Eric Melin

Eric Melin
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/4 63% Yesterday (2019) It's perfectly charming...until Jack gets an easy out featuring a seismically reductive and wrongheaded surprise appearance that will polarize viewers. After this, Yesterday falls back on its more standard romantic subplot. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 80% Late Night (2019) Accepting (and excepting) one dumb contrivance, it's funny and perceptive, embracing unique points of view from Molly and Katherine, which mines lots of fertile ground for hard truths and big laughs - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
2/4 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) A total contradiction. It sets a new bar for action in the moment, but suffers cumulatively for it. As its universe grows larger, it gets less compelling, and the screenplay creates all kinds of problems for Wick that it can't satisfactorily resolve. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/4 84% Her Smell (2019) One strength, besides nailing the vibe of the '90s alternative rock boom, is that it doesn't try to replicate the rock biopic formula. Rather, it presents five defining scenes in Becky's life, played out in virtual real-time. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2.5/4 69% Stockholm (2019) Few actors do quiet desperation quite as effectively as Hawke, and his performance anchors the movie in that feeling, making it an entertaining flick that works on a couple different levels, even if there's not a big, overarching theme. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Affirmation of Marvel's storytelling strategy of connecting films in a shared universe, but maybe more significantly, it's proof that the franchise's consistent release schedule gives the viewer better short-term recall and deeper emotional investment. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/5 64% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) It begs us to let go. And when you do, you realize that Gilliam's vision coalesces more as the movie progresses. Filmmakers are dreamers, after all, and reality sucks, so who wouldn't want to be caught up in delusions of grandeur every now and then? - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
3.5/4 82% High Life (2019) Denis is a confident, assured storyteller who specializes in provocative cinema. It asks its audience for a constant renegotiation with adult-themed material, and it rewards with near-constant engagement with its themes. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
4/5 100% Detour (1945) Ulmer brings an enormous amount of impressionistic creativity and (what are now considered) infamous noir tropes into the project without spending more money. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2.5/4 58% The Hummingbird Project (2019) An interesting enough, if predictable, rumination on the state of the American dream. High-frequency trading isn't something everybody can relate to, but the idea of living up to a potential that's weaved into the fabric of your country's myth is. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/4 38% The Dirt (2019) The authentic, rule-breaking storytelling strategy would have been to portray Mötley Crüe as the children they were, instead of some teenage wish-fulfillment fantasy that retro-cons their history and sugarcoats their bad deeds. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
4/5 93% Us (2019) As you might expect with a horror film about dopplegangers: the terror lies within, we are our own worst enemies, etc. But Peele's allegory goes beyond that into a fable about crippling self-doubt and class struggles. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/4 68% Climax (2019) It is a powerful and unique experience that showcases all the external beauty, wonder, and hope that new opportunity can bring, and how those concepts are always just one thin wire away from chaos and madness. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
4/5 90% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) Capernaum illustrates not just an indifferent world, but a hypocritical one as well. And it answers over and over again the question of why forgotten people are so rarely able to play by society's rules. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
3/5 39% Donnybrook (2019) The best movies walk the line between having something compelling to say and just being exploitative. It swerves maniacally between those lines like a tweaker on a three-day bender, convinced that its characters have no other choice. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
3/5 72% Piercing (2019) It's like an unholy melding of giallo horror with disturbing mondo literary adaptations by David Cronenberg, such as Naked Lunch and Crash. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
1/4 37% Glass (2019) The bigger his thematic ambition, the more Shyamalan seems to lose control. If Sarah Paulson's Dr. Staple is looking for a character with delusions of grandeur in this film, she might not have to look further than the director himself. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
1/4 63% Bird Box (2018) With unintentionally funny scenes featuring its characters hurtling themselves head-first through windows to commit suicide, Bird Box sadly has more in common with the M. Night Shyamalan disasterpiece The Happening than anything else. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
3/4 80% 22 July (2018) Anchored by powerful, honest performances by Danielsen and Gravli, who play two people at opposite ends of a rifle, 22 July is a powerful reminder that democracies are fragile and must be protected with scrutiny and resolve, not bullets. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
4/5 94% Private Life (2018) It understands that the struggle for fertility can make monsters of anyone, and it doesn't judge its characters. It doesn't let them off the hook either, and it avoids offering easy outs. In other words, it feels about as real as movies get. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/5 65% Suspiria (2018) However lopsided Suspiria is, it builds to a satisfyingly nutso conclusion with lots of righteous fury. And it sticks with you, demanding you reckon with its themes at least one more time. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
1/4 60% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) ...a surface-level extended music video that has zero interest in honestly examining its characters' inner lives, distorts timelines for cheap dramatic shortcuts, and exists to prop up a new soundtrack featuring unearthed live material. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/4 91% Widows (2018) Because it spends more time with husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons - families who deal with injustice as a calibrated normal - it rings truer than its contemporaries. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/5 79% Halloween (2018) It evokes the original and takes into consideration how audiences have changed since then, which is a minor miracle, I suppose, and it is light years better than the nine films in between. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
4/5 87% First Man (2018) It ejects typical mythologizing to remind us that this extraordinary millennial-defining moment happened to an individual, a person just like you and me. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
4/5 91% Mandy (2018) Mandy shouldn't be written off as just another gory horror flick. It's a truly singular experience: a stylized-to-the-hilt journey into the circles of hell. It's impossible to shake. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
2/4 65% The Little Stranger (2018) The Little Stranger's 111 minutes are dreary and repetitive, as if the declining years of Downton Abbey were re-cut as a suspense movie trailer by some enterprising YouTuber. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
3/4 89% Skate Kitchen (2018) The real girls of Skate Kitchen make it work beautifully as a coming-of-age fictional film. The group's friendship and camaraderie translates naturally to the screen. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
3.5/4 96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) Even as he is careening from one extreme to the next, Lee is able to ratchet up the tension and release it in hilariously satisfying ways, never quite letting anyone off the hook. Nobody in the film achieves anything that looks like a real victory. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2018
3/4 84% Deadpool 2 (2018) You can only be first once and Reynolds' solution is more of everything. Deadpool 2 is everything you'd expect from a sequel. It's longer, has a bigger budget, bigger action scenes, more violence, more rudeness, more cameos - and dare I say - more heart. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
2.5/4 88% American Animals (2018) American Animals doesn't need an "easy out" to explain its characters' poor decisions. The propulsive energy of the movie, once it starts to take shape, mirrors the inevitability of them seeing their bad idea all the way through. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
3.5/4 97% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Neville weaves the narrative around some of Rogers' favored concepts and core beliefs rather than providing a full birth-to-death biography of the man's private life. It's a wise choice because Rogers' words and ideas are stirringly relevant today. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
3/5 93% Incredibles 2 (2018) The inventive choreography, animation detail, and stylish production design beg to be seen on the big screen. If the plot hadn't felt like a major recycling of the 2004 movie, it would surprise, but there's plenty outside the story mechanics to delight. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
3/4 87% Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) With a little inventiveness and charm to spare, it succeeds by charting its own course through the MCU, and I hope there are more lighthearted, character-driven adventures in this dysfunctional family's future. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
3/4 97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) It's a difficult task to keep viewers connected to a sprawling series and to put together two and a half hours of solid thrills and surprises with a good level of emotional investment. That's exactly what M:I 6 has done. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
2.5/4 69% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) The best - and worst thing - you can say about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it is a fun throwback. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
3/4 89% Comradeship (Kameradschaft) (1931) A mix of elaborate studio sets and location shooting give the movie a naturalistic flavor but lots of camera movement also marks it as expressionistic. The lack of a score also marks it as less manipulative than traditional Hollywood pictures of the day. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
2.5/4 100% Westfront 1918 (1930) Rather than force common war story beats onto the characters, Pabst employs a more observational tone. His camera was free to move along the surface of the trenches, giving the full wide expanse of what the soldiers were experiencing. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
3.5/4 73% The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) (2001) Both director and actor were clear on their intentions from the start, and this alignment produced a movie that holds up as one of the best arthouse films of the last 20 years, with a nearly unmatched quiet kind of intensity. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
2.5/4 100% Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Modern audiences will no doubt find the trial portion of the film quaint, but Fonda plays Lincoln with such calm, centered confidence that it's also a refreshing change of pace from the aggressive histrionics of today's cop/legal thrillers and TV shows. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
3.5/4 97% Night of the Living Dead (1968) It's tame of course by today's standards, but that, combined with he cynical racial component, was viewed as an all-out attack on "civilized" American society in general. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
4/4 96% The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Demme's use of close-ups is remarkable, and not something that's translated into contemporary film language too often anymore: Faces, eyes, hands; they're everywhere, making the suspense personal, and therefore way more frightening. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
3/4 87% Tully (2018) Tully has enough lived-in performances and sure-footed observational truths to withstand the plot mechanics. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
4/5 89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) Its strength lies in its ability to surprise, which comes directly from experiencing a cruel, cruel world the way a severely traumatized man sees it. It's how Joe makes sense of his reality that says the most about human fragility. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
1/4 27% The Week Of (2018) A messy patchwork of a movie that is tonally all over the map and way overstays its 116 minutes. What could have been an incisive comedy about class and ethnicity is instead a random dump of easy, mean-spirited jokes mixed with unearned sentimentality. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
4/5 85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Thanks to Thanos, Infinity War is much more than a two-part blockbuster, and for the first time in a long time, we can't easily anticipate more of the same, because the road ahead for superheroes is murky, complicated, and terrifying. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2018
2.5/4 72% Ready Player One (2018) Approximately 15 parts fun escapism and one part reflection. In a culture that's obsessed with unearthing obscure references, it will be interesting to see how the movie's fans-and I think there will be many-process the conflicting messages, if at all. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
1.5/4 43% Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) Everyone is equally blunted by blandness. All the kids who undergo military training are constantly reminded they need to act like a family, but the script never affords them the opportunity. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2018
3.5/4 91% Phantom Thread (2018) At first, it looks like just another safe, crowd-pleasing period drama aimed at the NPR crowd. Rather, it's a fascinating slow-burn character study that's not afraid to embrace a little darkness, with a wry sense of humor. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
3.5/4 94% Call Me by Your Name (2018) Anyone who has experienced the flush of first love will relate, but the fact that the film is specific and detailed both emotionally and physically in its portrayal of a gay relationship makes it a standout. - The Pitch EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018