Brandon Judell

Brandon Judell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Cinema editor of New York Theatre Wire and contributor to CultureCatch.com and indieWire. My articles have also appeared in THE BAY AREA REPORTER; Detour, aRude, Filmmaker, The Bay Area Reporter, SOHO STYLE; SMOKE AFFAIR; The Advocate, and FLAIR. My short stories have been anthologized in Libido, and A Member of the Family (Dutton).
Favorites:
Central Station;The Celebration; Beautiful Thing; Battle of Algiers; Another Country; Ghost Dog; Surrender, Dorothy; The King is Alive: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Boys Don't Cry; Keep the River on the Right; I Love You, Alice B. Toklas; Laurel and Hardy's The Brats; Jules and Jim; Once Were Warriors; Ladybird, Ladybird; You're a Big Boy Now; Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
Location: New York City
Official Websites: indiewire.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
75% The Plagiarists (2019) I kept thinking throughout Peter Parlow's cleverly conceived "comedy" that I should be laughing. "I really need a coffee for this!" was my second thought. Then: "Hey, I bet those indieWire critics guffawed into their popcorn when reviewing this." - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
83% Fig Tree (2018) Masterful cinematography by Daniel Miller and a sterling cast help recreate Davidian's childhood memories. So with an unforgettable finale and all that has come before, one can only pray that Fig Tree gains the international attention it richly deserves. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2019
100% Redemption (2018) Redemption is not exactly an advertisement for becoming a highly religious Jew. This might be one suspects because very few Israeli directors or screenwriters are of the Orthodox persuasion. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2019
No Score Yet Red Cow (Para Aduma) (2018) The power of this troubled coming-out story stems mainly from its setting and its contemporariness. Red Calf's a fine addition to the growing genre of kosher lesbianism. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2019
78% Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) Goodman's briskly paced take spotlights numerous performances (e.g. Joan Baez; Santana; Crosby, Stills, and Nash), while avoiding being just a collection of concert clips. The doc is far, far more. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
51% The Mystic Masseur (2001) Maybe Mr. Merchant should just re-watch a few of the films he's so superbly produced. One thing James Ivory has never been afraid to be is vicious. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
4/10 39% Close (2019) Get out the blindfold you last used for your Bird Box meme and put on your SONY noise-canceling headphones. Only now will you be ready for Netflix's latest offering, the mind-numbing, cliché-ridden, anti-adrenaline-pumping, female-driven actioner, Close. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
No Score Yet The Plague (La Peste) (1992) The subject of a city ravished by a contagious disease couldn't be more relevant. But the project is steeped in pretension and inept direction. You'll want to get vaccinated by the time it ends. - Bay Area Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
9/10 98% A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Also screened was A Streetcar Named Desire, revamped with the four additional minutes that were excised years ago by censors. It was being paraded about as if a half-hour had been added. So now Stella walks down the steps sultrily. - Bay Area Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
No Score Yet Pano, kato kai plagios, (Up, Down and Sideways) (1993) A threesome of sorts occurs among the leads, which is spiced up by a coterie of sailors, a transvestite, and a mad night at the opera. - Bay Area Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
89% The Wild Boys (Les garçons sauvages) (2018) Jean Cocteau meets David Lynch with a good dash of Colette in Bertrand Mandico's sensationally trippy 2018 release, Wild Boys. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
72% Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) (2010) Openly gay Turkish film director Ferzan Ozpetek has never been nelly about scattering characters of his own persuasion throughout his oeuvre. . . .Here he again explores the plight of closeted homosexuals in a gentle farce full of fond stereotypes. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
No Score Yet Night Watch (2006) Fascinating. . . .Beautifully shot, the film only falters twice near its finale with two over-the-top escapades. But thanks to the searing Gonzalo Heredia, you won't care. Just imagine a young Alain Delon, and you've got it. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
92% The Joy of Life (2005) Another perfect film with a masterful screenplay - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
No Score Yet Little Sky (2004) Powerful, even more so because it's true. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2018
No Score Yet Tempus fugit (2003) This silly, but endearing comedy tells of a shy nobody whom a man from the future contacts. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2018
40% The Last Mitterrand (2005) A brilliantly acted, directed and written look at the last days of the French president and the relationship he had with his biographer. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2018
31% November (2005) Highly irritating and nonsensical - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2018
23% The Happytime Murders (2018) Sort of 'The Big Sleep' meets 'Basic Instinct' meets 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse,' 'The Happytime Murders' wants you to laugh while never letting you forget that here is a hard-hitting parody of our racist, misogynistic society. Well, almost. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2018
10/10 92% We the Animals (2018) Through the use of music, animation, handheld camera footage, and razor-sharp editing, Zagar creates a brilliant cinematic equivalent of Torres's tome, a task much harder than you might imagine. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2018
17% The Darkest Minds (2018) Experiencing the dialogue is sort of like getting a mental colonoscopy without the anesthesia, especially during the clichéd romantic moments and, in fact, nearly whenever an actor opens his mouth: "You're just a bunch of negative nellies." - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
64% The Dancer Upstairs (2002) With a clever Graham-Greene-esque script, choice acting by the whole ensemble (especially Bardem), fine music by Alberto Iglesias, and the strong directorial control of Malkovich, the film zips along. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
14% Damascus Cover (2018) Berk tries to capture the inanities of the Middle East: how both sides have to go through the motions of cat and mouse, constantly switching who's the feline and who's the rodent, but you can't care when the characters are this one-dimensional. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) This latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise is unmitigated fun with its deliciously overwrought motorcycle chases, hellish helicopter skirmishes, frenzied fisticuffs, plus rooftop jumpings galore. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2018
87% Lawless Heart (2002) It has the emotional wallop of a Mike Leigh offering and the acute intelligence of an early John Schlesinger effort. This is a film about learning how to seize the day. And this is a film that does just that. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
48% Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) What follows is the standard "good humans vs. bad humans" trope with a healthy dash of "unrestrained capitalism is evil" for seasoning. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2018
89% Brothers (2004) Emotionally commanding. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
50% Ellie Parker (2005) This low-budget effort about a struggling, shallow L.A. actress who has nightmare auditions . . . stars a sensational Naomi Watts. But she's basically the only great thing in this highly uneven flick. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
93% That Man: Peter Berlin (2006) A fascinating look at gay porn icon Peter Berlin, a blond god of the seventies whose crotch became an international cause worshipped by the likes of Andy Warhol. . . . a rousing, arousing work. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
24% 9 Songs (2005) Winterbottom proves that nonstop sex intercut with alternative music can be exceedingly boring. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
65% 5x2 (2004) Once again Ozon proves he is a master. There are homosexual elements here, of course, as there are in almost all his features. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
100% Days of Santiago (Dias de Santiago) (2004) a look at an ex-soldier, who after "six years of battling terrorists, the Peruvian drug mafia, and a nationalist war against Ecuador," finds out there's no place for him in civilization. . .Existentialist fare at its best. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
No Score Yet Metallic Blues (2004) Visions of the Holocaust interact here surprisingly well with standard road movie mishaps, and it is terrifically acted. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
44% Three Dancing Slaves (2005) It's just a bunch of rough-and-tumble Abercrombie and Finch models trying to find love, survive, sell drugs, kill a dog, or come out of the closet. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
No Score Yet The Loss of Nameless Things (2004) Think of 'A Beautiful Mind' with sex appeal. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
No Score Yet Omiros (Hostage) (2005) His tough, vital feature about a hunky, young Albanian construction worker who holds up a bus after he's raped and tortured in a Greek prison by the powers-that-be has added resonance thanks to our own current travails in Iraq. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
82% Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) A perfectly-realized vision: from the sound design to the acting to the direction. For a first film, I was astounded. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
77% Braveheart (1995) It's sad that Paramount Pictures which has many gay employees has stooped to release such a flawed work of bigotry and forced them to stand behind it. - Critics Inc./America Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2018
No Score Yet Life and Death on the A-List (1995) A welcome addition to the growing genre of AIDS on celluloid. Corcoran's direction captures the plight of what it is to have been young, beautiful and worshipped, then to suddenly find yourself older, not so wiser, battling a not so pleasant disease. - Critics Inc./America Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2018
41% Bean (1997) How many English language films can say, "To hell with America!"? Very few. Basically only "Bean", which has already racked up over $100 million before the picture has even unspooled in one New Jersey mall. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2018
No Score Yet Guns on the Clackamas (1996) Get ready for one of the funniest films of the past decade. Do your best to catch this madcap comic enterprise that will have you howling from beginning to end, and even days afterward. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2018
72% The Misandrists (2018) If John Waters and Karl Marx co-directed a remake of The Beguiled, the resulting feature would be very much like Bruce LaBruce's The Misandrists. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
83% Jellyfish (2018) Imagine an intermittently despondent Lolita aping Lenny Bruce. Sarah's jocular yet painful "triumph" is a triumph for current indie cinema. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018
71% West of the Jordan River (2018) Gitai's latest is just as scathing as his previous offerings, but much more streamlined than some of his earlier non-fiction ventures. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
No Score Yet Late Summer Blues (1987) This often comical paean to hormonal carryings-on was a major success on its release, and one can see how those who were teens at the time hold it nostalgically dear now. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
No Score Yet Avanti popolo (1986) A true must-see is writer/director Rafi Bukace's digitally restored Avanti Popolo from 1986. This often-hilarious antiwar tale with devastating twinges chronicles two hapless Egyptian soldiers trying to get home to Cairo after the Six-Day War ends. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
9/10 93% Funny Girl (1968) William Wyler's adaption of the stage musical is transformative for many millennials. Whether wearing a hijab, sporting a yarmulke, or bareheaded, my students embrace Streisand's Brice and the star/character's professional chutzpah & insecurities. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
9/10 94% Foxtrot (2018) A complex picture of a nation seemingly as much at war with itself as it is with others. Foxtrot's an entertainment that decimates the capability to stereotype a whole people. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
88% Haze (2017) All this is autobiographical, by the way. The highly praiseworthy Burkman avows in the film's press notes, 'Haze is based on my own experience pledging a fraternity in college.' - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2017
No Score Yet Baby Steps (2015) Seldom less than pleasant and definitely worth applauding. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2017