Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
93% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! marks a sea change for the DCEU. Superb, sweet and smart, this is a BIG feel-good superhero movie you'll want to see over and over again. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2019
86% Made In Abyss: Journey's Dawn (2019) Despite its flaws and foibles, when this uneven first half comes to its inevitable cliffhanger close, we're still curious to see what creative craziness awaits us in part two. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
No Score Yet Penguins (2019) Instead of bombarding the audience with heavy scientific terminology, it lets a poignant narrative unspool - one with a hugely entertaining underdog hero's journey. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2019
No Score Yet Superpower Dogs (2019) Not all heroes wear capes - some of them wear collars. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
29% Wonder Park (2019) Though it's not all bad, what's lousy has a stranglehold on what's good. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
95% The Mustang (2019) This story sheds light on its necessary subjects, drawing delicate, nuanced visual and thematic parallels between human and horse. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
70% Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (2019) It remains true to the character's fearless, vivacious spirit while spinning a solid, engaging mystery with a palpable sense of youthful energy. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) Engaging, entertaining and empowering, this new and terrific iteration spotlights a strong, complex, fearless woman finding her voice, power and place in the universe. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
B- 71% Climax (2019) Noé's commentary on the human condition is heartbreaking. While he doesn't always state his commentary cogently, the questions he wants us to reflect on are understandable. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
No Score Yet Great Bear Rainforest (2019) With a cute vanilla-colored bear as guide into this perfectly preserved place, this riveting, revelatory short educates on the conservation efforts of an indigenous community. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
80% Metal Heart (2018) This coming-of-age film delivers plenty of sweet sentiments about sisterhood, kinship, and honesty, though the package that surrounds it isn't as unique as one would hope. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
36% Patrick (2019) Though the narrative tends to be a touch too simplistic for most grown-ups, and lacks enough riotous dog action for the little ones, there's enough bite to make things worthwhile for those who just want to enjoy a sweet, wholesome dog movie. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) It upends the table when it comes to tackling romcoms' more negative notions. The poppy picture painted is absurdly hilarious, genuinely effervescent and revolutionary. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
No Score Yet Babysplitters (2019) The trials and travails of impending parenthood are captured through Friedlander's highly comedic filter, giving birth to enough dazzling wit to sustain the gimmick. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
46% What Men Want (2019) Whatever empowerment it admirably hopes to inspire is completely buried under a heavy swath of rote qualities. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
43% The Prodigy (2019) While it lacks gripping, nail-biting tension, the unnerving horror that underscores the family drama brings it to life. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
B 64% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) It's a wickedly delicious, satirical take-down that's about as deep as a puddle, but a wonderfully wild ride nonetheless. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
58% Then Came You (2019) Though it has many of the qualities that made teen terminal-illness weepies work, Hutchings' dramedy eschews much of those films' sincerity and intimacy in favor of sap. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
70% Cold Pursuit (2019) By pumping up the darkly comedic undertones, augmenting the frigid chill of the original, Moland's terrific, riveting picture distinguishes itself from other rote remakes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
B+ 86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Everything clicks in this well-constructed, snappy sequel. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
24% Polar (2019) This abhorrent actioner is vulgar auteurism at its most depraved. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
80% All These Small Moments (2019) Though this sweet, subtle, and sentimental work is a smidge too simplistic in narrative design, it wins over any resistance with its quiet refinement and heartrending insight. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
B+ 83% Perfectos Desconocidos (2019) This deliciously wildly provocative chamber piece is not only universal in its audience appeal, it has clever twists that make for thoroughly engaging entertainment. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
62% A Dog's Way Home (2019) This family-friendly adventure, reminiscent of 'The Incredible Journey,' follows a tried-and-true but heartwarming path. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
B 48% Escape Room (2019) Its layers of shrewd smarts, pulse-pounding thrills and unrelenting action make for a terrific cult classic. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
100% Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki (2018) It's fascinating to glean wisdom and insight into the legendary filmmaker's thoughtful, at times torturous, creative process. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
32% Welcome to Marwen (2018) Welcome To Marwen turns everything progressive into something problematic, not doing right by any of its heroes, especially its diverse female characters. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
C- 70% The Mule (2018) This ripped-from-the-headlines story is practically retrofitted to Clint Eastwood's cinematic sensibilities, yet the delivery feels nothing short of muted and manufactured. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) Peter Jackson uses living history as a foundation to build upon in a revolutionary way, shaping these harrowing tales into a powerful new entity. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
C- 63% Tyrel (2018) Silva attempts to stoke social commentary within a raucous portrait of male camaraderie, however, he's uninterested in delivering any sort of impactful poignancy. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
51% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) Serkis and screenwriter Callie Kloves have crafted a radical, riveting feature sure to engage both the head and heart of appropriately-aged audiences. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
A+ 96% Amazing Grace (2018) Amazing Grace doesn't just take us to church - it lifts us up to the heavens. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
B 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Mary Queen of Scots is more than a textbook period piece. It shows how to create a feminist-friendly, diverse biopic with all the dramatic dynamics of a political potboiler. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
69% The Christmas Chronicles (2018) With its saccharine score, saturated cinematography, and trite platitudes, the film is formulaic and forgettable except for Kurt Russell's performance as the lovable legend. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
B 62% Bird Box (2018) This tension-fueled, exhilarating, highly emotional experience cuts to the bone, delivering a heartrending tale of survival and a mother's journey towards acceptance. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
B 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Mimi Leder has crafted a solid biopic - not just for the modern era, but for future generations who will carry on the torch of Ginsburg's wisdom, tenacity, and humanity. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2018
A+ 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) With an exactingly tender touch, filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda delivers nothing short of a masterpiece - and perhaps also a career best. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) It's a thrilling, breathtaking, fantastical extravaganza filled with wonder, spectacle and delight that goes beyond what the first delivered. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
A- 66% Suspiria (2018) Guaranteed to divide audiences, this iteration is gleaming, gorgeous and gory. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
C- 34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) This story about an inventive young woman finding her strength amidst sorrow, makes the audience wish she was in a much more innovative film. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
B- 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) While the foot-stomping jams and sweeping scope make this a theatrical experience, the filmmakers find few inventive nuances within the formulaic framework. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
C 70% Galveston (2018) Though Mélanie Laurent's first English language directorial effort isn't as sparkling as her previous French language features, her capabilities are certainly on full display. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2018
20% Reach (2018) Its heart is in the right place when it comes to many of the boldly-portrayed sentiments, but it plays like a hokey after-school special rather than an alarming wake-up call. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
A 97% The Hate U Give (2018) This coming-of-age tale is a galvanizing force for good, and a radical powder keg full of soul-quaking performances and an uncompromised, unfiltered and unflinching message. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
11% Change in the Air (2018) The film has about as much resonance as a "Coexist" bumper sticker. Without a compelling, coherent narrative drive, the film's own spirit sags. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
70% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett finds a less fascinating avenue into the vagabond's tragic life. At least it looks gorgeous. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
C- 75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) While its subtle smarts make certain sequences sing, others wind up outstaying their welcome. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2018
29% Little Women (2018) Louisa May Alcott's timeless novel is revived for yet another generation, but the changes leave little to love. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
No Score Yet We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018) Passon... sharply channels the author's atmosphere of dread, paranoia, and isolation, making the past feel prescient. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
No Score Yet Good Girls Get High (2018) Full of charm, humor, and heart, director Laura Terruso's "Good Girls Get High" mixes it up, delivering a "high" concept comedy in which the two kids least likely to go astray do exactly that. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018