Fred Topel

Fred Topel
Tomatometer-approved critic
Favorites:
Labyrinth, Toy Story 2, The Rock, Face/Off, True Lies, The Big Hit, The Big One (Michael Moore), Casablanca
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
90% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) A pure 90 minute anxiety attack, but at least the anxiety is all on the screen. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
44% Seance (2021) Seance has some unexpected tonal pairings that add up to something devilishly new. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2021
37% Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) Spiral gives Saw new life in the way that Creed, Cobra Kai and The Force Awakens did their franchises. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2021
67% Wrath of Man (2021) It's nothing terribly new if you watch these kinds of movies a lot, although getting a job with the armored truck company is a cool twist on the genre... It's a tried and true archetype, so appreciated when A-list filmmakers execute it well. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
46% Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) It's Steven Seagal's Hard to Kill, only there's no acupuncture involved in John's rehab. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
23% The Rookies (2021) Fans who only Jovovich from English-language action movies should prepare themselves for a full-on Hong Kong movie. If this is their first, hopefully it will intrigue them to discover more of the outrageous output of the world's finest action cinema. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) This one has more coherent monster action. The visual effects keep the animation in frame and director Adam Wingard edits more judiciously with the human story. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2021
71% Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) You could have totally edited a two hour cut from Snyder's footage and released the extended one on DVD. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2021
49% Coming 2 America (2021) Coming 2 America doesn't spend too long in Queens. Akeem brings Lavelle and his family back to Zamunda. That makes this Crocodile Dundee II. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
95% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Raya and the Last Dragon has a message as profound and powerful as Frozen. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
37% Cherry (2021) The story doesn't really kick in for about 80 minutes. It's a good story, but does not require as much setup as its given. It does show growth from directors Joe and Anthony Russo after their four-film Marvel stint. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
78% To All The Boys: Always And Forever (2021) To All the Boys: Always and Forever mostly leaves the letters behind, so it's just the next step for the characters. Like how no one actually got taken in Taken 3 - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Given the underrepresented, socially significant subject matter, you'd hope for more than fine. But, plenty of other significant historical events get by with fine biopics so it's better than nothing. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2021
69% The Blazing World (2021) Young creates a captivating epic world just this side of surreal. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2021
75% Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021) Not as action packed as Hollywood's post-apocalyptic films are, but that just leaves it more time for world building. The longer Hero spends in the Ghostland, the more bizarre corners of the world come forward. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2021
100% The Sparks Brothers (2021) Honestly, if you follow Sparks long enough, there's going to be something for you. If you didn't like their early stuff, you might gravitate towards My Baby's Taking Me Home or Tips for Teens. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
56% Mayday (2021) Karen Cinorre's fantasy can be a metaphor for misogyny, just as [Zack] Synder's Sucker Punch fantasies were... Without the Hollywood CGI, skimpy outfits and hospital setting, Mayday strips away some potential distractions from Cinorre's metaphor. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
76% Eight for Silver (2021) It's a lot more in your face than The Vvitch, but Eight for Silver should find its brethren among fans of this kind of genre hybrid. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
95% CODA (2021) Heder works out all the family drama and fishing regulations with a light touch. All the characters have a sense of humor, all while really speaking their truths and emotions. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
45% The Little Things (2021) The Little Things is little more than a CSI episode with movie stars, only if it were on CSI you would turn the channel. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
36% The Marksman (2021) Just throwing Neeson at a generic script isn't enough. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
88% News of the World (2020) News of the World is the most exciting endorsement of reading since libraries got celebrities to pose with their favorite books. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
95% Soul (2020) Soul combines the abstract and the irreverent. As such, it also makes some unusual choices, some of which may stray from its most salient potential. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2020
59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) It's no Supergirl 1984 but it's still pretty good. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
75% Wander Darkly (2020) Writer/director Tara Miele puts the audience in Adrienne's sense of questioning reality. For whatever reason she is experiencing nonlinear events, the audience feels it too. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
70% Tenet (2020) It's basically Inception for time travel instead of dreams. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
50% The Midnight Sky (2020) About halfway through The Midnight Sky, focus shifts to Aether. If you weren't into Augustine and Iris, that's good. If you were, that's bad. And if you're indifferent, that's a shortcoming of the film. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
83% Mank (2020) Cinephiles will love this portrait of Hollywood legends. If you didn't know the names before you'll be captivated by the engaging personalities and perhaps motivated to dig into TCM or Criterion Channel. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
70% Godmothered (2020) Godmothered attacks the myth of the fairy godmother from all sides, especially the Disney incarnations. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
87% THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (2020) Can [Coppola] improve the maligned finale in the eyes of critics and fans? Maybe if you hated The Godfather Part III. If you were fine with it you'll probably be fine with Coda too. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2020
55% The Prom (2020) Have fun with The Prom, but remember it takes more than a song and dance to bring tolerance to communities. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2020
No Score Yet Life in a Year (2020) Life In a Year is really about dealing with the realization that you can't plan everything, rather than the rom-com shenanigans. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
67% The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020) Christmas Chronicles 2 is in the bigger, badder sequel mold, and even when it is blatant about it, the Christmas spirit is irresistible. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
31% Superintelligence (2019) 40 minutes in it abandons its clever premise to become a standard romantic-comedy. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
35% The New Mutants (2020) After years of delays, the fact that The New Mutants is just okay feels like a victory. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
22% Iron Mask (2019) A big budget international blockbuster that really throws in the kitchen sink. There are CGI beasts, lavish production values, historical detail even if it is CGI enhanced (what isn't now) and it never slows down, not even for exposition. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
29% Vanguard (2020) Chan is in a lot of Vanguard's fight scenes, but he shares them with the team of younger agents. So instead of Chan himself handling all the bad guys for five minutes straight, he handles a few and he showcases some new talent. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
27% Jiu Jitsu (2020) Jiu Jitsu may bite off more than it can chew plot-wise but it delivers the thrills. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
61% Girl (2020) They may be trying to be cool noirish or Tarantino-esque gangsters, or at the very least psych Girl out and intimidate her. It just feels like it's trying to evoke a vibe without having the actual weight of the vibe it's trying to evoke. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
98% Anything for Jackson (2020) Anything for Jackson is Misery meets Rosemary's Baby. It puts a twist on both horror classics to create a uniquely new hybrid of occult horror and psychological thriller. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
78% GoldenEye (1995) In trying so hard to distance itself from old Bonds, Goldeneye is also now a relic of the post-Cold War era. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
31% Rocky V (1990) It may be compromised, but what it's trying to do is worthwhile enough to appreciate the effort. Because if its reputation, Rocky V is now the ultimate underdog of the underdog series. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
78% The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020) A total feel-good romantic comedy that's a great vehicle for Geraldine Viswanathan and the standout supporting cast. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) The standout of Hillbilly Elegy is Adams. There's no doubt she can play a role like Bev, but it's still a privilege to get to see her work. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2020
46% Spell (2020) There's a real problem with the message of Spell. Mark looks down on the rural community, mocks the locals at a gas station and dreads revisiting his childhood home. Doesn't this kind of validate his prejudice? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
100% His House (2020) A unique new take on horror from Weekes with great performances by Dírìsú and Mosaku. Every step of the Majurs' journey is harrowing, but worthwhile when you come out the other side. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
49% The Craft: Legacy (2020) Witchcraft remains a fine metaphor for girls claiming agency society may not want them to have. 24 years later, Legacy goes much further. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
86% On The Rocks (2020) In the last 20 years, when Murray is funny in a movie it's usually a cameo. This is a whole movie with Murray being funny and charming, not in an over the top way like his '80s movies, but a confirmation that he's still got it. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
39% Rebecca (2020) Rebecca is mostly about the difficulty of any marriage. It's not the exotic vacation 24/7. Granted, it's not Manderlay for most people either. That's a whole lot of staff and procedure for Mrs. de Winter to acclimate to. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Bakalova can also do bits Cohen never could. She's sort of like a Trojan horse. They would never let Borat in and they'd expect him to make trouble, but this new girl seems innocent. - Showbiz Cheat Sheet EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020