Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: The Oklahoman

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2.5/4 47% I Still Believe (2020) With "I Still Believe," the Erwin brothers raise the bar well above most faith-based films, in more ways than one. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2020
2/4 39% Wendy (2020) Although it is wild enough to stay interesting, Zeitlin's Wendy flows sluggishly with shallow characters, muddled storytelling and a murky mythology that fails to capture the magic of Pan. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
3.5/4 87% Onward (2020) Both a loving sendup and tribute to epic fantasy stories and their fervent fans, Onward is packed with hilarious Easter eggs and plot twists both familiar and surprising. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
3/4 91% The Invisible Man (2020) The Invisible Man does compellingly and sympathetically depict the devastatingly all-consuming effects of domestic violence, while providing plenty of suspense and scares. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
2/4 38% Downhill (2020) Although Downhill has a few relatable and amusing moments, it mostly wastes the considerable talents involved. Perhaps the best that can be said for the film is that it might convince more people to rent or stream Force Majeure. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
3.5/4 88% Cunningham (2019) Shot in vibrant 3D, the dance sequences veritably leap, spin and gyrate off the screen, offering a captivating visual spectacle that does more to spotlight Cunningham's ingenuity than all the eloquent droning of a dozen expert interviews. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
3.5/4 91% Clemency (2019) It's a veritable crime against cinema that Tulsa native Alfre Woodard isn't nominated for an Oscar for her masterful portrayal as a troubled prison warden in the acclaimed drama Clemency. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
3/4 88% Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) Although the sequel's script isn't as clever as its forerunner and depends too much on bumbling slapstick, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" is often laugh-out-loud hilarious, while still giving the story the requisite emotional heft and action sequences. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
89% 1917 (2020) Even more importantly, it serves as a mighty reminder of the inglorious, ruinous cost of war more than 100 years after the so-called "War to End All Wars" proved a sadly inaccurate nickname... - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2020
3.5/4 80% A Hidden Life (2019) The film runs almost three hours and could certainly be shorter, but at the same time, it's hard to argue it doesn't earn such an epic run time. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2020
3.5/4 No Score Yet Red Dog (2019) It's a surprisingly poignant tale of a motley crew of bouncers, bartenders and strippers who became the first family for a toddler and his single mother. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2020
3.5/4 95% Little Women (2019) Although the leaps between timelines can cause moments of confusion, the rich development of characters and themes proves more than worth the extra attentiveness the approach demands from the viewer. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2019
3.5/4 97% The Kingmaker (2019) The Kingmaker is less a historical biography than a timely cautionary tale. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
2.5/4 70% Bombshell (2019) Margot Robbie gives arguably the most powerful performance as Kayla Pospisil. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2019
2.5/4 95% Marriage Story (2019) Baumbach deserves kudos for highlighting the adversarial nature of divorce court...but his odd storytelling decisions too often undercut the human dynamics he's trying to explore. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
3.5/4 97% Knives Out (2019) Knives Out is an enticing addition to Johnson's filmography and a welcome appetizer before he goes back into orbit for more Star Wars adventures. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/4 82% Queen & Slim (2019) Captivating performances by Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith... help to keep the powerful, poetic drama driving forward. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/4 96% The Irishman (2019) A magnetic mob epic. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/4 77% Frozen II (2019) Frozen II boasts a convoluted story with a few plot holes, but returning co-writers and directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee deserve credit for crafting a sequel that seeks to answer the most compelling questions left by Frozen. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
2.5/4 24% The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) Although it doesn't quite have the sweep you want from a historical epic, the battle scenes are exciting, the colorful depictions of Indian culture are gorgeous, and the heroine is worth rooting for. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
2.5/4 82% The Report (2019) Jones spent five years compiling his 6,700-page report, and unfortunately, the movie feels at least this long, with the paper shuffling and screen scrolling occasionally broken up by flashbacks to the CIA black ops sites where the torture is happening. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
4/4 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) One of the best films of the year, Jojo Rabbit nimbly zips through the full gamut of emotions: It's by turns uproarious, warm, heart-rending, horrifying, silly, surreal, scary and joyous. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
2.5/4 43% Midway (2019) It was a job only for the bold and brave, and there are worse ways to spend the lead-up to Veterans Day than remembering the men who risked and sacrificed their lives doing that job. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
3.5/4 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Banderas earns his best actor prize from Frances' Cannes Film Festival -- and seems to be a shoo-in for an Oscar nod -- with his magnetic turn as Salvador Mallo, celebrated filmmaker plagued with a cavalcade of physical maladies. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
3/4 40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Disney fans weary of copycat live-action remakes of beloved animated film can enter a visually stunning fantasy realm with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
2.5/4 93% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Though not as groundbreaking as its subject, the expansive documentary showcases the jazz icon's innovative, ever-changing musical style while at least acknowledging the damage his personal demons wrought... - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
3/4 85% Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019) [Moonlight Sonata] accomplishes a fundamental goal of art by allowing us to experience other people's lives, struggles and triumphs, hopefully furthering our understanding of what it means to be deaf in a world wired for sound. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
2.5/4 68% Joker (2019) Joker is overly long, thematically murky and narratively uneven, with an unnecessary ending that, like a bad greasepaint job, ruthlessly highlights the film's flaws rather than concealing them. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
3/4 82% Judy (2019) An empathetic and engrossing portrait of the latter days of Judy Garland, Judy powers past narrative pitfalls on the sheer might of Renee Zellweger's fearless embodiment of the ill-fated icon. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
3/4 100% Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas) (2019) It's not necessary to know anything about surrealism, Buñuel's influential work or 20th-century Spanish politics to appreciate the underlying coming-of-age story of a privileged young man learning to value the human lives around him. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/4 89% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Listening to one of the most successful pop stars of the 1970s blast through many of her hits... with the warmth and might of a sunbeam for 95 minutes proves a beguiling pleasure worth soaking in. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
3/4 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) [It] practically qualifies as a modern moviemaking miracle. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3.5/4 87% The Nightingale (2019) A twisty, slow-burning thriller, The Nightingale is both shockingly violent and profoundly poignant as it unflinchingly counts the costs of cruelty, retribution and colonialism. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3.5/4 98% Maiden (2019) Like a rising tide, thrilling archival footage and still-timely female-empowerment themes lift the compelling documentary Maiden beyond the timeworn tropes of the underdog sports drama. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
2/4 88% Ready or Not (2019) Unfortunately, it is a brutal disappointment, with a delicious premise that turns out to be a bland, gore-soaked mess rather than the macabre satirical feast I expected. - The Oklahoman EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
2.5/4 80% 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 98% 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 92% 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 84% 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 53% 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 55% 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 88% 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