John Urbancich

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

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 51% Old (2021) Life is way too short to waste even a few hours on 'Old,' the latest from frustratingly up-and-down filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2021
2.5/5 37% Joe Bell (2021) Unbelievably, in a screenplay co-written by "Brokeback Mountain" Oscar-winners Diana Ossana and (recently deceased) Larry McMurtry, much of the gimmicky story-telling rarely rings true. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
2.5/5 29% Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) No surprise that the acting kudos go to Don Cheadle, as the mildly evil Al G. Rhythm -- get it? -- who pulls LeBron into the "WB Serververse," where seemingly every Warner Bros. character ever created gets at least a quick flash of screen time. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2021
3/5 63% Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) Casting and experience always pay dividends, as strongly proven here by the trio portrayed by Angela Bassett, Carlo Gugino and Michelle Yeoh. I suspect we'll see most of this gang back together again in a sequel or series. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
2.5/5 81% Black Widow (2021) The best scene in the movie, obviously designed to peek into Marvel's cinematic future, comes at the very end of the ever-lengthy, final-credits process. Surely diehard Avengers fanatics likely already know everything about it. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2021
3.5/5 100% The Woman Who Ran (2021) Real ladies, as delivered by Korean master Hong Sangsoo, show up readily in 'The Woman Who Ran,' though it's a few flummoxed men who might be fleeing after dealing with them. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
3.5/5 90% No Sudden Move (2020) Veteran screenwriter Ed Solomon and helmer Soderbergh fill their film with neat twists and turns until a major casting surprise works as a kind of brake-pusher down the stretch. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2021
4.5/5 99% Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) "Oh, Happy Day"! This revolutionary recording was lost and now it's found! - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2021
2.5/5 49% The Forever Purge (2021) The genuine surprise became the exceptional work from much of the cast, particularly the grand Ana de la Requera getting a run for her acting money from male leads Tenoch Huerta and Josh Lucas. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2021
2/5 48% The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) Oh, yeah, Baldwin's back to wreak a little nasty voice business as Uncle Ted, at least until some hokum lets him digress back into the title role that created all such nonsense. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2021
3.5/5 83% Too Late (2021) A deliciously named character, Bob Devore, headlines the similarly well-titled 'Too Late,' and that's all anyone really needs to know about this low-budget, lotta-fun horror/comedy. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
3.5/5 94% Marathon (2021) 'Marathon' takes a leap at mockumentary filmmaking and Devil's Canyon, the fictitious site for a desert race where five long-distance "amateurs" truly dish and squeeze out every sense of that word. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
4/5 95% The Sparks Brothers (2021) Actor/comedians are among their legions of admirers, as Mike Myers, Patton Oswalt, Fred Armisen and more testify. So do members of various bigger-name bands, most notably the biggest-of-all Beatles. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2021
4/5 91% Luca (2021) Pixar's remarkably absorbing "Luca" is a legitimate fish out of water tale with an abundance of "Pinocchio" overtones. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2021
3.5/5 92% Holler (2021) Riegel's noteworthy grasp of her subject matter shows repeatedly in a story she has called "semi-autobiographical," at least when it comes to the emotional and practical challenges of living in the margins. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
3/5 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) John Krasinski doesn't quite match the smart pacing from his 2018 thriller and those memorable sounds of silence that spoke volumes. Instead, we get many more entanglements with invading aliens we hardly saw at all in that less monster-happy original. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
2.5/5 74% Cruella (2021) Director Craig Gillespie ("I, Tonya") and five -- count 'em 5! -- credited screenwriters do dazzle with a few special moments, especially in areas of London-based extravaganza. Otherwise, theirs is a by-the-book procedure. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
3.5/5 88% Dream Horse (2021) Best scenes involve astute musical choices in a score credited to Benjamin Woodgates, group singing of country anthems, and one final humdinger of a surprise down the stretch that might make legendary Welsh crooner Tom Jones stand up and cheer. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2021
3/5 62% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) The director/co-screenwriter certainly has earned a little leeway here until this chase film, which begins a bit wobbly in Florida, gains footing among Sheridan's more familiar western landscapes. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2021
3.5/5 97% Gunda (2020) Nothing speaks except the wonders of quaint farm life in a sparkling, black-and-white documentary named after the giant sow that steals the show along with her ever-appealing piglets. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
3.5/5 100% before/during/after (2020) Such tidy filmmaking features a wise portrayal by Jeremy Davidson, as the unfaithful husband, but there's no denying that this picture belongs to the exceptional Finnerty Steeves. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
3.5/5 66% Wrath of Man (2021) Savvy camera work (by Alan Stewart) and a pounding score (Christopher Benstead), both introduced during a pivotal, pre-credits heist, contribute big time throughout. So does a generally swell cadre of players. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
5/5 97% The Truffle Hunters (2020) Riches tracked down by these memorable woodsmen from Italy's Piedmont Region likely will stick to body parts besides the stomach, too. A glorious soundtrack and a few beautifully matching images might even reach the soul. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
3/5 83% In Action (2020) Fledgling filmmakers show off a smattering of comedic skills while skewering an entire genre with the wittily named "In Action," a legitimate two-hander. - JMuvies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
3.5/5 91% Together Together (2021) In the hands of producer/director/writer Nikole Beckwith, who coaxes the standard competent work from Helms and a remarkably likable performance from standup comic Harrison, some real movie chemistry is made. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2021
1.5/5 5% Vanquish (2021) Action junkies might find something to embrace, while the rest of us likely will have to settle for a one-liner from a bad guy happily quipping: "I heard you killed more people than Quentin Tarantino." - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2021
3/5 91% Touch (2020) Not only did the filmmaker become the first western woman to shoot an indie feature in the People's Republic of China, her performance in the leading role certainly will open some eyes, too. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2.5/5 62% French Exit (2021) A minor player suddenly stands up in a Paris flat and shouts: "I don't like these people! These are not normal people!" . . . I understood the young man's pain, because I didn't like anyone much, either. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2021
2.5/5 80% Concrete Cowboy (2021) Elba's dramatic heft and legitimate star power certainly do have their moments, especially during some potent father-son exchanges. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2021
2.5/5 76% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) The incredibly impressive new technology gives this latest entry into the WB MonsterVerse another step up in terms of FX work, but the story? Please! It's simply dirt dumb. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
3.5/5 84% Nobody (2021) No one can play unassuming as credibly as Odenkirk. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2021
4.5/5 98% The Father (2021) In a fine ensemble, the most fabulous bit of casting is pairing the grand Olivia Williams opposite Colman in the same movie. I mean, wasn't it just yesterday that we were all getting the two of them mixed up in our own heads? Bellisimo! - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2021
3/5 49% Coming 2 America (2021) Murphy's smiling Zamundan ruler allows the silly plot to swirl around him while staying loyal to his wife (Shari Headley), father (James Earl Jones) and ever-devoted servant (Hall, who also shows off his chops in multiple roles). - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2021
3.5/5 95% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) With the always funny Awkwafina offering her rock-solid vocal accompaniment, Sisu becomes the genuine scene-stealing star of this pretty piece. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2021
4.5/5 94% Nomadland (2021) Writer/director Chloe Zhao centers on a world of transient folks who make it on their own in gorgeous Western landscapes. Headed by Frances McDormand, the cast includes a few real American nomads who seem like natural actors, too. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2021
4.5/5 98% Minari (2020) Many will fall hard for this warm, truth-based tale from Lee Isaac Chung, whose own South Korean family apparently moved from California to an Arkansas farm when he was a lad about the same age as the film's scene-stealing Alan S. Kim. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
2/5 70% Land (2021) First-time director Wright's efforts behind a feature film camera suffer from lots of silence and -- except for those undeniably showy gifts of nature -- little energy in a story we have seen played before with more vibrancy and less predictability. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
4.5/5 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Co-writer/director King puts his extraordinary actors, chiefly LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya, and us through the emotional ringer of the fact-based, '60s plot to silence a revolutionary. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
2.5/5 75% The Mauritanian (2021) Unless you enjoy long faces on legal eagles dealing with endless procedural delays, actor Tahar Rahim is probably the best reason to see this post-9/11 drama about a nice guy who knew a bad guy and got tossed into a Guantanamo hell for almost 15 years. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
3/5 58% Malcolm & Marie (2020) Surely this disagreeing duo is intriguing to watch, even if their topic most likely will fall on deaf ears outside of the self-possessed world of Hollywood. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
3.5/5 45% The Little Things (2021) The heavyweight performances, some of the finest in a serial-killer thriller since Anthony Hopkins played that guy who enjoyed liver and fava beans with a nice Chianti, carry it through to the thought-provoking conclusion. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
3/5 73% Palmer (2021) Despite bullies big and small -- but mostly thanks to the screen chemistry of Timberlake and Allen --"Palmer" becomes an occasionally moving little film for our times. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
3.5/5 85% Our Friend (2020) Most is true and undeniably more poignant than weepy in the secure hands of Cowperthwaite and screenwriter Brad Ingelsby. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2021
3/5 100% Ice Cream in the Cupboard (2020) Moffett's story never plays to the maudlin, especially with the author portrayed by Ashbrook, and lovely, ill-fated wife Carmen so truly humanized by a fine Claudia Ferri. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
3.5/5 91% Minor Premise (2020) Don't be surprised if and when you watch it more than once. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
3/5 75% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Early explosiveness so overpowers the subsequent fallout from what occurs even before the film's title card appears that the rest almost becomes an afterthought. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2021
3.5/5 93% Herself (2021) What Lloyd and the screenplay so nicely spotlight are Sandy's attempts to make a legitimate home for her kids and, as the saying goes, it takes a village. In fact, that might mean at least a couple of Dublin city blocks worth of friends and acquaintances. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2021
3/5 98% One Night in Miami (2020) In one man's opinion, Guree and Odom steal the picture - especially the latter, whose vocals easily bring back fond memories of the legendary and soulful Sam Cooke. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
4/5 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) The fascinating final reel looks and feels as well-crafted -- and directed -- as any Hollywood film this year. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2020
4/5 95% Soul (2020) In this abstract assortment, everyone from Archimedes to New York's infamous Pizza Rat earns a mention and, somehow, it remains exhilarating. Go figure. - Your Movies (cleveland.com) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2020