Dennis Harvey

Dennis Harvey
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Film Critic, San Francisco Bay Guardian and Variety

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse (Hagazussa) (2019) Its mix of the poetical, repugnant, and phantasmagorical will weave a singular spell for more adventuresome, arthouse-friendly viewers. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
50% William (2019) Tim Disney's film strikes a bland compromise between science-fantasy, suspense-melodrama and family entertainment, developing no element to a level that generates more than mild interest. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
56% A Dark Place (Steel Country) (2019) The result is diverting enough, yet ends up more a mildly offbeat time-filler than something memorable. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
No Score Yet J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius (2019) Those who remember the gospel of "slack" will make this diverting-enough documentary an in-demand work at genre festivals, as a streaming item and in other forums. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
100% Come As You Are (2019) This seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment theme. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
No Score Yet Strange Negotiations (2019) There's something endearingly earnest and straightforward, but not simplistic, about Bazan as both personality and musician, lending "Negotiations" dual sources of viewer enjoyment. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
No Score Yet Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem Magazine (2019) A brief, careening survey through the publication's two-decade life and times, filled with colorful personalities and commentary. Vintage rock fans will be in (cough) high heaven. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
100% Extra Ordinary (2019) Consistently funny in a pleasingly off-kilter way. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
30% Tone Deaf (2018) Too cartoonishly broad to qualify as black comedy, and with no one to root for, this disappointing latest from Richard Bates Jr. isn't funny, suspenseful or outrageous enough to satisfy genre fans. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
88% Daniel Isn't Real (2019) Spectrevision's stylishly crafted psychological horror thriller has enough twists and finesse to attract favorable attention beyond genre bounds, signaling upbeat prospects for exposure in various formats. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
33% Darlin' (2019) Its content grows so tonally awry that by the end, you're not sure to what extent McIntosh is serious or joking - nor is there much indication that she knows, either. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
100% Girl on the Third Floor (2019) If the story isn't ultimately a knockout, the film's atmospherics and sense of humor are winning nonetheless. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
100% Snatchers (2019) The film percolates along thanks to the comic esprit of the players, snappy visual and editorial presentation, and the screenplay's "Clueless"-like fountain of entertainingly over-the-top youth slang. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
100% Mickey and the Bear (2019) "Mickey and the Bear" reps an assured feature debut for Annabelle Attanasio, who wrote and directed this straightforward but skillfully nuanced drama about a troubled father-daughter relationship. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
78% Good Boys (2019) "Good Boys" is fast-paced and energetic, but its bad-taste humor seldom rises above the pedestrian. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
75% Adopt a Highway (2019) One of those baffling cases in which a project somehow made it to completion without anyone daring to mention that the script barely qualified as a narrative outline, let alone as camera-ready. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
No Score Yet Almost Perfect (2012) Just occasionally over-broad, its dramedy is thoughtful in a satisfying, non-edgy way. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
95% Villains (2019) This black comedy thriller has a good cast to spark a scenario that's intriguing enough to hold attention, if not quite clever enough to be a knockout. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
50% Porno (2019) There's an amiability of intent and execution that keeps "Porno" watchable. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
88% Sword of Trust (2019) Everyone onscreen is so good at this kind of work that one wishes more tightly scripted comedy screenplays had such savory dialogue, or inspired character conceptions. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
44% The Cannibal Club (2019) A diverting, stylish, but ultimately rather trite satire whose social critique and grand guignol aspects never quite come to a full boil. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
80% The Magic Life of V (2019) It's not enough for the film to look great; can't we get some actual insight, too? - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
90% Tigerland (2019) Kauffman has crafted an enjoyable armchair adventure that juggles the archival imagery, engaging present-day personalities and glimpses of the magnificent creatures themselves at a leisurely yet absorbing pace. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
No Score Yet The Purity of Vengeance (Journal 64) (2018) [A] high-gloss thriller... which is undeniably entertaining yet whose pleasures have the guilty edge of a particularly lurid airport read. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
94% Sweetheart (2019) Not quite original or stylish enough to be memorable. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
75% One Last Deal (2018) Director and scenarist execute their tale with enough restraint - reflective of the lead character's stunted emotional range - to eke out poignancy from what's at core a somewhat predictable narrative arc. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
92% A Twelve-Year Night (La noche de 12 años) (2018) An impressive work that further confirms writer-director Alvaro Brechner as one of the leading South American screen talents to emerge in the last decade. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
85% Light From Light (2019) A quietly matter-of-fact drama that utilizes a "haunting" story hook for non-religious yet affirming ends. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
100% The Disappearance of My Mother (2019) "The Disappearance of My Mother" is a successful piece of documentary filmmaking inasmuch as it's entertaining and dextrously crafted. But its precise intent is unclear. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
100% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) It's an entertaining flashback to an always-diverting countercultural epoch, with a touching footnote of a semi-famous love story at its center. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
86% Stieg Larsson - The Man Who Played With Fire (2019) You don't get a lot of Lisbeth Salander here. But you do get an overview of fascist/nationalist movements in Sweden and beyond over recent decades, which lends this well-crafted effort interest well beyond the strictly biographical. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
100% This is not Berlin (2019) With a coolness factor off the charts, this musically and otherwise seductive drama is likely to appeal to audiences who lived through the era as well as those who wish they had, both straight and gay. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
83% Dolce Fine Giornata (2019) A Nobel-winning poet recklessly inserts herself into immigration and terrorism debates in Jacek Borcuch's satisfyingly complex drama. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
81% The Lodge (2019) English-language "The Lodge" is atmospheric and intriguing enough to appeal to more adventurous viewers. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
71% The Tomorrow Man (2019) [T]he film's packaging has an attractive simplicity - amplifying an overall effect of everyday strangeness that's finally more reassuring than truly bizarre. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
90% Before You Know It (2019) It's hard to care about the nice characters who somewhat improbably put up with wildly insufferable ones. There's some invention and good humor here, yet the whole feels inorganic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
93% Fighting with My Family (2019) "Fighting With My Family" may not be an Oscar contender but it has enough wit, heart, energy and good cheer to make it a fun watch even for non-wrestling fans. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
75% Judy & Punch (2019) The overall concept, from Foulkes and her trio of story collaborators, has a bracingly original air, from the film's period anachronisms to its impressive design elements. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
89% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) This terrifically engaging debut feature by playwright Paul Downs Colaizzano is the best kind of "crowdpleaser": one that earns every emotional beat that might seem formulaic in four out of five similar enterprises. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
100% Ms. Purple (2018) There's enough substance here to reward the patient in this tale of two disparately isolated siblings reuniting during their father's last weeks in L.A.'s Koreatown. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
No Score Yet This Is Personal (2019) This is a good example of a documentary so deep in the middle of the fight it's depicting, it doesn't quite notice that its own message is too overstuffed for maximum impact. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
86% The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) Competently mounted yet plodding, it's manifestly a labor of love that becomes a bit of a labor to watch. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
90% To the Stars (2019) Starts like a slightly cartoonish teenage version of lesbian date-night favorite "Desert Hearts," then gradually plods toward an excess of retro-potboiler melodrama. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
86% Always In Season (2019) An engrossing mix of history, investigation and activism. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
86% Adam (2019) Brisk and astutely assembled, "Adam" makes something educational and playful rather than insulting out of that character's brief walk in another gender construct's shoes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
100% Maktub (2018) The light, droll touch applied overall lets the filmmakers get away with a few fairly graphic moments that remind us criminal violence is no joke. These also pass fleetingly enough not to sour the genial mood. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
No Score Yet Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire (2019) Mostly transcends standard artist-appreciation terrain by virtue of a diverse, colorful and energetic package that amplifies the subject's own aesthetic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
86% The Realm (El reino) (2018) Acclaim should carry it far among those craving intrigue, suspense and muckraking social commentary. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
No Score Yet Fig Tree (2018) "Fig Tree" is a fine drama whose seemingly casual progress only heightens its ultimate impact. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
74% Pledge (2019) A lean and mean shocker that tells its tale of collegiate hazing run amuck with brute efficiency. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019