Katie Rife

Katie Rife
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: AV Club

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B 66% The Lovebirds (2020) The dynamic between this screwball couple is half affectionate and half exasperated, and there are enough funny lines sprinkled throughout... to keep the laughs coming. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2020
D 50% Scoob! (2020) [A]ny hopes one might have of the film exceeding the low expectations set by its unnecessarily punctuated title should be abandoned forthwith. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2020
C+ 79% How to Build a Girl (2020) There's some valuable wisdom in there... But these grounded morals are smuggled into a storyline that's so completely divorced from reality that the end result is more confusing than inspiring. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2020
B- 100% Z (2019) [I]f you're looking to turn out all the lights, pull a blanket up under your chin, and jump several inches off your couch, there's a new bad-seed thriller to adopt today. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2020
C 80% To the Stars (2020) In some hands, that would be intriguing. Here, however, it's just lukewarm. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2020
B- 89% Selah and the Spades (2020) If you took Harry Potter, put it in a paper bag with The Wire, and shook it vigorously, you'd get the basic idea behind Selah And The Spades-a film that, to its credit, is only partially defined by those two elements. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2020
B 80% Tigertail (2020) [W]here the film stands out from other dramas of its type is in its poignant exploration of the little-discussed emotional consequences of single-mindedly pursuing the American dream. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
C 20% Nona: If They Soak Me, I'll Burn Them (2019) [T]his is an aimless, plodding film whose invigorating sequences of retirement-age anarchy are few and far between. Nona seems like she'd be fun to drink with, though. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2020
B 100% Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020) Mostly, this is an empowering feel-good documentary about a small group of people who came together in the right place at the right time. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2020
C+ 56% The Hunt (2020) [I]t's a parade of insufferable, on-the-nose references whose targets vary by the scene, with a quick trip to a refugee camp at one point just to underline the film's self-satisfied belief in its own edginess. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
B 91% Bacurau (Nighthawk) (2020) While the story is genuinely surprising and unique once it gets where it's going, the diversions along the way make Bacurau more intellectually exciting than viscerally tense, even in that gory back half. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2020
C 49% Burden (2020) But that's the extent of the thoughtfulness in this overly simplistic piece of Southern poverty porn, which asks questions it's not really prepared to answer and proceeds from a set of dubious assumptions that undermine whatever nuance it does possess. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
C- 36% The Night Clerk (2020) [I]t's a bit ironic that in hindsight The Night Clerk will be remembered, if at all, as a movie de Armas was way too good for-an unfortunate mile marker on her road to movie stardom. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
B- 78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) [T]he film... is more successful as a madcap comedy chasing Harley Quinn through the streets of Gotham than it is as a comic book adventure. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
B+ 91% Beanpole (Dylda) (2020) The film's bleak finale underlines this larger political point, but smartly does so in the service of character development rather than pure pedagogy. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
C- 14% Dolittle (2020) [A] confused, sweaty, zigzag approach to storytelling, which waves away inconvenient details and waves in lame jokes with an equal sense of desperation. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
D- No Score Yet The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson (2020) The Murder Of Nicole Brown Simpson is directed like a Lifetime thriller, relying heavily on stark lighting and ominous music to create suspense. (Neither is effective.) - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2020
C 21% Like a Boss (2020) [I]f you're looking for something truly groundbreaking-or hilarious-Like A Boss isn't it. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
C 20% The Grudge (2020) [W]hile John Cho is a welcome addition to any film, the biting shot that wraps up his storyline doesn't wholly compensate for its mushy buildup. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2020
C- 52% Rabid (2019) Horror remakes don't have to be inferior rehashes... But this Rabid nibbles where it should clamp down hard. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
C 70% Bombshell (2019) If you've already accepted that treating your coworkers as sexual objects is bad, you're unlikely to be shocked by Bombshell's accusations, or enlightened by its insights. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
A 95% Little Women (2019) The film tweaks the structure of a well-known and beloved story and modernizes it with light meta touches, all while staying true to its old-fashioned belief in the virtues of kindness and selflessness. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
B 98% Varda by Agnès (2019) Varda By Agnès is most valuable as a freestanding lesson in filmmaking. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
B 83% Synchronic (2019) [A]though the ending of Synchronic is a bit more Hollywood than I'm used to in a Benson and Moorhead film, the duo's signature narrative ingenuity and ability to spin tension seemingly out of thin air have translated fully intact. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
C 51% Charlie's Angels (2019) The overall look of the film has the shiny, empty appearance of a newly rehabbed condo, and the quips about women's love of cheese and gigantic closets have a similarly hollow sassy-greeting-card feel. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
D 13% Arctic Dogs (2019) There's really not much to recommend about this film: the animation lacks texture, the score is overwrought, the plotting is scattershot, and the character design is uninspired. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2019
C 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) When it comes to zombies, more is more, and there are a few good scenes of gory mayhem in this film. But when it comes to Zombieland movies, more is just tedious. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
C 44% The Addams Family (2019) Anyone who's still engaged by the end of the movie is probably too young to remember the original. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
B 85% Sea Fever (2020) So while the film puts its influences way out front, its impressive execution makes it well worth the 89 minutes. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
B+ 93% Saint Maud (2020) As Maud's mental state spirals out of control, the film becomes both more surreal and more poetic, culminating in a shocking finale that sent a shiver through the Fantastic Fest audience. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
A 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) If anything, Parasite is a condemnation of choosing to ignore the inconvenient suffering of your fellow human beings, presented in a seres of accomplished visual metaphors that'll make you rethink all sorts of ordinary household objects. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
B 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Like Rudy Ray Moore himself, Dolemite Is My Name is sometimes brash, always good-natured, proudly imperfect, and endlessly entertaining. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
B 68% We Summon the Darkness (2020) It also hinges on a big plot twist, so all I will say for now is that it's the best Satanic Panic-inspired horror movie I have seen this year, and there have been several. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
B- 82% Homewrecker (2019) Homewrecker was another pleasant surprise, even if its clever comedic writing couldn't quite overcome its sometimes subpar camerawork. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
B 86% Color Out of Space (2020) So although the film is undoubtedly rough around the edges, its psychedelic horror elements are quite compelling and effective. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
B 80% VFW (2020) It's a regular intergenerational summit of a movie, bringing together a young director on the rise, a cast of veteran actors, and a recently relaunched magazine for an '80s exploitation throwback that's outrageous in all the right ways. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
C- 59% In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) In The Shadow Of The Moon is a disappointing misfire all around, but no matter-like so many other Netflix original films, it'll be reabsorbed into the streaming void soon enough. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
B 92% Adoration (2019) Adoration, the new film from Alleluia director Fabrice du Welz, also casts a seductive spell. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
C+ 37% In the Tall Grass (2019) Either way, the movie is a mixed bag, well shot and well acted enough to mostly keep the viewer's attention, but meandering enough to frustrate at the same time. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
B+ 97% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) The bloodshed is relatively straightforward, but plentiful... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
B- 52% The Golden Glove (Der goldene handschuh) (2019) And while that opening scene is undoubtedly shocking, the cumulative effect of all this despair is ultimately even more unsettling. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
C+ 63% It Chapter Two (2019) When it comes down to it, It Chapter Two just isn't all that scary. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2019
D 16% The Fanatic (2019) The action, while bloodier than one might expect, is as goofy and dim-witted as the dialogue. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2019
83% 1BR (2020) Real-life details culled from ex-members' accounts of life in groups like Scientology and NXIVM give the film an edgy ripped-from-the-headlines quality, as well as reinforcing the sheer L.A. of it all. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
88% Swallow (2020) Carlo Mirabella-Davis' feature debut would be worth recommending if it was simply an impeccably shot meditation on upper-class ennui of the Feminine Mystique variety. That being said, it's much more than that. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
96% Blood on Her Name (2020) ...unexpected, morally complex, and alive with tension. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
100% Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (2019) It all ends rather abruptly, but that's just because we could live in this movie's world forever. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
B+ 97% Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2019) Tigers Are Not Afraid is at its most effective when it uses its fertile imagination to terrify. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
C+ 73% The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) The Angry Birds Movie 2 is the very definition of empty-calorie cinema... It's also fast-paced, interesting to look at, and notably less irritating than the original, which is all you can really ask of a film like this one. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
C 24% The Kitchen (2019) But while the film boasts a refreshing premise-mob wives taking over their husbands' territory when the men land themselves in jail-what lingers afterwards is the stale taste of its lukewarm execution. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019