Jordan M. Smith

Jordan M. Smith
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Based in Buffalo, NY, Jordan M. Smith is a film critic and curator of Cultivate Cinema Circle. His written work often centers around documentary cinema and has appeared at Nonfics, Stranger Than Fiction, Senses of Cinema, Influence Film Club and IONcinema.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
98% Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God (2012) Impeccably researched and devastatingly tragic, Gibney's latest is a magnificent deconstruction of organized crime rather than a blatant attack on religion as one might assume a film of this nature could become. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
96% Chasing Ice (2012) The doc is obviously a big screen advocacy spotlight for the project, but it is also a fascinating portrait of a man infatuated with nature, photography, and their combined ability to affect people in spellbinding ways. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
92% Skyfall (2012) Skyfall may not be an existential masterpiece, but it is a near perfect action thriller that features an excellent cast highlighted by a performance that should rank Raoul Silva as one of the best Bond villains of all time... - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
80% Girl Walk: All Day (2012) ...plain and simple, Krupnick's debut is still just a feature length music video with a paper thin plot and some decent dancing. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
85% The Flat (2012) The Flat reminds of the importance of genealogy, something that too often gets lost to the sands of time, and in doing so it also highlights the generational gap that allows the suppression of horrors passed... - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
96% Brooklyn Castle (2012) Dellamaggiore has crafted a doc that highlights our currently shrinking school budgets, while making light of what can be done with a little hope, perseverance, and community outreach. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
100% Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2012) Wiese's film is an astounding story of dehumanization and a horrifying reminder that bureaucratic evil is still very much alive and well. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
No Score Yet Krivina (2012) Slavkovic hides Miro's truths behind a blankly troubled expression, an emotional barrier that we never gain access to. Instead, Krivina forces us to slowly speculate from a distance, confoundedly. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
86% Detropia (2012) With a mindful eye and an evenhanded approach, stark photography and unmitigated confessions, Detropia gives an austere depiction of a floundering city, but the acceptance of failure remains unthinkable while potential still remains. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
91% Girl Model (2012) Despite some very shoddy camera work, Girl Model manages to engrossingly expose some disgusting truths about the youth modeling industry. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
71% Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012) ...much like the work of writer/director Alexander Payne, Lee Toland Krieger's Celeste and Jesse Forever, harnesses the heart while observing the absurd with outstanding results. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
20% True Wolf (2012) True Wolf is sophomore director Rob Whitehair's loving memorial to the now deceased animal, but unfortunately, it is a sequentially repetitive work of amateur semblance that tends to reminisce rather than inform. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
77% Burning Man (2012) Arrives in carefully mapped out bits and pieces to provide an excellently executed emotional punch to the gut that while not being completely autobiographical, obviously bares authenticity from the heart and soul of writer/director Jonathan Leplitzky. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
100% Planet of Snail (2012) Yi Seung-jun has crafted a remarkable depiction of love, understanding, and patience. Young-Chan's unique experience is expressed through watery sound manipulation, and tranquil cinematography that captures the intimacy with which he perceives the world. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
84% Sleepwalk With Me (2012) The conversion between mediums is flawless, as it gains a variety of story expanding tricks this time around that can only come with the visual format. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
No Score Yet Once In A Lullaby: Ps 22 Chorus Documentary (2012) For all the hard work and simple love of music that is portrayed, the film lacks the purity that comes across in their stripped down YouTube videos that has made the troupe so beloved. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
60% Kumaré (2012) What Kumaré becomes is an astounding test of art's ability to transcend fiction in order to find momentous truths. The lesson? Become a believer. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
78% Brave (2012) ...try as they might to dress up Brave's conventional story with delicious visuals in hopes of balancing its faults, the film remains a substandard Pixar production that lacks the inventive creativity that we've all come to love and expect. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
99% The Invisible War (2012) Not just an important film, but one produced at the top of its creators' craft. It's a doc of rich emotion and high stakes that, thanks to its intrepid subjects, has a real chance to make a difference in the lives of future US soldiers. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
97% Paul Williams Still Alive (2012) In spite of its ramshackle, touch and go structure, Paul Williams Still Alive manages to paint a vivid picture of Mr. Williams by deconstructing his past and understanding his present with equal sensitivity. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
90% Patience (After Sebald) (2012) Through it's black and white leaning landscapes, and overlapping interview snippets, a heartfelt experimental critique can be found, but those unfamiliar with Sebald and his work may get lost in the multi-layered cross cutting. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
94% The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu) (2012) Somewhere in this footage there is a brilliant story of overcoming adversity through the acceptance of the classically outcast, but what is here feels lazy, incomplete, and somewhat exploitative. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
81% Last Call at the Oasis (2012) Yu's highly important film is a wake up call, and it does so with deafening facts and striking focus. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
No Score Yet Low & Clear (2012) With seemingly little effort, Low & Clear manages to avoid fishing clichés while beautifully depicting both nature and human relationships with wholesome respect, and narrative craftsmanship. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
36% The Lady (2012) His story telling clings hard to sentimentality rather than historical facts, but thanks to an Oscar worthy performance by Yeoh and a stark realism...The Lady makes for a powerful, if not weighty, biopic. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
53% The Assault (2012) Based on the real life airliner hijacking that took place on December 24, 1994 in Algiers, director Julien Leclercq's sophomore effort does little more than make you wish you were watching any number of better hostage/terrorist films. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
98% The Island President (2012) Pairing these striking visuals with a fitting soundtrack...The Island President makes for a polished piece of documentary work that paints its subject as a stifled martyr. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
71% I Am Not A Hipster (2013) ...a heartfelt meditation on loneliness, and art's ability to both help process the past or provide phlegmatic entertainment. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
No Score Yet Me At The Zoo (2013) Though it's obvious countless hours went into paring down the material, the film often feels a bit frivolous in its choice to include copious response videos that confer little enlightenment. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
No Score Yet About the Pink Sky (2013) Kobayashi is able to remove the social shields of youth to unveil one of humanity's greatest gifts, compassion and understanding that beams through the awkward fog of aged humor. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
84% Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie (2011) Force Of Nature is filled with broadly profound wisdom, but it doesn't feel weighty despite the topics at hand. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
88% The Descendants (2011) In line with his wryly humored filmography, the picture carefully balances mainstream appeal with serious subject matter, all while presenting it through an over privileged family that audiences should naturally feel disconnected to. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
No Score Yet The Greater Good (2012) Occasionally the film blatantly relies on heartbreaking pathos appeal to sway its viewers, but the in-depth investigation on the politics behind immunization policy and research history is solid, if fairly one sided. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2020
100% Acasa, My Home (2020) A beautifully crafted, heart-wrenchingly tragic, observational encapsulation of the shredding of one family's way of life. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
75% Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story (2020) Doesn't delve deep enough into the void and back again to leave a cartoonish hammerhead imprint on the brain or a tear-soaked membrane around our swollen, bleeding hearts. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2020
100% 143 Sahara Street (143, rue du Désert) (2019) 143 Sahara Street is full of pleasant and often funny surprises, revealing a great amount of humanity in a setting that seems downright inhospitable. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
100% I Am Not Alone (2019) I Am Not Alone takes pains to make sure we not only know what exactly is happening at any given moment but also why. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
97% The Cave (2019) These are remarkable humans, and deservingly, Fayyad has fashioned a remarkable portrait in their honor. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2019
No Score Yet Un Film Dramatique (2019) A work of refreshing spontaneity and continuous revelation. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
100% Love Child (2019) A complex and deeply moving tale that speaks to our times and, most thankfully, our heart. - Nonfics EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
No Score Yet A Wild Stream (Una corriente salvaje) (2018) ...A Wild Stream felt like a rejuvenating reprieve from the madness of the world, where cowboy bromances can enigmatically flourish on the glimmering seashores of Mexico before a looming camera held by a strong willed, visionary woman. - Senses of Cinema EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
No Score Yet Atman (1997) ...Atman maintains a tone of positive transformation, tenuous as it may be, through Pirjo's rigorous and patient observation of Jamana Lal's world weary face as he discovers love in the throes of grief. - Senses of Cinema EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
No Score Yet Mysterion (1991) Wholly observational outside the occasional employment of Külliki Rannu as poetic narrator and 12 chapter cards that read as more mysterious than contextual, Mysterion is a staggeringly beautiful bit of filmmaking. - Senses of Cinema EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2019
92% Crime + Punishment (2018) Among the investigative documentary exposés released theatrically this year, Stephen Maing's stands as one of the most domestically distressing and cinematically audacious. - Film School Rejects EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
90% John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018) ...proving that sport itself can be fundamentally cinematic and ripe with psychological drama when documented in a manner outside of the traditional systems designed for live or television viewing. - Film School Rejects EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
97% Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) ...the cinematic equivalent of a memory quilt, woven together with a deep love of community, comprised of intimate though disparate moments from others' lives, and poetically comforting despite its historically weighty components. - Film School Rejects EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
100% Shirkers (2018) Like an essayistic mystery story told in the form of a prodigiously cinematic 16mm inflected punk zine, Shirkers is nothing short of remarkable nonfiction cinema. - Film School Rejects EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
100% The War Show (2016) With a dreamy sense of living in the moment ... The War Show reminds us that there are indeed living, breathing, and loving individuals just trying their best to endure this war-torn time period in their homeland. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
84% Hermia & Helena (2017) Camila's romantic whimsy and casual curiosity about the past ultimately leads to an unearthing of deep seeded, unexpected emotion within Hermia & Helena, signaling a new level of artistic maturity for Piñeiro and his regular collaborators. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
92% Into the Inferno (2016) Unsurprisingly, Into The Inferno turns out to be less about the science behind volcanology than about the infinite philosophical inquiries that have ruptured from the souls of those who live in close proximity to them. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018