Derek Smith Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Derek Smith

Derek Smith
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
1/4 38% Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) Relying on such arcane gags as prat falls in knight's armor, fake French accents, and an array of gadget-based explosions, Johnny English Strikes Again seems almost hellbent on aiming for the lowest common denominator at every turn.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3/4 100% On Her Shoulders (2018) The film is most interested in homing in on the ways Nadia Murad's fragility and self-doubt arise as collateral damage from her fame and steadfast activism.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2018
2.5/4 81% Sadie (2018) Sadie remains a clear-eyed portrait of maternal love, teenage turmoil, and the singular type of tight-knit bonds formed, out of necessity in many cases, in low-income communities. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
.5/4 79% 22 July (2018) That a drop from John Williams's Jaws score wouldn't be out of place on this film's soundtrack goes to show how tactlessly Paul Greengrass milks tragedy for titillation.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2018
2.5/4 72% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) The film begins as a cheeky retro chamber drama before morphing into an often expectation-busting blend of noir and pitch-black comedy.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018
1.5/4 30% Loving Pablo (2018) The film uncomfortably dwells in a murky middle ground where everything is overblown but meant to be taken at face value.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
1.5/4 76% Black '47 (2018) As the historical specificity embedded in the film's more expansive opening act is abandoned, the more predictable, archetypal trappings of a revenge narrative begin to take hold.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2018
0/4 11% Life Itself (2018) Despite its title, Life Itself doesn't revel so much in the joys and travails of life as it does in the shameless emotional manipulation stemming from the ham-fisted tendencies of its own maker. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/4 47% The Song of Sway Lake (2018) Despite Ari Gold's knack for visual flourishes that capture a sense of place seemingly outside of time, The Song of Sway Lake plays like several disparate melodies overlapping one another.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
2/4 85% A Simple Favor (2018) A Simple Favor haphazardly vacillates between suburban satire, goofy comedy, and dark, twisted psychological thriller.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
1.5/4 26% The Nun (2018) The Nun, essentially a series of disjointed freak-outs and red herrings, feels less like a fully realized horror film than the cinematic equivalent of a Conjuring-inspired maze at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
.5/4 22% The Happytime Murders (2018) The film aims only to shock, refusing to deliver anything in an intriguingly post-ironic way in the process.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
1.5/4 54% The Bookshop (2018) Writer-director Isabel Coixet's intermittent visual flourishes do little to amplify the stakes of her low-key narrative.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2018
2/4 83% Juliet, Naked (2018) The film is loaded with inconsequential detours and questionable and inconsistent character psychology as it stumbles awkwardly to its foregone conclusion.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2018
2.5/4 92% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) The filmmakers' ability to seamlessly explore rapidly shifting Chinese cultural norms within the context of the classic trope of a mother who's hostile toward her son's partner is the film's most impressive feat.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2018
1/4 60% Dog Days (2018) Aside from the occasional idiosyncratic comic beat, Dog Days remains committed to coloring within the lines of established tropes in the animal-centric family film.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2018
2.5/4 93% Searching (2018) As nimble as Aneesh Chaganty is in presenting his main character's multi-faceted interaction with technology in the first hour, the film suddenly morphs into a generic and manipulative missing-person thriller.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2018
2/4 93% Blindspotting (2018) The film takes aim at myriad targets and bluntly satirizing them in disparate styles that never mesh into a cohesive whole. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2018
1.5/4 14% Damascus Cover (2018) The film trots out thinly conceived villains and a murky plot twists that leave crucial details needlessly shrouded in mystery.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2018
1.5/4 59% Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) There are only so many monster-centric jokes to be made before they become toothless, and only so many ways to preach tolerance before it sounds more like blunt moralizing. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2018
1.5/4 28% Shock and Awe (2018) Rob Reiner's film rests on broad, sweeping proclamations about the importance of factual reporting.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2018
2.5/4 76% What Will People Say? (Hva vil folk si) (2018) The film flirts with unadulterated miserablism, but it counterbalances the direness of its main character's situation with welcome moments of levity.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2018
1.5/4 43% Fireworks (2018) Akiyuki Shinbo and Nobuyuki Takeuchi's time-travel device mostly just exists to complicate what is, at heart, a trite and sexist love story.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
1/4 No Score Yet Affairs of State (2018) Director Eric Bross's Affairs of State is a political thriller that plays like an adaptation of a trashy romance novel.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
2/4 68% Ocean's 8 (2018) With Ocean's 8, Gary Ross serves up a mildly engaging riff on the heist film, but he rarely strays from the established formula of Steven Soderbergh's original Ocean's trilogy.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
3/4 99% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) It captures the strength of Fred Rogers's convictions even as his gentleness and sincerity fell further out of favor.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2018
2.5/4 86% Upgrade (2018) It serves up its cautionary tale with a schlocky blend of dark humor, breakneck action, and unsettling body horror.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted May 29, 2018
2/4 84% Pope Francis - A Man of His Word (2018) One gets the sense that Wim Wenders, whether of his own volition or at the urging of others, is perpetually walking on eggshells, only tossing the pope the type of softball questions that he can effortlessly knock out of the park.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
2/4 89% Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2018) The film seems far more interested in celebrating a short-lived era of artistic invention than interrogating it. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted May 8, 2018
2.5/4 76% Lu Over the Wall (Yoake tsugeru Rû no uta) (2018) Throughout, director Masaaki Yuasa's imagination runs so wild that it becomes impossible to resist.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted May 6, 2018
1/4 25% Overboard (2018) All of the broad physical humor in the world can't distract from the fact that the film is an endorsement of psychological exploitation.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
2.5/4 86% Tully (2018) In Marlo, Diablo Cody has created her most complicated character to date. Would that her writing displayed similar richness and empathy in painting the film's supporting characters.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2018
1.5/4 41% Backstabbing for Beginners (2018) It fills the screen with a series of explicative conversations set in offices, hotels, and cars throughout which people don't so much talk to each other as indirectly to the audience.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018
2.5/4 74% Little Pink House (2018) The film is mostly a sobering dramatization of a true and controversial story in recent Connecticut history. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2018
1.5/4 10% Krystal (2018) The gravity of Krystal's situation is undermined at every turn by the filmmakers' excessively broad, comedic strokes. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2018
3/4 95% Sweet Country (2018) The film is a meticulous examination of how the dehumanization of Australia's native population bred an environment of cyclical violence and mistrust. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
1.5/4 15% All I Wish (A Little Something for Your Birthday) (2018) Writer-director Susan Walter's film seems almost determined to disprove the causality of social phenomena.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
1/4 22% Midnight Sun (2018) Throughout, Midnight Sun's tone vacillates jarringly between corny, broad humor and unrestrained treacle.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2018
3/4 88% Makala (2018) Emmanuel Gras resists pitying or sentimentalizing his main subject, or exalting him merely for his resilience in the face of such a harsh, uncaring reality.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
1.5/4 44% Allure (2018) There's no reprieve from the dour tone of Carlos and Jason Sanchez's film. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2018
3/4 100% Keep the Change (2018) With a surprisingly compassionate eye, Keep the Change susses out the comic and tragic elements borne from the daily struggle of living with autism. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2018
1.5/4 38% Gringo (2018) The circuitous narrative of Nash Edgerton's Gringo is such that it never allows for a character or storyline to develop in a particularly efficient way, as every few minutes an abrupt twist or turn sets things off in a new and unexpected direction. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2018
18% The Outsider (2018) The film is subsumed by the unshakable sense that Jared Leto is intended to make Martin Zandvliet's take on the yakuza underworld more palatable for American audiences.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2018
1/4 13% The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2018) The seesaw of effect of oscillating between extolling Sidney's genius and lingering on his anguish begins to feel like a child slowly burning an ant with a magnifying glass, occasionally taking breaks to truly savor the harm he or she is committing.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2018
1.5/4 33% Beast of Burden (2018) The film's flashbacks, which are either too clipped or excessively scored, effectively step on the actors' toes. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2018
1.5/4 17% Looking Glass (2018) There's no follow-through or follow-up on how the main character's voyeurism informs his burgeoning sexual perversions.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2018
1.5/4 58% Entanglement (2018) Ben doesn't deserve our sympathy, in part for how noxiously the film has imagined the female characters who surround him. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2018
.5/4 8% Basmati Blues (2018) Danny Baron's film awkwardly melds Bollywood romcom tropes with a half-hearted critique of the GMO industry.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2018
2.5/4 75% Braven (2018) Lin Oeding's Braven thrives on both the beauty of its natural, snowbound surroundings and the brutal instincts of man. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2018
1/4 No Score Yet The Competition (2018) The will-they-won't-they of the film is a non-starter, and as such the film's climax is stripped of suspense and even the most basic of dramatic payoffs.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2018