Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
75% Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People (2019) By definition hagiographic. But it's not afraid to acknowledge Pulitzer's talent for making enemies on the level of a Teddy Roosevelt. Or that he was a somewhat obnoxious personality. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
46% Mary Magdalene (2019) Mary Magdalene is in many ways an act of love, an effort to tell its story both freshly and honestly, with fidelity to Scripture. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
65% Peterloo (2019) What [Leigh] is digging at, under a remarkably convincing recreation of 1819 England and the nascent reform movement of early 19th-century Britain, is both the brutality and the self-righteousness exhibited by the haves, when the have-nots ask for more. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
0/4 39% Hot Rod (2007) A charmless idiot, a clumsy rip-off of Jackass and one more tiresome exercise in arrested adolescence -- add them up and you have Hot Rod. - Newsday EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
90% Tigerland (2019) Nimbly negotiating its geography and parallel narratives, Tigerland is, on the one hand, a wildlife film by a filmmaker from outside that genre. The genre certainly benefits. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
78% The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) The Inventor has an ethereal atmosphere, enhanced in no small way by Will Bates's music, and conforms to Mr. Gibney's usual M.O. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
91% Fyre (2019) [An] elegantly constructed takedown. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
78% Fyre Fraud (2019) Fyre Fraud, which had been planned as a series, feels unfocused and rushed. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
89% La religieuse (The Nun) (1971) There are no theological arguments made in La Religieuse. Suzanne's faith is firm, her Christian belief a monument to itself, given her treatment. But again, the convents serve as metaphors... - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
35% Gummo (1997) Is the perspective of youth in this country really so devoid of significance, and their existence so septic? These are good questions, although "Gummo" provides neither answer nor solution, nor even thematic cohesion. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
No Score Yet USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter (2019) It remains a haunting episode in American naval history, one that this PBS special does considerable justice -- especially in the tragedy/irony/indignation department. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
66% Vice (2018) Vice isn't a dishonest movie, exactly. It just enables dishonesty. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
83% Fail State (2018) Fail State is dense with information but incorporates just enough intimate, personal portraiture to make itself tragically human. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) Viewers are thereby hooked, and the Lebanese director Nadine Labaki keeps them that way throughout a picaresque journey through the streets and hovels and storefronts and sordid domestic dramas that provide her film's physiology. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Overall, though, Rourke fails to make the movie dramatically engaging because she gives equal dramatic weight to everything... - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
85% Dumplin' (2018) Director Anne Fletcher aims for the tear ducts, directing for maximum anguish, righteousness and/or schmaltz, and much of the Dumplin message arrives with postage due. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
100% Icebox (2018) Icebox is not a documentary. But it does have a spare, naturalistic and awkwardly acted style that helps sell its story, which goes only so far into the legal nuances or politics of the detainee crisis on the southern border. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
96% Roma (2018) There is a richness to Roma that will likely take multiple viewings to absorb. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
93% The Favourite (2018) The dualities provided by Weisz and Stone are wonderful: hot vs. cold, scheming vs. naïve, with ambition ultimately winning out. But Anne is something else, in every sense of the phrase. And so is The Favourite. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
No Score Yet The Flood (2018) The blessings of high-definition TVs are decidedly mixed... But they're great for sports and news. And nature programming. Especially The Flood, which would be breathtaking if you were to watch it on a cellphone. Which is something no one should ever do. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
92% The Price of Everything (2018) Nathaniel Kahn lets the contemporary-art market shoot itself in the pedicured foot. But not everything worth saying needs to be articulated in this highly polished documentary-a beautiful piece of representational art, as it happens. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
No Score Yet Hemorrhage (2012) Croft, working with limited resources, shows what a filmmaker can accomplish through visual virtuosity. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) While historical accuracy is not the first priority, the point of the story is sacrifice: the artist on a cross. That may seem a bit grandiose, but grandiosity was always the fuel source of Queen and Freddie Mercury-and of Bohemian Rhapsody as well. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
100% Shirkers (2018) A movie that maintains its forward momentum all the while it's looking back. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
C+ No Score Yet Black Mountain Side (2013) No one deserves what happens to them in "Black Mountain Side," but as the deer-head deity would tell you, no one ever said it all had to make sense. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
87% First Man (2018) Armstrong does give us something to hang our hearts on, in the end-this is a Hollywood movie, after all. But it's oh so hard. And the movie makes us feel it. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
89% A Star Is Born (2018) It may be that every generation gets the "A Star Is Born" it deserves, though what we did to deserve this one is anyone's guess. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
89% King Lear (2018) While the language of Shakespeare can be a challenge for the modern viewer, this "King Lear" is so physical and the acting so expressive that one is never unsure of what is happening, or what devilment. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
81% Quincy (2018) The museum story actually would have made a better narrative arc for "Quincy," which instead wanders every which way, and never seems to get its subject to relax on camera. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
87% Colette (2018) Colette is a character-driven movie, but also one that is sending a message about social mores and their malleability. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
81% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) The punditry is trite. The snark is boring. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
36% Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) It sounds so simple. And in Unbroken: Path to Redemption, it's portrayed exactly that way. You don't need a whole movie for that kind of experience. All you have to do is read the title. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
60% Bel Canto (2018) It's a sturdy, moving piece. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
90% Museum (Museo) (2018) Museo is in part a caper film, a heist film, and while it leans on such classics as Topkapi and Rififi the robbery has its own signature and is done in a visual style that's hypnotic. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
76% Five Fingers for Marseilles (2018) [Five Fingers for Marseilles] is ripe with indignation, injustice, righteous violence and, ultimately, a shootout of cosmic resonance. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
58% White Boy Rick (2018) A lot of deals go down, and go bad, in White Boy Rick, but the one that really goes awry is the one with the audience. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
71% The Apparition (L'apparition) (2018) A bona fide thriller of faith, The Apparition is the best dramatic feature this critic has seen about spirituality, belief or even the church in years. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
No Score Yet Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age (2018) The whole thing is a mess. And that is something [writer and director Nancy Jo] Sales portrays quite well. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
94% RBG (2018) Ginsburg's contributions to our current legal world are established as profound and revolutionary, although her position on abortion remains pro-choice. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
51% Destination Wedding (2018) [Victor Levin] has made a very rare kind of film, one that not only doesn't spoon feed its viewers, but almost dares them to keep watching. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
61% Operation Finale (2018) To say Mr. Kingsley's performance is more than Eichmann deserves, of course, is really not saying anything -- it's a sturdy film, albeit about a shaky subject. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2018
93% Support the Girls (2018) The unlikely, bittersweet, bristling comedy Support the Girls is easily one of the best films of the year, and the most sympathetic to women. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
55% The Bookshop (2018) As cleanly appointed and precise as Penelope Fitzgerald's prose, "The Bookshop," based on Fitzgerald's 1978 novel, seems very much a fable. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
52% Papillon (2018) Mr. Hunnam plays Papillon with a certain fierceness and swagger, but his psyche is largely impenetrable. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
23% The Happytime Murders (2018) "The Happytime Murders" can't be that outrageous-it's too late-but it has its moments, several of which are provided by Ms. Rudolph, putting a spin on the girl-friday role. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
100% Minding the Gap (2018) As such, it possesses an intimacy that could never be acquired without years of shared experience, and heartache. And probably road rash. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
No Score Yet Betty White: First Lady of Television (2018) Betty White has become kind of a media character in her golden years, but what "First Lady of Television" also emphasizes, rightly, is what an accomplished actress and comedian she is. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
48% Like Father (2018) "Like Father" does what a lot of its comedic ancestors did, which is find humor on the perimeter of woeful circumstance. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
83% Puzzle (2018) Wry, gentle and quietly radical. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
No Score Yet Ballet Now (2018) Viewers elsewhere may find themselves standing up in their living rooms. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018