David Sims

David Sims
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: The Atlantic, AV Club, Blank Check

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
74% The French Dispatch (2021) Anderson is so hell-bent on cramming every frame with allusions, and squeezing a whole film's worth of plotting into every chapter, that this 103-minute sprint ends up feeling like a marathon. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2021
83% Dune (2021) The director Denis Villeneuve's film is the first adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel to properly portray the grim tragedy of Paul's arc; the movie is epic in scope, but it understands the quieter human underpinnings of the original work. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2021
39% Halloween Kills (2021) Halloween Kills can't quite escape the gravity of the movie to which it's so indebted. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2021
86% The Last Duel (2021) Affleck and Damon have not collaborated as screenwriters since Good Will Hunting -- another movie that mixed goofy ball-busting with darker emotional reckoning -- and their creative partnership yields a similarly invigorating mix of tones here. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2021
96% Petite Maman (2021) Despite its slightness, the movie is both a touching family drama and an innovative sci-fi. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
96% The Rescue (2021) My favorite TIFF documentary came from Chai Vasarhelyi and Chin, the team behind the Oscar-winning mountain-climber film Free Solo... Like their previous movie, it's just as interested in the highly dangerous hobby of cave-diving. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
91% The Power of the Dog (2021) Campion understands the genre she's working in, setting the roiling emotions of her characters against the striking landscapes; Cumberbatch's performance is as immense as the peaks and valleys around him. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
86% Bergman Island (2021) Hansen-Løve is one of the keenest observers of friendship and intimacy, and Bergman Island is no exception, sensitively portraying a relationship that has burned down to its last embers. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
67% The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) While the resulting narrative feels disappointingly routine, the movie is worth watching for Chastain's makeup-caked and brassy performance alone. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
90% The Humans (2021) The movie captures the frightening atmosphere of the play without feeling at all stagebound. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
90% Spencer (2021) Spencer is a biopic of Princess Diana with an atmospheric aesthetic that will make the viewer's skin crawl. After the last season of The Crown, one might wonder if there's room for another story about her; Larraín's film proves there still is. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
88% Titane (2021) You'll likely walk out of Titane feeling like you've been rattled by a roller coaster, but the film's daring attempt at pathos has stuck with me the most. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
84% No Time To Die (2021) It's ambitious, sprawling, and sometimes shockingly counter to tradition for the series. But it's also hugely effective. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2021
61% Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) The viewing experience is like going to a nightclub and having someone scream the plot in your ear over a thumping bass line -- ironic, given that Venom's biggest weakness is sound waves. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2021
73% The Many Saints of Newark (2021) Even a simple question about The Many Saints of Newark is damning: Would a non-Sopranos viewer bother watching it? - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2021
29% Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Almost everything imaginable has gone wrong on the journey from stage to screen, and the result is a film that isn't even "so bad it's good," like some other recent musical movies; mostly, it's just painful to watch. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2021
60% Cry Macho (2021) Yet another unpretentious, melancholy farewell from a director and actor who has been supposedly retiring from the screen for the past 30 years. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2021
86% The Card Counter (2021) The motif is specific, but the filmmaker deploys it to great effect: slowly drawing the audience into the psyche of a man who grows more frightening -- and more compelling -- the more you learn about him. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2021
81% Worth (2021) Watching the bureaucracy shift from a source of frustration to comfort gives the film its arresting tension. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2021
42% Cinderella (2021) Everything in Cinderella, admirable as its message may be, is soulless -- and that robs it of any joy. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2021
84% Candyman (2021) The film has enough visual panache to make it an involving watch, but it struggles to live up to the audaciousness of its deeper ideas. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2021
37% Reminiscence (2021) It's a clever tale, anchored by Jackman doing reliable work as an antihero haunted by his sins. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2021
71% Annette (2021) The conundrum rattled me after I left the theater... More than the constant singing, that's the way Annette most resembles the sublime tragedy of great opera: You know the sad ending is coming, but the entire time, you're wishing for a way to stop it. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2021
90% The Suicide Squad (2021) The Suicide Squad is very funny, bleakly self-aware, and shockingly violent -- a refreshing mix of familiar conventions and gory satire. In a sea of sequels, reboots, crossovers, and origin stories, it stands out like few other recent adaptations have. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2021
74% Stillwater (2021) McCarthy's excellent, if sprawling, script is more interested in the humans behind the headlines and the messy ways people try to reconcile their grief and guilt after indescribable trauma. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2021
62% Jungle Cruise (2021) Though Jungle Cruise has moments of trashy fun (such as Plemons's goofy performance), this particular film overall is smoothed out in service of broad Disney accessibility. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2021
88% The Green Knight (2021) It's the movie Lowery was born to make, a dreamy piece of high fantasy that bombards the viewer with visual delights, skimps on all but the most essential dialogue, and turns an age-old tale into something to be puzzled over anew. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2021
50% Old (2021) The central conceit of Old has so much juice, and Shyamalan gets to explore so many fun avenues over the course of one very long day. It's his most ambitious work in years, wrapped in the delightful, tawdry packaging of a pulpy thriller. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
97% Pig (2021) In Pig, Cage is the mournful center of a clever story about how commercialism rots the purity of artistic expression. It's some of his best, most nuanced work in years. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2021
26% Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) Space Jam: A New Legacy feels like a preview of a more terrifying, siloed future, one in which having an encyclopedic media library is more important than enjoying the work right in front of you. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
98% Minari (2020) Minari works because it knows that behind every sweet childhood memory lies bitter struggle. The story is utterly charming when told from David's point of view, and unflinching when it pivots to the complicated dynamics of his parents' marriage. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) With Judas and the Black Messiah, King has made a thriller that speaks to history without feeling didactic, that keeps the audience in suspense even though the ending was written decades ago. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
97% Flee (2021) Innovative and visually dynamic... The animation renders his fond childhood memories with painterly grace, and turns his darkest hours into nightmarish horrors. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
99% Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) An outstanding archival work, it digs up beautiful footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival-a rapturous celebration of music that featured acts such as Sly & the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Gladys Knight & the Pips. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
95% Mass (2021) The film avoids leaning into sensationalism, and though it's emotionally wrenching, there's something comforting to the process of mourning that both couples are going through as they wrestle with the political implications of a very personal event. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
86% Passing (2021) Passing might not be a crowd-pleasing blockbuster, but it's a precise and self-assured work from Hall. With Passing, she's taken on a great, but highly internal, literary work that might not appear easily translatable to the screen. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
96% CODA (2021) A witty, sweetly told drama about a hearing 17-year-old girl in a deaf Massachusetts fishing family. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
100% The Pink Cloud (2021) The Pink Cloud felt extraordinary not just because it eerily echoed real life, but also because it brought stylishness and grace to its setting of drab apartment interiors. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
96% First Cow (2020) It's a small, understated movie, but it's also one of the best of the year so far. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
84% The Way Back (2020) The Way Back features the rawest and most natural performance Affleck has given in his career. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2021
83% Freaky (2020) Freaky knows it's a farce and winks at the silliest of slasher tropes, but that satirical edge doesn't keep it from being one of the most purely enjoyable horror works I've seen in a long time. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2021
92% Saint Maud (2020) The clever script, written by Glass herself, is designed to keep the viewer guessing until the very last minute, and it's the foundation of the first great horror movie of the year. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
45% The Little Things (2021) The Little Things belongs to an underappreciated category of theatrical experiences I've been nostalgic for: the competent yarn you could go see alone on a weekday evening and emerge from feeling satisfied. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
93% Bacurau (Nighthawk) (2020) I don't want to spoil a second of Bacurau, but it's one of the best filmic distillations of that impending 21st-century sense of doom, a concentrated vision of the apocalypse that somehow manages to strike a hopeful note. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
93% Nomadland (2021) Zhao places the failed promises of the American dream alongside some of its most beautiful, breathtaking vistas, as Fern pursues a life that isn't driven by a search for success and wealth. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
41% Locked Down (2021) While Locked Down is an undoubtedly fascinating pop-culture curio, it's also sloppy and cringe-inducing, and feels like it was made in a hurry. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2021
58% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) It's a refreshingly silly and airy adventure focused on the emotions of one character, Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot), and a charming end to a tiring year of cinema. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2020
95% Soul (2020) The ambition of Docter's world building is laudable. And the smaller, human narrative he tries to tell within that universe is sweet and charming. But given its vast canvas, Soul sometimes struggles to focus on that more intimate story. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2020
25% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Hillbilly Elegy is an Oscar-friendly narrative of personal triumph in the face of great hardship, a movie designed to end with an uplifting epigraph; it is also one of the worst movies of the year. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020
83% Mank (2020) Mank is a tale of triumph, the kind that's been told countless times on the silver screen, but never quite with this moving blend of realism and regret. - The Atlantic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020