Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
97% Zappa (2020) There's little fault that even the most hardcore fan could find with Mr. Winter's film, which accomplishes the acrobatic act of doing justice to a figure like Frank Zappa. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
83% My Psychedelic Love Story (2020) [Errol Morris] has taken the mechanics of movie journalism a step further... It's not an entirely new thing, but it's a film-nerd treat and a fascinating technique, almost as fascinating as the subject herself. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
79% Uncle Frank (2020) Uncle Frank feels like a memoir, and also feels extraordinarily true, and fresh, thanks to the untrammeled terrain it visits, at least in New York. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2020
90% Crazy, Not Insane (2020) The prolific Mr. Gibney makes art out of the most unlikely subjects, and in Crazy, Not Insane his expressionist's inclinations are given full rein. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
36% Jiu Jitsu (2020) Nicolas Cage has worn a lot of things on his head over the years, but the Burmese fisherman's bonnet we glimpse at the beginning of the action-adventure romp Jiu Jitsu is something new. It's one of the few things in the movie that is. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
70% The Last Vermeer (2020) It's a clever gesture, but also points out what's ultimately wrong with director Dan Friedkin's postwar thriller: It knows a lot about art history and presumes we know nothing. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
85% Belushi (2020) Like its subject, "Belushi" is sometimes simply too much. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
89% Mank (2020) What a Mank viewer should be alert to is its achievement not just as a movie about a movie, or even moviemaking, but about the mechanics of cinema and storytelling. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
No Score Yet Citizen Bio (2020) The story told is the stuff of outrageous sci-fi, at least to those of us without doctorates in biology or medicine. Fortunately for the layman... the film takes great pains to explain exactly what it's talking about and make it accessible. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) [Sorkin] has taken "the most important trial of your lifetime" and shoehorned it into a conventional Sorkin-esque mold, one in which complicated real-life people have become narrative conventions in a movie full of character types and glib dialogue. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
98% The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) This is funny stuff, contained in a film with terrific timing, punctuated by adoring surveys of New York City, some moody jazz notes and cutaways to commentary from the movie's Greek chorus of neighbors and merchants in Harlem. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
69% The Glorias (2020) The Glorias, an overlong, unfocused and distractingly stylized take on Ms. Steinem's life, commits various sins of self-indulgence, as is the wont of film director Taymor. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2020
64% The Devil All the Time (2020) If you're attracted by the idea of a film that probes the hair's breadth between the ritual and the spiritual, the devotional and the obsessive, and the visionary and the mad, this particular movie might well haunt your dreams. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2020
No Score Yet Notre-Dame: Our Lady of Paris (2020) Told with no small amount of urgency, immediacy and visual elegance by directors Jules and Gédéon Naudet, aided by some first-rate editing by the veteran Deborah Peretz. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
No Score Yet The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show (2020) Ms. Richen has a problematic subject for a documentary, and the problems extend beyond the limitations of footage. She needs to sell the event, thus her lineup of marginally relevant characters gushing about it. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
92% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) [Iannucci] is clearly at home with sprawling casts of characters and comfortable allowing them to chew the scenery when the mood comes over them. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
62% Fatima (2020) It balances reasonable questions with unassailable faith. And it treats with enormous delicacy what has, for more than 100 years, made the miracle of Fatima fascinating even to those who do not believe in miracles - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
96% Class Action Park (2020) Narrated quite drolly by comedian John Hodgman, Class Action Park is very funny in its dark way. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
100% John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (2020) Plays out like a Chopin prelude -- short, sweet, gem-like, satisfying. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
No Score Yet HA Comedy Festival: The Art of Comedy (2020) Comedy is always welcome, until it wears out its welcome. "HA Festival," being as brisk as it is, never runs a risk of crashing into boredom, certainly, or even losing its way. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
87% Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) In addition to creating a documentary with elements of a thriller, director Muta'Ali Muhammad takes a tidy inventory of the people and outrages that made up the political profile of New York at the time. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
81% Spinster (2020) [Spinster evolves] from an example of cinematic misanthropy into something alternately sweet, triumphant, and just a little melancholic. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2020
79% Out Stealing Horses (Ut og Stjæle Hester) (2020) What Mr. Moland is after, in tackling an "unfilmable" novel, is evidenced in the visual tone, emotional content and Mr. Skarsgård's mutely eloquent performance. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2020
53% Waiting for the Barbarians (2020) It's a collision of talents, technique and even philosophy: The much-honored Mr. Rylance can be an antidote to actorly artifice; Mr. Depp is a delivery system for eccentricity. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2020
93% Howard (2020) The Ashman story itself is the stuff of a Broadway musical. It just needed some music -- what's here is doled out in penurious and unsatisfying morsels. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2020
73% An American Pickle (2020) It has some savvy things to say about social media, assimilation and a specifically American condition: the peculiar mix of embarrassment and pride (and guilt) one can harbor about one's ethnic origins. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
94% The Weight of Gold (2020) A story that needed to be told, about a subject that the athletes seem not just happy but relieved to be able to share. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
78% Flannery (2020) The documentary places its subject, partly by describing her spiritual practices, prayer book and worldview, among the great Catholic writers... - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2020
94% Palm Springs (2020) Worry not. Sarah and Nyles are stuck in time, but screenwriter Andy Siara does inventive things with their cosmic staycation. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
98% Hamilton (2020) How does it play? With the same verbal and musical fireworks as the stage version, and with the same emotional kick, which is rooted in the casting. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2020
No Score Yet Shadows & Lies (2010) For all its austerity and art, Anania's movie might just be a black-edged romance. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
No Score Yet Pipe Dreams (2019) The playing is generally astounding, and that alone makes for an enriching hour of public television. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2020
74% Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn (2019) Anyone expecting some kind of righteously indignant, stentorian rant from Ms. Meeropol will be disappointed. In fact, she does something far more surgical: She makes Cohn ridiculous. She makes him close to an object of pity. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2020
92% Be Water (2020) For the most part, it's a very entertaining documentary, but one with curious holes in its history. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
90% We Are Freestyle Love Supreme (2020) Does the viewer care about the evolution, mechanics and process of free-style rapping? Perhaps not, but it's hard not to be impressed, if not awed, by the spontaneous invention exhibited. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2020
91% Spelling the Dream (2020) Some of the analysis seems dead on... Spelling the Dream is not all about camera-wary kids not looking into the lens, though there's a fair amount of that - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2020
No Score Yet I Was Lorena Bobbitt (2020) In this cutting-edge example of Lifetime holiday programming, the former Ms. Bobbitt (now Lorena Gallo) appears on screen not so much narrating as annotating the story playing out, which is always dire and often harrowing. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2020
100% The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester) (1950) ...we, as Rossellini intended, are humbled. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
94% Bad Education (2019) It's a delicate and memorable performance by Mr. Jackman. Ms. Janney does the whole Long Island thing as well as anyone ever has. The most resonant character, though, might be Rachel, whom Ms. Viswanathan imbues with the indignation of youth. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2020
No Score Yet The Story of Plastic (2019) The message one takes away here, strangely perhaps, is that a giant problem really will be resolved through the smallest gestures. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2020
No Score Yet A Modern Farewell (2020) What viewers will notice more about the special itself, though, is how much it focuses on the early years of the show. Which, of course, is when it mattered most. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
No Score Yet The Inn at Little Washington: A Delicious Documentary (2019) It becomes clear that what the show is really about is excellence and its cost -- not just in dollars, but effort and vision. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
60% I am Patrick (2020) Unlike a lot of historical drama, I Am Patrick eschews romanticization and gives one a real sense of how brutal life must have been in the early 400s A.D. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2020
97% The Kingmaker (2019) The Kingmaker is a thoroughly entertaining primer on the past, present, and perhaps future of Filipino politics - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
98% Corpus Christi (Boze cialo) (2020) It is to the credit of writer Mateusz Pacewicz-and Komasa, and the utterly convincing Belenia, whose face could have inspired Goya-that little which happens is what we expect, or necessarily want, but the film will resonate persistently. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
97% The Cave (2019) The grace of someone like Dr. Ballour and her colleagues is unquestioned, endlessly valuable and deserving of all the recognition in the world. What it is not is banal. Which is what "The Cave" comes dangerously close to making it. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2020
No Score Yet Lucy Worsley's Christmas Carol Odyssey (2019) Ms. Worsley is a charming debunker, among her other duties, and it's her style to put a wry spin on the doings of distant royalty. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2019
96% John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch (2019) In a sense, Sack Lunch Bunch, directed by Rhys Thomas, is a conceptual-art piece masquerading as a variety show. The more you know -- about the evolution of children's TV, music videos, sketch shows -- the more effective it is. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2019
84% Just Mercy (2020) The pacing is good, the atmosphere authentic, and even the paperwork -- which is where the real revolutions in law occur -- has a certain kinetic quality to it. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2019
89% 1917 (2020) One needn't be British to feel the epic loss and grief of 1917, thanks to some very committed performances, the intimacy achieved by the movie's style and camera and Mr. Mendes's obvious devotion to what he's doing. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2019