Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
75% Backdraft (1991) While it is a treat to see this kind of old-fashioned film making a comeback, it's hard not to wish that the story grabbed us emotionally as convincingly as those darn fires. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2021
87% Bhaji On the Beach (1995) Warm and charming while sacrificing neither its integrity nor its point of view, it covers considerable personal and political territory... And it never forgets to have fun. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
81% Clueless (1995) Clueless' script is a treat. And because Heckerling knows just where the jokes are, her direction is dead-on as well, with every actor in the extensive cast both understanding and responding admirably to the material. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2021
81% Slacker (1991) When the way characters are described in the credits ("Dostoevsky wanna-be," "Having a breakthrough day") is more involving than the characters themselves, you know you're in for a long evening. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2021
78% Wayne's World (1992) From time to time... [Wayne's World] does catch comedic fire and become genuinely funny.More often, however, one is conscious of how unimaginatively padded this movie feels, how little the filmmakers have found for Wayne and Garth to do. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2021
84% The Way Back (2020) "The Way Back" could have been as by the numbers as its title, a name that telegraphs a need to be redeemed, to rebound from adversity. But it isn't. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2021
86% The Joy Luck Club (1993) If The Joy Luck Club doesn't make you cry, nothing will. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
89% Clerks (1994) "Clerks" is unapologetically rough and even ragged at times. But its lack of circumspection turns out to be its charm. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
100% Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness (2011) The result is more than an examination of the contradictory life of the celebrated humorist and storyteller, it's a compelling cinematic look at the complex world of Eastern European Jews. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
95% Bob Roberts (1992) Whether we find Our Bob appealing or anathema, it is a measure of Robbins' exceptional success that no one can doubt how seductive a candidate like this would be in an election near you. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2020
19% Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) Even by sequel standards, a minimal amount of creativity has gone into "Sister Act 2," and not even the talents of its cast, including several likable young people, can compensate for this thrown-together feeling. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2020
98% Paris Is Burning (1991) [The film intercuts] ball scenes with interviews with the participants in less hectic, more reflective moments. It is those personal, humanizing moments, much more than the hectic, eye-catching hubbub of performance, that truly linger in the mind. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2020
87% Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations (2020) Though it is too glib at moments, "Viral" scores points with examples that underscore the seriousness of the situations it depicts. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
70% Balloon (2020) Filmmaker Herbig and his team prove to be especially adept at contriving situations where anything anyone does causes fear, anxiety, stress and worry, leaving everyone, very much including the audience, existing on the knife's edge of unremitting tension. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
57% The Hunt (2020) "The Hunt" lacks the courage of its presumed convictions, displaying no more than a determination to make as much cash as possible by exploiting national divisions less covetous individuals are despairing of rather than monetizing. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
37% Spenser Confidential (2020) A possible sequel is teased at the end of this adventure, and that wouldn't be a half bad idea. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
46% Run This Town (2020) Smart, ambitious and impressive, "Run This Town" is the best kind of feature directing debut, a film that entertains and makes you look forward to what will come next. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
50% Burden (2020) Siding with the angels can seem like a snap in films, but "Burden" has the grace to show how difficult and wrenching a choice that can be. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
98% Corpus Christi (Boze cialo) (2020) Directed by Jan Komasa in only his third feature and starring a complexly compelling Bartosz Bielenia, this is a blistering drama, intense, disturbing and inescapably thought-provoking, a film that gets its power from a merging of potent opposites. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
84% Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2020) But it is a measure of the singularity of the Band's story, and the way their music remains such a tonic to experience, that "Brothers" still demands to be seen. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
100% The Woman Who Loves Giraffes (2020) "The Woman Who Loves Giraffes" lives up to its title, and something more. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
87% Emma. (2020) "Emma" partisans, fortunately, never say die, and a very satisfying new version of Austen's sprightly novel has been directed in high style by Autumn de Wilde. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
96% A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2020) That all these characters and then some have distinct personalities is all the more remarkable because no one uses actual words, instead making do quite nicely with assorted grunts, groans and indefinable grumbles. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
93% Ordinary Love (2020) Manville's gifts and accomplishments are no surprise, but she's never been better than she is here. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
89% Earth (Erde) (2019) [A] completely fascinating, unexpectedly compelling documentary... - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
96% Incitement (2020) A chilling portrait of how fanaticism can grow and be enabled, this is a matter-of-fact film that moves with an awful inexorability toward its foregone conclusion. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
92% The Assistant (2020) Its restrained, deliberate style is ideally suited to making the point that people without restraints are capable of anything. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
100% The White Sheik (Lo sceicco bianco) (1952) Inventively comic with melancholy notes around the edges, "The White Sheik" has, in common with all Fellini's films, more going on than you may at first anticipate. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
100% Advocate (2020) Expertly directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche, "Advocate" examines Tsemel from numerous perspectives, delving into her history, her family and the way she operates day to day. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2020
85% Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019) Yen has said there are no more Ip films in his future, but no one would be upset if another one happened to come along. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
85% Just Mercy (2020) The film portrays the ferocious resistance of some people to the possibility that this man had nothing to do with the crime. And that's when "Just Mercy" is at its best. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
88% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2019) Dealing with a personality this strong could not have been easy, and director Garver, whose background is in short films, does a balanced job, giving space to Kael's partisans while finding time for the other side. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
68% Bombshell (2019) A ferociously entertaining dramatization of how an unlikely group of women exposed and deposed media titan Roger Ailes, it is as harrowing as it is triumphant in its depiction of the way it all came to pass. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
89% Cunningham (2019) [A] visual wonder that involves from start to finish. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
71% The Aeronauts (2019) The balloon goes up, but the drama does not fly. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
88% Les Misérables (2020) Ly's considerable skill aside, what makes "Les Misérables" such an immersive experience is the crackling sense of authenticity that is the film's birthright. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
38% Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) They're calling it "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," but, with apologies to the former rock group, "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" is more like it. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
89% The Two Popes (2019) Who knew that serious talk about the future of the Catholic Church could be the source of so much fun? - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
95% Little Women (2019) [T]his is a film in love with its characters' passions, a rich and effortlessly vibrant examination of the four March "little women" and the ways... they're practically bursting with the innocent it's-happening-right-now joy of being young and alive. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
95% Citizen K (2019) Though it's impossible to ignore "Citizen K's" nod to "Citizen Kane..." seeing this involving film leads to the feeling that, however unconventional, Khodorkovsky's path to becoming a small d democrat was a sincere one. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
89% Dark Waters (2019) Seeing "Dark Waters" makes you wonder not why more people don't call corporations to account, but why anyone does. And makes us all the more grateful when they do. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
96% I Lost My Body (2019) As inventive a piece of animation as you're likely to see, the extraordinary "I Lost My Body" is about a hand with a mind of its own, and if that sounds a little crazy, this dark, strange and altogether wonderful feature will make you believe. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) "Ford v Ferrari" is made the way Hollywood used to make them, a glorious throwback that combines a smart modern sensibility with the best of traditional storytelling. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
63% The Good Liar (2019) Through it all, however, Mirren and McKellen never waver. Smooth at being smooth, their conviction always convinces us, and their ability to register multiple subtle changes of emotion is consistently impressive. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
52% Charlie's Angels (2019) Despite all its hand-to-hand fighting, the latest "Charlie's Angels" never really gets a proper grip on things. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
62% American Dharma (2019) "American Dharma" is the gospel according to Stephen K. Bannon - a feature-length conversation with the Trump White House's former chief political advisor that is both more interesting and more depressing than you might be expecting. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
42% Midway (2019) Ambiguity is not its goal, nor is nihilism its motivating philosophy. It aims to celebrate heroism, sacrifice, determination and grit, and if you don't like that it really does not care. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
100% Casque d'Or (1952) The favorite role of star Simone Signoret this is a bravura period romance costarring Serge Reggiani that masterfully interweaves love, violence and fate in turn-of-the-century Paris. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
No Score Yet Image Makers: The Adventures of America's Pioneer Cinematographers (2019) History, even film history, has rarely been so gorgeous. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
73% Harriet (2019) Though "Harriet" falters when it adds increasing amounts of action melodrama to the mix, the truth of Tubman's life, like leading Union soldiers during the Civil War, continues to astonish, as does the performance of the woman who brings her to life. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019