Caryn JamesMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Caryn James

Caryn James
Caryn James's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/5 26% Suicide Squad (2016) Suicide Squad looked bright and promising in its run-up, but lands on the screen with a big-budget thud of missed opportunities. ‐
Posted Aug 4, 2016
86% Inception (2010) Even as you tick off the film's overload of references, though -- a Matrix here, a James Bond there -- the amazing effects and Cobb's quest carry you along. ‐ Newsweek
Posted Jul 20, 2015
No Score Yet Freedom on My Mind (1994) An absorbing work of historical preservation and strong ideas. ‐ New York Times
Posted Apr 14, 2015
100% Whispering Pages (1993) Mostly there is extraordinary photography, a palette of dusty gray tones that echo the faded look of 19th-century photographs. ‐ New York Times
Posted Mar 3, 2015
99% Timbuktu (2015) Eye-opening but never didactic, Sissako's beautifully shot film immerses us in a reality we usually experience as no more than a headline. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jan 26, 2015
45% The Better Angels (2014) On paper, this lyrical, black-and-white rendering of Lincoln's backwoods boyhood may seem pompous, but it is beautiful, poetic and graceful, with its own flowing rhythm. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 7, 2014
51% The Zero Theorem (2014) Terry Gilliam's listless and shallow futuristic fantasy lands like a pale evocation of his classic "Brazil." ‐ James on screenS
Posted Sep 15, 2014
3% Getting Even With Dad (1994) The film should have been a roller coaster ride; instead, watching it is like trudging through a swamp. ‐ New York Times
Posted Jul 25, 2014
62% L'écume des jours (Mood Indigo) (2014) The film resembles a genius' workshop filled with old-fashioned toys.Gondry's visual imagination is so sparkling,it hardly matters that the whimsy overhwhelms the characters. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 15, 2014
24% Third Person (2014) Does Haggis actually believe that this pretentious, simplistic film has any substance? An overwrought, vapid three-strand story, each thread more banal than the last. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 20, 2014
66% The Rover (2014) Michod's arresting and tense film -- part thriller, part warning of dystopia -- is played with ferocious restraint by Guy Pearce. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 13, 2014
91% Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 'Groundhog Day Meets Alien.' Relatively good compared to Cruise's recent, unwatchable movies because Liman orchestrates spectacular action; the talking scenes are tiresome. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 2, 2014
91% X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Bold and entertaining, this is not as sleek or clever as X-Men:First Class, but makes up for those lapses with McAvoy's fiercely emotional performance and dazzling set pieces. ‐ James on screenS
Posted May 22, 2014
86% Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) A brilliant, magical combination: pure Jarmusch and entirely new. It's visually sumptuous, but his droll attitude remains in this wry story of perfectly cast vampires in love. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 10, 2014
95% Finding Vivian Maier (2014) Was she the Emily Dickinson of photos or the anti-Mary Poppins? This fascinating film reveals a lot about Maier's rich photos & glimpses at her bizarre, hidden personality. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 26, 2014
99% The Missing Picture (2014) A survivor's story,a political statement and an eloquent meditation on images and memory. The miniatures and the film are exquisite works of art infused with living memory ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 20, 2014
75% Enemy (2014) Gyllenhaal is eloquently subtle, but this muddled identity-thriller relies on misdirection and leaves you feeling not stunned, just cheated. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 13, 2014
60% Non-Stop (2014) 'Taken' meets 'Speed' on a plane, with a dash of Agatha Christie, but as breezily entertaining as a commercial action thriller is supposed to be. Neeson and cast make it work. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Feb 26, 2014
13% Winter's Tale (2014) Is it a Valentine's Day prank? Gives magic and realism a bad name; doesn't make romance seem so hot either. So dull it feels like a vanity project with a Hollywood budget. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Feb 14, 2014
30% The Monuments Men (2014) Part 'Oceans 11' with Nazis, part Clooney lecturing us about art and culture. Blissfully acted but strangely flat, it shifts uncomfortably between caper and classroom lesson. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Feb 6, 2014
89% Tim's Vermeer (2014) Jenison's obsession is the basis for a playful,entertaining film. I wasn't convinced for a millisecond by his wackadoodle theory, but I enjoyed every minute of Tim's Vermeer. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jan 31, 2014
75% Lone Survivor (2014) With a conventional style,the film puts us in the center of a relentless, fatal battle in Afghanistan. Lone Survivor will make you squirm, but earns every wrenching minute. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jan 10, 2014
75% Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) There is something hilarious about a journalistic doofus like Ron Burgundy creating cable news. Ferrell & McKay are silly-smart. Not pointed satire but ridiculously funny. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 17, 2013
93% American Hustle (2013) Never quite lets you forget you're watching bravura acting but that acting is deliriously funny. The film is just enough over the top so the artifice becomes part of the joke. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 11, 2013
78% Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Thompson is so delightfully acerbic and convincing that she makes Saving Mr. Banks safe for people who find Disney films too saccharine. Not adventurous, but entertaining. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 9, 2013
53% Out of the Furnace (2013) Bale is nuanced & affecting in an overloaded, overcalculated film that doesn't deserve him. The characters' problems seem orchestrated by Screenwriting 101 rather than fate. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 4, 2013
92% Philomena (2013) If you're going to tell a heart-warming story about a sweet wronged little old lady,it helps to have a witty,cynical journalist along. Dench & Coogan create a perfect balance. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 20, 2013
82% The Broken Circle Breakdown (2013) An amazing film, at once happy, sad and exhilarating to watch. Told in an elegant pattern of present-day and flashbacks,full of music that suits every graceful shift in tone. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 1, 2013
100% The Square (2013) A galvanizing documentary with rare first-hand perspectives. With great immediacy, Noujaim provides a smart eye-opening view as activists maneuver toward an uncertain future. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Oct 24, 2013
46% All Is Bright (2013) All is Bright is unsugary, a small out-of-season miracle. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Oct 7, 2013
96% Gravity (2013) Gravity comes loaded with technical wizardry, but Cuaron's visceral, dynamic story-telling is the film's most magical special effect. He makes outer space seem intimate. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Oct 2, 2013
41% Child Of God (2014) Franco's powerful adaptation, directed with discipline and intelligence, captures McCarthy's mordant darkness. It reveals the humanity buried beneath animalistic behavior. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Sep 26, 2013
81% Prisoners (2013) So sharply directed, tautly edited, rich and believably acted by Jackman and Gyllenhaal that you quickly forgive its tired story. An intense, satisfying thriller. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Sep 16, 2013
78% The Grandmaster (2013) Poetic, operatic, historically sweeping, as lush and seductive as Wong's previous films. Don't think of it as a kung fu movie; think of it as the work of a master filmmaker. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Aug 22, 2013
71% Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) Audience-pandering History Lite. Whitaker is dazzling, but Daniels' self-congratulatory film spoon-feeds us a civil rights lesson without adding nuance to the conversation. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Aug 12, 2013
91% Blue Jasmine (2013) Witty about social pretensions, eloquent about failure & loss, acerbic about family, Allen's light-handed tragedy is a major work. Blanchett is dazzling as the fragile heroine. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 22, 2013
41% Only God Forgives (2013) Gosling and Scott Thomas elevate this stylish midnight movie but not enough to overcome its emptiness. More camp and cult than art; sometimes silly and gross but never boring. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 16, 2013
94% Fruitvale Station (2013) Galvanizing, tense gritty-indie, brilliantly acted by Jordan and Spencer. Very much worth watching even though the too-neat, manipulative screenplay undercuts it artistically. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 12, 2013
85% The Way Way Back (2013) Warm, engaging, and thoroughly charming even though we can predict every turn in this old-fashioned coming of age story. Carell is terrific as an unlikable bully. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 5, 2013
67% World War Z (2013) Sounds unlikely, but Brad Pitt + Zombies = Dull in this self-defeating, formulaic action film. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 21, 2013
55% Man of Steel (2013) Predictable action crushes character & story. If all you want is blockbuster action it's there and Cavill wins Best Looking Superman. If you want more revisit a Dark Knight. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 13, 2013
95% Behind the Candelabra (2013) Hugely entertaining, the film walks the line between hilarious kitsch & character study. Douglas' performance is brilliant, sympathetic, an act of impeccable mimicry & depth. ‐ James on screenS
Posted May 22, 2013
48% The Great Gatsby (2013) DiCaprio is wonderful but can't save this misbegotten film, which is tethered to Fitzgerald's words while failing to approach "Gatsby"'s romantic, heartbreaking soul. ‐ James on screenS
Posted May 7, 2013
54% The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013) This beautifully textured drama about a man caught between two cultures reflects the distrust, misunderstanding and harsh political reality of Pakistan-American relations. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 26, 2013
89% In the House (2013) A sharp, enticing psychological cat-and-mouse game. Its gleeful dark wit comes from manipulations, voyeurism, the idea that we all invade each other's lives and thoughts. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 19, 2013
64% Antiviral (2013) A slick, vapid thriller. Cronenberg has style and flair, but his all-too-obvious ideas about fame leave us with caricatures, not characters. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 15, 2013
46% To The Wonder (2013) This may be Malick's most diasppointing film. Art at its purest, but with hollow characters and cliched images, not the best example of an art or Malick film you'll ever see. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 11, 2013
78% It's a Disaster (2013) An offbeat little gem of a black-comedy that plays much better than it sounds. The deft screenplay and straight-faced comic actors make a familar premise feel fresh. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 10, 2013
68% Trance (2013) Boyle is always worth paying attention to, and McAvoy is captivting, but this twisty film is a stylish disappoint with a long, dull middle section. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 4, 2013
80% The Place Beyond The Pines (2013) This triptych about fathers, sons and the determinism of class is two-thirds of a terrific film. The last part is a letdown because the first are so powerfully believable. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 28, 2013