Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B+ 100% Malni - Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore (2020) Nature never feels like the window dressing in these hypnotic images, but intrinsically tied to the reflections contemplated by the subjects themselves. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
C 75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Every previous film in the franchise has been building toward their inevitable clash, and now it comes to big dumb life thanks to Adam Wingard's massive and massively tedious tent-pole. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
A 93% The Inheritance (2020) Unquestionably one of this year's great films, The Inheritance seeks to position them both on equal planes of historical and individual experience, one invariably informing the other. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
C+ 49% Coming 2 America (2021) Coming 2 America is progressive in its themes and ideas, blandly conventional in comedy. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
B- 55% The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Just because the director's stylistic approach has become more conventional doesn't mean his themes of social justice aren't radical in their pure defiance of compromise. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
52% Demonlover (2003) Demonlover blends elements of the thriller, heist film, and porn with revolutionary verve, revealing the incredibly close proximity of high art and lowbrow kinks. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
B+ 95% Test Pattern (2021) Test Pattern unleashes a lightning round of anger, resentment, and doubt that neither the characters nor audience could have predicted. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
C- 74% The Mauritanian (2021) The kind of self-righteous awakening porn about the horrors of classified American evil that would have played a lot better during George W. Bush's second term. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2021
C 90% Rams (2021) No matter how many calamities reign down from above, it's never in doubt that the residents of this sheep enclave will be just fine. Their middlebrow fantasy may be charming, but it's also completely forgettable. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
B 95% You Will Die at Twenty (2021) Set in a remote Sudanese village where religion and prophecy are valuable currencies, You Will Die at Twenty beautifully examines misguided notions of faith. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
C+ 85% Our Friend (2020) Affleck and Johnson, two of the last actors one would expect in such a low-stakes domestic drama, do their best to liven up this familiar marriage story. But it's Dane (Segel)... who gives the film its singularity. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2021
A- 88% News of the World (2020) In a year when civic duty has been so thoroughly ridiculed and questioned, News of the World and its earnestly expressed themes feel especially poignant. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2020
C+ No Score Yet The Dove and the Wolf (La paloma y el lobo) (2019) Often ponderous and deliberately slow, The Dove and the Wolf is a confounding debut by an obviously talented filmmaker who doesn't quite know yet how to connect all the pieces. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
C No Score Yet Twelve Thousand (Douze Mille) (2019) Despite its real world setting and globalization-heavy subtext, Twelve Thousand was just pure fantasy all along. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
D+ 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) Mr. Pitt, please show your friend Ad Astra, stat. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2020
C- 30% Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) The resulting film, rather sentimentally titled Wild Mountain Thyme, can't decide if it wants to be a countryside farce, magical realist parable, or eccentric romantic comedy. So it tries to be all three at once. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
No Score Yet The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs (Laila aur satt geet) (2020) Singh's methodically well-paced film slowly escalates a potential for betrayal and disaster, mirroring the tightrope stakes of great neo-noirs. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
A No Score Yet Francisca (1981) One of the greatest films about wasted time, even as it wastes not a single second of ours. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
A- No Score Yet The Village Home (Gamak Ghar) (2019) Traditions don't disappear overnight. They slip away slowly over decades... Few films have been able to capture this kind of ebb and flow like Achal Mishra's Gamak Ghar, a quietly beautiful drama. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2020
B 56% Stray (2019) A portrait of emotional yearning that only man's best friend could properly embody. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
A- No Score Yet Chess of the Wind (1976) If the allegorical implications of the plot are somewhat obvious, the ways in which The Chess Game of the Wind utilizes small, devious details to achieve this goal are anything but. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
C+ 100% Death of Nintendo (2020) Anchored by four fine leading performances, the film finds its groove in that particular sweet spot of subversion, even if certain bits and pieces are far more satisfying than the sum of its parts. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
B+ 71% Genus, Pan (Lahi, Hayop) (2020) A purposefully bleak exploration of moral rot, Genus Pan's stark black-and-white photography amplifies the contrasting shades between shifting natural light and our own self-destructive impulses. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
B- 93% Straight Up (2020) It may talk (and talk) a good game, but it's in the quieter moments of silence when it speaks volumes about the perils of modern alienation. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2020
B- 86% Come to Daddy (2020) That a film can be this venomous and sincere at the same time indicates genuine dedication to the finer points of B movie mayhem. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
B+ 77% Richard Jewell (2019) While Richard Jewell might not be top tier Eastwood, Hauser's nervy, sweaty performance feels like a culmination for the filmmaker, a beautiful stripping away of the star power... that reveals something deeper about American self-destruction. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
B 89% Dark Waters (2019) With Dark Waters, the rare biopic that refuses to embrace climactic closure, [Todd Haynes] elides sentimental and rousing conventions one would associate with courtroom epics. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
B- 28% The Rhythm Section (2020) I thought of Haywire often while watching Reed Morano's clunky but fascinating new bruiser The Rhythm Section. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2020
C+ 56% Blast Beat (2021) Too bad the film opts for classic Hollywood closure rather than following through on the promise of its painful, shifting origins. - The Film Stage EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2020
1/5 64% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) A staggering misfire that's both unambitious and bloated. - Little White Lies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2020
81% A Hidden Life (2019) A Hidden Life dares to place these competing human emotions side by side. In doing so, Malick addresses the malleable nature of our value systems, especially when they are under attack by nefarious outside forces. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
98% 63 Up (2019) 63 Up is anticlimactic and apolitical, and will go down as one of the weaker installments in this monumental saga. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
84% Waves (2019) Shults' impressively terrible film telegraphs tragedy with little regard for the nuances of human experience. It swings for the fences in every moment, producing the most uninteresting and unrewarding type of melodrama. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
4/5 67% Here For Life (2019) A remarkably nimble meditation on performance and vulnerability. - Little White Lies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
88% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) Surely one of the strangest and most intoxicating films of recent memory. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
95% The Irishman (2019) The Irishman has plenty of assassinations, long tracking shots, and pop music cues one would normally associate with vintage Scorsese, but its most wrenching moments are the ones of silence. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
58% Frankie (2019) Sachs' browsing camera trails each character at different times, giving them space to oscillate between grief and selfishness. There's no judgment made against their weaknesses and failures, but "Frankie" also doesn't let them off the hook. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 90% Luce (2019) A convincing and confidant example of sustained menace. - Little White Lies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Director Taika Waititi tries his hardest to find the funny in fascism. Mostly, he fails miserably. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
90% The Lighthouse (2019) Pattison and Dafoe provide moments of unhinged chemistry... Yet, it's Eggers' film that feels self-satisfying to a fault. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
96% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) A sublime dance between the past and present ensues. Banderas' performance becomes the constant in the center, fluctuating between mournful disappointment and the nervous anticipation for artistic rebirth. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
95% Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) A fleet footed and loving introduction to the work of a gunslinger scribe. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
97% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) Will surely please the gore hounds familiar with Miike's particular brand of stylized violence. The film also juxtaposes those shocking kill shots with genuine moments of empathy for the conflicted characters often discarded in the crime genre. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
81% Judy (2019) [Zellweger's] purposefully raw performance, defined by those soulful eyes framed by perpetually running mascara, taps into a painful legacy of starlets who've been used, abused, and ultimately discarded by the Hollywood machine. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
92% Monos (2019) It's a perfect example of formal showboating being marketed as vision. Landes must have bruises from all that chest thumping. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
100% A Bigger Splash (1974) Toeing the line between documentary and fiction, Hazan creates a nonlinear, lucid narrative in which Hockney is positioned as the cipher genius seemingly operating on an entirely different wavelength. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
83% Ad Astra (2019) Ad Astra remains an impressive big budget marvel, but what resonates most is the way Gray seamlessly explores how, eventually, we all must come face to face with the legend of our parents. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
100% Los Reyes (2019) Through Chola and Football's eyes, life slows down just enough for us to see their purgatory as something beautiful and dynamic. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
83% Before You Know It (2019) Utt's charming, self-deprecating ensemble is an effortless screwball throwback that loves its characters no matter their flaws. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
81% A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle) (2019) Louis Garrel delivers a decidedly benign spin on the relationship film that his father, Philippe, has been perfecting for decades... A Faithful Man ultimately lacks the thematic weight and conceptual audaciousness of his father's work. - San Diego CityBeat EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2019