Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: The Oklahoman

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2.5/4 79% Good Boys (2019) Both the thin story and the bawdy jokes wear out before the credits roll, but the filmmakers pack a lot of genuine laughs into the short and surprisingly sweet 90-minute caper. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
4/4 99% The Farewell (2019) Writer-director Lula Wang's autobiographical drama The Farewell delves into complex realities like family dynamics, cultural differences and terminal illness with elegant simplicity. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
3/4 94% Echo In the Canyon (2019) For a music guy, Slater keeps his rock doc visually captivating with rare photographs, vintage TV performances and clips... the true stars of Echo in the Canyon are the timeless songs... - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
No Score Yet George Lopez: Tall, Dark & Chicano (2009) For those who don't speak Spanish, a few quips and asides may be lost in translation. But Lopez usually makes his intent clear as he effectively mines America's culture wars for plenty of chuckles. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
2/4 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) After more than two hours of smashing, crashing and bashing, the adrenaline wears off, the eye rolls can't be stopped and the latest Fast & Furious film feels slow and boring. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
No Score Yet Fathers of Football (2018) The Austin, Texas-based [director Bradley Beesley] scores a touchdown under the blazing "Friday night lights" with his feature-length sports documentary Fathers of Football. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
3.5/4 89% The Third Wife (2019) Writer-director Ash Mayfair makes a hauntingly beautiful feature film debut with The Third Wife, a quietly devastating period drama based on her own family history. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
3.5/4 83% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) With a combo of dark, dry satire and sudden, shocking violence, Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense lands some canny punches as he fights absurd notions of modern masculinity, misogyny and isolation. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
2.5/4 52% The Lion King (2019) With this caliber of technology, talent and story, The Lion King remake should be more than a flashy copycat. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
4/4 63% Yesterday (2019) Yesterday will send you home singing and smiling, thinking and imagining, and to me, that's the kind of movie we need today. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
4/4 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Toy Story is now a quartet of great movies, with a fantastic new installment to make audiences laugh, gasp and, yes, cry - again. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
2.5/4 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) It just feels like a movie with this much talent shouldn't be so lifeless, zombies notwithstanding. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
3/4 80% Late Night (2019) It's a thrill to see a movie that not only boasts multiple dynamic, complex, lifelike female characters and but also allows all the characters to evolve in a realistic, satisfying way. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
2.5/4 89% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) Although Herzog's interviews occasionally yield some interesting tidbits, it feels like the juiciest morsels that could have been plucked from these meetings are left on the vine. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) Taking on the impossible task of filling in for the late Robin Williams, Smith does a fine job of making the part of the mighty, wise and uproarious Genie uniquely his. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
3.5/4 99% Amazing Grace (2019) Depending on the raw footage means accepting certain flaws, from unfocused shots to wandering crew members, but they only add to the considerable charm of feeling like you're right there. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
2.5/4 51% Tolkien (2019) Although it boasts a love of beauty and art, Tolkien leaves too much of the magic inherent in its subject untapped. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
2/4 30% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Although it has its unnerving moments, it's a shame it doesn't get more scares out of such a promising setup. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2019
2.5/4 89% Missing Link (2019) Even with the brief 95-minute runtime, the story bogs down in the middle, and one thing a movie about a bookish Sasquatch named Susan should probably never get is a little boring. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
3/4 80% The Wind (2019) Although the nonlinear narrative gets muddled and repetitive, The Wind remains incessantly scary, with haunting moments that linger after the credits have rolled. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2.5/4 27% The Aftermath (2019) Despite the promising premise, interesting characters and the leads' sparking chemistry, the results are unsatisfying for the post-World War II drama The Aftermath. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2.5/4 91% Shazam! (2019) Shazam is an uproarious showcase for the charming Levi, with an entertaining and heartwarming final act. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2.5/4 47% Dumbo (2019) Dumbo seems to coast on its familiar fairytale concept rather than fully taking flight. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
4/4 93% Us (2019) In this era of sequels, reboots and cinematic universes, Peele is building a breakout reputation as a true original who is bringing back the element of surprise to his films. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3.5/4 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The Hidden World marks the beautiful culmination of so many of what the How to Train Your Dragon series has done so well. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
3.5/4 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Like the venerable, versatile plastic bricks it's literally built on, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part imaginatively expands in fun, freewheeling ways on the cleverly rendered foundations of the original 2014 computer-animated feature. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
2.5/4 37% Glass (2019) Although the execution isn't as clean as it could (and probably should be), Shyamalan's three-quel isn't like any other superhero movie you're likely to see this year. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
3/4 74% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Although On the Basis of Sex sticks too closely to the standard conventions of fact-based underdog movies, [Director Mimi] Leder's storytelling has vibrancy that keeps the biopic from feeling dutiful. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
4/4 100% Leave No Trace (2018) [Director Debra Granik] presents a nuanced, thought-provoking story about life on the fringes, and along the way, discovers and nurtures another star-caliber young talent in McKenzie with Leave No Trace. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
96% Roma (2018) Given Cuaron's stunning wide-screen black-and-white cinematography and the film's meticulous Dolby Atmos sound design, Roma is definitely worth a trip to the theater, but mostly, it just quietly demands to be seen. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/4 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) [A] vibrant adaptation of James Baldwin's novel. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/4 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie give performances fit for queens in the surprisingly timely period drama Mary Queen of Scots. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
3.5/4 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) While not practically perfect in every way, the long-awaited follow-up Mary Poppins Returns musters plenty of magic to enchant nostalgic adults and willing youngsters alike. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
3.5/4 93% The Favourite (2018) Thanks to the bravura trio of actresses, The Favourite offers underneath a simple, timely, all-too-human tale of jealousy, survival and power. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
3.5/4 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Friendship is a timeworn theme of family-friendly films, but Ralph Breaks the Internet handles it with nuance and insight that feels vital in these divisive times when differences of opinion and personality too often lead to broken bonds. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
2.5/4 59% The Grinch (2018) It just feels like more cute but disposable holiday junk to clutter this increasingly overstuffed season. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
3.5/4 94% Wildlife (2018) Dano and his cohorts have made an evocative film that will quietly break hearts but should also make Oklahomans' swell with state pride. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
3/4 33% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) With its smart, dynamic and nuanced heroine and its empowering fantasy story, I'm eager to take my 8-year-old daughter Brenna on a journey to The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
79% Halloween (2018) The new Halloween still has some of the same old slasher-movie problems... But in an era of complicated and even prestigious horror movies, it's also bloody good fun. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
3.5/4 93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Whether Redford sticks to his decision to retire from acting or not, The Old Man & the Gun is another fine adventure for the Hollywood golden boy. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
87% First Man (2018) Chazelle's biopic is more interested in exploring Armstrong's fascinating character than he is in exploring the surface of the Moon, although he depicts the latter with striking visuals and compelling near-silence. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
92% Hal (2018) Scott layers the requisite biographical information and talking-head praise with the intriguing insights, indelible anecdotes and dramatic readings of his often-dramatic letters. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
3/4 76% Smallfoot (2018) It might be a Smallfoot, but a movie that values critical thinking is a big step in the right direction. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
3/4 85% A Simple Favor (2018) Overstressed women weary of being good girls can find an escape that's a little darker and more thrilling than the usual girl's night fare with "A Simple Favor." - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
3/4 79% Smokey and the Bandit (1977) [This] Southern-fried romp has a big personality and an infectious sense of fun that makes it worth taking for another spin. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
52% Papillon (2018) Sadly, Noer's Papillon is a grittier but largely generic addition to the popular prison drama subgenre. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
3/4 39% Cars 2 (2011) The animation whizzes at Pixar shift from weightier fare to madcap action in "Cars 2," a zippy, multitrack adventure custom built for gearheads, racing fans and little boys. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
2.5/4 19% Fly Me to the Moon (2008) Best suited for younger children, "Fly Me to the Moon" will give little ones an appealing, eye-catching first look at 3-D movies, provided they can be persuaded to keep their goggles on. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2018
37% Mars Needs Moms (2011) With a more inventive storyline, Mars Needs Moms could have been an out-of-this-world cinematic experience. As is, the animated film offers an entertaining romp that will play best to the preschool and grade-school set and, yes, their moms. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2018
2.5/4 25% Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) The first half of Breaking Dawn: Part 1 moves slowly, but at least it taps into the appropriate emotions. The second half zips along rapidly but remains alarmingly flat and lifeless. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2018