Cole Smithey Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cole Smithey

Cole Smithey
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
C- 95% BlacKkKlansman (2018) What would it have taken for Spike Lee to go balls to the walls like he did on his best film "Do The Right Thing"? We'll never know. ‐
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
C- 47% The Song of Sway Lake (2018) "The Song of Sway Lake" is hardly what you'd call a satisfying movie.‐
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
A- 97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) "Mission: Impossible" is the closest thing Hollywood has going next to a James Bond franchise, and going it is. ‐
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
A+ 98% Free Solo (2018) To watch "Free Solo" is to take a journey into an incredibly dangerous if joyful world of free physical expression. Go on the adventure of a lifetime. The rewards are enormous.‐
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
F 33% The Predator (2018) There isn't single reason I can think of to see "The Predator" other than to be reminded of how low Hollywood and American sensibilities have sunk. ‐
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
C 93% Blindspotting (2018) America's ever-festering boil of racism continues to claim the lives of minorities and those unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when guns are drawn. "Blindspotting" plays it safe; who can blame it for that?‐
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
D 63% Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) [VIDEO ESSAY] This is agitprop junk politics in the interest of normalizing hellishly violent acts, frequently involving children, in the context of America's raging border war against immigrant refugees.‐
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2018
C+ 93% Nico, 1988 (2018) "Nico 1988" is a solid showcase for Trine Dryholm but it doesn't make a case for Nico's music. ‐
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2018
B 100% Rock Rubber 45s (2018) "Rock Rubber 45s" is a personalized crash course into New York culture that charms by virtue of this film's charismatic subject. Sure it's self-reflexive; that's the point.‐
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2018
A 89% American Animals (2018) [VIDEO ESSAY] Bart Layton adds a meaty layer of social realism to the film. Get out your knife and fork; this is one movie you can really sink your teeth into.‐
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2018
A+ 93% First Reformed (2018) [PODCAST] As Thomas Wolf pointed out in his essay, Christ's primary teaching was that "loneliness could be destroyed forever by the life of love." Is "First Reformed" a perfect film? Yes, yes it is.‐
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
B+ 100% The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead (2015) Finally there exists a beautiful top-to-bottom documentary about the incendiary rock 'n' roll band that recorded the first Punk single ("New Rose") in 1976, and went on to keep reinventing themselves five decades over. ‐
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2018
B+ 59% Always at the Carlyle (2018) The movie is as much a history lesson as it is a celebration of a way of doing business that honors human nature above unbridled greed.‐
Read More | Posted May 12, 2018
A- No Score Yet Permanent Vacation (1980) Watching this movie is one of the few tunnels back to a time and place where you could think. It's a groovy movie to think along to. ‐
Read More | Posted May 4, 2018
A+ 86% A Poem Is A Naked Person (2015) Not only is Leon Russell's legacy as one of American music's most vibrant composers and performers savored here, so too is Les Blank's intuitive genius as a filmmaker of grit, soul, and heart.‐
Read More | Posted May 2, 2018
F 46% The Devil and Father Amorth (2018) William Friedkin's audio-enhanced documentary about an actual exorcism is a lukewarm flop.‐
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2018
B+ 69% Police Beat (2005) A poetic character study etched in its primrose Portland, Seattle locations, "Police Beat" is a clear-eyed dissection of the immigrant experience in pre-smartphone America. ‐
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018
A+ 95% Dealt (2017) "Dealt" is a documentary of such deep human beauty that the less you know going in, the more fresh your experience will be when you watch the film. ‐
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2018
D- 88% You Were Never Really Here (2018) Ramsey steals a dozen little tropes from movies like "Reservoir Dogs" and "Taxi Driver" to piece together a baloney narrative that hangs together like wet seaweed on the beach. ‐
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2018
C- 95% A Quiet Place (2018) Don't believe the hype. "A Quiet Place" is a plot-hole filled waste of time. Scary? Not even close. The groupthink virus continues to consume so-called critics. ‐
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2018
A 90% I, Tonya (2018) The film is as much a snapshot of American hypocrisies as it is a diligent portrayal of a gifted figure skater trapped by her impoverished social circumstances and abusive relations with the people closest to her - namely her mother and her husband.‐
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2018
B No Score Yet Chief Zabu (2016) It took until 2016 for a newly-edited cut of "Chief Zabu" to be publicly presented. If you ever have a chance to see it, don't pass it up. Here is a rare comic artifact worth savoring. ‐
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
D 97% Black Panther (2018) [PODCAST] "Black Panther" is forgettable as it is toxic. To pretend otherwise is pure folly. ‐
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
A 92% The Shape of Water (2017) As the title implies, this is a movie that surrounds the viewer's psyche and physical being. It is a film that achieves everything it sets out to accomplish.‐
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2018
A 89% My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs De Ma Jeunesse) (2016) [PODCAST]Here's a film with a young, powerful, and complicated female lead (played by Lou Roy-Lecollinet). Arnaud Desplechin should be a household name. ‐
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
B+ 43% They All Laughed (1981) If you've ever wanted to take a time machine vacation back to 1980 New York where you can do no wrong, this fun-loving movie makes it possible. We're all in the mood for love.‐
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
A+ 100% Portrait of Jason (1967) [PODCAST] Shirley Clarke's 1967 cinéma vérité masterpiece remains a scathing social and character study of race in America for the enigmatic quality of its unreliable subject, Jason Holliday (nee Aaron Payne, 1924-1998).‐
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2018
D 91% Phantom Thread (2018) "Phantom Thread" is nothing that it pretends. It is considered a cardinal sin for an actor to break character, and yet that is exactly what Daniel Day-Lewis's and Vicky Krieps's personas do.‐
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2018
A+ 84% Possession (The Night the Screaming Stops) (1983) [PODCAST] "Possession" holds the watermark for the most bizarre cinematic experience you will ever have. No other film begins to approach the madness of romantic obsession and political oppression that this film does.‐
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2018
C- 84% Darkest Hour (2017) "Darkest Hour" is a brief, and presumably misleading, biopic aimed more at winning awards for acting than in connecting our modern political problems with those of the past.‐
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2018
A+ 92% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Figuring out when to laugh or cry, and why, is what this unforgettable black comedy is all about. You'll do both. ‐
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2018
A- 88% Cactus Flower (1969) this is a 1969 romantic comedy with style, wit, charm, sophistication, and several delightful moments of women's lib in action. It also happens to be a great time capsule of late '60s fashion, music, and culture in Manhattan. ‐
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
A 93% My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux) (1962) "My Life to Live" has just as much social currency today as the day it was released if its gangster trope ending lets Godard off the hook all too easy. ‐
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
B 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) This goofy cinematic vantage on the petty jealousies, backstabbing, and political maneuvering of Russia's Central Committee gives its audience a not so unrealistic sense of how politicians operate regardless of their country of origin.‐
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2018
A 71% Double Lover (L'amant double) (2018) "Double Lover" is an ideal Valentine's Day movie for the adventurous. It gets you in the head, heart, and loins.‐
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
D+ 87% Blade Runner 2049 (2017) [VIDEO ESSAY] All spectacle and no substance describes Denis Villeneuve's predictably overwrought yet lightweight sci-fi snoozefest.‐
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2018
A 82% The Trip to Spain (2017) The "Trip" films have the appeal of watching two comic masters riffing as you might experience while watching a Jazz duo (Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, for example).‐
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2018
A- 28% Suburbicon (2017) "Suburbicon" references the McCarthy era American Dream where diversity meant white people infiltrating formerly rural areas in bland suburban sprawls of brainwashed conformity where right-wing racists could live in safe little echo chambers of their own.‐
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
D 38% I Love You, Daddy (2017) "I Love You Daddy" will go down in history as an ugly reminder of men in power who abuse and harass those [especially women] who come into their sphere of influence. There isn't anything funny about that. ‐
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
A 69% mother! (2017) Here is Darren Aronofsky's most powerful film to date, and the same goes for Jennifer Lawrence.‐
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
B+ 54% The Yakuza (1975) "The Yakuza" is a beautifully flawed film that nonetheless catches you off guard when you least expect it.‐
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
B- 97% Ex Libris: New York Public Library (2017) Frederick Wiseman's longing, and overlong, documentary homage to New York City's great public library system has the power to charm and exhaust its viewer. ‐
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2018
B 78% Going Places (Les valseuses) (1974) Here is an unapologetic, if infuriating, cinematic provocation that dares its audience to rationalize the orgiastic behavior on display. Governments, politicians, soldiers, and police are busy committing far greater crimes as you read these words.‐
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2018
C- 70% Happy End (2017) Michael Haneke's run of making increasingly better films has come to an abrupt halt.‐
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
B 85% Battle of the Sexes (2017) Andrea Riseborough is this film's secret weapon. ‐
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2017
D+ 79% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) The only just desert that this film deserves is being ignored with a vengeance by audiences who know better than waste their time. Pay your respects to Von Trier, Haneke, and Seidl rather than to this third-rate hack.‐
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2017
B+ 96% The Florida Project (2017) Sean Baker's dramatically infused [ethnographic] study of poverty in Kissimmee, "The Florida Project" remains a moving encapsulation of an escalating human crisis in America.‐
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2017
C+ 87% The Post (2018) In the words of John Wesley Harding, "you don't get to read the news in U.S.A. Today." ‐
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2017
C- 66% Wonderstruck (2017) Everything about this film is a disappointment. It is, by far, Todd Haynes's weakest effort to date.‐
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2017
B- 89% Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017) The center has not held, but Joan Didion is still with us as of this writing. Cheers to that.‐
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2017