Craig Mathieson

Craig Mathieson
Craig Mathieson's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): The Age (Australia) sbs.com.au The Sunday Age

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 91% John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018) The only tennis documentary to set Sonic Youth's cyberpunk ode The Sprawl to a technique montage, Julien Faraut's wonderfully original film mixes film theory, cryptic analysis, and multiple break(ing) points to form a coolly intoxicating examination. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
3.5/5 89% Arctic (2019) In an immersive environment, Mikkelsen's performance begins with his body's actions but obtains a reverence through his gaze - he shows us what it's like to look out and see nothing but your own oblivion. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
3.5/5 95% Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle (Muchos hijos, un mono y un castillo) (2017) Predicated on a rhythm built up over decades, mother and son are filmed debating how the film should be made, and as more family members arrive screwball chaos takes hold. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
4/5 86% Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) (2018) The filmmaker and her character are equally untethered, enquiring women, not so much concerned with securing a definitive answer as engaging with the possibilities raised by their searches. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
4/5 100% Minding the Gap (2018) As tender as it is demanding, this Sundance Film Festival winner is a striking portrait of American lives and fractured masculinity. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
4.5/5 93% First Reformed (2018) So many of Paul Schrader's screenplays are debates about belief, but never have they been as starkly free of extraneous concerns as this unexpected late career masterpiece is. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
3.5/5 94% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) The Turkish auteur's new work is expansive in length, but in this instance it also has the spark of (contrarian) youth and a prickly sense of humour. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
3.5/5 98% Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (2018) There may not be enough conventional reference to the subject's life - marriages, children, and career - but that's because the film is unafraid to suggest that Sakamoto's music is his life. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
3.5/5 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Coens have used the anthology structure to not just tell a spread of stories but also chart a transition from the ridiculous to the sublime: the codes of the Western are first mocked and then dissected. - The Monthly (Australia) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
4.5/5 96% Roma (2018) Roma makes the vast feel granular, while allowing an extended family's travails to illustrate a nation's fractious clashes. Its seamlessness is masterful, the resulting vision compelling. - The Monthly (Australia) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
3.5/5 93% Kusama: Infinity (2018) Heather Lenz's documentary, which runs through the subject's eventful life at a chronological clip, is respectful of Kusama, never imposing too closely on what was a difficult dedication to her obsessive artistic practice. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
3.5/5 89% Studio 54 (2018) The rise was meteoric, and the fall painful, with Schrager, who would go on to master the boutique hotel, discussing for the first time the mix of youthful ambition and greed that started to suggest a Martin Scorsese movie. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
2.5/5 20% A Cool Fish (2018) A mix of parallel missteps offset by hard but unassuming social commentary that slowly comes to the fore even as the improbable storylines are tied together. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2018
3/5 83% Puzzle (2018) It's a showcase for Macdonald, and 22 years on from Trainspotting the Scottish actress displays a mixture of soulful struggle and defiant will to change. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2018
3.5/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) The awkwardness in Riley's filmmaking suits the mood, but while there are brilliantly sharp moments - particularly Cassius' improvised rap to wealthy partygoers - there are misses too. The narrow tone also leaves a hint of inertia, despite the broadsides. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
3.5/5 No Score Yet Bastardy (2008) Turns the city's landscape and cultural memory upside down as it tracks the life of the Indigenous stage and screen actor Jack Charles (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith), who was also gay, a cat burglar, and a long-term heroin addict. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
3/5 60% You Might Be the Killer (2018) A blood-soaked American recreation of a summer camp slaughter - first to arrive adult counsellors only - that hits all the genre's marks even as it drily sends up the masked killer, his archetypal victims, and harried target. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
4/5 100% Strange Colours (2018) From the quietly exhilarating first cut - the pristine night sky above to an otherworldly mechanical excavation below ground - Strange Colours reveals a natural filmmaker who brings her own vision to the Australian landscape. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/5 94% CAM (2018) As a metaphor it's disquieting, but the telling - with its Cronenberg-like screens, nightmarish brightness, and probing cinematography - makes it throb with uneasy energy. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
4.5/5 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Observed with tender, telling detail, their lives spill out of the overcrowded home in much the same way that a need for caring and connection spills out from their hearts. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
4/5 81% Chappaquiddick (2018) Events are economically detailed, and the hypocrisy is revealed through not just the lowest of deeds, but the failure to hit heights so nobly articulated. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Sly (Marmouz) (2018) "A candidate so able brings oil to your table," is one of his slogans, and there's a recurring line of cynical insiders who imagine they can control the self-important populist. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2018
3.5/5 89% Love, Gilda (2018) The film's success is to contain a multitude of facets that informed her personal life while capturing her genius as a public performer. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2018
4/5 92% Donbass (2018) Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa couches his bleak humour in documentary-like settings to create an environment that is unsettling and increasingly warped by its own logic. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2018
3.5/5 93% The Cleaners (2018) Filmmakers Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck reveal a hidden view of the withering, worrying power of behemoth social media platforms with this documentary about the online clean-up crews who endlessly decide between deleting or ignoring disputed content. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2018
4/5 100% Wajib (2017) Grounded in locations that speak to the broader realities and personal differences in philosophy, the film has wry warmth and unexpected differences. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Guilty (2017) The film disputes the punishment, not Sukamaran's guilt, capturing the disconnection between the banal preparations for the killing of the 34-year-old and his final acts of creativity. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
4/5 92% A Prayer Before Dawn (2018) Part Rocky, part Midnight Express, and part Beau Travail, this adaptation of Billy Moore's best-selling memoir about his three years in some of Thailand's most infamous jails is a harshly immersive experience - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
3.5/5 100% What Walaa Wants (2018) Canadian filmmaker Christy Garland charts Walaa's growth over six years, capturing domestic spaces and the lives they nourish that is contrasted with the parade ground displays and eventual field training. This is about more than a career choice. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
4.5/5 99% Selma (2015) DuVernay, with just her third feature film, knows how to marshal the moments that will become history, making her own iconic images. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
3/5 82% Loro (2019) A journey through the late political years and amoral orbit surrounding mogul turned controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the film delves once more into hermetic worlds where the only disruption is deadpan absurdism - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
3.5/5 85% A Simple Favor (2018) The tone has an elastic quality: it stretches through tart humour, sudden revelations, and camp asides before snapping back into place with a sobering sting. - The Monthly (Australia) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2018
3/5 91% Mandy (2018) A slow-motion celebration of maximal filmmaking; design and performance amped up and slowed down - like doom metal music - so that you luxuriate in the aesthetic and endure the portentous dialogue. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
3.5/5 100% Ghosthunter (2018) A quest for knowledge becomes one of atonement, as the narrative folds in childhood friends and police enquiries that slowly pierce a time King has "walled off". - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
4/5 90% Time Trial (2017) Pretsell reveals the daily peloton as a complex, bobbing organism complete with workplace chit-chat and the constant oversight of employers, and his film immerses you in Millar's environment and mindset. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
3.5/5 No Score Yet Ice Mother (2017) The true respect Slama pays to his greying protagonists is to consider them fully-formed characters. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
3.5/5 91% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) The filmmaking is as warm as the beats Sam programs, but for all the comforts in the storytelling, as well as new relationships for Frank and Sam, the movie reveals creativity as a way of saying goodbye. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
4/5 96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) Footage that was at first celebratory is seen again as a form of reckoning, and the moment where the narrative breaks the frame of individual interviews for a reunion is heart-rending. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
3.5/5 83% Microhabitat (So-gong-nyeo) (2017) It's not a film about the defiance of a free spirit, rather the accommodations of an outsider who genuinely cares about others but not the society that has remade them. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
3.5/5 100% Keep the Change (2018) The film has a genuine openness, but it never limits the pair's interaction - in their own way they must negotiate everything from David's biased parents to sharing a sex life. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
3/5 100% The Spy Gone North (2018) There is a digital Pyongyang and a deeply uncomfortable meeting with then Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il, but what endures is the ludicrously fine line of survival. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
4/5 100% Leave No Trace (2018) As a coming of age tale it is sparse, bittersweet and desperately powerful - change is pulling these two interwoven lives apart, made explicit by Granik's empathy and unerring eye. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
3/5 78% The Last Suit (El último traje) (2018) The film is laden with emotion, but comes by most of it naturally through the clash of circumstances and the knowledge of what a life can contain. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
3.5/5 100% Jill Bilcock: Dancing The Invisible (2017) The praise is uniform but matched with insight, while the editing, by Grigor and Scott Walton, is cleanly capable with the odd inside joke. - Sydney Morning Herald EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2018
4/5 97% Columbus (2017) The depth of field in the compositions suggests the emotional reaches of these becalmed lives, but the film never imposes the pair's back and forth on your attention, instead letting it unfold with an equanimity that is tidal in its rise and fall. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Lost Gully Road (2018) A slow burn Australian horror film that exposes the danger lurking inside the idea of a supposedly safe domestic space. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
4/5 89% Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2018) Driver never uses interview footage, relying on the testimony of those present while capturing the club culture and underground galleries that were his home. It's a valuable insider's view: steeped in history, but shorn of nostalgia. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2018
2/5 45% Best F(r)iends, Part 1 (2018) Los Angles lore is referenced but never pursued, and director Justin MacGregor leans into the piecemeal ludicrousness with stylised sequences that embrace self-deprecating mockery. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2018
3.5/5 96% Filmworker (2018) The demands from Kubrick were "Kafkaesque" recalls Vitali's son, Max, but technically rough as it is, Zierra's film not only captures his subject's calling to serve, it illuminates Kubrick as well. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2018
3.5/5 95% No Date, No Signature (Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza) (2018) In a landscape often coldly desaturated by the camera, the plot is secondary to the gripping performances. The scene where an angry, grieving Moosa goes to a factory to confront someone he blames is a scarifying tour-de-force. - The Sunday Age EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018