Jessica Kiang

Jessica Kiang
Tomatometer-approved critic

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
No Score Yet So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang) (2019) The film finds, then repeatedly breaks, your heart, before a subtly momentous finale... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
No Score Yet Monsters. (Monstri.) (2019) "Monsters." is a remarkable debut - wise, compassionate, surprising - about a couple staking out their own slowly imploding marriage like it's a partially dismantled apartment with no one home. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
7 80% I Was at Home, But (Ich war zuhause, aber) (2019) It is calmly, radically mystifying, the kind of film through which there appear to run seams of subterranean logic, but follow any one and you'll only find yourself dangling off its edges. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
33% Retrospekt (2018) A fascinating experience of cinematic dysphasia. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
No Score Yet The Plagiarists (2019) A gleeful cultural curiosity fairly crackles off "The Plagiarists," and it is highly contagious. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
No Score Yet Piranhas (La paranza dei bambini) (2019) The film's prologue promises a more powerful, original experience than the "Piranhas" we get. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
100% The Ground Beneath My Feet (Der Boden unter den Füssen) (2019) Kreutzer's film [has] a depth of insight that is rare in the cinematic treatment of this most misunderstood of diseases. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
100% The River (2018) "Harmony Lessons" and "The Wounded Angel" may have established the preoccupations of this self-described trilogy, but "The River" is a downstream delta where those ideas spread and swirl in compelling, sometimes creepy combination. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
89% Light of My life (2019) Affleck wades into this treacherous morass with reckless sincerity and a depth of feeling that convinces even when the film is at its most self-indulgent. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
100% Öndög (2019) The film is largely conveyed through far-away images of novice actors given little dialogue and few closeups, yet somehow we come to know the shape of every character's heart. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
8% The Kindness of Strangers (2019) These improbable characters weave through one another's lives in maddeningly coincidental, sometimes unintentionally amusing ways which are neither magical nor realistic enough to earn the term 'magical realism'. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
81% The Nothing Factory (A Fábrica de Nada) (2017) It remains a granola-textured admixture to the end, which makes it a difficult sell. Not, perhaps, to festival audiences prepped for demandingly discursive fare, but to anyone outside those rarefied confines. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
No Score Yet Cronofobia (2018) [A] coolly assured, impressive debut... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2018
No Score Yet Wandering Girl (2018) A tenderly observed coming-of-age story, laced with careful insights about femininity and girlhood that are perhaps even more potent in being informed by Mendoza's thoughtful outsider's perspective. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
No Score Yet Until We Fall (Til vi falder) (2018) Savagely convincing, brilliantly performed... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
No Score Yet Winter's Night (2018) The performances, especially from the Seo Young-hwa as the discontented erstwhile poet Eun-ju are so sure-footed that the joinery between real and unreal, literal and metaphorical is seamless. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2018
No Score Yet Dead Women Walking (2018) Ben-Asher, in her fourth feature, strips down the story with serious-minded determination, rigorously defining the film's narrow scope and ruthlessly excising anything outside it... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
79% Blue My Mind (2017) Rather like its misleadingly punny title, "Blue My Mind" wants to work on multiple levels, but falters to become a slightly unconvincing, if well-made, single-entendre. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
B- 70% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) There are still moments, whole sequences really, that remind us of Farhadi's gift for creating extraordinary tension out of domestic drama. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
B+ No Score Yet Antonio One Two Three (António Um Dois Três) (2017) Mouramateus avoids pitfall[s] boldly, unafraid to be, of all the uncool things in this world, romantic. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
C+ 93% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) It's a beautiful, moving finale but it hardly needed all the digressions en route, which basically amount to Ceylan taking the very long (and often scenic) way round to arrive at the simple conclusion... - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
A 93% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) You do not have to have Wayuu ancestry, or any connection to the region to understand the broader implications of this epic story of haunted druglords and ruthless power grabs that are partly predicated on traditional beliefs and shibboleths. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
B 45% Generation Wealth (2018) What we get is a film that is most fun when observing the cautionary lifestyles of the once-rich and adjacent-to-famous, but most insightful when it pulls outs of the fast lane and Greenfield's eye turns inward on her own life. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
B+ No Score Yet Liquid Truth (Aos Teus Olhos) (2017) Azul Serra's crisp, desaturated handheld style feels coolly removed from the creeping hysteria it presents, but catches telling details... - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
B+ 96% Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) A film that looks beyond the Robin Williams we lost, to give us back the Robin Williams we loved. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
C 27% Red Joan (2019) It's always dangerous to wonder about what a film might have been rather than contending with what it is, but in this case what it is, is so bland, and so stolidly workmanlike in execution... - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
B+ 89% Quién te cantará (2018) There is the oddly respectful idea that obsessive fandom might actually be a place where the lost can find themselves, the poor can enrich themselves, and the timid can discover strength through impersonation - and impersonation is really all there is. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
C No Score Yet Richard Says Goodbye (2018) After of 90 anodyne minutes of competent but uninspired filmmaking, Richard finally does say goodbye, and it's hard to suppress an internal response of "what, you're still here?" - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
B+ 89% MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. (2018) If there is one note that rings clear through all the xeroxed, glitchy, abrasive background noise, it is that of authenticity and sincerity. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2018
B+ 75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) It's as tasty, throwback and low in fiber as a packet of astronaut ice cream. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
No Score Yet Through Black Spruce (2018) "Through Black Spruce" is a disengaged slog that confines its poetry to a title that nonetheless remains appropriate in one key way: The film creaks like it's made of wood. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
No Score Yet Our Body (2018) [A] promising but almost willfully obscure debut... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
78% Sew the Winter to My Skin (2018) While the project of infusing a local legend with grandly cinematic, mythic status is a worthy one, the film can't quite get out of its own way, and the result is incoherently at odds with itself... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2018
100% The Third Wife (2018) Gently dipping us into the long ago and far away past, Ash Mayfair's directorial debut brings an intimate immediacy to the re-creation of rural Vietnam in the late 19th century. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
80% Mothers' Instinct (Duelles) (2018) These perfect housewives serve each other passive aggression like petits fours and protestations of affection like they're macarons iced with arsenic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
67% Hidden Man (2018) Long before a rushed finale concludes its unnecessary 134 minutes, you may find yourself engaged by its jokiness, admiring of its action and absolutely longing for the fun to end. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
87% High Life (2019) The scope of its ambition is cleverly reined in by the low-key presentation, its more salacious potential muted down to an insistent threatening hum, like the background radiation of Stuart Staples' score. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
100% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) "Meeting Gorbachev," though consistently engaging, is less a fireworks display than a fireside chat, and so feels curiously like an opportunity missed. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
No Score Yet The Summer House (Les estivants) (2018) Tedeschi takes us on another low-stakes, lightly fictionalized tour of her dippy family's travails, with a sense of humor that manages to self-deprecate without ever actually becoming self-critical. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
38% Farming (2018) The film is remarkable for its lack of self-pity, but it makes the experience of "Farming" a merciless one for the audience too. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
50% Vita & Virginia (2018) This is a stranger and more intriguing film than it really has a right to be... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
54% Out of Blue (2019) If "Out of Blue" is meant sincerely, why is so little care given to psychology or plot? And if it's meant as pastiche, why isn't it more fun? - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
75% Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2018) A capable film featuring superbly spiky performances... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
86% Cities of Last Things (2018) The story does reward the effort it takes to unkink it, turning into an ever-decreasing circle of broken connections... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
54% The Wind (2019) "The Wind" doesn't seek to make infallible heroes of its women, but to understand and empathize with even their most unforgivable acts. And it's a hugely promising debut in terms of Tammi's steady, assured directorial craft. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2018
86% Four Hands (Die Vierhändige) (2018) An elegant thriller with unusual psychological resonance that serves as a strong calling-card for German writer-director Oliver Kienle. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
68% Kursk (2018) "Kursk" occasionally lands an emotive blow but only in its more fictionalized stretches, while it pulls its punches with the thorniest and most provocative elements of the real story... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
13% Life Itself (2018) It is sentimental and sprawling, which are not necessarily bad things, but also manipulative and contrived, which very much are. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
B 80% 22 July (2018) A profoundly affecting, assaultive experience. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
B 86% The Nightingale (2019) An undeniably overlong but beautifully imagined revenge fable. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018