John Powers Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

John Powers

John Powers
John Powers's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): L.A. Weekly, NPR.org, NPR, Vogue

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
50% Phil Spector (2013) Spector is almost the platonic ideal of the crazy showbiz madman. He makes a great fit for Pacino, who has for once found a character so charismatically odd that he doesn't need to overact to keep himself interested.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
80% Ginger & Rosa (2013) You won't find many movies about teenage girls more perceptive than Ginger & Rosa by the English filmmaker Sally Potter.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
10% Stonewall (2015) A wooden script, bad lines delivered by amateurish actors, bizarre plot choices, and a set that some have said bears less resemblance to Christopher Street circa 1969 than Sesame Street or the Land of Oz.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
48% Freeheld (2015) Moore and Page don't have great chemistry, which means the heart of a movie about the power of love doesn't quite beat.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
87% Straight Outta Compton (2015) Like most music pictures, Straight Outta Compton is most enjoyable when it's chronicling its heroes' rise-discovering their message, conquering the public, throwing increasingly debauched parties.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
97% Tangerine (2015) By turns funny, outrageous, and attuned to unfulfilled dreams, Tangerine is as close as I've seen an American come to capturing the subversive panache of the young Pedro Almodóvar -- an achievement far grander than merely trending.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
83% The Two Faces of January (2014) The movie offers the old-fashioned pleasures of gorgeous location shooting in Greece and Turkey, a deftly unfolding psychological drama, and strikingly sharp performances.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
22% Girl Most Likely (2013) This is one of those movies that takes a potentially interesting character and then gives her a one-way ticket to Squaresville.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
92% Zero Dark Thirty (2013) As Maya, she (Chastain) pulls off the tricky feat of making us follow, and connect to, a smart, driven woman who's neither particularly likable or unlikable -- her whole being is inseparable from her job.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
80% The Place Beyond The Pines (2013) Cianfrance is so eager to make a grand statement about the generations that he loses sight of the individuals he should be bringing to life in rich, exacting detail.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2017
92% The Spectacular Now (2013) Just when you want the movie to take a daring leap, it steps back from the ledge and starts resembling too many others you've seen about addiction.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2017
94% Casting By (2013) While the movie is not especially thoughtful (to put it mildly), it's worth seeing for all its revelatory TV clips and for celebrating one of the great female innovators in post-World War II movie history.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2017
60% The Bling Ring (2013) Morality be damned, I kept wishing The Bling Ring was juicier.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2017
83% Side Effects (2013) Although I would've liked him to go out with something better than Side Effects, it's fitting that Soderbergh would end with a film that's superbly shot, directed, and acted, and yet, at some fundamental level, profoundly half-hearted.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
50% Pain & Gain (2013) It's just a piece of raucous vulgarity whose greatest virtue is the presence of Wahlberg and Johnson. They're amusing and oddly likable as two amoral, reprehensibly violent dopes.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
85% Much Ado About Nothing (2013) With Whedon's Much Ado, you don't feel like you're watching another Shakespeare adaptation, you feel like you're watching a movie. I mean that as high praise, by the way.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
50% First Comes Love (2013) Just when you want to shriek at Davenport for her self-absorption, she surprises you with a perception of family life that's as moving as it is true.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
91% Blue Jasmine (2013) Blue Jasmine is Allen's first movie in ages that at least tries to escape the dungeon of the self.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
93% American Hustle (2013) One of the many pleasures of David O. Russell's American Hustle, a fizzy late-seventies cocktail of comedy, romance, and caper pic, is that Bale finally seems to be having a ball.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
75% Becoming Cary Grant (2017) Grant's story is striking by the breadth of the chasm between his wounded inner self and his seductive persona that was attentive, buoyant and up for anything.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2017
83% Risk (2017) Whether or not it was Poitras' intention, Risk reminds us that grand ideals are finally no grander than the flawed human beings who bring them to life.‐ NPR
Read More | Posted May 5, 2017
70% The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015) In lesser hands, Katniss's willingness to suffer for the whole world may seem like classic teen narcissism... But Lawrence possesses an astonishing ability to convey profound emotional seriousness without ever seeming to do anything.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
82% Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) [Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's] directing of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is crackling with invention, high spirits, and love of the movie.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
94% Spy (2015) In [Melissa McCarthy's] hilarious, globetrotting new movie Spy, she's finally been given a vehicle with the speed and gloss worthy of her comic talents. ‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
83% Testament Of Youth (2015) Coolly directed by James Kent, the movie's anchored by the grave, delicately featured Vikander who's able to convey youthful romanticism without ever seeming childish.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
97% Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) I can only say that it's one of the purest pieces of filmmaking virtuosity you'll see anywhere.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
55% The Age of Adaline (2015) The Age of Adaline, a sentimental romance that's more watchable and touching than it may sound when you hear the premise.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
84% While We're Young (2015) Their foibles are ideal material for Baumbach who uses this fender-bender between Gen X and Millennials to tackle something real-rapidly shifting ideas of art, truth, and integrity.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
24% Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Then the lights went down, and guess what? Fifty Shades of Grey turned out to be not just entertaining-at least until the clunky, exasperating final minute-but it also knows exactly what it's doing.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
26% Jupiter Ascending (2015) Unlike the Coens, the Wachowskis' private dreams have a grandiosity that demands huge budgets they can only justify by drawing huge audiences. How long can they keep getting money by making movies like this one?‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
49% Cake (2015) Aniston's Claire takes a claustrophobic emotional journey that's at once too neat and too cute.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
87% Still Alice (2015) She captures Alice's distintegration with magisterial precision-the confusion, panic, anger, and heroic resolve to still be herself-and does it all without ever pleading for our sympathy.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
72% Beloved Sisters (2015) It's a fascinating story, and as he explores the giddiness and disillusionment of this peculiar love triangle, filmmaker Dominik Graf gives us something peculiar: a history lesson disguised as a soap opera.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
90% Wild (2014) Not surprisingly, Witherspoon nails it with a performance that's just the right blend of heartfelt and calculating-she's brainy, funny, self-exposing, and well on her way to an Oscar.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
71% Interstellar (2014) Naturally, Nolan's desire to unite high and low culture doesn't always pay off, yet even when he gets pretentious, I don't hate him for it. Better a filmmaker who fails while overreaching than one who has a hit with Transformers.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
85% The Trip To Italy (2014) Nicely directed by Michael Winterbottom, the movie is better shot, more carefully constructed, and more emotionally complex than the original.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2017
91% The Martian (2015) It's a little corny, of course, but a little corn can be good for the soul. You leave The Martian thinking that maybe the problems here on Earth aren't so bad after all.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2017
84% The Walk (2015) It's a celebration of a particular idea of America -- warm, open, and infinitely hospitable to the can-do spirit.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2017
91% Birdman (2014) In the end, Birdman is the art film equivalent of Riggan's Birdman movies -- more impressive for its effects than its meaning.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2017
96% Spotlight (2015) From the beginning, the Spotlight Team's quest sucks you in.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2017
B 96% Paterson (2016) I feel a tad churlish in not loving Jim Jarmusch's gently lilting film.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
B- 81% Patriots Day (2017) Holding things together is Mark Wahlberg as the smart-mouthed police detective who helps break the case.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
B 85% Silence (2017) By the end, Scorsese's movie gets to the spiritual place it wanted to go, though I suspect many in the audience won't get there with it.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
C- 31% Passengers (2016) Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in a science-fiction love story -- what could go wrong with that? Turns out, quite a lot.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
B 87% A Monster Calls (2017) Bayona does capture the story's emotional heart, in large part thanks to an extraordinary performance by MacDougall, whose future career may well be something to behold.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
B 83% Julieta (2016) If Julieta lacks the high spirits we love in Almodóvar's work, it also finds this great director, now 67, in an impressive new autumnal mode, reflecting beautifully on loneliness and loss.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
B 92% I, Daniel Blake (2017) The movie is filled with sympathetic solidarity for those like Daniel who work hard, treat everyone decently, receive small acts of personal kindness from decent ordinary people, and still get ground down by [the] system.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
C 92% Hidden Figures (2017) I kept wishing director Theodore Melfi had approached his trio's story with the respect it deserves. Instead, he keeps trying to make their struggle "fun," chasing easy laughs and easy inspiration.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
C- 34% Live By Night (2017) I'm fond of Affleck, who normally can be counted on, at the very least, to radiate movie-star vanity. Here, he's like a waxwork version of himself. He looks very, very tired.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
A+ 92% Toni Erdmann (2016) See Toni Erdmann, and once you have, check out Ade's previous film, Everyone Else, which is also terrific.‐ Vogue
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016