Laura CliffordMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Laura Clifford

Laura Clifford
Laura Clifford's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
B 92% The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge) (2017) ...a combination of digital and hand drawn animation which reflects both the beauty and cruelty of nature and man's place within it. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 21, 2017
B 96% The Salesman (Forushande) (2017) This winner of Best Actor and Best Screenplay at Cannes observes a couple who dance around a stressful event without ever verbalizing their innermost thoughts, beautifully realized in Farhadi's closing shot ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 21, 2017
A 96% Paterson (2016) ...about dreamers, opposites and the deep happiness found in an optimistic view of life. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 19, 2017
B+ 92% Toni Erdmann (2016) Writer/director Maren Ade's ("Everyone Else") generational comedy is like a bizarre game of chicken, Ines's prankster dad pushing all her buttons until she finally recognizes the absurdity of her priorities. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 18, 2017
B 75% Split (2017) "Split's" biggest asset is James McAvoy...portraying 8 or 9 of his character's 24 alters, often within the same scene (in one scant minute or so near the end McAvoy runs through them all in a jaw dropping display). ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 18, 2017
C 33% Monster Trucks (2017) Director Chris Wedge makes the leap from animation to live action and gets surprisingly committed performances from his surprisingly recognizable ensemble, but any sense of real world logic and spatial integrity have been jettisoned. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 13, 2017
C 22% The Bye Bye Man (2017) like "A Nightmare on Elm Street" for the waking crossed with the Bloody Mary urban legend and "It Follows'" contagion concept. If only it were as good as any of those reference points. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 13, 2017
B- 34% Live By Night (2017) If the film plays, as it did to me, as one full season of 'Boardwalk Empire' crammed into two hours, note that [novelist] Lehane was a writer for the HBO series...Affleck's adaptation weakens Lehane's story instead of strengthening it. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 12, 2017
B 89% 20th Century Women (2017) [Mills's] screenplay, rich in the details of a turbulent time as experienced by two generations, is unfortunately undercut by some fanciful directorial choices ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 12, 2017
B+ 83% Julieta (2016) With "Julieta," Almodóvar puts one central mystery front and center, but in solving it, provides answers to questions we may not even knew we had. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Jan 6, 2017
C+ 31% Passengers (2016) ...essentially a pile of contrivances supporting science fiction concepts we've seen before and a moral question it neatly sidesteps. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 21, 2016
B 78% Patriots Day (2017) With "Patriots Day," the big irony is that the film would have worked a whole lot better if its star had been excised entirely. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 21, 2016
B- 40% Why Him? (2016) This is a perfect role for Franco, whose seedy charms are well utilized here, a mixture of sincerity, over familiarity and vaguely off-putting sexuality... ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 20, 2016
C- 12% Collateral Beauty (2016) We may not be surprised that Will Smith might be drawn to a sappy, false wallow in grief and uplift, but how did Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley and Michael Peña read Allan Loeb's screenplay and still sign up for this project? ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 16, 2016
B- 85% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) ...while it's great to see Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen placed into Star Wars lore as a catalyst for the Rebel Alliance the British Jones lacks the fire Daisy Ridley brought to Chapter VII. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 13, 2016
A 93% La La Land (2016) ... a musical so in love with love - and the movies - that only a stone cold heart will fail to get swept up in its glorious romance...The production is a marvel ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 9, 2016
C+ No Score Yet Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy (2016) Perhaps the biggest takeaway is...that "Sid and Nancy" director Alex Cox got it right. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 7, 2016
C+ 80% Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015) This Romanian found-footage film may hold few surprises and drags through much of its run time, but it's worth checking out for the filmmaker's seriously deranged performance...suggests "Angst" by way of "My Date with Drew." ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 3, 2016
B+ 78% Evolution (2016) Hadzihalilovic's poetic bio-horror doesn't answer any questions, instead submerging us into her dreamlike, watery world as seen through her young protagonist's eyes. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 2, 2016
B+ 100% Things to Come (L'avenir) (2016) Writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve ("Eden") gives her protagonist little recourse yet Huppert uses these life challenges for mind expanding introspection. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 2, 2016
B- 76% The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Pesce's debut marks a highly specific world view that seems to have come from a very personal place but the filmmaker's quietly creepy aesthetic is far more interesting than anything he has to say. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 2, 2016
A- 89% Jackie (2016) Stéphane Fontaine...uses rigidly composed frames for the interview which anchors the film while operating more fluidly in flashbacks, a device which mirrors Jackie's carefully composed legend building against real life. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Dec 2, 2016
C+ 61% Allied (2016) As the film twists and turns in its final act, even Cotillard is undone by a subtext of self-preservation the screenplay never addresses. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 29, 2016
B- 54% Rules Don't Apply (2016) Writer/director Warren Beatty, whose long gestating film is his first since 1998's "Bulworth," springs back with a frothy comedy steeped in the golden glow of the old, waning Hollywood studio system. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 27, 2016
A 95% Moana (2016) a movie that follows the Disney playbook, for sure, but does it so well, even winking at it, that it is transcendentally delightful from start to finish...the best Disney animation to come down the pike since 2011's undervalued "Winnie the Pooh." ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 22, 2016
B+ 71% Bleed For This (2016) Teller gives an incredibly physical performance, believable in the ring, awkwardly stationary throughout the movie's midsection, his eyes always on the prize ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 18, 2016
B 88% Elle (2016) "Elle," like its heroine, is an enigma, but Huppert's monumental talent is crystal clear. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 18, 2016
A 96% Manchester by the Sea (2016) [Lonergan's] latest, a quietly powerful examination of grief healed by a brothers' bond, is not only an emotional character-driven drama, but the best realization of Massachusetts on screen since "The Friends of Eddie Coyle." ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 18, 2016
A- 88% I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016) The [circle frame] device has the added benefit of focusing our attention where it counts...the miniaturized view allowing for exquisite production design, as if regarding action taking place within a Wes Andersonesque locket. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 18, 2016
B- 72% Nocturnal Animals (2016) Amy Adams' talent makes us understand Susan's gradual, gut wrenching realization, but in making Wright's themes more obvious, Ford has also given us less reason to care, his approach more satirical. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 18, 2016
B 95% The Edge of Seventeen (2016) Featuring a fleet footed, witty performance from Hailee Steinfeld, who keeps Nadine sympathetic despite her bad behavior, "The Edge of Seventeen" is an entertaining reminder of how preconceived notions can cloud one's judgement. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 17, 2016
A- 73% Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) David Yates...maintains an orienting aesthetic that welcomes us back as Rowling spins out new characters which continue her themes of fighting against fascism, oppression and child abuse...but it also displays a whole new level of uproarious playfulness. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 16, 2016
B 95% The Love Witch (2016) this throwback to Gothic sexploitation horror films of the 60's and early 70's ia a feminist contemplation on sexual equality. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 15, 2016
C+ 44% Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016) The film certainly is technically impressive, sharp as a diamond, but its story, adapted by Jean-Christophe Castelli from Ben Fountain's book, is oddly flat, only a few characters really coming to life. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 14, 2016
B+ 94% Arrival (2016) This science fiction is a rarity, a cerebral film that will break your heart while expanding your mind. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 11, 2016
B+ 89% Loving (2016) Nichols doesn't go after big moments here - even the Supreme Court scene ends after Cohen's opening remark. What he's done instead is presented a normal family and left his audience to deduce the madness of their condemnation. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 4, 2016
B- 94% Gimme Danger (2016) This is Jim Jarmusch's second documentary after 1997's poorly received "Year of the Horse" and while it's a messy, scattershot affair, the Indie auteur's love of the band is clearly evident ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 4, 2016
B- 75% Trolls (2016) ...a day-glo musical about finding one's inner happiness...Kendrick and Timberlake make beautiful music together ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 4, 2016
B+ 98% Moonlight (2016) As good as [Hibbert, Sanders and Rhodes] all are, it is Holland who makes the strongest impression, the director's alter ego in guiding this young man towards the light. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 3, 2016
B- 67% Trash Fire (2016) ...a twisted piece of Southern Gothic which pinpoints its writer/director Richard Bates Jr. ("Excision") as one to watch. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 3, 2016
B 86% Hacksaw Ridge (2016) After a lengthy absence from the Hollywood forefront, director Mel Gibson ("Braveheart," "Apocalypto") is back with a heroic and brutal war film that checks off all his recurring themes. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 3, 2016
B- 90% Doctor Strange (2016) although "Doctor Strange" is often a 'been here, done that' experience, this origin story is still worthwhile because of the high pedigree of its casting and special effects. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 2, 2016
A 100% Tampopo (1985) One of the three greatest food movies of all time, 1985's "Tampopo" arrives back in theaters in a 4K restoration and it is cause for celebration. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Nov 1, 2016
B 78% The Monster (2016) The upcoming "A Monster Calls" may have a higher pedigree, but the rougher and rawer "The Monster" mines similar emotional ground. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 23, 2016
C 23% American Pastoral (2016) 'American Pastoral' the novel is a primal scream. "American Pastoral" the movie is a whimper. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 20, 2016
A- 94% The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (2016) Lush, kinky, twisty and erotic, writer/director Park Chan-wook springs back from his gorgeous but emotionally anemic "Stoker," returning to the warped mind games, three act structure and cephalopod mollusc of "Oldboy"...a delirious cinematic experience ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 20, 2016
C- 19% Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) Michael LeSieur's run of the mill screenplay has about as many laughs as a second tier sitcom. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 20, 2016
C+ 37% Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) The first "Jack Reacher" was a pretty good franchise starter for Cruise, so what's gone so wrong with its sequel? The film feels like a cheap knockoff rather than a successor. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 20, 2016
B 43% King Cobra (2016) a stylish presentation of a sleazy story of the exploitation of a willingly corrupted youth and desperate hustlers. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 18, 2016
B+ 97% Aquarius (2016) Mendonça Filho's biggest achievement here is his constant connection of the past to the present. Much like Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Our Little Sister," places and things are haunted by memories. ‐ Reeling Reviews
Posted Oct 14, 2016