Joel Arnold

Joel Arnold
Joel Arnold's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer® when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): NPR
Publications: NPR

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
59% The Grand Seduction (2014) Translating its accessible premise too cleanly, Grand Seduction neglects the rough edges of character, the very details that make a place and its people memorable to a visitor. They're also what convince a person to stay. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2014
37% God's Pocket (2014) It's always unfortunate to see potential wasted onscreen, in acting, writing, or directing. It's worse to see it happen all at once with artists universally known as capable of much more. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2014
86% A Birder's Guide To Everything (2014) The film is far from a melancholy wallow, but it does examine the ways we cope with loss and the conflicts that result when one person's healing process is faster or different from another's. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2014
79% Grand Piano (2014) Grand Piano is a screenwriter's fantasy of a self-conscious Hitchcockian thriller, daringly written, improbably made - and more unbelievably made well. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2014
98% Ernest & Célestine (2014) The characters are computer-rendered, but the watercolor environments they move in are expressive and detail-rich. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2014
77% Teenage (2014) Wolf blends newsreels, archival footage, written personal diaries and vivid 16mm recreations in an entrancing collage that puts the voice of youth at the center of a narrative in which the broad strokes of history tend to overlook them. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2014
96% The LEGO Movie (2014) The Lego Movie maybe be one giant advertisement, but all the way to its plastic-mat foundation, it's an earnest piece of work - a cash grab with a heart. Made for, with and about Legos, the movie is also made for, with and about imagination ... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2014
13% The Nut Job (2014) Once Surly and Buddy case the joint, develop a plan, and deal with the inevitable surprises, The Nut Job could be any classic caper flick. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2014
79% All The Light In The Sky (2013) Where the film excels is in capturing the quiet revelations in Marie's life over the few days it chronicles - revelations that represent the aftermath of choices made years before, when expectations were higher. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2013
68% About Time (2013) The film takes few of the liberties you'd expect from its genre, and it conforms to an internal logic throughout. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2013
88% Rush (2013) Howard chooses a few moments to let the film breathe, but for the most part - aside from a clunky first-person narration that book-ends the film - he propels Rush from scene to scene with a momentum that never lets the thing drag. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2013
66% The Heat (2013) The Heat come, they conquer, and they leave you laughing. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2013
51% Now You See Me (2013) Exudes self-importance and can't help but make promises it can't deliver on. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2013
20% The Hangover Part III (2013) An excessively violent action comedy that handily manages the tough task of feeling at once tired and aggressively heartless. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2013
54% The Company You Keep (2013) It's a pleasure to watch, even if the payoff is rather less substantial than the backstory. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2013
67% Wrong (2013) In Wrong, reality and the world of the film will regularly upend themselves; it's never quite reliably clear, though, that these inexplicable events are happening for a purpose. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2013
54% Hunky Dory (2013) Hunky Dory flits along blithely from number to transporting musical number until it ends - with a sigh - and dodges any authentic engagement with its own ideas. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2013
32% Emperor (2013) Despite the promising setup, the filmmakers' execution muddles what's inherently dramatic material. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2013
47% Beautiful Creatures (2013) This surprisingly beguiling attempt to blend fantasy, coming-of-age drama, melodrama, camp and social critique isn't always successful - but it's nearly always entertaining. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2013
16% A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013) Charles Swan might have have been successful if its sensibilities weren't so aligned with its constantly disappointing protagonist's. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2013
34% LUV (2013) Saved from its predictable plotline by a strong cast and a central relationship written and performed with sensitivity, LUV reveals the stakes of trusting in a role model and the costs when that person turns out to be human. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2013
67% Otelo Burning (2012) A heavy-handed but forceful coming-of-age story set circa 1989, against the backdrop of the violent beginning of apartheid's end ... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2012
56% La Rafle (2012) It's a mainstream, sentimental drama because it needs to be. It announces in a clear voice that this happened. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2012
46% The Details (2012) In exploring how easily and strangely the life Jeff and Nealy have built together unravels, The Details lays out a series of mundane and dangerous objects as signposts - provocative keys to the film's darkly comedic and tense puzzle. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2012
48% Pusher (2012) Pusher is some kind of tragedy, though not the one its filmmakers intended. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2012
68% All Together (2012) The film's central performances reflect both its celebration of age and a sense of wistfulness. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2012
45% 3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom (2012) Tragically unfunny, Frankie is occasionally elevated by some of its gifted and game cast, but the film's nasty, comedically incoherent script limits its potential. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2012
34% Butter (2012) Butter thrives on skewering characters whose self-importance isolates them completely from the consequences of their actions. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2012
79% Dredd (2012) It's savage, beautiful and loads of fun. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2012
53% The Inbetweeners (2012) A disposable but inventive and intelligent series follow-up which satisfies as a standalone experience. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2012
33% The Day (2012) A savage B-movie thriller with unrealized aspirations to profundity ... - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2012
88% Once I Was (The Matchmaker) (2012) The film intelligently portrays how, even years later, the memories of trauma can be enough to inhibit a person from finding happiness - and consequently, how essential love is. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2012
73% Sushi: The Global Catch (2012) The Global Catch may be one-sided in its argument, but it's a persuasive one -- and the next time you eat sushi, you may think twice about ordering bluefin. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2012
73% Klovn: The Movie (Klown) (2012) Klown feels instantly fresh, taking bold chances with its characters and gags that pay off in uproariously funny and sometimes heartrending moments. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2012
74% Alps (Alpeis) (2012) An impressively taut absurdist drama that's deliberate in its exploration of the value and limits of compassion. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2012
77% Unforgivable (2012) Without fully realized characters, the film's major moments - each cutting remark and humiliating act - feel hollow. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2012