Dan Webster

Dan Webster
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Frilm critic, books editor, features writer for The Spokesman-Review since 1984.
Favorites:
Citizen Kane (no kidding), Lone Star, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Seven Beauties, Wings of Desire, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Raising Arizona, Yojimbo, Shane, Apocalypse Now Redux.
Location: Spokane, Wash.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
77% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Even the way the movie is filmed, with its editing providing the narrative a freer flow, is different - though this may be merely a sign of Farhadi's new-found artistic freedom. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
97% Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Ross' film is merely an artistic glimpse of a life, and a community, that most of us will never see firsthand, but a life put in a perspective that we can all understand: sometimes joyous, sometimes mundane and sometimes utterly, utterly sad. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
93% High Flying Bird (2019) Given everything else, Soderbergh's use of an iPhone may be the least surprising aspect of his whole movie. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Pawlikowski renders all this in the same kind of gorgeous black and white that he used in his 2013 film "Ida." - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
32% Io (2019) Even if the manner in which it unfolds is, in the end, fairly pedestrian, the message it strives to make definitely is not. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) That the compassion comes from characters who exist on the fringes of accepted society only emphasizes the heartbreaking irony of Koreeda's message. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Throughout all this strife, though, the main feeling that Jenkins conveys is one of hope. Not the sappy kind of hope that tells us love will conquer all, but a more realistic one about a love that, despite everything, endures. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) The result is powerful, almost as if we are looking directly into the past, making it feel vibrant and real instead of merely a dated vision of the distant past. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Rourke takes a fascinating, if familiar story, and makes a movie that leeches away most everything that is interesting and replaces it with brooding imagery involving characters almost impossible to like. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2019
80% 22 July (2018) Greengrass focuses on hope, on the message that a united front against hate is, in the end, the best way to fight back. And that's a message that needs to be stated clearly - now more than ever. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
70% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett captures much of this, if necessarily in cinematic shorthand... Yet it's exactly Wilde's penchant for self-destruction that Everett doesn't pursue enough. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) The blame rests with Lagercrantz and with the producers who clearly thought that we wouldn't notice that a script boasting cheap thrills can't help but result in an even cheaper-feeling film. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
78% Green Book (2018) Regardless, the actors... make them feel true. Which is precisely what a film needs to elevate it from mere melodrama to something closer to actual art. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Well-acted, sumptuously produced yet always challenging - especially to viewers sensitive to overt images of violence - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" is classic Coen, if not classic Western. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
93% The Favourite (2018) Weisz is splendidly imperious and Stone more than holds her own among the British cast, though the lesser-known Colman is what truly binds "The Favourite" to history. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
66% Vice (2018) All this amounts to McKay's version of truth. And as busy and overstuffed as that truth may be, it's certainly plausible. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
2/4 48% The First Wives Club (1996) And as just this, a simple vehicle for feminist rage, "The First Wives Club" is effective. The trouble is that the opportunity was here to say so much more. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
2.5/4 53% Mars Attacks! (1996) [Mars Attacks!] works well enough, though never well enough to make up for the fact that Burton ultimately settles for less. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
91% Widows (2018) When the obligatory twists begin to unfold, not to mention an ending that feels like a cross between wish-fulfillment and something a bit too cleverly elliptical. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
86% The Sisters Brothers (2018) "The Sisters Brothers" feels like a movie in search of a point. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
87% First Man (2018) "First Man" works splendidly, giving a sense of authenticity, not to mention uncertainty and excitement, to a story that feels as old as the moon itself. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
46% Kids (1995) In the end, Kids is bound to enrage some viewers, enthrall others and confound most (even among those very teens who aren't allowed in because of the film's non-rated release to avoid the dreaded NC-17). - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
95% Blaze (2018) Ethan Hawke seems to be obsessed with such lost souls. But truth be told, in our own dark emotional corners, aren't we all? - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
83% Juliet, Naked (2018) The main strength of Juliet, Naked is its cast. All three principal actors are perfect, with O'Dowd adding his particular comic touch. More important, each character is equally likeable despite flaws that seem as inherent as they feel natural. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
85% The Wife (2018) It is Close, though, on whom Runge's camera focuses. Quiet and reserved, yet forceful and ultimately determined, Close's Joan reflects a sense of real power behind her all-knowing yet cryptic smile. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
89% A Star Is Born (2018) Not everything works in Cooper's version of "A Star Is Born" But enough does to ensure that this film is, indeed, one of the best releases of 2018. Maybe, even, of this decade. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
83% Puzzle (2018) Which is the strength of "Puzzle," the fact that it refuses to portray both these characters and the situations they find themselves in as mere clichés. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
89% Whitney (2018) Fame may not have killed Whitney Houston, but it didn't save her either. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
100% Leave No Trace (2018) Like "Winter's Bone," "Leave No Trace" doesn't unfold with a typical Hollywood-type narrative. Instead of the dramatic highs and lows, it proceeds in a stately, evenly paced manner that smacks of authentic life. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Gives this decades-old Hollywood blueprint a welcome, refreshing makeover. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) A fascinating tale that reveals the truth behind the headlines - a truth you should now be fully prepared to learn. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
No Score Yet Grave Of The Fireflies - Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 (2018) A sophisticated work of art. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
81% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" isn't merely a jokey songfest. Along the way, the film offers up moments of quiet reflection as well as an occasional sense of grief. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2018
93% First Reformed (2018) Schrader wastes the good work of cinematographer Alexander Dynan - whose framing of every scene is flawlessly precise - and by Hawke, who continues to evolve as an actor in independent productions such as this. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
63% Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) Credit Sollima for having the great good sense to use Brolin and especially del Toro in ways that give each the freedom to haunt the screen as well as anyone can. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018
100% Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) (2018) Not to give anything away, but its climax just may wrench your heart - though, if you're open to the experience, it'll happen in a good way. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
78% Last Flag Flying (2017) The problem, for me, is that much of the talk in "Last Flag Flying" feels too mannered...Cranston, in particular, tends to overplay Sal to the point, at times, almost of parody. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
83% Deadpool 2 (2018) You can't make fun of superhero action films and, at the same time, be a good example of one...[but] the exception in the case of superhero action films is the "Deadpool" series. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) "Solo: A Star Wars Story" unveils at breakneck speed: seldom slowing down for any viewer but the most "Star Wars"-literate to comprehend much more than a simple he's-good-he's-bad-shoot-fast-and-speed-off storyline. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
72% The Rachel Divide (2018) The Rachel Divide works hard to give an insider's view of a story that for some is the case of a woman suffering from a serious sense of cultural displacement and for others is an ongoing attempt to redefine notions of race and what that term... means. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
84% Borg Vs. McEnroe (2018) Metz's film is less about the glory of sport than it is about the damage that sport can do to an athlete's soul. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2018
95% A Quiet Place (2018) [John Krasinksi's] strength shows here in his ability to nurture a concept into a living, breathing movie. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
80% Unsane (2018) So instead of a scintillating psychological study, Unsane becomes a tawdry, all-too-predictable woman-in-peril story. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2018
93% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) [Sebastián] Lelios was lucky that he had an actress as capable as [Daniela] Vega to depend on. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2018
47% Red Sparrow (2018) Like any good spy film, "Red Sparrow" has a number of twists that you may not see coming. In this way, it resembles another popular series, "Mission: Impossible." - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2018
84% Game Night (2018) But most of all, "Game Night" belongs to Bateman and McAdams. No one can chew on a squeaky toy more humorously than he can, and no one is better at combining comic timing and sex appeal than she. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
80% Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017) As Grahame, Annette Bening captures both the actress's vulnerability and her flintiness, holding her own against a case of talented British actors - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
23% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) Certainly, it's no "Mystic River" or "Letters from Iwo Jima." But at least in technical terms it does display the professional quality that marks Eastwood's typical filmmaking style. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2018
91% Phantom Thread (2018) But the star, as always in an Anderson movie, is the writer-director himself. As "Phantom Thread" progresses, Anderson keeps us off-balance, never quite explaining what each character is up to as he or she moves from one scene to the next. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
89% I, Tonya (2018) The cast is brilliant. Margot Robbie, who learned to skate for the film, nails Harding, while Golden-Globe winner Allison Janney is an acerbic marvel as her mother. Sebastian Stan gives a mostly understated performance as Gillooly. - Spokesman-Review (Washington) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018