Damien Straker

Damien Straker
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Impulse Gamer
Location: Australia

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 95% Little Women (2019) Little Women shows that Greta Gerwig is a formidable director who excels at choreographing moments of grandeur and scenic beauty and by successfully balancing complex emotions. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2019
4.5/5 97% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) The painting that Marianne creates is like the film. The more details we accumulate, the deeper we are immersed into the thoughts and emotions of the women. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
3/5 81% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) This lightweight, enjoyable, and breezy film lacks the same gripping tension that defined The Shoplifters. Yet it is never devoid of good performances and interesting story ideas. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
2/5 20% Cats (2019) It lacks the depth of character and comprehensive world building needed to transcend its theatrical origins and become a complete movie with a fully realised narrative. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2019
3/5 84% Sorry We Missed You (2020) Despite his privilege as a prolific white filmmaker, Loach has failed to write a third act where he unearths his own definitive conclusions for societal problems. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2019
2.5/5 52% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Those hoping for surprises, meaningful story arcs, engaging set pieces, and characters worth a damn, should shrug it off. The franchise that reimagined cinema and earned a second life is spinning its wheels in the coarse sand again. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
3/5 86% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) A brisk and interesting synopsis of man whose dogged pursuit of fame and power corroded any trace of personal morality. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
5/5 96% Marriage Story (2019) The way this film, one of the year's best, explores its thematic goal is compelling, real, and worthy of future accolades. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
2.5/5 75% Judy & Punch (2019) Despite the quality of the performances and the unique time period, the film is diminished by its indecisive tone and is difficult to recommend. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
4/5 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) The cast and the direction, particularly the shifting moods, make the film worth several viewings. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2019
3.5/5 82% The Report (2019) A gut-wrenching examination of past crimes and the necessity for all major political bodies to offer transparency. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2019
2/5 26% Gemini Man (2019) Gemini Man should have been stronger. It is undermined by a weak script and inconsistent visuals. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
2.5/5 69% Joker (2019) In Joker, a suitably creepy lead performance by Joaquin Phoenix is undermined by heavy-handed direction and a clunky screenplay. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
2/5 78% Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) The content feels too meek and derivative of other shows and movies and doesn't justify the criticism of the books. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
3.5/5 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) The film is dizzying but also rewarding because we are immersed in a unique culture that mirrors and enhances stories once only visible in the mainstream. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2019
3/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) Ad Astra's narrow story fails to match the sharp production values and Pitt's incredible performance. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/5 85% The Brink (2019) A solid but unremarkable documentary that could have pushed back harder with some commentary from the director, Klayman. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
4/5 87% The Nightingale (2019) The Nightingale should not be dismissed because of its tough content. Rather, its most difficult scenes should be understood and analysed to amplify the depth of its message. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2019
2.5/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Quentin Tarantino's inability to separate fiction and reality climaxes in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
4/5 100% The Australian Dream (2019) The Australian Dream is brutal, affecting, and insightful. Rather than recalling one terrible event, the trauma is expanded into an intense personal journey that confronts challenges of the past and present. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2019
3/5 80% Late Night (2019) Late Night's message is curiously belated and the direction and screenplay lack distinction from similar comedies. It is good fun before the clichés mount. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart is sometimes fun and enjoyable but it could have been much sharper. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
4/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) The documentary Apollo 11 is a major advancement for restoring archival footage. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
3/5 88% An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) (2018) Since he is strong with directing actors, Juan Vera is likely to make more challenging and less predictable films in the future. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
4/5 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) It is surprising, humorous, completely disturbing, and a thoroughly entertaining addition to this golden age of Asian cinema. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2019
3.5/5 93% Claire Darling (La dernière folie de Claire Darling) (2018) A unique dramatic premise and a harsh, brutal ending form the bookends of French director Julie Bertuccelli's new drama Claire Darling. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
3/5 66% Danger Close (2019) It is an adequately made action film, but the grisly violence is numbing rather than emotionally rewarding, and the supposedly apolitical stance dilutes the depth of the story and characters. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
3/5 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) There are flaws in Marathon, but they fail to detract from Jillian Bell's engagement and star power. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/5 83% Her Smell (2019) It is an exhausting experience, peppered with moments of humour and talent, but not enough meaningful redemption. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2019
3.5/5 90% Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018) At least half of Happy as Lazzaro is an interesting allegory and extremely well photographed. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
2.5/5 30% Red Joan (2019) It is a strangely bland film that does not effectively use its cast or the cinematic medium in exciting ways. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
2/5 42% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) This is not a film but a loud, dumb tech demo that only exists to house images haphazardly sketched on a computer. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2019
3.5/5 100% 2040 (2019) 2040 is an accomplished documentary for smart audiences who are willing to be informed. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
3.5/5 96% Little Woods (2019) It is a slow burning but effective film that shows great technique at times, particularly in its storytelling and performances. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/5 66% Peterloo (2019) Peterloo is impeccably made but lacking a deep emotional centre. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
2.5/5 87% Top End Wedding (2019) While a predictably clumsy Australian film with strong visuals and a wobbly script, it is sometimes more poignant than expected. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
2.5/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) It is an escalator to nowhere rather than a definitive endgame. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
2/5 35% Breaking Habits (2019) Despite the intriguing and potentially hilarious premise, the documentary Breaking Habits is undone by poor technical elements and a lack of objectivity. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2019
4/5 95% Burning (Beoning) (2018) It is an ambiguous story but in terms of character building and suspense it sears itself into our minds and refuses to let go. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2019
3.5/5 93% Us (2019) Us is both enjoyable and slightly disappointing when seeing the clever aspects of Peele's filmmaking draw tantalisingly close together before drifting apart. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
2.5/5 87% The Sisters Brothers (2018) It lacks originality and inspiration. It is a story about the past that is also constrained by history. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
3.5/5 87% Sometimes Always Never (Triple Word Score) (2020) The conflicted emotions associated with grief are expressed through visual and observational humour. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 74% Destroyer (2018) If the director, Karyn Kusama, exchanged the clever but convoluted story form for a simpler approach it may have achieved a deeper emotional resonance. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2019
3/5 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) Hotel Mumbai is an outstanding technical achievement in search of a deeper purpose. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
3/5 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) The film's most enjoyable facet is the comic timing provided by the lead actors. John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan have excellent comedic and dramatic chemistry. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
3.5/5 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Nothing detracts from the quality of the ensemble's performances. All the actors capably express their inner-most feelings about their happiness in each other's company and the fearfulness of being a person of colour in America. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
2/5 70% The Mule (2018) Clint Eastwood, eighty-eight, has nothing to prove and should gracefully retire. His refusal as an actor and director to adapt to modern times is damaging his once meaningful brand. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
4/5 97% The Hate U Give (2018) Director George Tillman Jr.'s execution of the police attack sequence ensures it ranks as one of the best scenes in recent memory. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
2/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) The Front Runner, a drab political drama about the former presidential candidate Gary Hart, prolongs Jason Reitman's creative slump. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
3.5/5 97% Free Solo (2018) It underlines the grand feats the human body is capable of and how far it can be stretched through a crazy, nerve-shredding expedition. - Impulse Gamer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019