Gary Dowell

Gary Dowell

Agrees with the Tomatometer 80% of the time.

Gary Dowell's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review

The Girl on the Train (2016)

"Lacking in the tongue-firmly-in-cheek melodrama that made Gone Girl such twisted fun, it telegraphs its handful of twists well before the halfway mark and then proceeds to drag itself to a half-hearted conclusion." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Oct 7, 2016

Blair Witch (2016)

"Adam Wingard's sequel/reboot Blair Witch is really just a remake in disguise, bogged down by a bad case of 'same thing, just more of it'." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Sep 16, 2016

Morgan (2016)

"Scott and company have created tight little throwback to old-school sci-fi and horror movies about the dangers of playing God. It's still a gruesome potboiler at heart, but it's one that strikes some effective chords." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Sep 2, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

"LAIKA Studios continues its streak of smart, idiosyncratic, and quirky animated features with the stunning Kubo and the Two Strings." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Aug 18, 2016

Sausage Party (2016)

"One of the most effective parables about religion ever filmed." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Aug 18, 2016

Ben-Hur (2016)

"There are so few surprises that, frankly, a few vampires would have been a welcome touch." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Aug 18, 2016

Suicide Squad (2016)

"Alas, the result is a surprisingly disjointed mess." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Aug 5, 2016

Jason Bourne (2016)

"The movie is open-ended enough to allow for another installment, but what's the point if our hero has nowhere left to go, no more dark personal secrets to uncover, or nothing left to say?" ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jul 28, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016)

"It's still a fun ride thanks largely to casting." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jul 20, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

"Less pompous than Greystoke but more cartoonish than Disney's 1999 animated version of the material, The Legend of Tarzan is pretty to look at but ultimately hollow and occasionally shoddy." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jul 7, 2016

The Shallows (2016)

"A fun piece of throwaway cinema, The Shallows is a sleek, beautifully shot, and mostly satisfying thriller that plays it smart and simple, only faltering by opting for a schlocky climax." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jun 30, 2016

Warcraft (2016)

"You can tell there is a lot of heart and effort that went into the making of Warcraft, which makes its artistic failure as a would-be fantasy epic all the more depressing. " ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jun 23, 2016

The Nice Guys (2016)

"A gritty, cynical, hilarious, and mostly satisfying bit of L.A. noir, Shane Black's The Nice Guys sees the bad boy writer-director make a slick return to his signature brand of buddy action comedy." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted May 26, 2016

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

"Civil War's conflict is earned rather than contrived. It's the culmination of tense friendships and strained egos that Marvel has cultivated for years. The stakes feel real, which gives this comic book spectacle more heft than the genre usually deserves." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted May 6, 2016

Knight of Cups (2016)

"Muddled, aimless, indecipherable, and shallow, Terence Malick's Knight of Cups is one of the most insufferable slogs in recent cinema." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Mar 18, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

"Goodman is responsible for most of the film's tension. Over the years he's demonstrated a knack for playing likable and sinister, funny and serious, but not often all of those at once and rarely with the force he does here." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Mar 18, 2016

Triple 9 (2016)

"If it had been more lurid or more ridiculous, Triple 9 would at least function as a guilty pleasure. Instead, it's a poor man's Heat." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Mar 4, 2016

Hail, Caesar! (2016)

"A slap-happy valentine to the Technicolor heyday of Hollywood that lands somewhere between the trippy brilliance of The Big Lebowski and the goofball parable of O Brother, Where Art Thou?" ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Feb 12, 2016

The Revenant (2015)

"Equal parts beautiful and brutal, it's easily one of the most unsettling films of the past few years. It's also one of the best." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Feb 12, 2016

Deadpool (2016)

"Deadpool may be the comic book movie spoof to end all comic book movie spoofs." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Feb 12, 2016

The Hateful Eight (2015)

"Watching Jackson and Russell play off one another as instant best frenemies is a hoot, and a little depressing: Why did it take so long for such a pairing to happen?" ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Dec 29, 2015

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

"J.J. Abrams keeps the plot moving at a brisk pace that keeps the viewer from overthinking it until after the credits roll, but not so brisk that we can't relax and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Dec 21, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

"The dialogue is dull, and the visuals are so slathered with mediocre CGI that they feel thoroughly phony." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Dec 16, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)

"Part 2 feels like it has a sense of direction that was lost after the first movie, and it's enjoyably more action-heavy. " ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Dec 11, 2015

Victor Frankenstein (2015)

"The only time the movie comes to life (so to speak) is during its climax, when Victor succeeds in bringing his creation to life and must deal with the subsequent rampage... After slogging through 100 minutes of tedium to get there, it's hard to care." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Dec 11, 2015

Spectre (2015)

"While Spectre is far from bad, it is likely to frustrate many fans, especially given its unenviable position of following on the heels of the near-perfect Skyfall." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Nov 12, 2015

The Walk (2015)

"Zemeckis borrows [Man on Wire's] heist movie aesthetic, but also widens the scope a bit and throws in a touch of whimsy." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Oct 8, 2015

Sicario (2015)

"The film is visually and aurally stunning." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Oct 8, 2015

Everest (2015)

"Spectacle film-making with a purpose, Everest is a welcome throwback to the testorone-heavy adventure flicks of past decades." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Oct 8, 2015

Black Mass (2015)

"It's a familiar formula - most crime movies are these days - but in this instance it's well-done formula." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Sep 24, 2015

American Ultra (2015)

"The idea is sound -- stoners turn out to be super-agents and wackiness ensues -- but the passion is so lacking and the execution so slack that it feels like everyone involved wanted to be somewhere else." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Sep 10, 2015

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

"It's a brisk, smart, fun action comedy that takes the premise of the 1964-68 TV series, replaces the dated campiness with effortless cool, and dresses it in slick '60s period detail that makes Mad Men look amateurish in comparison." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Sep 10, 2015

Fantastic Four (2015)

"It starts off as an '80s-esque whiz kids sci-fi adventure, veers into some mild high-tech body horror thriller territory during the middle act, and then stumbles into an underdone generic comic book movie action climax." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Aug 13, 2015

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015)

"It comes as a pleasant surprise that the series' cartoon spy-fi lunacy still plays." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Aug 3, 2015

Trainwreck (2015)

"It won't necessarily re-ignite [Apatow's] career, but it does remind us of what he can do." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jul 31, 2015

Terminator Genisys (2015)

"[It] is the first of a planned trilogy; as such, it makes the same mistake as Amazing Spider-Man 2 and other over-confident blockbusters: It assumes that a sequel is a foregone conclusion and punting its loose ends downfield to be sorted out later." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jul 8, 2015

Magic Mike XXL (2015)

"So much of the movie feels like leftover unused vignettes from its predecessor strung together to feature length and tossed out for public consumption. It's like your favorite band got together one more time, and then spent the tour playing B-sides." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jul 8, 2015

Tomorrowland (2015)

"It's slickly packaged, but below its surface Brad Bird's Tomorrowland is a preachy, chaotic jumble of themes and style at odds with itself from the get-go." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jun 23, 2015

Jurassic World (2015)

"The darn thing is truly scary as hell." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jun 23, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

"Luckily, Pitch Perfect 2 retains the musical verve that made the first film so great." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted May 27, 2015

Slow West (2015)

"An alt-western with plenty of quirk but little bite, John MacLean's Slow West is a wasted opportunity kept afloat by a bevy of skilled actors. It goes for a revisionist approach to the genre, but misses the mark." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted May 27, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

"It is fair to say that Fury Road will raise audience expectations to the degree that every producer and studio chief with an action flick tentpole scheduled for this summer will soon be reaching for the painkiller of his or her choice." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted May 27, 2015

Chappie (2015)

"Chappie, both the character and the film itself, is a clunky amalgam of mismatched parts." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Apr 7, 2015

Furious 7 (2015)

"7 disappoints a little because it doesn't go off the rails enough, especially in comparison to the last two movies." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Apr 7, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

"A smarter spoof than Austin Powers, and free of the over-seriousness of the Bond movies, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a much-needed fresh take on spy fiction." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Mar 2, 2015

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

"The movie as a whole has a generic, lazy quality to it. Which is shocking, considering the source. Even Cloud Atlas was far more ambitious than this." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Feb 9, 2015

Black Sea (2015)

"It's a great setting for putting a group of people under intense mental and physical pressure, one that director Kevin Macdonald and screenwriter Dennis Kelly put to excellent use in Black Sea." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Feb 4, 2015

Blackhat (2015)

"With Blackhat, pulp-film auteur Michael Mann takes a stab the sub-genre, and if he can't do it then no one can. So apparently no one can." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jan 29, 2015

12 Years a Slave (2013)

"Easily the most powerful, compelling, devastating, and just plain blunt film about slavery ever made, Steve McQueen's adaptation of Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir, 12 Years a Slave is a raw and searing indictment." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jan 13, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

"At this point it's fair to say that Jackson's weakness for narrative bloat has now officially defeated him." ‐ Dark Horizons
Posted Jan 6, 2015
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