Brian D. Johnson

Brian D. Johnson
Brian D. Johnson's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Maclean's Magazine
Publications: Maclean's Magazine

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
44% Twins (1988) Despite its contrived origins, Twins is a surprisingly sweet, gentle comedy that sustains its humor long after the novelty of the premise wears off. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
53% The Cable Guy (1996) Sure, in the title role [Carrey] plays another in-your-face, over-the-top, wild and crazy guy. But for once he is not a lovable goof. He is a rather unsavory psychotic. And the movie itself is not pure farce: it is satire, with a disturbing edge. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
43% Moll Flanders (1996) The movie takes Moll's name, but mollifies her spirit. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
22% Harlem Nights (1989) Despite a flimsy script and a vain director, some of the supporting cast give spirited performances. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
5% Cocktail (1988) Cocktail is a vacuous throwback to Saturday Night Fever -- without the cultural novelty. The script is spiked with some comic lines, but overproof doses of inadvertent humor kill the effect. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
42% Space Jam (1996) Jordan seems dwarfed by Space Jam's high-concept shenanigans. His performance amounts to a series of one-note reaction shots. He seems to have as much talent for acting as for baseball. But at least he has something to fall back on. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
48% The First Wives Club (1996) But despite the clever jabs, and even with cameo support from Ivana Trump and Gloria Steinern, the film's three stars still seem trapped by Hollywood formula-choked by the heavy-handed direction of Hugh Wilson, and a smarmy script by Robert Harling, - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
87% First Man (2018) First Man fulfills its mission as suspenseful thriller. That's partly because it's not simply a re-enactment of a familiar story. It's a visceral, bone-rattling ride-an experience designed with meticulous precision. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
67% Bruno (2009) What's most consistently brilliant about the film is Baron Cohen's acting. He never breaks character for a second. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
67% Public Enemies (2009) Yes, this is a gangster movie worth seeing, and it should be seen on the big screen. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
85% 500 Days of Summer (2009) I found much to like in (500) Days of Summer, not the least of which is its emotional candour. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
45% The Proposal (2009) I found myself enjoying The Proposal more than I felt I should, chuckling at the predicaments and feeling the odd unsolicited tear moisten my eyes as if on cue in the third act. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
51% The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) Hauling their luxurious backstories like matching trailers, hero and villain face off with what seems like contractual symmetry. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
79% Okuribito (Departures) (2009) The encoffination ritual has a subtlety and grace that's lacking in Takita's direction, which lays down the narrative with slow, heavy brushstrokes of lacquered whimsy. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
68% Away We Go (2009) I began to realize why I'd been resisting the film all along, in spite of its dogged charm. None of the places the couple visit seems remotely real. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
78% The Hangover (2009) The movie, in the end, feels as as shabby as the unfulfilled lives that, we assume, these men will resume once the fun and games are over. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
98% Up (2009) With Up, Disney/Pixar continues to set the bar for animated features. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
84% State of Play (2009) I know it sounds like I'm trashing this movie, but the story has real juice and complexity, the performances have muscle, and the political backdrop is ripped from the headlines. I wasn't bored for a second. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
77% Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys) (2008) It's a strong story, with a slow but inexorable momentum. Ceylan has marshalled a quartet of superb performances. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
57% The Soloist (2009) Aside from putting flesh on the bones of characters, there are ways in which a movie can surpass a book. In this case it's through the power of music-both aural and visual. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
90% Hunger (2008) Director Steve McQueen finds beauty in the squalor. And to his credit, he doesn't sermonize or take sides. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
50% Observe and Report (2009) My resistance to embrace this film-even though I like the idea of a subversive, satirical anti-Paul Blart mall cop comedy-is that I had trouble believing it. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
31% Fanboys (2008) The momentum is lost. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
88% Adventureland (2009) It's the opposite of the Hollywood dream that you never let go.In this case the big, gaudy ambition turn out to be empty and pointless. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
42% RiP: A Remix Manifesto (2009) Rip is a dazzling frontal assault on how corporate culture is using copyright law to muzzle freedom of expression. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
92% Gomorrah (Gomorra) (2008) It's been a while since I first saw this brutal slice of social realism in Cannes. And it left an indelible impression, if not an urgent desire to see it again. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
16% Crossing Over (2009) It's all too conventional, a prosaic melodrama composed of characters who turn out to be strictly good or evil. We already know that immigrants are exploited. Crossing Over tries to tell us that once again, while compounding the offence. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
50% One Week (2008) Joshua Jackson makes a likeable and [convincing] a turns in a strong performance as a man who has a premature mid-life crisis when he learns he's dying of cancer. But I wish I could feel the same affection for the script. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
No Score Yet Lost Song (2008) It's lovingly crafted. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
100% C'est Pas Moi, Je le Jure! (It's Not Me, I Swear!) (2008) As a poetic tale of an outrageous artist-as-a-young-boy, It's Not Me, I Swear is also reminiscent of Léolo, the wonderful 1992 film by the late Jean-Claude Lauzon. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
53% Stone of Destiny (2008) To call it a pleasant, watchable picture is to damn it with the faint praise that it seems to solicit. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
No Score Yet Che (2008) I'm afraid to count myself as one of those curmudgeonly critics who was underwhelmed by its folksy period charm. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
No Score Yet The Necessities of Life (2008) The story, scripted by Bernard Émond, is so spare, and its world is so bleak, that Ungalaaq's performance seems to take place in a void. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
59% The International (2009) As for the direction, Tykwer seems more enamoured with architecture than with his actors. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
96% The Class (2008) It is intensely vital. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
71% Last Chance Harvey (2009) Maybe I'm damning with faint praise, but these are two actors I don't mind wasting time with. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
57% Defiance (2009) The actors are compelling. And Director Edward Zwick inflects the material with his trademark mix of moral zeal and high adventure, as in previous epics like Glory, Legends of the Fall and Blood Diamond. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
49% Twilight (2008) Without descending into camp, Pattinson undercuts earnest intensity with a deft, self-conscious wit. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
68% Synecdoche, New York (2008) As an example of failure, and delusion, it's fascinating but ultimately frustrating. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
88% I've Loved You So Long (2008) The reason to see I've Loved You So Long is quite simple: Kristin Scott Thomas. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
84% JCVD (Van Dammage) (2008) Van Damme performs two virtuoso sequences in JCVD, each filmed in one extended uncut shot. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
65% Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) Even though I saw it barely two months ago, it has gone right out of my head. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
50% What Just Happened? (2008) The satire lacks the bite of The Player. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
92% Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) If you find Hawkins irritating, which is entirely possible, Happy-Go-Lucky could drive you quite crazy. But she won me over, and I suspect that will be the case with most audiences: a bright light in dark times. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
40% Passchendaele (2008) Passchendaele remains an impressive piece of work, a movie worth seeing and discussing as much for its flaws as its merits. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
56% Battle in Seattle (2008) The movie's dramatic devices are schematic, but in the end there's something strangely moving about Battle in Seattle. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
58% W. (2008) Like Bush's presidency, it seems lost: it lacks direction. W. could very well stand for why? - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
55% Body of Lies (2008) The film's veracity is undermined by its compulsive use of glib soundbites. Not to mention an over-wound plot that begs disbelief. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
No Score Yet Cooper's Camera (2008) It inherits its zany satirical style from SCTV 's Great White North and Kids in the Hall, but it goes to gross-out extremes that seem unprecedented. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
76% Appaloosa (2008) Really, it's like watching three amigos passing the time of day in New Mexico while waiting for a call from Cronenberg. - Maclean's Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017