John Lui

John Lui
John Lui's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): The Straits Times (Singapore)

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 48% The Hummingbird Project (2019) Eisenberg plays the cocky one here and Skarsgard is the bespectacled boffin. They are not terrible, but that sort of jape does not help the suspension of disbelief..it is better to use unknown actors - they bring attention to the story, not to themselves. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/5 96% Border (Gräns) (2018) Tine and Vore's unusual love story, and Abbasi's slow unfolding of it, will stick in the mind long after the movie ends. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/5 94% Us (2019) Peele once more shows that he is a better writer than director. This work spills over with themes and symbols, just not coherently arranged, nor presented in a visually stylish way. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
4/5 90% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) A unironic embrace of the Arthurian legend, one the illustrates and amplifies the timeless quality of the story, is what's needed. This film provides plenty of that. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Guang (2018) Yes, the images lean towards romanticised squalor, but the craft is undeniable and arresting. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
2/5 26% The Aftermath (2019) At its heart, the story has a soft-porn premise - there is healing to be found in literally sleeping with the enemy - but it is too handicapped by its serious-movie status to sell that idea with any enthusiasm. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
3.5/5 88% Arctic (2019) While the film is not quite a nail-biter, there is enough of an engine driving interest in the story... - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
3/5 79% Captain Marvel (2019) The Marvel Cinematic Universe's first woman-driven movie has taken much too long to arrive. That it is here at all is cause for celebration. A pity then that it sticks to the tried and tested. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
3.5/5 79% At Eternity's Gate (2018) In a stylistic choice that is both the film's best feature, as well as its greatest weakness, its makers have opted to put visuals first and coherent story second. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
2/5 59% Vox Lux (2018) It aims, it fires, it misses every target. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3.5/5 81% Ben is Back (2018) The climax is a well-crafted cat-and-mouse game and is perfectly enjoyable on its own. But one wishes it had not been triggered by so silly a premise. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Hit-and-Run Squad (2019) If Hit-And-Run Squad was a 90-minute movie, it would have been great. Unfortunately, the South Korean action flick runs about 40 minutes longer. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
2/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) A busy-looking catalogue of events that never adds up to a story. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3/5 68% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Tree's stay-or-go dilemma is emotionally astute and poignant, saving this story from sinking into its own convolutions. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
1/5 19% Serenity (2019) This is a tragic example of a film that stinks in the first half, then spends the second half explaining that the first half was bad on purpose. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
3.5/5 69% Cold Pursuit (2019) The makers made a commercially bold decision to Americanise the story without sanding away its sharp edges. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
3.5/5 71% A Land Imagined (2018) A tonal shift is jarring, but it is a small flaw in a bold work that seeks to unsettle - figuratively and literally - the ground beneath our feet. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
5/5 93% The Favourite (2018) Wonderfully arranged and wickedly funny film. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
3.5/5 73% Destroyer (2018) This combination of tense cop thriller and revenge flick does work. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
4.5/5 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) This is a rare film in which everything gels so perfectly, the whole would collapse if one element were missing. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) This movie lacks a spine and, very nearly, a brain. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Killer Not Stupid (2019) If nothing else, serves as a nostalgic echo of the big, broad ensemble comedies, high in the goofiness factor, that the Hong Kong film factories used to make during the Chinese New Year period. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 88% Colette (2018) Respectful and tasteful? Yes, but it would have been better if this biopic's storytelling style matched the boldness of the woman it seeks to portray. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Silk and the Flame (2018) This is a solid work of family anthropology, one that captures the complicated currents of guilt, respect, responsibility and love that runs through many Asian families. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Underneath it all is a thin but serviceable adventure about Hiccup and his tribe forced to become migrants to protect themselves and the dragons. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3.5/5 90% A Private War (2018) A portrait that does not seek to flatter its subject. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 78% Green Book (2018) The odd-couple comic setups feel easy and unforced. There is genuine chemistry between the brash Vallelonga and the stuffy Shirley. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
3.5/5 89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) This emotionally gripping but flawed work ticks all the checkboxes for a work that festival fans love: a tough social-realist drama centered around a child's point of view. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
2.5/5 37% Glass (2019) All that foreshadowing sets up expectations for a massive climax - one that, because of the story reminding the viewer of how epic it is, sabotages itself and becomes distinctly underwhelming. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
3.5/5 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Makes a fitting postscript to one of Redford's best-loved films, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969). - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
3/5 70% The Mule (2018) This is Eastwood smack dab in his comfort zone, playing a man who squints at the world and sees only slack-jawed morons looking back at him. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
2.5/5 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) The timing makes good marketing sense, but did the movie have to be such a bore? - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
4/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) This comedic dig at capitalism and broken race relations mixes the sweet with the sour, the silly with the serious. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2/5 78% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) Sadly, much like the gait of the undead, the anodyne quality of the music gives the film a lurching, lifeless quality. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 27% Mortal Engines (2018) The steampunk aesthetic has never looked so good on screen, but it is a shame that one notices it so much because the people in the foreground are so bland. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 71% Climax (2019) Like his dancers, Noe has locked the viewer in, and there is no way out. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) The result, given a voiceover by witnesses to the carnage, is the most striking reminder to date of the scale of the conflict and the lives lost to it. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
5/5 96% Roma (2018) Small in scale but enormous in its emotional impact, this drama from one of Mexico's top film-makers is a masterclass in how everyday events, shot in a natural, unforced way, can make for gripping cinema. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 93% Bumblebee (2018) The sixth instalment in the Transformers movie series is the best yet, but that is not saying very much because of the low bar set by the other five. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Who knew the work that would come closest to capturing the first film's clarity and playfulness would be one that goes all the way back to the hero's first format - comic books? - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Good on Disney for not caving in to the current fear of leaving anything under-explained in family films. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 83% Girl (2018) The style is deeply naturalistic, with a look that feels unscripted. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/5 66% Suspiria (2018) Under its arthouse skin, this film has a heart of pure grindhouse. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/5 67% Default (Gukgabudo-ui Nal) (2018) Given the number of times Asians have been portrayed as bad guys in the West, perhaps that depiction is just deserts. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2/5 62% Bird Box (2018) This post-apocalyptic thriller with supernatural overtones has a clever premise - as in the legend of Medusa, death visits anyone who looks upon the source of evil. But the potential is squandered. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Momoa, Kidman, Wilson and others are there to service the script, even when it gets cheesy, and it does get cheesy indeed, but the film's warmheartedness and clarity of purpose win out in the end. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
2.5/5 58% The Grinch (2018) The result is a meandering, low-stakes affair, punctuated by fine but forgettable visual jokes. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
2.5/5 15% Robin Hood (2018) Who knew that the tale of the merry men of Sherwood Forest could be so dour? - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3.5/5 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Coens love how fate places a banana peel under the feet of those foolish enough to look up at stars. Desire makes fools of everyone and to the Coens, that is rich comic material. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3/5 84% Creed II (2018) It is strange to say this, but the thing that carries the biggest sting here - especially in the scenes when Stallone's Rocky, aware that he is in his life's twilight, muses about roads not taken - is not the boxing, but the bonding. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018