Cole Smithey

Cole Smithey
Tomatometer-approved critic
1900, Ace in the Hole, Come and See
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: Manhattan
Official Websites:

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
D 85% A Boy Called Sailboat (2018) inept magical realist story infused with a tone-deaf sense of humor and a vague sense of thematic direction. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
C- 94% The Favourite (2018) "The Favourite" isn't even a pale imitation of the sardonic satire that it aspires to. Where is the Marquis de Sade when you need him most? - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
C 87% Colette (2018) "Colette" fails even as a generic period drama because it doesn't dare show what truly drives its characters' carnal passions. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
B- 93% The American Meme (2018) In a bumbling manner "The American Meme" exposes the hollowness of social media platforms that chew up people's lives in the interest of likes and follows. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
B 79% Green Book (2018) "Green Book" isn't all that interesting but for its inadvertent role as a potential conversation starter about Mortensen's N-word-related chastisement - assuming anyone is willing to talking about it openly. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
A+ 60% The House That Jack Built (2018) The film raises as many answers as it does questions. Yes, you read that right. Only Paul Verhoeven can match Von Trier's mastery of satire. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
A 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Coen Brothers' latest movie is a hoot. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
A+ 100% The World Before Your Feet (2018) Jeremy Workman connects Matt Green's foot journey to the real-time scale of New York City and to the soul of its citizens. This inspired documentary is perfect. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
A- 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a fun ride that will put a lump in your throat, a tear in your eye, and more than one terrific song in your heart. Go with it. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
B 62% Ophelia (2018) "Ophelia" is a refreshing addition to the bold sub-genre of Shakespeare-inspired plays and films that weave in and around the prolific English playwright's esteemed works. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
B- 75% Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez bronzer les cadavres!) (2018) Sure it's all style with not much substance but that's the point. If you're in the mood for virtuosic visual panache involving machine guns, gold, cars, motorcycles, fire, smoke, and blood, then you're in business. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2018
C- 96% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
F 32% 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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
C 94% 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? - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
D 62% 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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2018
C+ 92% Nico, 1988 (2018) "Nico 1988" is a solid showcase for Trine Dryholm but it doesn't make a case for Nico's music. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2018
A 88% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2018
B+ 58% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2018
F 45% The Devil and Father Amorth (2018) William Friedkin's audio-enhanced documentary about an actual exorcism is a lukewarm flop. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2018
D- 89% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2018
A 89% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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). - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2018
A+ 91% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2018
A 70% 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. - EDIT
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. - EDIT
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). - EDIT
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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
D 37% 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. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018