Kevin A. Ranson

Kevin A. Ranson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
What his grammar school teachers called underachieving, Kevin A. Ranson called being bored to tears and spent every possible second making up projects to fuel his unattended creativity. After discovering nothing interesting at college other than movies and role-playing games, Kevin escaped from West ?By God? Virginia to travel the world for six years on the US Navy?s dime while compiling ideas for books, games, and screenplays. Now from his home page at ThinkingSkull.com, he owns/manages MovieCrypt.com as a certified (or certifiable) film critic endorsed by the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS.org). He also works as a freelance game writer/designer when not working on his indie role-playing game at KindlingMoon.com. Kevin currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Favorites:
Of all time, thus far, and in no particular order:
Publications: MovieCrypt.com
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Official Websites: http://moviecrypt.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/4 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) ... parallel action ramping up the drama in a feat of precise editing. Adding prologue context with a bit of world building helps the sequel improve the original while excelling on its own. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
4/4 74% Cruella (2021) ... Disney's best live-action attempt to date reimagining their own iconic animation... the familiar beats of a superhero origin story... built upon Stone's raw power and killer fashion... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
2/4 69% Army Of The Dead (2021) ... interesting ideas constantly getting dropped... the script doesn't matter as long as all the money shots deliver coolness. Even the denouement feels like a cheat... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
2/4 62% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) ... feels hamstrung and with its heart ripped out, the last act hinting at a Die Hard-style denouement or sequel-informing revelation that never materializes as the film ends with a whimper. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
3/4 61% Profile (2021) ... as someone susceptible to recruitment while trying to expose it... the real terrors unfold in how technology can be used against someone... and how even a casual slip up can be fatal in a world of undercover amateurs. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2021
3/4 37% Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) ... the ninety-minute runtime keeps tension ramped up between clue reveals and trap sequences... leaves little time to care about plot-related father-son relationships or offer up would-be victims as anything more than meat to be wasted. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2021
3/4 79% Benny Loves You (2021) The final act payoff not only pulls the story together but recalls every detail, tugging on each dangling plot thread up until the final frame as an act of sheer will... in a good way. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2021
2/2 66% Wrath of Man (2021) Seventy-percent too mysterious for its own good... a confusing letdown as the most interesting bits go unexplored and the surprises are reduced to near zero. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2021
4/4 94% Nomadland (2021) ... a peek behind a forbidden curtain ironically hidden in plain sight... a different tale of conquering the West: self-reliance as a way of life where the destination is making it another day. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2021
2/4 55% Mortal Kombat (2021) ... feels small, less like it has anything to do with "the fate of billions" and more like a series of incidental grudge matches... the opening scene feel(s) like a deplorable bait-and-switch. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2021
4/4 95% The Mortuary Collection (2019) ... these individual spine-tinglers strike the perfect discord between humor and horror, including some rather sophisticated storytelling and a willingness 'to go there.' Happily unrated and gleefully graphic... this isn't for the squeamish. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2021
3/4 28% The Unholy (2021) (An) over-reliance on jump-scares does the film no favors... the cast, plot, and music pull together a creepy and atmospheric story with real consequences, light humor where appropriate, and champions adherence to the genre rules. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2021
4/4 95% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Something amazing was created in spite of everything working against it, both mirroring and informing Raya's story, a plea for trust and an inclusive celebration of differences... emotional, entertaining, and powerful. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2021
4/4 76% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) ... concentrating on fewer critters to fight raises the stakes and gives fans more of what they want... begs to be seen on the biggest screen possible coupled with an ear-bleeding surround-sound system. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
3/4 71% Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) ... needlessly overlong yet all the better for it. It still needs a good editor and significantly fewer scenes in slow-motion, but Snyder's vision does restore the most important thing Whedon cut out of Justice League: its heart. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2021
3/4 91% PG: Psycho Goreman (2021) ... fans of old-school horror comedy will both cheer and groan at this sci-fi fantasy cheese-fest and its cast of costumed alien warlords worthy of a midnight matinee. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2021
4/4 90% The Vigil (2021) ... a truly Jewish horror film in every sense... Fans of horror and genre detail will find much of interest here... (and) how much research went into getting it all perfectly correct. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
1/4 31% Tom & Jerry (2020) ... searching for ways to shoehorn a cat and mouse back into a mediocre plot which has no need of them... the only boon this film offers anyone else is a hint of nostalgia for the better (if politically incorrect) original shorts it borrows from. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
3/4 45% The Little Things (2021) ... doesn't trust the audience to make a firm commitment on any particular conclusion... Leto pitted against Washington and Malek still provides a relatable enough scenario... to cross the finish line. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
4/4 61% Willy's Wonderland (2021) Needlessly gory and imaginatively graphic, the just-under ninety-minute feature burns on all cylinders, not just using common horror tropes but gleefully abusing them; no sin goes unpunished as The Janitor cleans Willy's house. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2021
4/4 90% Promising Young Woman (2020) ... a dark chocolate-coated pill designed to churn one's stomach after swallowing, the only relief being that intended audiences won't realize what they've learned until it's far too late. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2021
2/4 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) Not to undermine the gorgeous photography or intense acting, this Christmas release echoes the revelation of Ebenezer Scrooge clutching his headstone: "Why show me this, if I am past all hope?" - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2020
4/4 95% Soul (2020) Amazingly animated, perfectly voice-cast, and managing to surprise without losing focus, the more one thinks about Soul, the better it becomes. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
1/4 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Clocking in with a two-and-half hour runtime, WW84 feels as bloated as it is, with senseless combat sequences, random occurrences, and a new McGuffin for every act. There shouldn't be four Fantastic Four movies better than this. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
3/4 82% Mank (2020) While the average film-goer may lack the requisite attention... those willing to spend a little time in the monochromatic Tinseltown of olde... will be rewarded with transporting performances and attention to detail. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2020
3/4 89% The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) For a story about a small town cop buckling under the pressures of being everything to everyone all the time, (it) could have been great instead of good if the filmmaker had learned the very lesson his main character also suffered through. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2020
4/4 84% Freaky (2020) More intent on entertaining than making a statement... gleefully hits all the high-note screams in a semi-grounded story that earns its winks at the audience. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
4/4 40% Noise in the Middle (2020) ... honors its inspirations with wild abandon. A bit of The Shining, a dash of Paranormal Activity, and a captivating performance by Faye Hostetter in a gorgeous location contribute to a nail-biting thriller... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3/4 48% The Witches (2020) ... never rises to meet Anne's energy in her too-few scenes, coasting on casting that fails to push the envelope further than good enough... but adequate for Halloween. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2020
3/4 39% Honest Thief (2020) What should have been a simple throwaway matinee combines a chick flick, a buddy flick, and a revenge flick into a slick little waste of time, easy to swallow yet tastier than it ought to be. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2020
1/4 53% Hubie Halloween (2020) ... suffers from all the earmarks of an under-baked series of SNL skits that each run too long with no hope of catching anyone cracking up trying to stay in character. Bleh, bleh, bleh. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2020
2/4 40% Alien Addiction (2020) ... all the wonderful alien antics and innovative filmmaking can't make up for a disjointed script and final cut that actively resists any sense of cohesion. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2020
2/4 77% The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw (2020) ... appears aimless due to the lack of whys. Good visuals, well-acted, and a few decent moments of horror, but like so many, this curse asks to be avoided. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2020
4/4 70% Tenet (2020) ... asks viewers to trust what's going on will make sense once it reveals its secret... one of those rare instances where seeing the film more than once actually reaps a reward... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2020
3/4 86% On The Rocks (2020) ... showcases a mature relationship fraught with Shakespearean miscommunication while successfully sugarcoating it with a needy parent taking advantage of a dire situation... and alcohol, of course. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2020
3/4 63% The Owners (2020) The real crime committed herein is any British citizen ignoring the single rule all sci-fi fans know: never underestimate The Doctor. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2020
4/4 83% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) ... squeezing every drop of entertainment out of each ridiculously escalating moment. With superior effects, cool cameos, and a renewed emphasis on the music itself... this band's reunion is resplendently non-non-non-heinous. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
3/4 57% Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) Having an actual bad guy changes the dynamic to something less fun and more serious... but the inclusion of Death as a wild card provides a new too-serious foil for Bill and Ted to happily torment. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
4/4 81% Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) It's hard not to love unaccomplished would-be heroes who prove to be amazingly resourceful when under the gun, and their timeless little movie is defiantly fun and precious as a result. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
1/4 72% Vivarium (2020) ... full of quirkiness and nihilism, yet it can't seem to settle on any particular point; in fact, it tries to embrace them all... misses the mark of anything coherent and settles upon weird for the sake of being weird. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2020
3/4 48% Unhinged (2020) ... required viewing for all drivers education and personal safety courses, it plays like an after-school special, too - where the celebrity villain looms larger than life because the generic would-be victim is actually the viewer. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
3/4 100% Uncle Peckerhead (2020) While by no means perfect and focused upon an 1980s slasher vibe, this tale of zero-level punk heroes and villains vying for scraps with a box of homemade mix tapes strikes the right power chords blending fun and gore. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2020
3/4 80% The Old Guard (2020) ... the camaraderie between characters and backstory details are organic enough to carry the weight of Theron's brooding until she can start kicking ass... and that's when it gels together. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2020
3/4 87% 1BR (2020) As a character trying to hold onto her morality and humanity while surviving in an unfathomable situation, Bloom plays Sarah with surprising strength in a believable arc that elevates the source material beyond its modest concept and financing. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2020
3/4 80% The Beach House (2020) ... lingers in the psyche longer than one might expect... like the opening chapter of a new streaming series or part of a Creepshow anthology. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
4/4 97% Hamilton (2020) Compared to over-cinematic reinterpretations from 1978's Grease to 2019's ill-fated Cats, how can this not be the preferred template for bringing any post-theatrical Broadway experience to the masses? - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2020
1/4 8% Artemis Fowl (2020) At one point (in the film), the fairies express dismay that humans no longer took them seriously; wait until they find out the Artemis Fowl movie hasn't done them any favors... and Hellboy will accept your apologies now. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2020
3/4 57% The Hunt (2020) ... this explosive bloodfest is equal parts education and entertainment... an ultra-violent allegory within an allegory where everyone is a target, both literally and literarily. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2020
4/4 88% Onward (2020) ... for all the gags and gimmicks, the film isn't only solidly scripted but also heartfelt and honest, trusting the audience with a sophisticated story and an emotional punch imbued with maximum fun while exploring their concept. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
4/4 86% Color Out of Space (2020) ... this eldritch tale seems ready-made for a Nic Cage vehicle... a beautiful picture of a descent into madness, an acceptance of inevitability, and a family truly brought together as none have before. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020