Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Favorites:
The Passion of Joan of Arc, Sherlock Jr., Chimes at Midnight, Rio Bravo, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Cat People, Dead Ringers, Modern Times, Life and Nothing More, Eyes Wide Shut, Late Spring, Detour
Location: San Francisco
Official Websites: combustiblecelluloid.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2.5/4 76% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Kirby is magnificent in a tough, stark role, and when Martha finally wrests some tiny bit of control from her life in the final moments, it's a huge triumph. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
3/5 90% Rock Camp: The Movie (2021) Even though it's a bit shallow, under-explored, and self-serving, this documentary still manages to capture the joy and healing power of music, as well as the dream of being a rock star. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
4/5 67% Don't Tell a Soul (2021) As lean and mean as they come, this sharp, emotional thriller is centered on just four characters and a couple of spare locations, and yet it wryly uncoils a surprising number of shocks and layers. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
2/5 34% The Marksman (2021) Thanks to Robert Lorenz's smooth, simple direction and Neeson's appealing, sympathetic bond with young Perez, this action-thriller, which is steeped in cliché from top to bottom, very nearly gets by. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
2.5/4 36% Outside the Wire (2021) A perfect example of a January movie, just good enough to pass the time, yet perhaps not worth remembering. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
3.5/4 100% City Hall (2020) As 'City Hall' comes together, it at least becomes clear that these public servants are truly interested in helping their constituents, trying to be as fair as possible to as many as possible. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
3.5/4 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) A surprisingly well-oiled machine. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
2/5 16% Redemption Day (2021) Attempting to address real-world political and moral concerns, this action movie instead comes across as utterly generic and low-rent, with no surprises or thrills and little emotional engagement. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
3/4 53% If Not Now, When? (2021) Due to patient, emotional storytelling, it goes well above the typical movie soap opera. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
3/4 77% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) No one ever said that a movie this entertainingly demented had to be cohesive. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
3.5/4 95% Soul (2020) Docter and Powers do a remarkable job of making things flow in the best Pixar vein. It's very funny, of course, but the most memorable moments are existential, when characters experience small revelations, begin to see what life is about. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
4/5 87% News of the World (2020) Director Paul Greengrass slows down his usual frenetic handheld camerawork for this stirring, lyrical Western, which captures a deeply divided nation, as well as the humanity that keeps it going. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
3.5/4 91% Promising Young Woman (2020) The ultimate #MeToo film, and the revenge film of the year, [this] is a sly, deceptive comedy, painted in Easter-Egg pinks and blues and looking for all the world to be a redemptive romance before whipping around and sticking its knives into you. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
3.5/4 60% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) In a year largely without superheroes, it's wonderfully fitting that Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman 1984" emerges at the very end, helping rescue us from this period of misery and despair. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
2.5/4 70% Tenet (2020) 'Tenet' may contain [Nolan's] most ambitious use of time, but also, ultimately, the least effective. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
3.5/4 89% Let Them All Talk (2020) Its contrast between artistic approaches and temperaments, between hiding and revealing, makes for a most amusing, engaging experience. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/4 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) "Fences" was very, very good but "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is incredible, a 94-minute whirlwind of acting genius in a story about music, power and Blackness. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
2/5 93% Hunter Hunter (2020) Undeniably well-made and brutally effective, this gory thriller soon becomes sour and ugly due to its ruthless depiction of violence toward animals; it also ultimately lacks a real point or theme. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 75% Wander Darkly (2020) This metaphysical exploration of a complex relationship may feel a little gimmicky, but the intense, intimate exploration of moments in a couple's life emerges as totally genuine. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
2/5 No Score Yet Wetware (2021) This cold, inert, misguided sci-fi story starts with a peculiar idea that never takes hold and then never really moves; it's mostly dull talk about the supposed meaning of it all. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 72% Archenemy (2020) With cool characters and costumes and a winning combination of the grim and the spirited, this snappy sci-fi story both adheres to traditional superhero themes and turns them thrillingly sideways. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 90% The Dark and the Wicked (2020) Essentially a haunted house movie, this foreboding, scary flick relies on a few old horror tricks but somehow freshens them up with its strong, vivid characters and its dark sense of the unknown. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet Monsters of Man (2020) It has its share of flaws, but this violent killer robot movie somehow manages to use its extensive running time to find interesting gray areas in between its situations and characters. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
2.5/4 27% Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) It's an odd duck, and as eagerly as I was waiting for the magic to happen, it took well over an hour for it to emerge. Many will have given up by that point. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
3.5/4 100% Minari (2020) It's evenly, softly paced and the drama is never ramped up to soap opera levels. It's a gorgeous, pleasant film that will make plenty of people happy. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 72% Greenland (2020) This uncommonly good, absolutely harrowing disaster movie elevates the stakes with its effective suggestion of international crisis and its personal touches on social status and martial discord. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
3.5/4 92% Dear Santa (2020) Filmmaker Dana Nachman, who makes uplifting, kid-friendly documentaries like 'Batkid Begins' and 'Pick of the Litter,' returns with this holiday delight, sure to inspire smiles and reaches for the tissue box. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
3.5/4 95% Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020) He's an irascible interviewee; Temple lovingly combines his footage with archival material and plenty of music to make a cautionary tale feel like a celebration. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
3.5/4 96% Nomadland (2020) Zhao's gentle, open-eyed direction blends things as well as anyone could ask for. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
2/5 40% Wander (2020) This off-the-rails paranoid thriller is so untethered -- not helped by Eckhart's unpredictable, inconsistent performance -- that it's difficult to tell whether it's taking itself seriously. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
4/5 87% Black Bear (2020) A split-personality meta-movie for film fans with a bit more contextual knowledge than average, this drama is filled with intriguing ideas, as well as thoughtful characters and potent performances. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
3.5/4 83% Mank (2020) A glorious declaration of love to the golden age of movies, and to one movie in particular. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
3/4 76% The Croods: A New Age (2020) The sequel continues the look, and also has a bright, bursting color scheme and an imaginative array of flora and fauna. [And] the story actually flows logically from the 2013 movie. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
3/4 22% Last Call (2020) The black-and-white is appealing, but also carries a desperation. It feels closed-in, and it's certainly a downer. But when Ifans reads Thomas's work at the microphone, all the stuff everyone says about him comes to life - as genius leaps off the page. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
3.5/4 99% Collective (Colectiv) (2020) In the end, it's about the ongoing battle between crusading journalists and corrupt businessmen/politicians, apparently locked in a tie. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
2/5 30% Jiu Jitsu (2020) With its preposterous story, bizarre action sequences, and performances in wildly varying pitches, this action movie is, at best, a candidate for so-bad-it's good status. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/4 81% Hearts and Bones (2020) A strong, sturdy feature directing debut by Ben Lawrence (son of filmmaker Ray), the emotionally astute drama 'Hearts and Bones' is both bold in its vision of the world and quietly respectful of its characters' needs. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
2/5 28% Vanguard (2020) Chan's globetrotting action movie features a few brief, impressive car chases and other light moments, but it's largely weighed down by poor writing, bland villains, and a nonsensical plot. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
3.5/4 97% Sound of Metal (2020) The powerful new "Sound of Metal"... works because it's really about characters and politics, emotions and empathy. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/4 29% Come Away (2020) [A] lightly charming work that gets big points for placing non-white actors in roles that have traditionally gone the other way. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
3/4 83% Freaky (2020) Coming from the director of the two clever and spirited "Happy Death Day" movies, it's fresh and lively and funny. - San Francisco Examiner EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
3/5 88% The Phenomenon (2020) Guided by Peter Coyote's smooth, authoritative narration and featuring tons of interviews and archival footage, this film on the existence of UFOs and their cover-up is unexpectedly convincing. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
4/5 98% Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds (2020) Herzog delivers another of his amazing nature documentaries that go beyond mere facts and into the cosmic, existential meaning of it all; this one, about meteorites, is glorious. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
4/5 89% The Climb (2020) Two real-life best pals explore the dark side of friendship with this impressively cinematic feature filmmaking debut that deftly combines loony humor with deeply ingrained human fears and anxiety. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
3/5 45% Fatman (2020) This strange, dark Christmas movie is a curious mix of fantasy, violence, and surprisingly few overt laughs, but it still somehow seems confident and fully committed to its wild situations. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
2/5 37% Echo Boomers (2020) This crime drama seems to want to tap into generational anxieties and provide an intoxicating release, but instead it plays like a pale, dull copy of many other movies, with blandly recycled themes. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
3.5/4 100% The Boy Behind the Door (2020) Making a gripping, hypnotic feature writing and directing debut, David Charbonier and Justin Powell's The Boy Behind the Door treads some familiar ground, but also breaks into fresh territory with its two protagonists. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2020
2/5 45% The Empty Man (2020) This long, slow-burn sci-fi tale takes its simple "urban legend" idea into ambitious territory, but, by the time it wraps up, it all makes too little sense to justify sitting through it. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2020
3/4 95% The Mortuary Collection (2019) Here's a horror anthology that's aware of how horror anthologies work. - Combustible Celluloid EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2020
2/5 38% Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020) This seventh movie in the Tremors series is interesting mainly due to Burt and a few other likable characters, but it's cheap and not particularly inventive, with little new to say. - Common Sense Media EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2020