Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 72% Last Night in Soho (2021) A couple of jump scares aside, it isn't particularly frightening. But, like the miniskirt, the Nehru jacket and the Jaguar XK-E, it is distinctive. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2021
3.5/5 87% The Harder They Fall (2021) A swirl of fact and fiction, history and humor, Italian spaghetti western and Jamaican reggae that is as far from historically accurate as Yuma is from New York but remains wildly entertaining. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2021
4/5 83% Dune (2021) "Dune" is an impressive feat, a plunge into a richly designed world that feels at once ancient and futuristic and wholly, fully formed. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2021
4/5 83% Lamb (2021) How viewers respond to "Lamb," which won an Un Certain Regard award at Cannes, depends on how much they buy the film's central conceit. Gudnason and Rapace who both possess a brooding intensity that helps make the whole thing believable. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2021
2.5/5 84% No Time To Die (2021) "No Time to Die" falls somewhere in an unremarkable middle between Craig's best Bond films ("Casino Royale," "Skyfall") and the lesser efforts ("Spectre," "Quantum of Solace"). - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2021
3.5/5 73% The Guilty (2021) This version feels both unnecessary (like so many remakes of foreign-language hits) and much more like an Oscar-look-at-me star turn for Gyllenhaal. Having said that, Gyllenhaal brings a steely-eyed intensity to the role. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2021
3.5/5 82% Copshop (2021) (Alexis Louder) is absolutely magnetic in "Copshop," an energetically entertaining B-movie joyride through the visuals, music and blood-splattered plots of... '70s crime films...with a detour through the American Western for good measure. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2021
4/5 78% Small Engine Repair (2021) The last 40 minutes or so constitute a tense exercise in claustrophobic suspense...It's here that "Small Engine Repair" may be at its stagiest but it's here where it's also at its best. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2021
4.5/5 93% Mogul Mowgli (2021) "Mogul Mowgli"...crackles with a stylistic and visual energy...This is a film that announces a major new talent. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2021
4/5 96% CODA (2021) Beyond its portrayal of a well-rounded deaf family, "CODA" may not revolutionary in its execution but it's like a memorable pop song: it has great hooks, a solid beat and it's fun to sing along to. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2021
4/5 93% Raging Fire (2021) (Director) Chan doesn't reach the dizzying heights of the best of (John) Woo or Gareth Evans, who made "The Raid" films, but there are moments that echo their ingenuity and sense of propulsion. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2021
4/5 92% Escape from Mogadishu (2021) An involving and suspenseful action-thriller that Ryoo Seung-wan handles with flair, capably staging big action scenes - like the final, nerve-rattling drive to potential salvation - while not neglecting the human stories at their heart. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2021
3.5/5 90% The Suicide Squad (2021) An enjoyably overstuffed summer blockbuster that easily could have been as calamitous as its predecessor. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2021
2.5/5 50% Old (2021) "Old," which has its moments, never really comes alive or crackles with suspense. As with some of his lesser films, Shyamalan takes a kernel of a good idea and doesn't do much with it...Same "Old," same "Old." - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2021
4/5 91% Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021) "Roadrunner" is a sadly beautiful evocation of Bourdain's "be a traveler, not a tourist" ethos combined with a colorful life story etched in pain and loneliness. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
3.5/5 79% Black Widow (2021) Shortland has made a credible action film that also functions as a twisted family portrait as well as a story of a woman coming to terms with her past. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2021
4/5 88% Zola (2021) Unlike an Avenger, Zola isn't saving the world from some evil mastermind or extraterrestrial threat. Still, she proves the old maxim that not only do all heroes not wear capes, sometimes they wear next to nothing at all. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2021
2.5/5 59% F9 (2021) "F9" has its pleasures...That may be enough for the "F&F" faithful...Others though, who don't want to traverse the familiar action-movie terrain that "F9" roars through, will be left looking for the exit ramp. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
3/5 64% 12 Mighty Orphans (2021) It's an up-from-struggle story tailor-made for an old-fashioned, family-friendly, earnest, feel-good movie, and that's exactly what Roberts delivers, - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
4/5 94% In the Heights (2021) What Chu and Miranda have made may be the ultimate summer movie - but one without explosions, superheroes, aliens and disasters. Instead, glowing like an August sunset, "In the Heights" mirrors the shimmering optimism of the season itself. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
1/5 27% The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021) If there's one film that could make you wish that all theaters had not only stayed shuttered after the pandemic but burned down, it's "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard." - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
4/5 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) A well-executed thrill ride that leads to just one destination: "A Quiet Place Part III" due next year. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
2.5/5 44% Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) A rote, generic, by-the-numbers thriller with few real thrills. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2021
4/5 92% Limbo (2021) Bleakly humorous and wonderfully deadpan...a movie whose deliberately slow pace and sense of quiet desperation aptly mirrors its title. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2021
92% We Don't Deserve Dogs (2020) The documentary from Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker goes to four continents to explore the human-dog relationship. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2021
4.5/5 90% Moffie (2019) A riveting portrait of a particular time and place while also being a broader assault on the type of pressure-cooker masculinity where torture, cruelty, humiliation and racism are the coins of the realm. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2021
3.5/5 83% Nobody (2021) Of course, what makes or breaks a film like this are the action scenes and they are plentiful and they are painful. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2021
4/5 75% Pixie (2021) British director Barnaby Thompson's coolly comedic "Pixie" may not be the most original in concept in the world but the winning execution makes up for it. And, yes, there really are deadly gangster priests. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
5/5 93% Nomadland (2021) The contemplative "Nomadland" whispers instead of shouts its grievances about contemporary American life, and is all the more powerful for it. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
4/5 75% The Mauritanian (2021) Rahim fleshes out Slahi as a real person; he's not just a victim or someone to be saved. Though Rahim has been in English-language projects previously... American audiences should really sit up and take notice of his performance here. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2021
4.5/5 89% Supernova (2021) A delicate, beautifully understated dance of emotions that is so much more than just watching someone in terminal decline. It's also a celebration of a life well lived on its own terms. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
3/5 85% Our Friend (2020) While "Our Friend" is effective as drama - the acting is uniformly excellent - and is beautifully shot, the film pulls its punches to its, and the audience's, detriment. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
3.5/5 67% Love in Dangerous Times (2020) "Dangerous Times" taps into the sense of emotional dislocation and quiet panic many are feeling these days while simultaneously offering a pandemic twist on the traditional boy-meets-girl formula. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2020
3/5 60% The Never List (2020) Houston director Michelle Mower, working from a script by Ariadne Shaffer, has made a sweetly serious film about friendship, trauma and not letting yourself get lost. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
4/5 93% Sylvie's Love (2020) While "Sylvie's Love" may not be as rooted in the real world as such other recent African American romances as "The Photograph" and "If Beale Street Could Talk," it nevertheless has a similarly rapturous feel. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 94% Beasts Clawing at Straws (2020) "Beasts Clawing at Straws" is obvious in its influences - a little Coen Brothers here, a little Tarantino there, all seasoned with a sprinkling of Hitchcock paranoia - but Yong-hoon manages to give them his own twist. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
4/5 97% Sound of Metal (2020) While "Sound of Metal" doesn't venture to unexpected places, director Darius Marder - working from a script based on a story by "Blue Valentine" director Derek Cianfrance - keeps it all rooted in a heartfelt reality. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
3.5/5 87% Yellow Rose (2020) A sweetly earnest character study and coming-of-age tale that's impressive because of its low-key authenticity. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
5/5 98% Time (2020) It's as much poem as protest, one scored by the downcast, bleakly beautiful piano music of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou, a reclusive Ethiopian nun whose work has been rediscovered in recent years. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
45% LX 2048 (2020) It's always fun when a little film comes out of nowhere that has the ability to surprise. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
3.5/5 82% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" is a very strange and singular work that seems just about right for a very strange and singular year. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
4.5/5 73% Mulan (2020) The colorful "Mulan" is striking in its visual beauty and production design. (Special kudos to Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker.) "Mulan" deserves to be seen on as big a screen as possible. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
3.5/5 92% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) "Copperfield" may not be Iannucci's most personal work, his engaging, inventive and visually colorful, multicultural embrace of Dickens' old-school English world is appealing, especially if you're not wedded to every word and twist of the original text. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
2.5/5 54% Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020) "Peninsula" is much more of a generic, CGI-reliant action movie that often feels like a video game coupled with a few pages ripped from the scripts of "Mad Max" and "Escape From New York." - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
4/5 74% The Rental (2020) Now comes "The Rental," an effectively chilly little thriller about a vacation gone very wrong that is, for the home-sharing business, like a poisonous, little cinematic cherry on top of an especially toxic pandemic parfait. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2020
4/5 100% House of Hummingbird (Beolsae) (2020) This slow-moving but exquisitely drawn character study and coming-of-age story, which has picked up several awards at film festivals around the world, takes its time getting where it's going, but the cumulative impact of the journey is powerful. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
3/5 80% The Old Guard (2020) There's something affecting about "The Old Guard" and its story of a group of tired, superhero soldiers going through the motions of saving humankind with an increasing level of frustration and quiet anxiety. Who can't relate to that these days? - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2020
3.5/5 92% The Outpost (2020) While "The Outpost" might not have ambitions to offer a wider perspective on America's longest war, it's an effective re-creation of what must have seemed to those involved to be the war's longest battle. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2020
4/5 99% Miss Juneteenth (2020) A warm, rich story of broken dreams, family struggle and emotional triumph that puts black Texas women in the center of the frame. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2020
3.5/5 75% The King of Staten Island (2020) At 136 minutes, "The King of Staten Island" takes too long to get where it's going...But it's a good-natured enough journey with enough good performances - including Steve Buscemi as Ray's boss - to make it a trip worth taking. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2020