Douglas Davidson

Douglas Davidson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Growing up in a household that loved watching movies, it's with little surprise that Douglas found himself drawn to studying film in undergrad and graduate school. Though his professional vocations took him in a myriad of directions, even all the way to Johns Hopkins University to earn an M.A. in Communications -- he's always found a way to work his love of cinema into his life. Created in 2012 as a means of keeping busy, Elements of Madness is now a vessel for Douglas to pour every ounce of geekdom into weekly reviews of upcoming releases and a monthly Coming Soon series. His greatest pride as a writer is his 2016 induction into the NC Film Critics Association, for which he is an active member.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 44% The Wedding Guest (2019) Strangely, the further into the film the audience gets, the less tension-filled Wedding Guest becomes, making the conclusion feel both inevitable and uneventful ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
4/5 67% Triple Threat (2019) As though pumping blood from all the '80s action films audiences loved through an Indo-Chinese POV, Triple Threat's got charm, humor, action, and more heart than you'd expect. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4.5/5 94% Starfish (2019) As engaging as [writer/director Al] White's slowly paced film is, it's the thematic elements which will haunt you to the last. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Welcome to Acapulco (2019) Unfortunately, by centering everything on an unlikeable lead [character] who keeps stopping the story for his own needs, all the good gets lost. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
3.5/5 79% Captain Marvel (2019) When all is said and done, Captain Marvel is a damn fun film which gives audiences much of what we need, even if it's not what we want. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
4/5 90% Furie (Hai phuong) (2019) ... [co-director Le Van] Kiet manages to pour on the tension without succumbing to nonsensical escalation, keeping the whole of Furie feeling personal and intimate. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Varsity Punks (2017) While the film is a little rough in its execution, Varsity Punks ends up being a film audiences will root for. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2019
4/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) ... Dean DeBlois captures our imagination once more, weaving within his tale layers upon layers of thematic material ... making the whole of the film a meditation on growing up. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2019
4/5 76% Holiday (2018) ... Holiday reveals itself as a morality play whose end result is metaphysically disquieting. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet At the End of the Day (2018) [At the End of the Day] wants to ask questions of its audience and challenge its audience to answer them, not in an angry, forceful way, but from a place of great care and deep love. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet Iceman: The Time Traveler (2018) In ignoring specific established rules and plot developments [Iceman: The] Time Traveler makes itself stronger as a singular experience while simultaneously becoming reductive. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2019
4.5/5 100% A Tuba to Cuba (2019) What the Preservation Hall Jazz Band ... learn and experience, is the true power of music in its ability to cross over the language barrier and connect us through a rhythm which runs through us all. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 91% Maria By Callas (2018) Even though [Maria By Callas] delves not just into her twenty-plus-year career and her private life, it offers little background on locations, social context, or significance. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet Heilstatten (2018) Sometimes, in spite of its blemishes, a film can make an impression. Heilstätten does this in the way it frames the whole piece, as well as presents the meta commentary within it. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
3.5/5 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Even at its most over-stuffed, there's no denying the scope of Alita. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
3.5/5 38% A Violent Man (2019) What seems, at first, to be an indie crime thriller reveals itself, upon conclusion, to be much deeper in its examination of not just a soul cast into purgatory, but of fate itself. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
4/5 47% Under the Eiffel Tower (2019) It doesn't play things too safe, nor does it get too creative, but there's something undeniably genuine about the characterizations and the core narrative that can't be dismissed. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
4.5/5 75% The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019) [Director Robert] Krzykowski is purposeful in everything he places before you and it is all loaded with meaning, creating a riveting experience wherein lead Sam Elliott delivers a career-best performance. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
4.5/5 100% Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019) [Horror Noire is] not just a history lesson of which film came out when and who was involved, but it also places these films within their social context, an aspect many genre fans may not have considered. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet The Rising Sun (2011) There's truly a zen-like peacefulness to their bohemian existence, a connectedness of spirit which translates not just from the words ... but from the way they move, all together, in rhythmic harmony. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
4.5/5 99% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) Even though [director] Jackson declares [the film] as "a film for non-historians by a non-historian," that doesn't mean it's any less of an engaging, informative, and thoughtful experience. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) If the original LEGO explored what makes something special, The Second Part focuses on the things which connect us ... that we build, that we explore that matters. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 61% Then Came You (2019) If you're looking for a film which celebrates love, Then Came You, a story of love without cost, that of true friendship, may be exactly what you're looking for. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
4.5/5 85% It (2017) What makes [director Andy] Muschietti's adaptation stand-out is the way it manipulates the audience by using older horror techniques to cultivate deliciously appalling anticipation. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
4.5/5 88% Braid (2019) Braid is not for the weak-minded and it will begin screwing with you almost as soon as it begins. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
4/5 71% Piercing (2019) ... what keeps [the audience] locked in is offering something new, something deeper, something darker, something far more penetrating and patient. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
3/5 34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) While The Nutcracker and the Four Realms may not be the holiday staple it wishes it were, it's certainly not a film to avoid. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3/5 50% In Like Flynn (2019) The tonal discord can be forgiven due to the charming performances and the inherent tongue-in-cheekness of some of the situations, however, it cannot be forgotten. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
4.5/5 97% The Hate U Give (2018) The Hate U Give reminds us that no matter how far we've come, we still have far to go, but that the end of the war begins within ourselves. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2019
4/5 77% Split (2017) The latest written-directed Shyamalan film, Split, largely shatters expectations, becoming the most straight-forward thriller in his oeuvre and a showcase for all of the actors involved. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
3.5/5 89% John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) While not as emotionally centered, narratively focused, or consistently engaging as the original, there's still plenty to love about the continued story of the maligned John Wick ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/5 93% Don't Come Back from the Moon (2019) ... Moon is an unexpected meditation on the complicated nature of family & how our grief can lead to depression, causing ourselves to come up with a myriad of reasons to leave ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
5/5 88% Who Will Write Our History (2019) ... [Who Will Write Our] History becomes a chilling watch as the safe separation between audience and actor melts away and as the words from the past feel absolutely present and tangible. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet When Jeff Tried to Save the World (2018) [Kendall] Goldberg's direction, the cinematography, and the sound design channel nostalgia by capturing the feel of gaming ... and how the same lessons we learn from any game can assist us in life. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
4.5/5 67% Swing Kids (2018) Combining the harshness of war with the exuberance of dance seems like mixing oil and water, yet ... [Swing Kids] is all at once powerfully evocative, undeniably charming, and completely heartbreaking. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
4/5 38% State Like Sleep (2019) [Writer/director Meredith] Danluck's tale is one of grief and recovery, so the best way to process State Like Sleep is with your eyes wide open. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2018
4.5/5 75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Put simply: Drew Goddard's Bad Times at the El Royale is the kind of film you want to rewatch as soon as you're done. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
3.5/5 No Score Yet The Lightest Darkness (2017) There's something truly delicious about a film which toys with your expectations; a film possessing the temerity to state its own vision, even as it identifies the areas in which it knows the audience is looking. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
4/5 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) ... Cold War is not a typical love story in which its leads are wonderful people triumphing against all odds to prove their love is real. Rather ... Cold War feels more real in its depiction of a hard love set in hard times. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2.5/5 27% Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffers from being both highly derivative and uninspired at the same time - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
4/5 93% Wonder Woman (2017) Like Zeus breathing life into the world creating man, so does [director Patty] Jenkins breathe life into the DCEU. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
3.5/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Superhero stories aren't just about fighting, but the examination of self. When Aquaman remembers this, it's a sight to behold. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
3/5 53% Once Upon a Deadpool (2018) Frankly, if Once Upon A Deadpool had just gone all in ... instead of just fast cuts and terrible ADR, OUAD could've been something truly special. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2018
4/5 56% Maine (2018) The fact that the audience is thrown into Maine with little set-up or exposition is somehow gripping, making the audience grateful for any small nugget of dialogue ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 63% Tyrel (2018) What Silva's created in Tyrel is far less hyperreal, which makes it far more terrifying as the open-ended nature of the film raises far more questions than answers. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
4.5/5 85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Now in their nineteenth endeavor, the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios demonstrates, not with a bang but with a whisper, that they are mighty. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
5/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) For the first time in cinema history, a film brilliantly, dare I say spectacularly, captures the spirit of the medium from which these characters emerge. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3.5/5 55% Asher (2018) [director Michael] Caton-Jones's ASHER is as much a contemplative look at being aged out of life as it is recognizing that sometimes we must break out of our ruts to get more. - Pretty Vacant One EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
4.5/5 91% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) Sweet without being saccharine, loving without being profane, pure without being naive, Hearts Beat Loud successfully navigates the land mines of love, family, and moving on ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3.5/5 74% Clara's Ghost (2018) [Elliott's] script and direction ... create a tale that's deeply unsettling both for its lack of clarity and its characters' bent toward self-inflicting wounds. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018