John Beifuss Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

John Beifuss

John Beifuss
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
96% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) ... a squirmy, funny, fascinating documentary that mixes history, zoology and social and cultural anthropology to examine the relationship of the giant rat to the bayou Louisianans who hunt, skin and sometimes even eat the dagger-incisored critters.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
4/4 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) A red throne room evokes the Technicolor fantasies of Michael Powell and Vincente Minnelli, while the scratchy surfaces of a sand planet trace the arc of each combatant's footwork like a choreographer's notation, transforming a duel into a dance.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 98% My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) (2017) Never panders or becomes cloying on its way to a well-earned 'we are family' conclusion.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 69% mother! (2017) If it's silly as biblical allegory it's potent as a comedic parable about the selfishness and egoism of the process of (male) artistic creation...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 80% Colossal (2017) Entirely original, writer-director Nacho Vigalondo's movie scores points about the catastrophes unwitting Americans enable overseas (through their voting choices, among other things), and also says something about sexual harassment and male privilege...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 85% It (2017) Unpretentious and scary, with a crack ensemble of kids led by future Amy Adams, Sophia Lillis.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 89% Lady Macbeth (2017) Owing more to Brontë and Highsmith than to Shakespeare, this grim moor noir presents its catalog of parricide, mariticide and equine-cide as the consequences of a class and caste system that dehumanizes even those who materially benefit from its design.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 91% The Shape of Water (2017) The most elaborate explication to date of del Toro's belief that monsters, like traditional religious martyrs, are 'innocents' whose torments testify to their 'state of grace.'‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 92% Dunkirk (2017) A tribute to wartime resolve and directorial hubris; it's awe-inspiring in its logistics, scale and achievement.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
4/4 91% A Ghost Story (2017) Employs a symbol so simple a child recognizes it to probe issues of life, death, time and rebirth.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 93% Baby Driver (2017) Edgar Wright's pedal-to-the-metal plus needle-to-the-vinyl action movie is a love letter to the never obsolete wonders of fast cars, pop music and crafty commercial/personal filmmaking.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
4/4 99% Lady Bird (2017) 'I guess I pay attention,' says Lady Bird, explaining the loving detail found in one of her essays; from the evidence here, Gerwig does, too.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
4/4 96% The Florida Project (2017) Heir to the traditions of Huck Finn, the 'Our Gang' shorts and other tales of feral children, Sean Baker's 'Tangerine' followup transforms the strip malls and short-term motels of Disneyfied Orlando into a magical playground of discovery and peril.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
3.5/4 93% Wonder Woman (2017) When Trevor insists on traveling to England to consult with 'the men' he says are in the best position to end the war, Diana's response obliterates the gender gap: 'I am the man who can.'‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2017
1.5/4 29% Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) An exhausting walk down a very long and garish plank.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2017
3/4 83% Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) The film needs more id and less Ego: Nothing that appears shocking, reckless or impulsive is allowed to disrupt the strategic, storyboarded faux chaos of the project's blockbuster imperative and 'Marvel Cinematic Universe' orthodoxy.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2017
2.5/4 68% Life (2017) Handsome and efficient but uninspired, even with its grabby Cthuloid space orchid.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2017
3/4 66% Alien: Covenant (2017) The splattery violence, which reduces humanity to meat and reproduction to a survival instinct, enacts a blunt rebuttal to the idea that science and art -- 'Ozymandias' and even John Denver are referenced -- offer humankind an opportunity for immorality.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2017
4/4 91% A Quiet Passion (2017) The film employs technology undreamed of in Dickinson's time to evoke a poetic, transcendent sensation: 'The Carriage held but just Ourselves -- And Immortality.'‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2017
1.5/4 44% The Dinner (2017) In this joyless context the professionalism feels like slow suffocation.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
2/4 67% The Fate of the Furious (2017) The steroidal bonhomie is less anabolic than exhausted and even the signature reckless-driving lunacy seems more labored than inspired.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
2.5/4 43% Ghost in the Shell (2017) The movie directly tackles the 'whitewashing' controversy that accompanied the casting of Johansson; the science-fiction rationalization of the ethnic rewrite has logic, but also an unsettling clinical ruthlessness.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
2.5/4 71% Beauty and the Beast (2017) The effect is sometimes that of a live-action karaoke of its cartoon source...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
3/4 80% Personal Shopper (2017) A modern-dress ghost story that somehow lacks the mystery and sense of the uncanny that made the ostensibly less supernatural previous Assayas/Stewart collaboration, 'The Clouds of Sils Maria,' an instant classic.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 3, 2017
2.5/4 91% Frantz (2017) More expressive than the impeccable production and costume design are Niney's sharp Daumieresque features, which seem sculpted to cut through tides of warmongering nationalistic cant like a shark's fin through the surf.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 3, 2017
2.5/4 86% The Lost City of Z (2017) It has definite integrity, a painterly beauty and a cumulative emotional power, but it misses the madness of Herzog, the poetry of Malick and the muscle of Coppola, to cite filmmakers who each emerged from the wilds with true treasure: a masterpiece.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted May 3, 2017
3/4 54% The Belko Experiment (2017) The bloodbath of corporate downsizing within a cutthroat capitalist marketplace is imagined as a literal massacre in the latest thriller from reliable horror shingle Blumhouse Productions.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2017
2.5/4 91% Land of Mine (Under Sandet) (2017) Zandvliet subordinates suspense and even existential metaphor to unilluminating brotherhood-of-man sentiment...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2017
2/4 43% Song to Song (2017) After three films, the auteur's habit of employing the most attractive of movie stars as leads while 'real' people and members of ethnic groups are used as exotic props has seriously diluted the impact of the work's promise of transcendence and salvation.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2017
3/4 83% Julieta (2016) Designed, acted and composed with characteristically admirable intention and intelligence, but it doesn't aspire to the pitch of delirium that distinguishes the director's most memorable work.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2017
2.5/4 75% Kong: Skull Island (2017) Jettisons the timeless beauty-and-the-beast tragedy of the 1933 masterpiece for a borrowed Vietnam allegory...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2017
4/4 99% Get Out (2017) Its box office success is a sign that America 2017 -- a place where #TheResistance is a trending Twitter topic -- desperately needed this distillation of satire, cri de guerre and catharsis.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2017
3.5/4 93% Logan (2017) The movie is exhilaratingly vicious (those claws are made to order for R-rated bloodshed) but also elegiac, thanks to Stewart's gravitas, Jackman's weary charisma and the quixotic-quest storyline...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2017
3.5/4 89% John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) The bounty on Wick's head that turns the hit man's life into a nonstop epic battle gives the story an expressionistic, existential underpinning: Isn't living under a death sentence an extreme metaphor for what all of us do?‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2017
3/4 90% The Lego Batman Movie (2017) A dizzying, bouncing batarang of colorful and kaleidoscopic digital animation that lacks the alternate-world Lego-centricity that made the earlier feature distinctive in theme as well as design...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2017
3.5/4 96% The Salesman (Forushande) (2017) As usual, Farhadi constructs a noose of a narrative that tightens the more the characters unravel...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2017
3/4 94% The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge) (2017) Birth, survival, mating, death: The life experience is reduced to its essentials in this stripped-down, dialogue-free fable...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2017
2.5/4 35% The Great Wall (2017) Zhang's enviable eye for color and composition is somewhat occluded by the gargantuan scale; still, he finds beauty in the chaos (a climactic interior action sequence is splashed with rainbow beams from stained-glass windows).‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2017
3/4 43% A Cure For Wellness (2017) Gore Verbinski indulges a hitherto undisclosed passion for vintage Eurohorror with this voluptuously shot mystery-shocker.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2017
4/4 98% I Am Not Your Negro (2017) Film clips reveal Baldwin to be an elegantly elfin and velvet-voiced public presence, with a professional raconteur's sense of style, a realist's grim suspicion of authority, a historian's grasp of context and a movie lover's joy of performance. ‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2017
2.5/4 20% The Bye Bye Man (2017) This shocker carries -- perhaps inevitably, post-11/8/16 -- a definite political pertinency: The hoodie-cloaked title entity owes his power to the repetition of his name (i.e., publicity) and to the fear that oppresses those obsessed with him.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2017
4/4 93% Toni Erdmann (2016) The movie endorses rapprochement over antagonism and reconciliation over alienation as it builds to a climactic confrontation in which the daughter is entirely exposed while the father is entirely concealed... ‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2017
2.5/4 38% Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) In the context of America's scary 2017, a story in which the self-proclaimed 'righteous' devise 'a Noah's ark for the rich and powerful' in order to ride out an 'orchestrated apocalypse' no longer seems entirely far-fetched.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
2/4 20% Underworld: Blood Wars (2017) If the franchise's first female helmer brings any distaff distinction to the assignment, it may be in the presentation of Lara Pulver as a new vampire villain who flashes enough fang, skin and wit to be more than a match for the humorless Beckinsale.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
2/4 47% xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) This story of risk-taking rebels is so afraid of offending moviegoers its plot has been calibrated to fit the theories of federal-government paranoiacs across the political spectrum, whether their concern is fascists or 'libtards.'‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
1.5/4 24% The Comedian (2017) The movie evinces no understanding of the trends it attempts to satirize (viral videos, reality television, self-absorbed millennials), nor -- and this is fatal -- does it present any evidence that De Niro's vulgar Jackie Burke is actually funny.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
3.5/4 96% Paterson (2016) Lensed with a painter's eye by the great Frederick Elmes, the movie conveys an aura of Blakean mysticism through such homely sources as an 8-by-10 mugshot of Lou Costello...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
3.5/4 84% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) In the first 'Star Wars' film, in 1977, heroism is rewarded (literally, in the form of a medal); but here, heroism requires extreme sacrifice. That (ultimately lethal) distinction is a key to the difference between previous chapters and this sidebar...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2017
2.5/4 85% Lion (2016) The movie's first half is filled with tumult, menace and a vivid sense of place; the second half, which emphasizes the idea that the comfortable and well-educated Saroo is a 'lost' soul (literally), is tedious.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2017
3/4 86% A Monster Calls (2017) Benefits greatly from the sensitive lead performance of Lewis MacDougall, whose exposure to a home-movie-projection screening of the black-and-white 'King Kong' provides a precedent for both the monster's arrival and the tearful ending.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2017