Kerry Lengel

Kerry Lengel
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Film Critic, The Arizona Republic
Publications: Arizona Republic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 34% Shaft (2019) It's not woke, but you can't call it racist. Maybe racist-ish. Misogynistic-ish. Entertaining-ish. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
3.5/5 87% Pavarotti (2019) Maybe "Pavarotti" would be even more compelling if Howard had delved deeper into the contradictions and controversies. But the director does achieve the first goal on entertainment: Always leave them wanting more. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
3.5/5 47% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Under the perfectly paced direction of Ry Russo-Young, Shahidi and Melton develop an easy chemistry on the way toward a satisfying denouement that's neither tear-jerking tragedy nor fairy-tale wish fulfillment. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3.5/5 61% Trial by Fire (2019) Even though "Trial by Fire" is less than a masterpiece, it still came as a gut punch that forced me to examine my own complicated feelings on the issue. In short, it taught me something, and that was a surprise. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
3/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) The franchise has its ups and downs; the first "Avengers" film is certainly a highlight. But the sequels have the wisecracking-superteam formula on lockdown. They always deliver everything fans could hope for - except maybe any genuine surprise. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
1/5 64% Peterloo (2019) A bit of ruthlessness in editing - a good hour or so - would certainly make "Peterloo" a better film. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
2/5 61% The Public (2019) Well-intentioned parable about the plight of the homeless falls flat. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3.5/5 90% Shazam! (2019) But turning these tropes into jokes isn't the same thing as deconstructing them, and underneath the laughs, "Shazam!" might just be the purest distillation of the comic-book ethos to come to big screen. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
3.5/5 97% The Heiresses (Las Herederas) (2019) Sorry, no backstory, no flashbacks. Just Brun's masterful performance as a mask that is starting to crack. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/5 57% The Highwaymen (2019) Instead of exploring the cultural dynamics that turned murderers into icons, director Hancock, like Hamer himself, responds to this reality with bewilderment and revulsion. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 72% Triple Frontier (2019) It's a movie that maybe tries to do too much, but it does enough of it well to keep you glued to the screen. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
4/5 100% The Sower (Le semeur) (2019) "The Sower" is at heart a love story, although one that capitalizes on the fantasy of romance while simultaneously undercutting it. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
2/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The plot is thin and holey and the characters are mostly just a single gag set on repeat. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3.5/5 37% Glass (2019) The sequel to 'Unbreakable' and 'Split' adds another layer to the glass onion of self-conscious genre riffing. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
2/5 49% Escape Room (2019) It was inevitable that "Escape Room" would be a bad movie. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 51% Once Upon a Deadpool (2018) OK, maybe they cut a couple seconds out of that scene where Deadpool gets ripped in half, but the movie's sardonically gruesome sensibility remains intact. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3.5/5 96% Border (Gräns) (2018) "Border" brings to horror-fantasy the same Swedish sensibility that "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" brought to crime thrillers. Welcome to the land of eternal night. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
3.5/5 74% El Angel (El ángel) (2018) The full story has been sacrificed in the service of maintaining the balance between horror and fascination. And Ferro really has created a fascinating screen character. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
3.5/5 75% The Mercy (2018) An engrossing character study of an ordinary man whose extraordinary ambition proves his undoing. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3.5/5 89% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) What makes the movie compelling, despite the subdued dramatic payoff, is that it is a heightened reflection of our experience - our love affair, really - with our gadgets, our apps and, yes, our brands. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
3/5 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) While it is a perfectly serviceable placeholder in the larger series, its contributions to the Potterverse are disappointingly minor. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
4/5 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Coen brothers' greatest trick is balancing the ironic commentary on cinema and storytelling with the dramatic impact of compelling human stories well told. And it's a trick they pull off again and again. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Not quite an instant Christmas, or Disney, classic. But The Nutcracker and Four Realms, just like the Land of Sweets in the ballet, has many delightful diversions. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3/5 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) "Bohemian Rhapsody" does deliver what any music biopic must: convincing characters and some kick-butt simulated concert experiences. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
4/5 80% Mid90s (2018) Hill isn't offering a sociological treatise. "Mid90s" is all about lived experience. It's about a place and a time and offers little inkling of its characters' futures. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
3/5 59% Face (2002) With no access to these women's inner selves, we are left wanting at least a fuller portrait of their outer lives, some way to infer the meaning that the film declines to provide. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
3.5/5 62% The Oath (2018) "The Oath" manages to raise the moral stakes along with the mortal ones, ultimately arriving at some pretty tough questions. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
4/5 86% The Sisters Brothers (2018) More than anything, "The Sisters Brothers" is an exploration of how far you can take an anti-Western before it snaps out of the genre's orbit entirely. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
2/5 82% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) This brand of gonzo journalism was effective in Moore's 1989 debut about Flint and General Motors, "Roger & Me," but it has long since devolved into self-parody. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
4/5 58% White Boy Rick (2018) Purely from a standpoint of craft and storytelling, it's a good flick, although maybe not well attuned to the bombastic times. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
2/5 18% God Bless the Broken Road (2018) Like nine out of 10 faith-based films, it lets the message crowd out the other elements of good art: character development, thematic complexity, even basics such as a compelling conflict. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018
3/5 61% Operation Finale (2018) The acting is great, but screenwriter Matthew Orton's attempts to give the film the philosophical heft that it deserves fall somewhat short. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2018
2.5/5 79% Alpha (2018) Hughes' efforts to bring emotional drama to the proceedings fall flat... relying on coming-of-age clichés that strip the story of any real surprise. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2018
2.5/5 17% The Darkest Minds (2018) Even if "Darkest Minds" withers at the box office, Yuh deserves a mulligan. I mean, Rob Reiner hasn't made a good movie since 1996, and he's still working. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
1.5/5 29% Shock and Awe (2018) Are we supposed to take this as some sort of cautionary tale about what happens when governments and journalists fail in their duty to tell the truth? I'm afraid we're long past those particular warning lights, Mr. Reiner. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
3/5 46% How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018) If you love "Hedwig" - or "Rocky Horror" for that matter - it's worth streaming when it hits Netflix. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2018
4/5 83% Blockers (2018) "Blockers" is the funniest teen sex comedy since "Superbad" and a feminist raunchfest to rival "Bridesmaids." - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
4/5 100% Keep the Change (2018) This gently humorous, fiercely honest indie film is a step forward in the quest for a move inclusive Hollywood, which seems to one of the themes of the cultural moment. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
3.5/5 78% Goldstone (2018) As a cinematic diatribe set in a stark moral universe, "Goldstone" comes in loud and clear. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2018
2/5 76% Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) It's Hollywood formula at its most generic. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2017
3/5 79% The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Yes, there are life lessons aplenty, but that's perfectly appropriate in a celebration of one of the great moral fables of all time. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
3/5 86% Novitiate (2017) The film raises interesting questions, but the answers remain elusive, and whether that makes for a compelling cinematic experience is entirely in the eye of the beholder. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
3.5/5 85% Loving Vincent (2017) The gorgeous animation alone makes "Loving Vincent" worth the price of admission. And the narrative, if a bit paint-by-numbers, is interesting enough. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
3.5/5 96% Step (2017) A straightforward, fly-on-the-wall portrait of real people struggling with real-life problems. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2017
3.5/5 79% An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (2017) No doubt you will be able to find articles explaining why seemingly clear proof of climate change isn't proof at all, but it looks pretty dramatic to me. But I'm just the movie reviewer. Please, spare me your emails. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2017
3/5 81% Risk (2017) It exists not to demystify Assange but to highlight the mystery, a fluorescent markup on a text you've already read. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2017
2/5 22% Below her Mouth (2017) While "Below Her Mouth" is no doubt some classy-looking porn, it's a pretty lousy movie, because all that sex leaves precious little time to develop character, plot or thematic depth. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
3.5/5 96% After the Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku) (2017) A quiet character study of a man in slow-motion crisis. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2017
4/5 86% Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance (2017) Naharin's dances, amply illustrated from decades' worth of film, are visceral, emotional and sometimes shocking. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2017
2/5 15% Man Down (2016) There are fine films that have emerged from the current chapter of America's history at war ... But "Man Down" isn't one of them. - Arizona Republic EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016