John SemleyMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

John Semley

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

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/4 33% Monster Trucks (2017) A film that makes good on its laughable, low-concept premise, one that relies on an out-of-fashion moral clarity that may actually benefit its presumed child viewer. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jan 13, 2017
4/4 100% Cameraperson (2016) Cameraperson is not merely a grab bag of images. It pulls double duty as a theoretical essay on the cinematic apparatus itself. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 16, 2016
3/4 100% Tampopo (1985) It unfolds as a series of madcap, effortlessly charming comic vignettes, centred around food and food culture in mid-'80s Japan. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 9, 2016
1/4 42% Office Christmas Party (2016) A joyless, laughless - that's right, not even one laugh - affair that proves how indulgent and (worse) boring ensemble comedies such as this become when the ensemble has next to no natural chemistry and even less of a script to riff off of. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 9, 2016
3/4 23% Bad Santa 2 (2016) Willie may not have a heart of gold. But he's got a heart of bloody, barely thumping meat, same as the rest of us. And in this bitter season of unceasing, frostbitten darkness, it's heart enough. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 22, 2016
1/4 55% Michael Moore In TrumpLand (2016) Ultimately, Moore's an insincere ideologue, no different from Donald Trump or the barking mad Fox News types with which he takes such cartoonish, unfunny umbrage. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 4, 2016
98% Moonlight (2016) Moonlight provides a candid, achingly melancholic portrait of marginalization in America. ‐ Maclean's Magazine
Posted Oct 20, 2016
1.5/4 76% Kevin Hart: What Now? (2016) There's a comfort to be found in Hart's skyrocketing mobility that makes America clap and cheer and howl along. It hardly matters that his jokes aren't that funny, or that he runs hack-y catchphrases into the ground for cheap laughs. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Oct 14, 2016
3.5/4 100% Multiple Maniacs (1970) For all its ostensible unpleasantness, Multiple Maniacs is cheapo, indie, queer American cinema at its most adversarial and thrillingly vicious. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 5, 2016
2/4 26% Suicide Squad (2016) Regrettably, the film's place-setting opening lays the scene for a different, more exciting film that never really unfolds. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 5, 2016
1/4 54% The Purge: Election Year (2016) It would be one thing to bait the viewer's blood lust and then punish them for it. But the films command an audience that's enchanted by its displays of blood-drenched yahoos in kooky masks satisfying their barely repressed psychopathy. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Jul 1, 2016
3/4 86% Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) It's hard to imagine another filmmaker who could invest the lives of straight, middle-class, norm-y, aggressively bro-y, immaculately groomed college sports jocks with a sense of vital anarchy and resounding humanity. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Apr 1, 2016
2/4 92% Requiem For The American Dream (2016) All the ideas presented in Requiem for the American Dream are lively enough. But for anyone who has been exposed to Chomsky's thinking or writing, it all feels a little rehashed. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 27, 2015
1/4 76% The Good Dinosaur (2015) The digital landscapes are meant to be breathtakingly beautiful, but they tend to come across more like very expensive screensavers or immersive desktop wallpapers. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 27, 2015
3.5/4 81% Entertainment (2015) Like Hamburger's meta-hacky comedy routine, the film confronts and challenges in order to produce something increasingly rare in American cinema: an active, engaged experience. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 13, 2015
1.5/4 87% The Peanuts Movie (2015) There's something sad about seeing a character as sweet and simple as good ol' Charlie Brown so totally ruined. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Nov 6, 2015
1/4 35% Our Brand is Crisis (2015) Say what you will about the sneering, misanthropic political dramas of previous eras (Blow Out, JFK and so on). But at least they came by their cynicism in good faith. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Oct 30, 2015
1.5/4 69% Wolf Totem (2015) Something ends up lost in translation. Its aspirations of looking and feeling recognizable end up uncomfortable and embarrassing. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Sep 11, 2015
2/4 46% A Walk In The Woods (2015) The nature of this fantasy is boringly feel-good and aspirational. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Sep 2, 2015
1/4 91% The End Of The Tour (2015) The performances, the writing, the direction, Segel's D.F.W. impression, everything is just fine. But The End of the Tour is disgraceful. It feels like it's towing out the real Wallace's ghost to perform some soppy parody of himself. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 28, 2015
1/4 13% Sinister 2 (2015) Nothing in Sinister 2 comes across as believably scary. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 21, 2015
3.5/4 87% Straight Outta Compton (2015) Straight Outta Compton functions as both a compelling, damnably topical political statement and a slickly produced piece of commercial art. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Aug 14, 2015
3/4 94% 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 16% 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 69% 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 25% 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 79% 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 67% Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame (2016) 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 80% 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
26% 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 48% Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) Funny, charming kiddie-flick fare. ‐ Globe and Mail
Posted Dec 19, 2014
2/4 59% 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 (2014) 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 91% 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 87% 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