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

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
92% The Martian (2015) For a faraway no-man's land, this is one inviting world.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2015
94% Sicario (2015) Villeneuve's film, written by Taylor Sheridan, pays off its suspense with fierce violence, and seems therefore sensational; it can't quite transcend being an array of set pieces, haunting though they are.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2015
63% Sleeping with Other People (2015) Ye olde let's-try-a-platonic-relationship trope gets a dirty-talking update.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2015
72% Pawn Sacrifice (2015) Maguire in the role [of Bobby Fischer] is compelling.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2015
18% Listening (2015) Meditation as a countermeasure against a sinister mind-control conspiracy is a novel idea; too bad it's wedged into a rickety framework of numbingly conventional dramatic complications, half-hearted eroticism, and pervasive humorlessness.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2015
76% Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine (2015) Gibney's portrait is dense with telling biographical detail. And it is undeniably fascinating to look back on how this life progressed.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2015
98% Inside Out (2015) Say this for Disney-Pixar, it makes some pretty great entertainment out of processing formative experiences.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2015
66% Digging For Fire (2015) What Digging for Fire really has going for it is a solidly Swanbergian, unpretentious story. The scenes seem observed, not overwrought, and when you sense them adding up, it's not to some archly climactic epiphany.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2015
52% A LEGO Brickumentary (2015) Davidson and Junge's film spends its slightly drawn-out duration tracking and cheering on the splendidly various subcultures of Lego enthusiasts. They make some amazing stuff.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
96% The Look of Silence (2015) Joshua Oppenheimer's new documentary thrives on the kind of stuff you can't make up. That is, the awful kind.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
84% Do I Sound Gay? (2015) The basic question in his movie's title is easily answered, the more complex underlying questions necessarily harder. And this is nothing if not a conversation starter.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
44% Irrational Man (2015) Irrational Man is involving, but it feels inadequate.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
83% The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) Aside from verifiably accurate production design, there's also something true in how young and vulnerable these volunteers seem.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
84% Wolf at the Door (2015) Its hook is a kidnapped kid, who promptly gets lost in its shuffle. And maybe this inattention is part of Coimbra's point, but if so it's mismanaged, diluting our emotional investment right when it needs bolstering.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
88% Mr. Holmes (2015) Condon does a fine job stewarding the basic satisfaction to be had from this casting.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
97% Tangerine (2015) What's important about Tangerine is that it's so cathartically hilarious.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
83% 10,000 Km (2015) It's dramatized in cinematic, contemporary-seeming ways, with players who are authentic and beautifully specific.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
95% Amy (2015) There remains the shock of how quickly Winehouse went from the sly, bright-eyed sprite of friends' home videos to the strung-out wretch beleaguered by fusillades of paparazzi flash bulbs.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
26% Dark Places (2015) Cross-cutting between past and present seems trudging and obligatory, illustrating the difference between suspenseful and just plain stretched out.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
94% Best Of Enemies (2015) From a modern vantage point, the level of their conversation is astonishingly high -- at least until it degenerated. But then, that degeneration has its share of fascinations too.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
68% Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (2015) The film accords well with its earnest source material.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
79% Cop Car (2015) Its characters are whittled down into plot-serving ciphers, left to dawdle in scenes that take too long.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
97% Being Evel (2015) Being Evelis chock full of anecdotal factoids. (Or possibly, in some cases, fiction-oids.)‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
3/5 86% X-Men: First Class (2011) Director Matthew Vaughn's franchise reboot or prequel or whatever it is has some artificial flavors but also some natural advantages in James McAvoy as the learned telepath Professor X and Michael Fassbender as his tormented friend Magneto.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2015
89% Cartel Land (2015) As a documentary, it's pretty damned depressing. As a parable of human nature, it's vital.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2015
94% Man from Reno (2015) A fine showreel of local talent, writer-director David Boyle's methodical thriller is steeped in the rich tradition of San Francisco noir, yet never suffocates under its influences.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2015
100% Rebels of the Neon God (2015) Rebels of the Neon God inaugurates the filmmaker's multi-movie study of urban alienation not with showoff chops but quiet, enduring compassion.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2015
64% Still Life (2015) When it's all over, Still Life feels disembodied and perfunctory, like a very respectful eulogy for no one in particular.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2015
89% Obvious Child (2014) Slate erases the boundary between a good comedic performance and a good dramatic one: Her wit is most palpable when expressed verbally, but the most essential stuff, the growing wisdom, is conveyed without words.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 5, 2015
95% 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) At this movie's dark heart is the disarming self-awareness and intelligence with which Cave cops to raiding, mythologizing, and cannibalizing his memories, be they exquisite or banal.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 5, 2015
87% A Most Wanted Man (2014) Without the goneness of Philip Seymour Hoffman hanging over it, what would A Most Wanted Man be worth?‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 5, 2015
90% Wild (2014) It is another survival story, after all, but an affectingly delicate one.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 5, 2015
94% Whiplash (2014) A bit of a letdown in terms of actual characterization and music appreciation, writer-director Damien Chazelle's film is at least a thrilling litany of mind games and physical punishments.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2015
99% Starred Up (2014) Mackenzie supports his screenwriter's humanitarian intentions by bringing out his actors' best, so it's forgivable that Starred Up is shaped less like a drama than an intense therapy session.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2015
98% Boyhood (2014) Maybe only Linklater could do a radical narrative experiment that's also just another low-key slice of life. Obviously, Boyhood required rigorous control, but never does it give off a sense of the filmmaker clutching it too tightly.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2015
91% Birdman (2014) It all looks exactly like an answer to the question of what would be next from the guy who won an Oscar for the cinematography in Gravity.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2014
100% The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is on the long and busy side, but it works its magic by filling up with and fully appreciating life.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2014
84% Listen Up Philip (2014) This non-brave, non-new world emphasizes Perry's understanding that the lining of every bloated ego is insecurity, and Listen Up Philip works not just as comedy but also as tragedy.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2014
3/5 87% The Dark Knight Rises (2012) The pleasure, however preposterous, is in Nolan's dedication -- creating, maintaining, and to an extent defending a universe in which people still take this stuff very seriously.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2014
91% Art and Craft (2014) Art and Craft rightly supposes that critique of art-establishment phoniness never gets old, and it reveals how individual mental illness can manifest collective anxiety about cultural ideals.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2014
72% Memphis (2014) Its metabolism may be unfamiliar, but this extraordinary movie has true rhythm, and true life.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2014
80% A Letter to Momo (2014) Filmmakers of live-action fare, even that which ostensibly is aimed at adults, could learn a lot from its tact.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2014
100% No No: A Dockumentary (2014) Radice's entertaining film does justice to his complex legacy.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2014
80% The One I Love (2014) The way we were is hard enough to live up to; harder still is the way we might be.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2014
91% Frank (2014) Though packaged for relative ease of consumption, Frank does manage to investigate the frontier between indie quirk and mental illness, the volatile combination of tortured soul and personality cult. ‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2014
65% Life Of Crime (2014) While Schechter takes the hairpin plot-turns more cautiously than more flamboyant and better-known directors might, at least Bey and especially the humble genius Hawkes get to make this movie very much their own.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2014
3/5 89% Inglourious Basterds (2009) [It] gets by on typical Tarantino gumption.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2014
89% Calvary (2014) It's Gleeson who turns McDonagh's self-conscious erudition and defense-mechanism irreverence into something transcendent.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2014
81% Land Ho! (2014) The filmmakers don't presume to reinvent the recognizably shopworn two-guys-on a-trip scenario. Instead they simply relax into it, as one might gradually and gratefully lower oneself into an arctic hot spring.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2014
88% Coherence (2014) Byrkit's is an exactingly proportioned blueprint for well-paced cerebral freakouts, downplayed humor, and the humblest of special effects.‐ SF Weekly
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2014