Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
74% Army Of The Dead (2021) Zack Snyder's new zombie movie works differently than his grand comic-book myths. It's a grim vision of modern dystopia, outrageous and not very funny. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
100% The Story of a Three-Day Pass (1968) The satire is realistic but affectionate. Their beneficent appearance provides an unexpected fount of goodness, determination, and survival. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
93% About Endlessness (Om det Oändliga) (2020) In 75 concise minutes, About Endlessness is completely provocative and satisfying... These scenes, stylizing the real and the imaginary, are light as air -- capriccios that go to the heart of human experience. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2021
63% French Exit (2021) Michelle Pfeiffer's role as Frances Price, a sardonic widow and mother living out her dwindling inheritance in French Exit, is the finest characterization in any movie from 2020. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2021
75% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Kirby's performance consists of mood scenes and attitude posturing, since Weber's clichéd dialogue is subordinate to the director's attempt at visual realism. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2021
98% One Night in Miami (2020) There's no sense of the spiritual and theological foundations of black American survival. Instead, One Night in Miami establishes a cult of celebrity activism, with Malcolm as its deity. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2021
75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) At least the F/X team had fun. All this technology is invested in monsters because Hollywood no longer knows how to do people. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
45% Shoplifters of the World (2021) Kijak's film may be a Smiths overdose for some, but it has the sweet spirit of indie rock, not mumblecore. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2021
71% Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) The essential point of Snyder rebounding from a career catastrophe and making it right is demonstrated in the personal dilemma of each superhero. ZSJL's restored vision reminds us of pop art's value. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
49% Coming 2 America (2021) Murphy and Brewer's affectionate comedy provides emotional sustenance about family and ethnicity. Coming 2 America is hilarious and sane -- and that goes deeper than pretend pride. Bravo, Eddie Murphy. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2021
90% Keep an Eye Out (Au Poste!) (2018) Dupieux's characters reveal idiosyncrasies that are original and recognizable rather than borrowed from movie archetypes. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
55% The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) In The United States vs. Billie Holiday, ignorance about jazz combines with brazen masochism. Reducing Holiday to a victim denies her ultimate victory. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2021
96% Mr. SOUL! (2020) Stuck between race entertainment and race dissent, as if radicalism is a public service, Mr. Soul is merely the latest example showing how documentaries have become a radical underground industry. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
94% Sin (Il Peccato) (2021) Sin may equal Andrei Tarkovsky's Alexander Rublev (1966), which Konchalovsky co-wrote, yet its best scenes grapple with the follies of Russian and Western sensibility while attempting to rationalize it. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
94% Dear Comrades! (2021) It's not a "masterpiece," but the reflection of political bewilderment makes Dear Comrades feel like a life lesson. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Audiences are left frustrated and susceptible to easy suasion; this superficial view of the past contributes to the national dismantling perpetuated by mainstream media. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
No Score Yet The Tree, The Mayor, and the Mediatheque (L'arbre, le maire et la médiathèque) (1998) Rohmer's mastery reveals characters speaking in the language of their times, then honestly confronting their own moral imperatives. The revelation is beautiful, beyond Hollywood's self-satisfied groupthink that passes for thoughtfulness. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
98% Minari (2020) Patronizing reviewers misread Chung's informal style as eloquence or charm. But for alert movie-watchers, this lack of affect feels unimaginative. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
95% Soul (2020) Not since the Beat movement has "soul" been so easily sold to all (meaning white hipsters). - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
89% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Whether dealing with bureaucrats or student zealots, the film has a perspective on social turmoil that falls short of the insightful panorama in the French AIDS-activism epic B.P.M. Sorkin's right-side-of-history saga is the bent history. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2021
97% Sound of Metal (2020) Sound of Metal shows the millennium's avoidance of soulful self-examination. Merely a showy cinematic tattoo, a narcissistic desecration of the body, Sound of Metal is a work of spiritual vacancy. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
90% Promising Young Woman (2020) Dark comic nihilism like this has appealed to hipsters ever since Gus Van Sant's To Die For, but now it resembles regime change -- confirming a major fault of the indie film movement that traded populist sentiment for elitist cynicism. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2021
94% Nomadland (2021) Nomadland looks both sociological and touristy; it's a visual lecture teaching America to pity itself. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Instead of the fraternal interplay that [Robert] Altman and [Darnell] Martin were so good at, Wolfe and Washington aim for predictable tragedy. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
98% Time (2020) The film is predicated on deliberate, phony artiness... Nothing like liberal condescension to turn what might have been a sincere vow into 100 percent pure cliché. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2020
70% Tenet (2020) Fact is, Tenet should not be taken more seriously than a James Bond movie. As an action film, it isn't nearly as skillful as a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible commodity. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) The tone of Wonder Woman 1984 wobbles from half-serious political satire to silly comedy. Jenkins parodies Back to the Future to depict Eighties kitsch, but her film ends up just being tacky like Richard Donner's 1978 Superman. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
79% True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) This pop-art method suggests Alex Cox crossed with Pier Paolo Pasolini. Kurzel has made a post-punk, post-hip-hop, post-neo-realist post-Western. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
No Score Yet With Drawn Arms (2020) Its arrangement of stock civil-rights clips leads to unoriginal conclusions, in fact twisting facts to fit an obvious agenda. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
83% Mank (2020) Mank is so bogus, and so lacks dramatic credibility, I'll skip the shoddy narrative to note the immediate offense of this folly. Fincher has chosen to honor Mankiewicz over director, co-writer, and lead actor Orson Welles as a celebrity-cult aberration. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
No Score Yet The Plot Against The President (2020) The Plot Against the President doesn't end with triumph and victory like Costa-Gavras's rousing Z. Neither does it end with vengeance like Red Dawn. Fact is, Milius has made a cliffhanger -- but with an informative explanation. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
87% THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (2020) The rich complexity of Coppola's vision was never fully appreciated -- not even by Coppola himself, who has altered it to fit contemporary negativity. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
31% Up Close & Personal (1996) Up Close and Personal isn't even a particularly good movie, but it's more revealing than most other films about the degradation of what used to be called "the press." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020
84% The Way I See It (2020) In his work and in this film, Souza conflates idolatry with history. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
56% Joan of Arc (Jeanne) (2019) For Dumont, revisionist history -- and revisionist filmmaking -- is not a matter of do-over. It's about starting over and for reasons that we must heed. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) The film shows shallow -- fake -- empathy with the Appalachian background that begins Vance's humble brag about leaving backwoods hollers and winding up at Yale University. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
69% Ammonite (2020) Ammonite's refinement merely lifts up the skirts of what is essentially romance-novel passion. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
83% Let Him Go (2020) Costner wears his familiar Western heartache, which was never any more fake. Bezucha's narrative comes down to this: superior but dissatisfied Americans vs. Hillary's "Deplorables" and Biden's "Chumps." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
43% Native Son (2020) Every close-up, even when scaling the top of a water tower to evoke James Cagney at the end of White Heat, conveys the no-hope fatality of the novel's tragedy. It's not so much poetic or expressive as banal. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2020
86% On The Rocks (2020) Bill Murray makes it work... Murray walks around carrying his own bon vivant spotlight. He's the life of the party, but with actorly gravitas. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
No Score Yet What Killed Michael Brown? (2020) What Killed Michael Brown? is a rare doc that opposes the media's current trend of fabricating race and "justice." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
85% Martin Eden (2020) This film's many literary and cinematic echoes may please the cognoscenti, but Jack London's heroic neophyte subject needs a more self-critical update. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
98% David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) American Utopia fails as entertainment because it comes across as a political lecture about national consciousness. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
29% Antebellum (2020) Antebellum is as risible as it is obvious exploitation. Its back-and-forth narrative is a Critical Race Theory bonanza, blending contemporary race-and-gender-awareness with disdain for American history. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2020
82% The Boys in the Band (2020) The Boys in the Band now exhibits the typical Millennial segregation of race, sex, and class experience. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2020
90% Kajillionaire (2020) It's a peculiarly class-based, bohemian ideology that Kajillionaire expresses with a perfectly oddball plot - the dreaded heist movie taken to philosophical extremes. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
96% The Human Voice (La Voz Humana) (2020) The way Almodóvar's formal delight replaces Cocteau's probe of his protagonist's psyche makes The Human Voice minor rather than emotionally powerful. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
67% I Am Woman (2020) Rebooted for Millennial consumption, I Am Woman remains a damnably catchy novelty tune, but this movie raises the cultural problem: Do we learn from the past or reinterpret it to suit the moment? - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
72% Mulan (2020) By now we've seen too many authentic, dynamic Chinese action movies, especially Zhang Yimou's recent Shadow and The Great Wall, to accept this dross. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
42% Guest of Honour (2020) Egoyan offers a clumsy intellectual exercise. These characters stand out like metaphors in New Yorker magazine short-story fiction. Each one is a stick figure in a narrative maze. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2020