Jonathan Kiefer Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jonathan Kiefer

Jonathan Kiefer
Jonathan Kiefer's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): PopMatters, Salon.com, Village Voice, Sacramento News & Review, SF Weekly

Movie Reviews Only

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Showing 1 - 50 of 512
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
88%

Tangerines (2015)

"It's powered by casually great, lived-in acting, particularly from Lembit Ulfsak as the old man under whose roof the gruff Chechen mercenary and his sensitive young Georgian foe find themselves facing off." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Oct 31, 2016
98%

The Babadook (2014)

"There are legitimate terrors here -- legitimate because, as any bleary-eyed parent will verify, they come from a real and terrible place. And for those who do enjoy at least some defiance of natural laws, The Babadook has that too." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Oct 5, 2016
94%

Monkey Kingdom (2015)

"Minor ethical questions do linger... But the higher-level mission here, to engender fascination among young viewers, is well accomplished." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jun 15, 2016
70%

Puzzle (2011)

"[Smirnoff] doesn't really get into the subculture of competitive puzzling, and that's a mercy. Her priority is clear and refreshingly simple: to glimpse and celebrate a narrow life ever so slightly broadening." ‐SF360
Posted Mar 30, 2016
86%

Cheatin' (2015)

"Movement is of the essence here, and it's really something to see these irrepressibly protean figures put through their emotional paces." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 2, 2016
99%

Selma (2015)

"Ultimately, what makes DuVernay's movie so good and necessary is that it actually lets us see the arc of the moral universe bending -- being bent, by human will -- toward justice." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 2, 2016
98%

Iris (2015)

"Although mostly a loose and unchallenging portrait, Iris is of value to the documentary field if only for taking a stand, however casual, against drabness." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 2, 2016
72%

American Sniper (2015)

"American Sniper is not the nuanced trauma-of-violence conversation our country needs." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 2, 2016
99%

About Elly (2015)

"Clever, compassionate, and completely riveting." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 2, 2016
85%

Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

"This may not be the most innovative literary update, but as a new episode of an old game show, it's a swoon-worthy knockout." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
No Score Yet

The Cult of JT LeRoy (2014)

"Sturm's The Cult of JT LeRoy offers a sober yet somewhat punch-drunk reminder of what it felt like when the local literary wunderkind with a disturbingly tragic past was shown to possess an even more disturbingly tragic future." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
83%

Cinderella (2015)

"Even allowing that Blanchett wrings a wee bit of actual pathos from the added backstory of her character's bitterness, these performances, like the CG concessions of animated animals, are irritatingly overdone." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
17%

The Gunman (2015)

"Trinca fares the worst in this dour dudes' club, with Penn even seeming to hog all the gratuitous waist-up nudity; even in a bedroom scene with his distressed damsel, she's the only one wearing his shirt." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
100%

Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped) (1957)

"It's coolly comforting to recall how the innocence that lay shattered in the wake of World War II wasn't America's alone - just as it's heartening to rediscover the improbable beauty within the bleak scenario of A Man Escaped." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
97%

An Honest Liar (2015)

"An Honest Liar does entertainingly allow that for our peculiar species, true self-awareness sometimes requires a little self-deception." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
17%

Serena (2015)

"Well, Serena isn't great, but it's better than the lousy reputation that precedes it. " ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
78%

Danny Collins (2015)

"This lost-letter episode actually happened to British folk musician Steve Tilston - who seems more grounded, and more interesting, than the caricature that is Danny Collins." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
65%

A Girl Like Her (2015)

"Well-intentioned but belabored, Weber's documentary conceit ultimately saps the story of its truthfulness and is therefore self-defeating." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
81%

3 Hearts (3 coeurs) (2015)

"Its scenery is attractive, its camera moves crisp, but the story itself remains lazily elliptical and contrived." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
89%

White God (2015)

"Reads as a stylized conceit, undercut by too many little moments when performances, from human and canine alike, don't truthfully express what the movie says they do." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
80%

Ned Rifle (2015)

"It's as close to an adding-up as can be expected from any thrifty trilogy spread out over three decades, but surely a testament to enduring indie integrity." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
93%

I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)

"It's light touches all around, with everybody seeming to have gotten the emotional availability memo." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Jan 1, 2016
83%

Testament Of Youth (2015)

"As this is a film about a witness bearer, it does well to capitalize on Vikander's perpetually observant eyes, which convey tenderness, intelligence, shock, incomprehension, comprehension, resiliency, and finally wisdom." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
85%

The Wolfpack (2015)

"As if to air out any whiff of freakshow exploitation, Moselle tends to observe and not to impose. She's touchingly receptive to the boys' stories, and evidently aware that in her presentation they can become indistinguishable" ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
79%

Infinitely Polar Bear (2015)

"Infinitely Polar Bear just rolls along, leaking all reserves of authenticity. You could argue that feeling aimless and oddly hollow actually is the right way for a film to reflect the close observer's experience of mental illness." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
77%

Jimmy's Hall (2015)

"Even an ultimately forgettable effort from this esteemed social-realist director can't help but achieve eloquence in its affirmation of basic human decency." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
82%

The Overnight (2015)

"Together, they have the right proportions of wit and feeling, and their shared escapade is funny and racy without ever trying too hard. " ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
56%

Focus (2015)

"Focus takes some pride in its tidy arrangement of con-man movie clichés." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
95%

Wild Tales (2015)

"Szifrón certainly has a knack for agitating our primal vindictive urges, but his gallows humor seems increasingly forced, and payback being a bitch isn't an excuse for a movie being predictable." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
61%

Maps to the Stars (2015)

"Really this is more a barrel of fish than of monkeys - mostly a jaded movie-industry satire (in a cameo, Carrie Fisher plays herself), but also, being Cronenberg, a horror film, full of ghost stories and little monsters." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
100%

GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2015)

"A serious and sometimes humorous and even compassionate consideration of spousal responsibility." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
93%

Slow West (2015)

"Maclean's insight is to treat all his characters as random players on the front lines of manifest destiny, half-consciously wondering if they're the butt of a cosmic joke." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
99%

Leviathan (2014)

"Writer-director Andrey Zvyagintsev's somehow sublimely bitter tragedy." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
86%

Ballet 422 (2015)

"In this beautifully muted documentary by cinematographer-director Jody Lee Lipes, a New York City Ballet company dancer gets and takes a chance to create his own show." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
26%

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

"Jupiter Ascending feels like some sweatshop-factory assembly of tidbits vaguely recalled from the last 40 years of fantasy, adventure, and sci-fi movies, and hoarded into a forcible orgy of mostly joyless cosplay." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
40%

Black or White (2015)

"Binder's broadness of reach becomes a kind of tonal confusion - a racial melodrama, but with cute laugh cues." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
91%

Love & Mercy (2015)

"Pohlad's film doesn't quite revolutionize the art of movie biography, but it works as a digest of pop songcraft and period costumes, and a groovy heartwarmer besides." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
48%

Cake (2015)

"In Cake, [Aniston]'s stiff, suffering, and suicidal, your mostly unwelcoming hostess for an extended pity party of personal tragedy." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
51%

The Humbling (2015)

"It's a mopey, silly situation, whose only tension comes from our perpetual fear that Levinson is about to make us watch a somber drama copulating with a farce." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
99%

Song Of The Sea (2014)

"Making its case that wistfulness is a magical force, Song of the Sea upholds the great Irish narrative tradition of extracting exquisite uplift from heavy sadness." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
63%

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)

"The familiar essence of this mostly palatable cocktail is elegiac sentimentality cut with English reticence." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
76%

The Connection (2015)

"Jimenez hasn't exactly broken the period-crime-thriller mold, but he's built a solid entertainment, with techniques well absorbed from the American movie tradition." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 31, 2015
82%

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

"Pretty good." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 30, 2015
58%

Maggie (2015)

"[Schwarzenegger] snaps someone's neck in the first 10 minutes, and takes an ax to someone else's a little later, but they were zombies; that's just what you do. The rest seems like a lot of moping around." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 30, 2015
99%

Timbuktu (2015)

"Sissako doesn't get trapped in mockery, and it says a lot that a tone of ruefulness prevails." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 30, 2015
92%

When Marnie Was There (2015)

"With seamlessly amalgamated imagery of Atlantic and Pacific seacoasts, the sense of place here is extraordinary. It's in the details, and in the love of details." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Dec 30, 2015
3/5 65%

Quantum of Solace (2008)

"Director Marc Forster doesn't skimp on action-intensive set pieces, but doesn't stage them very coherently or compellingly either; Quantum of Solace is so constantly climactic that it's anti-climactic." ‐Sacramento News & Review
Posted Nov 2, 2015
48%

Freeheld (2015)

"Moore and Page imbue a humdrum expository courtship with warmth and tenderness." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Oct 8, 2015
4/5 93%

Skyfall (2012)

"Urbane yet never too serious, and beautifully shot by Roger Deakins, this all seems a good fit for director Sam Mendes, who's made his career imposing a sort of British pretense on American movies." ‐Sacramento News & Review
Posted Oct 5, 2015
92%

The Martian (2015)

"For a faraway no-man's land, this is one inviting world." ‐SF Weekly
Posted Oct 1, 2015
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Showing 1 - 50 of 512