Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
89% Wolke Neun (Cloud 9) (2008) Cloud 9 is most moving when it steps quietly into the gap between physical decline and the persistence, at full blast, of unfulfilled longing and desire. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
87% Selah and the Spades (2020) A YA gangster movie that doubles as a soulful meditation on the beauty and danger of power, when all means justify the end of retaining that power. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
56% Resistance (2020) Marceau truly was a hero who carried his sadness into his work, and Resistance is an honorable, absorbing homage to the making of a man and his art. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Hittman is powerfully attuned to the unquestioning solidarity and indomitable moxie of teenaged girls, the wordless ways in which they fight and make up... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
90% The Booksellers (2020) [A] delightful homage... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
48% Greed (2020) Cunningly mounted to satirize the heavy-breathing structure of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, Greed is a jaunty caper littered with farcical flashbacks... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
93% Ordinary Love (2020) Unlike most others of its kind, this one trusts us to stick with the slew of treatments that often hurt more than the disease. In its cheekily Irish way it offers a portrait of a great and enduring love under acute pressure. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
92% The Assistant (2020) Without resort to a single scene of graphic sexual violence, Green nails down the awful truth that Jane's exploitation is part and parcel of a silent but systemic abuse of powerless and vulnerable women. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
91% Weathering with You (2020) Shinkai may be dipping his toes in his own pre-tested global market. But Weathering With You rises gracefully above its copycat blueprint... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
93% Invisible Life (A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão) (2019) Traducing genuine suffering as mere histrionics (even the scaling of a fish becomes an excuse for violence), Aïnouz unnerves and alienates where he might illuminate. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
68% Little Joe (2019) Effectively creepy... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
98% 63 Up (2019) What's striking is not just the sturdy durability of family and community, but the fundamental decency of just about every participant in this long cultural experiment. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Even if you think Rogers' psychological model is simplistic, you can't help but climb aboard. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
58% Frankie (2019) Sachs builds a physical world so relentlessly clean, classy, and gorgeous it teeters on the edge of travelogue. But he fails to people it with characters we could care much for or about, so busy are they shilling for banal observations on life. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
96% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Performing at his mature finest, Banderas moves up and down the emotional register from mournful to puckish to regretful to freshly hopeful with a restraint that dials down Almodovar's breathy melodrama almost to straight realism. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
87% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Flamboyant, terrifying, and pointedly timely... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
83% Before You Know It (2019) Wise, witty, and richly specific in its evocation of a family limping along on a wobbly foundation of secrets and lies. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
83% Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) Just when you're ready to agree with Brügger's disclaiming admission that he's a lousy journalist and storyteller, the trail runs cold. Only then does the story roar back to sinister life, while the telling turns solemn. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
93% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Passionate, wry, often bellicose, but always a candid and pithy storyteller... Crosby often seems to be writing his own self-lacerating obituary. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Marianne Ihlen doesn't steer this moving, sympathetic, but ultimately frustrating tribute. Perhaps inevitably, Cohen does, via Broomfield's fascination with the singer's tortured relations with the many women he romanced. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
92% Wild Rose (2019) Buckley has bags of pugnacious charisma and a soaring, throaty singing voice tempered with enough vulnerability to make us want to hold her close even as the screw-up she offers us drives everyone in her orbit up the wall. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
92% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) The Last Black Man is a sequence of undeniably lovely grace notes that don't always cohere. Yet the movie is held together by the progress of Jimmie's conflict with himself... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
79% Photograph (2019) The action - if that's what you call two people wandering around Mumbai - unfolds with the slow, intimate rhythms of classic Indian cinema, lightly juiced with the goofy high spirits and populist common touch of Bollywood. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
36% Poms (2019) Even by the elastic standards of mass-market escapist trifles the creators of POMS might consider the challenges of growing old and confronting death without infantilizing both characters and audience. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
87% Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019) Non-Fiction is a mostly delightful, occasionally exhaustingly word-drunk comedy of manners larded with giddy farce. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
96% Hail Satan? (2019) A richly entertaining new documentary on the Satanic Temple's exploits from director Penny Lane, who has become one of our foremost chroniclers of bizarro Americana. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
95% Little Woods (2019) A modest but intensely empathetic first film by writer-director Nia DaCosta. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
71% Teen Spirit (2019) It's Fanning... who retains the sweetness of this heavily-trodden teen fable without ever tipping it over into cloying goo. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
93% Diane (2019) Jones fills her existential space with a bracing, though never unfeeling, inquiry into what it feels like to confront the steady drip of accumulating pain, and loss, and no longer being needed as we age. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
60% Sunset (Napszállta) (2019) Nemes can be relentlessly opaque, which at time makes the film a drag to follow. But there's method in his determination to leave us with nowhere to park our own affinities. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
57% The Hummingbird Project (2019) At its best The Hummingbird Project is a parable about failure, but one that ultimately undercuts itself with redeeming goo. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
71% All Is True (2019) In this lovely ode to a literary master, Branagh shows us what his hero always understood - that life may be an endlessly unfolding mystery, but in art, all is true. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
62% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Mary Queen of Scots does make a powerfully moving case for an uneasy dance between two powerful women hamstrung by male politics. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
91% Sicilian Ghost Story (2018) [An] intensely atmospheric melodrama... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
50% Postcards From London (2018) McLean's nostalgia for the Soho of Francis Bacon, Freud, and Jarman (all of them clear influences on his own work) is touchingly wistful about the ravages of time, and he's serious about probing the mixed blessings of sex, art, beauty and authenticity. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Boy Erased... smoothly handles the tonal shifts between absurd and sinister as the film slides between Jared's past and present struggles. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
No Score Yet Feels like the stretched-out short student film that it is. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
86% What They Had (2018) Chomko refreshes the formula with vividly grounded writing that never forces her actors to summarize where they've been, emotionally speaking, or where they're going. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
86% All About Nina (2018) The movie is carried by Winstead's mesmerizingly mercurial performance, and not just because she does pitch-perfect impressions of, among others, Kristen Stewart and Werner Herzog. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
74% The Children Act (2018) Characters move through their posh habitats, explaining what they've done, are about to do, should have done years ago. Their confusion is fine; the fuzziness of the filmmaking less so. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
60% Operation Finale (2018) It's in the movie's lengthy middle sequence of verbal sparring between Malkin and Eichmann that Operation Finale comes into its own. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
56% The Bookshop (2018) Coixet has a lyrical sense of place, and she has made a charming, well-acted adaptation that ably conjures visual pleasure out of the written word... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
86% The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a sharply observed study - with a knife edge of satire, for sure - of the daily practice of soft tyranny by people not gifted with healthy self-doubt. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
96% Dark Money (2018) There's not a dull or dry moment in Reed's briskly paced film about the secret assault on the American electoral and judicial process by corporations whose agenda is nothing less than the dismantling of government itself. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
88% Whitney (2018) For all the domestic sturm und drang, it's the blossoming of Houston's musical sensibilities that most engages in the film. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
97% Three Identical Strangers (2018) The film is an artfully constructed investigative narrative structured to give us the sense of discovering, along with the boys and their families, several layers of buried secrets and lies that blighted their adult lives. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
84% Gabriel and the Mountain (Gabriel e a montanha) (2018) Barbosa tracks the feverish ups and downs of his friend's journey through his charming, maddening character. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
97% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) I'd be his neighbor in a heartbeat. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
32% Rodin (2018) Not since Jacques Rivette's magnificent La Belle Noiseuse (1991) has a film zeroed in on creative process with the same obsessive care it devotes to the artist's volatile love life. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2018
100% Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) (2018) The result is a kind of grief procedural, its focus sharpened by the lush greens of the Catalan landscape. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018