Dan Buffa

Dan Buffa
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Born, raised, and living in St. Louis, Missouri, I have been watching movies since I was a kid. My father, Richard, was my film school. We watched, discussed, and argued over movies on countless occasions. I soon became a film nerd, wanting to know how they were made, what they were supposed to mean, and how they related to real life. I can watch Michael Mann's three-hour crime epic, "Heat," on a loop. Jon Favreau's "Chef" is a special film. Movies that make you feel good and empowered are the best specimens of film. Escapism is a required drug for adulting, so movies are my safe haven. My wife and my son are my movie pals these days. I started writing large email bursts to a select group of friends back in 2005 before helping create and start a film website called film-addict.com in 2012. I moved to KSDK News in 2015 and have been their main film critic since.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B- 62% French Exit (2021) Jacobs' film is proof that Michelle Pfeiffer can still carry a movie, but after two slow hours, I had no clue who these people were or why I should care. - St. Louis Jewish Light EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
B- 63% Crisis (2021) What saves this movie in the end is Evangeline Lilly's performance as a wounded mother seeking revenge. Her story comes off as the most authentic. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
B+ 75% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Yes, the movie will destroy you. It's purposely slow-moving, cold to the touch, and unflinching. Vanessa Kirby and Ellen Burstyn make it worth the trip. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
B+ 98% Minari (2020) Yeun's performance is the epitome of nuance. He doesn't try to do too much with Jacob, but wisely doesn't force us to fall in love with his patriarch either. - St. Louis Jewish Light EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
A- 98% The Father (2021) There are many reasons to be see this movie-the performances and writing shine-but its biggest success is bringing movie audiences closer to the real horrors of dementia. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
A 90% Promising Young Woman (2020) You won't find a better ending to any film in the past 10 years, maybe longer. It completes the film instead of merely satisfying the audience. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
B 75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) This showdown checks all the necessary boxes, including the boring and unnecessary human subplots. When it gives us the goods, blockbuster action nirvana is reached. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
C- 43% Boogie (2021) What Huang's film truly lacked was a compelling lead actor and something to say. If you lack those two signature ingredients in a sports drama, your end result will be subpar. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
B+ 82% Nobody (2021) Bob Odenkirk makes this film-which has a great soundtrack-sing loud and clear for 91 minutes. He's a more relatable and funny man with a particular set of skills. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
B 71% Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) This new cut is a good one but still way too long-which is why I had to compare it to the ultimate nachos platter. You didn't need all of it, but the end result satisfies. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
F 23% Chaos Walking (2021) Oftentimes, a film isn't promoted heavily because the studio is trying to let out a far without anyone noticing. Well, Lionsgate, I heard and smelled this one. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
B+ 87% The Courier (2020) It's Ninidze who steals the show here, holding his own with Cumberbatch while opening our eyes to his talents. You want more time with their unlikely heroic duo. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
D 47% Yes Day (2021) Both leads are much better than this. I respect Jennifer Garner's need to make one for the kids, but I would appreciate better drivel than this. Edgar Ramirez is a standee. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
B+ 73% Boss Level (2021) Frank and Rio Grillo share the film's best scenes. They need to make more movies together, because the kid brings out a new shade of pale in his dad's onscreen persona. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
D 49% Coming 2 America (2021) Everything that seemed fresh back then seems overcooked and tired now. We are in retread territory here: a place where films didn't need to exist. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
B- 94% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Awkwafina makes the film worthwhile. Out of all the voice work in the film, including Benedict Wong and Gemma Chan, it's the comedian-actress that shines the most. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
B 67% My Zoe (2021) Due to Delpy's sincerity behind the camera and the keen ability to write with the future already in hand, you feel everything the characters do, as if you are living in their shoes. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
A- 37% Cherry (2021) Imagine Charlie Bukowski writing True Romance, directed by the Godfathers of Marvel, and you have this bold, visually-stunning opus starring a dynamic Tom Holland. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
A- 80% I Care a Lot (2021) This movie is smart, sophisticated, gleefully egotistical, and purely diabolical for just under two hours. Also, Rosamund Pike is better than she was in Gone Girl. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
B+ 62% Willy's Wonderland (2021) I love the movies that thrill us without asking for too much of our time. Lewis had this entire film planned-shot for shot, reel for reel-and it shows an intent to entertain. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
D 79% Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) This film had good intentions, but the accents and overzealous plot threads drown the narrative in an appeal that is more tailored towards Kristen Wiig's most loyal fans. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
B+ 74% Palmer (2021) Being the lead in a homegrown movie is where part-time actors stand out in a good or bad way, but Timberlake hits all the high notes here. - St. Louis Jewish Light EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
B+ 70% Land (2021) Wright claims a spot as a director to keep a firm eye on. Her vision behind the camera is exceptional for a first-time filmmaker. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
B+ 87% Supernova (2021) Credit the two leads who dazzle with their talents. If you are a big fan of Tucci or Firth, but wanted to see them get a bigger piece of the pie, this movie is for you. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
B- 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Kaluuya makes this movie worth a look. He pours every ounce of heart and soul into his portrayal of Hampton, making you wonder what his next 21 years would have looked like. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
B+ 57% Malcolm & Marie (2020) Washington and Zendaya enliven Levinson's party quite a bit. This is the charismatic and convincing screen ownership that I have been waiting for from Washington. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2021
B+ 46% The Little Things (2021) While it's not a celebrated or highly entertaining form of art, the introspective approach here was appreciated. A top notch cast sure doesn't hurt either. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2021
C- 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) There's no real purpose for this film. With a weak story and even weaker villains, it all comes off as overpriced filler. A need to churn a profit and maybe extend a story. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
B 96% First Cow (2020) A good film with solid morals and something to say just didn't make a big enough impact for me. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
A- No Score Yet America's Last Little Italy: The Hill (2020) Puleo's documentary thrives at being both a vivid history lesson as well as being a visual delight for any Midwest city native - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
A 96% Soul (2020) The writing, music, and voice work made it all punch harder than the normal Pixar joint. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
B+ 78% Greenland (2020) Ladies and gents, there's nothing like a good popcorn thriller right in the middle of Oscar season. It's like finding a hidden chocolate bar during an expensive dinner party. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
A 88% The Dig (2021) Everything is natural in Stone's film, which he paints as a love letter to the relationships that carry us through wars, tough times, and legendary artifacts. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
A- 85% Our Friend (2020) The first film in 2021 to make me pause and reflect, and shed a few tears. Cancer sucks and will always be our enemy, but these stories can pick you up on a rainy day. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
A 90% The Climb (2020) Originality is the real juice here. Covino and Marvin tackle friendship tales in unconventional, yet highly rewarding, ways that create organic comedy. It all hits hard. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
B+ 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Boseman lets you feel every ounce of pain coercing through Levy's body. While the entire cast gives rock solid performances, the late star is the one who stands out. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
B 38% Echo Boomers (2020) A little Michael Shannon goes a long way here. The veteran actor knows how to make a small part sting and his work elevates Savoy's energetic crime adventure. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
B+ 77% Uncle Frank (2020) Bettany doesn't just try to understand Frank; you can read the character all across his face. It's first class nuance that hits harder in the end. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
C 58% All My Life (2020) This real life tearjerker means well and won't harm your cinematic palette, but the acting and overall take on a familiar story left a lot to be desired. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
A 92% Another Round (Druk) (2020) In a career full of mainstream villains and lonesome heroes, Mikkelson finds his best role yet in a man craving rebirth-and wait until you see the man dance! - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
D 33% Half Brothers (2020) Little works here. Stereotypes roam. It's an endless array of "Mexicans do this, Americans do that" for 90 minutes, with predictable story beats being thrown in along the way. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
A 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) I got what Clooney was going for and wanted more time with these noble characters trying to survive in desolate times. It's where science fiction and drama meet comfortably. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
A- 81% I'm Your Woman (2020) Part of the thrill of Hart's slow-moving yet always insightful and entertaining film is using what you think you know about crime thrillers, and having it turned on its head. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
C 77% The Croods: A New Age (2020) Look, there are worse ways to spend your time. I wasn't a big fan of the original, so the sequel feels like a rehash of the first one with some extra spice mixed in. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
B 83% Happiest Season (2020) Dan Levy steals the show. Take the average best friend role in movies and they all look quite relative at some point, but Levy makes every scene with his Joe a true delight. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
A- 83% Mank (2020) Every line reading, movement, gesture, and decision by Oldman is golden here. He works like a master who knows something we don't, or just loves these complicated heroes. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
A- 97% Sound of Metal (2020) I assure you the time won't be wasted. This is high-caliber filmmaking, and its genesis is the sound design in this film. It's the epitome of innovation. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
C- 26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) I am glad Vance got to tell his story. Honestly and truly, good for him. He climbed out of the gutter and made something happen. But that doesn't always make for a good movie. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
B+ 92% The Life Ahead (2020) There may be age marks on Rosa's face, but Loren imbues her soul with a ruthless care that has cut through decades of torment and quiet rage. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
B+ 89% The Nest (2020) Law and Coon go toe-to-toe, like a couple boxers, for two hours. This is what two actors at the top of their game looks like. Each has rarely been better than this. - KSDK News (St. Louis) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020