Kelly Vance

Kelly Vance
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
79% The Traitor (2020) The Traitor is a sober indictment of lawlessness and a man who ultimately found no joy in it. - Noir City EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
87% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2019) Rob Garver's reverential yet incisive documentary tribute to the late film critic, is worth still one more excursion in the Wayback Machine, a device that's seeing a lot of use at the art house these days. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020
79% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) It's a truly mean-spirited piece of work, a nasty ordeal for anyone who cares about characters and why they do what they do. But that doesn't mean it's completely worthless. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2020
89% The Assistant (2020) [A] provocative character study. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2020
59% The Last Full Measure (2020) The Last Full Measure shoots itself in the foot. It may deserve a Purple Heart for that, but nothing much more. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
73% The Gentlemen (2020) Good luck with The Gentlemen, you'll need it. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
85% Color Out of Space (2020) Yet there's a restrained helter-skelter to his Lovecraft tribute that ingratiates it as we watch Nathan's farm fall to pieces. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
94% Citizen K (2019) Veteran documentarian [Alex] Gibney's sure touch with his sources gives the doc an occasional welcome whiff of humor. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
84% Les Misérables (2020) See Les Misèrables and face the facts. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
91% Clemency (2019) Clemency doubles down on the moral and emotional implications in the persons of Bernadine Williams, a prison warden (Alfre Woodard, in a remarkable role), and a death-row inmate named Anthony Woods (Aldis Hodge). - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
83% Just Mercy (2020) It's a pleasure, after all the high-profile, much-ballyhooed holiday releases, to get wrapped up in such a thoughtfully conceived, well written, stirringly presented display of character acting as Just Mercy. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
99% Varda by Agnès (2019) Like the woman herself, Varda par Agnès is practically irresistible. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
89% 1917 (2020) Awe-inspiring, terrifying, yet utterly gorgeous. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2020
93% Invisible Life (A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão) (2019) Emotionally vivid, ultra-colorful. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2020
92% Uncut Gems (2019) Sandler is terrific in this role, a flop-sweat-soaked comedy of brutality punctuated by punches to the face. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2019
95% Little Women (2019) Gerwig's Little Women disarms with charm, from Saoirse Ronan's performance as Jo, most headstrong of the four March sisters of Concord, Mass., all the way down to the cozy New England settings. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2019
70% Bombshell (2019) Funny and exhilarating as it is, the film is a placebo for an ache that seems as if it's never going to go away. We can laugh for two hours at Bombshell, but the joke is ultimately on us. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
80% A Hidden Life (2019) Thanks to Malick for using such an emotionally powerful dramatic premise as the basis of his comeback. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
76% Richard Jewell (2019) Food for thought from a filmmaker often derided as a rightwing cheerleader, but more accurately a champion of outsiders and underdogs. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
97% The Kingmaker (2019) The Kingmaker, a film guaranteed to nauseate fans of democracy, is nevertheless a must-see. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
97% Knives Out (2019) A refreshingly witty and suitably busy piece of holiday popcorn-flick entertainment. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
73% Shooting the Mafia (2019) Director Kim Longinotto's portrait of the red-haired, chain-smoking photographer [Letizia] Battaglia... is a vivid documentary description of a very specific time and place. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
89% Dark Waters (2019) Makes for a dreary, warmed-over-Erin-Brockovich drama. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
95% Marriage Story (2019) Baumbach is the anti-Ozu, and Marriage Story is something we can look at any time we feel too happy about ourselves. Enjoy. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
83% Queen & Slim (2019) Queen & Slim, one of the year's most provocative films, is powerful stuff, neatly wrapped in realistic yet mythological terms by the players and their director, Melina Matsoukas. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
63% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) With its odd combination of period crime and slapstick, Motherless Brooklyn takes its time warming up, but Norton's Brooklyn - both the place and the man - grow on us. - Noir City EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
95% Ága (2019) Ága is a subtle yet unmistakable reminder that there are thousands, even millions of stories in the world that have almost nothing to do with anything electronic. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
79% Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer (2019) As Scandalous suggests in its fascinating dirty-laundry exposé of the once-powerful nameplate, the Enquirer has hardly been missed - except perhaps when it comes to details of the crimes of Tori Spelling. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Ford v Ferrari is so much fun it's almost indecent. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
77% Doctor Sleep (2019) The event of the season for horror enthusiasts and one of this year's most imaginative films of any genre. The deeper into it we go, the more unsettling it becomes. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) In concert with the nostalgia evoked by its three stars, the film's rear-view mirror finds no exhilaration whatsoever in its mayhem, only a gray, aching disappointment. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) Combined with filmmaker Lapid's breezy visual style, Yoav's bewilderment with his new home deposits us in a rare zone of uncertainty that few films manage with such absolute assurance - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
58% Frankie (2019) Isabelle Huppert stars... in a remarkably subdued performance. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Parasite is an appropriately enigmatic title for a satire that cuts both ways. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
90% The Lighthouse (2019) Picturesque but tiresome. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
74% The Death of Dick Long (2019) Scheinert and Chew's poor-dumb-redneck free-for-all is rescued by its players. - Noir City EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Autobiographical? Apparently. Stay with it, it's worth it. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
86% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) It's enough to make you physically ill. But it's better that we know the facts, isn't it? See Where's My Roy Cohn? and connect the dots, if you dare. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) In his funniest movie since Boomerang, Murphy is once again at the top of his game. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
68% Joker (2019) Joker will grab you and hold you. Listen to it. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
100% Midnight Traveler (2019) The doc puts into the shade every indie drama and horror flick ever made on a phone. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
82% Judy (2019) The movie is merely okay but Renée Zellweger is sensational. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
100% Chulas Fronteras (1976) It's a romantic portrait of the border, and despite the farm labor issues, a place better defined by barbacoa, large families, and some of the most rousing acoustic dance music on the planet. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
86% Ms. Purple (2019) Ms. Purple's cloudy romanticism is something that it, and we in the audience, need to work for. But it's worth it. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) In the despairing Ad Astra the characters imitate machines with their batteries running down, and their adventures leave us cold. Was this trip really necessary? - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
94% Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Immensely entertaining. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
40% Vita & Virginia (2019) An especially simple-minded, pandering piece of art-house entertainment. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Brittany Runs a Marathon earns its warm-all-over feeling honestly, with solid gold writing and winning characterizations. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
83% Official Secrets (2019) Nothing especially objectionable about Knightley's typically urgent portrayal of this brave, righteous soul... But the grim mechanics of Kat's ordeal coat the putatively thrilling, perilous tale in dull bureaucratic shades of gray. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
96% American Factory (2019) These cross-cultural skirmishes may be amusing, but in the end we can see there's almost no difference between the objectives of businesspeople in China and those of their North American counterparts. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2019