Kelly Vance

Kelly Vance
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
91% For Madmen Only (2020) In the spirit of his "Do-It-Yourself Psychoanalysis Kit" skit, For Madmen Only burns brightly and recedes with a wink and a nod. Crazy how that happens sometimes. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2021
80% Mama Weed (La Daronne) (2021) Huppert's La Daronne floats above the everyday hustle and bustle, impervious to hostilities and looking like a million Euros. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
90% No.7 Cherry Lane (Ji Yuan Tai Qi Hao) (2019) It's the procedural tale of a sensitive young man's coming of age in Hong Kong, circa 1967, told in splendidly conceived animation. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2021
99% Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) It's one of the best movies of any kind this year, a spectacularly energetic musical documentary from the golden age of Black pop music, with waves of thrills and multiple layers of meaning. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
88% Crimson Gold (2004) [A] surprisingly tender tale of a frustrated working-class schnook. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
76% Enfant Terrible (2021) There are treats for confirmed fanatics... So, is this filmmaker worth the effort? Of course. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2021
88% Censor (2021) Carries enough psycho-dramatic weight to interest genre enthusiasts fond of prowling the cinematic side streets in search of hidden dividends. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2021
No Score Yet Tell Them We Were Here (2021) The result is a bracing celebration of the Bay's reputation as - in the words of one witness - "a refuge for weirdos and artists," a "multi-everything" kind of place, well stocked with socially hyper-aware talent and a flair for the unconventional. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2021
96% The Amusement Park (2019) The social commentary woven into Romero's horror films is on full, declarative display in The Amusement Park. As such, it's highly recommended for Romero fans. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2021
20% Endangered Species (2021) Reasonably thoughtful, moderately exciting. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2021
92% Final Account (2021) Holland's earnest attempt at reckoning predictably falls short in the "justice at last" category. However, that doesn't mean we can't derive a smidgeon of moral gratification in seeing a group of our former enemies talk about how it all happened. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2021
91% Looking for a Lady with Fangs and a Moustache (2021) This remarkable film from Nepal is just as agreeably enigmatic as its label would suggest-a combination ethnographic/spiritual/wryly comic "quest" tale about living in the present, and how difficult that can be. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2021
84% Nobody (2021) Lamebrain dialogue, amateurish acting by much of the supporting cast and lazy character construction. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2021
86% The Courier (2020) Nothing especially Hitchcockian about it, but it works. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
76% Pixie (2021) Pixie's guarantee: No cliché overlooked. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2021
83% F.T.A. (1972) The film is best viewed as a document of a time and situation we're still trying to suss out, and maybe never will (the Vietnamese people are way ahead of us on that score). - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2021
100% Riding the Rails (1997) Riding the Rails is an essential American history lesson. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2021
100% Lost Course (2021) A fascinating glimpse into working-class Chinese politics. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2021
96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Filmmaker Shaka King's action-packed account of the Hampton-FBI-Chicago PD death struggle is one of the most powerful, provocative political dramas in years... See this film, and never forget. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
70% Land (2021) We need to know more about Edee than we're shown, and that's a problem not even the Wyoming scenery and sensitive acting can overcome. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
88% News of the World (2020) Hanks' debut oater has one or two dimensions that help it overcome some of the more obvious clichés. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
89% Chungking Express (1996) Almost as much of a thrill as In the Mood for Love. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
95% To the Ends of the Earth (Tabi no Owari Sekai no Hajimari) (2020) A penetrating portrait of the pitfalls of modern life-but Kurosawa should have ditched the imitation Sound of Music finale. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
61% Outrage (1950) High- and low-angle shots straight out of M and frantic cross-cutting. The rest is therapy. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
96% Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020) Filmmaker Temple... splashes the artist's mad, messy, pin-wheeling career and opinions onto the screen. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
82% Mank (2020) Fascinating idea for a long magazine article, but Mank is a pretty awful movie. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
25% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Not since I, Tonya or Citizen Ruth or maybe Gummo or even Deliverance, have we been treated to such a gaudy display of miscalculated, down-scale exuberance (read: clichés). - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
88% Princess of the Row (2020) Both [Tayler] Buck and [Edi] Gathegi deserve awards for their gratifying performances. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
90% The Climb (2020) If we're going to spend 97 minutes with a pair of thick-headed dolts, they should at least be cuddly and lovable instead of dull and annoying. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
100% Coded Bias (2020) Director [Shalini] Kantayya's rallying cry makes complete sense: "Data rights are human rights." - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
87% White Noise (2020) [Filmmaker Daniel] Lombroso's easy-target subjects, gaudy as they are, make a nominally fascinating study. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
No Score Yet Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago (2020) A gratifyingly candid portrait of the artist. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
89% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Sorkin's drama, leavened by Abbie Hoffman's sitcom-style repartee and bloody vintage newsreel footage, can serve as a useful reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
66% The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020) The Burnt Orange Heresy is a simple yet richly illustrated detour to the dark side. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
88% Sorry We Missed You (2020) The performances are as strong as the message: Something's got to change. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
97% Human Nature (2020) Far and away the most intelligent, thought-provoking movie of the young year... See it and be amazed. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
49% Greed (2020) Food for thought, the next time you go shopping. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
96% Incitement (2020) All the usual excuses for violent action in the service of self-righteous ideology get trotted out in Yigal's measured, steady progression toward political murder, and they're familiar to the point of ridiculousness. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
86% Zombi Child (2020) [Filmmaker Bertrand Bonello's] film seems reasonably sincere, but dreadfully awkward. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
84% Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2020) The basic lack of big-picture perspective is the only real drawback to Once Were Brothers, but we get over it. Once the music track kicks in, the doc goes up on Cripple Creek and never comes down. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2020
92% Beanpole (Dylda) (2020) Masha and Iya are slowly settling into a peacetime mood, where there's time for a little tenderness. Their emergence is something to see. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
85% 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
88% 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
92% The Assistant (2020) [A] provocative character study. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2020
60% 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
75% The Gentlemen (2020) Good luck with The Gentlemen, you'll need it. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
86% 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
95% 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
88% Les Misérables (2020) See Les Misèrables and face the facts. - East Bay Express EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020