Jessica Kiang

Jessica Kiang
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Family Members (Los miembros de la familia) (2019) A precise, but slightly enervating portrait of two people struggling to regain some sense of connection while being trapped in about six different layers of limbo. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2020
88% Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019) A fine farewell - this time they mean it - to Yen's serenely super-skilled sifu. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
86% Only Cloud Knows (2019) Schematic and manipulative as it is... "Only Cloud Knows" is, in the moment, undeniably effective at jerking tears. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2019
78% My Zoe (2019) [Delpy's] risk-taking is admirable, and given the excellent craft, never less than engaging to watch, but it does not always pay off. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2019
B+ 67% Anton Corbijn Inside Out (2012) [It] takes a more impressionistic, intimate approach to the celebrated photographer and filmmaker, and in the process creates a thoughtful film that is as much an homage to the creative process as it is a tribute to a man. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
No Score Yet Wisdom Tooth (2019) Slippery and surprising, full of odd details and insights, and leaching significant visual and thematic texture from its unusual setting, Liang Ming's "Wisdom Tooth" must be one of the year's most remarkable debuts. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
100% Bellbird (2019) A pleasantly heartwarming way to spend 96 undemanding minutes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
100% Buoyancy (2019) A taut and urgent message movie that tracks with pounding single-mindedness the horror of human trafficking... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
No Score Yet Over the Sea (2019) Uneven but finally deeply affecting and strange... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
60% Two/One (2019) The rare example of an exceptionally well-made film, from an undeniably talented filmmaker, in which everything works beautifully except the central premise, which doesn't work at all. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2019
100% Better Days (2019) Gripping, superbly performed melodrama... deeply moving if occasionally overwrought... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
100% A Dark-Dark Man (2019) A staggeringly controlled, slow-burn scorcher of a crime thriller. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
20% Chicuarotes (2019) The insurmountable flaws baked in to Augusto Mendoza's screenplay leave a sour taste after the adrenaline subsides. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
No Score Yet Mindanao (2019) Despite Santos' best efforts, there is little of substance to be gained from such mechanistic emotional pummeling... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
92% To the Ends of the Earth (Tabi no Owari Sekai no Hajimari) (2019) An insightful and ambivalent interrogation of the strange and often compromised experience that is cultural tourism in the mass media age. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
92% Antigone (2019) A contemporary spin on the Greek tragedy that feels refreshingly liberated by the spirit of Sophocles' original material, rather than slavishly devoted to its letter. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
No Score Yet Talking the Pictures (2019) [A] joyously entertaining, inventively plotted, beautifully shot farce... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
No Score Yet Valley of Souls (Tantas almas) (2019) All of the considerable artistry of "Valley of Souls" goes toward making it so completely immersive you can forget there's artifice at all. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
93% Jallikattu (2019) Consider the idiom "bull in a china shop" put on notice, while "buffalo in an Indian village" waits, hoofs stomping, in the wings. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
No Score Yet The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time (2019) The slow build of "The Horse Thieves" eventually creates something larger than itself... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
93% Monos (2019) An experience at once jagged and lyrical, brutal and beautiful, angry and abstract, scattered and wholly singular. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2019
100% Rialto (2019) "Rialto" builds an intimate portrait of masculine crisis, illuminated by two extraordinary central performances, but stops just short of converting all that insight into truly powerful cinema. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
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
60% Mosul (2020) "Mosul" often feels like "Call of Duty" interrupted by the occasional call to prayer. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
56% 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
84% 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
54% 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
100% 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 84% 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 42% 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
50% Adults in the Room (2019) The film is worthily intended, meticulously researched and very dull. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
B+ 69% 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 81% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) 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
60% 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
90% 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
50% 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
88% 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