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
7/10 100% 5B (2019) Directors Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss deserve commendations of their own for ensuring this tale of unprecedented kindness in the face of unspeakable tragedy doesn't fade away into history. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
8/10 98% Toy Story 4 (2019) Like its predecessors, Toy Story 4 understands the significance of the bond between a child and their favorite toy, and more importantly, the undeniable magic of childhood. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
4/10 23% Men in Black International (2019) Overlong and mostly unfunny, Men in Black International offers precious little of the recipe which made the previous films -- particularly the original -- so endearing. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
7/10 79% Late Night (2019) Late Night is at its best when Thompson leans into Katherine's caustic and abrasive personality, which plays well against Kaling's earnestness, and the film's best moments arrive whenever these two comedic powerhouses share the screen. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
5/10 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) Dark Phoenix sends the X-Men out not with a bang, but with a roll of the eyes and a somewhat exasperated sigh. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
8/10 89% Rocketman (2019) Thanks to imaginative musical numbers that aren't always bound by the limits of reality and the irrefutable charisma of its leading man, Rocketman manages to break the mold just enough to stand tall above many of the genre's other offerings. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
5/10 40% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) On the rare occasion the camera pans out enough to showcase its creatures, they're truly awe-inspiring. But these moments of gratification are unable to counterbalance the film's laundry list of defects and misfires. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
9/10 97% Deadwood: The Movie (2019) While it may not be a perfect substitute for the fourth season that Milch had originally envisioned, Deadwood: The Movie nevertheless feels like a natural evolution for the characters that we fell in love with more than a decade ago. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
7/10 57% Aladdin (2019) Massoud's carefree demeanor and world-class grin are a perfect match for the "street rat" who dreams of bigger things, and the fierce determination Scott brings to the role of Jasmine is a welcome change from the usual damsel in distress archetype. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
9/10 97% Booksmart (2019) With its razor sharp script and electric lead performances, it could very well unseat the likes of Superbad and Mean Girls as the funniest high school comedy of the 21st century. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
8/10 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) The marriage of brutal hand-to-hand combat and impossibly precise gunplay have been franchise staples, and John Wick: Chapter 3 takes these elements to incredible heights with some of the most flat-out insane action choreography ever seen. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
7/10 66% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) It's family-friendly, for the most part, but there are a few cases of double entrende that will sail right over the heads of the little ones, while giving mom and dad an extra chuckle or two. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
5/10 51% Tolkien (2019) If you're looking for subtlety in David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford's screenplay, expect to come up short. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
4/10 31% Red Joan (2019) Dench is criminally underutilized here, resigned to a handful of scenes. Most of her limited screen time is spent feigning bewilderment at questions from MI5, as if the mountain of evidence piled on the table before her doesn't exist. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
10/10 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) If Avengers Endgame -- with its carefully crafted emotional beats, thrilling action sequences and heartbreaking farewells to some of our most beloved heroes -- isn't the perfect final chapter, I can't imagine what perfection might look like. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
6/10 88% We Believe In Dinosaurs (2019) Some stones are left unturned, and it would have made for a compelling addition to explore the conflict between the teachings of Answers in Genesis and their actions, but the existing material is certainly captivating and disquieting enough. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
3/10 50% Stuck (2019) As for the music, it's mostly fine, but catchy tunes can't distract from Stuck's narrative failures, nor its inability to craft a single moment that doesn't feel contrived. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
5/10 44% The Chaperone (2019) Norma's journey of self-fulfillment might have been more enjoyable as its own tale, but when married to the early days of Louise's career we can't escape the feeling that something more interesting is happening offscreen while we're stuck with Norma. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2019
6/10 96% Little Woods (2019) Thompson has been a fascinating actress to watch over the past few years as her filmography has become more and more diverse, and she once again proves herself adept at disappearing almost completely into a role. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
6/10 71% All Is True (2019) Whether thundering at his family in a grief-fueled outburst or conversing quietly with the Earl of Southampton in a fireside chat, Branagh's performance carries exactly the sort of weight you would expect when a lifelong devotee embodies his idol. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
9/10 87% The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) The Miseducation of Cameron Post asks a lot from its star, and Moretz is more than up to the task, showcasing a heartbreaking amount of vulnerability in a performance that is not only her best work in years, but possibly her best work, period. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
10/10 94% Blindspotting (2018) Blindspotting explores and articulates numerous issues which feel particularly relevant in today's sociopolitical climate, while also serving as a love letter to Diggs and Casal's native Oakland. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
5/10 32% The Catcher Was A Spy (2018) Rudd is no stranger to dramatic material, but he comes across as a bit too charming to be truly believable in this sort of role. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) The young adult audience at which the film is squarely aimed will surely spark to Meg, the awkward outcast who becomes a hero not because of a magic spell or a mystical artifact, but rather because she learns to believe in herself. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 52% Tomb Raider (2018) The core elements - Lara using a combination of intelligence and athleticism to solve puzzles, outwit adversaries and navigate thrilling action beats - are superbly entertaining. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) This is the kind of film that comic book fans have spent their entire lives dreaming about, one that breathes life into events that heretofore could only have existed on the page, or in the imagination. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 83% Deadpool 2 (2018) Deadpool 2 should be exactly what fans expect from a sequel, an ambitious upgrade that offers more jokes, more violence, more action and more vulgarity. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Fans hoping to experience some of the most important parts of Han's legacy will have plenty to look forward to here, including the genesis of his lifelong friendship with Chewbacca, and an infamous game of sabacc against Lando. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 88% American Animals (2018) That the crime is ultimately unsuccessful isn't a shocker - the film acknowledges this within the first few moments - but this detail hardly matters, because what's so intriguing is why the boys chose to attempt this crime in the first place. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 94% Incredibles 2 (2018) Returning director Brad Bird continues to showcase an eye for exciting and unique action while further endearing us to the Parr family by ensuring that each character is multi-layered and fully realized. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
3/10 47% Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) An offensively stupid film packed with too many undeveloped ideas, too many genetically-enhanced dinosaurs (seriously, didn't we get enough of this in the last film?), and too many characters that behave in ways that defy logic or reason. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 100% Leave No Trace (2018) Quiet and somber, with long stretches of little to no dialogue, Leave No Trace isn't likely to appeal to everyone, especially with its purposefully vague approach to storytelling and deliberate obfuscation of details. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 81% Buffalo Boys (2019) Wiluan fully embraces the genre's numerous tropes and uses them to his advantage, subverting expectations when appropriate while still delivering the type of shoot-em-up action that audiences will expect. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 74% The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019) If there's one criticism to levy, it's that the inevitable confrontation between Calvin and his mythical quarry is not only underwhelming, but also marred by clumsy fight choreography and subpar special effects. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 89% Champion (2018) Champion's biggest strengths are its comedic sensibilities, as director Kim Yong-Wan recognizes the inherent absurdity of arm-wrestling and plays it up for big laughs. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 80% Believer (2018) Believer not only offers the requisite firearms and fisticuffs demanded by the genre, but also arrives with some major surprises and numerous top-notch performances, all packed into a consistently exciting and thrilling package. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 76% Mega Time Squad (2019) Clever, goofy and incredibly fun, this is one of the hidden gems of this year's Fantasia Festival, and while it may be a bit too weird to find mainstream success, it's a perfect offering for genre fans. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 94% CAM (2018) There's more than a little David Lynch influence at play here, but Goldhaber handles the material expertly, as evidenced by his award for Best First Feature at Fantasia 2018 (not to be outdone, Isa Mazzei's screenplay also received honors). - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 89% Bodied (2018) Bodied is a fearless firecracker of a film, dishing out a steady stream of laugh-out-loud sequences and "did they really just go there?" moments while challenging perceptions every step of the way. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 61% Operation Finale (2018) Operation Finale's climax, while offering a fair amount of excitement and anxiety, feels as though it borrows a bit too heavily from Argo, a better film whose final moments are more engaging and more nerve-wracking. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
5/10 29% Venom (2018) It often feels like the bad ideas are methodically consuming the good ones - not unlike the symbiotes themselves - but if you can stay awake through the dreadful first hour, there's definitely some fun to be had. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 79% Halloween (2018) With its tough-as-nails leading lady, clever setpieces (a sequence involving motion-activated lights is superb), and significantly higher body count, Green's Halloween will appeal to longtime fans and franchise novices alike. - Spoiler TV EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 97% Black Panther (2018) Already a visionary director, Coogler has outdone himself with a film that fits into the larger Marvel universe while retaining a sense of confidence and identity all its own. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
4/10 19% Mute (2018) Skarsgård is a fine actor, but between his lack of spoken dialogue and a character written with as much personality as the bedpost he wields in combat, he's seldom engaging. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
3/10 12% The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2018) Directed by Shawn Christensen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jason Dolan, The Vanishing of Sidney Hall meanders its way through an excruciating two hours, and seeing the film through to completion is like an exercise in self-flaggelation. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 93% Heavy Trip (Hevi reissu) (2018) For anyone that's ever played in a garage band and remembers things like pre-show jitters, schlepping equipment to and from the venue, and the importance of a good promotional photo, Heavy Trip should resonate particularly well. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
2/10 70% Wobble Palace (2018) Wobble Palace is billed as a satire of millennial romance, but nothing about it feels particularly satirical - it just feels like we're spinning our wheels, watching two awful people do awful things in an effort to out-asshole each other. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 64% The New Romantic (2018) Written and directed by Carly Stone, The New Romantic is both hilarious and heartbreaking in its authenticity, with Barden showcasing tremendous vulnerability and painting a genuinely convincing portrait of an ambitious girl with a story to tell. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 72% Ready Player One (2018) Flawed though it may be, Ready Player One still has quite a bit to offer, especially for those with even the most rudimentary knowledge of pop culture. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 83% Blockers (2018) Cannon also revels in putting the trio of adults through a series of increasingly cartoonish trials, such as a scene where Kayla's dad (John Cena) agrees to a butt-chugging contest in order to prove that he's not a cop trying to bust up the party. - The Lamplight Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019