Ben Croll

Ben Croll
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
94% Titane (2021) Titane offers a less elegant, more ambitious but also more unruly follow-up. It's also an awful lot of fun. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
73% Casablanca Beats (2021) Casablanca Beats argues that the power of personal expression can turn the world on its head. And for a good spell, the film does just that. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2021
64% France (2021) It's all too much, too long, too repetitive, too one-note, too contemptuous of the very idea of cinematic pleasure to really land. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
33% Deception (Tromperie) (2021) Deception, as a novel and as a film, offers a curio for obsessives, a postcard for archivists, and a not-too-interesting bump in the road for everyone else. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2021
96% Red Rocket (2021) While "Red Rocket" very ably explores the headspace and mechanisms of the 100% beef-fed all-American huckster, it loses a step or two when it does so as a kind of morality tale assessing the damage and human toll. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
58% The Divide (La fracture) (2021) Appraising her country's various ills with a healthy dose of Gallic gallows humor, [filmmaker Catherine Corsini] has delivered a kind of screwball comedy full of physical gags, rat-a-tat dialogue and intricate choreography. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
100% Playground (Un monde) (2021) The film's originality stems from its creative use of mix-and-match, taking a schoolyard tale and treating it with same hard-nosed intensity as Audiard's prison thriller and a here-and-now visual immediacy more common to a war film. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
70% Compartment No. 6 (2021) It requires, and ultimately rewards, patience. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
95% Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021) The prologue outshines everything that comes next... But why fault a film for trying - especially when the initial results are so achingly good. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
77% Bergman Island (2021) A self-reflexive Russian nesting doll-like mix of story in story in story, commenting on itself while throwing plenty of manna to the cinephile masses. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
83% Petrov's Flu (2021) Alternately exhilarating and exhausting film... A formidable piece of filmmaking. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
84% Benedetta (2021) "Benedetta" is Paul Verhoeven's most personal film. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
78% Between Two Worlds (Le quai de ouistreham) (2021) Always interesting, if at some points a touch too inward-looking, Between Two Worlds is almost its own sequel. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
93% Everything Went Fine (Tout s'est bien passé) (2021) Ozon remains a terrific actors' director, with both Marceau and especially Dussollier giving lively performances that afford the film its limited spark. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
100% Onoda - 10 000 Nights in the Jungle (2021) Onoda bears the weight of its many filmic forefathers. But as it pulls off such moves with such quiet force, it also represents a different kind of emergence. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
76% Stillwater (2021) As with that Audiard output, "Stillwater" takes a thriller form and roots it with a deep sense of context and place. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2021
A- 82% Notturno (2021) Whether "Notturno" challenges the mind and rewards the eye, on the other hand, is unambiguous. The film's qualities are clear as day. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2020
No Score Yet Foreboding (Yocho) (2017) [Kiyoshi] Kurosawa's talents behind the camera are undeniable. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
83% The Swan (Svanurinn) (2018) Benefitting from US-trained, Iceland-based filmmaker Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir's controlled direction, the film delivers a dark coming-of-age tale through the young lead's uncertain perception, tinged with uneasy implications and poetic flights of fancy. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
No Score Yet The Violin Player (Viulisti) (2018) At its best, the film poses a terrifying question - what happens when one's fixed self-identity crumbles? - even if the answers it comes up with are less than persuasive. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
91% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2020) As with most films of this type, the pleasures arrive less in the originality of the story than in the way the way it's told. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
96% It Must Be Heaven (2019) As a director, [Elia] Suleiman knows how to compose the frame to get the most out of each gag, and as a performer, he recognizes that his arched eyebrows are powerful tools of comedy and employs them as such. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
57% Sibyl (2020) [Virginie Efira] holds this film together through its various swings, and comes off stronger for it. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
98% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Bong delivers a stunning return to form with this newest venture. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
56% Frankie (2019) Taking a role designed to collapse the divide between performer and character as opportunity to uncover new levels on naturalism, Huppert offers another beautifully modulated turn in a part that is primarily reactive. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) Visually ravishing. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
67% Little Joe (2019) What more can you ask from a film about a mind-controlling flower? - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
85% The Traitor (2020) A sturdy if somewhat uninspiring Mafia biopic. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
100% Over the Limit (2018) Of all its substantial merits, Marta Prus' harrowing and thoroughly captivating sports doc Over The Limit is perhaps most surprising for its sustained bouts of misdirection. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
No Score Yet All That Divides Us (Tout nous sépare) (2017) This one-part guilty conscience thriller, one part culture-clash drama about a pair of socialites who get caught up with local lowlifes adds up to one wholly missed opportunity. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
68% Climax (2019) Just like Possession, this tale of stylized hysteria is an absolute scream. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
B 96% Zama (2018) As an existential objet d'art Zama stands as a serious achievement. But that won't prevent even the most sophisticated of cinephiles from staggering out of the theater, wondering "What in the world did I just see?" - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
95% Atlantics (2019) [Atlantics] can occasionally feel stretched and thin in certain spots, like a cracking medium-length film padded out to feature runtime. Still, that's no matter, because the film's real coup is the victory it scores for greater perspective. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
72% Vivarium (2020) We're not mad at you, "Vivarium," we're just disappointed. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
C 48% A Rainy Day in New York (2020) A work that feels stodgily anachronistic. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
84% Mosul (2020) The screenwriter-turned-director spins his tale as an unrelenting action jackhammer, delivered with the same Hollywood polish he brought to his screenplays for World War Z and The Kingdom. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
89% Ema (2019) A prickly punk remix that takes a traditional art-house character study about a young woman dealing with emotional turmoil and filters it through the stylistic approaches more common to recent art-pop hybrids like "Lemonade." - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
C 54% Waiting for the Barbarians (2020) The message is not wrong, but it certainly is a disappointing use of Guerra's talent. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
93% Babyteeth (2020) Does it all work? Not quite, but you can't fault a film for its ambition, least of all one that does manage to bring it all together for a deeply moving home stretch. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
90% The Lighthouse (2019) It rocks. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
90% The Climb (2020) Covino shows truly impressive formal control, incorporating sophisticated camerawork and tightly coiled edits while allowing time, space and rhythm - in short, the foundations of cinema - to play as equal participants in the comedy. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
81% Knife + Heart (Un couteau dans le coeur) (2019) Gonzalez may goof on this often-ridiculous world - I mean, how could he not? - but he does so from a place of real respect and admiration. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
99% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Jia Zhang-Ke's large scale reintroduction is hardly a disappointment; it's simply another fine Jia Zhang-Ke film. What did we expect? - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Kore-eda marshals his considerable talents to tell what initially appears to be another story of family love and perseverance in the margins of society. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
94% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) In his 2014 Palme d'Or winner, Ceylan unpacked thorny issues of ethics and morality with a surgeon's steady patience; he employs a similar approach here, only the territory is much less fertile. - TheWrap EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
C 66% Peterloo (2019) You can feel Leigh's fury glowering off the screen through the entire last act, but that fury does the film and the filmmaker little service. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
3/5 86% The Nightingale (2019) The Nightingale can be wearingly repetitive, making a point, making it again and making it once more for good measure, each time with the same sleepy whisper. Still, it's a noble effort. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet It's a noble effort. That resigned-to-violence consistency is a fascinating pitch that brings a new perspective to a well-worn genre. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
81% 22 July (2018) [A] violent and harrowing film... - London Evening Standard EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
C+ 87% What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? (2019) Knows exactly where to look and what to ask, but never sticks around long enough to learn anything. What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? is hardly a disappointment, but it does, in places, feel like a missed opportunity. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018