Lauren Humphries-Brooks

Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Lauren Humphries-Brooks is a writer, editor, and media journalist. She holds a Masters degree in Cinema Studies from New York University, and in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. She regularly contributes to film and pop culture websites, and has written extensively on Classical Hollywood, British horror films, and the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres. She currently works as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
96% Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021) While there are times when the film edges into a charming but simple celebration of Moreno's career, the heavier aspects of it deepen the viewing experience and raise some important issues - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2021
91% Touch (2020) The challenge is a unique one, but Szczepanowska, to her credit, does not attempt to simply provide a Western perspective on China, but to tell a story that is largely based in cultural tensions and the experience of assimilation and Otherness. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2021
92% She Done Him Wrong (1933) Coming in at a spare hour plus, She Done Him Wrong is entertaining, hilarious, and shocking in many ways-even in a Pre-Code world, what West got away with onscreen is nothing short of revolutionary. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2021
94% West Michigan (2021) In many ways, West Michigan contains a somewhat predictable arc-siblings who have difficulty connecting find solace on the road-but does a good job of enhancing those elements via the charm of the central characters and their developing bond. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2021
80% Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Delightfully, this isn't a film about two sad middle-aged women getting their groove back, but two happy middle-aged women having a good time stretching beyond their comfort zones. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2021
95% The Ringmaster (2020) This isn't so much about an unscrupulous filmmaker deliberately manipulating a person for his own gain, but about trying to force a story (and a person) into a shape that just won't fit. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2021
No Score Yet Paracelsus (1943) Is this a humanist attempt to undercut Nazi ideology? Perhaps. Is it a propaganda piece valorizing Germany and its perceived place in history? Perhaps. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
90% Effigy, Poison and The City (2020) The complexity of the psychological history provides Effigy with some of its tensest scenes, especially between Gottfried and Cato, as both women face a male-dominated society requiring them to be either waifs or monsters. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2020
No Score Yet La Madrina: The Savage Life of Lorine Padilla (2020) Raquel Cepeda helps to guide the narrative from a feminine and ultimately feminist perspective, and provides us insight into a world of women from which a male filmmaker would be forcibly locked out. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
62% French Exit (2021) Like Frances, it manages to draw us in and make us care about people that we might otherwise not want to care for. I'm a little upset that I enjoyed French Exit as much as I did, and perhaps that's the point. That's its magic and its fascination. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
94% Nomadland (2021) Nomadland is perhaps one of the deftest works of cinema in recent years, transcendent simply by looking, unflinchingly, into the heart of the American character. It lets the characters, the landscape, and the images take the viewer where they need to go. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2020
99% MLK/FBI (2021) This is a valuable documentary not least because it does not shy away from the fact of King's humanity, looking at him as a person rather than an idol, and not proposing to be the final answer to how we understand or navigate his legacy. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2020
89% Love & Debt (2019) Love & Debt manages to be funny without being cloying, highlighting the humanity of the characters even as they make confused, foolish, and all-too-understandable decisions in their increasingly stressful lives. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2020
100% Mädchen in Uniform (Girls in Uniform) (Maidens in Uniform) (1931) The nascent sexuality of the girls in an all-girls school becomes an ideological battleground between authoritarianism and enforced heterosexuality, and freedom and fluid sexuality. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2020
87% Shirley (2020) It's not only a spectacular use of cinema to render the spirit of Jackson's work, it's an angry, elegiac rendering of female psychology. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2020
100% Olivia (The Pit of Loneliness) (2019) It's a study in female relationships, their complexity, and the centralizing of female desire, couched in the form of a complex gothic melodrama that prizes women above all else. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2020
100% Cherzoso the Silent Film (2019) The silence means that Cherzoso's dilemma plays out more on Chapel's face than via her dialogue (or the changing of voices), and forces the viewer to focus on the subtle alterations in her appearance, rather than her other behavior. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2020
100% The Third Strike (2020) Jones crafts a stirring narrative of women fighting against an unjust justice system that punishes minorities for relatively minor offenses and creates a cascade of suffering for past and future generations. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2020
89% The Dalai Lama: Scientist (2020) The Dalai Lama - Scientist is an interesting examination of the developing collaborative relationship between Western science and Eastern religious philosophy, specifically Tibetan Buddhism, in the person of the Lama himself. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2020
82% Deliver Us (2017) It is an affecting documentary, a window into a fringe element of faith that has often possessed horror film lovers, but holds within it a deep-seated system of beliefs and rituals that are still part of the world today. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2020
60% The Bellmen (2020) The Bellmen aspires to cult heights in the same vein as Super Troopers, but it may not go down as a cult film simply because it's far too nice. And that, to be honest, is what's most enjoyable about it. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
50% Supernatural (1933) The real attraction here is Lombard, wonderful as she plays basically a dual role. It does make one wish she had done a few more horror films to round out her oeuvre. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2020
47% Silent Panic (2019) Silent Panic is a middling thriller, with a solid concept and mostly solid performances. Director Kyle Schadt finds some excellent points of tension to keep the viewer engaged, but the film becomes less believable as it goes on. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2020
83% The Song of Songs (1933) The Song of Songs isn't a perfect film by any stretch, and at times its gender relations are extraordinarily problematic, but it does give insight into Dietrich's range, the humor underlying some of her persona, and the nuance underlying her image. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2020
64% Union (2019) Writer/director Whitney Hamilton's film Union is an ambitious, intriguing work that attempts to navigate some difficult waters, made more difficult by a limited budget. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2020
46% Night Sweats (2019) It's seldom that contemporary film is actually offensive in its gender politics, but this goes beyond casual, thoughtless sexism and enters the realm of explicit, self-satisfied, and unreflective misogyny. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
No Score Yet Man in the Shadow (1957) The starkness of the narrative is part of what makes it so powerful - this is a story of corruption and the way in which the powerful exploit racism and wealth to control the narrative. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
79% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) If you want to understand the essence of women under patriarchy, in its starkest, funniest, and most extreme, see Birds of Prey, and emancipate the Harley within. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
64% Gretel & Hansel (2020) Gretel & Hansel comes off as a failed but honest attempt to do something new with a well-worn fairy tale - a gorgeous piece of art coupled with an interesting idea that just doesn't quite work. I - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2020
86% Color Out of Space (2020) Color Out of Space is a niche narrative, so fundamentally Lovecraftian that, if you like his work, you'll enjoy this, and if you don't like it...well, you might actually be interested after this one. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2020
91% High Flying Bird (2019) The script is fantastic... It plays almost like an Ocean's 11 movie. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
95% The Irishman (2019) It is the banality of violence, the sense that Frank, and others like him, are just working men doing a job, that makes The Irishman so haunting, and that plays out the character's ultimate lack of emotional or spiritual redemption. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
52% Charlie's Angels (2019) While not a perfect film, even in its feminism, Charlie's Angels is a fantastic example of women retaking the means of production and using iconic images, crafted by men, against patriarchal structures. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
77% Sunday Girl (2019) Somehow the film works, due largely to the gradual revelations about Natasha's character, her desires, and her attempts to do the right thing. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
98% Chimes at Midnight (1965) Chimes at Midnight is a unique achievement that few filmmakers have ever equaled. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2019
90% The Lighthouse (2019) How much The Lighthouse works or doesn't depends entirely on your perspective; there's perhaps no film currently in theaters that so catalyzes the subjectivity of art. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2019
80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Jojo Rabbit proves to be perhaps one of the most essential political films of the past five years, cutting through a complexity of issues with humor and pathos - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2019
89% Isle of the Dead (1945) There's no clear villain or monster in Isle of the Dead; rather, fear and developing paranoia drive the narrative, transforming the people on the island as they cope with their nearness to death and the causes of it. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
95% Atlantics (2019) A magical realist love story (with ghosts), Atlantics folds in a sharp meditation on worker exploitation with a lyrical narrative of love, power, and physical possession. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
98% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) By turns hilarious, harrowing, and horrifying, Parasite may well be Bong Joon-ho's best film since Memories of Murder. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
96% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Pain and Glory is a great director's rumination on the act of making art in itself - what stops an artist from working, and how to rediscover the glory of filmmaking. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) Writer/director Celine Sciamma has created something truly remarkable, a cinematic masterpiece that needs to be seen multiple times, but that in even a single viewing sounds an emotional vibrato deep within the viewer. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
80% Not Wanted (1949) Not Wanted effectively exposes women's internalization of shame surrounding sex and motherhood-to Sally, the baby is a proof of her shame, a physical manifestation of her social rejection, and the rejection of a man who did not love her. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
65% The Riot Act (2018) While far from perfect, it deserves some attention at least for Sweetser and writer/director Devon Parks, who does much with little and constructs an interesting, sometimes assured narrative. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
67% Human Capital (2020) Human Capital is made by its performances, but its performances expose how banal the structure and plot are at base ... There's something missing to elevate it beyond an entertaining, well-directed film about relatively unpleasant rich people. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
No Score Yet Grit (2019) Above all, Grit reminds us that, in the face of environmental disaster and apparent government indifference, there is a future worth fighting for. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
89% Murder! (1930) It's almost as though Hitchcock is having us all on, deliberately testing his audience's willingness to continue watching filmed play about people who cannot stop acting like their life is a theatrical construction. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
88% Ready or Not (2019) Ready or Not is deeply critical of the class structure not just in terms of the power and privilege of the wealthy, but in how that power and privilege is both imposed on and supported by the lower classes. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2019
87% Blackmail (1929) Blackmail incorporates some of Hitchcock's most complex, nastiest themes, digging deep into the psychological nature of trauma and drawing justice, personal autonomy, gendered expectations, and misogyny into question. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
68% Darlin' (2019) There's great satisfaction and hope in Darlin', but it comes in forms you might not expect. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019