John Berra

John Berra
John Berra's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer® when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Screen International Electric Sheep

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
80% Cliff Walkers (2021) The venerable Fifth Generation director proves just as adept when it comes to the espionage thriller, somehow marshaling almost every conceivable stock element into a reassuringly familiar whole. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
No Score Yet Sister (2021) The ongoing conflict between traditional values and the pursuit of individual goals lies at the heart of Yin Ruoxin's affectingly sincere drama Sister. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2021
60% Detective Chinatown 3 (2020) Even when it is more dedicated to brand extension than the art of deduction, Detective Chinatown 3 exudes a heightened zaniness which is most welcome in today's largely homogenised franchise landscape. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
92% A Writer's Odyssey (2021) The result often verges on sensory overload but is nonetheless largely coherent and frequently inventive while evincing a determinedly dark sensibility. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
No Score Yet One Second (2020) An emotionally satisfying celebration of how cinema is experienced both individually and collectively. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
29% Vanguard (2020) A CGI-laden imitation of blockbuster spectacle. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
No Score Yet Beyond You (2020) Park deserves praise for making conceptually layered films with limited resources, but should perhaps give linear storytelling a try next time around. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
No Score Yet Three (2020) Three not only operates within a durable genre wheelhouse but evinces a decidedly off-kilter sensibility which should prompt word-of-mouth recommendation. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
83% Jiang Ziya (2020) Impressively for a piece of foundation-stage universe building, Jiang Ziya manages to hint at a world beyond the frame without mitigating its individual pleasures. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2020
88% The Eight Hundred (2020) A towering technical achievement which commands attention from start to finish. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2020
92% The Best Is Yet To Come (Bu Zhi Bu Xiu) (2020) Wang has delivered a thoroughly invigorating blend of character study and investigative thriller. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
No Score Yet Love After Love (2020) A sumptuously detailed evocation of a rarefied world defined as much by a unique set of rules as its abundant material comforts. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2020
100% The Paper Tigers (2021) Its affectionate use of genre tropes and amiable performances make it a pleasing diversion for any mature martial arts movie fan. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
100% Sheep Without a Shepherd (2019) Although the premise is undoubtedly far-fetched, Malaysian director Sam Quah succeeds in constructing the kind of tightly wound suspense piece for which disbelief can be suspended. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
100% Victim(s) (2020) Ji crafts a scathing social critique without tipping the film into irreversibly grave polemic. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2020
100% I WeirDO (Guai Tai) (2020) An eye-catching and empathic debut which succeeds in making its ostensibly peculiar scenario all too relatable. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
70% Ashfall (2019) Patently ludicrous but no less enjoyable for it, Ashfall is a rock-solid disaster spectacle bolstered by the savvy star pairing of Lee Byung-hun and Ha Jung-woo as unlikely allies tasked with a borderline impossible mission. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2020
84% Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019) Playing typically fast and loose with history, regular director Wilson Yip again balances a respectful representation of Ip Man's teachings with breathlessly kinetic fight scenes that will surely satisfy the series' legion of fans. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
75% Only Cloud Knows (2019) What could have been rather mournful instead becomes a poignant celebration of life thanks to Feng's deft handling of patently sincere material. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
13% The Whistleblower (2019) When it refrains from heavy handed lecturing, The Whistleblower just about passes muster as a slick time-waster, with Andy Canny's taut editing keeping the increasingly improbable developments moving at a decent pace. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
96% Better Days (2019) Better Days may slide into somewhat hollow artfulness, but it's hard not to be moved by its genuine concerns. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2019
No Score Yet Radius (Trijya) (2019) Trijya conveys urban malaise in a quietly perplexing manner that bodes well for Indikar's future development. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
No Score Yet Vortex (2019) It may be packed with the requisite moral dilemmas, botched exchanges and double-crosses, but director Gan Jianyu handles these stock elements in such a rote manner that interest rapidly dwindles as the situation escalates. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
100% Leftover Women (2019) An emotionally complex piece of personal portraiture that intimately reveals the extent to which traditional attitudes still dominate Chinese society regardless of its globalised surface. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2019
No Score Yet Lost in Love (2019) It's a relatively tame cinematic affair with an hour or so of tepid soul-searching bookended by touristic shots of the Eiffel Tower. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
No Score Yet Wish You Were Here (2018) The director's renewed effort to traverse cultural dichotomies is waylaid by narrative contrivances and ultimately drowns in overbearing sentiment. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
69% Triple Threat (2019) A must-see for genre enthusiasts. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
No Score Yet Crazy Alien (2019) Ning's unerring knack for illustrating the absurdity of contemporary China through popular genre iconography somewhat compensates for a repetitive second half. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
70% The Wandering Earth (2019) Even before it concludes in a bombastic manner that is more Michael Bay than Christopher Nolan, it's apparent that The Wandering Earth has made a giant leap for China's science fiction cinema but not for the genre itself. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
98% One Child Nation (2019) If it stops short of making an explicit political statement, a series of powerful testimonies leaves a harrowing micro-level impression. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
20% A Cool Fish (2018) Aiming for a mix of postmodern caper and grassroots social commentary, it's a hectically plotted misfire that comes up short on both fronts. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
78% Last Letter (2018) Playing a character who can't quite let go of past romantic disappointment despite her apparent present day happiness, Zhou credibly grounds a scenario so lightweight that it often seems about to float away. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
No Score Yet The Rib (2018) Despite its sincerity, The Rib is undermined by Zhang's tendency to foreground related issues with character development secondary to instigating debate. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
88% The Third Wife (2019) The almost entirely female cast is captivating throughout. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
81% Cities of Last Things (2018) Ho's most ambitious effort to date. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
67% Hidden Man (2018) Jiang has reined in his critique of China's capacity for corruption while taking a go-for-broke approach to escapist storytelling. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
79% Buffalo Boys (2019) Buffalo Boys romps through familiar 'birth of a legend' territory with moderately entertaining results. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
83% BuyBust (2018) Resolute performances give a vital human quality to a film that is otherwise as brazenly cynical as it is brilliantly executed. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
86% Dying to Survive (2019) Laced with caustic humour, although not at the expense of its fundamental sincerity. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2018
No Score Yet Lobster Cop (2018) With more inspired lunacy or smarter plotting, Lobster Cop could have been a surprising treat. As it is, this is perfectly digestible light entertainment that won't have anyone coming back for seconds. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2018
69% Animal World (2018) It's a scenario that is realised in extravagant fashion by writer-director Han Yan, whose heightened sensibility oscillates between dazzling and dizzying, often in the same elaborately designed sequence. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2018
100% Us & Them (2018) Taiwanese singer-actress Rene Liu makes her directorial debut with Us And Them, the kind of decade-spanning love story which could easily be condensed into one of her wistful pop songs but nonetheless proves sincerely affecting... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2018
No Score Yet A Or B (2018) Cursory details aren't enough to make one invest in a central protagonist who pretty much deserves everything he gets. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2018
No Score Yet Justice In Northwest (2018) Aiming to give the proceedings some gravitas, writer-director Huang Huang enlists the reliable services of Yu Nan and Simon Yam, yet the film is assembled in such a slipshod manner that their combined efforts are unable to overcome its shortcomings. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2018
80% Operation Red Sea (2018) The unflinching rawness of the action has considerable impact while undercutting the dominant jingoistic tone. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2018
50% Monster Hunt 2 (Zhuo Yao Ji 2) (2018) This sprightly follow-up to 2015's surprise fantasy blockbuster is considerably more enjoyable than the cluttered original. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2018
54% Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) Sicheng dials the original's lewd humor down a notch, but still mines stereotypes for easy laughs with Wang delivering his trademark high pitch comedic star turn. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2018
No Score Yet Till The End Of The World (2018) Unabashedly clichéd but benefits immensely from the natural splendour of Earth's southernmost continent and its reunion of the stars of the popular youth drama So Young ... - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2018
No Score Yet A Better Tomorrow 2018 (2018) A Better Tomorrow 2018 is destined to wind up as a footnote to a stone cold classic, but this is nonetheless solid genre fare that stands on its own two feet, with both guns blazing. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
7% 7 Guardians of the Tomb (2018) The cast makes little effort to elevate the rote material, aside from Li, who maintains a sense of steadfast determination throughout. - Screen International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2018