John Semley

John Semley

Agrees with the Tomatometer 71% of the time.

John Semley's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): AV Club, Globe and Mail, Maclean's Magazine, NOW Toronto, Slant Magazine

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/4 96% Best Of Enemies (2015) "Best of Enemies plays not only as a lively document of an engaging - and insanely entertaining - intellectual rivalry, but as a lament for the very idea of the public intellectual in contemporary life. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jul 31, 2015
0.5/4 18% Pixels (2015) "Pixels is a movie without wit, without jokes, with nothing to say but plenty to regurgitate. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jul 24, 2015
4/5 70% The Wolverine (2013) "Significantly improving on the silliness of the character's first X-Men-free outing, Marvel has turned out a movie that fits one of its most compelling characters as snugly as an indestructible steel skeleton. " ‐ NOW Toronto
Posted Jul 14, 2015
3/4 27% Terminator Genisys (2015) "Like Edgar Wright's The World's End, another film about humanity's robotic takeover, Genisys configures human arrogance -- our refusal to accept inevitability, or even sensibility -- as our saving grace. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 30, 2015
1/4 46% Ted 2 (2015) "In a way, it's pitiable more than anything. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 26, 2015
1/4 32% Entourage (2015) "These characters represent the most repellant clichés of male friendship, where guys can only relate to each other through a discourse of casual misogyny and female conquest. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 2, 2015
2/4 81% Furious 7 (2015) "It's all entertaining enough, I suppose. But there's a twisted coldness under the action that's anxiously concealed by the characters' refrains of the importance of "family" and sticking together and other ostensibly nice stuff. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Apr 3, 2015
1.5/4 No Score Yet Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame "What's more boring than an inspirational sports story? " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Mar 27, 2015
3/4 98% The Babadook (2014) "The line between terrifying reality and terrifying fantasy isn't so much blurred as altogether obliterated. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Mar 6, 2015
2.5/4 78% The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water mostly nails what has always made the character, and his brightly coloured underwater world, so endearing: the abundant innocence, the welcome lack of cynicism and the out-and-out stupidity. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Feb 6, 2015
25% Jupiter Ascending (2015) "It feels vitally fresh and exciting. An overload of ideas, energy, ambition and dopey sincerity is always better than a paucity of the same. " ‐ Maclean's Magazine
Posted Feb 5, 2015
4/5 96% Blue Ruin (2014) "As the corpses pile up, Blue Ruin plays like an ever-expanding Mexican Standoff, death met with death in a sprawling network of violence that implicates a whole gun-crazy nation. " ‐ NOW Toronto
Posted Jan 5, 2015
4/5 98% Jodorowsky's Dune (2014) "Even if Jodorowsky's movie never got made, his wide-eyed belief in the medium is refreshing in an age when cinema's possibilities feel frustratingly limited. " ‐ NOW Toronto
Posted Jan 4, 2015
3.5/4 95% Snowpiercer (2014) "This is powerful stuff, and all the more so for its straightforwardness. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jan 2, 2015
2.5/4 50% Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) "Funny, charming kiddie-flick fare. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 19, 2014
2/4 61% The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) "It plays out as if someone chucked a whole bunch of carefully detailed Warhammer figurines into a centrifuge -- goblins, goats, dwarfs, wizards and wolves bouncing off one another in waves of alternating tedium and punishment. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 18, 2014
1.5/4 No Score Yet Corner Gas: The Movie "You can practically hear it groaning as it stretches the half-hour sitcom format to 90-plus minutes ... " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 5, 2014
2/4 86% Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language) (2014) "Compared with Captain America or whatever, Goodbye is "revolutionary." But so what? " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 14, 2014
0.5/4 85% John Wick (2014) "This is a film where every human being is a sack of meat waiting to be tenderized. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Oct 24, 2014
2.5/4 95% 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) "The film is so incessant on bolstering Cave's repute and noble struggle with the art of songwriting that it can't help but seem bloated and self-important. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Sep 26, 2014
3/4 75% The Boxtrolls (2014) "It's a felt, funny, bracingly sincere kids' movie. And even more refreshing, it takes as a theme our social fixation with waste, salvage and repackaging. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Sep 26, 2014
3/4 20% Swearnet: The Movie (2014) "This is Canadian cinema as defiantly ugly and mean as anything churned out from the bowels of callous ol' Hollywood. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 29, 2014
2.5/4 92% Frank (2014) "The Soronprfbs may be the best fake on-screen punk band since the Stains. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 22, 2014
2.5/4 21% Into The Storm (2014) "It's all very, very silly - not to mention off-puttingly earnest. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 8, 2014
98% Boyhood (2014) "Watching these characters orbit in and out of one another's lives gives a sense of actually watching people -- not canned archetypes, but fully formed people -- get older. " ‐ Maclean's Magazine
Posted Aug 7, 2014
3/4 88% A Most Wanted Man (2014) "It's hard not to want A Most Wanted Man to go on forever, if only to spend time in the company of Hoffman - one of the great actors of his, or any, generation. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jul 25, 2014
0.5/4 42% Words And Pictures (2014) "Barely qualifies as a motion picture. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jul 11, 2014
2/4 23% Think Like a Man Too (2014) "It's intermittently fun, and funny, but after a while it's just so much swinging back and forth. We get it. You're up. You're down. You're back up again. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 20, 2014
3/4 82% The Double (2014) "The film's bleakness is almost satirical. It's Brazil drained of the daydreams. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 13, 2014
4/4 92% How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) "More than just teaching kids what to think about the world they're coming into, it's a rare film that encourages them to think for themselves. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 13, 2014
2.5/4 62% The Sacrament (2014) "The tension fizzles as The Sacrament narrows into predictability, indulging every cliché of found-footage filmmaking and Jonestown-styled cult apocalypticism. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jun 6, 2014
1.5/4 62% Filth (2014) "Viewers hungry for a catch-all dose of Welshian sardonicism would be better served checking out Trainspotting. Better soundtrack, for one. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted May 30, 2014
2.5/4 59% The Grand Seduction (2014) "By and large, the film's folksiness bucks schmaltz. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted May 30, 2014
2/4 63% For No Good Reason (2014) "For No Good Reason sidelines Steadman's own bona fides, functioning primarily as a second-hand documentary of Thompson, stoking the hagiography of the late hipster icon. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted May 16, 2014
1.5/4 16% Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014) "It's short on jokes and hampered by unmemorable musical numbers (including one about building a boat), and the film's niceness can't overcome the dopey tedium. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted May 9, 2014
1/4 No Score Yet A Fighting Man (2014) "Irish guilt, redemption, opportunism, alcoholism ...writer/director Damian Lee puts all across with about as much nuance as a bruising left hook. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Apr 25, 2014
3/4 41% In the Blood (2014) "The closed-quarters combat crackles with bone-shattering believability. And that's really all that matters. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Apr 25, 2014
0/4 8% A Haunted House 2 (2014) "A Haunted House 2 is dumber than dumb dumb, which at least has the nerve to be unapologetically dumb. Worse, it's Wayans dumb. " ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Apr 18, 2014
2.5/4 95% 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) "In a backhanded way, this considered, half-fictional approach perfectly serves an artist who has always been in the process of making and remaking his own mercurial image. " ‐ Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 12, 2014
2.5/4 73% The Strange Little Cat (2014) "Ultimately, even at a short 72 minutes, it feels like that magic bottle revolving in a pot: gyrating lopsided on its own axis, spinning and spinning and spinning until it exhausts its momentum, and our patience. " ‐ Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 11, 2014
4/4 88% A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (2014) "Ben Rivers and Ben Russell's ethnographic exploration for a kind of profound utopian moment acquires its clearest, and most intimate, articulation in their long takes of Robert A.A. Lowe and other corpse-painted musicians. " ‐ Slant Magazine
Posted Mar 11, 2014
75% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) "For the first time in a long time, von Trier isn't hiding behind anything--perhaps finally too exasperated with the fallout of his own public impishness to bother putting on airs. " ‐ Slant Magazine
Posted Feb 17, 2014
100% Game of Thrones: Season 3 (TV, 2013) "Game of Thrones's best season yet comes with a typically great transfer and enough extras to please devotees for days. " ‐ Slant Magazine
Posted Feb 15, 2014
98% Boyhood (2014) "Linklater has crafted a quotidian epic, a film sprawling in scope and ambition, bottomless in human feeling. Not since Altman's Nashville has an American film felt as real as life itself. " ‐ House Next Door
Posted Feb 14, 2014
95% 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) "It's not exactly a "revealing" documentary, if shaking out dirt is to be taken as a metric by which these sorts of biographical sketches should be judged. " ‐ House Next Door
Posted Feb 10, 2014
41% The Better Angels (2014) "Edwards's homage to his master plays like sycophantic, if well-meaning, imitation, like a kid trying to impress his dad by swinging his golf clubs or clumsily strumming a guitar. " ‐ House Next Door
Posted Feb 10, 2014
87% Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2015) "A film that begins as a weird, halfway-considered ode to the sway of the cinema ends up making a case against that same power. " ‐ House Next Door
Posted Feb 9, 2014
91% Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky (2013) "It's easy to greet the prospect of a Michel Gondy making a doodle movie about the ideas of Noam Chomsky like that aggrieved nerd on The Simpsons: "Ugh, why does it have be zany?" " ‐ House Next Door
Posted Feb 8, 2014
92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) "It's in Ralph Fiennes's performance as M. Gustave, his Andersonian affectless ruptured by real pathos and frustration, that The Grand Budapest grounds itself. " ‐ Slant Magazine
Posted Feb 7, 2014
88% A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (2014) "The Bens capture it all on Super 16, giving the proceedings the quality of an educational film, with careful attention to the nitty-gritty. " ‐ NOW Toronto
Posted Sep 14, 2013
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