John Beifuss Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

John Beifuss

John Beifuss
John Beifuss's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/4 92% 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 81% 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 67% 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 71% 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 92% 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 50% 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 66% 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 45% 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 90% 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 87% 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 53% 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 88% 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 76% 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 97% 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 42% 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 24% 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 92% 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 35% 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 18% 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 43% 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 25% 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 85% 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 87% 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
3/4 75% Split (2017) The director's use of offscreen space to generate tension is particularly expert, as demonstrated in an opening abduction sequence that is a film class-ready gem of purposeful framing, cutting and sound design. ‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2017
2.5/4 34% Live By Night (2017) The painstaking period art direction, bloody gunplay and colorful supporting hoodlums should amuse mob-movie fans, but the turgid, complacent storytelling is the antithesis of the snap and irony that made the gangster film an essential American genre.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
3/4 85% Silence (2017) The deliberate pace and the repeated actions give the film a ritual, even liturgical texture, as if the repetition is intended to benefit the moviegoer, like the recitation of the rosary or the invoking of a holy mantra. ‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
3.5/4 96% Moana (2016) Although the film lacks a swoony love story, its Freudian implications aren't particularly feminist, as Moana works to elevate the demigod's ego, diminished by the unreliablility of his damaged magical fishhook...‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2016
2/4 74% Trolls (2016) The vivid design and fluid animation support a jukebox score of dreary familiarity, a screenplay of trite wordplay ('No troll left behind!') and a story of the utmost banality.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2016
3/4 94% Finding Dory (2016) A reversal of 'Finding Nemo' that -- like its predecessor -- revels in the imaginative opportunities afforded by its floaty, almost surreal underwater environment, the movie has charm and warmth but lacks distinction.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
3/4 74% The Secret Life of Pets (2016) Funny and unpretentious.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
4/4 No Score Yet Free in Deed (2015) Without condescension or editorializing, this entirely original feature immerses viewers into a distinctive Memphis milieu of seedy motels, antiseptic social service agencies and 'Holy Ghost' worship services.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
3/4 74% Nocturnal Animals (2016) The back-and-forth arthouse vs. grindhouse content has the tension of an interrogation, but it wouldn't mean much if the film weren't loaded with personality, in front of the camera (Michael Shannon is a no-nonsense Texas detective) and behind.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
2/4 23% Bad Santa 2 (2016) The unconvincing sentimental message is 'family,' but the theme is the humiliation of strong women, who, according to the lump-of-coal screenplay, secretly yearn for sexual debasement. ‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
3/4 92% The Eagle Huntress (2016) If the girl-empowerment message is unsubtle, the chronology dubious and the occasionally staged action sometimes manipulative, the film also is quite moving, especially as the high-spirited girl develops her remarkable bond with her 15-pound bird.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
3/4 94% Arrival (2016) How to communicate? The challenge faced by every artist is dramatized as a semantic conundrum and amplified as an existential dilemma ('What is your purpose on Earth?') in this moody science fiction film.‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016
4/4 89% Loving (2016) 'We may lose the small battles but win the big war,' Mildred says. These are inspiring words at a moment in American history when racists are emboldened, and they suggest that 'Loving' may be just the movie the country needs. ‐ Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2016