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
3/4 98% The Farewell (2019) Playing a character who allows endless opportunities to speak her heart pass her by, Awkwafina displays her full heartbreaking range dealing with the worst situation imaginable. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2020
2/4 18% Dolittle (2020) Between manic and/or silly scenes with too much happening and a story with not enough, this mess of a movie has a very narrow audience in mind while still having its heart in the right place. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2020
3/4 50% Underwater (2020) ... edited to the bone for a trim running time, this fun time-waster is good enough for a matinee if only by using what it steals better than the films it stole from. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
4/4 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) ... playful until it becomes diabolical... only then does (writer/director) Bong Joon Ho show exactly the cards he's holding. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2020
3/4 91% Uncut Gems (2019) ... an endurance test foreshadowing the final five minutes of the film; while observant viewers won't be too surprised by the plot, they might be by the performance. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2019
4/4 95% Little Women (2019) ... celebrating young women dealing with life, circumstance, and personal decisions from their own point of view, Gerwig's new adaptation may be the best version of Alcott's novels as the most relatable take. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2019
4/4 89% 1917 (2020) ... the theater was how this was meant to be seen: no stopping, no respite, and no escape... a two-hour no-cutaway immersion into war. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2019
3/4 68% Bombshell (2019) ... keeping silent to keep your spoils rather than sound the alarm to protect others as a central theme... the ripped-from-the-headlines motif is timely but not as compelling as it wants to be. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2019
2/4 20% Cats (2019) More is less, but sure - let's go all in... looking like a remake of The Wizard of Oz as a 1980s interpretive-dance video on MTV where all the characters have been replaced by human-feline hybrids... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
4/4 73% Harriet (2019) Whether you believe the Man Upstairs guided Harriet or not, you'll believe in the woman who believed it herself and found the courage to do the impossible, sometimes with as little as a song. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
3/4 52% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) ... giving Carrie Fisher top billing, the big Skywalker finale isn't the best film of the series but does manage closure of every current character arc, topping it off with a perfect coda... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
4/4 97% Knives Out (2019) In spite of such a complex story with so many great characters, Johnson makes it look too easy as it effortlessly unfolds. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
0/4 40% Black Christmas (2019) ... one of the worst films of the year... again... trying to pass off an after-school special as a slasher film. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2019
2/4 91% The Lighthouse (2019) ... refusal to commit to any revealing detail undoes the goodwill, leaving a thick atmosphere without tangible meaning while blaming "madness" for lacking cohesion. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
4/4 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) ... using satire to set up a series of gut punches, Waititi succeeds in the impossible: a positive journey toward understanding -- and a stark reminder of what's at stake if the world ever forgets... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
4/4 90% Dark Waters (2019) ... pushed front and center is corporate disconnection and plausible deniability, confronting the people who profit from lives being lost... happy as long as they don't have to see the damage done. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2019
2/4 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) With antics too violent for empowering 'tweens and too pedestrian for adult audiences, trying to please both satisfies neither. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2019
2/4 96% The Irishman (2019) ... like Scorsese trying to out-runtime Quentin Tarantino... the retreaded framework of 1995's Casino... plus two hours of indulgent padding. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2019
2/4 40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) ... a feast for the senses and the mind in terms of pure fantasy and imagination... buries significant character opportunities, as if the writers were tasked to combine three different scripts that defied being strung together. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2019
3/4 77% Frozen II (2019) While making bold in-story choices continuing to break Disney conventions... leans heavily on visual spectacle and characterization, a safely world-expanding part two in set-up for the inevitable part 3. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2019
3/4 43% Midway (2019) ... paints a bleak historic picture of how the balance of power in the world shifted in only six months, tempered with a necessary glimpse into the human cost and the courage of those facing overwhelming odds. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2019
1/4 24% Pearl Harbor (2001) ... sensationalizing real events for a meaningless film, then coasting on a huge budget and advertising to lure in moviegoers thinking they'll see historic accuracy and drama. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2019
4/4 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) ... this Shining sequel understands and reworks continuity to elevate both films to the level of the novels' intentions while wallowing in the ghost porn and supernatural elements horror fans crave. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2019
3/4 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) While Double Tap doubles down on farce, it feels like meeting up with an old friend you've lost touch with as if no time has passed... but equally like there's no urgency to schedule a visit. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
4/4 88% Freaks (2019) What fuels this film is the deftness of character development, calculated reveals, and relationship empathy that rarely comes together in a meaningful way like this in genre films. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2019
3/4 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) ... past its posted 1997 expiration date, Dark Fate relaunches the original Terminator franchise in a meaningful way, embracing the violent spectacle of late 20th century action films using modern effects infused with characters worth caring about. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2019
3/4 43% The Addams Family (2019) ... seeing the caricatures of Charles Addams brought to life in all their beautiful nonconformity is a wonderful nightmare come true, even if slightly hamstrung for less-gothic audiences. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
4/4 69% Joker (2019) Less Falling Down and more Fight Club, an anti-hero discovers the power of invisibility, self-delusion, and murder before bringing all three to bear in choosing evil... it's a literal shot in the face that makes one think... - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2019
2/4 61% Satanic Panic (2019) ... fun bits sprinkled throughout (pun intended)... this 2019 (unrated horror comedy) feels less like a throwback than an intentional also-ran... this is a solemn request to step it up instead of settle in, especially with the name Fangoria attached. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/4 63% It Chapter Two (2019) ... fans who immediately imagined moving into the Well House on Neibolt Street on sight alone will joyously snuggle in.... suffers from running-time fatigue while rewarding the completionist who hangs onto every detailed breadcrumb. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3/4 88% Ready or Not (2019) ... imagine the entirety of the worst possible marriage crammed into the span of six hours... Like Clue conjoined with Game Night in a mad scientist's lab, it comes to life as a monster all its own. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
4/4 48% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Blanchett disappears into her... withdrawn, and tortured artist completely while still managing to communicate genuine humanity... about assumptions of others, failures in communication, and a stern warning about loss if these issues are not overcome. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2019
3/4 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Between Kirby, sci-fi comic-book villainy, and just enough self-awareness to let viewers in on the joke, this is how you spin-off an intellectual property... assuming you choose to at all. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
2/4 23% The Kitchen (2019) Coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb, the conclusion feels like an incredible opportunity wasted as it abruptly and underwhelmingly ends... this setup deserved more. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/4 78% Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) While imperfect, André Øvredal leverages an impressive cast and serious subject matter into a shoehorned concept that happily exceeds its mandate... an old-fashioned ghost story with all the trimmings. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
4/4 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) In-depth, character-driven, ultra-violent, over-long, and near-perfect... all the movie sins Tarantino has been criticized for over the years coming to a head in the most wondrous and cheer-worthy payoff any film fan could want. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2019
3/4 53% The Lion King (2019) Something's missing from Nat Geo Wild's "Pride Rock Adventure"... Of all of Disney's animated films remade for live-action so far, this one stands out as the least enhanced for doing so. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
4/4 91% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) From costumes to backstory and every plot twist in between, Far From Home grounds high-concept adventure with base human impulses that everyone can relate to. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2019
3/4 83% Midsommar (2019) ... a substance-induced descent into the madness of strangers, viewed in plain sight under a bright sun instead of hidden in shadow... this time providing a unique light at the end of a blood-drenched tunnel. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
2/4 65% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) ...fun hints about lots of cool things - none of which are fully explored... as if the story by producer James Wan and Gary Dauberman consisted of every unused idea instead of any single good one. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
3/4 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Fun but oddly forgettable, it's a sequel you didn't ask for with an ending you'll still enjoy... now with more endings than a Stephen King novel. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
4/4 63% Child's Play (2019) ... transforms an idea from a single person's evil into a destructive force of our collective making... fortified with Mark Hamill's most twisted voice work to date... a deliciously violent horror film that refuses to look away. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2019
3/4 56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) ... a manufactured cult classic destined to play in the background of horror conventions until the inevitable zombie apocalypse. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
4/4 57% Aladdin (2019) ... more Indian influence to craft a Sinbad-like fantasy Arabia, the live-action remake is intent upon entertaining all audiences while stepping on as few sandaled toes as possible. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
4/4 74% Ghost Light (2019) ... combines lighthearted character and competitive nature with throwing caution into the wind to delight, amuse, and effectively disturb. Doth not dis thine Scottish Play! - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
0/4 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) ... a disservice to a great cast and X-fans everywhere to undermine all that has come before only to be upstaged by two farcical Deadpool movies that provide a far better representation. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2019
4/4 97% Booksmart (2019) ... the perfect storm of direction, writing, and casting... sending a positive message that everything is going to be all right... and it won't require a superhero to save the day. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
3/4 42% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) ... a monster disaster film intended for the biggest screens packed with a cheering audience watching a string of money shots framed like a murals in a museum. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
3/4 55% Ma (2019) ... explores the scope of childhood trauma and keeps viewers guessing whether they should root for or fear an antagonist no longer constrained by right or wrong. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2019
3/4 57% Brightburn (2019) Brightburn commits to its nihilism, embracing it like a liquefying corpse. - MovieCrypt.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019