Ken EisnerMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ken Eisner

Ken Eisner
Ken Eisner's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Variety, Georgia Straight

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
89% 20th Century Women (2017) Nothing huge happens, but all of it evokes the subtle stuff that makes us the men and women we are, were, and will be. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 19, 2017
80% The Founder (2017) The subject here is really the blurred line between entrepreneurship and creativity, and that's just as American as french fries and Coca-Cola. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 19, 2017
92% Ocean Waves (Umi ga kikoeru) (2016) There are no mystical events, fanciful tricksters, or even spooky dream sequences-just the acutely observed travails of thoughtful young people facing their growing pains. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 19, 2017
96% Neruda (2016) The mix of visual spoofs, mind games, and classical music is hugely entertaining, even if the realities of an emerging police state aren't ignored. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 19, 2017
91% Zero Days (2016) The two-hour movie makes it disturbingly clear that our dependence on wired communication and integrated controls has left the whole planet vulnerable to countless manipulations. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 11, 2017
88% Elle (2016) Paul Verhoeven, the former bad boy of Dutch cinema, is back with a deliciously refined vengeance after years in the wilderness. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 11, 2017
33% Mostly Sunny (2016) Partly Sunny might be a better title for this well-made but ultimately frustrating documentary, as its main subject is so compartmentalized as to be almost unknown to herself. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 11, 2017
No Score Yet Theater of Life (2016) Pleasantly ramshackle. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 11, 2017
83% Silence (2017) A strange mix of sombre history lesson, artful religious questioning, and stomach-churning graphic violence, Silence is a movie as confounding as it is thought-provoking. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 5, 2017
92% Hidden Figures (2017) This overeager, if oddly satisfying film details what it took for the U.S. to put a man in space at the height of the Cold War with Russia ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 5, 2017
No Score Yet They Call Me Jeeg Robot (Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot) (2015) It's hard to know how seriously to take the overlong tale's critique of mob corruption in government. There are many good popcorn moments, though, all done on the cheap. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 5, 2017
82% Julieta (2016) Julieta is a deeply satisfying, down-to-earth tale of grief and quiet rediscovery. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Jan 5, 2017
95% Fences (2016) Only Davis manages to keep her responses sounding fresh and free of stagecraft. But her character, much like the audience, simply ends up maxed out on Troy Maxson. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 22, 2016
93% La La Land (2016) Sometimes a movie comes along that is so different, so refreshingly light, so right for the moment that people can happily forgive it for not being very good. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 22, 2016
100% Peter and the Farm (2016) This 90-minute visit is almost meditative in its alternation between wide, mostly wintry vistas and intense close-ups of animals, buildings, and hard-worn tools. Peter's no cheerful tour guide, but he is an expert on mortality, especially his own. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 22, 2016
89% Jackie (2016) How about just telling the story straight? ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 15, 2016
70% Miss Sloane (2016) Perera's snappy dialogue aspires to Aaron Sorkin-type crackle, and almost gets there, thanks to vigorous direction from veteran John Madden, working with a top-flight cast. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 9, 2016
100% The Violin Teacher (Tudo Que Aprendemos Juntos) (2015) This beautifully crafted character study pulls off most of the tough stuff it attempts with that extra dose of feeling, perspective, and poetry that elevates mere social commentary into real art. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 7, 2016
85% Christine (2016) [Christine] has a highly charged Rebecca Hall finding the bruises beneath a brittle surface. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Dec 2, 2016
69% Operation Avalanche (2016) There are enough paranoid-thriller sequences set to well-chosen Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes, to suggest the movie that could have been made with a little more seriousness, and money. Not that it matters. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 30, 2016
97% Aquarius (2016) One of Brazil's most enduring stars gets the role of a lifetime in Aquarius. This ambitious effort sums up many of the changes Sonia Braga has witnessed, in her career and her country. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 16, 2016
95% The Edge of Seventeen (2016) We spend a sprawling, mostly agreeable, and very plainly shot 100 minutes with Nadine, but we never learn anything about her interests or ambitions outside of the two boys -- one nice, the other nasty -- she fancies. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 16, 2016
93% Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary) (2016) Often compared with Yasujirō Ozu's domestic tales, Koreeda's films share that Chekhovian vibe, but his movies have more cinematic fluidity and highly tactile surfaces; he makes you feel things you might otherwise forget. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 9, 2016
93% The Eagle Huntress (2016) There's not much narration here, and little is needed in the true, self-propelled tale of a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan Nurgaiv, who learns the traditionally male skill of hunting with the aid of eagles. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 9, 2016
93% Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016) Unspoken but suggested by the subtext and title of Fire at Sea is that some First World countries profit from war, while other First World countries -- hell, sometimes the same First World countries -- are left to clean up the mess. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 9, 2016
95% Spa Night (2016) he movie is packed with dramatic inner rhymes and startling colour shifts that convey the challenges and pleasures of breaking away from your parents, even if -- especially if -- you love them. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 4, 2016
43% Lavender (2016) A would-be psychological thriller with few thrills and even less psychology. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 4, 2016
98% Moonlight (2016) Jenkins lets the scenes play out with organic ease, and cinematographer James Laxton physicalizes the locations with a kind of off-kilter poetry. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Nov 4, 2016
94% Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai) (2016) Japanese animation meets its own origins in Miss Hokusai, a lovingly crafted tale of art and life in early-18th-century Japan. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 27, 2016
100% Cameraperson (2016) It takes a while to adjust to the seemingly scattershot collection of people and places encountered in this unusually constructed and exceptionally powerful documentary. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 20, 2016
23% American Pastoral (2016) There's a lot of yelling, too little nuance, and even less humour. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 20, 2016
93% Under The Sun (2016) [Director Vitaliy Manskiy] agreed to every condition demanded by North Korean officials... And he still came up with a heartbreaking record of lives relentlessly stifled from birth. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 20, 2016
76% The Lovers And The Despot (2016) "In intense situations," explains Shin at one point, "people imitate what they've seen in movies." In some cases, life is infinitely weirder. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 20, 2016
79% American Honey (2016) The result is a kind of existential, occasionally atmospheric diary kept by someone with little to say. The one cool thing about American Honey is the better movies it could inspire. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 14, 2016
No Score Yet Violent (2014) The blue-toned cinematography from Joseph Schweers, who also edited and cowrote Violent, is so varied and adventurous, you have to submit to the film's spectacularly confident storytelling. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 14, 2016
40% Unless (2016) Everything then leads to a "gotcha" ending that feels exploitative rather than illuminating. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 14, 2016
98% Long Way North (Tout en haut du monde) (2016) I can't remember the last time I said "Wow!" out loud so many times during a movie -- especially not a cartoon aimed mostly at kids. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 14, 2016
94% Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt (2016) Arendt's focus on the demonization of refugees as a precursor to genocide proved prescient, and the film makes the case that exile allows some thinkers to see the bigger picture, even as they're forced to sacrifice their own notion of home. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet Weirdos (2016) Veteran director Bruce McDonald brings a light touch to theatre great Daniel MacIvor's presumably autobiographical tale of young teens getting ready to leave rural Cape Breton in 1976. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet Werewolf (2016) The film's close-ups are relentless to a fault, but they (and the young actors) also convey the director's unsparing compassion for sickly spirits that can be here and gone in the blink of an eye. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
81% Kate Plays Christine (2016) The concept of this performance piece-cum-media interrogation is much stronger than its execution. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet Dobra zena (A Good Wife) (2016) Tackling heavyweight themes in a small-scaled way, this tale of truth and reconciliation (or their opposites) is grounded by a powerhouse performance from Mirjana Karanovic, who also wrote and directed it. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet Green is Gold (2016) This no-budget indie flick has its moments, but a small stash of material is stretched thin. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet Window Horses (2016) Veteran animator Ann Marie Fleming joins forces with a dazzling array of guest cartoonists to go with her stellar jam session of vocal talents. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet Playing Lecuona (2015) The audio recording, as you would hope, is spectacular, and although it seems churlish to complain, the lengthy on-screen performances come at the expense of more cultural context. There are some lovely images here, though ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
100% KONELINE: Our Land Beautiful (2016) Strongly recommended. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet The Bacchus Lady (2016) The subject sounds grim, but the movie is a mellow parade of small, human-scaled delights mixed with the offhandedly macabre. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet All of a Sudden (Auf Einmal) (2016) Asli Özge harnesses a dazzling array of arresting images and smart plot twists. The actors are excellent, too, but there's a sense at the end that the main character's personality could have been a little more clearly drawn. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
No Score Yet The Architect (2016) If HGTV made its own horror movies, they'd look something like this comically presented nightmare. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016
95% Old Stone (Lao Shi) (2016) Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Johnny Ma is also a quietly sneaky stylist, moving confidently from a plain documentary feel to darkly comic noir in the flick's fast-moving 80 minutes. It's an outstanding debut. ‐ Georgia Straight
Posted Oct 12, 2016