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
94% Room 237 (2013) The rapturous responses seem over-the-top for this modest, entertaining,visually clever film. The fun is arguing with its subjects' looney theories; rewatch The Shining first. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 27, 2013
59% Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) This Oz doesn't have much heart or wonder, but with appealing characters, terrific actors and colorful action, it's an entertaining fantasy for the moment. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 6, 2013
46% Beautiful Creatures (2013) Sumptuous-looking, crisply directed, wonderfully cast and far wittier than the drippy, earnest Twilight Saga. A captivating tale with a tongue-in-cheek sense of play. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Feb 14, 2013
93% The Gatekeepers (2013) Totally fascinating and unexpected. No bravura filmmaking here, but rich, often startling observations about anti-terrorism, torture and the amorality of it all. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jan 30, 2013
64% The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) Thank goodness for Martin Freeman, who makes Bilbo a feeling person & a hobbit. Otherwise, the film is so awed by its technical ingenuity that character and story fade away. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 5, 2012
74% Killing Them Softly (2012) A disappointing, derivative noir that gets its spark from Pitt and Gandolfini's performances. Slight and pulpy, but it's aiming for arty and trenchant. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 30, 2012
87% Life of Pi (2012) Full of 3D wonders, but in the end no more than an easygoing, unchallenging adventure movie. Ang Lee is a master whose films can be emotionally powerful; Life of Pi isn't. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 20, 2012
92% Silver Linings Playbook (2012) The title is the only clunky thing in this smart, witty film. Cooper & Lawrence find the balance between being likable and making us queasy. De Niro & Weaver are miraculous. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 16, 2012
63% Anna Karenina (2012) Knightley and Taylor-Johnson are so passionless they might was well be animatronic. The theatrical conceit is more stunt than inspiration, the film cold as a Russian winter. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 14, 2012
93% Skyfall (2012) Sam Mendes adds freshness in this smart, character-driven film, as middle-aged Bond thrives in today's terror-ridden world. Still loaded with action, the best Bond in years. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 8, 2012
78% Flight (2012) Washington may save a planeload of people, but he can't save this manipulative, predictable, cliched film, so typical of Zemeckis' sturdy, unoriginal style. A well-made sham. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 2, 2012
3/5 73% Promised Land (1988) Promised Land tries hard to win you over but finally wears you down with its sincerity. ‐ New York Times
Posted Oct 17, 2012
96% Argo (2012) Affleck's thoughtul, extremely entertaining film shifts easily from the threatening to the comic, capturing the odd mix of fear and absurdity that informs the national mood. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Oct 10, 2012
43% The Paperboy (2012) I admire the film's terrific acting and ability to draw you into its lurid world, but Daniels is daring to the point of wrong-headedness. This is pulp, which wants to be more. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Oct 4, 2012
86% The Master (2012) Intelligent, chilly and fascinating, this uneven film didn't need 70 mm. It's a taut eye-to-eye war between Hoffman, magnificent as an egotist, and Phoenix, his needy follower ‐ James on screenS
Posted Sep 22, 2012
86% Arbitrage (2012) A shrewd satisfying thriller with a magical twist in Gere's performance. Instead of a demonized tycoon - Bernie Madoff as Satan - we see a fully-realized character. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Sep 13, 2012
42% Little White Lies (2012) Inspired by The Big Chill, Canet's appealing homage makes deja vu seem like a good thing. His warm ensemble piece engages us right through to its final visceral punch. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Aug 23, 2012
61% The Awakening (2012) West is so underused, he barely gets to raise an eyebrow in this watchable but pedestrian film, with Hall ghostbusting in a Downton Abbey setting. Cliched and never chilling. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Aug 17, 2012
64% Cosmopolis (2012) Smart and stylized - which doesn't innoculate this story of a sad billionaire against lethal familiarity and dullness. Pattinson's stiffness works, but the dialogue is vapid. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Aug 17, 2012
64% The Campaign (2012) When clever meets silly in this political spoof, silly always wins, but the cartoonish exaggeration works with some swift, perfectly timed comedy. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Aug 8, 2012
78% Ruby Sparks (2012) Neurosis hasn't seemed this adorably sane since Woody Allen. Clever, funny, expertly walking the line between arty and mainstream, Ruby Sparks is a lovable romantic comedy. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 25, 2012
51% Savages (2012) Slick and vapid, with characters worse than stick figures. In the age of 'Breaking Bad,' Stone's action-rush about drugs and violence just seems old. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jul 6, 2012
35% Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) The high-concept joke fades fast in this Abe-meets-vampires mashup, saddled with clunky 3-D, a lame screenplay, and actors as stiff as the statue at the Lincoln Memorial. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 22, 2012
55% Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) A sunny, charming apocalypse film that overcomes its contrived premise. Even the off-beat pairing of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley works better than you'd imagine. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 21, 2012
90% Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) Not a sci-fi movie but a droll, totally charming, un-hokey romantic comedy about two misfits. The film belongs to Aubrey Plaza's deadpan, touching, understated performance. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 8, 2012
28% Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding (2012) Fonda's clever casting and good-humored performance can't save this clunky, obvious mess - ludicrous from its contrived premise on. A waste of Beresford and the actors. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 7, 2012
28% Bel Ami (2012) Can Pattinson act without fangs? Not so much. As a social climber and 19th c. gigolo, his robotic acting matches the stately direction, which negates the sexy, messy theme. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jun 6, 2012
94% Moonrise Kingdom (2012) No one has an eye or sensibility like Anderson's, but this is a chilly disappointment. The unaffecting kids are meant to be the emotional center, yet the adults steal the film. ‐ James on screenS
Posted May 25, 2012
57% Hysteria (2012) Might have been a one-note joke, but Wexler, Dancy and Gyllenhaal make it a witty, slyly feminist comedy of sexual manners. ‐ James on screenS
Posted May 17, 2012
37% Dark Shadows (2012) You don't have to know the 60's afternoon soap to fall for this funny pop confection, but you do need to appreciate its light, spoofy tone. If you do, it's a ghoulish joy. ‐ James on screenS
Posted May 9, 2012
97% Monsieur Lazhar (2012) Don't be put off by its hokey-sounding subject: this unexpectedly powerful, subtle little film is exquisitely made, enormously moving and politically-charged. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Apr 13, 2012
84% The Hunger Games (2012) Lawrence is terrific, but the film is a sleek, competent example of a big-budget, sure-fire commercial hit without much soul or style. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 23, 2012
41% Casa de mi padre (2012) This Spanish-language spoof of bad old Western movies is like a looser, goofier version of a Christopher Guest film. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 16, 2012
51% Being Flynn (2012) De Niro's fullest role and strongest performance in years as a proud, self-deluded writer on a relentless downward spiral. A reminder that De Niro is still the best. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Mar 1, 2012
26% This Means War (2012) Witherspoon, Pine or Hardy could carry a film alone. Together the results are three times worse in McG's flat,cobbled-together action-romance. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Feb 14, 2012
13% W.E. (2012) A beautifully-shot, disappointing mess. Riseborough is brilliant as Wallis Simpson, but Wally (Cornish) is as ludicrous a character as you'll see on screen this year. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Feb 3, 2012
57% Albert Nobbs (2012) Close is unconvincing as a man,but accept the premise and the character's strength,bravery and heartbreaking sadness come through. McTeer is amazing in Garcia's eloquent film. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jan 25, 2012
80% Haywire (2012) This walloping(literally; everybody gets walloped) spy-action movie is built around Carano, but the real fun comes from the international adventure and dream supporting cast. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Jan 17, 2012
2/5 20% Mister Frost (1990) Mr. Goldblum, Ms. Baker and Mr. Bates (in a relatively small role) all seem professional, restrained and uncomfortable, which is at least a tribute to their good sense. ‐ New York Times
Posted Dec 27, 2011
76% War Horse (2011) Spielberg still knows how to make a crowd-pleasing blockbuster, but this sweeping, comfortably old-fashioned WWI cliche has the soul of a hollow chocolate Santa. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 21, 2011
55% In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011) Not a celebrity vanity project, but an astute, dramatically gripping, deeply feminist work. Despite some script problems, the film is a surprising triumph in so many ways. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 20, 2011
60% Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Not as surprising as the original, but every bit as much fun: a popcorn detective movie in Victorian clothes, with high-tech action and droll humor. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Dec 14, 2011
79% Shame (2011) Lower your expectations.Scene for scene, effectively intense, with fierce performances, but McQueen sets up a narrative and never follows through.Why are these people damaged? ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 30, 2011
94% Hugo (2011) Thoroughly enchanting. Transports us into a magical world of movies, yet looks forward in its embrace of dreams and imagination. The first truly artistic use of 3D I've seen. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 22, 2011
83% My Week with Marilyn (2011) Williams is a wonder, Redmayne terrific but this sharp film is less about Monroe than about a cultural moment: fame, movie pr, Olivier's old-school acting vs. Method. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 22, 2011
89% The Descendants (2011) Clooney is brilliant as the emotionally jolted hero of Payne's droll yet immensely moving film. In its perfectly wrought eloquence, it may be the best film of the year. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 16, 2011
92% Into The Abyss (2011) Haunting and urgent.Herzog's tough-minded film takes an uncompromising stand against the death penalty,but goes beyond to look at the larger issue of crime and blighted lives ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 10, 2011
43% J. Edgar (2011) It's not Leo's fault, but this shallow, conventional biopic is a snooze. On the Eastwood scale closer to Flags of Our Fathers - Serious, Important, Dull - than masterful. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 8, 2011
75% The Last Rites of Joe May (2011) Maggio's film may be small, but it's full of texture. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Nov 2, 2011
50% The Rum Diary (2011) Despite an occasional gleam in Depp's eye, this is something you'd never associate with Thompson:sluggish. Robinson directs so earnestly it might be A Portrait of the Artist. ‐ James on screenS
Posted Oct 24, 2011