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
    76/100 47% A Dog's Journey (2019) A Dog's Journey takes a little time to explore ways that dogs can help people in ways we are only now beginning to understand. Learning how they can literally sniff out tumors is frankly more interesting than a plot recycled from a soap opera. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
    72/100 51% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) It's almost as if Russo-Young and editor Joe Landauer sat in the cutting room with a stopwatch making sure each smooch or long walk lasted long enough to ensure a 100-minute running time. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
    74/100 51% Tolkien (2019) The production is handsome, and the cast seem committed, but their characters don't change enough to make the story move. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
    81/100 65% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) While the efforts to bring Pokemon to life are successful, the human thespians sometimes struggle to keep up with their furry, feathered and scaly co-stars. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
    89/100 83% High Life (2019) In her own way, [Claire] Denis is reaching for the stars by making a film that lives outside the theater. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
    82/100 81% Long Shot (2019) What starts off as biting and clever gradually loses its bite as it slowly reaches its drawn-out conclusion. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
    87/100 91% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) Because [David] Fowler treats Steve as an "everypenguin," there is more entertainment value with this film than with its acclaimed predecessor. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
    88/100 89% Missing Link (2019) Laika Entertainment understands the northwest mythology and has come up with enough delightfully goofy content of its own to make us wonder if there really are furry humanoids trampling through the woods. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
    87/100 94% The Mustang (2019) Basing her story on a real-life program that takes place in Nevada and other states, freshman feature director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and a horde of co-screenwriters craft a story about bonding with horses that's uplifting and refreshingly candid. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
    88/100 90% Shazam! (2019) While screenwriter Henry Gayden may be adapting a character from Fawcett Comics, through much of the movie, he's cleverly updating Penny Marshall's Big. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
    80/100 47% Dumbo (2019) [Tim] Burton's human cast is loaded with terrific performers, but he and Kruger still have trouble coming up with people as endearing as Timothy the Mouse or Dumbo's mom. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
    4/5 98% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) Most of the people in Rodents of Unusual Size have had to learn how to deal with deal with the animals, and their creativity is astonishing. - eFilmCritic.com EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
    83/100 71% Climax (2019) Sometimes, you have to wonder if these folks are capable of enjoying a good buzz once in awhile. It certainly beats brooding. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
    88/100 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Because the rural Spanish setting and the characters who inhabit it are so vividly realized, it's a little jolting to discover that Everybody Knows is written and directed by two-time Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
    86/100 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Co-writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck manage to set up an engaging enough story to involve both die-hard Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as well as those who might have skipped an installment of The Avengers. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
    87/100 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) While The Hidden World is the third entry in the series of Cressida Cowell's books, [Dean] DeBlois still manages to figure out charming ways for Vikings and reptiles to interact. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
    Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
    72/100 68% 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 69% 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 60% 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 85% 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 90% 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 62% 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 51% 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 96% 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 89% 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 32% 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 31% 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 46% 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 63% 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 69% 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