Dennis Harvey

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

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
98% The Boy Behind the Door (2020) [An] effective use of a simple premise and modest means to create a nicely nerve-jangling thriller. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2021
91% Val (2021) A trainwreck on more levels than you can count, though the actor's devotees will probably love it anyway-perhaps even as a result. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
83% Holy Beasts (La Fiera y la Fiesta) (2019) A homage less interesting than the subterranean films it references and excerpts. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
98% Sweat (2020) It's got its finger firmly on the pulse of something that few other fictive films to date have captured quite so well. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
89% Charlatan (2021) Far from slowing down at age 72, Agnieszka Holland's done some of her best work in recent years. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
84% Misha and the Wolves (2021) Sam Hobkinson's documentary probes the puzzle of how this grand con came to be, then how it unravelled, while pondering the extent to which it sprang from deliberate deception or pure delusion. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
73% Persian Lessons (2020) It's got a powerhouse premise and strong performances that ultimately pull through despite his somewhat ham-fisted, self-important style. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
100% Stuntman (2021) Well-crafted, the film's appeal nonetheless depends greatly on whether you find Braun's quest brave and inspiring or sort of a pointless childhood dream that did not require adult actualization. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2021
89% Rock, Paper and Scissors (Piedra, papel y tijera) (2019) A mixed bag that nonetheless will pique the interest of those attracted to willfully eccentric cinema that seems aimed at a cult audience. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
78% Barfly (1987) Barfly remains a flavorful approximation of life on the bottom rungs. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
80% How I Became a Superhero (2021) How I Became has decent intrigue that turns into explanatory backstory, plus incorporation of the superhero thing to illustrate a psychological gamut... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
80% The Body Fights Back (2021) ...the whole might best be taken as just one counterbalancing perspective on the endlessly complex terrains of body, self, and society. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
69% Angel (Un ange) (2021) There's a distinctive intensity to this film, both aesthetically and emotionally, that makes it well worthwhile. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
42% Great White (2021) It's nothing special, but it's not bad, either. The filmmakers eke a decent amount of suspense from the ably played characters' psychological dynamics, as well as the chomping menace. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
100% The Hidden Life of Trees (Das geheime Leben der Bäume) (2021) The polite alarm he's sounding is made even more palatable by this film's frequent beauty, whether in time-lapse photography of forest-bed changes or bigger landscape pictures... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
79% Summertime (2021) Very woke in its inclusiveness and critiques alike, Summertime is a unique pulse-taking not just of a city, but of a particular cultural flavor of our moment. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
97% Pig (2021) Pig winds up being primarily about grief, something both these men need to come to terms with. It's a graceful film that's stylish, understated enough to be quite touching... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
46% Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021) "Escape Room" is boxing itself into being one of the most charmless, least intriguing big-screen action franchises going. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2021
86% Dachra (2021) There are no characters or plot twists that will stick with you, but stylistically Dachra manages to transcend its derivative concepts to arresting effect for nearly two full hours. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2021
90% Scales (Sayidat Al Bahr) (2021) While not everything here works, this is a poetical and distinctive effort whose commentary ultimately seems to go beyond gender relations to indict humanity's abuse of nature, and suggest an apocalyptic end result to climate change. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2021
92% Working Girls (1987) ...an almost documentary-like matter-of-factness that insists on seeing its subject as a labor issue, albeit one inevitably much bound with elements of inequality and misogyny. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2021
49% The Forever Purge (2021) ...just eight short years, the Purge series' imaginative leaps have grown lamentably much, much closer to our actual (or at least threatened) political reality. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2021
86% Dachra (2021) Originality may indeed be scarce... Yet this gory goulash of city slickers, creepy yokels, editorial jolts and cannibalism largely transcends its derivative basic elements, thanks to his astute, richly atmospheric handling. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2021
72% Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) Farr more overtly political and experimental than anything subsequently bracketed in that ["Blaxploitation"] genre. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2021
96% I Carry You with Me (2021) Despite these and other flaws, eventually the ambitious mix of style and content does begin to gel-there's an affirming lyrical sweep to the final sections that has real emotional pull... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2021
78% Scenes from an Empty Church (2021) The reliable Corrigan is fine as usual, and it's good to see Ryan (a personal favorite since Henry Fool) in a rare leading screen role. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2021
88% Crimson Gold (2004) En route, we see how few indignities are spared him, as well as how extravagant the hidden lives of this society's wealthiest are-their excesses alternately ignored and censured by authorities who can never be argued with, no matter how arbitrary... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2021
100% Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over (2021) Lunch is a formidable original who was overdue to get her own dedicated screen tribute, and this one is good enough to get the job done. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2021
91% Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation (2021) It's diverting enough, and would provide a painless crash course for theater students and others who've just begun to learn about the central figures. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2021
88% Zola (2021) It's a very accomplished film, titillating and WTF-funny-the most obvious comparison point might be Spring Breakers, albeit with a brain... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2021
56% Prime Time (2021) Slick, watchable but ultimately somewhat pointless... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
100% Chasing Childhood (2020) ...this is an important insight into how many well-intentioned modern educational and parenting trends are actually bad ideas... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
83% Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide (2021) One hopes this documentary, directed by his daughter Maria with Max Basch, will trigger renewed appreciation for the complexity and remarkable technique that people failed to appreciate in his imagery the first time around. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
81% God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya (2021) ...it's still impossible not to feel some glee as Petrunya stubbornly refuses to be belittled any further... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
86% Werewolves Within (2021) It falls a little short of that lofty status, but Within is so smartly directed and performed that you'll have great fun anyway. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
80% Too Late (2021) They're all good. More of a smart throwaway than anything great, Too Late is nonetheless a likable horror comedy, with considerably more emphasis on the funny part of that equation. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
80% Gaia (2021) Gaia is hardly campy, though. Instead, it's a densely textured variation on the "Mother Nature strikes back" horror flicks that have flourished since the 1970s... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
40% Finding Ophelia (2021) Unfortunately the writing and acting are less considerably less sophisticated than his audiovisual aesthetics...it is definitely recommended for those who enjoy movies with a strong element of psychedelia. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
100% Don Giovanni (1979) ...one of the best-ever screen operas. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
100% The Swimming Pool (La Piscine) (1969) That saga certainly lends additional frisson a movie much like a perfect chilled cocktail on a dolorous hot day... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
42% The Ice Road (2021) An increasingly implausible action movie that will entertain most viewers, but also perhaps make them feel a bit played for fools. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
100% A Crime on the Bayou (2021) Unlike the earlier Tulsa events, which wound up well-buried in collective memory for long decades, this case was publicly protested all the way to the Supreme Court. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
92% All Light, Everywhere (2021) Offering considerable food for thought... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
79% Summer of 85 (Été 85) (2021) A pleasing diversion overall if not taken too seriously... - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
90% Les nôtres (2021) Worth taking very seriously indeed is this under-radar Canadian drama from director Jeanne Leblanc. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
92% Holler (2021) Holler has a basic conviction and authenticity that makes it worthwhile. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
95% Ahead of the Curve (2021) With plenty of fun behind-the-scenes anecdotes, plus an original score by Meshell Ndegeocello, Ahead of the Curve is itself a colorful artifact of a heady moment. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
91% Sublet (2021) Sunny, seriocomic Sublet is an easy-enough watch, but it struck me as a little vapid. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
100% A Crime on the Bayou (2021) A documentary that transcends a familiar PBS-type template for something more atmospheric and interesting. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
76% The Retreat (2021) Alyson Richards' screenplay is tonally all over the place, making for a movie that seems to eventually make a joke of content with which it's just genuinely upset us. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2021