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
A-plus 96% Sound of Metal (2020) An engrossing deeply affecting, meticulously crafted movie. The tone is straightforward and naturalistic. The camera focuses on intimate connections between the characters. This is a thoughtful, grounded, human scale film. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
70% The Last Vermeer (2020) Despite its rich true-life premise, Dan Friedkin's directorial debut scans like an episode of Law and Order: uneven and predictable. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
B 100% His House (2020) While the characters' trauma and backstory may be unusual territory for horror, Weekes' storytelling leans a lot on conventional horror movie tropes. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2020
77% I Am Greta (2020) This compelling doc brings is Thunberg in all her glory. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
A 86% On The Rocks (2020) A delight... smart, gentle and sweet. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2020
B 68% Ammonite (2020) In a movie that deals with how male dominated society prevented Anning from benefitting from her talent, it's ironic Lee has also overwritten her personal identity, taking the liberty of creating a fictionalized romance for her. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
A 85% The Way I See It (2020) The film feels like a pas de deux, where subject and filmmaker want to make the same point, and are making it together as Americans head to the polls to elect a new President. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
A-minus 81% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) With its inner dialogue, magical realism, and playful, random time-shift perspectives, there's much for the audience to interpret. What's miraculous is that Kaufman stays on course in this wonderfully odd movie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2020
A 66% The Secret Garden (2020) The movie is a visual feast, the overgrown garden, the wallpaper in Mary's room, the darkness of the house, all are gorgeous. It all contributes to a sense that Mary is being guided to the answers to questions she didn't know existed. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2020
B 63% Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Bolstered by actors with serious chops, and a secondary cast of talented singers the movie is sweetly affectionate. But your enjoyment will likely be directly proportional to how you feel about Ferrell and his familiar man-boy character. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
B-minus 40% Irresistible (2020) Irresistible has charm and an interesting twist or two, but it lacks bite. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
B 74% The King of Staten Island (2020) The film does a good job of walking the tightrope between comedy and pathos. Davidson's character may be tough for some to warm up to, but he never "goes cute" to make us like him. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2020
A 96% A White, White Day (Hvítur, hvítur dagur) (2020) This is one of those intensely intimate movies that I wish I had been able to see on a large screen. When properly done, as it is here, the larger the screen, the more visceral the quiet spaces. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
B 87% Spaceship Earth (2020) Initially slow as we wait for these disparate parts of this sprawling story to come together, it ultimately makes for a compelling story about someone who was either a visionary or a cult leader. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2020
99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) This quietly lovely film bathes a poignant choice in the natural light of realism and empathy. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2020
B-plus 96% First Cow (2020) The friendship between Cookie and King Lu is what we're looking at, and where Reichardt wants you to focus. But there is much more going on - from ideas of capitalism and colonization to spiritual questions about what endures. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
B 87% Standing Up, Falling Down (2020) Schwartz and Crystal can convey a world of emotion in a shrug. They calibrate their performances beautifully, the comedy never being forced. They give each other time and space to react, and the rhythm of their relationship grounds the movie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
B 62% The Call of the Wild (2020) The anthropomorphizing of Buck could put some off. He's portrayed as a cross between a Zen master, an addictions counsellor and a very good boy. The only thing he doesn't do is pick up the cheque. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
C 38% Downhill (2020) The movie is pitched as a comedy. But in spite of a few scenes, and some cliched overly sexed Euro caricatures, it's strikingly not funny. The tone of the film is uneven which just adds to confusion over what they were trying to achieve. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
B-plus 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) Sciamma doesn't over-play the sensuality. She uses the stillness to create a deeper intimacy between the two women. And for us, the quiet, and the calm, measured pace of the film draws our attention to their growing bond. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
C 86% Color Out of Space (2020) The movie looks pretty good, given that it's small budget effort, and it achieves a sense of tension. But beyond that, the result is frustrating. And Cage, with his Cage-ian quirks is a distraction. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2020
B-plus 88% Les Misérables (2020) An intense ride and gripping police procedural. Ly takes us to the brink of this reality-based world, where past and present are about to meet the future. And he leaves us there to contemplate. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
A-minus 92% Uncut Gems (2019) Exhilarating filmmaking, like a two-hour anxiety attack. It's unlikely you'll see anything this tightly-wound at the theatre anytime soon. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
A-plus 94% Marriage Story (2019) This is a powerful performance by Driver. And it's evident that Johansson has matured as an actor - thoughtful and willing to go deep. But, everywhere in this movie, there are actors doing award-worthy work. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
74% Harriet (2019) Co-writer/director Kasi Lemmons' biopic is long and somewhat melodramatic but gives the heroic slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman her due. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
A-plus 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) A beautifully crafted film, one that that, for much of its running time, maintains a measure of lightness and sweetness without flinching from the ugliness at the center of the story. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
A 90% The Lighthouse (2019) Is this about madness? Nature unleashed? A fever dream? Are we in hell? You can make a case for any or all of these and more. It's bonkers and a hell of a film. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
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 81% 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 83% 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 20% The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2019) 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 49% 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 45% 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 24% 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 90% 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
98% 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 55% 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 90% 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 27% 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 81% 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 78% 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