Bob Strauss

Bob Strauss
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 100% The Truffle Hunters (2020) "The Truffle Hunters" takes us to a part of the world where time appears to have stood still. But that's deceptive. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2021
3/4 76% Pixie (2021) The film simply wouldn't be much... without Cooke's quick-witted performance. She's formidable and disarming at the same time, all the time. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
2.5/4 39% Crisis (2021) This smart, clearly well-researched movie satisfies in some ways, feels diluted in others. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2021
3/4 93% Saint Maud (2020) "Saint Maud" delivers shocks with confidence. The director is even better at creating subtle unease. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2021
3/4 91% Little Fish (2021) For the most part, though, "Little Fish" is a heart-gripping two-hander between people trying to save their love. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
4/4 96% Dear Comrades! (2021) Setting political movies in the past is an easy, usually safe way to signal virtue. But with its eerie resonances of 2021 reports from Moscow to Washington D.C., this monochrome aesthetic object looks like something that draws real blood. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2021
2.5/4 75% Palmer (2021) "Palmer's" greatest strength is its good intentions. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
3/4 80% Notturno (2021) Rosi endlessly proves that he can turn the region's agony into the finest art, and proves enough that he hasn't lost sight of the human factor in the process. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2021
1/4 25% Brothers By Blood (2021) The movie plays authentically enough but is drearily, almost perversely opposed to the fundamental cinematic rule of "show, don't tell." - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2021
2.5/4 37% Outside the Wire (2021) It's entertaining enough, but you wish it had something quirkier, more messily human, more imaginatively drawn outside the lines to it. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
4/4 99% Wolfwalkers (2020) There's an ecological parable going on here, no doubt. Girl power is a running theme as well. But I was most knocked out by "Wolfwalkers' " metaphors for the long, sad colonization. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
3/4 98% Farewell Amor (2020) As tender as it is terrifically acted, "Farewell Amor" tells an immigrant tale that will seem familiar to many but leaves a very specific impression. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
2/4 76% Wander Darkly (2020) For the most part it's confusing. Watching it feels like too much work for too little reward. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2020
3/4 96% Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020) "Crock" is undoubtedly something of a crock itself, MacGowan burnishing his own legend while he still can. He remains a genius at it. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020
3/4 45% Fatman (2020) Hate Mel Gibson all you want for his vile outbursts, but if you have a liking for sick, "Bad Santa"-style Christmas movie satires, you still might want to give "Fatman" a try. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
3/4 83% Proxima (2019) Winocour... immerses us in the arduous work of astronauts preparing for space travel. Green's performance provides a raw look at the physical and mental wear and tear the mission exacts. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2020
2/4 62% The Informer (2020) "The Informer" is like an experiment in whether or not a cool cast can make uninspired material worth watching. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2020
3/4 87% Us Kids (2020) The humanity Snyder's cameras capture is stirring as these young people work past their issues and together on shrewd political strategies. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2020
2/4 57% Come Play (2020) It's not very frightening. Nor is it much fun... - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
2/4 81% Over the Moon (2020) It laudably strives to work many new elements into feature animation. Strange, then, how so much of it seems like someplace we've been to many times before. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
4/4 84% Scare Me (2020) The best thing about "Scare Me" is that, for all of its entertaining qualities and acute cuts at white male fragility, this is one excellent guide to writing and filming good horror. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2020
4/4 89% The Nest (2020) "The Nest" unfolds in the way smart people tend to express their deepest disappointments - get it out, regain emotional control, divert for a while if you can. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2020
2.5/4 79% The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020) "Broken Hearts Gallery" is designed to simply make you happy, maybe want to pet a puppy or fall in love and kiss someone new. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
3/4 90% Unpregnant (2020) [It] finds humor in the struggle for reproductive rights. That's bound to upset people on both sides of the abortion debate, and it's what makes this clever entertainment radical, underneath its slick, amusing surface. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
2.5/4 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Any movie that celebrates the power of music, friendship, family and all of that scientific stuff Kid Cudi keeps jabbering about has got to be somewhat welcome at this particular point in the space-time continuum, right? - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
3/4 87% Get Duked! (2020) While "Get Duked!" may lean on stupidity too much for some tastes, it's nevertheless that rarest of movie creatures: a smart dumb comedy. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
2.5/4 48% Unhinged (2020) The performances and general suspense... are good enough to kick "Unhinged" out of neutral. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2020
3/4 66% The Secret Garden (2020) It's probably not possible to make a bad movie out of "The Secret Garden." - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
3/4 100% You Never Had It: An Evening With Bukowski (2020) Less than an hour long, this conversational documentary with the prurient poet of Los Angeles' lower depths is remarkably rich with insights into the writing craft and business, sex and love, humanity's lack of humanity and more. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2020
3/4 93% Yes, God, Yes (2020) Raunchy coming-of-age comedies that satirize religious hypocrisy don't usually leave you going, "Aw, that was so sweet and innocent." - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2020
3/4 98% Disclosure (2020) "Disclosure" does an admirable job of covering many issues and contradictions a century of mostly insensitive screen depictions have raised. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2020
67% The Last Time You Had Fun (2014) Earns enough good will to carry us through this night-in-a-rented-limo adventure to its sunrise conclusion. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
92% And Then I Go (2018) Indie stalwarts Melanie Lynskey and Justin Long play perfect imperfect parents, but Arman Darbo and Sawyer Barth really kill it as the boys. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2018
No Score Yet Bucky and the Squirrels (2018) Actors Josh Duvendeck, Kyle S. More, Matt Cook and Matt Shively get some OK slapstick energy going with this, but advocates for those with learning disabilities would not be wrong if they have complaints. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
78% Have a Nice Day (Hao Ji Le) (2018) The actual animation is limited and the pacing deliberate with eruptions of shocking violence, but the backgrounds are both graphically detailed and sociologically illuminating. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
94% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) [Daniela] Vega's performance could have been a little more dimensional, but her determined self-possession is as inspiring as anyone could want. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
90% On Body and Soul (A Teströl és Lélekröl) (2018) Their tentative but needful efforts to relate in the waking world are fascinating and more than a little heartbreaking, and suspense rises while outside parties try to figure out what's going on. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
89% A Ciambra (2018) [Jonas Caprignano] captures the life of a boisterous Romani family in Southern Calabria with remarkable authenticity. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
77% American Folk (2018) Neither character is particularly compelling, nor are the goodhearted folk they meet along the way because It Was A Time When All Kinds of Americans Briefly Came Together and Heinz is only interested in pounding that idea home. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
58% Please Stand By (2018) Yes, it's too cute by several parsecs, but it does boast Patton Oswalt playing a Klingon-speaking police officer. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
69% Like Me (2018) The filmmaker captures the nasty world of viral outrage better than most who attempt it, too, even if he seems to have no idea what to say about it. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
43% Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Much of it defies logic or even the commonest of sense, but all the explosions and riots and zombie chompdowns satisfy a certain itch for spectacle. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
82% Lover For A Day (L'amant d'un jour) (2018) Philippe Garrel's latest French relationship kerfuffle boasts solid acting and credibly crafted behavior, as all of the director's black-and-white, latter-day Nouvelle Vague dramas do. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
61% My Art (2018) It's fairly watchable, especially since Simmons' character Ellie has no time for single older woman clichés and is likably easygoing about everything but her unwell dog and questionable work. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
42% Den of Thieves (2018) "Den of Thieves" is an action vehicle that barely moves. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
88% The Road Movie (2018) There's lots of snow, ice, torrential rains, floods, wildfires and ample additional proof that folks over there hardly need help from inclement weather to spectacularly wreck their vehicles. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
75% Mom and Dad (2018) [Nicholas] Cage recalls his "Vampire's Kiss"/"Kiss of Death" era go-for-broke lunacy as the homicidal Dad; it's not quite at the inventive quality of those old, extreme performances, but still oodles of crazy fun. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
51% 12 Strong (2018) Rah-rah while making a few stabs at humanizing humor, the movie also gives both credit and hints of complexity to our Afghan allies. This is no thinking man's war movie, but it is almost thoughtful for something like that. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
91% Phantom Thread (2018) Weird, unusually funny and rather self-controlled for a Paul Thomas Anderson drama. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
80% Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017) Director Paul McGuigan pulls off some marvelously theatrical effects that collapse time into emotional memory. - Los Angeles Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017