Jessica Kiang

Jessica Kiang
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet Aga's House (Shpia e Agës) (2019) [Zeqiraj's] terrific ensemble embraces the challenge of embodying these very real, frequently unlikable, damaged but resilient characters. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
No Score Yet Mosul (2019) "Mosul" often feels like "Call of Duty" interrupted by the occasional call to prayer. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
No Score Yet Gloria Mundi (2019) Robert Guédiguian reunites his regular repertory for a heartfelt, gently scathing take on the gig economy and the generational divide. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
80% Ema (2019) The cinema of what-the-hell-did-I-just-watch uncategorisability has a new title for its pantheon. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
44% Saturday Fiction (Lan xin da ju yuan) (2019) As though to compensate for having far too many characters, Ma Yingi's script skimps on characterization - no one here has any defining personality trait except untrustworthiness. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
No Score Yet Balloon (Qiqiu) (2019) Both a gorgeously intimate family drama and an idiosyncratic artistic statement flecked with humor and sorrow, but alive always to the co-existence of the banal with the spiritual. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
6 83% Ad Astra (2019) A sometimes thrilling and always beautiful 2.7 billion-mile odyssey, in which somehow, there's just not enough space. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2019
B 47% The Laundromat (2019) The Laundromat is breezy, unsubtle, and disposable. Soderbergh has almost no peer in terms of simply knowing where to put the camera for maximum visual variety. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
No Score Yet Adults in the Room (2019) The film is worthily intended, meticulously researched and very dull. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
B+ 76% Joker (2019) This is the world post-Joker and with nothing but shaky-breathed respect for the filmmaking and storytelling achievement it represents, God help us all. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019
B 74% The Truth (La vérité) (2019) The Truth is a witty, meta dramedy about self-mythologizing, a portrait of a wonderfully impossible woman, and a vehicle for a stellar late-career performance from Catherine Deneuve. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2019
40% A Rainy Day in New York (2019) Despite featuring some of the best actors of their respective generations, "A Rainy Day in New York" feels like a film born of profound creative exhaustion. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
100% Real Love (C'est ça l'amour) (2018) For any father who ever loved his child, or any child who ever loved their father, "Real Love" brings real joy. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
No Score Yet Zizotek (2019) "Zizotek" has an uncanny shimmer to its storytelling: It slips unnoticed from genre to genre like a quiet child moving between rooms trying not to disturb the adults. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2019
No Score Yet Passed by Censor (Gorulmustur) (2019) "Passed by Censor" is comparatively meek in relating Zakir's pathology to the wider circumstances that fostered it, and so while it engages as a thriller, it lacks its touchpoints' grainy, subversive vitality. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2019
No Score Yet The Bull (Byk) (2019) Tania's worldliness, her pragmatism in dating a wealthy foreigner she does not love but who offers her the possibility of escape may itself be schematic... but it does help ground the "The Bull" in the limbo-like hopelessness of its time and place. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
No Score Yet The Fading Village (Chun qu dong lai) (2019) This place and this way of life may be dying, but Liu's gorgeous first film staves off the fading-away for just a few moments. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
No Score Yet Mosaic Portrait (Ma Sai Ke Shao Nv) (2019) There is so much more to the protagonist than helpless victimhood, and it is this invested respect for her juddering, spiky development that makes "Mosaic Portrait" so unusual a depiction of teenager, not only in a Chinese context, but abroad too. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
100% The Father (Bashtata) (2019) [T]he offbeat, heartfelt "The Father" may not always give us what we want, but it makes sure we get what we need. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
No Score Yet Nova Lituania (2019) An inventive exploration of last-ditch idealism vs. fatalistic pragmatism, given more allegorical power by containing within itself its own allegory. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2019
100% Monsoon (2019) A graceful and truthfully irresolute investigation into the strange, often poignantly unreciprocated relationship that many first- and second-generation emigrants have with the far-off foreign country of the past. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
No Score Yet Vortex (2019) Slick, sellable but also deeply forgettable... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
No Score Yet The Fall (2018) This deceptively rich debut is as outwardly unassuming as they come. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
70% The Wolf Hour (2019) "The Wolf Hour" tries to make a five-course meal of the merest morsel, leaving Watts, on eminently watchable form, to grind her teeth on a role far less meaty than it ought to have been. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
86% We Are Little Zombies (2019) Explosively ingenious and energetic... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2019
No Score Yet Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light (2019) A film that in its way is as charmingly old-fashioned as the beloved Chaplin, Keaton and Johnny Weissmuller classics it celebrates. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
90% The Good Girls (Las niñas bien) (2018) Not since George Cukor's "The Women" has the competitive dynamic among a group of wives been as minutely dissected as here, at least not on the big screen... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
No Score Yet The Paradise (2019) With this rich, deeply felt, authentically mounted social issues drama, it feels like Liao has found his vocation... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
No Score Yet My Dear Friend (2018) At first a gritty tale of feckless men abandoning their families and women grown hard and mistrustful in their absence, "My Dear Friend" morphs imperceptibly into a poetic fable far weirder and yet more satisfying. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2019
68% Three Peaks (2019) A tense, gripping, expertly made three-hander that tests conflicting ideas of fatherhood in the crucible of a mountainside vacation. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
75% Particles (Les particules) (2019) [A] beautiful, exceptionally crafted, intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying debut... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
100% Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (2019) An elegant, occasionally inspired debut that more than earns our anticipation for the vista we'll uncover with the next turn of the scroll. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
95% The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019) As much fun as it is to watch Lee beat people up and strut around in shiny pinstripe suits, it's just as much of a pleasure to watch him think it all through. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
100% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) "First Love" is mostly remarkable for renewing once again the apparently infinitely renewable resource that is Miike's filmmaking energy. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
100% The Burial of Kojo (2019) Though the film deals in tragedy, its sheer cinematic exuberance is immensely hopeful. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
17% Summer of Changsha (Liu yu tian) (2019) Trapped in a muddy, deterministic plot, hurting, guilt-ridden characters bond tenuously while a seasonal heat wave makes everyone torpid and irritable, and generally no one seems to have much fun, least of all the audience. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
No Score Yet Land of Ashes (Ceniza Negra) (2019) An arrestingly beautiful coming-of-age story that unfolds like the dreamy incantation of a spell, or a bedside prayer murmured over clasped hands. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
56% Nina Wu (Zhuo ren mi mi) (2019) Z and Wu Kexi's bravery in refusing to neaten and de-clutter an impossibly untidy issue should not be underestimated. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
60% Yves (2019) Smart fridge; dumb movie. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
No Score Yet The Bare Necessity (Perdrix) (2019) A breezy little sweetheart of a debut that threatens to give the rather ominous description "quirky French romantic comedy" a good name. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
100% To Live to Sing (2019) Zhao makes the transition from heavily painted, ornamented, and arcanely codified stage performer to subtle, natural, and wholly heartbreaking screen presence with exceptional grace. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
No Score Yet The Cordillera of Dreams (La Cordillera de los Sueños) (2019) Taken as a completed project, Guzmán's late-career trinity is a stunning achievement in the cinema of the hidden pattern and the startling, unexpected connection. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) The elegance lasts oh-so-damn-near the film's whole buzzy, blissful run-time, before we crash out in a somehow inevitable blaze of gratuitous bad taste. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
100% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Bong is back and on brilliant form, but he is unmistakably, roaringly furious, and it registers because the target is so deserving, so enormous, so 2019: "Parasite" is a tick fat with the bitter blood of class rage. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
100% Black Mother (2019) Allah, who directed, shot, edited, and co-scored the film, avoids the literal and the linear to create a beguilingly immersive, multifaceted, vividly sensorial portrait of his mother's homeland, Jamaica. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
A 94% The Lighthouse (2019) Its reimagining of the hysterical psychodrama as the province not of women, in whose febrile brains such tales have traditionally been located, but of men, it's shimmeringly contemporary, and has real long-game sustain. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
86% The Whistlers (2019) As a low-key romp with a twisty, globetrotting plot "The Whistlers" is an enjoyable affair with just enough of a slant to feel a little offbeat. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
88% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2019) "The Wild Goose Lake" may just end up being the last word in Chinese crime noir, because it does not want (or need) to be anything else. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
100% Beanpole (Dylda) (2019) You quite often have to remind yourself to breathe. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
75% A Brother's Love (La femme de mon frère) (2019) Beneath the film's soapier turns, and despite its more strident moments, there is a small dose of bittersweet wisdom here about the dangers inherent in entrusting one person - whomever it might be - with sole custody of your self-worth. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019