Grant Watson

Grant Watson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Grant Watson is a film critic based in Melbourne, Australia. He currently reviews contemporary and classic film for his own website FictionMachine, as well as the film review websites FilmInk and VCinema. Between 2003 and 2009 he wrote the film column The Bad Film Diaries for the science fiction journal Borderlands; for which he was awarded the William Atheling Jr Award for Science Fiction Criticism and Review on two occasions. He has also previously worked as the screen events manager at Western Australia's Film and Television Institute, where he curated numerous film programs and retrospectives.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
8/10 No Score Yet Night Shift (Police) (2020) A sharp, intelligent drama with a keen contemporary relevance. It asks vital questions with no easy answers. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2021
2/10 No Score Yet The Virgin Psychics (Eiga: minna! Esupâ da yo!) (2015) It feels very Japanese, but sadly in the sense of 'took the escalator one level too high in Akihabara' rather than 'culturally distinct and fascinating to watch'. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2021
6/10 46% The Empty Man (2020) For horror and thriller fans, you could write down a list of older, better films and tick them off one by one as The Empty Man references them. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
8/10 96% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) It seems to be the heartfelt and enchanting tonic audiences need after a long, mostly miserable 2020. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
6/10 74% Boss Level (2021) It is absolutely clear from watching the film that it is going to have its fans - and enthusiastic fans at that. If you think you are one of those people, I suspect that you probably are. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2021
8/10 82% The Last Wave (1977) The Last Wave is bold and wonderful strange. It comes packed with rain-soaked foreboding and a then-progressive, muscular attitude to indigineity in 1970s Australia. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
7/10 67% The Incredible Hulk (2008) I cannot see an action scene involving the Hulk without grinning in the cinema like an idiot. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2021
8/10 85% Spring (2015) Genre elements swirl around them - part fantasy, part science fiction - but the core of the film is something more complex, effective, and worthwhile. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
7/10 No Score Yet A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016) This is an imperfect but very enjoyable adaptation. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2021
7/10 67% The Expendables 2 (2012) The Expendables 2 really commits, and acquits itself admirably - in all of its nostalgic, over-the-top, preposterously silly glory. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
10/10 86% All That Jazz (1979) This is one of the greatest American films ever made. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2021
8/10 92% Another Round (Druk) (2020) A mature and inspired blend of comedy, tragedy, and human behaviour. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
6/10 50% Saban's Power Rangers (2017) Power Rangers will not set your world on fire, but given its target audience and intent it is a strong example of a film that does everything right and very little wrong. It is fun, enjoyable, and tidy. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
7/10 78% Greenland (2020) Ric Roman Waugh's Greenland emerges as 2021's first major surprise: yet another large-scale disaster movie, it leaps head-and-shoulders above its genre to become the strongest film of its type since Michael Bay's Armageddon back in 1998. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
6/10 66% Wrong Turn (2021) A disappointing climax is really the only downside to this generally effective and entertaining rural thriller. It is the kind of flaw that exacerbates disappointment: the writer, director, cast and crew are so close. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2021
8/10 93% The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) A mostly superb little thriller that sits uncomfortably between character-based drama and exploitation picture. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2021
3/10 34% Earwig and the Witch (2021) Without much argument the weakest Ghibli production ever released. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
7/10 50% Erik the Viking (1989) Taken as a whole it is a minor disappointment, but taken as a series of comic sketches it is regularly superb. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2021
9/10 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) It marks Sorkin's positive progression as a director. As a writer, it is arguably his best film work since A Few Good Men. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2021
5/10 29% The Boy (2016) While The Boy has a nicely creepy atmosphere and tone, it rarely undertakes anything that has not been done before. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
10/10 94% Proof (1991) Its screenplay - by Moorhouse - is an essentially perfect piece of work. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
8/10 75% Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez bronzer les cadavres!) (2018) This is a provocative and exciting work, but I suspect each viewer will love it or hate it. The film really has not left any room in-between. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
2/10 8% Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018) The entire nostalgic appeal of the original Escape Plan is gone, replaced by something genuinely terrible and weirdly incompetent. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
6/10 50% Escape Plan (2013) How you respond to Escape Plan likely depends on how much you like those action movies from the 1980s. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
8/10 88% Duel (1972) Famous for being Spielberg's first big break, it deserves to be remembered better in its own right. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
7/10 75% Les Miserables (1998) Rarely does the quality rise to feel particularly striking or transcendent, but to criticise that too much would be to punish the film for simply being really quite good instead of exceptional. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
6/10 83% Secret Zoo (2020) The finished film is certainly warm and entertaining, but delivers less than it promises. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2021
10/10 100% The Kid (1921) There are always critics out there instructing their readers to watch classic Hollywood features because of their significance or historical relevance. With The Kid you should honestly watch it because it's an incredibly funny and warm comedy. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2021
8/10 100% Josep (2020) It is a multi-layered and hugely effective set-up for a story: part tale of friendship, part artist biography, and part much-needed history lesson. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2021
8/10 77% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) A tightly-wound and inventive 90 minutes of action, horror, and tension. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2021
1/10 8% Music (2020) Do not, do not, do not, do not, do not cast able-bodied actors as characters with a disability. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
9/10 88% A Private War (2018) It is a sensational work of cinema: aggressively told and emotionally powerful. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2021
8/10 88% Sid and Nancy (1986) This is arguably Cox's finest film. It's arguably one of the United Kingdom's finest. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
10/10 100% Your Name Engraved Herein (2020) Gentle, sensitively played, and emotionally powerful. It captures life and love at its most intimate. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
7/10 70% Tenet (2020) It is an imperfect film, but to dismiss it would be to punish it for merely being 'good' and not 'great'. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
8/10 87% The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) (2018) It is a slightly atypical work for Kore-eda, but in all honesty that just seems to make it more valuable. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2020
3/10 87% Bliss (2019) There is nothing here that seems to surprise or challenge - unless it is to test its audience's patience. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
8/10 74% The Lodge (2020) A deliberately ambiguous and paranoid work, provoking the audience not only to speculate on each character's motivation but what precise kind of a thriller the film is. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
6/10 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) It is not a swing and a miss, but it is far from a home run either. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
7/10 95% Sweetheart (2019) It is solid, entertaining pulp, and there is always an appreciative audience for that. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2020
5/10 70% Muppet Treasure Island (1996) While not the worst Muppet feature ever committed to screen, it is arguably the weakest entry of the original six. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2020
6/10 35% The New Mutants (2020) Ultimately The New Mutants is a solid superhero origin buried underneath a range of bad luck and poor choices. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
7/10 54% Lux Æterna (2019) The glorious and melodramatic absurdity of it all is either maddening and pretentious or wonderful - and, it must be said, still pretentious. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
9/10 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) It is not simply a worthy sequel, it is that mythical beast: the comedy sequel that surpasses the original. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
3/10 72% Machete (2010) Despite the occasional funny moment, this grindhouse spin-off is a genuine grind to sit through. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
6/10 40% Ransom (The Terrorists) (1974) It is an excellent fit for a lazy Sunday afternoon: pleasing its audience enough to be worth the time spent in watching it, but also inessential enough to be viewed with one eye on a smartphone or newspaper. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2020
6/10 73% Mulan (2020) Unless subtitles are a major obstacle, there are literally dozens of films easily accessible via home video and streaming services that offer a better experience. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2020
7/10 No Score Yet Ainu Mosir (2020) A modestly-scaled but emotionally effective coming-of-age drama. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020
7/10 67% The People Under The Stairs (1991) The People Under the Stairs does not quite succeed in its intentions, but for such an off-kilter and original work it achieves a lot more than an audience might fairly expect. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2020
8/10 90% The Leopard Man (1943) This is entertaining pulp fiction produced with a keen visual eye. - Fiction Machine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020