Barbara VanDenburghMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Barbara VanDenburgh

Barbara VanDenburgh
Barbara VanDenburgh's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Arizona Republic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/5 42% xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) Diesel is ridiculous here: a puffy, lunk-headed James Bond pushing 50, garbling witless wisecracks through what sounds like a mouthful of Pop Rocks in the rare screen time he can grab from his obvious stunt doubles. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jan 19, 2017
3/5 87% A Monster Calls (2017) The visuals are up for the challenge in this fantastical meditation on childhood grief. The writing, however, is not. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jan 5, 2017
4/5 92% Hidden Figures (2017) Executed with love and peopled with actors who breathe life into their characters ... "Hidden Figures" is precisely the delight it aims to be. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jan 5, 2017
2.5/5 40% Why Him? (2016) Why watch "Why Him?" ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 22, 2016
1.5/5 17% Assassin's Creed (2016) This is all very dumb. That the film doesn't know it is agony. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 21, 2016
3.5/5 78% Evolution (2016) "Evolution" is a work daring in its singular vision and refusal to compromise with viewers. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 8, 2016
4/5 93% The Eagle Huntress (2016) With the exception of light narration by Daisy Ridley - a nice detail, casting the female Jedi in a film very much about girl power - Bell lets the action onscreen tell a story that's every bit as rousing as a Disney adventure. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 10, 2016
2.5/5 71% Coming Through The Rye (2016) The film has the CliffsNotes attributes of "Catcher in the Rye" - angst, loneliness, rebellion - but little of the life force or character depth that has made readers identify with them for decades. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 3, 2016
2.5/5 19% Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) A merely genial comedy that aims for baseline competence, and no higher. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 20, 2016
3.5/5 64% Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Burton reins in his worst impulses, bad habits that he's been cultivating for over a decade, to make a wickedly dark children's movie that is, finally, blessedly, fun to look at. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 29, 2016
3.5/5 81% My Blind Brother (2016) It's a slight film, but one that hits all the tricky emotional and comedic notes without a hint of cruelty. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 22, 2016
2/5 63% Storks (2016) This is a kid's film for hire, with none of the creativity, emotion and design that elevate the genre to art, or even simply a fun time at the movies. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 22, 2016
3/5 60% The Light Between Oceans (2016) For all of Cianfrance's seriousness, the material proves too essentially melodramatic, hokey and self-serious to save. No gorgeous cinematography and no cast, no matter how A-list, can ultimately save this material from itself. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 1, 2016
3.5/5 91% Southside With You (2016) First-time filmmaker Richard Tanne eschews politics and heavy foreshadowing, opting instead to craft a breezy, intimate and tender film about two people making that fateful first connection. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 25, 2016
3/5 60% War Dogs (2016) There's a limit to how much patience one has for spending time with terrible people living large. But for all the lackluster familiarity of the film's style, the story is too interesting, too baffling to deny. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 18, 2016
4/5 93% Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary) (2016) Under a less masterful hand, you'd be dying for a fistfight, a sex scene or a gunshot to shatter the calm. But Koreeda makes thrilling the rich inner lives of four young women trying to navigate rocky emotional terrain in the wake of their father's death. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 18, 2016
4/5 96% Train to Busan (Bu-san-haeng) (2016) It may not be something we've never seen before, but it's something we can benefit from seeing again. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Aug 4, 2016
2/5 59% Bad Moms (2016) Beneath that patina of penis jokes and four-letter words beats a weak and sentimental heart that fails to deliver the film's promise of raucous fun, instead wasting a talented cast of comediennes on cliche platitudes on motherhood. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jul 28, 2016
2/5 15% Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) A hot mess of random references, clashing styles and recycled gags babbling at high speed like a kid on a sugar rush. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jul 21, 2016
3/5 77% Wiener-Dog (2016) It takes a callused soul not to dread the inevitable, and it takes an exceptional film to earn that discomfort from its audience. This film is not exceptional. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jul 7, 2016
4/5 90% The Witness (2016) For all the tedium of the work before William, "The Witness" is a riveting deconstruction of a decades-old media narrative. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 30, 2016
3.5/5 95% Tickled (2016) What was meant at the start to be a humorous fluff piece about dudes who tickle each other for fun and profit turns into a mission: To find and reveal the elusive czar of this underground tickling empire and to expose its true intentions. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 23, 2016
3.5/5 90% Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2016) "Raiders!" is as sloppy and imperfect as the kids' shot-for-shot remake, but it has much the same charm. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 16, 2016
2/5 38% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) This one at least seems to know it's stupid and the story, incomprehensible as it is, offers more opportunity for levity, which you sorely need in a movie with a cartoon warthog picking its nose. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 3, 2016
3.5/5 90% Dheepan (2016) For three-quarters of its running time, "Dheepan" feels like something special. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Jun 2, 2016
1/5 19% Mothers and Daughters (2016) I predict that within a decade, "Mother's and Daughters" will be mandatory viewing at film schools across the country. There are precious few such perfect examples of how not to make a film. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted May 5, 2016
3/5 82% Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) (2016) It's never a boring film to look at, but it is often a tiring one. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 28, 2016
2.5/5 78% The First Monday in May (2016) The film's focus is too easily distracted by celebrity and turns less documentary and more fawning love letter to an industry already in love with itself. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 21, 2016
3.5/5 90% Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016) Calvin's Barbershop is the same familiar comfort it has always been, to both its patrons and filmgoers. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 14, 2016
4/5 97% The Dark Horse (2016) Curtis' portrayal of Gen's ever-present, invasive mental illness isn't mere window dressing and lacks showboating. The camera hugs his meltdowns with an uncomfortable perseverance as he talks to himself, hallucinates and turns manic. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 14, 2016
2/5 22% The Boss (2016) There are brief bursts of hilarity, and they are all, without exception, owed to McCarthy's innate charisma and comedic timing. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 7, 2016
1.5/5 49% Hardcore Henry (2016) While its audacity is laudable, the film ultimately has all the thrill of watching someone else play a first-person-shooter video game. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Apr 7, 2016
1/5 43% Miracles from Heaven (2016) It is a movie by believers, about believers, for believers, to the exclusion of all else, custom-tailored for private church-group showings. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 17, 2016
4/5 98% Zootopia (2016) It may lack the bold, pioneering spirit of Disney and Pixar's best animated features, but it still clears some pretty high bars into the human heart. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Mar 3, 2016
3.5/5 53% Triple 9 (2016) The action is bracing, the twists sprightly, but the sum of its parts sits heavy, like a meal that won't digest. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 25, 2016
3.5/5 90% A War (Krigen) (2016) The craftsmanship of "A War" is unimpeachable. Tight shots and jittery camera work give the film an immediate, intimate feel. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 18, 2016
2/5 23% Zoolander 2 (2016) Sticking Derek and Hansel in a world now dominated by smartphones, social media and selfie sticks gave the writers plenty to lampoon, but it's squandered instead on the odd hashtag joke and Netflix plug ... ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 11, 2016
2.5/5 12% The Choice (2016) There is a grating sloppiness to much of "The Choice," both narratively and stylistically. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 4, 2016
3/5 43% Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) Austen geeks and zombie lovers will enjoy enough laughs to tip the scales in the film's favor. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Feb 4, 2016
4/5 98% Mustang (2015) "Mustang" puts its cultural stamp on a story gripping in its ageless universality and gutting in its modern urgency. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 31, 2015
4/5 60% Sisters (2015) The same effortless chemistry that made the comedians such ideal Golden Globes hosts is on full display in this broad comedy, given extra oomph by a wise and glorious R rating that opens the floodgates of creative vulgarity. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Dec 17, 2015
2/5 24% Victor Frankenstein (2015) These changes, rather than inject new life in a story told innumerable times, underscore what it is that works so well in other, better iterations. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 24, 2015
3.5/5 88% Difret (2015) An affecting drama that is honest and clear-eyed about Hirut's trauma, and the ongoing struggles she'll face even if she's freed, without ever treating her abuse in an exploitative manner. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Nov 5, 2015
3.5/5 81% The Assassin (2015) It's so elliptical in its approach that there's no love for anyone, or anything, outside of beauty. It can be admired - greatly, even - but it can't be felt. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 29, 2015
3/5 73% Suffragette (2015) Suffragette, like Maud, is modest in scope and ambition, and is more emotionally affecting for it. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 29, 2015
2.5/5 74% The Keeping Room (2015) Despite its sparseness and haunting photography, the film proves to be little more than a home-invasion thriller low on thrills. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 15, 2015
4/5 100% Peace Officer (2015) The strength of "Peace Officer" is that it doesn't attempt to pit the viewer against the police. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 8, 2015
3/5 85% Meet The Patels (2015) [A] charming, if completely obvious, documentary. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 8, 2015
4/5 73% He Named Me Malala (2015) Though polished and image-conscious, offering too little insight into the physical and psychological trauma suffered in the bullet's wake, the film is nevertheless moving without resorting to saccharine overtures. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Oct 8, 2015
2/5 26% Captive (2015) Oyelowo and Mara try to bring humanity and tension to the testimonial thriller of two lost souls finding their way together, but they only succeed in bursts, hampered by marketing copy masquerading as dialogue. ‐ Arizona Republic
Posted Sep 17, 2015