Justin Chang

Justin Chang
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
94% An Elephant Sitting Still (Da xiang xi di er zuo) (2019) [Hu] has given us a triumph of bold sociopolitical critique and intimate human portraiture, and a reminder that you rarely encounter the one without the other. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
54% Sunset (Napszállta) (2019) "Sunset" is maddening and mesmerizing. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
76% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) Zahler only really grips you, alas, with his trademark ferocious displays of violence, which felt like a logical endgame in "Bone Tomahawk" and "Brawl in Cell Block 99," but too often smack here of pointless sadism. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
76% The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) Like a lot of Gibney documentaries, it compresses a juicy, complicated story into a smooth, coherent retelling that occasionally glances at that story's deeper implications. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
94% Us (2019) [B]eyond the jittery mechanics of attack and pursuit, what lingers is the unnerving intimacy of the whole situation, the terrible and mysterious sense of kinship that binds the Wilsons to their malevolent alter egos. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
97% The Heiresses (Las Herederas) (2019) But if some questions remain unanswered, Brun's performance provides much of the clarity we need. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
90% Police Story (Ging chaat goo si) (Police Force) (1985) It's the joy of watching Chan, a Buster Keaton of kickboxing, hurling himself into every stunt with total commitment, astounding athleticism and oddly unflappable, shaggy-haired grace. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
95% Transit (2019) "Transit" touchingly illuminates the close bonds that can form within migrant communities, even as it refuses to harbor any illusions about how easily those bonds can be broken. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
71% Climax (2019) These characters will keep dancing until and perhaps even beyond the bitter end, but their altered state never threatens to become your own. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
55% Greta (2019) Unfortunately, despite the odd hallucinatory freakout and one deliciously nasty Grand Guignol moment, neither the story nor the telling has the requisite juice to fulfill, let alone transcend, the audience's expectations of this well-worn material. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The elegiac ending is simplicity itself, a perfect close to a wondrously imperfect story. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Within the context of a sport that thrives on artifice, writer-director Stephen Merchant spins a story whose emotions feel entirely genuine. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
87% The Image Book (Le livre d'image) (2019) "The Image Book" is an 85-minute cinematic brainstorm, a swirling, dazzling, maddening frenzy of disconnected sights and sounds that have been compiled and arranged according to a rhythmic and rhetorical logic that only its maker can fully divine. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
94% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) Cemcir's performance, suffused with a kind of wily, defiant grace, has an emotional depth that makes this movie's spirit not just heavy and somber, but also curiously forgiving. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" becomes an amusingly derivative space opera, where the hallways and stairwells of an American suburban home become portals to so much intergalactic mayhem. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
100% The Farewell (2019) "The Farewell" is a remarkably cohesive ensemble movie. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
100% Clemency (2019) With quiet power and austere visuals, "Clemency" captures the unbearable atmosphere of offices and corridors suffused with the stench of death. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
90% The Souvenir (2019) One of the pleasures of Hogg's movie is how sneakily it takes shape, and how carefully it avoids the obvious beats to which storytellers often resort for the sake of dramatic expedience. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
88% The Nightingale (2019) Both a canny fulfillment and a skillful subversion of the conventions of the revenge thriller, the picture becomes a touch overextended in its final stretches but is nonetheless sustained by the coherence and intense muscularity of its filmmaking. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
22% Miss Bala (2019) It's understandable that Hardwicke didn't want to mimic her predecessor's moves. But in chop-chop-chopping the action into standard Hollywood fragments, she has drained the material of its tension, its meaning and its purpose... - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
99% Apollo 11 (2019) The result is a stirring companion piece to Damien Chazelle's recent "First Man," and one no less worth seeing on the big screen when Neon releases it in theaters worldwide. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
94% The Report (2019) "The Report" parcels out its intel efficiently enough, though it creaks a bit more than it crackles. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
88% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) [T]he movie has an offbeat, meandering rhythm and a marvelous sense of possibility. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
90% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) "The Kid Who Would Be King" has an uncommon ability to treat the conventions of big-screen fantasy with equal parts earnest seriousness and offbeat humor. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
89% La religieuse (The Nun) (1971) In its sculptural compositions and meticulous choreography of bodies through space, it has a recognizably Rivettian formal beauty. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
37% Glass (2019) It's the work of a filmmaker who, no less than the genre he's trying to reimagine, feels stuck on repeat. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
41% The Upside (2019) "The Upside" was probably never going to be a good movie, but it needn't have been such an unfortunate, spectacularly ill-timed one, the victim of circumstances it ultimately has neither the wit nor the imagination to transcend. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Polished, effective, a bit obvious... - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
32% Welcome to Marwen (2018) You may be repelled, in the moment, by its oil-and-water mix of tortured sentimentality and creepy puppet play. You might also find it damnably hard to shake. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
62% Bird Box (2018) You've seen this all many times before, which doesn't mean you'll mind seeing it again. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) It sits there flailing on the screen, bright, gaudy and mirthless, tossing off strained bits of comic business and all but strangling itself with its own good cheer. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
93% Bumblebee (2018) "Bumblebee," for its part, has just enough wit, playfulness and charm to develop a voice of its own, which is no small thing in the context of a flashy, lunkheaded studio franchise. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
81% Ben is Back (2018) "Ben Is Back" may lose its way early and often, but it is rarely in danger of losing hold of your attention. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
59% Vox Lux (2018) Portman delivers a master class in appalling celebrity misbehavior... It's an arresting, boldly alienating screen performance that destabilizes the movie even as it brings it together. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
76% Never Look Away (2019) "Never Look Away" is nothing if not classical in its approach: It is stately and composed, clear-eyed and engrossing. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
90% Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018) Tardiolo's silent radiance and his director's offhand audacity produce their own bewildering cinematic alchemy. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) What distinguishes "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" in the end is that it takes its mission seriously, even when it's being transparently silly. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
96% Amazing Grace (2018) Franklin's voice remains so pure and galvanic that [this] is one of the few movies you could watch with your eyes closed, though you would hardly want to. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
93% The Favourite (2018) [Colman] beams and scowls, brays and bleeds, shatters and disintegrates. She rules. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
84% Creed II (2018) The rare sequel that doesn't wind up feeling like the same old mistake. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) A witty, fastidiously imagined adventure and a touching, sometimes troubling ode to the power of friendship. But it also demonstrates some of the problems that can befall a movie when its vast ambition and confidence outstrip its finesse. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) As the Coens remind us, with their usual impish wit and impeccable craft, there's still a lot of pleasure to be mined from those conventions. But there are lessons to be learned, too. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) It offers up dazzling feats of sorcery and realms of wonderment and manages to conjure the very opposite of magic. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) By any title, the movie is an expertly crafted slog and a disappointingly bland return for everyone's favorite Scandinavian pansexual goth-vigilante cyber-sleuth. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
82% The Other Side of the Wind (2018) A cracked, corrosive, savagely compromised vision it unmistakably is. A mock documentary avant la lettre, Other Side of the Wind has a jagged syntax that would have felt startling in the '70s and, decades later, has lost little of its restless vitality. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) "Boy Erased" is a sobering, justly infuriating movie, but its own convenient elisions keep catharsis at bay. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) [A] sprawling, jumbled and disappointingly airbrushed new movie about the legendary rock band and especially its incandescent frontman, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
100% Shirkers (2018) A knotty detective yarn, a funny valentine to Singapore and one of the year's most ardent expressions of movie love, it tells a story of cinematic theft, and in the process, becomes an entrancing feat of cinematic reclamation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
100% A Bread Factory, Part Two: Walk with Me a While (2018) A warm and prickly humanist triumph that features no movie stars, disperses its attention across a large ensemble and feels meticulously handcrafted in every respect. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
100% A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold (2018) A warm and prickly humanist triumph that features no movie stars, disperses its attention across a large ensemble and feels meticulously handcrafted in every respect. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018