J. Don Birnam Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

J. Don Birnam

J. Don Birnam
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
C 73% Creed II (2018) Creed II is much like the annoying boxing match announcer that infects most of the movie: trying too hard to sound exciting while not telling you anything new or interesting‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
B+ 100% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) In telling the story of Elizabeth's ill-fated cousin, Mary Queen of Scots sheds the bonds of the old costume drama by adding a modernist/feminist twist into the mix. Features outstanding work by Margot Robbie.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
B+ 92% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) A tale as old as time: The House of Mouse does not believe in bad filmmaking and in the Wreck-It Ralph sequel they tap into their own vault of pop culture and produce a mélange of pure, unadulterated fun‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
B 84% Green Book (2018) Although it traffics in endless and uninspiring racial and class stereotypes, Green Book has two pitch-perfect performances and enough laughs to make you forgive its clichéd transgressions‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
B+ 80% Instant Family (2018) Provides a stunningly sincere and touchingly funny perspective on the joys, challenges, and pitfalls of foster parenting and adoption. A perfect family film about the power of dedication, mixed in with easy physical humor‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
D+ 39% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) The new Harry Potter prequel feels more like a history lesson in our favorite magical scoundrels than anything new or entertaining, and still manages to have little plot or even the secretive mysteries that normally characterize these films‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
A- 76% On the Basis of Sex (2018) Felicity Jones dazzles as the iconic Justice Ginsburg during a compelling and inspirational chapter in the life of an inspiring woman. If prompting us to be better and work harder is cinematic cliche, then, yes, On The Basis of Sex is full of them.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
A- 58% The Grinch (2018) This faithful adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss story is perhaps Illumination's best achievement to date, with amazing visuals and great voice acting. The hilarious jokes and positive messages add to make this the perfect Holiday film for the family‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
B+ 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Coen Bros. are back to familiar landscapes (the Old West), familiar themes (death, nostalgia, cruelty), and familiar styles (self-indulgent, self-congratulatory humor) in the six-short-story film. ‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
B+ 91% Widows (2018) Widows' stellar cast offers a refreshing take on old gangster/heist stories. Davis and Debicki are particularly stunning, even if the script does not convince you that an unholy alliance could form between their respective characters.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
A 94% If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) If Beale Street Could Talk is a beautiful film about two particular individuals in love, that simultaneously reaches successfully to be about each and every one of us as well.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
A 88% First Man (2018) With its effective combination of a moving personal story with a stunning human triumph, achieved through dedicated filmmaking, one could fairly and respectably call First Man a 'perfect' movie.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
A 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Lady Gaga's singing talents are majestically showcased in this familiar but nevertheless moving film, an amazing directorial debut for Bradley Cooper‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
D- 12% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Fifty Shades Freed clearly wants to be abused, mocked and ridiculed by the audience. The difference between that an real S&M is that there is no safe word that can get the pain of the movie on your eyes to stop‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
A+ 94% Arrival (2016) Arrival is genius technical filmmaking combined with a profound message -- that we are happy because we choose to live life despite its inevitability and predictability‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
D+ 37% Hunter Killer (2018) Hunter Killer fails to bring anything new into a genre that is uninterested in novelty and cares only about mindless explosions. Not even cool special effects can save the movie from sinking.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
8/10 74% Trumbo (2015) Movie and history buffs will be immersed in this pointed and reference-filled exploration of one of the most infamous chapters in Hollywood and American history, while Cranston fans will be delighted to see the actor's immense talents translate so well ‐ ComingSoon.net
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
9/10 100% Ixcanul (2016) The greatest success of Ixcanul, about a Maya woman living in the Guatemalan mountains, is that it makes you feel as though you have come to deeply understand a culture that is so deeply unfamiliar to us ‐ ComingSoon.net
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
C 29% Venom (2018) Venom poisons the well of its own goodwill by a series of misfiring, illogical plot points and lack of respect for its own universe's rules.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
C- 38% Viper Club (2018) Susan Sarandon again plays a long-suffering woman named Helen. But for all the important subject matter of Viper Killer, the filmmakers are too focused on Helen's personality and suffering, and leave by the wayside plot cohesiveness and consistency‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
B- 41% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Entertaining but because the story is now in the hands of Hollywood, Girl in the Spider's Web lacks the essential elements - the anti-establishment anti-heroine after intimate but captivating mysterious - that set Salander apart from action movie vixens. ‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
A 99% Roma (2018) If you appreciate the exquisite, melancholy beauty of the lives that bookend Roma-that bookend our collective stories-you will never forget this film‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
B+ 62% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Bohemian Rhapsody delivers a paint by numbers but nonetheless captivating and even emotionally uplifting rendition of Queen's and Freddie Mercury's trajectory, with a stunning turn by Rami Malek‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
B- 32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) The Nutcracker is music to the ears of fans of the classic music, and a feast to the eyes for those looking for luscious Christmas sets. But beyond trappings, a surprisingly thin and not at all captivating story lies not far beneath the surface‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
A- 79% Halloween (2018) The new Halloween does a decent enough job of essentially remaking the original with modifications to fit modern, bloodier tastes, and some different twists at the end.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
B+ 85% Boy Erased (2018) The film is messy at first but pitch-perfect in its second half, featuring a story demanding to be told with moving performances by a stellar cast.‐ Splash Report
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018