Joel Mayward

Joel Mayward
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Joel Mayward (PhD, University St Andrews) is a theologian, author, and film scholar with bylines at RogerEbert.com, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Christianity Today, and Think Christian. Joel is a member of the Online Film Critics Society and Interfilm; his film reviews can be found at www.cinemayward.com. Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelmayward.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 86% Nine Days (2021) Edson Oda's fantastic "Nine Days" is simultaneously familiar and evocative, inspiring and disequilibrating. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2021
3/5 81% God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya (2021) "God Exists, Her Name is Petruyna" is an ambitious and provocative film which demonstrates that the spirit of patriarchy still needs to be exorcised. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2021
93% Bo Burnham: Inside (2021) As prophetic performance art, Inside is a well-crafted, expertly edited, perfectly lit personal cry for help and a powerful call for our society to be better. - Think Christian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
3.5/5 88% Undine (2020) Undine is a fairytale for a secular age. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
2/5 68% Army Of The Dead (2021) Bloated, bleak, and bleary, "Army of the Dead" takes an entertaining action zombie film premise and sucks the life right out of it. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
2/5 66% Wrath of Man (2021) For all of its promise in the reunion of Ritchie and Statham, "Wrath of Man" is ultimately soulless. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2021
3/5 98% The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021) This Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced animated film is a madcap movie-celebrating meta-commentary amusement ride. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2021
2.5/5 52% A Week Away (2021) "A Week Away" won't make any new converts, but it will make its intended audience smile, or even sing along. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2021
4/5 98% Minari (2020) By showing us the particular rituals and rhythms of this singular family in this specific time and place in America, "Minari" elevates a down-to-earth narrative to the level of mythology. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
4/5 91% Little Fish (2021) In our present era where the experience of loss is always on the horizon, "Little Fish" is a powerfully poignant cinematic balm for the soul. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
3/5 87% The Dig (2021) What elevates "The Dig" beyond its scattered narrative misgivings are the understated, affecting performances from Fiennes and Mulligan, as well as the lush cinematography of Mike Eley. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
2.5/5 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) WW84 shines brightest when Gadot and Pine are on-screen together. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
4/5 70% Tenet (2020) "Tenet" succeeds in somehow transcending the audience's basic understanding of time and narrative while nevertheless keeping them engaged and entertained for the film's entirety. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
3.5/5 90% Promising Young Woman (2020) Writer/director Emerald Fennell's "Promising Young Woman" is bold, brilliant, and blistering in its evisceration of our male-dominated culture, while Carey Mulligan's daring performance is a career-best. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
3.5/5 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) It is arguably [Boseman's] strongest on-screen performance, and were he to be honored with a posthumous Oscar, it would certainly be earned. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2020
4/5 99% Wolfwalkers (2020) In a cinematic age where CGI reigns supreme, Wolfwalkers' defiant aesthetic in its messy hand-drawn style is at once nostalgic and forward-looking, a beautiful simplicity on the far side of complexity. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
4/5 98% Time (2020) ...the lyrical formal approach Bradley adopts with 'Time' elevates an already-compelling story into the realms of transcendence. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
4.5/5 97% Sound of Metal (2020) Sound of Metal is a film with perfect narrative rhythm; the cinematic story makes interesting, poignant decisions for the entirety of its runtime. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2020
2.5/5 82% Mank (2020) I'm sad to report that 'Mank' might be the least interesting thing David Fincher has ever directed. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2020
5/5 94% Nomadland (2021) It is an achingly moving work of transcendent cinematic art which is, paradoxically, humble and confident, fanciful and true, a film of realist authenticity and formalist wonders. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
4/5 95% Palm Springs (2020) "Palm Springs" brings both levity and poignancy...by reminding us of the gift of presence. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
1/5 25% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) I will pull no punches: Ron Howard's Hillbilly Elegy is simply awful. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2020
4.5/5 96% First Cow (2020) Like the oily cakes Cookie and King-Lu create, the film's ingredients are simple, but the results are richly delectable and well worth coming back for seconds. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
1.5/5 39% Rebecca (2020) The 2020 Netflix version of Rebecca is a romantic psychological thriller entirely devoid of genuine romance, psychological depth, or thrills. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
4/5 98% David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) It's a percussionist's paradise which demonstrates a perfect rhythm between effervescent joy and no-nonsense political urgency. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2020
4/5 97% Shithouse (2020) Those who dismiss the film based on its title alone may miss out on a deeply affecting and profound portrayal of late adolescence which pays tribute to the coming-of-age tradition even as it forges new emotional pathways. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
5/5 100% Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) Kirsten Johnson has crafted a memento mori imbued with both sincere love and aesthetic depth. This is a film I want to revisit and contemplate, a film I feel compelled to write articles or entire books about. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2020
3.5/5 94% Possessor: Uncut (2020) "Mind-bending" takes on multiple meanings when the human psyche is depicted as neon-lit melting faces and other visceral body-dissolving abominations seen under strobe-effect. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2020
3/5 86% The Social Dilemma (2020) There is both an urgency and a helplessness to the prophetic message of The Social Dilemma: we must change how social media functions, but we may not have the will power or attention span to do so. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
3/5 88% Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020) Doucouré's attentive, empathetic, and daring coming-of-age film reminds us of the urgent need for empathy and critical thinking in a social media era. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2020
2/5 82% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) It's a maudlin, misanthropic mess which revels in its own opacity, a puzzle film which intentionally hides the pieces. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2020
2/5 58% Tesla (2020) For all its electrifying potential, I found little to keep my attention, less still to ponder afterwards in terms of What It All Means. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
3.5/5 93% Yes, God, Yes (2020) Yes, God, Yes is far less about teens trying to get laid and more about a genuine search for the truth in all of its existential, metaphysical, and erotic glory. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2020
3/5 83% She Dies Tomorrow (2020) "She Dies Tomorrow" is Albert Camus meets David Lynch, a darkly absurdist fable about our fear of mortality and its unsettling capacity to spread. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2020
3/5 87% Shirley (2020) "Shirley" is powerfully perturbing, anchored by the superb lead performances from Moss and Stuhlbarg. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2020
3/5 94% Dads (2020) When it's not being a How-To-Dad film, it is a kaleidoscopic celebration of genuinely good fathers, at-once affecting and affirming. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2020
3.5/5 93% Bacurau (Nighthawk) (2020) Visceral and incendiary, Bacurau is a political punch to the gut and a mental machete to the head. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2020
3/5 88% Onward (2020) For a film about magic, I wish Onward had more...well...magic. [...] Despite its conventionality and corporate feel, Onward is nevertheless an enjoyable and affecting romp. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2020
3/5 91% Miss Americana (2020) It's a well-crafted work which reveals only as much as the camera-aware Swift chooses to reveal. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2020
2.5/5 68% Bombshell (2019) Bombshell fails to be either smart satire or incisive political drama, which makes it just offensively banal. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2020
4/5 95% Little Women (2019) It's a warm hug of a film, comforting and life-giving in its graciousness. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2019
3/5 89% 1917 (2020) ...an ambitious and thrilling war film, a filmic formal exercise with gumption. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2019
2/5 51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) I find its lack of faith-in its audience, in its predecessors, in itself-disturbing. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
3.5/5 89% The Two Popes (2019) I still found myself converted by Hopkins and Pryce skillfully portraying this divine bromance. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
0/5 36% 6 Underground (2019) By being exceedingly stupid, morally depraved, and dreadfully dull, "6 Underground" pulls off a hat-trick of Very Bad Filmmaking. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2019
4/5 94% Marriage Story (2019) Though it does get ugly, it's also paradoxically beautiful in its raw sincerity. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2019
4.5/5 95% The Irishman (2019) A cinematic memento mori, "The Irishman" (aka "I Heard You Paint Houses") is one of Martin Scorsese's all-time greatest films. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
1.5/5 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Rather than laughter or tears, "JoJo Rabbit" elicits only cringes, groans, and yawns. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
3.5/5 97% Knives Out (2019) Sharp and cutting in its not-so-subtle critique of class warfare and ideologies, even as it serves it all up in a rambunctious caper, a hilarious whodunit (or whodonut). - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
4/5 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Like Fred Rogers himself, the film is disarming and subversive in its optimism and hope. - Cinemayward EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2019