Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Brent Hankins has been blogging and writing film reviews online since 2011. He joined the Phoenix Film Critics Society in 2013, and was a founding member of the Phoenix Critics Circle the following year, where he currently serves as President. Brent also hosted the weekly Drinks and Discourse podcast for nearly 5 years, and is currently the chief film critic at The Lamplight Review and Spoiler TV. He resides in Tempe, AZ with his wife and son.
Critics' Group: Phoenix Critics Circle

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
6/10 60% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Regrettably, this sequel fails to achieve the heights of its predecessor, but after months of pandemic life, it will likely scratch the blockbuster itch for anyone that needs a big, loud, colorful adventure. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
9/10 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is not only an exceptional piece of work, but a heart-wrenching reminder of the immense talent Boseman possessed and all the things he could've achieved if only circumstances had been different. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
5/10 87% News of the World (2020) Reuniting with Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass, Tom Hanks anchors a predictable, paint-by-numbers narrative with an equally predictable performance that he likely could've given in his sleep. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
5/10 26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Howard's film would've been far more interesting had it been willing to explore [the complexity of poverty], instead of sanitizing it and shining it up nicely for award season. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2020
7/10 83% Freaky (2020) A hilarious blend of mirth and murder with plenty of bloody, ridiculously over-the-top kills to please genre fans, and a surprisingly earnest emotional core. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
6/10 82% Let Him Go (2020) A solid showcase for its veteran stars, allowing Costner to tread familiar territory that never feels stale, and tasking Lane with constantly propelling the narrative forward as she evolves from doting grandmother to fearsome mama bear. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2020
7/10 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Wielding comedy like a weapon, Cohen's latest effort once again uses satire to bring us face-to-face with some painful truths about ourselves and the people around us, all the while managing to make us laugh until it hurts. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
8/10 100% Pink Skies Ahead (2020) Pink Skies Ahead makes some major strides toward destigmatizing mental health disorders and therapeutic treatment, thanks to Oxford's empathetic approach and the way she normalizes these experiences through the eyes of her protagonist. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2020
8/10 81% I'm Your Woman (2020) From neon-lit nightclubs to crumbling hotels to rundown roadside diners, Hart crafts this underworld journey into an anxiety-laced odyssey, accentuated by bursts of bloody violence. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
6/10 39% Rebecca (2020) Twists and turns are stacked up like dominoes and toppled in rapid succession... Thankfully, the work by James and Thomas is strong enough to carry Rebecca through a finale that's surprisingly clunky for a film that is otherwise quite competent. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
8/10 99% Totally Under Control (2020) Gibney's film is all but guaranteed to infuriate viewers, and rightfully so -- but its revelations are also unquestionably terrifying to behold, especially when the end is still nowhere in sight. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
9/10 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) The Trial of the Chicago 7 is Sorkin's second time working behind the camera, and his direction feels remarkably more assured than his debut effort, but where the film truly shines are in its superb ensemble cast, and its dialogue. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
7/10 90% Enola Holmes (2020) Brown is delightful in the leading role, Claflin is magnificently aggravating as a secondary villain of sorts, and the devilishly handsome Cavill is effortlessly charming as the world's most famous detective. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2020
5/10 28% Antebellum (2020) There are some striking visuals to be consumed, and Monáe has an undeniably commanding screen presence, but nothing seems to fit together quite right. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
8/10 65% The Devil All the Time (2020) Holland's performance isn't the flashiest -- that honor belongs to Pattinson's rapacious reverend -- but it's certainly the most interesting, and miles removed from his best-known work as Marvel's resident webslinger. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2020
8/10 73% Mulan (2020) Epic in scope and extravagant in its production design, Mulan would clearly have been a joy to experience in the theater, and it's a shame the world has changed so much over the last few months that audiences won't have that opportunity. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
7/10 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) The film was clearly a passion project for Winter and Reeves, and there's something joyous about watching them reprise the roles that helped jumpstart their careers -- especially when it feels more like a labor of love than a disingenuous cash grab. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
8/10 83% You Cannot Kill David Arquette (2020) A captivating chronicle of a man's desire for acceptance, for which he seems willing to pay any cost. The filmmakers do a wonderful job of capturing the pageantry and absurdity of the wrestling world, as well as its darker side. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2020
4/10 33% Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1 (Crazy Samurai Musashi) (2020) The notion of an epic-length samurai battle filmed in a single take is intriguing, but the novelty quickly wears thin, mostly thanks to bare-bones camera work and overly simplistic fight choreography. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2020
6/10 87% The Columnist (De Kuthoer) (2020) There's something satisfying about watching smug, smarmy racists and misogynists get their comeuppance, and The Columnist presents a revenge fantasy likely to be shared by anyone who's ever been mercilessly fucked with online. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
7/10 100% Sheep Without a Shepherd (2019) With a carefully constructed, multi-layered screenplay, great performances and some inspired directorial flourishes, Sheep Without a Shepherd is a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse with a wicked sense of humor and a genuinely surprising conclusion. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
8/10 94% Boys State (2020) A fascinating and sometimes frightening microcosm of our current political system, and how anyone looking to affect significant change within that system should prepare for a bumpy ride. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2020
10/10 98% Hamilton (2020) Hamilton was conceived as a piece of theatre, and truly deserves to be experienced as such... but this film of the original Broadway production is a fine substitute, and just like its onstage counterpart, well worth experiencing over and over again. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
5/10 39% Irresistible (2020) Stewart throws jabs at the absurdity of cable news punditry and its obsession with scandal, disingenuous photo ops and misleading attack ads -- nothing is safe from scrutiny here, but that scrutiny rarely goes beyond the lowest-hanging fruit. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
6/10 67% Extraction (2020) Hemsworth holds his own as a different sort of superhuman entity, the kind of ultra-macho, near-invincible hero that populated the action films of yesteryear... if you need a quick action fix while quarantining, Extraction will do the job nicely. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
7/10 57% The Hunt (2020) There's an argument that The Hunt is trying to say something deeper about the dangers of clinging to ideology... Or maybe it's trying to illustrate that being a closed-minded, self-righteous asshole is not a trait unique to one particular side. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
7/10 83% The Way Back (2020) Affleck's own well-documented struggles with alcohol lend some extra weight to his performance, which happens to be some of his best work in front of the camera in years. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
6/10 88% Onward (2020) Onward doesn't quite pack the emotional gut-punch of recent Pixar efforts like Inside Out and Coco. It's a fun and mostly lighthearted romp, with a great sense of humor, just don't expect it to rank among the studio's upper echelon. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
2/10 63% Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) The thought of spending more time with Sonic or his arch-nemesis makes me want to roll into a ball and fly off a cliff at several hundred miles per hour. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020
7/10 78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) With its pop-infused soundtrack, brightly colored visuals and open-armed embrace of its R-rated sensibilities -- F-bombs and bloodshed are dispensed in sizable portions throughout -- Birds of Prey is another step in the right direction. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
3/10 5% The Last Thing He Wanted (2020) Narratively The Last Thing He Wanted is a failure at every level. Perhaps a longer running time and a more measured pace might have resulted in something a bit closer to coherence, but as it stands, it couldn't possibly be more aptly titled. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
6/10 38% Downhill (2020) Ferrell is quite funny in an understated role devoid of his typical over-the-top antics, and Louis-Dreyfus turns in a multi-layered performance as the malcontent matriarch of the family, full of rage, lust, fear, sadness and countless other emotions. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
9/10 91% Promising Young Woman (2020) Anchored by a dynamite turn from Mulligan, it's a fierce, fiery battle cry of a film, one that seeks to hold accountable everyone whose actions -- or inaction -- contributed to the destruction of a woman's life. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
7/10 89% Zola (2020) Zola is much more focused on the journey than the destination, and thanks to a darkly funny script and some dynamite work from the cast, it's one hell of a crazy ride. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
7/10 75% The Gentlemen (2020) The Gentlemen is cut from such particular cloth that its mainstream appeal is questionable ... On the other hand, longtime fans of Ritchie's work will rightfully hail this as a return to his roots, and will no doubt clamor for more. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
2/10 13% Dolittle (2020) Dolittle is the sort of film that believes a vicious tiger named Barry getting kicked in the groin by a gorilla and exclaiming "Oh, my Barry berries!" is the height of humor. Moviegoers under the age of 10 might agree with this sentiment. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
6/10 77% Bad Boys for Life (2020) One would think the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence might have diminished in the 17 years since the duo last teamed up, but it's every bit as fun to watch these Bad Boys onscreen together in 2020 as it was when we first met them back in 1995. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
6/10 51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) The action sequences are among the best of the series. Particularly stunning is a pitched battle at sea, with Rey and Kylo Ren trading blows atop floating bits of wreckage as towering waves crash all around -- this entire sequence is instantly iconic. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
6/10 72% Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) While Jumanji: The Next Level mostly adheres to the same elements that turned the previous film into such a hit, it also remixes a few of those components to freshen things up a bit. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
9/10 97% Knives Out (2019) With a huge ensemble of A-list talent, a razor-sharp screenplay and a head-spinning number of shocks and surprises, Johnson adheres to genre conventions while simultaneously spinning them into something more complex, more devious, and more hilarious. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
10/10 95% The Irishman (2019) The Irishman will no doubt be revered as one of the greatest films ever produced about organized crime, and might very well be the definitive statement on the genre, because it's difficult to imagine anyone eclipsing what Scorsese has done here. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
8/10 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Having already portrayed Walt Disney, another figure instrumental in the shaping of so many childhoods, it only makes sense that Hanks would be tapped for this role, and let's be honest: who else could have pulled it off with such aplomb? - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
8/10 77% Frozen II (2019) Returning directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have done an outstanding job with this follow-up, giving fans more of the things they loved in the original film while expanding the world and exploring the characters in spellbinding new ways. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
8/10 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Although Ford v Ferrari slots neatly into the biopic formula, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as Mangold wisely chooses to focus not on the titular rivalry, but on legendary racing personalities Carroll Shelby (Damon) and Ken Miles (Bale). - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
10/10 82% The Report (2019) That Burns was able to distill 6700 pages of information into a two-hour film is an impressive feat on its own, but it's the dynamite ensemble cast that elevates The Report from rote investigative drama to nail-biting political thriller. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
8/10 78% Doctor Sleep (2019) The film shouldn't work nearly as well as it does, and it's almost baffling how neatly it all comes together. It's a cinematic magic trick of sorts, and Flanagan pulls it off with the confidence of someone performing an illusion for the thousandth time. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
7/10 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) As the de factor third chapter in the story of Sarah Connor, this is a very worthy continuation of her journey. Thanks to its surprisingly smart script and a captivating turn from Hamilton, Dark Fate puts the series on the road to redemption. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
8/10 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Dolemite is My Name provides Murphy with his best material in years, and the actor rises to the occasion, embracing his R-rated roots with aplomb and firing off jokes with a ferocity we haven't seen in far too long. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
9/10 90% The Lighthouse (2019) Even with a finale as rocky as the shoreline on which Thomas and Ephraim are stranded, the film is an absolute must-see, a brilliant shining beacon in a sea of stagnant cinema, guiding viewers through the storm toward salvation. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
9/10 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) The film's ambition is admirable, and it's hard to imagine anyone more capable of wringing so many laughs from such a peculiar premise. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2019