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
100% Changing the Game (2019) Michael Barnett's Changing the Game, a moving documentary on three trans-teens competing in the sports arena, also incorporates a reaction or two to Trump, here though to his vilification of the non-cisgendered. - Brandon Judell (Medium) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2021
79% Summer of 85 (Été 85) (2021) By the end of Ozon's heartfelt nostalgia trip, Alex certainly becomes careful and more forceful, making one wish that this 85 had actually came out in 1985, a time when it would truly have been groundbreaking and oh! so guiding. - Brandon Judell (Medium) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2021
85% The Naked City (1948) This horrendously acted, written, and directed crime caper tries to discover who chloroformed a beautiful blonde model and then drowned her in her own bathtub. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
94% Manhattan (1979) By the way, Isaac's wife, played by Meryl Streep, has left him to become a lesbian. This wasn't that popular a move back in 1979. In fact, Meryl did it before New York magazine even had a "Lesbian Chic" cover. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
98% Sweet Smell of Success (1957) That Clifford Odets co-wrote the screenplay explains the film's continued ability to fascinate, but not why it was made into a current musical. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
92% The Wrong Man (1956) [O]ne of the master's must overlooked offerings. . . . But Henry Fonda's performance as the accused and our own current events keep this Wrong Man very pertinent. (Be aware the studios forced a happy coda onto the feature.) - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
99% On the Waterfront (1954) But sometimes great art, like Wagner's and Celine's, comes from people you wouldn't want to break bread with. But snub the art? Who'd want to miss Marlon Brando's performance? - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
83% Stone Reader (2003) This is a literary mystery story that will have you on the edge of your seat while it thrills you with an inside look at writing, publishing, and survival for creative types. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
No Score Yet Nine Good Teeth (2003) This glorious encounter with an unforgettable soul will have you embracing life and pooh-poohing fear of your own demise. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
66% Crisis (2021) Review Armie Hammer is quite fine in a film without peaches. Here he glares with perfection, has an admirable posture, and seems to be quite ready for a Dirty Harry remake. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2021
87% Uzak (Distant) (2004) "Distant," that's more like a warning than a title . . . . The two leads will eventually clash, but not enough to make this offering worthy of sitting through. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2021
88% Crimson Gold (2004) The movie, an acute study of Iran's class structure and mores, will reveal it all to you in a series of episodes where Hussein often ends up eating the pie. A must-see. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2021
96% Since Otar Left (2004) Touching yet hard-nosed, the film rises to a whole other level thanks to Gorintin's unforgettable performance. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2021
No Score Yet We All Think We're Special (2021) The screenplay, especially its WTF ending, could be finessed a little, but if you find a bottle of tequila in your teen's sock drawer, lock them in the room with WATWS, and they'll never drink again, possibly not even water. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
66% Crisis (2021) Armie Hammer is quite fine in a film without peaches. Here he glares with perfection, has an admirable posture, and seems to be quite ready for a Dirty Harry remake. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
50% Attack of the Demons (2019) This quick-moving tale grabs you visually and never lets you go, even though you pretty much know you know where it's going. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
83% She Dies Tomorrow (2020) This is sort of a Rorschach test for critics and audiences alike. The picture gains power by being released during the current pandemic. If it had been released during the measles outbreak, oy! would you have gotten different reactions. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
No Score Yet No One's Life Is Easy (So I Married An Anti-fan) (2016) While not quite on the same laugh level as 'Schitt$ Creek' and 'Little Britain,' 'Life is Easy' is often quite amusing with a genuine knee-slapper now and then. The show explores what it's like to suddenly have a non-surgically transformed crotch. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
8/10 75% I, Pastafari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story (2020) One of the more delicious, amusing, and relevant documentaries of the year. Thanks to Mike Arthur's deft direction, what at first seems just a Monty-Python-like fun fest actually becomes an in-depth take on religious institutions. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2020
8/10 96% Marona's Fantastic Tale (L'Extraordinaire voyage de Marona) (2020) Throughout, limbs stretch and contort and fly this way and that, faces crumble and reassemble, and every artistic phase from early Picasso onwards seems to be reflected here with quantum fluctuations of line. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2020
8/10 89% You Don't Nomi (2020) 'You Don't Nomi' otherwise never hits a false note. What you have in the end here is a 'Tiger King' for cinephiles. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2020
No Score Yet American Muslim (2019) This is a timely doc that addresses an ignorance-fueled hatred embraced by so many FOX-aholics. Yet if any of these MAGA-capped folks would ever watch Zucker's applaud-worthy offering, their bigotry might be decimated. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2020
41% The Quarry (2020) Writer/Director Scott Teems' sophomore narrative feature shows great promise. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
100% Changing the Game (2019) Tales of the City's author, Armistead Maupin, once noted, "The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives." This is what 'Changing the Game' is about . - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
73% Harriet (2019) With the emotional restraints of a Lifetime movie, 'Harriet,' though no doubt thoroughly researched, has a way of making the truth seem counterfeit. - CultureCatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
9/10 93% Sauvage / Wild (2019) The film is erotic, shocking, tender, brutal, funny, & bears repeated viewings. 4 times so far for me. Just watch Leo cuddle up with a septuagenarian widower while a photo of the man's wife looks on kindly. & so forth. Sex for survival. Sex for bliss. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
89% Socrates (2019) This brave little film, a tale of an uncomprehending hero whose every step seemingly is a misstep, is not unlike the best offerings of Italian neorealism of the post-war years. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
92% The Blonde One (2019) Differentiating this tale of 2 guys searching for completeness within each other-besides its several unexpected twists and its Argentinian take on homophobia-is the stellar acting by Re, and Barón, plus the finesse of the production. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
86% Aquarela (2019) This is an almost meditative experience. You feel at times you should be watching Aqualrela in lotus position. The overwhelming visuals and the natural sounds of water traveling are blissfully engaging. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2019
67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) The overly long "Hobbs and Shaw" is highly enjoyable for a film of this sort not directed by Paul Greengrass. There are 100s of bloodless killings, crashes, explosions, and a self-driving motorcycle, and it's nice to see Idris Elba do whatever he does. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
86% The Nightingale (2019) The end result is a superb feminist take on a historical action film. There's fine acting, lush cinematography shot in Tasmania where Hannah Gadsby comes from, by the way, and an intelligent screenplay that pays off both emotionally and intellectually. - Huffington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
77% 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
86% 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 37% 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
90% 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
43% 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