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
3/5 47% A Dog's Journey (2019) Watery eyes definitely become the order of the day a few times in the calculating little family film designed to work the ways it does as a sequel to 2017's 'A Dog's Purpose.' - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
4/5 100% The Russian Five (2019) Michigan native Joshua Riehl shoots and often humorously scores with this true tale of espionage and hockey. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
4/5 51% Tolkien (2019) An exceptionally good-looking film not only features rich performances from Hoult and Collins, but also offers an assortment of hints about how the works of the title student/soldier might have been influenced by pieces and events in his early years. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
2/5 30% Red Joan (2019) (It's) a stale and stodgy telling with no real hints of the intrigue or urgency commonly associated with any number of more invigorating stories of espionage. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
2.5.5 29% The Intruder (2019) Since we're talking about creepy, there's a smarmy tale starring Dennis Quaid as the unstable title character, whose oddly fascinating facial expressions almost become worth the price of admission. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
3/5 56% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Even without the director showing an abundance of Bundy's murders or re-creations of such, fans of oh so many TV crime and punishment shows might readily embrace all of it. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
3/5 81% Long Shot (2019) Too bad the twist resolution plays similarly to something pulled off infinitely more intriguingly on a recent episode of Showtime's popular "Billions" series. Of course, it remains a long shot that anyone else might notice anyway. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
4/5 91% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) Incredibly powerful wind storms and some life-threatening predators also might get in the way of the natural fun, though never the gorgeous cinematography, which includes guest cameos from killer whales and at least two intriguing species of seals. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3/5 57% Pet Sematary (2019) The titular animal burial ground, some unfathomable moments of sorrow, and huge, ever-speeding tanker trucks play key roles in a film that's more disturbing than genuinely engrossing. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3.5/5 90% Shazam! (2019) The truth is, the DC Justice League version of Captain Marvel is a lot of fun, mostly family friendly (except for a monster biting off a guy's head), and just a tad too long to earn an extra 50 cents in yours truly's money-tinged ratings system. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 83% For Now (2017) Barlow also conceived the story she co-writes (with Senes and Katherine Du Bois), while adding an attractive on-screen presence that resembles a mix of the young Shelley Long and Zooey Deschanel. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2019
3.5/5 94% The Mustang (2019) It's called 'The Mustang' and follows 'The Rider' and 'Lean on Pete' as movies which succumb to the marvel of horses and their remarkable healing powers. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/5 47% Dumbo (2019) The whole misguided business talks down to the audience and turns what has become a classic 1941 cartoon feature into a live-action soiree mostly ruined by dreadfully dull adults in and out of the room. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3.5/5 94% Us (2019) While the whole adventure might flaunt an occasional reach or two, Peele's initial set up, as well as some revelations that follow the sheer terror of that first introduction, show up quite unexpectedly. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3.5/5 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) This honest attempt to make cinematic art out of historical massacre will not exactly become an entertaining two hours at the movies, just a powerful one. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3.5/5 91% Gloria Bell (2019) Moore is THE reason to ring up this belle, a knockout from start to finish, even when it hurts. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3.5/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) A somewhat fluffy final act still offers enough distaff derring-do in plenty of time for Friday's celebration of International Women's Day. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
3.5/5 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Merchant deserves ample credit for juggling family emotion, the outlaw spirit of a "fake" sport, and the continuing message that appearances don't always tell the entire story in any walk of life. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
1.5/5 69% 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 89% 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 88% 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 45% 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 92% 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
4.5/5 100% 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 63% 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 92% 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 38% 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 63% 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 82% 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 79% 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 78% 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 89% 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 87% 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 58% 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 81% 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 66% 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