appreciate that this film talks about the need for sadness and disorder to make a perfect human life. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
90% My Little Pony: A New Generation (2021) I don't know if I respect what this movie is doing, but I appreciate the absurdity with which they do it. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
61% Birds of Paradise (2021) High class trash... It is a film that you don't necessarily feel proud of yourself for enjoying as much as you do. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
30% Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Once you turn on this character, the whole movie becomes unbearable and repellant. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
72% The Guilty (2021) I appreciate that this is a film with a lot of tension. Antoine Fuqua does what he can to poke holes into this idea of "the one cop who can save the day," and he just has a great actor here in Jake Gyllenhaal. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2021
B- 47% Queenpins (2021) Gaudet and Pullapilly argue, cheekily and convincingly, that the real crooks are the unseen conglomerates who've created a society that devalues products and their consumers. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2021
B- 44% Kate (2021) Winstead makes you believe, however improbably, that if a woman like Kate actually existed outside a screenwriter's imagination, she wouldn't be far off from this portrayal: isolated, mule-headed and ready for a change. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2021
70% Cryptozoo (2021) Its ugliness I find to be deliberate, and there are beautiful moments... [Cryptozoo] is a tiny bit of a mess, but I admired a lot of it. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
35% White As Snow (Blanche comme neige) (2021) So lazily constructed that I was not sure where it was going for the longest time. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
98% Days (Rizi) (2021) There are no subtitles here, but subtitles also feel unnecessary because it's a really immersive experience. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
41% Flag Day (2021) It has so much intimacy to it. You can feel how Sean Penn, the director, is in awe of his daughter. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
87% The Night House (2021) It never really comes to fruition and I felt frustrated by the end. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
37% Reminiscence (2021) It wants to be Chinatown meets Blade Runner, but it has about the worst dialogue I've heard in a film in forever. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2021
B+ 82% Whirlybird (2021) A fascinating insight into how individual choices can shape the news. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2021
97% The Boy Behind the Door (2020) This is the most nerve-wracking small horror film that I have seen in a very, very long time. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
67% The Exchange (2021) It's like they resurrected the zombie of Better off Dead... It's a treat. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
100% Sabaya (2021) It's a real heartbreaker, and I'm glad it exists. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
88% The Green Knight (2021) This movie has such an energy to it, your attention is commanded throughout. And I felt very convinced that Dev Patel is a movie star. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
75% Stillwater (2021) This is a movie where I couldn't find my footing for a long time, but I found myself thinking about it a lot. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
62% Jungle Cruise (2021) I'm impressed that it wasn't dumb. It's just energetic; I think Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Emily Blunt have an okay chemistry... But Blunt here is great. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
58% Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) It wants to be colorful and candy-coated, but it doesn't have enough personality to deserve the costuming and design that it has. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
No Score Yet Distant Journey (1949) Not only does this film have an amazing immediacy to it, but it is shot stunningly. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
88% Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021) As far as the summer camp genre goes, this is one of the better ones. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
90% Scales (Sayidat Al Bahr) (2021) This is a stunning, stripped-down fable... It doesn't feel like a heavy handed metaphor -- just a beautiful art film. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
80% Summertime (2021) It feels like Slacker for a new generation, which I really appreciated... This feels like one of the most L.A. films I've ever seen. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
79% Black Widow (2021) I appreciate the way that Cate Shortland adapts herself well to an action film... This is one of the individual [Marvel Cinematic Universe] films that I would keep. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
B- 26% Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) Did the Goon Squad just dunk on LeBron James? Who cares when our eyeballs are busy identifying a group of rowdy fans as the Droogs from "A Clockwork Orange." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
B- 53% First Date (2021) A barrage of gunfire and wah-wah guitars, plus a surprising amount of novelty and heart for a film that can feel as if it's a road trip through the directors' inspirations. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
B- 58% Fathom (2021) The doc feels like science-fiction without the fiction. Swap whales for aliens and these two doctors aglow with the thrill of discovery could double for Jodie Foster in "Contact" or Amy Adams in "Arrival." - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
C+ 88% Skater Girl (2021) There will be no kick-flipping of clichés in Makijany's script. What's novel are simply her images of Prerna - whose name means "inspiration" - zipping through her village's curved alleyways and dusty marketplace - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
C+ 35% America: The Motion Picture (2021) A rowdy sendup of the country's id. Eagles scream. "Free Bird" wails. Paul Bunyan boxes Big Ben. And in a nod to America's ill-informed history classes, Washington also stutters his goal to do "something about taxation?" - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
91% Rebel Hearts (2021) It's just a fantastic story that's really well researched... It has so much style and fun. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
98% Sweat (2020) It's really great portrait that adds a bit of empathy to social media users. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
88% Zola (2021) This film doesn't quite know how to navigate the shift from quirky Instagram clap-back to actually bearing witness to the darkness that it does wind up bearing witness to. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
99% Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) This footage was never seen for 50 years, and it's lovely to have it unearthed... My only quibble is that I wanted to watch all six weekends. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
55% Flashback (2020) Pretty boring! - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
47% Bad Tales (Favolacce) (2020) I have absolutely no idea what this film is trying to say, which is a disappointment because it has a fascinating framing device. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
55% Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet (2021) I lost my trust for this film. I don't want to be mad at a documentary I agree with, but I don't know who this is for. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
89% Undine (2020) I don't think this film came together to a point for a Christian Petzold film. I was pretty disappointed. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
23% Gully (2019) The plot here didn't work for me, but I really adore this cast and I think this director will make something great. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
93% All Light, Everywhere (2021) It's an incredibly complicated, chewy, and wonderful documentary. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
49% Spirit Untamed (2021) I can picture the 10-year-old girls at a slumber party for whom this movie would be the biggest hit, and I hope their parents rent it for them. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
55% The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) I don't find these films frightening, but the Warrens as a couple -- with their daffy, retro updos that look quasi-Victorian and Brady Bunch -- have grown on me by this point. They're just dorky, and I like watching them hang out. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
67% Take Out Girl (2019) Glower-y nonsense that tries to pass itself off as a slice of life. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
96% Riders of Justice (2021) It's really smart. This is a really enjoyable film. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
58% Georgetown (2019) It's silly, but watching Vanessa Redgrave get wooed by a younger man -- Christoph Waltz is laying on the charm -- is nice. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021