Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Jeffrey Overstreet's first book about his career as a film critic--"Through a Screen Darkly"--is now available at Amazon.com and fine bookstores everywhere. Publisher's Weekly gave the book a coveted "Starred Review." His first novel--"Auralia's Colors"--is due from Random House in Sept. '07. Jeffrey publishes frequent film and music reviews at LookingCloser.org and lookingcloser.wordpress.com, and reviews films for Christianity Today, Paste, Risen, and Seattle Pacific University's "Response" Magazine.
Favorites:
Wings of Desire, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Three Colors: Blue, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Code Unknown, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Apocalypse Now Redux, The New World, The Fisher King, Midnight Run, Blade Runner, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Stevie, Down by Law, Into Great Silence.
Location: Shoreline, Washington
Official Websites: http://lookingcloser.org

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B+ 98% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Zhao's harrowing silences and penetrating stares suggest subterranean turmoil -- appropriate given the important scenic backdrop: a lush, green, dormant volcano. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
A 87% Chungking Express (1996) These flirtations may be as glossy and shallow as the soundtrack's pop songs, but they represent longings for magic, for transcendence, as deep as any 'California Dreamin'.' - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
B+ 98% The Man Without a Past (2002) With its rusty railroads and dingy metal canisters where the downtrodden dwell, [this film] finds color, surprise, and joy in the simplicity of struggling Helsinki outcasts. - Christianity Today EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
A 97% The Incredibles (2004) Kids are going to love it, and ... their parents will love it even more. Packaging [the film] as family fun, Bird baits grownups into family therapy. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
B 63% I Heart Huckabees (2004) Russell directs with the ambition of Altman and the nervous energy of Paul Thomas Anderson, and his script sounds like it was co-written by Howard Hawks and Charlie Kaufman. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
B+ 66% Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) He's sure to offend viewers who don't see the humor in such stuff. [But Ron Burgundy] highlights the truth about television news. It's entertainment disguised as information. - Christianity Today EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
C 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Cooper leaps from one All Caps Scene to another. It's like we're watching a lengthy, spoiler-packed trailer of a longer movie's major moments. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
B 97% The Hate U Give (2018) Its eagerness to educate and inspire keeps breaking the spell of its storytelling. ... [But as] preachy productions go, this is a stirring sermon that has me saying 'Amen!' - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
B 88% Madeline's Madeline (2018) It's a cautionary tale about visionaries who see everything, including the sufferings of others, as 'material' - and who forget the importance of telling the truth in love. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
A 100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) A tremendous and sobering work. It honors those who gave up their own free lives that many more might be born into their own. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
C 91% Widows (2018) This thing doesn't have the luxury of time; it can't develop the characters or complexity it needs. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2018
B+ 87% First Man (2018) As when he made Whiplash and La La Land, Chazelle is interested in what compels some to reach for the stars ... perhaps even more in what it costs those who do. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
B+ 83% Puzzle (2018) Kelly Macdonald shines in the lead. Her face is a powerfully expressive text ... representing hairpin turns of understanding and decision that are always convincing. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
B- 91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) The camera ogles over the dresses, the jewelry, the houses, the cars, the feasts ... with a determination to render us helpless by sheer relentlessness. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
A 99% Eighth Grade (2018) It's like Burnham had the film tested for authenticity by real eighth graders. ... It ends with my favorite big-screen conversation of the year, a joy in its spontaneity. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
A+ 98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Neville makes a quiet movie about a quiet man. ... [It] plays like a vivid, urgent beacon from a lighthouse during a storm. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
B 91% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) If I stumble onto Hearts Beat Loud on TV, I'll probably decide to 'watch a few minutes' and end up watching to the end. It's just so easy, enjoyable, and cost-free. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ 96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) You might begin to wonder if this isn't a documentary at all, but an unnervingly lifelike sci-fi/horror film. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ 90% Prospect (2018) What might be the film's most powerful advantage is its Pacific Northwest rainforest setting. ... If Terrence Malick were making hardcore science fiction films, they would look a lot like this. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ 100% Leave No Trace (2018) Leave No Trace immerses us in rugged and rain-saturated terrain, where it is easy to get lost and even easier to get into trouble. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2018
A- 97% The Rider (2018) The Rider has a wisdom all its own. ... It becomes a film about how the pain of loss and disappointment enables us to bear one another's burdens. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2018
A- 94% Incredibles 2 (2018) Just as Elastigirl is stretched past recognition and restored to her proper definition, this is Brad Bird's demonstration of spectacular flexibility -- and a return to form. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2018
C 69% Ocean's 8 (2018) Soderbergh's movies live on the Ebert principle: 'The movie isn't about what it is about -- it's about how it is about it.' But Ross's film lacks any interesting 'how.' - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2018
B+ 93% First Reformed (2018) A rare and intriguing example of theological inquiry in American cinema ... driven by an aching conscience. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2018
C 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) File Solo under 'Frivolous Fan Fiction.' ... The starship streaking into light speed here is strictly the millennials' Falcon. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2018
B+ 90% Isle of Dogs (2018) A new high in Anderson's visual pageantry ... [but it] is also, for me, the least affecting Anderson narrative. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2018
B+ 88% The Post (2018) It's a sentimental, hagiographic history lesson ... but [moviegoers] would do well to studyhow the electricity intensifies, scene by scene, in a way we rarely experience. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2018
B+ 91% Good Time (2017) In his monstrous compulsion to lure others into his schemes, drain them of resources, and cast them aside, Connie's the first real vampire that Robert Pattinson has played. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2017
B+ 92% Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Watts and Company give us a new Parker and a new Spider-Man entirely sufficient to the task of course-correcting and extending the webslinger's adventures on the big screen. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2017
B+ 89% Maudie (2017) Shines as a substantial illustration that love can take root even in the context of failure, frailty, and poverty --in fact, those things just might be what make it possible. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2017
B+ 92% Dunkirk (2017) It's high on noise, chaos, and anxiety, and low on visual poetry. [But] it provides a necessary corrective to the dangerous machismo of most war films. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2017
A- 98% Get Out (2017) Peele comforts the afflicted ... and he afflicts the rest of us, the comfortable, who often perpetuate racist behaviors and vocabularies even when we have the best intentions. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2017
B 98% Don't Think Twice (2016) Even when Birbiglia's storylines takepredictable turns, he finds the most discomforting way to make those turns. And yet none of the anxiety or awkwardness feels forced. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2017
A- 80% Personal Shopper (2017) Once again, [Stewart plays] a personal assistant who loses herself by supporting somebody else. ... It's a self-effacing performance made of raw nerves. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2017
A- 71% The Unknown Girl (La fille inconnue) (2017) Doctor Jenny Davin is one of those rare characters who proves that a protagonist can be conscientious, humble, empathetic, quiet ... and compelling. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2017
B 93% Baby Driver (2017) Wright calibrates the noises of sirens, squealing brakes, even gunshots to participate in its pop-to-punk playlists, bringing new bursts of inspiration to familiar tracks. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2017
B+ 93% Wonder Woman (2017) Wonder Woman is not just exciting to watch -- she Wonder-fully undermines DC Comics' endorsement of vigilante justice and glorified bloodshed. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2017
A 92% A Quiet Passion (2017) At heart, this film is less about -- The art of poetry -- And more about life lived for truth -- And not mere piety. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2017
B 43% Song to Song (2017) The scenery is more interesting than the movie stars moving through it -- until we're blessed by this Malick movie's version of a priest: punk rock high priestess Patti Smith. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2017
B- 83% A United Kingdom (2017) Fortunately for moviegoers, Assante's two leads are so adorable and charismatic together that it's easy to root for them. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2017
A- 90% The Lego Batman Movie (2017) It's a rare thing to see a movie that spoofs all of the others in its genre while beating them at their own game. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2017
A+ 96% Paterson (2016) Paterson's bus is non-articulated, but he's as articulate as they come. ... Think Taxi Driver reimagined by Fred Rogers. - Christianity Today EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2017
A 97% The Fits (2016) Its ambiguities make possible a fusion of dread and intrigue that reminds us of ways in which we've experienced adolescence, alienation, rites of passage, or self-discovery. - Christianity Today EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2017
99% Cameraperson (2016) This is poetic cinema par excellence. - Christianity Today EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2017
97% 13th (2016) With startling interviews, ugly statistics, kinetically charged animation, and shocking man-on-the-street footage of American history, 13th reintroduces Americans to their very own criminal justice system. - Christianity Today EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2016
B 86% Sully (2016) This is a quietly powerful story about the importance of mastering, rather than surrendering to, machines. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2016
A- 75% The BFG (2016) Feels like it's made by someone who has rediscovered the joy of reading fairy tales, and who has remembered what it's like to go wandering for the sake of discovery. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2016
B+ 96% Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) While I could go on and on about what good company Neill and Dennison are, it's an actress named Rima Te Wiata who works the most magic. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2016
A- 95% Sing Street (2016) It's like Say Anything meets Billy Elliott meets The Commitments - in the best possible way. ... Joy is the film's reason for being, and joy wins the day. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2016
B+ 94% Finding Dory (2016) Despite the familiar narrative scaffolding ... the most memorable joys of the journey are the things that artists undoubtedly discovered in the course of spontaneous play. - Looking Closer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016