John Semley Movie 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, Salon.com, Globe and Mail, Slant Magazine, AV Club, NOW Toronto

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/4 95% First Reformed (2018) Ultimately its sheer archness reveals Paul Schrader as a gifted and deeply persuasive evangelist of the transcendental style - if not quite a canon saint.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
2.5/4 89% Pope Francis - A Man of His Word (2018) His sincerity offers an alluring catharsis, a hope-by-proxy. We don't have to believe, just as long as we can believe that he believes.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
1.5/4 83% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Even by Marvel's own standards of serviceable mediocrity, Infinity War fails.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018
88% U: July 22 (Utøya 22. Juli) (2018) "U - July 22" cuts through so much of the contemporary cant around gun violence, around white nationalism, around xenophobia, around the politicization of historical tragedy.‐ Salon.com
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2018
4/4 24% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) A consummate work in Eastwood's filmography.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
2/4 75% Midnight Return: The Story of Billy Hayes and Turkey (2017) Midnight Return rambles and meanders, losing the plot along the way.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
3/4 88% The Road Movie (2018) Here is a film of considerable action and excitement that is undoubtedly real.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
0/4 56% The Greatest Showman (2017) The closest it gets to a hummable toe-tapper is Come Alive, which, at the risk of damning with faint praise, sounds like a Miami Sound Machine D-side.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2017
4/4 91% The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017) The guiding ethic of The Other Side of Hope is as much topical as it universal: that altruism is not especially brave or courageous, but just the basic principle governing relations between human beings.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2017
1.5/4 67% Another WolfCop (2017) It may well be brain dead, dumb and intermittently a bit fun. But sometimes we need a bit more.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2017
3/4 31% Leatherface (2017) Like the film's punishingly gory set pieces, the storytelling itself is meaty.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2017
3/4 84% Loving Vincent (2017) Loving Vincent is gorgeous. It's a film of immersive beauty.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2017
2.5/4 75% Don't Talk to Irene (2018) Watching Mills' film, one wishes it were as weird and wonderful as Irene herself. It's almost as if the writer/director doesn't realize how rare his own creation is.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2017
3.5/4 90% Rat Film (2017) Anthony's film complicates the cultural position of the pest instead of merely exploiting it to bait the squeamish and easily grossed-out.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2017
1.5/4 83% Detroit (2017) Somewhere between a Straw Dogs-style "survive the night" home invasion narrative, Milgram experiment moral problem play and racial torture porn.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2017
1.5/4 No Score Yet The Recall (2017) The Recall is the sort of movie you find wedged into an old VHS player purchased at a yard sale in the Kawarthas or sifted to the bottom of a mesh-wire DVD bin in a gas station somewhere on Highway 6.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2017
3.5/4 83% Risk (2017) There's no doubt that the world needs more iconoclasts, whistle-blowers and anti-authoritarian rabble-rousers. But it deserves better than Julian Assange.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted May 12, 2017
4/4 43% Song to Song (2017) The haughtily unenlightened can joke and snipe and snore all the want. As evinced by Song to Song, Malick is operating in top form. If only we'd be bothered to do the work of making sense of it.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2017
3/4 53% The Boss Baby (2017) It's the rare cartoon that actually feels like a cartoon, propelled by its goofiness and sheer energy and rarely bogged down by boring, polemical lesson-learning.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2017
0.5/4 17% CHIPS (2017) It's not uniquely bad, nor so bad it's good. It's factually, quantifiably bad. Overcooked, underdressed, sloppy, indigestible: just your classic crap hamburger of a movie.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2017
1.5/4 19% The Shack (2017) Based on the sleeper bestseller by Canadian author William P. Young, The Shack offers an enlightening - if dispiriting - vantage on contemporary, non-denominational Christianity.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2017
1/4 78% Eva Hesse (2016) Overstuffed with biographical details and taking-head interviews with friends and hangers-on, it's over-didactic and dull.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2017
2.5/4 83% Paula (2016) Paula offers a fine, feminist portrait of a young woman making her way in the world ... but fails to fully put across the range and uniqueness of its subject's gifts.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2017
2.5/4 88% My Scientology Movie (2017) What the film lacks in the way of harrowing, jaw-dropping revelations, it makes up for with Theroux's charm and breezy charisma.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
1.5/4 7% Rings (2017) Pretty much everything about Rings is incoherent.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2017
3/4 85% Afterimage (Powidoki) (2017) As glum as it may seem - to the point of playing, in places, like a parody of a despondent Eastern European art-house drama - Afterimage succeeds in knowingly succumbing to the tragedy of Strzemiński's story.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2017
3/4 30% 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
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2017
4/4 99% 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2016
1/4 41% 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
Read More | 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2016
98% Moonlight (2016) Moonlight provides a candid, achingly melancholic portrait of marginalization in America.‐ Maclean's Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2016
1.5/4 78% 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2016
2/4 27% 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
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2016
1/4 53% 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
Read More | 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
Read More | 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2015
3.5/4 82% 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2015
1/4 34% 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
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2015
1.5/4 68% Wolf Totem (2015) Something ends up lost in translation. Its aspirations of looking and feeling recognizable end up uncomfortable and embarrassing.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2015
1/4 12% Sinister 2 (2015) Nothing in Sinister 2 comes across as believably scary.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | 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
Read More | 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
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2015
0.5/4 17% Pixels (2015) Pixels is a movie without wit, without jokes, with nothing to say but plenty to regurgitate.‐ Globe and Mail
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2015