Jim Schembri Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
1.5/5 80% Breath (2018) Despite its strained attempts at being a pensive, prestige picture, Breath is full of longueurs and thinly-drawn, dull characters who spend too much time staring off into the middle distance, a gesture that has become a cliche of Australian films.‐ jimschembri.com
Read More | Posted May 7, 2018
3.5/5 95% A Quiet Place (2018) [A] terrific, white-knuckle monster thriller...director John Krasinski does an excellent job taking an old spook movie convention - using silence to build tension - and pushing it to a nerve-jangling new extreme.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted May 7, 2018
3/5 79% Unsane (2018) The nightmare scenario of being wrongly locked up in prison or, worse still, a mental asylum gets a good going over by writer/director/cinematographer Stephen Soderbergh in a nifty little shocker that plays like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone.‐ jimschembri.com
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/5 52% Rampage (2018) A fun, largely nonsensical film; based on the old arcade video game.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3.5/5 83% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Thankfully, this $300 million entry into the Marvel comic-book movie universe is one of the better films pumped out by Marvel Studios and certainly makes up for the tornado of dung that was Avengers: Age of Ultron.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/5 33% I Feel Pretty (2018) A well-meaning, well-done comedy about body image and self-respect that delivers its unfortunately timely message to young women with the subtlety of, well, an Amy Schumer comedy. It's ham-fisted, sure, but it works. ‐ jimschembri.com
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
2/5 81% Early Man (2018) A visually attractive misfire...The charm of stop-motion animation can't quite make up for the ultra-weak story premise and flat characters, with director Nick Park struggling to inject the visual wit we see in Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
2/5 92% Love, Simon (2018) There's no questioning the sincerity or the worthy pro-tolerance sentiments of Love, Simon...but, whoa, does this film brim with bad direction.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3.5/5 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) An incredibly funny film about a not-very-funny historical event.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/5 83% Blockers (2018) Formulaic, knockabout comedies like Blockers need to be executed with precision and conviction...and director Kay Cannon deserves major backslaps for managing to implant a sincere heart amidst all the raunch and mayhem. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
2/5 39% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Whatever magic the presence of a giant Oprah Winfrey was meant to bring to this kid's fantasy sci-fi extravaganza by Ava DuVernay (Selma) has been lost in a largely antiseptic swirl of visual effects and right-on virtue signalling.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
4/5 73% Ready Player One (2018) [The film] serves as testament to Spielberg's gift as a pulse-riding, intuitively cinematic entertainer....a film full of grandly staged cyber battles and real-world intrigue. And thankfully it's one of the few long films to warrant its running time.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
1/5 44% Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018) Chalk this dreary biblical drama up as a worthy companion piece to Mary Magdalene.‐ jimschembri.com
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/5 43% Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) Whichever way you cut it, these films owe a huge debt to Michael Bay and his critic-negating Transformer films. Indeed, many of the battle scenes in PCU look like they could be dropped into any of Bay's city-set cage matches without anyone noticing.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2018
3.5/5 62% Peter Rabbit (2018) It's sad to see how the common sense of some people has been over-estimated by an animated bunny rabbit.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2018
1.5/5 42% Mary Magdalene (2018) A beautiful bore.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2018
2/5 33% That's Not My Dog! (2018) There are, admittedly, quite a few laughs to be had...but what we've essentially got here is not so much a film but raw material for a film.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2018
2/5 76% Kangaroo (2018) The film has already stirred much heat and noise, with the filmmakers swearing black-and-blue that they've nailed their research while farmers call in to talkback radio complaining how their paddocks are overrun with roos.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2018
2/5 91% Human Flow (2017) The problem with Ai Weiwei's turgid film is that rather than make a convincing documentary that explores an issue, he's sculpted a piece of artsy agit-prop with stark cinematography, endless shots of dour-looking displaced people and a simplistic agenda.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2018
3/5 49% Tomb Raider (2018) Whereas Angelina Jolie played Croft as a cocksure, aggressive Amazonian man-slayer in her two films, Alicia Vikander sees her heroine as more vulnerable, a college-age kid who has to fight harder to come out of fights with big, bad men.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2018
3/5 74% The Mercy (2017) The heart-breaking true story of British amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst is told here in painstaking detail by director James Marsh who has succeeded in bringing us the saddest film we've seen in yonks. Nobody does noble failure like the Brits. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2018
3.5/5 54% 12 Strong (2018) A fine, very well-made war movie with strong characters, plenty of realistic action and loads of those tough, failure-is-not-an-option Americanisms that always feature in any movie where something has to get done, whatever the cost and whatever the odds.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2018
1/5 14% Winchester (2018) A meandering, underwhelming attempt at a psychological horror story.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
1/5 47% Red Sparrow (2018) Lawrence had a great chance to register a new female action hero into the modern-day canon. What an opportunity missed.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
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 30% 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 70% 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 82% 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 57% 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 76% 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 42% 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 85% 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 87% 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 78% 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 92% 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 13% 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 41% 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 90% 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 95% Sweet Country (2018) 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 56% 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