Jessica Kiang

Jessica Kiang
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet Murina (2021) Makes the compelling case that even without labyrinthine murder plots or hard-bitten private eyes, a young girl's passage into adulthood can be the perfect, darkly dazzling vehicle for a sunshine noir. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
100% Onoda - 10 000 Nights in the Jungle (2021) Harari never goes for easy pathos without counterbalancing it with the human cost of Onoda's monomaniacal zeal, his semi-mystical devotion to a duty that died decades before. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
83% Lamb (2021) A film that proves just how far disbelief can be suspended if you're in the hands of a director - and a cast, and an SFX/puppetry department - who really commit to the bit. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2021
100% In Front of Your Face (2021) The substitution of Chinese liquor for soju is only the most minor change in Hong Sangsoo's latest, subtly different delight. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2021
100% Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de fuego) (2021) A darkly dazzling dream of life in the cartel-blighted Mexican hinterlands. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2021
A- 94% Titane (2021) Ducournau's filmmaking is as pure as her themes are profane: to add insult to the very many injuries inflicted throughout, "Titane" is gorgeous to look at, to listen to, to obsess over, and fetishize. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2021
A- 83% Petrov's Flu (2021) "Petrov's Flu" is mainly a work of pure, gross, mindboggling cinema, a 146-minute exercise in sustained lunacy, irony and catastrophist thinking that no amount of Nyquil can soothe. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2021
B+ 100% Vortex (2021) Death, may not be very pleasant but, sedate and dignified and swathed in vaguely biblical white sheets, it doesn't get anything like the bad press that old age does in Gaspar Noé's "Vortex." - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2021
73% Casablanca Beats (2021) It's perhaps a little glib to make a choral event of a hip-hop musical when hip-hop is so much a medium for individual creative expression... but it's hard to argue when the results are this energetic, this empowering and this irresistibly youthful. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
11% The Story of My Wife (2021) "Story" falls into every trap of the over-reverential adaptation: individual scenes go on too long, there are far too many of them, and everyone sounds like they're reading when they speak. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
75% Nitram (2021) The intense discomfort of this nitroglycerine meditation on what makes a mass murderer is exactly that of watching a lit firework burn down in your hand toward its gunpowder base, unable to let go of it, transfixed by its snapping sparks. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
No Score Yet Robust (Robuste) (2021) An aging movie star bonds with his minder despite having apparently little in common in this supremely well-performed French feature debut. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2021
100% The Innocents (2021) This superior chiller is both a satisfying genre exercise and a minute observation of the process by which young children acquire morality... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
70% Compartment No. 6 (2021) "Compartment No. 6" evokes a powerful nostalgia for a type of loneliness we don't really have any more, and for the type of love that was its cure. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
A- 86% The French Dispatch (2021) "The French Dispatch" is a work of such unparalleled Andersonian wit, that at times the sheer level of detail - mobile, static, graphic and typographic - that bedecks the screen will slacken your jaw in awe. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
C 77% Bergman Island (2021) Absolutely nothing of any consequence happens in the director's first Cannes Competition title. And then it happens twice. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
B+ 84% Benedetta (2021) "Benedetta" is a hoot, but, unlike the virgin dildo, and unlike Verhoeven's last brilliant provocation "Elle," it isn't particularly penetrating. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
72% Ahed's Knee (Le genou d'Ahed) (2021) Quite possibly brilliant, and very definitely all but unbearable, "Ahed's Knee" is filmmaking as hostage-taking. If such language seems charged, this is Nadav Lapid: All language is charged. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2021
91% The Witches of the Orient (2021) Here, absent that added dimension, the intriguing flourishes and meditative montages don't fully cohere with the underdog-sports-movie narrative, leaving "Witches" slightly less than the sum of its parts - but what frequently wonderful parts they are. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2021
90% Les nôtres (2021) An enraging film astringent enough to peel the paint from the façade of virtue propped up by the small-town Quebecois community in which it takes place. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2021
67% We Need to Do Something (2021) When, late in the film, a phone's "Never Gonna Give You Up" ringtone sounds out, it's hard to escape the suspicion we've been Rickrolled. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
B- 98% Sweat (2020) [A] well-made, good-looking, and engagingly performed film. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
100% All My Friends Hate Me (2021) A funny, horrible, ordeal-by-comedy that may prove uncomfortably recognizable to anyone who has ever wondered why on earth every single other person in the room is behaving like such a knob. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
75% Monuments (2021) With such a zippy rhythm, nothing has time to overstay its welcome, a quality that extends right across the film's snappy 94 minutes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
1.5/5 68% New Order (Nuevo orden) (2021) As a container for Franco's sloshing cynicism, New Order is just as leaky as anything he's made, but on a much larger scale. This time, it leaks all over us too. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
14% American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally (2021) Clumsy, campy and kitsch, but also deadeningly dull for long stretches... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2021
66% Sound of Violence (2021) "Sound of Violence" boasts perhaps the greatest giallo premise that Dario Argento never dreamed up. It's just a shame that Noyer decides that it isn't enough. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
63% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) "Those Who Wish Me Dead" - an enjoyable, absorbing, characterful testament to shuffling the whole deck of genre conventions, and then politely setting it on fire. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2021
2/5 61% Profile (2021) We're left in a strangely artificial, airless, and impossible point of view, which is designed to mimic how we interact with the world through our screens but doesn't actually do that at all. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
4/5 95% Riders of Justice (2021) Such wild zigzags in tone ought not to work at all. And yet they do, thanks to Jensen's calm, slightly wry command of the story, and a cast that have all understood the assignment, even when their respective assignments are all quite different. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
3.5/5 93% The Perfect Candidate (2020) The Perfect Candidate is fresh and hopeful not just because of the series of rather schematic triumphs that its narrative describes, but because it is a specific portrait. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2021
3/5 78% The Water Man (2021) The actor's directorial career is certainly off to a clean-lined, competent start. But it's hard to shake the feeling that this is the sort of film that fond parents wish their children would love, as opposed to a film their children actually will love. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2021
No Score Yet The Last Shelter (2021) An arresting, artful, fragmentary portrait of a place of temporary refuge for migrants crossing Africa in pursuit of modest dreams. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2021
80% Cliff Walkers (2021) By design or otherwise, "Cliff Walkers" isn't political enough to offend, or moving enough to last, but it is beautiful enough to pass the time pleasurably. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2021
98% The Paper Tigers (2021) With only a couple of clicks of the dial and a little dash of hybrid vigor, the hackneyed can be made fresh again, a point proven by Tran Quoc Bao's silly and special little kung fu comedy "The Paper Tigers." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2021
No Score Yet Children of the Enemy (2021) A taut and necessary addition to a growing corpus of documentaries, including "Sabaya" and "The Return: Life After ISIS," that put faces onto the too-often faceless processes of post-ISIS international policymaking. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2021
100% The Gig is Up (2021) A spry, engaging doc with more breadth than depth in its examination of the effects of the exploding gig economy on gig workers worldwide. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
No Score Yet Life of Ivanna (2021) What the fable means, and whether the intimidating, irreducible Ivanna might somehow understand it, are questions this elusive yet hard-edged work does not answer. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
100% Me and the Cult Leader (Aganai) (2020) [A] film made all the more heartbreaking because you can never be quite sure who your heart is breaking for. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2021
3/5 91% Together Together (2021) That the softness of the whole endeavor never quite turns to squish is a lot to do with how naturally the principals underplay it and how genuine their G-rated chemistry seems. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
77% Stowaway (2021) An engrossing and surprisingly touching addition to a genre already bursting with splashier, more extravagant and more overtly sentimental titles. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
92% All Light, Everywhere (2021) A superb if sinister example of how the outwardly modest essay format can deploy arguments that challenge us to unpick our most basic assumptions. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2021
97% Gunda (2020) Beyond its value as a meditation on animal captivity and cruelty... this is a film that pays attention to things we've long neglected and to in-between interludes we have forgotten how to see. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2021
89% Reefa (2021) Paints over the colors, creativity and chaos of its true-life tragedy with layers of film-convention formula. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2021
21% Thunder Force (2021) Even the most randomly chosen test audience of wine moms and Ritalin-addled tweens could brainstorm something funnier, sharper, better than this. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) This fourth entry in Legendary Pictures' Monsterverse is as dumb as the franchise has ever been. Only this time it knows it and leans into it. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2021
100% The Return: Life After ISIS (2021) Sotorra's film is put together with remarkable poise and intelligence, considering the fraught territory it traverses. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2021
100% Subjects of Desire (2021) A nimble, idea-packed doc that acts as an excellent primer on Blackness and the beauty ideal. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2021
100% The World After Us (2021) Such engaging, well-drawn characters are a pleasure to spend time with, and Salah-Cazanas has a bright future behind the camera... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
98% Playing with Sharks (2021) An enjoyable if by-the-numbers breeze through the remarkable life of Valerie Taylor, an ardent pioneer of marine wildlife conservation. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021