Jesse Hassenger

Jesse Hassenger
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Jesse Hassenger is a Brooklyn-based writer and critic. His work can be read at The A.V. Club, Polygon, The Week, SportsAlcohol, and others. His dumb jokes can be read on Twitter @rockmarooned.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
98% Inside Out (2015) After a couple of movies that felt a little like Minor Pixar, Inside Out swings for the fences repeatedly, from its trademark emotional sensitivity to its equally trademark bang-up gag-writing. - The L Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
C+ 91% The White Tiger (2020) Despite its obvious currency, it's more yesterday than tomorrow. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
C 73% We Can Be Heroes (2021) But while he can generate countless environments from his Austin studio, the camerawork on these projects, constrained and uninspired, hints at their single-room origins. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
C 46% Fatale (2020) It's not a very good noir, but compared to, say, Taylor's Traffik, which used the existence of sex trafficking to claim it was based on "actual events," it represents substantial improvement. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
10% Songbird (2020) Songbird isn't as expensive, noisy, or misanthropic as a proper Bay film, but it's every bit as cynical, never less than when it's insisting that this is a hopeful pandemic story. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
B- 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) It's almost a stranger movie than the filmmakers seem to realize, which gives it a bittersweet edge. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
82% Mank (2020) Mank luxuriates in its dreamy atmosphere. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2020
26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Both Close and Adams have already assured their respective legacies. Unfortunately, no one seems to have told Hillbilly Elegy this. It seems custom-designed to win one or both of them an Oscar, and makes everyone involved look worse in the process. - The Week EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
C- 32% Superintelligence (2019) Though nominally a sci-fi comedy, Superintelligence gives viewers almost nothing to look at beyond its appealing actors, often shot in soft focus. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2020
D+ 57% The Prom (2020) For an earnest tribute to the life-changing power of acceptance, The Prom doesn't seem especially interested in accepting Emma as an individual person. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2020
B- 77% The Croods: A New Age (2020) That The Croods: A New Age is both entertaining and utterly superfluous does feel like a sort of evolution for DreamWorks Animation: They've got nothing left to knock off but themselves. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
C- 68% The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020) Columbus can shake it up with as much mayhem as his heart desires, but the movie always settles back down to the same static scene. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
B- 83% Freaky (2020) Even when Freaky doesn't live up to its full potential, there's still something oddly satisfying about unmasking a slasher movie to reveal the '80s comedy lurking underneath. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
B- 83% Let Him Go (2020) Let Him Go is... skillfully made, even as it teeters between elegiac post-western restraint and shameless pulp. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2020
86% On The Rocks (2020) For this lonely moment, On the Rocks feels right. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
B- 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is frequently funny and occasionally pointed, more than enough to recommend it as a comedy. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
99% Totally Under Control (2020) Working with fellow directors Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, [Alex] Gibney has delivered a swiftly paced chronicle of history in the making, rich in both immediacy and uncertainty. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2020
No Score Yet The Show (2020) It's difficult to begrudge Moore the chance to follow his creative muse on screen, especially when he pays such specific tribute to where he grew up. In this case, it's also difficult to care much about his whims. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
24% Books of Blood (2020) Most closely resembles a 1980s horror anthology like Cat's Eye, only with more narrative ambition and less overall spooky-story satisfaction. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2020
C+ 52% Hubie Halloween (2020) There is something half-satisfying and pacifying about Hubie Halloween. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2020
C+ 83% Scare Me (2020) Just as often, it makes the movie itself feel like a single anthology episode overstaying its welcome. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2020
C 90% Enola Holmes (2020) The Arthur Conan Doyle estate needn't fret over unauthorized cribbing. All that's really left of Holmes here is the name. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2020
C 60% Blackbird (2020) [A]s superficially sad as the story is willing to get, Blackbird would rather stir up melodrama than produce something genuinely confrontational. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2020
D 24% The Binge (2020) Even the occasional funny line grows wearying, because nothing in this movie happens for any real reason. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
C+ 72% An American Pickle (2020) The film fails to build its laughs into substantial comic momentum, or even construct many substantial scenes. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2020
70% Amulet (2020) All the actors are ultimately forced to play into a strategy of leaving key motivations unspoken (and sometimes obtuse even when they are spoken), and eventually the movie suffers. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2020
91% Relic (2020) The movie's actual horror imagery is pretty familiar... that familiarity, working in tandem with the movie's emotional realism and the fine, restrained performances from Mortimer and Heathcote, all give the creepiness a psychological weight. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020
B- 63% Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Eurovision falls well short of a laugh a minute, but it has some uproarious moments that something like Holmes & Watson lacked. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
C- 48% My Spy (2020) Bautista commits to the dad jokes, and young Chloe Coleman holds her own, but both actors are ultimately wandering through the mists of a movie that isn't fully there. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
40% You Should Have Left (2020) Bacon, Seyfried, and Essex put in their best efforts, but much of Left feels diagrammed and plotted out, rather than experienced. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
87% Shirley (2020) While Shirley doesn't offer a lot of insight into the specifics of the writing process, it's at least able to visualize and physicalize that process, and the toll it takes on an author who's also dealing with expectations about how women should behave. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2020
C- No Score Yet The Last Days of American Crime (2020) The filmmakers' ideological muddle reads as cynically opportunistic as any of the actual characters. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2020
78% Blood Machines (2019) More traditionally-minded viewers might not be able to stop themselves from asking... whether there's a more conventional framework for these visuals, one that will make the story and the emotions as compelling as the effects. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
25% Inheritance (2020) By the time Inheritance's final stretch reaches the nuttier levels it needed... any goodwill generated by its grabby premise and Pegg's charisma has been depleted. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2020
47% Scoob! (2020) Scoob! isn't nearly as good as Mystery Incorporated, which evinces a genuine horror influence while still working as a kids' show, but it feels comfortable with itself. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2020
B 98% Fourteen (2020) Life is a series of accumulations, and Fourteen is smart about how friendships can, in a strange way, deepen even as they dissolve. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2020
61% My Bloody Valentine 3-D (2009) As a movie, it isn't particularly accomplished (I can't imagine the 2-D version offering much fun); as moviegoing, however, it offers horror fans an old-fashioned ride. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
C- 44% Robert the Bruce (2019) It's as if the filmmakers became convinced that without an obligatory cast of faceless moving pieces, it simply wouldn't count as historical fiction. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
B- 71% Trolls World Tour (2020) Whether it's Sam Rockwell doing a down-home drawl or Anna Kendrick singing a few bars of a troll-centric riff on "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Trolls World Tour throws everything at its disposal into the air. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2020
C- 20% Coffee & Kareem (2020) Do the people who made Coffee & Kareem think that it's a refreshing throwback? How can they not know that these kinds of movies happen all the time, and sometimes even make sense? - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2020
57% The Hunt (2020) It's eclipsed by an unavoidably moneyed perspective that presumes privileged people are inherently liberal, rather than attacking the hypocrisy of rich liberals in particular. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
29% Bloodshot (2020) Most of its ridiculous conviction comes from Diesel. He's given plenty of better performances, but here he's especially convincing in the role of a guy who legitimately believes he has nothing better to do. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
83% The Way Back (2020) Affleck does fine, sensitive work in this role, seemingly attuned to the routines and comforts of alcoholism. The movie is both enhanced and limited by his star power. - The Week EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
B 98% Extra Ordinary (2020) Some jokes may dissipate quickly, but its unusual warmth lingers in the air like a friendly ghost. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020
B+ 92% The Invisible Man (2020) Whannell's Invisible Man is a sleek upgrade of his past horror work... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2020
C+ 10% Brahms: The Boy II (2020) The Boy II ultimately could have gone weirder, further, and faster (even at a slim 86 minutes). - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
7% Fantasy Island (2020) Plainly put, it isn't very good. Yet there's something disposably entertaining about its mercenary approach. - Polygon EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
38% Downhill (2020) For all of its unwillingness to go blackly comic, Downhill is a well-observed character dramedy, and Louis-Dreyfus makes a lot of its observations. - The Week EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
92% The Assistant (2020) The Assistant is a detailed day-in-the-life portrait of office drudgery, but it has the tension of a thriller... And does a powerful job immersing the audience in a toxic workplace. - The Week EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
C 12% The Turning (2020) In a movie as utterly lost as The Turning, everything from the performances to the production design to the music cues amount to one big pile of dirty mirrors and doll parts. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2020