Fiona Underhill

Fiona Underhill
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Brit now living near Los Angeles, California. A former teacher of English, Media and Film Studies. Currently writing about pop culture and entertainment (mainly film) for CC2K ONLINE, JUMPCUT ONLINE, MOVIEJAWN and other publications.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) A good adaptation that really emphasises what an incredible artist August Wilson was and that his legacy as one of the great playwrights is secured. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
67% Ammonite (2020) This is clearly another personal project for Lee and it's all the better for it. It is an intimate story with a rich atmosphere, a keen sense of both the inner & outer life of an extraordinary woman - all centred around one of Winslet's best performances. - Filmotomy EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2020
4/5 87% Black Bear (2020) The three central actors are all incredible & it's because of them that the film works so well. Levine treads a difficult balancing act delicately & mostly successfully - this film is difficult to pin down or even describe, which is very much a positive. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2020
4/5 94% The Twentieth Century (2020) It is so rare these days for a wildly experimental art film to come along, it's truly one-of-a-kind and manages to be hugely funny and entertaining to boot. I would love more films to have even ten per cent of the ingenuity and imagination on display here - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2020
4/5 64% Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020) As sweet as a candy cane and as warm as chestnuts roasting on an open fire - a rhinestone-covered Christmas gift for us all. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
2.5/5 83% Happiest Season (2020) There is a central flaw in the film that makes it difficult to see the positives. But it does have some laugh-out-loud moments and a strong cast of supporting characters. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
4/5 80% Cordelia (2019) A great London-set film, that uses both the city and the flat in a way which is integral to the protagonist's character and story. With Gothic-inspired atmosphere, twisted psychological and sexual layers and two fantastic central performances. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2020
1/5 86% On The Rocks (2020) This is, by an extremely wide margin, Coppola's worst film. Rashida Jones is also a fantastic actress who deserves a much better starring role than this. For fans of Coppola's work, it is hard to see how this can be anything other than a disappointment. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
4/5 100% The Father (2020) The screenplay is an intricate puzzle box which is ingenious at what it reveals and what it withholds at carefully paced intervals, supported by the precisely-timed editing. Any expectations you may have of a boring/maudlin experience will be blown away. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
4/5 97% Sound of Metal (2020) An acting tour-de-force by Ahmed and the film's sound design is also worthy of the praise it has been getting. A brilliant depiction of a man whose life capsizes overnight and must gradually adjust to a new reality. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3/5 39% Rebecca (2020) There is much to be enjoyed here, including the 1930s costumes and production design, the gorgeous score and the central romance...but it doesn't all work, especially in the second half. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
4/5 95% The Mortuary Collection (2019) What Ryan Spindell has achieved here, for a first feature, is impressive. He has created a world that has a richness to it, with fantastically gory practical effects. If you like your horror to be fun and enjoyable, then this is a Halloween treat. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
3.5/5 96% Nomadland (2020) McDormand is incredible here and deserves the attention she's been getting. This film does shine a light on an important issue - I just wish it hadn't put quite such a positive spin on it. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2020
92% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) Inventive, playful, witty and light and it's a joy to watch this cast have so much fun around a winning central performance from Dev Patel. - Filmotomy EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2020
4/5 90% Enola Holmes (2020) Brown's winning central performance is the main reason why this is a joy to watch and I really enjoyed feeling like I was in cahoots with Enola on her various quests. I hope that this is the start of a franchise, because it is an utter delight. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2020
4/5 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) For those of us who have loved these characters since we were kids, this is the warm bath of comforting nostalgia that many of us are craving at the moment and it could not have come at a better time. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2020
5/5 81% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Kaufman movingly covers aging, memory and the passing of time, as well as the artist-muse relationship, projecting onto our partners when in a relationship, loss of identity and individualism and much, more more besides. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
4/5 65% Entwined (2020) A sumptuous and sexy independent film, with elements of fantasy and horror interwoven into the love story well. The acting by the central couple sells the concept convincingly and the scenery and cinematography are two of the biggest selling points. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2020
4/5 100% African Violet (Banafsheh Afrighaei) (2020) Each of the central three characters feel authentic, with a shared history and connections to a wider community that seem in no way contrived. A colourful jewel of a film which is well worth seeking out. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2020
67% The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020) It's been a long time since I've seen a film featuring such a badly miscast actor in the main role, with a plot revolving around him that is such utter nonsense - it is impossible to summon up a reason to care about anything that happens. - Moviejawn EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2020
4/5 94% Boys State (2020) Although there are some very concerning aspects, there is also hope to be found in how articulate and knowledgeable many of the boys are. Filmed in 2018, it already feels a little dated and will be a fascinating document to look back on in the future. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2020
3.5/5 85% I Used to Go Here (2020) A great little independent comedy, with some finely-tuned, well-observed writing and a fantastic central performance from Gillian Jacobs. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2020
3/5 49% Made in Italy (2020) A pleasant diversion, but don't go into it expecting all sweetness and light, as grief is tackled in quite a raw way at times. It may appear on the surface as pure feel-good escapism, but there is some surprising depth. An interesting feature debut. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2020
4/5 83% She Dies Tomorrow (2020) Certainly hard to define or pigeonhole to any one genre, this film will definitely stimulate the mind, senses and emotions. A provocative, exciting, unusual film from a filmmaker I hope to see much more from. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2020
94% Calm with Horses (The Shadow of Violence) (2020) Built around an incredible central performance by Cosmo Jarvis, with great cinematography and a propulsive soundtrack by Blanck Mass, this film is worth seeking out. - Moviejawn EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2020
3.5/5 76% Summerland (2020) The plot does hinge around coincidence and gets a bit soapy, but Arterton's central performance anchors the film. It's an interesting feature debut from Swale, which all around is pretty sweet and feel-good. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2020
3/5 94% Yes, God, Yes (2020) An exciting feature debut from Karen Maine, filled with humour and insight. A brisk and breezy 75 minute watch, which is funny and has something to say. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2020
73% Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (2020) If you're interested in the world of art, fashion or photography, I would recommend this documentary, which is a fascinating overview of Newton's work and personal life. The real highlight is that it turns puts the women in his life at the forefront. - Moviejawn EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2020
66% Fisherman's Friends (2020) The opening moments make you feel like you're sliding into a warm bath. It's worth remembering the bright spots of humanity at the moment, especially if they come with songs, sea and just the right amount of sentimentality. - Moviejawn EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2020
2.5/5 82% Judy (2019) There is nothing about this film that is particularly memorable (other than the opening + closing scenes for ALL the wrong reasons). This biopic is poorly-written and Gambon and Buckley are unfortunately wasted. Ultimately this is The Renee Show. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
76% Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) It's a funny, fantastic movie with the Avengers dealing with internal conflict (not least the fact that Tony and Banner basically created said enemy). Also, it is a film which will have lasting and meaningful consequences on the MCU. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
66% Thor: The Dark World (2013) A far more entertaining and superior film to the first Thor. It keeps my interest throughout, has great humour, great characters, great set-pieces, some stunning visuals - what more could you ask for? - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
92% The Cabin in the Woods (2012) It features a fantastic cast, a witty and clever script and is very well structured. This film is one of THE best horror movies and should definitely be included in your annual Halloween viewing line-up. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
4/10 38% The Mountain Between Us (2017) Beautiful people, beautiful scenery. It's hard to screw that up. But they really did. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
8/10 87% Professor Marston & The Wonder Women (2017) This film must be praised for its mostly positive depiction of a polyamorous relationship and for exploring unknown aspects of Wonder Woman. The costumes, hair and make up and the acting are exemplary. It makes a great companion piece to the Jenkins film. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
7/10 85% Battle of the Sexes (2017) A shame that it doesn't really get to grips with the motivations of the characters or gives enough context about the feminist movement of the time. Ultimately; great performances, shame about the script. Worth it for Andrea Riseborough alone. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
7/10 90% Stronger (2017) Not a terrible film, but not a particularly amazing or memorable one either. It is definitely saved by its performances and occasional interesting cinematography/editing. A solid addition to a genre of film that I generally do not like. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
4/5 64% Unicorn Store (2019) This film is well written, well acted, well designed and an impressive directorial debut from Larson - her next work should be much anticipated now. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
4/10 15% The Circle (2017) Unfortunately, this film will prove largely forgettable. It has botched what could have been interesting concept with convoluted plotting, ridiculous character development and melodramatic dialogue. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
8/10 90% Their Finest (2017) A lovely film about film-making and women's changing roles during WWII, which is sure to melt the most cynical of hearts. I certainly had something in my eye at more than one point. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
8/10 89% I don't feel at home in this world anymore. (2017) This film is not for the squeamish - it does get increasingly gory and violent towards the end. It is also a funny and easy watch for a Friday night. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
44% Song to Song (2017) Prepare to be enthralled by the beauty and frustrated by the characters in equal measure. The experience is the same as going to an art gallery, something I love to do. Malick's work is art and art is supposed to be challenging. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2020
34% Live By Night (2017) In some ways, this film is a leap ahead for Affleck - it is his most visually impressive. Perhaps he should go back to original screenwriting, rather than adapting, next time and see if he can reach the dizzy heights of Good Will Hunting once more. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2020
4.5/10 11% Fifty Shades Darker (2017) You can be a feminist and like 'Fifty Shades'. You can be a cinephile and still understand why 'Fifty Shades' exists and finds its audience. Of course I wish that those women (and me) had more choice and a better choice. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2020
4/5 95% First Cow (2020) Reichardt has created a very different kind of Western which puts the focus on a gentle man and his simple dream, entirely sans the hubris of the wider American Dream. Cookie is a wonderful creation and Magaro's performance is among the best of the year. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020
79% Greyhound (2020) I didn't know any of the characters well enough to care about them and this film wastes actors of the calibre of Graham and Morgan. It still manages to be tense and thrilling at times, well-paced and structured and definitely worth watching. - Moviejawn EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020
98% Hamilton (2020) It's a flawed musical about flawed characters but those of us who love it, really love it and now, millions of people can experience something which previously has only been available to a privileged few. That is something to celebrate. - Moviejawn EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2020
3/5 81% The Beach House (2020) There's nothing really wrong with this movie - which is well acted, particularly by Liberato - but there's nothing to make it stand out from the crowd either. While you can spend a pleasant enough time with it, it is too slight to prove memorable. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
3.5/5 36% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) An extremely mixed bag, but for me, the good outweighed the bad. Two hours spent in the Potter universe is always going to be preferable to just about anything else I could be doing. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2020
3.5/5 38% Mary Shelley (2018) 'Mary Shelley' is an effective period drama, with a very good central performance from Fanning, backed up by a well-cast support. It tells a story that we all should know about with an interesting visual style. - JumpCut Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2020