John Serba

John Serba
John Serba's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): MLive.com Decider
Publications: MLive.com, Decider

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
67% River's Edge (Ribazu ejji) (2019) The movie is dour, and poignant, and dour, and poetic, and dour. But the positives outweigh the negatives, and it does end with a glimmer of hope among the gloom. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
No Score Yet Budapest (2018) Sure, Budapest is essentially a pastiche of better movies in a genre that's getting played out. But the bottom line is, it's funny, and it delivers laughs just consistently enough to warrant a recommendation. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
100% Your Son (Tu Hijo) (2019) It's not an easy watch, but it's always gripping, and occasionally extraordinary. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2019
No Score Yet Lady J (2019) It's a period drama, no doubt, but you'd never describe it as musty. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
2.5/4 51% Rampage (2018) To its credit, it doesn't take itself seriously, and when you need a movie to not take itself seriously, you cast Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as your lead. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3/4 90% Isle of Dogs (2018) Maybe when dogs become less doglike, especially through an esoteric lens like Anderson's, it compromises the unconditional loyalty we sense from the real thing. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3/4 72% Ready Player One (2018) Even though these heroes are simplistic... Spielberg makes sure their motives and goals are transparent, the force driving us breathlessly to the movie's climax. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3.5/4 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) a ruthless livewire comedy... It tempts and teases the rigidly ideological portions of our minds to step into the light and laugh. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
2/4 44% Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) It aims for maximum impact, but is vaguely dissatisfying on both dramatic and spectacular levels. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3/4 91% Love, Simon (2018) It's a funny movie, but not an uproarious one. It's not overstated or understated, but clearly and honestly stated, and anchored by strong performances from its young cast. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
2.5/4 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) There's a sense of deeper meaning in the movie that never crystallizes beyond its base emotional hooks. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
2/4 47% Red Sparrow (2018) It's quite the emotional journey, going from peering through our fingers to derisive chuckles. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
1.5/4 18% Death Wish (2018) (The orignal 'Death Wish') at least illustrated the ugly internal and external consequences of such brutality. Eli Roth's remake... shows no such focus. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
2.5/4 19% Mute (2018) "Mute" is by no means unwatchable, but ultimately inspires us to re-watch the movies that inspired it. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3.5/4 87% Annihilation (2018) A potent and suspenseful trek into heady sci-fi. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3.5/4 97% Black Panther (2018) It's truly elevating to watch "Black Panther" reveal itself as Marvel's most ambitious movie to date. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3/4 71% Hostiles (2018) Scott Cooper uses the Native American genocide as a springboard to show that aggression begets aggression, and only unity can transcend it. It's an obvious statement, but a noble one. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2018
2/4 19% The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) The movie's solid first and second acts fail to yield dividends, and the film crumbles into a confusing, poorly edited mess in the third. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2018
1.5/4 12% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) We're officially witnessing the cultural denouement of a trilogy that, if my math is correct, adds up to roughly 150 shades of embarrassment. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2018
3/4 82% Molly's Game (2018) Chastain is one of the day's heavyweight screen presences, capable of counterbalancing Sorkin's bulldozer storytelling methods with her charisma. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
3.5/4 84% Darkest Hour (2017) Oldman's superlative work prohibits the movie from fading into the hedges like dozens of other dehydrated period pieces. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
4/4 92% The Shape of Water (2017) It is at the same time many things that came before it, and something altogether new. To experience it is to love it. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
2.5/4 56% The Greatest Showman (2017) Do not expect deep insight into (Barnum)... he surely deserves the statues built in his honor, and, even more surely, a better movie someday. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
2/4 49% Downsizing (2017) The movie is a scattershot collection of large-scale ideas framed by the irony of its premise, but never reaches its potential for satire or commentary. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
2/4 30% Wonder Wheel (2017) There are moments where Winslet's depth and charisma cuts through Ginny's jittery mannerisms and neuro-psycho-bric-a-brac, and we sense something real, but they're fleeting. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
4/4 88% The Post (2018) Spielberg's work is an expository blast of energy, a vital, vibrant and often humorous dramatization of the journalistic process. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
3.5/4 89% I, Tonya (2018) The movie (is structured) as purposefully corrupt, darkly comic storytelling, boldly bridging the vast gap between soapy trash and an Akira Kurosawa cinema classic. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
2.5/4 57% The Commuter (2018) I enjoyed it more than the recent reiteration of 'Murder on the Orient Express'... Given the option, I'd choo-choo-choose 'The Commuter' any day. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2018
4/4 91% The Disaster Artist (2017) Please savor the irony that one of the worst movies ever made has inspired one of the best movies of 2017. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2017
3.5/4 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) The first half of the movie works in fits and starts, but Johnson makes up for it in the second, when the bundle of subplots intertwine tighter, and the narrative rockets forward, its action fleet of foot and tightly tied to its emotional highs. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
3/4 90% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) McDonagh's "In Bruges" is one of the great cinematic works of the new century. "Three Billboards" doesn't come close, even though it traffics in similar crackling dialogue and tremendous performances. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2017
3.5/4 78% Last Flag Flying (2017) Like Linklater's most significant work, "Last Flag Flying" is a heavyweight drama that's light on its feet. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2017
2.5/4 92% Thor: Ragnarok (2017) A goofy movie that feels relatively fresh, and freshness is a valuable commodity in a franchise that's now nine years and 17 movies deep. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
3.5/4 97% Lucky (2017) It's bittersweet without being sentimental, striking a remarkable tonal balance which, I reckon, can be credited to Stanton. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
1.5/4 20% Daddy's Home 2 (2017) A weird, misshapen conglomeration of innocuous juvenile yuks, politically incorrect humor and self-aware comedy punches aimed at the fourth wall. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
2/4 59% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Branagh embraces a corny, old-fashioned tone that should make it stand out at the modern cineplex, but he's disappointingly inconsistent in rendering the movie lively. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
3.5/4 80% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) I'm not certain exactly what Lanthimos is trying to say, but the language of his visuals and script is vigorous and confrontational. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
2/4 40% Justice League (2017) Where "Man of Steel" and "BvS" were like root canals, and "Suicide Squad" a brick in the face, and "Wonder Woman" a sweet, sweet rainbow, "Justice League" is merely a squandering of time and talent. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
4/4 96% The Florida Project (2017) One of those films that makes you feel like you're eavesdropping on others' lives. It's raw and authentic, heartbreaking and funny, profoundly humane. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
2.5/4 80% The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) It's not all that ambitious, but it is upbeat and occasionally clever. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
1.5/4 28% Suburbicon (2017) The movie spikes with broadly comic or grisly violent extremes, but smooths out for dull stretches, and is oddly deaf to the tones of its thematic ambitions. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
3.5/4 97% Coco (2017) It's no exaggeration to say it shows us things we've never seen before, something that happens so rarely in modern cinema. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
3.5/4 76% Thank You for Your Service (2017) Cuts close to the bone, and never stoops to waving a flag for cheap sentiment. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
4/4 99% Lady Bird (2017) The movie is wonderful and true, an act of love in all its contradictions and complexity. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
1.5/4 7% The Snowman (2017) 'The Snowman' made me laugh when it probably shouldn't have. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017
1.5/4 14% Geostorm (2017) 'Geostorm' is exactly what we expect it to be: an aggressively mediocre display of expensive digital effects. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017
3.5/4 93% The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) (Baumbach) pens parallel discordant comedic harmonies that sometimes come together, at the point where his characters, finally, at last, are talking about the same thing. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017
3.5/4 87% Blade Runner 2049 (2017) A masterful progression from the original film. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017
3.5/4 86% American Made (2017) Cruise is terrific and entertaining, freewheeling and funny, and many years into his career, he still carries himself like one of Hollywood's top guns. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017
3/4 85% Battle of the Sexes (2017) Stone's signature blend of breezy charm and deep empathy is so winning, it eclipses the screenplay's broader strokes, and the more heavily affected performances of her co-stars. - MLive.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017