Dan Fienberg

Dan Fienberg
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
88% The Mystery Of DB Cooper (2020) I like the intellectual exercise of The Mystery of D.B. Cooper and how unavoidably unsatisfying Dower's approach is intended to be. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2020
100% A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (2020) I really admired the special's commitment to some of the deep ensemble players from the original episode. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
100% 537 Votes (2020) Democratic Party operatives should definitely check this one out before November. Republicans probably don't need to. Roger Stone is still around. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
64% The Swamp (2020) The Swamp is watchable and full of interesting pieces of Congressional trivia, some that I actually hadn't known previously. It's still a railroaded documentary. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2020
90% Dave Chappelle: 8:46 (2020) In its own eerie vacuum, 8:46, however one wants to define it, is a fascinating snapshot of the moment. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2020
No Score Yet The Happy Days of Garry Marshall (2020) I loved the stories of Marshall's many allergies, his refusal to take left-turns when driving, his marriage of 52 years. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
93% Becoming (2020) Michelle Obama's story is her story and she tells it well, peppering in the lessons that structure the book - usually messages about embracing her background, finding her voice and the responsibility to use this platform that she never wanted. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2020
94% Beastie Boys Story (2020) Not surprisingly, it's a love letter, far more polished and smoothed-out than the genre-defying trio might have deserved in their anarchic heyday, but as warm and reflective as you might expect from the middle-aged men they are now. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
No Score Yet East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (2020) This isn't an easy story, but as wonky as it may be, it's a never-dull reflection on the gap between American optimism and execution, how much we've closed that gap and the work that remains to be done. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
100% After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020) You may need a shower after watching After Truth. That, plus subscribing to a trusted newspaper and deleting our Facebook presence may be the most we can do. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2020
90% Lance (2020) Every word he says in the documentary feels either lawyered to death or endlessly rehearsed over countless solitary bike rides. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
96% Feels Good Man (2020) Most of the lines it draws through online trainwreck culture and shifts in mainstream culture are clear, harrowing and appropriately cautionary. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
92% Whirlybird (2020) Whirlybird is informative and thrilling. It's also profound and sad. And maybe it's got threads of inspiration and uplift as well. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
78% Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story (2020) A cliched portrait of difficult genius undermines a layered portrait of a classic TV show. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2020
100% Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020) An inspiring, lively birth-of-a-movement documentary. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
96% John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch (2019) For 70 minutes of the odd and charming mixture of what Mulaney does best, check out his new Netflix special John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch, a note-perfect pastiche of '70s and '80s children's programming. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
52% A Christmas Carol (2019) Having watched to the conclusion, I'm pretty sure we aren't witnessing the premiere of a new holiday tradition. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
91% El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) El Camino is a high-quality piece of suspense and action filmmaking carried by Paul's still-tremendous performance as Jesse Pinkman. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
88% Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' (2019) The pacing of the Jeffersons episode was far better than that of All in the Family, or maybe it's just that I appreciated how well Foxx and Sykes were working off each other. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
98% Deadwood: The Movie (2019) I don't think Deadwood: The Movie is a great movie in its own right or even a great episode of Deadwood, but it's satisfying, and given what was required, that's enough. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
80% The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story (2019) As Kunkel structures the doc, it's like "Here's this guy who nobody completely understands, now let's go back in time and ... nobody understood him then, either." I prefer that to cheap and specious psychoanalyzing. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
95% Gaza (2019) By the end, Keane and McConnell are tugging so hard at heartstrings that most viewers will be unable to resist, even the ones who can see the puppeteers in constant motion. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
96% Jawline (2019) It's an engaging, amusing and occasionally jaw-dropping portrait of a world that could hardly be more foreign to most documentary fans. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
27% Rent Live (2019) I'd never accuse anybody in this cast of consciously holding back. But dress rehearsals are dress rehearsals; even if you're giving everything you have, the adrenaline is different. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
83% Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) A funny, gripping, crazed take on the mystery investigation drama. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
87% The Great Hack (2019) An instigation for provocative ideas about data crime and what is ultimately a really, really, really conflicted look at when it's terrifying having corporations learning things about our online habits and when it's cool. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
96% American Factory (2019) The film is too earnest and well-intentioned to fall prey to racism, but there's a vein of xenophobia baked into its premise that lingers and leaves more of a bad taste than it should. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
92% Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) Ably and reasonably positions Dr. Ruth Westheimer to be something like the Ruth Bader Ginsburg of sex. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
99% Apollo 11 (2019) Much of the footage in Apollo 11 is, by virtue of both access and proper preservation, utterly breathtaking. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
91% King Lear (2018) Just because nobody could or should feel this is a definitive King Lear detracts only somewhat from the undeniable joy that comes from even two hours of watching Anthony Hopkins gnash his teeth, wail and go gloriously mad. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
No Score Yet The Bad Seed (2018) Call it The Bad Seed and you tap into a surface-glaze legitimacy that's probably unwarranted, because the movie, notable as co-star Rob Lowe's directing debut, achieves only a baseline amount of trashy fun, nothing more or less. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
92% Set It Up (2018) Directed by Claire Scanlon, whose background as a comedy editor is felt in every frame of this breathlessly paced feature, Set It Up is...fine. Heck, I'll even say it's good! - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
100% Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018) You can believe this was a show that existed only in this moment and you feel elevated from being a part of it. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
96% Andre the Giant (2018) Perhaps predictably, it leans still too heavily on the myth at the expense of the real man. But it's still incredibly entertaining, if not always as insightful as one might crave. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2018
70% Paterno (2018) A different perspective, one less wedded to the Nonjudgmental Portraits of Notorious Middle-Aged Men genre probably would have been more enlightening, if less likely to earn Pacino an Emmy nomination. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
100% Minding the Gap (2018) Minding the Gap starts out as one story, suggests one set of character arcs, and then flows in unexpected directions and underlines new sets of themes, without ever feeling haphazard or ill-considered. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2018
79% 306 Hollywood (2018) 306 Hollywood feels simultaneously like the sort of heartfelt little film that often slips through the cracks without finding an audience and like one of the more universal and relatable films you're ever likely to see. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2018
64% Believer (2018) As a movie it's OK, with very little worth raving about. As a story and message, though, it feels important and worth getting out there ... - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2018
100% Seeing Allred (2018) Leaves a lot of questions unasked and tiptoes around plenty of other relevant conversations, but in its presentation of a career-in-full, it advocates persuasively for this advocate. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2018
90% The Sentence (2018) The Sentence is so committed to its concentration on emotion and heart that it's difficult not to get carried away and it feels almost churlish to quibble with the intellectual responses it barely aspires to. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2018
97% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) It's hard for me to judge Won't You Be My Neighbor? on artistic grounds because mostly it's a documentary you want to hug. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2018
80% The Price of Free (2018) An interesting advantage of this snapshot approach, though, is that it prevents closure, which sounds like a weird thing to be pleased with, but I truly appreciated that Kailash doesn't always have answers or happy endings or pat resolutions. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
45% Generation Wealth (2018) Easily the most ambitious film of Greenfield's career, but also the most infuriating for all of the sociological and psychological points that it tries to make in ways that are too often unearned or poorly defended. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
90% The Problem with Apu (2017) Kondabolu and friends wonder what can be done about Apu now and there's nobody around to make it into a real conversation. Still, there's great virtue in getting that conversation started and, in under an hour, The Problem with Apu does that well. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2017
67% Flint (2017) Easy to pigeon-hole as a true-life women-in-peril drama, Flint is entirely non-exploitative and honorable in its intentions and largely average in its execution, elevated mostly by a splendid ensemble of actresses. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2017
90% Tour De Pharmacy (2017) Tour de Pharmacy is smart, silly and often hilarious, and a worthy follow-up to creators Andy Samberg and Murray Miller's 2015 tennis lark 7 Days in Hell. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2017
19% Dirty Dancing (2017) I think Breslin is perfectly engaged with a different take on the character, it just happens that nobody else in this new Dirty Dancing has been told to change the story around her. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
75% The Wizard of Lies (2017) Robert De Niro gives a quietly intense performance in HBO's Bernie Madoff telefilm, which could be retitled "Sympathy for the Devil's Family." - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2017
90% Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing (2016) Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing has many rewards, disjointed though they may be. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2016
28% The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016) TRHPS: LDTTWA suffers from suffocating staging and an utter lack of reflection on the source material -- but also from the source material itself, as what little energy it possesses is gone by a second half that turns into a real slog. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2016