Jim Schembri Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
1/5 86% Ellipsis (2017) The big failing of this flaccid film is that the flimsy premise is given no life. The banter between the couple is stilted and forced. There's no modulation or cadence, no sense of a developing relationship.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
0.5/5 29% The BBQ (2018) Now, where to begin with how bad this film is? In the interests of brevity, most of the film's woes stem from one main problem: it has no frigging idea what it is trying to do. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
2.5/5 75% Finding Your Feet (2018) Director Richard Loncraine maintains an engaging warmth throughout the film, and while the romantic plot bubbles rather than boils, it's certain a lot better than two recent examples of the genre, namely Hampstead and Paris Can Wait.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
3/5 80% Game Night (2018) After a deliberately slow start directors John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (working from a screenplay by Mark Perez) hit the accelerator once the game's first victim - or should that be "victim"? - hits the floor. It's all go from there.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
3/5 99% Lady Bird (2017) The film is not so much a coming-of-age story...[it] aims for a deeper truth, being that life's most important lessons come incrementally, in small, touching moments, something Lady Bird comes to appreciate, however reluctantly.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
3/5 97% Black Panther (2018) As a superhero film Black Panther is fine entertainment that dutifully hits all the beats it is supposed to. Beyond that, anyone willing to decode the film as some sort of sophisticated allegory about black rights might find themselves tied up in knots.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
1/5 92% The Shape of Water (2017) From the world's most over-rated A-list director, Guillermo del Toro, comes yet another visually distinctive, tonally flat work of glum fantasy...As usual, Del Toro's acolytes have promptly fallen into line praising this overlong pseudo sci-fi pap.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3/5 58% The Commuter (2018) After the Taken films, Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night, Neeson has promised to end his lucrative run as a middle-aged action hero with this. He's more frantic and believable than usual, with the movie's real-time feel adding a nice edge of urgency.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 75% Swinging Safari (2018) Unlike most Australian comedy films, which can barely sustain one viewing, Surfing Safari definitely holds up to a second helping, if for no other reason than to relish the period detail embedded into each frame, right down to the exploding pyjamas.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 43% Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) The concluding chapter to this winning, deeply satisfying teen dystopia franchise offers a well-plotted, action-packed adventure several notches above what we saw in any of the similarly themed Hunger Games or Divergent films.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
2.5/5 13% The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (2017) Fairly funny, made-for-kids sequel to the 2014 animated film about a bunch of city park animals looking for the easy life. [A] fast-moving sequel.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 86% Darkest Hour (2017) Gary Oldman immerses himself in the character, giving every aspect of Churchill a memorable resonance, from his sense of humour, to his mastery of language to his short temper and bursts of humility.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 88% The Post (2018) At a time when the reputation of the press is probably as bad as it has ever been, people have a tendency to embrace the folk memory of that time when the media was considered the pursuers and upholders of truth, not as self-serving and biased.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 77% All the Money in the World (2017) As well as being a terrific crime drama, All the Money in the World also has the questionable distinction of being the first major film to entirely replace one of its stars after post-production. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 93% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Director Martin McDonagh injects his signature brand of dark humour into the proceedings to create an absorbing portrait of how ignoble the quest for justice can be and how moral foot-stomping can often signal that something important is being overlooked.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
2.5/5 32% Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) Fans will be pleased enough with the slapstick and musical offerings here. Rebel Wilson, again, owns the film with her pleasantly abrasive wit, her broad appeal spiced by the fact that this is her first movie to come out after her libel case victory. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Winning (2017) Very good, engrossing documentary that interviews five champion athletes to discover what made them excel...Director Jacqueline Joseph appears to have caught each of her subjects at their most relaxed and reflective.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3/5 25% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) Whatever the film's shortcomings, one thing you can't fault Eastwood for is his unassailable commitment to celebrating American heroism. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3/5 12% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Strictly designed for [its] huge fanbase of suburban wives and soccer mums, this high-gloss mommy porn schlock isn't interested in winning over any new fans as our daring duo take on the most sado-masochistic adventure of all - marriage.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
2.5/5 41% The Jungle Bunch (Les as de la jungle) (2017) [A] worthwhile, colourful dollop of time-killing family fodder that honours the tradition of anthropomorphised animals set in train by Disney and later pushed by Dreamworks with the Madagascar series.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3.5/5 82% Molly's Game (2018) An absorbing, adult drama, Molly's Game is also a cautionary tale about how those brave enough to skate on thin ice have little cause to complain when the ice breaks and the instant chill of reality bites into your backside. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
4/5 91% Phantom Thread (2018) Cinematically rich and dramatically magnetic...[A] film that often looks like a moving work of art, as though perfectly composed still life images have been brought to shimmering life.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2018
3/5 39% Den of Thieves (2018) With barely a quiet moment anywhere and an above-average plot, this lark is a highly entertaining guy movie. Whether females will enjoy it, however, will depend on their tolerance for a two-hour crime movie that has but a handful of women in it.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2018
4/5 89% I, Tonya (2018) Bubbling up through Harding's tale is the prejudice imposed upon her because of her lowly class...This gives the film a sharp, if unintended, topicality by identifying one form of 21st-century bigotry that attracts curiously little attention.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2018
3/5 97% Sweet Country (2017) While Sweet Country might have qualified as a far more important film had it been made 20 years ago when the need for such films was far more acute, it is nonetheless a finely crafted film that signals a film culture moving in the right direction.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2018
3/5 55% The Greatest Showman (2017) Those hungry for a big, old-school musical spectacle with a thin story and plenty of numbers will get more than their fill with the flash-and-dazzle of The Greatest Showman. Hugh Jackman pulls out all the stops for his lead performance.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3/5 76% Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) As a throwaway adventure, Jumanji makes for a terrifically entertaining time killer, its big action set pieces nicely offset with some choice comic acting.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3/5 51% Downsizing (2017) Stumbles as it bravely side-steps the obvious comedy potential of its marvelous premise and aims for something more meaningful...Enlivened no end by the performance of Hong Chau, who plays a Vietnamese agitator.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3/5 97% Coco (2017) The film can be seen as a model of the new wave diversity movement in Hollywood, with its story focus simultaneously acknowledging one of the world's main cultural components while, incidentally, tapping into its lucrative market.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3.5/5 66% Breathe (2017) Actor Andy Sirkis proves his directing chops here with a moving account of the creation of the motorised wheelchair... the film offers a solid, surprising holiday treat for those hungry for adult drama.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3/5 71% Ferdinand (2017) Cute, Pixar-like, slightly overlong animated adventure about a non-violent, flower-loving, hippie-type bull who is compelled into the ring against his conscience. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3.5/5 100% Paddington 2 (2018) Gleeful sequel to the 2014 hit family film that avoids the law of diminishing returns by studding a decent plot about a secret treasure with deliciously cheesy turns from A-list actors.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2017
3/5 43% The Star (2017) Easily the most slapstick version of the Nativity story ever made and one that finally pays tribute to the critical part played by all the talking animals at the manger on that night. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2017
3/5 98% Lucky (2017) Harry Dean Stanton's final film is a fitting, small-scale charmer about an old, much-loved man living out his last days in a town populated by an endearing gaggle of eccentrics. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2017
1/5 58% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) With the glossy remake of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express - done so memorably in 1974 by Sidney Lumet - director Kenneth Branagh presents for us a prestigious, high-brow example of a studio film that is, by any fair measure, creatively dead‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2017
2/5 40% Justice League (2017) More of the same as the DC Comics superhero empire tries matching its rival Marvel's Avengers franchise with its own super-team. The results are loud, flashy and all too under-whelming for being oh-so familiar‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2017
3.5/5 79% Borg vs McEnroe (Borg McEnroe) (2017) The intense, and intensely scrutinised, rivalry between Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg and American John McEnroe during Wimbledon in 1980 gets a terrific, energetic recreation in an historical sports drama that easily matches the Battle of the Sexes.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2017
4.5/5 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) At a point where the ever-extendable Star Wars franchise looked at risk of relying too much on its own legacy and table of cliches along comes The Last Jedi to push the saga into fresh, delightfully dangerous new territory.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2017
3/5 80% The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Charming, souffle-lite Christmas tale from British director Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) about the imaginary adventure the young Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) went through while suffering a rare case of writer's block.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3.5/5 63% Shot Caller (2017) A tightly packed, top-shelf crime drama with a great cast. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3.5/5 88% Only the Brave (2017) The film also serves to highlight the dearth of such films in Australia. It's not as though there aren't similar heroes to celebrate, yet the persistence of cultural cringe seems to prevent local filmmakers from producing films such as Only the Brave.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
4/5 91% The Disaster Artist (2017) As with Ed Wood, which paid tribute to the director of Plan 9 From Outer Space - another film that does not deserve its reputation as one of the worst ever made - The Disaster Artist champions the value of persistence in the face of all odds.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3/5 33% The Secret Scripture (2017) Fine, lush-looking, understated 2016 wartime drama from veteran Jim Sheridan...Perfect arthouse fare, this.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3/5 85% Wonder (2017) Think of it as The Elephant Man for kids...How good it is to see a positive, message-driven film for kids at a time when the default mode of behaviour being instilled into them by TV and online culture is to be as nasty as possible.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3/5 30% Wonder Wheel (2017) Woody Allen proved his knack for getting unexpectedly strong performances from unexpected sources when he cast comedian Andrew Dice Clay in Blue Jasmine. Here Allen does the same with Belushi's moving portrait of working-class decency.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3/5 50% The Butterfly Tree (2017) Set in a quiet rural town, this visually rich romantic triangle puts a sharp edge on the usual coming-of-age template‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2017
2/5 64% Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) Fans of Gleeson (son of Brendan) will enjoy his fine, buttoned up performance, still the film does grind on.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2017
3/5 19% Daddy's Home 2 (2017) As far as family-friendly seasonal puffery goes it's a very well-handled, pleasant goof-a-rama.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2017
3.5/5 92% Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Director Taika Waititi and his improbably buffed star Chris Hemsworth have deployed lashings of humour to grease the cogs of yet another wind-up franchise vehicle. And, to their credit, they've done a swell job.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2017
1.5/5 87% Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Blade Runner 2049 is breathtakingly dull...It barely has enough story to cover a 90-minute film let alone one that runs 164...It's punishingly slow, the performances are sullen and dour; nobody seems interested in being there...the film is a visual bore.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2017