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% 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
73% 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
92% 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
79% 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
87% 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
99% 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
97% 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
97% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) 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
61% 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 (2019) 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 (2018) 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
88% 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
89% 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
86% 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
70% 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
80% Stare (Shirai-san) (2020) Stare has all the makings of an excellent J-horror, even if it does drag in places and reinvents its own rules too many times. It may ultimately only pay off as a minor entry into the genre, but it's an entertaining one all the same. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
86% The Father's Shadow (A Sombra do Pai) (2018) The Father's Shadow is a meticulously crafted work of magical realism, embedded in its culture and ethos. It's the work of another intelligent, complex female director whose work will be fascinating to watch develop. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
100% Extra Ordinary (2019) Extra Ordinary is a funny, bizarre Irish Ghostbusters, in the best possible way. It reinvigorates the flagging horror-comedy genre by providing funny and occasionally terrifying twists on common tropes. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
95% The Deeper You Dig (2019) This is a small film that deeply deserves an audience, as accomplished and thematically vibrant as any big budget horror you can find today, and far more conversant with the thin divide between spirituality and the supernatural than most. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
25% Sadako (2019) Nakata finds some tension and horror, but this latest film feels too much like a retread of Ringu and even, in places, Dark Water. Dare I say that the poor wraith deserved a little better than this? - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
60% Ophelia (2019) By refuting her victimization by the world she cannot control, Ophelia actually abandons the depth of its lead's psychology and tragedy, and removes itself from even an attempt to comment on patriarchy. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
100% The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) The Decline of Western Civilization remains an essential documentary and one fantastically weird slice of life. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2019
80% Late Night (2019) Late Night posits that inclusivity and diversity make the world, and comedy, a better, funnier place for everyone. The butt of the joke is not men, but patriarchy, and in mocking patriarchal norms it rejects any "us vs. them" mentality. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
96% My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) The film's tension stems not from whether or not Julia will ultimately believe the lies, but how she will manage to extricate herself from her situation. Far from a passive waif, she remains in control of herself throughout. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
100% Craig's Wife (1936) Harriet Craig is not formed by her past but by her culture, fulfilling the requisite role of the housewife to a degree that turns her into a monster of patriarchy's own making. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
30% Holy Lands (Les terres saintes) (2018) When Holy Lands succeeds, it's a moving, humorous film; when it fails, it's difficult to follow or to invest in. The result is a curious, imbalanced narrative that would have been better for one or two fewer plot strands. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
94% Premature (2020) Premature is an intense and lyrical film, as much in love with the images of Harlem as it is with the music that Isaiah produces and the poetry Ayanna writes. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
74% Ghost Light (2019) The film does pay off its premise, and the final act is a fantastically entertaining, horror-laden farce that brings all the elements of the narrative together. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
99% The Farewell (2019) The Farewell exhibits a well-balanced combination of humor and sorrow, of family gatherings with plenteous food, joy, and old animosities that ebb and flow and sometimes pass by the younger generation. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
64% The Vampire Lovers (1970) The Vampire Lovers has within it a sense of freedom and transgression in its frank depiction of female desire outside of male control. That the film finally reins in that desire doesn't make it any the less potent. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
90% Bull (2019) Bull...deftly handles the numbness of poverty without making it either overly sentimental or overly violent. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
55% American Woman (2019) Much like its lead characters, American Woman is a fascinating, problematic, difficult-to-comprehend film. But when it works, it's something special. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
100% Martha: A Picture Story (2019) Martha: A Picture Story presents a multifaceted view of a woman who moves at the edges of society to find the beauty of humanity, in their art and in their daily lives. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2019
100% Circus of Books (2019) Circus of Books is a complicated family portrait, illuminating its subjects with love and understanding but also with the mixed emotions to be expected from any family. - CC2K EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2019
100% For They Know Not What They Do (2019) An at times tragic, at times uplifting, and very human story about the complex interplay between familial love, acceptance, and faith, and how those elements inform American families and American society at large - CC2K EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2019
100% Flesh Out (2019) Flesh Out is strongest when it delves into the complexity of female relationships, weakest when it attempts to provide more narrative arc to a satisfying conclusion. - CC2K EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
97% American Factory (2019) American Factory represents a powerful argument against the capitalist structure by presenting the essential, common humanity of the workers, Chinese and American, against those who would prefer that they simply work until they drop dead. - CC2K EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2019
100% At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal (2019) An essential documentary...[that] provides a catharsis for those who have been hurt, valuing them both for their strength in coming forward while acknowledging that they never should have had to be strong at all. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2019
85% Tater Tot & Patton (2019) Tater Tot & Patton is a good example of what can be achieved with a small cast and a director with a clear, cogent eye for both character and mis-en-scene. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
63% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) It's almost fitting that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a strange, meandering film, unable to find focus or cohesion, and with an undercurrent of bitterness. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
83% For Now (2017) There's something surprising that For Now, beyond its cinematic competency, is hardly revolutionary yet is refreshing and enjoyable nonetheless. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) Above all, Captain Marvel moves with a confidence that proclaims it has nothing to prove. The future of Marvel is female, and you can either accept that or get out of the way. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
50% America Adrift (2016) Ultimately, this is a film that has its heart in the right place, that wants to discuss the depths of the opioid crisis...But its superficiality stops it from finding a strong center of pathos, and a final act shift becomes unintentionally comical. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
47% Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2015) Da Sweet Blood of Jesus takes the basic plot of Ganja & Hess, its concerns about addiction, racial identity, and religiosity, and shifts the conversation to focus on the relationship between race, classism, and gender. - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
86% Ganja & Hess (1973) Whether by accident or design, [Gunn's} creating a new kind of artistic expression out of imagery that had been used to titillate and exploit, a sort of pushback against the producers who wanted him to make a "black vampire movie." - Citizen Dame EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
88% Hummus! The Movie (2019) Despite its occasional lack of focus, Hummus! The Movie is an entertaining, diverting documentary. - Suddenly A Shot Rang Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019