Charles Solomon

Charles Solomon
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Okko's Inn (2019) The touching animated feature "Okko's Inn" offers an unusual ghost story that follows Japanese traditions, and feels very different from its American counterparts. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
89% Missing Link (2019) Ultimately, "Missing Link" feels like a "Wallace & Gromit" wanna-be without the charm or laughs. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
No Score Yet Chance (2019) Director Kenny Roy's use of mime and slow-motion sequences only highlights the limits of the animation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
50% Oliver & Company (1988) The cartoon action will delight young children, while older ones, who usually reject animation as "kid stuff," will enjoy the rock songs and hip characters, especially the brash Tito. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
86% Made In Abyss: Journey's Dawn (2019) At times, "Made in Abyss" feels like a standard anime action-adventure, but the feature... suffers from an extremely nasty tone. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
100% This Magnificent Cake! (Ce magnifique gâteau!) (2019) At 44 minutes, "This Magnificent Cake" may be a long short or a short feature. Either way, it's an intriguing, disturbing film, utterly unlike American studio animation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
No Score Yet Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission (Gekijouban Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission) (2013) Hardcore "Hunter" devotees may enjoy "Last Mission," but the film lacks much of the good cheer and frisky élan of the broadcast series. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
83% Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2019) "Broly" delivers exactly what "Dragon Ball" fans want from a feature; newcomers may find themselves lost in places. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
100% The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows (2018) The styles and subjects of the 15 films from six countries in the 20th edition demonstrate that in the right hands, animation can be a vehicle for personal expression as powerful and intimate as drawing, painting or sculpture. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
100% On Happiness Road (2017) At a time when viewers are calling for greater diversity in film, "On Happiness Road" marks the introduction of a promising new female voice in animation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
82% Liz and the Blue Bird (2018) The sequences illustrating the fairy tale are rendered in a handsome water color style, but even these scenes feel too slow and deliberate to enliven the film. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
96% The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le grand méchant renard et autres contes) (2018) In divisive times, Pig and his friends, who consist of maybe a dozen drawn lines apiece, provide much-needed laughter in the tradition of the great Warner Bros. cartoons. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
41% MFKZ (2018) "MFKZ" is obviously modeled on Katsuhiro Ôtomo's "Akira" and Taiyô Matsumoto's "Tekkonkinkreet," but it lacks the gritty brilliance of the former and the underdog poignancy of the latter. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
100% My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (2018) "My Hero Academia: Two Heroes" gives fans of the manga and broadcast series exactly what they want: a high-energy blend of heroism, comedy, friendship and take-no-prisoners battles. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
89% The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl (2018) A highly original work by an artist who follows his own vision - wherever it leads. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
100% Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (2018) At almost two hours, the film feels a bit long and suffers from multiple endings, but Okada is clearly a talent to watch. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
76% Lu Over the Wall (Yoake tsugeru Rû no uta) (2018) Yuasa's bold imagery and sometimes convoluted storytelling defy the conventions of traditional animated filmmaking, but he is clearly an artist with an individual vision whose work offers something genuinely new and eye-catching. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
75% Chipmunk Adventure (1987) The premise allows the film makers to use a lot of rather stereotyped "local color" as a background for the characters' various misadventures. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2018
100% The 19th Annual Animation Show of Shows (2017) For viewers weary of the overly detailed look of many recent American CG features, the "Show of Shows" offers a welcome reminder that an animated film can be as intimate and personal as a signature. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2017
67% Cinderella The Cat (Gatta Cenerentola) (2017) The filmmakers seem to have been trying for the kind of animated film noir that has been done so skillfully in Japan, but "Cinderella the Cat" never approaches that level. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2017
94% A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi) (2017) An unflinching depiction of the cruelty children inflict on each other. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
63% Napping Princess (Hirune-hime: Shiranai watashi no monogatari) (2017) As he did in the popular "Eden and the East" and "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex," writer-director Kenji Kamiyama tells a complicated tale without resorting to dull explanations or pat conclusions. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2017
50% Song of the South (1946) Song of the South is essentially a nostalgic valentine to a past that never existed, and within those limits, it offers a pleasant, family diversion for holiday afternoons when the children get restless. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2017
95% The Girl Without Hands (La Jeune fille sans mains) (2017) Girl is a welcome reminder that animation doesn't have to be synonymous with realistically rendered CG, but can be a means of artistic expression as uniquely personal as a signature. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2017
40% Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions (2016) "Dark Side" suffers from both too much story and too little. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2017
67% One Piece Film: Gold (2017) On the surface, it's a very silly comic adventure. But beneath the slapstick lies a blunt critique of economic inequality and the contemporary culture of greed. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2017
No Score Yet 25 April (2015) Although the filmmakers use the soldiers' own words, they fail to create believable characters who can engage the audience. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2016
73% Blinky Bill The Movie (2016) Even the most sophisticated software can't give characters a sense of weight or a way of moving that suggests their personality. Nor can it create an engaging story. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2016
52% Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2018) Much of the dialogue is too literal and undercut by its stolid earnestness, and many of the characters are left underdeveloped. Viewers unfamiliar with Bilal's story may have trouble following parts of the film. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2016
97% Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Travis Knight's Japanese-influenced Kubo and the Two Strings ranks as the best film the artists at the Portland-based Laika Studio have made, with a strong story, assured direction and strikingly original designs. - Animation Scoop EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2016
93% The Little Prince (2016) There are only a few ... delightful moments in an otherwise muddled movie that feels like three films ineptly grafted together. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2016
88% Phantom Boy (2016) A modest, engaging film that reminds viewers of the intimate pleasures of drawn animation in an era of CG blockbusters. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2016
88% Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Beradona) (1973) The paintings simply aren't strong enough to hold the audience's attention and carry the story. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2016
33% Bling (2016) The voice actors shamelessly overact, delivering lines in grating shrieks. The weightless animation is equally overwrought: The characters flail about as if they'd contracted the cartoon equivalent of ergot poisoning. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2016
No Score Yet Classmates (Dou kyu sei) (2016) Nakamura uses watercolor effects, elongated human figures and split screen to capture the look of Asumiko Nakamura's original manga. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2016
100% Only Yesterday (1991) At a time when the Hollywood studios have been criticized for their failure to present women's stories, Only Yesterday offers a warmly engaging account of a woman learning who she wants to be by exploring who she was. - Animation Scoop EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2016
71% Snowtime! (2016) The characters remain underdeveloped, a problem complicated by the weightless, unexpressive animation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2016
87% Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) Kung Fu Panda 3 provides a welcome reminder of what the talented artists at DreamWorks can do when they're given worthwhile material. - Animation Scoop EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2016
63% Monster Hunt (Zhuo Yao Ji) (2016) "Monster Hunt" broke box office records in China, but American viewers may wonder why this confused and confusing adventure-comedy enthralled audiences there. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2016
No Score Yet Boruto: Naruto The Movie (2015) No "Naruto" fan will want to miss "Boruto," which suggests a new direction the franchise may take, now that the long-running TV series has finally concluded. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2015
93% Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015) "Boy and the World" reminds viewers that an animated feature can be more intimate and personal than the big-budget CG extravaganzas produced by Hollywood studios. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2015
82% Almost There (2015) He's demanding, imperious, self-pitying and manipulative to a degree that would be difficult to accept in a major talent, let alone a wannabe whose work barely rises to the level of paint-by-numbers. Nor is this portrait of him particularly well crafted. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2015
77% Moomins On The Riviera (Muumit Rivieralla) (2014) Very young children may be amused by these minimal characters, but the slow pace and thin content will have older children and adults fidgeting in their seats. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2015
90% The Boy And The Beast (Bakemono No Ko) (2016) "The Boy and the Beast" confirms Mamoru Hosoda's reputation as one of the most interesting writer-directors working in Japanese animation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2015
No Score Yet Karski i w?adcy ludzko?ci (2015) Although it is often moving, the film is less satisfying than it could be. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2015
58% Extraordinary Tales (2015) "Extraordinary Tales" reminds viewers that animation can enable an artist to realize an individual vision, even on a limited budget. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2015
No Score Yet Laws of the Universe: Part 0 (2015) A leaden-paced film that only followers of Okawa could enjoy. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2015
56% Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) Genndy Tartakovsky is a talented director who knows how to telegraph what an animated character is thinking and doing and how to move a character in ways that suggest personality. He deserves a more interesting assignment. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2015
66% Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (2015) Readers who regard Gibran as source of profound wisdom will delight in this celebration of his work; skeptics who dismiss his poetry as portentous and overblown should wait for the disc to come out and enjoy the imagery with the sound on low. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2015
99% Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) the animators communicate so much through the almost microscopic adjustments of the wrinkles in a character's forehead or shifting the angle of an eye. It reminds viewers that character animation is the art of caricatured movement, not sitcom wisecracks. - Animation Scoop EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2015