Harvey S. Karten

Harvey S. Karten
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
After teaching high school for quite a while, I took an M.A. in Film and Theater from Hunter College in New York and a Ph.D. in Theater from the City University Graduate Center, also in the Big Apple. Having sat through one innocuous Broadway show after another and a great deal of talky off-Broadway productions as a so-called second-night critic, I realized that you don't always get what you pay for. Broadway shows may be $75 a ticket and movies just $9.50 (in New York), but you're more likely to have fun AND take away something of substance from the big screen. The switch from reviewing theater to reviewing movies was an easy one to make.When my application for membership in the New York Film Critics Circle was circular-filed (print media only, sorry), I founded the Online Film Critics Society in January 1997 and three years later, NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online).
Favorites:
Favorite films: Amadeus, Schindler's List, Lassie Come HomeBest of 2006: Thank You for Smoking
Location: Brooklyn, New York

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
C+ 32% Patrick (2019) Plays up to kiddies with poop, pratfalls and potential paramours but lack the heart of the great dog movies like "Hachi" and "Lassie Come Home." - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
B+ 93% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) Takes us step by step to the destruction of a culture. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
B+ 70% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) A solid ensemble piece, eminently watchable. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
B 84% Holiday (2018) Director Eklof knows what it's like for a woman to live in a man's world, illustrating her views through a sadistic treatment of a mobster with his "girl" - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
A- 73% Cold Pursuit (2019) Fans of sophisticated revenge fantasies will eat up this tale of a vigilante who operates amid a frigid atmosphere of dark comedy. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
B 93% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Its Polish folk dancers are a joy to watch. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
B 100% The Distant Barking of Dogs (2018) What's really strange is that the 10-year-old star of the tale, having been hosted on a trip to NY, cannot wait to return to his decrepit, war-torn Ukranian village. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
B+ 80% St. Bernard Syndicate (2019) Has a fresh, zany screenplay, though Odessa, the title character, doesn't give a lick for it. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
B 94% The Golem (2019) A satisfactory re-imagining of the Hebrew myth though unfortunately reduced in resonance with modern horror tropes. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
C 88% Arctic (2019) The great Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is burdened with a stagnant screenplay. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
C+ 21% Serenity (2019) A hack job with stereotypical characters. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
B+ 87% Ruben Brandt, Collector (2019) Visual candy like you've never seen before. Multiple viewings are in order. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
B+ 50% Jihadists (Salafistes) (2019) Filmmakers risk their lives getting up close and personal with some terrifying people. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2019
C+ 38% Close (2019) Convoluted thriller based on the career of a celebrated female bodyguard. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
B 81% The Invisibles (2019) Allows us to see Sarah Goldschlager as the repulsive woman she is and to wish her to be drawn and quartered. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
B+ 83% Girl (2018) An emotional roller coaster for the title character who must discipline herself for a tough-love ballet teacher. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2019
B 80% Pig (2018) "Pig" displays a satiric look at a group of narcissistic filmmakers utilizing mock-horror absurdist comedy that works more times than it does not. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2019
B+ No Score Yet Tale of the Sea (Hekayat-e Darya) (2018) One of Iran's major filmmakers is at the top of his game with this Ingmar Bergman-esque meditation on old age. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
C+ 45% Ashes in the Snow (2019) Simplistic dialogue threatens to sink a drama with expansive cinematography, taking place in a pair of Soviet gulags and filmed in Lithuania. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
B 100% Communion (Komunia) (2019) A fly-on-the wall documentary captures the fragility of family life in this awards-winning feature by a debut director-writer-editor-producer. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2019
A- 93% Who Will Write Our History (2019) An important addition to the trove of documentation about the Holocaust, honoring people who fought Nazi lies with the pen rather than the sword. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2018
A- 66% Vice (2018) More than the heart gets multiple attacks by Christian Bale, who gained 40 pounds to portray a former vice president of whom he does not approve. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
B+ 86% The Land of Steady Habits (2018) With excellent acting, this film is a vigorous look at suburban anomie, mid-life crisis, and the ways a man's involvement with family can prove unwanted by others. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
B 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Saoirse Ronan is stunning, carrying herself as regal as a woman can be, stretching her terrific acting chops as a woman whose judgment in men is not always on the money. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
B+ 94% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) A bright evocation of young love frustrated by the whims of a racist society. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2018
B+ 88% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) Given its stark visuals, its authentic acting by non professionals, and its humanism, "Capernaum" has become the obvious entry by Lebanon to our Academy Awards. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
B+ 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) A delightful romp with the duo considered by some to be the best comedy team of the 20th century. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
B 59% Vox Lux (2018) Natalie Portman as you've never before seen her anchors a movie that connects violence with celebrity status. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
B+ 72% On the Basis of Sex (2019) A rousing tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsbeurg is this sometimes sentimental feel-good movie. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
B 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) History never fails to repeat itself. The factional fighting in colorfully picturesque Sixteenth Century England is mirrored today in the grayer environment of the U.S. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
B 88% The Great Buddha+ (2018) Taiwan's candidate for the U.S. Academy Awards finds comedy amid its serious concern with inequality of income. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2018
B 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) This ragtag Japanese family is so charming you might hope the shoplifters will never get caught. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2018
B+ 84% Under the Tree (Undir trénu) (2018) I'll bet you think that Iceland is one of the world's happiest, most civilized places. This dramedy uses wry humor and deadly conflict to ratchet the suspense and counteract your trust. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
B+ 96% Becoming Astrid (Unga Astrid) (2018) A charming albeit conventional look at the coming of age of one of the most successful writers of children's books. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
A 76% Never Look Away (2019) An epic masterwork that bears witness to 3 decades of totalitarian rule in Germany and its effects on art and love and family bonds. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
B+ 88% Under the Wire (2018) Takes us to the front in Syria's civil war, with war correspondents Marie Colvin and Paul Conroy focusing on that government's brutality toward civilians. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2018
B No Score Yet To Kid or Not to Kid (2018) Strong arguments hold that having children is in some cases a selfish choice. Not having children, by contrast, is not selfish. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2018
B 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) An imaginative look at one of the world's greatest post impressionist painters. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ 94% Of Fathers and Sons (2018) An audacious writer-director risks his life in Syria to put a face on a jihadist, a man who can elicit some sympathy even from Americans. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
B 91% Widows (2018) Great acting, sharp visuals, but edited in such a confusing way that a second viewing might be needed. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
B+ 73% El Angel (El ángel) (2018) They say you should watch out for the quiet ones. Now we're counseled to beware of young men with baby faces. This exterminating angel is a real cutie-pie. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
B+ 94% RBG (2018) Watch: and wonder no more how a slight, 85-year-old woman has become the Supreme Court's most celebrated justice. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
B 81% Boy Erased (2018) A rousing send-up of so-called conversion therapy. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
A- 80% Green Book (2018) This wholly satisfying comedy-drama shows how racism and social class misunderstandings can be lessened with humor and warmth. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
C 64% Suspiria (2018) Terpsichore, the Greek Muse of the dance, might recommend this movie to her eight colleagues, but strong visuals involving witches of the West, cannot make up for the film's lack of a coherent narrative. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
B+ 98% Border (Gräns) (2018) An intriguing gender bender incorporating horror and mythology, something like "Beauty and the Beast" though a more apt title would be "Beast and the Beast." - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
B 80% Ben is Back (2018) The surprising return of the family black sheep makes Christmas not as joyful as it's supposed to be. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
B+ 91% The Price of Everything (2018) Follow the money--in the art world as well as anywhere else. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
B 59% The Front Runner (2018) Even if you're running for sophomore class president, you should see this movie, which has covert advice "Keep your pants zipped." - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
B+ 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Melissa McCarthy as you've never seen her before: stunning. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2018