Daniel Barnes

Daniel Barnes
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Daniel Barnes is a Sacramento-based film critic and podcast host, as well as a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. His work appears regularly in the Sacramento News & Review, The Sacramento Bee, E Street Film Society and other print and online publications across the country.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 85% Rich Hill (2014) At times, Rich Hill has the vibe of an Errol Morris-esque portrait of small-town oddballs, but there is also an ethnographical bleakness to this portrait of angry boys. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2019
4/5 100% Babylon (2019) A cinematic shot of energy that combines a proto-stoner comedy, a gritty musical and a nihilistic call-to-arms into an excoriation of Thatcher-era racism and poverty. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
1/5 22% Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) An utterly incompetent series of cheap laughs, cheaper productions values and cheapest Coolio cameos, Leprechaun in the Hood is more "pot o' mold" than "pot o' gold." - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
3.5/5 94% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) A wholly unexpected and unusual gangster saga. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
4/5 94% Tickled (2016) Tickled takes a tabloid-ready tale and turns it into something thematically rich and unexpectedly emotional. Despite the tickle fetish trappings, the film forms into a salacious portrait of obscene privilege run amok. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
2/5 38% Ishtar (1987) So is the film merely a misunderstood messenger from God, or is it really just a barren desert of blind camel jokes? - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
3.5/5 76% Holiday (2018) Not what you would call an easy watch, but if you're looking for a bold and unforgiving film that doesn't easily shake away, this one certainly fits the bill. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet Heart Condition (1990) A casually racist murder-mystery (minus the mystery) that was rejected by both audiences and critics due to a chaotic tone, insipid comedy beats and clunky action scenes set to slap-bass and scat-singing. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
2.5/5 85% Experimenter (2015) The film works better when crafting its own experiments in social embarrassment, such as the scene where Milgram argues about his work with an Abe Lincoln impersonator, as opposed to the stuffy book report that dominates the final hour. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet Gotti (2018) This love letter to the Gotti family combines a half-dozen framing devices, nonsensical time jumps, copious news footage, straight-to-camera narration, and a bullet point story structure into an indecipherable, unwatchable, excruciating mess of a movie. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
1/5 13% China Salesman (2018) A wildly inept attempt to make an action film about unfair bidding practices in global telecommunications contracts. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2019
4/5 88% Fort Tilden (2015) The existential crises of the young, privileged, bored, white, female, and loathsome are blisteringly sent up in this freakin' hilarious, stubbornly unsentimental, NYC-set comedy - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2019
3/5 93% Bumblebee (2018) To the surprise of no one, the removal of Michael Bay from the creative driver's seat of the franchise results in a sharp rise in visual coherence and a sharp dip in toxic masculinity. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
2/5 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) The flavorless, barely tolerable non-drama of On the Basis of Sex was probably intended as good-for-you movie medicine, but if this is the cure, I'll take my chances with the disease. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
1/5 12% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) One of the least likable couples in the history of visual media. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2019
1/5 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) A garish and empty non-spectacle. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
1/5 78% Green Book (2018) Mahershala Ali survives with a shred of dignity intact, but Viggo Mortensen may never recover. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
4/5 89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) Lynne Ramsay's scarred and fractured story of a violent, demon-plagued veteran who rescues stolen girls. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
4.5/5 91% Mandy (2018) The prog-metal outrageousness of Mandy is established when King Crimson's "Starless" both plays over and gets listed in the opening credits, while Nicolas Cage offers his once-a-decade reminder of why we ever cared. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
4/5 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) Already the premier political satirist of his era, Armando Iannucci pulls off his most impressive feat yet, turning the corpse-strewn power struggle that followed Joseph Stalin's sudden death into a lacerating and disturbingly relevant farce. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
4/5 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Much like the folk songs heard throughout the film, Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski's romantic tragedy takes a story of heartbreak and horror and transforms it into something beautiful and timeless. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
2/5 66% Vice (2018) McKay wants to demonize and humanize Cheney at the same time, and the effect is like simultaneously watching ten different Dick Cheney biopics, all of them tedious. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
3/5 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) At its best, If Beale Street Could Talk is lovely cinematic poetry, but the film is rarely at its best. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
1/5 No Score Yet A Christmas Story 2 (2012) A mean, angry, assaultive and annoying series of nostalgic callbacks and nasty characters. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
2.5/5 59% Vox Lux (2018) Vox Lux does not lack for lofty aspirations, but the human drama is muddled and the observations on contemporary culture are obvious and exploitative. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
3.5/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) It sucks that almost every movie is a self-aware pastiche and brand nostalgia compilation, but if the only stories that Hollywood can weave anymore are Easter egg baskets, it would be nice if more of them had this film's energy, artistry, heart and humor. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
3.5/5 96% Roma (2018) It offers an increasingly rare combination of ambition, imagination, compassion, emotion and execution. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
4/5 93% The Favourite (2018) Lanthimos takes a lean and witty script about conniving women and weak men and imbues it with his own peculiar and pitiless absurdism. The result feels like an outrageously opulent cross between Dangerous Liaisons and All About Eve. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
1/5 38% Cutthroat Island (1995) A chaotic jumble of bad action, juvenile comedy and chilly romance, all wrapped in a cheesecloth of limp, lifeless pirate cliches. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
2.5/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Only another impressive turn from Lucas Hedges elevates this earnest but slipshod drama above the level of an after-school special. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2.5/5 79% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Schnabel tries to give new life to familiar material through a self-conscious naturalism full of hand-held camera shots, long takes and lens flares. Unfortunately, this breath of fresh air eventually turns stale. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/5 84% Creed II (2018) Whatever you think about Rocky IV, it is inarguably a mid-1980s time capsule. Creed II isn't a time capsule, but it should get buried. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
1.5/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) The Front Runner is unbelievably naive in its cynicism about the tabloidization of the political process, ultimately (and possibly by accident because of ineptitude) making an anti-transparency argument that would appease the "fake news" dingbats. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 91% Maria By Callas (2018) The life of world-famous 20th-century opera singer Maria Callas gets the Amy treatment in this serviceable documentary. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
1/5 No Score Yet Collision Course (1989) A vile and incompetent archive of 1980s cop movie cliches rife with product placement and casual racism. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
4/5 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Shoplifters is so tender and meticulous about establishing the cramped, desperate and insular world of these characters that you're hardly prepared for the emotional punch of the film's final act. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
4/5 90% Cartel Land (2015) An almost unbelievably intimate piece of cinematic journalism - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/5 81% Overlord (2018) Julius Avery directs this high-energy, low-imagination genre mashup, a combination of Inglourious Basterds and Planet Terror that is not nearly as fun as that description might imply. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
1/5 30% The Monuments Men (2014) Clooney speeches and preaches nonstop throughout. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
3.5/5 84% Monrovia, Indiana (2018) Not the meatiest Wiseman effort, but even minor Wiseman provides major cinematic nourishment for the soul. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 89% Prospect (2018) A high-concept film that doesn't explain itself to death is refreshing, but the margins of Prospect are far more interesting than the central story and characters. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2.5/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) The film twists itself in knots to make Israel seem like the victim of her own crimes, but this mainly amounts to McCarthy moping around in a Kathy Geiss haircut. - Sacramento News & Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
4.5/5 96% Krisha (2016) The film practically vibrates with a nervous energy. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
1/5 7% The Snowman (2017) A nonsensical movie less famous than its own meme. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
4/5 94% Burning (Beoning) (2018) Powerfully enigmatic and immaculately constructed. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3.5/5 No Score Yet Seder-Masochism (2018) Seder-Masochism lacks the thematic coherence and striking originality of Sita Sings the Blues, but it's actually a more accomplished film, with an endless number of knockout setpieces. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3.5/5 100% Pet Names (2018) I felt like I was constantly on the verge of loving this observant comedy about ex-lovers reuniting for an impromptu camping trip. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3/5 90% Museum (Museo) (2018) I was captivated by the weird energy, shifting tone and unconventional approach, even if I wasn't particularly captivated by the story and characters. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3/5 100% Little Woods (2019) The film has atmosphere and intensity to burn, but it also feels dwarfed by similar yet superior films. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet When the Trees Fall (2018) This strange slice of Ukrainian magic realism has a primal energy and unconventional, borderline chaotic construction. - Dare Daniel EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018