John Urbancich

John Urbancich
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Sun Newspapers, Clevelandmember, BFCA
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Official Websites: sunnews.com

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
1.5/5 68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) The silence became deafening at the end of a promotional screening when one person slowly clapped three times. It sounded exactly like the one-man applause gag that signed off '60s-era 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' each week -- only without the laughs. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
4.5/5 87% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) Sad and humbling as most of Labaki's respectful story becomes, one final, full-screen image of Zain offers us hope that her hero -- and certainly ours -- might discover a life as just a little boy. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
3/5 100% Hummus! The Movie (2019) The fun film includes ongoing 'Guinness Book of World Records' challenges concerning the world's largest platter. And -- oh my gosh! -- Abu Gosh, an Arab-Israeli village with an astounding 20 restaurants in it -- might even take the cake! - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
2/5 46% What Men Want (2019) The disastrous first half-hour alone absolutely does no favors for Henson's Ali Davis in portraying her, not only as a nasty, foul-mouthed sports agent, but as an uncompromising boss, disloyal friend, and selfish lover to boot. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3.5/5 85% A Boy Called Sailboat (2018) A cute kid composes and plays a song that moves people profoundly in a very small movie that might turn the same trick for viewers who never get to listen to the tune at all. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/5 93% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Amazingly, Pawlikowski gets there and back in less than 90 minutes by letting us fill in huge time gaps that might take us to even more intriguing places if we legitimately think about it. This seriously is some good, spare stuff. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4.5/5 99% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) It's a Herculean effort directly from front-line trenches filled with suffering, piles of rats, blood, death, and continuous smiles on the faces of sacrificing young soldiers who quickly learned that war is hell and dealt with it. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/5 65% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) As was the case in Gilroy's previous two films, LA itself becomes a major player, too, with its assortment of attractive skylines appearing as regularly artistic as just about anything else on screen. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/5 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) The revealing opening bit finishes marvelously with the skillful pair stepping on stage and, as cowboy images roll behind them, effortlessly go into their memorably silly dance routine from 'Way Out West.' You'll swear you're watching the real thing. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
2.5/5 37% Glass (2019) The endless delusion-based talk from an irritating shrink (Sarah Paulson) starts taking much of the starch out of a yarn that had begun rather intriguingly. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
3/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Two lovely ladies help some 16th century medicine go down in the sluggish but ultimately effective 'Mary Queen of Scots.' - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2018
3/5 62% Bird Box (2018) Director Susanne Bier keeps a novel-based screenplay from Eric Heisserer absorbing, under control, and routinely bordering on the brink of outrageous thrills. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3.5/5 80% Ben is Back (2018) Not a lot of holly jolly ensues, just some serious melodrama and often hard-to-take truths, with Roberts and young Hedges leading the ultra-emotional charge to uncover them all. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3.5/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Emily Blunt certainly is no Julie Andrews, but the versatile British actress is swell enough to carry the bubbly 'Mary Poppins Returns' on her thin shoulders and into territory that only a grinch could hate. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
2/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Only Julie Andrews voicing a sea monster, a CGI octopus playing eight drums at the same time, and Roy Orbison's "She's a Mystery to Me," which backs a video-like tribute to Curry's blooming love interest (Amber Heard), gurgle up anything memorable. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3.5/5 93% The American Meme (2018) There are many "are you kidding me(?)" moments in this less-than-sacred salute to the Shrine of the Self-Absorbed. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
2/5 84% Creed II (2018) Director Steven Caple Jr. ("The Land") inherits the thankless task of following in the footsteps of talented "Creed" helmer Ryan Coogler, but no one could have rescued a ho-hum script credited to six writers, including Coogler and Stallone. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
5/5 79% Green Book (2018) Ali's performance truly becomes a great one in a movie whose own strength is the way it simply allows humanity to shine through the flaws. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
2/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) Reitman fills the first half with an abundance of intrusive noise, and the rest with so much of nothing as competitive newsmen and Hart advisers offer questionable substance all around. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
3/5 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Though not as funny as its 2012 predecessor, "Wreck-It Ralph," it does offer some nice-looking peeks into its animated cyber world. (And, oh, by the way, why aren't they calling it "Ralph Wrecks the Internet"?) - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
3/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Jared Eamons, as played quite convincingly (what else!) by Lucas Hedges, is an appealing character, and so is his shrewd mother (Nicole Kidman), the effortless go-between for her Baptist preacher husband (Russell Crowe) and their coming-to-grips son. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2018
3/5 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) I wasn't exactly thrilled with such an inauspicious beginning, or with the second adventure, either, which continues the entire anthology's apparent connection of living and (mostly) dying in the Old West. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2018
3.5/5 94% Wildlife (2018) Expect Dano to find work behind a camera again. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2018
2.5/5 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Thank goodness for all those still extra special effects and filmmaking magicians behind the scenes. They just might keep some wandering minds away from such convoluted storytelling. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
4.5/5 91% Widows (2018) A screenplay from McQueen and Gillian Flynn ('Gone Girl') crackles with twists, turns and even some pointed social relevance. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
3.5/5 88% What They Had (2018) The entire ensemble, which includes two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank and double nominee Michael Shannon, often soars in this heartbreaking drama from actress-turned writer/director Elizabeth Chomko. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
3.5/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) It finds Melissa McCarthy in a role that could be a distant cousin to some of the fools she's played in so many bad comedies . . . Richard E. Grant, meanwhile, chews up his turn as her homeless partner in crime with the charm of a complete cad. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
3/5 57% The Grinch (2018) Of course, there are holiday tunes galore -- a few new ones and many old -- with all gloriously capped off by "The Christmas Song" from the still one-of-a-kind Nat King Cole. And, just who can possibly get grinchy hearing that? - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
3/5 40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Despite the film's dark, dreary and sordid content, Foy's efforts could result in Salander continuing to exorcise her demons (and miscreants) again in firm franchise fashion. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
4/5 80% Overlord (2018) The bloody and energetic 'Overlord,' a WWII Nazi/zombie movie with an unheralded director and mostly unknown cast, actually even finds room to mention baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial among its many surprises. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
3/5 69% Beautiful Boy (2018) Chalamet's performance, one of the year's best, deserves to be seen, but it certainly doesn't exactly make for a fun night at the movies. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
3/5 64% Suspiria (2018) Luca's remake of Dario Argento's much shorter 1977 version (which I never saw) occasionally comes across as a self-indulgent overstatement by a talented filmmaker who cares more about art than story. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
2.5/5 70% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett surely gives his all in portraying his flawed hero, but his account never matches the heft of his own performance. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
3/5 83% The Other Side of the Wind (2018) Watching it in all its mish-mash glory gives you an oddly captivating feeling of deja vu, especially when it comes to its grand assortment of character actors. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
4/5 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Queen's stunning, 20-minute performance at 1985's star-studded "Live Aid" charity concert seems perfectly re-created, too, in helping bring down the curtain on a film that might actually really rock you. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
3/5 77% Mid90s (2018) Except for a silly sexual interlude that almost derails the whole experience, helmer Hill deserves a high half-pipe and a promised peek at his next go-round behind the camera. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
3/5 62% Ophelia (2018) There are enough touches of The Bard scattered and splattered in a mostly lavish-looking chick flick that even has an occasional kick - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
4/5 79% Halloween (2018) It's a real dazzler -- from another terrifically startling score by Carpenter himself, to Myers' escape from an asylum (complete with suitable homage to the unrelated, Oscar-winning 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'), and a smashing return by Curtis. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3.5/5 97% The Hate U Give (2018) Floating somewhere between an after-school special and a serious look at race relations, a sparkling performance from Amandla Stenberg acts as our spot-on guide through both venues. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2018
3.5/5 87% First Man (2018) The truth is, 'First Man' is such a gem technically that it demands viewing on a big screen. Find it in IMAX if you can. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2018
2.5/5 75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Through it all, bleak hallways and sordid peeping Tom portals give the film a creepy-crawly feel that's obviously more smarmy than smart. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2018
3.5/5 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Robert Redford gets a role he could sleep through (and maybe occasionally does) as the title character continually on the lookout for one more score. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2018
4.5/5 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Expect nominations all around, with actor/writer/director/producer and songwriter Cooper on the verge of a boatload, maybe even for contributing to an eclectic, sure-to-be-soaring soundtrack. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2018
1.5/5 22% The Happytime Murders (2018) This is just shoddy filmmaking, folks, despite a premise that could and should have been a laugh riot, particularly with its (anti)hero, foul-mouthed puppet private eye Phil Philips, looking like a cross between Harvey Keitel and Count von Count. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
2.5/5 23% Mile 22 (2018) Berg and Wahlberg continue their movie bromance with the fourth and, perhaps, least appealing pairing of the producer/director with his certified producer/star. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2018
3.5/5 99% McQueen (2018) It all becomes a mostly absorbing analysis of facts, offered up by friends and family, easily mixed with many good-looking film remembrances of McQueen's still-famous signature fashions. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2018
4/5 89% Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) Currently well into his '90s, and given show biz's penchant for hyperbole, Bowers actually might be called a legitimate living legend. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2018
2/5 18% The Darkest Minds (2018) "The Darkest Minds" plays like a Saturday morning kids' show, complete with TV-level production values, shoddy special effects and Mandy Moore (NBC's 'This Is Us'). - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2018
3/5 73% Christopher Robin (2018) The A.A Milne-based "Christopher Robin" stars Ewan McGregor as the grown-up title character, but it's childhood friends Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger stealing the cinematic thunder. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2018
4.5/5 99% Eighth Grade (2018) A couple of scenes in this movie absolutely will make you squirm until your seat breaks. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2018