Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
1/5 64% Willy's Wonderland (2021) What an interesting concept for a film: a horror-comedy that is neither scary nor funny. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
1/5 29% Voyagers (2021) Does this film contain the most unimaginative spaceship design in the history of sci-fi? The interior of the vessel looks as though it was based on a college dorm. The only thing missing is a bong and a Jimi Hendrix poster. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
3.5/5 99% Collective (Colectiv) (2020) A very fine example of as-it-happens documentary-making, director/cinematographer Alexander Nanau is there as the journalists peel back the putrid layers of mismanagement, including a thankfully brief shot of an open would crawling with maggots. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
3/5 100% Antoinette in the Cévennes (2020) Laure Calamy won a César for her performance as Antoinette, a singularly daffy woman who does not appear to have the emotional intelligence of the primary school pupils she teaches...A funny souffle-lite lark with plenty of horseplay with a stubborn mule. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
4/5 98% The Father (2021) Aside from being a superb acting showcase, the defining quality of The Father is how Anthony's constant, maddening state of confusion is shown with such clarity. We see the world as he sees it, only we have the luxury of working out what is going on. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2021
3.5/5 86% The Courier (2020) The film's third act provides great drama about the power of moral obligation and the inner strength Wynne had to call upon to survive his ordeal. It also clocks in as another recent film about the strength of male friendship. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2021
3/5 31% Tom & Jerry (2020) Tom & Jerry deserve a sincere salute for their longevity and enduring appeal, which stretches back to 1940. They should get together for a drink with King Kong, whose new movie Godzilla v Kong reminds us how his debut was released in 1933. L'chaim, gents. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2021
3.5/5 81% Nobody (2021) You know what? It doesn't matter how much cinema changes or how woke it becomes, the appeal of cathartic, righteously motivated movie violence will never fade. That's the hard, not-altogether-surprising truth at the heart of this old-style vigilante romp. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2021
3/5 59% Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021) As beautifully animated as the first film, and with another scene-stealing performance from Domnhall Gleeson, Peter Rabbit 2 is not a bad little jaunt for a sequel. It's sufficiently fast, funny and family-friendly. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
3.5/5 100% Golden Voices (2020) Important life lessons arrive late for the elderly married couple at the heart of Evgeny Ruman's meticulously sculpted, closely observed, bitter-sweet comedy-drama, a film blessed with lead performances that prove that less is more, and often much more. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
3/5 74% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Godzilla vs Kong deserves to be warmly embraced as a cheesy, old-style popcorn seller, with just enough punch'n'crunch spectacle to make up for its slow start, thin characters and sloppy storytelling. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
2.5/5 87% The Grizzlies (2020) Corny, cliched and ham-fisted, yet it still manages to get under your guard with its heartfelt message about reigniting the spirit of despondent youth...Breaks down your natural resistance to platitudes through the sheer force of sincerity. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
3/5 62% French Exit (2021) She's still got it. No question. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
3.5/5 100% White Riot (2019) Compact and comprehensive, edifying and enormously entertaining, full of great music, bad language and knockout footage...a steaming hot slice of 1970s history and a clarion call about the unrest now unfurling across countries that should know better. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/5 59% Crisis (2021) A captivating ride through a dangerous, morally murky world that poses some hard questions...Nicholas Jarecki pulls off a demanding juggling act by keeping so many dramatic balls in the air and maintaining tension both within each story and between them. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2021
1.5/5 4% Cosmic Sin (2021) There's not much to recommend here; not even the visual effects are much chop in a slapdash serving of sci-fi mulch. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2021
2.5/5 56% Then Came You (2020) An otherwise off-the-shelf rom-com is lifted a few notches above its rightful station in the movie universe by Craig Ferguson, whose one-liners, improv gags and banter with Kathie Lee Gifford keep things humming nicely for about two-thirds of the piece. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2021
4/5 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Seething with period authenticity, boiling emotional themes about justice and studded with stellar performances, Judas and the Black Messiah is a gripping historical drama with an absolutely riveting story about the high art and low blows of betrayal. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2021
3/5 78% Greenland (2020) The scenes of rioting resemble the news footage that accompanied the reign of President Trump. It was probably unintentional, but the similarities are startling, with the film evoking Americans at war with each other, a theme that is uncomfortably timely. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2021
1/5 49% Coming 2 America (2021) A lame, uninspired, rather stupid rehash...woefully forced and mostly unfunny...One huge problem with the film, especially for those who love the original, is that Akeem has blithely betrayed his principles of equality. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
3.5/5 100% Disclosure (2020) In lesser hands Disclosure could have been a pompous, prolonged shouting match replete with virtue-signalling and woke-speak. Thankfully, director Michael Bentham has fashioned a far more nuanced, insightful and captivating clashing of wills and truths. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
2/5 91% About Endlessness (Om det Oändliga) (2020) A diverting, though far-from-exceptional slice or art cinema, the film seems to be feigning profundity, and there's only a limited amount of enjoyment in playing along before the film seems to run dry. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
4/5 94% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) It's pretty obvious to anybody who's paying attention that Disney will soon engulf what's left of the entertainment industry before taking over the entire world. And that is perfectly fine so long as it keeps making films like Raya and the Last Dragon. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2021
1.5/5 63% Blackbird (2020) A surprisingly torpid affair, especially given its high-powered cast...Sarandon, Neill and Winslet put in fine performances but they're wasted in a melodramatic dirge that should have kept at least one eye on the importance of believability. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
3.5/5 98% The Truffle Hunters (2020) It's a very specific tribe of traditional truffle hunter director Michael Dweck observes and explores here - and what a compelling, intriguing, intimate portrait he delivers. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
3.5/5 100% Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra (2021) Firestarter refuses to become maudlin, its aim being to illuminate and inspire, accurately reflecting the spirit of Bangarra itself. That is the film's defining achievement. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
2/5 46% The Little Things (2021) Here, ladies and gentlemen, we have that rarest of all things - a Denzel dud. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train (2021) Intimate knowledge of Demon Slayer lore might hold you in better stead than facing this anime world cold. Still, stick with it and you eventually tap into the crazy swing of the thing as the barrage of exposition gradually coalesces into a coherent plot. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
3.5/5 96% Zappa (2020) A full account of how Zappa ran his own race throughout a dizzying, intermittently brilliant career that flitted across the mainstream and alternative music scenes is lovingly dispatched in Alex Winter's excellent, absorbing, long-belated profile. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2021
4/5 100% The People Upstairs (2020) A wily and very funny comic gem...Blessed with inscrutable eyes that look like two tiny dots of India ink, Javier Camara possesses the ability to convey bemusement, befuddlement and bewilderment all with a single stare. That's quite a gift. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
3/5 73% Boss Level (2021) It's another riff on Groundhog Day - and that'd be an issue if the lark wasn't so much fun, with lots of high-octane action and just the right degree of levity to keep the film from taking its time-tripping concept, or its huge body count, too seriously. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
2.5/5 No Score Yet Wild Things (2020) The film makes no bones about who the heroes are, or what its purpose is, which is to promote activism. Nothing wrong with that, in principle, but with yin there must come yang and there is just too little coverage about those on the other side. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2021
4/5 92% Another Round (Druk) (2020) It's raw, confronting stuff that lays bare one of the main drivers of alcoholism - denial. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
3.5/5 50% Long Story Short (2021) One could be forgiven for thinking, while enjoying this winning, warm, funny fantasy film, that writer/director Josh Lawson has taken a page or two out of The Richard Curtis Guide to Making a Quirky & Charming Rom Com. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
2.5/5 60% Escape from Extinction (2020) Soundly counters the anti-zoo protest movement with a cascade of facts, figures and pretty pictures. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
2.5/5 63% Wrong Turn (2021) Horror films tend to attract dedicated fans of the genre who will gobble up all that is served to them provided there is enough bloodshed and cheap thrills. On that score, this film can't be faulted for its dedication to duty. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
1.5/5 No Score Yet Unsound (2020) A well-meaning misfire. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
3/5 77% Food Club (2020) Delightful, if disposable wisp of a film that defies stereotypes and plugs the central message behind the recent tsunami of films for and about the older demo - that it's never too late to hit refresh on life and get the most out of what remains of it. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2021
4/5 89% The Nest (2020) Plotwise, there's nothing visible for a long time as the family members slowly settle into their new life and new habits. Anticipation builds. It's deliciously excruciating. You know it's all going someplace, you just have no idea where. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
2/5 79% High Ground (2021) An earnest film with good intent that quickly defaults to cliches and easy-to-digest takes on Australia's dark past...High Ground clearly wants to be a topical, hard-hitting film, but it's a tough box to tick given its lack of narrative edge. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2021
2.5/5 67% Occupation: Rainfall (2020) When it comes to serving up the action and the VFX, Occupation Rainfall is duly impressive and on point, with many big sequences that are difficult to carp about. Storywise, however, it's a different story. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
3/5 100% Dawn Raid (2021) Essentially a colourful business documentary about the importance of keeping a close eye on how much money you're making and where it's going...Terrific stuff. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2021
3/5 77% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) Nimbly directed by Roseanne Liang, the film is a self-consciously outlandish adventure...A load of ludicrous fun. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2021
4/5 97% Only the Animals (Seules les bêtes) (2019) A near-brilliant mystery... an engrossing [film] where conventions are sidelined in favour of an intricately constructed, cliche-averse narrative...Steeped in menacing atmosphere and framed by an ever-tightening tension. One pearler of a whodunit. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2021
3.5/5 67% Penguin Bloom (2021) At the heart of the portrayal is how Sam confuses acceptance with resignation, a mistake that keeps her from feeling the love around her. Watts captures that agonizing state of emotional limbo with stark authenticity. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet The Elfkins: Baking A Difference (Die Heinzels: Rückkehr der Heinzelmännchen) (2020) A pleasantly predictable lark that dutifully follows the strict dictates of the kid's animation genre by using high-key adventure to promote positive themes such as reconciliation and understanding. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2021
3/5 95% Lupin III: The First (2020) Unspooling like a mashing of James Bond and Indiana Jones comes the high-spirited, high-flying hijinks of Lupin III, the animated star of a long-standing Japanese cartoon franchise...the story moves at a great clip and the digital animation is superb. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
2.5/5 75% My Salinger Year (2020) The gleaming presence of up-and-comer Margaret Qualley bolsters an otherwise mildly entertaining reheating of The Devil Wears Prada story template, only here built around the enduring mystique of J.D. Salinger. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
2.5/5 8% Music (2020) Noted songstress Sia stumbles about with her semi-impressive directorial debut...Small, nicely observed moments of tenderness and connection are offset by many clumsy attempts to introduce plot lines, most of which are left unresolved by film's end. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
2/5 60% Dreambuilders (2020) The animation is mostly ordinary and predictable, matching the story perfectly. Not even the giant spider is all that scary...Oh, it's passable, innocuous fluff for the undemanding holiday movie-goer. - jimschembri.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2021