Karen Gordon

Karen Gordon
Karen Gordon's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Original Cin
Publications: Original Cin

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B-minus 71% The King (2019) Overlong, but what redeems The King, beyond the excellent performances, is the way the film asks questions about why we go to war and who benefits. And it leaves us in an interesting place. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
A 68% Joker (2019) Joker has what may be the best lead performance of the year, but it is not for the faint of heart. Director Todd Phillips digs deep into the shadow side of society for one of the darkest movies in recent memory. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
B-plus 83% Abominable (2019) Finds the right balance for dealing with Yi's sadness and loss respectfully, without dominating the tone and adventurousness of the movie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
C-plus 84% Ad Astra (2019) "Well intentioned, but sets itself up for something big and then ends up being somewhat shallow." - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
C 19% The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018) Even for someone like me who admires Dolan, the finished film is a bit of a mess. But it's kind of a beautiful mess, one that still has the power to be affecting. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
B-plus 47% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) For a long stretch, it feels like a pretty typical off-beat, or screwball comedy. And yet Linklater's films are always more than the sum of their parts, ultimately about community and connecting ourselves to others. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
C 43% After the Wedding (2019) The cast represents some of the finest actors working in film today. And for the most part they're doing thoughtful work. Unfortunately, there's only so much they can do. The film doesn't go emotionally deep enough to pay off. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
C 22% The Kitchen (2019) The biggest problem is the script. The plot brings in a series of secondary characters, allies or antagonists, awkwardly introduced. It's like reading a book and skipping a few pages in every chapter. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2019
B-plus 92% Luce (2019) A layered drama that aims high and deep, and achieves all of that. It touches on class and race issues. But it also manages to be a personal drama that evokes questions about who we are - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
B-plus 92% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) A life lived hard, sometimes horribly and sometimes well. Eaton has a journalist's sense of story-telling, neither softening nor romanticizing Crosby's story, staying just far enough away from his subject to avoid judgement. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
99% The Farewell (2019) Writer/director Lulu Wang's lovely, heartfelt film spotlights family with all its quirks and perks. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
C-plus 83% Midsommar (2019) The story drags and wobbles. But still, Aster's strengths as a director show themselves. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) The fourth installment of this winning series has all the hallmarks of its predecessors: superb storytelling plus great characters and multi-generational appeal. Be sure to bring Kleenex. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
C-plus 80% Late Night (2019) Not much here adds up. Given the host's career is hanging by a thread, and everyone's job with it, what are the chances her senior producer would hire a completely green writer with zero experience and no references? - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
B-plus 56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) The humour is dry, pointed and very funny. But Jarmusch is too clever a filmmaker to simply toss off a genre film for laughs. There's Trump-era subtext, where facts are not warmly received as facts. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
B 94% Echo In the Canyon (2019) Perhaps a bit random in its selection of artists, but it doesn't claim to be definitive. It captures an influential sliver of time in the evolution of pop music, and is worthwhile viewing for music fans. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
C-plus 51% Tolkien (2019) Tolkien is quietly enjoyable on its own merits, though fans looking for deep insights into what might have inspired the great writer likely won't find many clues. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
C-plus 28% UglyDolls (2019) UglyDolls isn't particularly inventive or outstanding. It's also less diverse than you'd expect. Still, a movie that teaches kids that they're okay just as they are packs a pretty powerful message. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
A 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Endgame asks, "What does it mean to be a hero and to feel heroic? Can you get up again, and what does that look like?" These big questions are answered, I'd argue, lovingly in this film. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
B-minus 80% Ruben Brandt, Collector (2019) Ambitious and clever on paper, whether you enjoy this or not will depend on what you like about movies. Because on a visual level, Krstic does pull off something very complicated. But the story itself is not as interesting. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2019
A 79% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) One of Farhadi's great strengths is his ability to write clear characters with complex inner lives that inform their reactions. He put his characters through an emotional wringer, without melodrama. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
C-plus 61% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Great fight scenes abound. But there are way too many superficial or uninteresting scenes that slow down an already long movie. And the film is frustratingly shallow emotionally. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Mary Poppins Returns is a rare treat: an old fashioned movie musical with an old-fashioned message that works perfectly in the modern world. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
B-plus 82% Ben is Back (2018) Love within families is sometimes about taking one breath at a time and seeing what comes next. And in that sense, Ben is Back strikes the right notes. An intense drama buoyed by exceptional performances - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
C-minus 45% Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) (2018) Edmunds seems to be trying for a Guy Ritchie movie, where everyone is negotiating at gunpoint, and a gangster's death is cartoonish, so we're not bothered. It falls flat early. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
B-plus 97% Border (Gräns) (2018) There are lots of things going on in this film, from the normal to the creepy to the very strange. But director Ali Abbasi succeeds in keeping the film feeling like more like a drama, than an oddity or an arty creature feature. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
B 91% Widows (2018) The success of a heist movie lies in whether you buy the twists and turns. In this case, it's an enjoyable ride, but some of the story's weaknesses make it less than it might have been. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
B 80% Boy Erased (2018) One wishes Edgerton had upped the drama a few notches. There are times when awful things are happening to someone. We get it intellectually, but the movie often soft-pedals the visceral impact and that's a shame. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
B-minus 40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) The once socially awkward hacker Salander seems to have acquired the field and fighting skills of a trained government operative. There's no peril she can't elude, which gets less interesting as the film goes on. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
B-plus 100% Transformer (2018) Transformer has the kind of hook that practically invites an exploitative approach -- "Alpha-male, girly-girl" to quote Kroc. But Del Monte's straightforward observational doc takes its cue from Janae's level-headed honesty. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
B-plus 70% Beautiful Boy (2011) Chalamet conveys all of the necessary contradictory emotions to portray an addict, paradoxically both in love with, and repulsed by, his own tendencies and actions. It's bravura work. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
A-minus 93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) The movie, in its way, pays homage to Redford's career, and all the times he's played a charming rebel or an outlaw. Perhaps it's because he's making so few movies these days, it's easier to appreciate just how good he is. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2018
C-plus 85% The Wife (2018) The performances in this family drama are all top notch. But the script is another story. If Close does win an Oscar, it will be in spite of the movie, not because of it. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
A 87% The Sisters Brothers (2018) A French writer/director, co-adapting a great Canadian novel about the American West, what could go wrong? In the case of The Sisters Brothers, nothing as it turns out. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
B 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Bradley Cooper makes an impressive directing debut with A Star Is Born, turning one of Hollywood's most re-made movies into something fresh and soulful, even though it's hampered by some of the story's clichés. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
A-minus 83% Juliet, Naked (2018) Yes, it's a formula and we've been here before. But the characters are engaging, the performances elevate the material, and the various dilemmas of each gives this more layers than you might expect. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
C 83% Puzzle (2018) As her independence grows, Agnes becomes peevish and even turns mean. Both Khan and Kelly are wonderful actors, but there's so little chemistry they might as well be in different movies. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2018
A 99% Eighth Grade (2018) A small, lovely, touching movie that sums up all that's wrong and all that's right with being a teen and feeling unmoored. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
A 100% Leave No Trace (2018) Leave No Trace speaks, not just to the trauma and the damage of soldiers who have seen too much in war, but wider questions of endurance and the soul that can touch all of us. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2018
C-plus 58% Always at the Carlyle (2018) Unless you're absolutely charmed by everything celebrity, the steady stream of rich and famous talking about things they can do that you can't, and the way they're specially treated that you aren't, starts to deflate the film. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2018
A 89% Hereditary (2018) Hereditary works as a family drama and as a genre film. Almost everyone is dealing with some sort of inner demon, even before we get to the possibility of real demons at work. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
B-plus 86% The Gospel According to André (2018) Talley's accomplishments are many, but like the man himself, the movie doesn't veer into hyperbole and aggrandizement. In keeping with its subject, it keeps things quietly honest. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
B 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Howard knows how to make the film move. But for all the characters, chases, card games, twists and turns, the story itself is surprisingly ordinary, and even a little dull at times. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
B 93% Kusama: Infinity (2018) Lenz shows you Kusama's shows, and the mimicking exhibitions of her male contemporaries. It's a perfect film for the #metoo era: A glimpse into the life of a visionary born when even "progressive culture" ignored women's voices. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Avengers: Infinity War does the impossible. It tops all previous 19 Marvel movies while continuing to redefine the action genre. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Ava DuVernay's visually imaginative female empowerment movie says love triumphs evil, light trumps darkness and teenage girls who believe they're not good enough can find their strength and beauty. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2018
B-minus 40% Nostalgia (2018) Not exactly a roller coaster ride of a movie, quiet and slow in fact. But a thoughtful story about the power of the possessions we leave behind. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
C-minus 45% Red Sparrow (2018) The Russian characters all speak to each other in English with Russian accents that seem to come and go from scene to scene, and the final product bounces from gratuitously nasty to just plain dull. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
78% Sweet Virginia (2017) What happens when men of few words are the lead characters in a thriller? In Sweet Virginia, some great actors are left high and dry by a script that doesn't mesh. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2017
79% The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) It uses the historical facts as a framework for a clever, fantastical story that works on multiple levels. It dives into Dickens' darkest fears and yet stays lively, joyful and family-friendly. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2017