Jim Laczkowski

Jim Laczkowski
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Voices & Visions

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
82% Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) I've yet to see a Mike Flanagan film I didn't appreciate and although this isn't a passion project and more of a work-for-hire, he still brings his A-game and combines scares with pathos - it's a superior improvement over the original. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
100% They Live by Night (1948) Might be the best debut feature in movie history. A stunning examination of intimacy mixed with apprehension that showcases why Nicholas Ray is one of the all-time greats. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
91% Phantom Thread (2018) One of the best movies of the past ten years. Granted, I think everything PTA does is up my alley, but this one particularly strikes all the right chords and says a lot about co-dependence. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
70% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Farhardi seems incapable of making something unworthy of attention or interest, yet the consistency seems left behind. This time, the story doesn't always ring with domestic truths despite reliably great performances. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
94% Transit (2019) Petzold continues to prove he knows how to craft a compelling story and conclude it with grace and ease. Suspense derives from character interaction and decision-making that may or may not be selfish but we understand the actions either way. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) A jaw-dropping, compelling story about the questionable ethics of psychological studies, to a degree, but also how brotherly bonds can break in unexpected ways due to the possibility of trauma. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
91% Mandy (2018) I warmed up to its first hour only to find myself a bit distanced by the second, due to its familiarity of revenge movie tropes and gory confrontation that we've seen many times before. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
No Score Yet Empathy, Inc. (2018) A terrific example of a sharp science fiction thriller done exceptionally well, in ways that are refreshing and challenging. At times I was reminded of Shane Carruth with just a touch of Being John Malkovich! - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
80% Await Further Instructions (2018) It isn't always pleasant to watch a family disintegrate into chaos and madness, but this is a compelling example that goes in directions that are more than surprising, they're shocking. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
93% The Endless (2018) The ending of The Endless feels like a cheat. Wish I was drawn in the way everyone else seems to be, yet one can't help but want to know how this all comes together based on a great setup involving a cult. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
38% An Ordinary Man (2018) A flawed film, saved by two great performances and a short running time. Kingsley manages to do a lot with very little so if you're a fan, no need to pass this by entirely. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
83% Dolores Claiborne (1995) We should be examining this one again for daringly showcasing how men get away with their impulsivity and evil deeds. Great works of art like this are telling truths we want to bury and forget, but our subconscious won't let us. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
80% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) Delves deeply into fallibility and how human beings operate, just with a skin of a far creepier film laid over top. Says a lot about how we don't own up to our mistakes in a way that only Lanthimos can. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
90% A Ghost Story (2017) A mostly meditative, haunting portrayal of grief, love lost and the homes we hold on to. Too bad a monologue pops up along midway to explain what we are already discovering for ourselves. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
73% Nocturnal Animals (2016) A movie that aimed for the mind and the heart, but it comes up short for both. Only the performances stand out here, and I was mostly left perplexed rather than engaged. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
100% Tu Dors Nicole (2015) There hasn't been a more beautifully melancholic movie this decade that has captured what I've experienced both inside and out. It's about fragility, friendship, personal growth and being okay with the mundane. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
84% Under the Skin (2014) An experience I wrestle with, in a mostly positive way. Contains a lot of tremendous strengths, including an intoxicating score and a lot of blank spaces for the individual viewer to fill with interpretation. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
78% Take This Waltz (2012) This is experiencing the acceptance of disconnection, which can manifest every time we meet someone new and/or feel displaced with someone we thought we'd love forever. Polley is an important director to fearlessly capture this here. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
86% Hail, Caesar! (2016) A conflicted story that is also about losing faith in established institutions like Hollywood. Hail, Caesar! finds The Coens in a comfort zone all while paying homage to vintage filmmaking with a wink. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
78% 25th Hour (2003) A reminder of how human beings can lose their humanity in the face of grief and tragedy but can find it again through helping others rather than turning a blind eye. It's an important work of art. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
85% Safe (1995) One of the all-time great films. Screams out with existential terror showcasing how the lack of identity is not only anxiety-inducing but potentially inevitable due to the modern world we live in. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
94% Carol (2015) Carol filled me with hope and promise, which felt completely unexpected coming from Todd Haynes. Yet there's still a lingering fear in every frame, the presence of facades, gesture and shadow, the feeling of a set of eyes upon you. It's a masterpiece. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
94% Wildlife (2018) Wildlife is a special film due to the level of talent involved, as we discover there are great depths and complexities to be mined within the apprehensions of mother, father and son. - Voices & Visions EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018