Dan Lybarger

Dan Lybarger
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Dan Lybarger has contributed film articles to the </i>Kansas City Star, </i>Nitrate Online, </i>The Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, and </i>PitchWeekly. </i>eKC </i>tmi He has an M.A. in Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a B.A. in English from Ottawa University.
Favorites:
My favorite filmmakers are:
  • Billy Wilder
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Agnieszka Holland
  • Buster Keaton (I attend a Keaton Festival every year in Iola, KS. This festival takes place seven miles from Keaton's birthplace in Picquay).
  • Orson Welles
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Peter Weir
  • Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
  • Woody Allen
  • David Lean
  • Charlie Chaplin Favorite Movies:
  • The Apartment
  • Europa Europa
  • Life Lessons (from
  • Location: Kansas City
    Official Websites: efilmcritic.com

    movie Reviews Only

    T-Meter Title | Year Review
    72/100 67% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) In some other dimension, Christopher Landon's Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U might offer something more than a tired setup and diminishing jolts and giggles. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
    84/100 68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) [Todd] Strauss-Schulson creates an amusing, candy-colored hell, but his pacing seems a little off. Thankfully, [Rebel] Wilson proves that she has more to offer than ribald wisecracks. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
    83/100 59% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) While at two hours flat, Alita is far shorter than a fraction of [James] Cameron's Titanic or Avatar, it takes awhile to get involved with a heroine who has a mechanical head, a human heart and a face from the uncanny valley. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
    82/100 86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) While Lord and Miller come up with a seemingly endless supply of clever asides, their main storyline feels flat and unformed. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
    86/100 89% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Fans of Arthurian legends will enjoy nods to more obscure portions of the myths, and their offspring will enjoy that rare film that takes a sort of courtly respect to their intelligence. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
    80/100 58% A Dog's Way Home (2019) While Howard nails the right tone, there are times when Smith's camera and Shelby's face already tell us what's happening. The text that drove the book occasionally seems redundant. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
    75/100 53% Once Upon a Deadpool (2018) Now I know what it's like to drink a keg of O'Doul's laced with de-caffeinated sugar-free iced tea in one sitting. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
    89/100 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) In addition to a solid script and nearly perfect voice casting (Nicolas Cage gets his best role in years), the animation is a marvel. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
    84/100 98% Border (Gräns) (2018) Abbasi delivers formidable jolts because his deliberate pacing and low-key approach make the revelations all the more stunning. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
    87/100 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Yes, there are a lot of in-jokes, but they are consistently funny, and Ralph and Vanellope have a gift for turning standard tropes sideways. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
    85/100 58% The Grinch (2018) Directors Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier have better instincts than Howard did on how to bring Seuss' distinctive creations to life. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
    75/100 34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) The present Nutcracker starts with familiar tropes and Tchaikovsky, then struggles with finding interesting content of its own. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
    86/100 97% The Hate U Give (2018) If Tillman's pacing is slow, he's also able to consistently deliver emotional wallops by simply letting his performers do their work. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
    74/100 76% Smallfoot (2018) As much as I would like to applaud a movie for challenging kids not to take what adults say to them at face value, Smallfoot just left me cold. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
    82/100 86% A Simple Favor (2018) Kendrick can easily play well-intentioned nerds, but in A Simple Favor, she demonstrates an ability to handle darker roles as well. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
    70/100 32% Kin (2018) It awkwardly combines a working class family drama, a crime thriller and a science fiction yarn. Because the characters are so thin and hackneyed, it's impossible to get worked up over any of the plotlines. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
    85/100 79% Alpha (2018) t's ironic that Hughes has found fresh angles on this trope by going even farther back in time. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
    86/100 91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Awkwafina is great as Rachel's "goofy best friend," and she almost makes viewers long for another film about her. Golding is agreeable, but one wishes he had more on his mind other than simply admiring Rachel. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
    68/100 45% The Meg (2018) Unfortunately, with The Meg, an able cast has little more to do than utter lame wisecracks and look concerned. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
    86/100 96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) It's ironic a movie that clearly demonstrates the dangers curiosity should leave viewers with an endless series of questions. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
    84/100 91% Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Fortunately, all of the meta humor is a sweetness that keeps the film from becoming a post-modern mess. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
    77/100 81% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) It's almost as if Andersson and Ulvaeus forced Parker to figure out how to fit "Waterloo" and "I Kissed the Teacher" into the movie as a dare. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
    69/100 54% The First Purge (2018) When Paul laughs maniacally, it's easy to do the same at his expense. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018
    90/100 98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) While we don't learn that he secretly ate children after the cameras stopped rolling, it's still a jolt to discover what an active and sometimes tormented mind he had. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
    78/100 62% Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) The eye candy is still tasty, but Sicario: Day of the Soldado would be far more nourishing if it gave the heart and the mind the same gratification it bestows on the eyes. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
    81/100 56% Tag (2018) When it's working, Tag is a reassuring reminder that age is no governor on immaturity or vulgarity. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
    73/100 49% Superfly (2018) The new film takes an interesting '70s curio and proves that it doesn't fit our age all that well. Perhaps Director X would have made a more entertaining movie about how Jackson can get his hair to ridicule the rules of physics. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
    85/100 89% Hereditary (2018) Collette effortlessly captures Annie's real fears and anxieties. She looks as if she hasn't slept in months and that protecting her family from harm is getting increasingly futile. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
    78/100 69% Ocean's 8 (2018) Despite a great setting and a constellation of stars, Ocean's 8 has neither the adrenaline nor the wit a caper film needs. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2018
    87/100 70% Adrift (2018) While it's probably a concession to reality, it is refreshing to see a film where a female protagonist isn't passively waiting for a rescue. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
    80/100 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Curiously, the least interesting thing about the movie is the title character. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
    9/10 83% Deadpool 2 (2018) Perhaps Deadpool 2 works because the title character saves most of his fury for the fourth wall. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
    83/100 84% Disobedience (2018) The secret hero of the piece is [Alessandro] Nivola as Dovid, who could have been come off as an oppressor or a clueless chump. Yet in some ways he's the most sympathetic character in the movie... - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
    77/100 54% Book Club (2018) Perhaps my own cynicism is taking over, but both of these guys act more like stalkers than dreamboats. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
    75/100 16% Show Dogs (2018) With nothing in its supper dish but eye candy, Show Dogs alienates any viewer who wants something more than talking hounds. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
    88/100 83% Deadpool 2 (2018) With his athleticism and unerring timing, Reynolds was obviously born to don Deadpool's apparently smelly catsuit. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
    7/10 81% Chappaquiddick (2018) Thanks to an intriguingly nuanced performance from Australian actor Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick does more than simply rehash why Kennedy was never able to leave the incident behind. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
    77/100 38% Life of the Party (2018) Nonetheless, by following in Dangerfield's well-worn footsteps, much of what happens in Life of the Party is unsurprising. Plot developments neither amaze nor amuse if they are advertised. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
    86/100 90% Lean on Pete (2018) It also doesn't hurt that [Andrew] Haigh finds something redeeming about his characters, even if Charley can be foolish and Del underhanded. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 7, 2018
    82/100 85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) What prevents Avengers: Infinity War from being as entertaining as some of its predecessors is that there aren't many small moments that make the explosions and CGI monsters more meaningful. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2018
    73/100 32% Super Troopers 2 (2018) Watching a movie by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard is watching a neighbor's party from an outside window. The people inside seem to be enjoying themselves, but they haven't bothered to invite you. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
    8/10 82% Beirut (2018) Much of what makes Brad Anderson's Beirut so refreshing is that it acknowledges that people who live in the title city have exceeded their quota of misery...it includes just enough emotional and mental nutrition to make the thrills lasting. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
    75/100 51% Rampage (2018) Rampage is one of those rare video games that has actually inspired a good movie. The title character in Wreck-It Ralph is named after a giant wolf that tears up cities as it fights off aerial attacks. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
    87/100 83% Blockers (2018) [Kay] Cannon handles the shifts in tone effortlessly - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2018
    8/10 95% Outside In (2018) While Shelton has made a formidable career directing TV episodes and comedy specials, her personal films are still her most rewarding. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
    9/10 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) Armando Iannucci explores how people in lofty offices don't have to be evil geniuses to cause irreparable harm...Iannucci skillfully manages to poke fun at pettiness while never losing track of how horrific Soviet purges were. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2018
    86/100 92% Love, Simon (2018) Love, Simon succeeds because it rarely plays like grown-ups talking down to viewers. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
    7/10 87% Hannah (2018) By making her quiet corner of the screen more captivating than the portions where people are yelling or screaming, it's easy to see how Rampling won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2018
    74/100 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Einstein gets mentioned in A Wrinkle in Time, but he and the audience would be better served if the filmmakers had figured out how to present his thoughts instead of dropping his name. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2018
    7/10 64% The Boy Downstairs (2018) Rookie feature director Sophie Brooks can get away with a few missteps in The Boy Downstairs because she understands one basic truth: Love turns rational, intelligent adults into blithering idiots. - Film Threat EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018