Chris Vognar

Chris Vognar
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 65% The Manor (2021) It gets in, does what it needs to do and gets out. It knows exactly what it is, and that's plenty enough. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2021
2/4 52% Best Sellers (2021) There's not much to recommend here besides Caine. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2021
67% Playing God (2021) What doesn't work on a logic level makes sense according to the characters and performances. And the twists - a con movie always has twists - are quite satisfying, even if you see them coming. - Houston Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2021
3/4 86% The Card Counter (2021) Schrader is in one of those late-career grooves that you always like to see from a veteran filmmaker who has something to say. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2021
2.5/4 78% Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (2021) The film makes the case that the Kowalskis bilked Ross' family out of their share of money from Ross' image and likeness, and steamrolled other artists and instructors as well. And it makes this case well. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2021
4/4 89% Ailey (2021) A haunting portrait of what it means to be an artist - from the triumphs to the empty, lonely feeling that you're never as good as you're supposed to be. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2021
3/4 96% Mr. SOUL! (2020) "Mr. Soul!" is like a wrinkle in time, a time capsule that needed to be opened. In uncovering rare gold, it's a film that reminds us just how much we don't know. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2021
0/4 35% America: The Motion Picture (2021) We live in ridiculous, often scary times, and political satire can provide a valuable tonic and perspective. But filmmakers have to make the effort. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2021
2/4 67% Fatherhood (2021) It will make no converts, nor will it push away the faithful. It's a Kevin Hart movie, after all. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2021
3/4 84% Port Authority (2019) If you're looking for an immersive love story that takes you places you might not know, that challenges your conception of what romance looks and feels like, "Port Authority" is a great place to stop. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2021
2.5/4 66% Friends: The Reunion (2021) "Friends: The Reunion" is a fond look back for those who couldn't get enough the first time. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
3/4 96% Plan B (2021) Best of all, for all its serious intent, "Plan B" doesn't forget to be funny. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
3/4 68% Monster (2019) If "Monster" occasionally shows its YA roots with flashes of simplicity, it also tells a lean, propulsive story with style and grace. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2021
2.5/4 39% Things Heard & Seen (2021) It's hard to write about how all this happens without tarnishing the effect, but eventually you feel it building, taking its time, shining light on previous details that might have led you to twiddle your thumbs. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
3/4 95% Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (2021) "Street Gang" is a worthy celebration of a one-of-a-kind program. If you're not careful, it might leave you humming your ABCs. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2/4 43% Boogie (2021) "Boogie" has some hops. But its all-around game could use a little work. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2021
2.5/4 77% Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (2021) He never had the chance to become a grown-up, let alone a middle-aged man. It's this giant kid who takes center stage in "I Got a Story to Tell." Long live his rhymes. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
46% American Son (2019) "American Son"... tries very hard to squeeze significance out of every scene. Unfortunately it forgets to tell a story amid all the meaning. Details, details. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
58% In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) The film is never less than engaging, and it's just about always clever. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
83% Girl (2019) An immersive, empathetic film that speaks the language of tolerance without getting preachy. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
19% Polar (2019) If it has any redeeming qualities, it chooses to keep them a secret. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
A 96% Roma (2018) In the end, the film belongs to Aparicio, whose unmannered performance gives Roma an extra dimension of poetic realism. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
B 82% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) For all the love/hate, left/right noise surrounding every Moore release, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that he's a polished filmmaker with a seasoned crew. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
B+ 86% The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a modest-size film that performs a service opposite to that of Conversion therapy: It respects the vulnerability that accompanies the emergence of any young person's sexuality. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2018
96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) It's not pretty, which is one reason for the touches of comedy: Sometimes you need to laugh to keep from screaming. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
B+ 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) Sorry to Bother You swings from its heels, and when it hits, it hits hard. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
A- 100% Leave No Trace (2018) Granik is one of the most distinctive filmmaking voices we have; I'd love to see her make more features but I'm also glad she takes the time to do them right. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
B+ 62% Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) Soldado skillfully mixes its real-world grounding with a flair for pulpy, moody storytelling. It leaves a body count, along with an emotional mark. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
96% I Called Him Morgan (2017) I Called Him Morgan is a first-rate documentary. It's also the perfect impetus to explore Morgan's catalogue. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
B+ 97% 1945 (2017) Set in a specific time and place, 1945 also resonates as a story of people doing terrible things to other people in the name of opportunity and getting ahead. It hits home at a time when the idea of loving thy neighbor feels sadly passé. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2018
B+ 93% Incredibles 2 (2018) It cleverly inverts some of the original's storylines, builds on the central themes and provides an all-you-can-eat buffet of eye candy. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
90% Hal (2018) As Hal deftly demonstrates, Ashby was the ultimate casualty of a drastic switch in industry culture. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
100% La Belle Noiseuse (1991) La Belle Noiseuse will immerse you in a one-of-a-kind portrait of the artistic process. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
100% Moonrise (1948) This is an overlooked gem from one of Hollywood's under-the-radar mavericks, and a tasty slice of small-town noir. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
A- 97% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Mister Rogers made it his mission to give kids self-esteem. His neighborhood made the world a better place, and Won't You Be My Neighbor provides us a rewarding return visit. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
86% The Sacrifice (1986) This is pure Tarkovsky, with all the perfectly composed long camera takes and ineffable mystery of the soul that defined his work. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
A- 94% First Reformed (2018) This is a movie about faith tested, and people trying to reconcile hope with a world that can feel hopeless. It's a film to be seen in a dark theater with an audience hushed in reverence of the power of cinema. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2018
B+ 92% The Endless (2018) Even lovers of the opaque might desire a little more to grasp onto. But the mystery is a pungent one, and the images and ideas stay with you after the lights go up. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
B+ 90% Lean on Pete (2018) The film is a showcase for a very promising young actor named Charlie Plummer. Lanky, sensitive but assured, Plummer gives his character, 15-year-old Charley, a sense of raw decency maintained through trying circumstances. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
A 89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) You don't watch You Were Never Really Here. You fall into it, one shot and sound at a time. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
B+ 90% Isle of Dogs (2018) Even with a narrative that feels more like a diagram, even with some questionable decisions regarding cultural translation, Isle of Dogs bursts with its maker's drollery and contagious passion for the medium of film. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
A- 95% The Death of Stalin (2018) The Death of Stalin is actually a lot like Veep, except with gulags and executions. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
A 94% Foxtrot (2018) The results are stunning. Foxtrot takes us from unfathomable mourning to soul-numbing tedium and back again. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
B 96% November (2018) November is one of those films you can enjoy staring at from a perspective of visual-arts appreciation, even if the story gets thin (and it definitely does). - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2018
B+ 87% Thoroughbreds (2018) Thoroughbreds is a film of exquisite style and deceptive substance. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2018
B+ 45% Red Sparrow (2018) A densely plotted, lurid and rather satisfying spy spectacle whose greatest asset is a movie star showing us why she's a movie star. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
A- 88% Annihilation (2018) A color-blasted head trip laden with gasp-worthy sights that also carries out the essential sci-fi mission of making us consider what it means to be human in a modern world. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
B+ 69% Happy End (2017) Happy End will likely go down as a minor film from a major filmmaker, which is enough to make it worth your while if you can take the emotional hit. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
B 23% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) Eastwood will be 88 in May. If I'm doing anything when I'm 88 as well he makes movies, I'll be a very happy 88-year-old. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
B+ 76% In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) (2017) Because of Kruger, In the Fade maintains a daunting level of emotional truth to the last. - Dallas Morning News EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018