John Lui Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2.5/5 39% Den of Thieves (2018) This movie might have been a fun, stylish homage to everyone's favourite hardboiled L.A. action-thrillers, but for [Christian] Gudegast's clumsy, overcompensating fetishisation of masculinity.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
2.5/5 12% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) None of the films has found a way to reconcile the two purposes - sensuality and exposition - in a harmonious, graceful way that does not require excessive amounts of plodding dialogue.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
2.5/5 69% Wonderstruck (2017) Relationships between people from two eras should be important in a story, but to make it a device feels like a cheat and not a very good one either.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
2/5 14% Winchester (2018) Inexplicably they have the A-list talent of Oscar winner Mirren on their side. She is aided by Clarke, an actor at home in a genre film such as this or in serious dramas. Neither of them seems to be slacking or phoning it in, to their credit.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
4/5 92% The Shape of Water (2017) Sally Hawkins brings a combination of frailty and strength to her part in this movie that makes her performance the pillar on which everything else stands.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
4/5 89% I, Tonya (2018) At its heart, this film asks its audience to accept a contradiction, which it sells with a knowing wink and rather successfully.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
3.5/5 84% Loving Vincent (2017) Van Gogh's paintings already shimmer and swirl on canvas. Here, because of the animation, the painter's images of postmen, farmers and country doctors come to life in glorious squiggle-vision.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
3/5 75% Last Flag Flying (2017) The result is a "compare and contrast" experiment, one that feels unevenly paced and soft in focus because ideas that might have worked on the pages of its source book have not translated well into film.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
3.5/5 100% Earth: One Amazing Day (2017) That need to draw a movie-style narrative from animal behaviour gets annoying. The beautiful footage is good enough.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
2.5/5 77% All the Money in the World (2017) Mark Wahlberg's fixer character, Fletcher Chase, is superfluous and feels jammed into the story to provide a musclebound foil to Williams' femininity.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
5/5 91% Phantom Thread (2018) The pace is stately and the visuals are lush, pushed along nicely by the neo-classical music score of frequent Anderson collaborator Jonny Greenwood.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
3.5/5 No Score Yet Satan's Slaves (Pengabdi Setan) (2017) The scares are carefully timed and spaced between plenty of character-building moments, showing the closeness of the family. ‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
3/5 54% 12 Strong (2018) Characters are reduced to thumbnails, and there is little of the soul searching found in other war movies, in which men question the need for war, or ask why men kill.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
3.5/5 66% Breathe (2017) Actress [Claire] Foy brings the same luminous intensity to her portrayal of Diana as she does Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series The Crown. ‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
4.5/5 93% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) The film, however, belongs to McDormand as the wrathful mother, capable of conveying more menace with her steely gaze and set jawline than a dozen thugs waving weapons.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
4/5 82% The Square (2017) Yet, this movie is anything but misanthropic. And while it pokes at the pretensions of modern art, it does not dismiss it altogether.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
4/5 88% The Post (2018) Graham, who inherited the job after her husband's suicide, grows in stature - from reluctant boss shouted down by male subordinates to a more confident leader - and is fascinating to watch, thanks in large part to Streep's sensitive portrayal.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
2.5/5 51% Downsizing (2017) Everything is a little on the nose and the burgeoning relationship between Paul and Tran is not interesting enough to sustain the social commentary. That is made worse when the story moves into an apocalyptic tangent in the third act.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
3/5 58% The Commuter (2018) [Liam] Neeson is at his Neeson-est here. He is the average American dad who, when pressed, reveals that he has a special set of skills.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
4/5 86% Darkest Hour (2017) [Director Joe] Wright's restless camera tracks Churchill's immortal words as they fly from his mind before landing on the pages of typist Miss Layton (Lily James). This is mental activity framed as martial arts.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
4/5 79% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) Martin is played with fabulous nonchalance by Irish actor [Barry] Keoghan in a breakout performance.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
4/5 73% Hostiles (2018) This movie is the real deal: A full-blooded western, complete with Old West setting, horses trekking across sweeping landscapes and Native Americans out for blood.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
2.5/5 82% Molly's Game (2018) Despite the abundance of snappy comebacks and delicious zingers, the structural weaknesses of the story show. There is little depth to Bloom's character and putting intellectual meat on the bones of Bloom's story is an exercise in repetition.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
3/5 55% The Greatest Showman (2017) The songs are solid and This Is Me, like all great Top 40 summer tunes, has an anthemic chorus that embeds itself in one's head for days.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2017
3/5 27% Bright (2017) [Will Smith] handles his hard-boiled one-liners wonderfully. ‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2017
4/5 92% Good Time (2017) The ticking clock thriller gets an indie makeover and the result is a pulse-quickening ride that, in entertainment value, beats anything that mainstream cinema has made in a while.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2017
2/5 32% Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) In saying goodbye to its fans, the third and last movie has gone sappy, turning its driven women into star-struck fangirls, eager for the approval of DJ Khaled (playing himself), whom they consider a star-maker.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2017
2.5/5 No Score Yet Chennai 2 Singapore (2017) For those unfamiliar with the film language, its reliance on heavy drama, over-the-top fist fights complete with loud sound effects, musical montages, epic romance and slapstick humour might prove to be a bit too much.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2017
3.5/5 96% Mudbound (2017) The reason to watch this is for Morgan's performance as Hap. He bears every racist indignity with stoic resignation. His face is a mask of deference, but his eyes flash with outrage.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2017
3.5/5 100% Paddington 2 (2018) The suspense-thriller plot involving a frame-up is throwaway for anyone older than 12, but there is so much going on - the Wes-Anderson-meets-Studio-Ghibli visuals, the skits, Grant's over-the-top work - that the older ones will be kept happy.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2017
4/5 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Big space battles are one thing, but there are smaller action setpieces here that can only be described as beautiful.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2017
2.5/5 25% Madame (2018) [Toni Collette] makes the audience believe rich people problems are worthy of sympathy, even if the character in question is far from likeable.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2017
2.5/5 No Score Yet Seuls (2017) The result is a middling Hollywood-style slice of Stephen King-style horror, as featureless and faceless as the assassin haunting the survivors.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2017
3/5 58% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) The puzzle-box mechanics of the Christie murder mystery - a fixed number of persons, all limited in movement and clues which, at the climax, lock into place - are kept as immaculate as the table settings in the dining car.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2017
2.5/5 53% Manhunt (2017) Instead, the film feels like an earnest imitation of [John Woo's] best works, in the vein of tribute bands - similar, but not quite the same.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
4/5 87% Wind River (2017) But premise aside, everything else about this movie feels fresh and powerfully authentic. ‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
3.5/5 85% Battle of the Sexes (2017) As they did in Sunshine, [Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris] adroitly walk the line between poking fun at the characters - here, Carell's pathetic, attention-seeking Riggs is the main target - and winning sympathy for them.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
3/5 40% Justice League (2017) Gone is the semi-pornographic depiction of muscles and male angst, and also missing is the grey-on-grey colour scheme.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
3/5 No Score Yet The Kid from the Big Apple: Before We Forget (2017) There is a scene in which he grieves for his long-lost wife at a home altar that is a masterclass in melancholy.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2017
2/5 28% All I See Is You (2017) While this has interesting moments, Foster seems unable to follow the story into as deep or dark a place as it should go and the ambiguity in the storytelling is unwarranted and frustrating to witness.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2017
2.5/5 No Score Yet Yasmine (2014) Things take a surreal left turn in the final third... That note of supernatural evil, coming as it does with overblown notions of fate, sin and redemption, feels out of place, weighing down the otherwise promising material.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2017
3.5/5 91% A Ghost Story (2017) This might ultimately be not much more than an exercise in visual montage, but with the help of a powerful score from Daniel Hart, the effect is mesmerising and, yes, haunting.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2017
2.5/5 66% Victoria & Abdul (2017) [STephen Frears] seems to have run out of ideas, despite Dench's riveting turn as Queen Victoria, Empress of India.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2017
2.5/5 29% Suburbicon (2017) Matt Damon is fine as salaryman Gardner, as is Julianne Moore, doubling as wife Rose and her twin sister Margaret, but there is too much here that is under-developed and forgettable.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2017
2.5/5 51% Unbroken (2014) The movie's biggest error comes from its assumption that depiction equals explanation. This is untrue, especially not when so much depiction is painted with the broadest of strokes.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2017
2/5 26% Jupiter Ascending (2015) Somewhere in this overlong and over-elaborate mess of a space opera, there is a story begging to emerge, if only the Wachowski siblings would let it show itself.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2017
3/5 68% American Gigolo (1980) The journey from point A to point B might have been more direct, though given the film's lush visuals and many iconic New York settings, it would probably not have been as pretty.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2017
2/5 74% Enemy (2014) While the film is finely crafted and boasts excellent performances from female leads Laurent and Sarah Gadon, everything is too restrained and tasteful and, in particular, too reliant on the suspense trope of the chase.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2017
3/5 43% Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) This is risk-taking, melodramatic stuff, but handled well.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2017
2/5 32% The Expendables 3 (2014) Other than the more kid-friendly format, the computer-generated special effects have been amped up to ludicrous science-fiction levels, perhaps to compensate for the lower adrenaline levels and less on-screen blood.‐ The Straits Times (Singapore)
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2017