Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
94% 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
93% 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
34% 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
89% Non-Fiction (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
97% 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
96% Little Woods (2019) A modest but intensely empathetic first film by writer-director Nia DaCosta. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
72% 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
59% 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
63% 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
93% 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
59% Face (2002) Feels like the stretched-out short student film that it is. - L.A. Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
88% 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
88% 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
73% 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
61% 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
87% 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
95% 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
89% 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
96% 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
82% 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
98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) I'd be his neighbor in a heartbeat. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
30% 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
67% The Seagull (2018) The Seagull, true to its author, turns life into art that's bold enough to ask, "How shall we live?" and brave enough to answer, "With great difficulty." - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
86% Tully (2018) What saves the movie from unbearable smugness is the lovely duet of Theron and Davis playing their deepening partnership without either posturing or a disclaiming wink at the audience. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
86% Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) (2018) Let the Sunshine In moves between dialogue and carnal interludes with rhythmic fluidity. The mostly nocturnal settings and sumptuous black and red palette intensify Binoche's soulful sensuality. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
84% Borg Vs. McEnroe (2018) Smoothly crafted, satisfyingly earnest... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) Style overwhelms substance; characters recede into a fog of endless setup accentuated with Johnny Greenwood's meaningfully strident score. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
53% Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël) (2018) Multiple meanings are Desplechin's bread and butter and the fertile terrain of his mostly wonderful films. Like Ismael, though, he seems to have lost the thread that will tie together his stories and generate something for us to chew over. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
96% The Death of Stalin (2018) Though The Death of Stalin is a one-joke movie about how plotting and pandemonium invariably pour into a leadership vacuum, it's a deadly serious joke that we'd do well to attend to. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2018
49% Submission (2018) It's an age-old fable about the point where desire meets device, and invariably loses. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
81% Early Man (2018) Among its abundant delights, Early Man doubles as Park's sly statement about his own process, which may seem exceedingly crude and outdated, but has the warmth and personality of a homemade, hand-crafted production. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
81% The Party (2018) Janet and her bickering guests come across as cartoon bourgeois, thinly-drawn and wooden in their line delivery like dummies of a ventriloquist bent on caricaturing a privileged elite ... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
100% 2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action (2018) This year's crop of Academy Award-nominated live action shorts - several of them made as newbie filmmakers' calling cards - make up in earnest humanity for what they lack in technical sophistication. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
59% Please Stand By (2018) Please Stand By deflates into a perfectly watchable but soft parable in which a can-do young American loses a battle, only to win the war of growing up, while the adults in the room confront their own unhelpful rigidities. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
24% Forever My Girl (2018) The problem is not the well-worn plot or familiar characters, but the fact that Wolf adds no depth or complication to either that would make the film her own. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
98% In Between (2018) There's little sense of grievance or victimhood here, only a liberating anger and a sharp but empathic intelligence that pops up in unexpected places. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
80% Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017) Bening's expert runs up and down the emotional register leave no room for doubt about Grahame's charisma even when she's playing her own worst enemy. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2017
79% All the Money in the World (2017) It's Williams' tightly wound, calculating performance that juices the movie's thrill ride of a last hour, and turns it into a revelation. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
77% Sweet Virginia (2017) What sets Sweet Virginia above the pack is a leisurely inquiry into the moral rot that seeps into the very bones of lives bent out of shape by disappointment, frustration, loneliness or the absence of love. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
59% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) "Can we please stop with the remakes of Murder on the Orient Express?" I ask upon exiting Kenneth Branagh's fatally tepid new reading of the Agatha Christie classic. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
78% Last Flag Flying (2017) This antic, heartfelt dramedy about the many wounds of war handily shows off the director's abiding delight in illuminating character through banter; it simultaneously beams a light into critical American moments past and present. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
97% God's Own Country (2017) A former actor himself, Lee directs his leads with subtle assurance. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017