Julia Swift

Julia Swift
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
After years of writing for network television while shooting her own festival award winning indie shorts on the side, Julia Swift realized her favorite part of working in media was being able to talk about film with people just as obsessed as she is. Swift left Los Angeles and moved to idyllic Vermont where she can be seen every Friday morning on WFFF's At The Box Office. Her roles on the selection committee for the Vermont International Film Festival (VTIFF), as a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and as an Assistant Professor of Filmmaking at Champlain College allow her to train and uplift the next generation of artists and innovators.
Publications: My Champlain Valley

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
8/10 97% Spontaneous (2020) Hysterical, fun and so timely. This dark teen, young adult romantic black comedy with bloody scenes - goofy not scary bloody scenes, is laugh out loud funny. Trigger warning - romanticizes teen death. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
8/10 98% The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021) Sweet with a wonderfully weird edge. Strong script makes it easy for adults to watch with the kids in their life. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
2/10 26% The Woman in the Window (2021) Wow, so much talent lost in such a horrible film. What a waste. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
6/10 95% In the Heights (2021) The upbeat vibe and old fashioned dance numbers peppered with bodies of all ages and sizes are just what audience's need to raise our spirits now. The unfocused script keeps it from being a classic -- but for now, sit back, tap your feet and enjoy. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
3/10 74% Cruella (2021) Hugely disappointing. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
10/10 88% Undine (2020) The acting, cinematography and sound design are masterful. The pace is slow but the layers of meaning unfold sometimes subtly, sometimes through magical realism slapping you in the face. Director Petzold's last film was promising, this is the payoff. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
5 90% Les nôtres (2021) Director Leblanc moves the actors and camera in a choreographed dance with impactful close ups of Emilie Bierre. Too bad the script, co-written with actor Baribeau, skipped over the surface of this familiar tale before twisting to a rushed ending. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
6 100% The Independents (2021) The uplifting movie we all need right now. Let yourself be carried away by the music that will make you get up off your couch with a smile, ready to believe in the goodness of people again. Just don't look too closely at the craft elements. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2021
10 90% Promising Young Woman (2020) Writer-Director Emerald Fennell pulled off a magic trick so many artists attempt, she made a political film fun. It's only after the credits roll that the audience is left with the heartbreaking echos from the script. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2021
8 88% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) Hirokazu Koreeda's first film not in his native Japanese proves directing is about so much more than the dialogue. He knows when to reveal the whole tableau and when to gift us with a close up of master actors Deneuve and Binoche. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2020
7 71% The One and Only Ivan (2020) An old fashioned, sweet, feel good movie that works for kids and also adults who love animals. The script left sloppy loose ends, but the always amazing Brooklynn Prince, who voices Ruby, can make anyone's heart melt. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
7/10 77% H Is For Happiness (2019) Full of Australian color, verve and a sprinkle magical realism, this family film squeezes joy out of the darkest of moments. The script gets a bit off track, but the acting of the two young leads will warm your heart long after the credits roll. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
6 58% Mighty Oak (2020) Tommy Regan's soulfulness and enthusiasm brings the audience to joyful tears, despite the weak script. McNamara lets each actor shine but it is Janel Parrish's heartfelt performance that will inspire many to run home to hug their loved ones. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
8 98% Blow the Man Down (2020) This feminist film noir's beautiful and bleak cinematography, whip smart writing and quirky directing had me laughing, screaming and jumping until the end when all I wanted to do was celebrate and tell everyone to go see this film. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2020
1 64% All the Bright Places (2020) This film romanticizes suicide. It does everything studies have shown causes suicide rates in teens to increase. Justice Smith proves he is an acting force we will see for years to come. Hopefully, in less potentially destructive films. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2020
3 92% The Assistant (2020) This is less a film than a filmed play. Such an important subject, but the film is so careful not to overstate its point of view that it looses the reality and urgency of the situation. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2020
7 85% Emma (1996) If you allow yourself to be transported to this world of wealth and romantic intrigue, you will be rewarded with a visually stunning trip that may not leave a lasting impression but sure is fun along the way. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2020
7 57% Resistance (2020) Amazing true story that is full of thrills, laughs and tears. This tale of an artist finding his calling to change the world through art is so moving and inspirational it overcomes Jesse Eisenberg's uninspired performance. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2020
6 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) This beautifully shot film explores the female gaze, art, women's empowerment and love. I wish director Sciamma had used more of the tools of filmmaking to entertain the audience so that the final effect was less theoretical and more experiential. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
1 38% Downhill (2020) Complete mess. Skip it and see the brilliant original, Force Majeure, from 2014. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
4 79% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) This super violent film has such an atrocious screenplay that I laughed when it was serious and was annoyed when it attempted humor. Why do some women filmmakers think the only way to be successful is to imitate guys? What a wasted opportunity. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
4 60% The Last Full Measure (2020) This movie was made for a specific audience -- vets, current military and their families. Many movies uplifting vets can reach a wide audience, not this one. However, I loved seeing talented actors from the 70's that have been ignored for years. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
6 85% Just Mercy (2020) Jamie Foxx commands the camera to pay attention. When he is not on screen, director Cretton loses his way. The power of this true story overcomes the lackluster directing and writing. I hope in his next film Cretton finds his directing mojo again. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
10 98% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Get ready for thrills and laughter. As the credits roll, all the layers of meaning in every shot, character and object become clear and you can't wait to spread the word. This is what cinema does best -- entertain, provoke, create discussion. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
4 89% 1917 (2020) The beautiful cinematography cannot make up for the weak screenplay and performances that pale in comparison to Roger Deakins' imagery. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
6 95% Little Women (2019) If you've never seen an adaptation of the classic book about strong, passionate, driven young women before, then Gerwig's version will delight. But if you are a Little Women aficionado, this time jumping version lacks focus and falls short. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
9 68% Bombshell (2019) Charlize Theron proves she can take on any role and make the audience root for her. Smart writing, slick directing and a powerful acting ensemble make this a film that reaches beyond politics to become a cultural touchpoint of this year, this time. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2020
3 77% Richard Jewell (2019) Bates and Rockwell bring the film to life, but this tale of a falsely accused bombing suspect was a mess. The reporter who broke the story, played by Wilde, oozes sex and not much else. Eastwood tried to save one reputation by ruining another. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2020
6 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Hanks brings peaceful energy to Mr. Rogers, leaving a desire for more of him and less of the underdeveloped journalist at the center of the film. Creative cinematography and directing add to Hanks' performance, shining in spite of a flawed script. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
9 95% The Irishman (2019) Scorsese at his peak blending his controlled, moving camera seamlessly with subtle, nuanced character moments reminiscent of his earlier films. Everyone deserves an Oscar -- except those responsible for the distracting, failed de-aging technology. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
9 74% Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2019) Snuck in a review at the end of my segment of a film not in theaters but deserving of being seen on a big screen. Unstoppable's Director Aaron Lieber creates a visually stunning, inspiring portrait sure to energize you to tackle your own dreams. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
7 46% Last Christmas (2019) Uplifting, quirky film full of sweet surprises. This holiday themed romantic comedy uses singing, humor and mystery to remind us all to appreciate the foibles that make us different and the humanity within us all. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
10 94% Sea of Shadows (2019) This international political environmental thriller will have you telling everyone to be quiet so you can see and hear every moment. After it ends you want to talk about it with everyone and convince them to watch it. Now. Go watch it now! - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
7 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) I want more Linda Hamilton! She's becoming a more intense, vulnerable and intriguing actor. The fight scenes didn't flow with the character scenes, but Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis and even Arnold, filled the screen with heart, soul and power. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2019
4/10 82% Judy (2019) Renee Zellweger's performance was more caricature than acting throughout most of this slight film. The script and director rarely dig below the surface and Zellweger's few subtle moments were not enough to save this film. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
10/10 82% Abominable (2019) Writer/ Director Jill Culton, has crafted a magical, awe inspiring experience. The warm, touching film will fill your heart, soul and mind with inspiration as you, along with characters, rediscover your own power and the power of family and friendship. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
8 87% Hustlers (2019) Based on a true story, this film follows strippers entirely from the women's point of view. The sparkling cast along with director Scafaria deliver a world where women with few options and no power struggle to take some of the money and power back. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
5 95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) This story of a man with Downs Syndrome going after his dream of being a wrestler was inspired by the main actor's dream to star in a film. The mess of a script failed to maintain momentum but the actors managed to deliver some feel good moments. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) The main character was completely inauthentic which made it hard to care about her. It's never a good sign when every time a side character comes on screen you wish you could follow them into a different film. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
5 39% Angel Has Fallen (2019) It's a wild, fun ride with a great cast. Even the weak script can't stop this old fashioned popcorn action film from sparking with energy. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
9 50% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) In Richard Linklater's latest film Cate Blanchett gives one of the most honest and vulnerable portrayals of motherhood recently seen on screen. It's funny, crazy, emotional -- but finally and most importantly, inspiring. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
3 24% The Kitchen (2019) The film felt like studio executives decided to make a stereotypical mob film just replacing the men with women. The characters' motivations and actions were unearned and unreal. And each scene had a different tone. The actors seemed lost. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
9 97% The Farewell (2019) Lulu Wang is a new force in filmmaking and I can't wait to see what she does next. She knows how to elicit laughter and tears through revealing human truths and is not afraid to dig into controversial issues. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2019
6 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Less violence than usual for Tarantino, but the same tendency for the camera to creepily sexualize all the women. Brad Pitt gave a layered, funny, heartfelt performance that saved the scattered script and directorial self-indulgent style. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
4 52% The Lion King (2019) Beautiful but disappointing. The images feel very real at times, but they lack the character and heart of both truly real animals and traditional animation. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
2 42% Stuber (2019) The actors who star in this film are lost in a poorly written, lazily directed film which is being sold as a comedy when it is actually an extremely violent film. Not worth the price of admission or even your precious time later on streaming. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
7 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Just like the first one, this teen love story/ super hero mashup was sweet and fun. It was a bit too repetitive in relation to the first one, but Zendaya is so charming and the fight scenes so creative, it's still worth the price of admission. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
7 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Although it lacks the humor of earlier Toy Story films, this sequel is chock full of heart and emotion. Great for younger audiences. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
7 89% Rocketman (2019) Elton's classic hits are used in a traditional musical way where the characters sing the words to tell the emotional story of how he got to rehab. I was singing but not jumping out of my seat since the actor doesn't have the vocal charisma of Elton. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
6 96% Booksmart (2019) Fun ride from first time director Olivia Wilde -- but why do comedy movies about women so often fall into the gross out humor mode? Newsflash -- many women don't respond as much to gross out humor as to character based and situation based humor. - My Champlain Valley EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019