Lawrence ToppmanMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lawrence Toppman

Lawrence Toppman
Lawrence Toppman'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
2.5/4 80% The Conjuring 2 (2016) Wan knows how to sustain tension through terror, though he could have abbreviated the flabby middle of the movie. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jun 9, 2016
3.5/4 89% The Lobster (2016) I was caught up almost immediately in "The Lobster," a movie as prickly and difficult to approach as the title character. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jun 2, 2016
2.5/4 48% X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Yet another summer superhero movie - admittedly, with fine special effects - where powerful characters misguidedly battle each other, until they realize they have to defeat a common enemy. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 26, 2016
1.5/4 30% Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Special effects and ingenious production design cannot conceal a spectacular hollowness at the core of a ruined childhood legend. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 26, 2016
3/4 84% The Meddler (2016) We know where we're going, but the Oscar-winning actors take us there with ease and charm. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 19, 2016
3/5 92% The Nice Guys (2016) Laughter trumps logic here, and the laughs flow freely. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 19, 2016
2/5 57% Money Monster (2016) I couldn't tell whether the film was intended to be a comedy; as it became more and more improbable, both predictable and ludicrous at once, I heard audience members chortle again and again. Were they laughing with "Money Monster" or at it? ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 12, 2016
3.5/5 90% Captain America: Civil War (2016) "Captain America: Civil War" appeals to me more strongly than any superhero movie of the last decade. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 5, 2016
3/4 60% Dough (2016) I cannot think of a single sentence, plot development or performance in Dough that made me do a double-take, and I usually count predictability as one of the Seven Cardinal Sins of filmmaking. So I'm surprised how much I enjoyed [it]. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted May 4, 2016
3/5 90% Green Room (2016) We can't ask for more from this genre, and we often get much less. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 28, 2016
3/5 76% Keanu (2016) The real surprise is not that the high-strung Key and grounded Peele have rapport - their sketches demonstrate that - but that it can be used to anchor a full-length comedy. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 28, 2016
1.5/5 86% Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) If this project is some kind of huge in-joke, I'm willing to admit I didn't get it. But if I did get it (and I'm afraid I did), it's a huge disappointment. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 21, 2016
3/5 77% Elvis & Nixon (2016) Johnson keeps us in the right period in the usual ways - hairstyles, music, clothes, cars - but also captures the anxiety that hovered over America during the Civil Rights Era. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 21, 2016
3.5/5 95% The Jungle Book (2016) This story is a new look at a narrative that was already ancient when Kipling wrote 12 decades ago. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 14, 2016
3/5 20% I Saw the Light (2016) The best thing about this movie may be that it drives people to seek out the original. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 7, 2016
2/5 52% Demolition (2016) This story could potentially move us deeply, if only the filmmakers didn't shatter the illusion of reality every five minutes. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Apr 7, 2016
4/5 95% Eye In The Sky (2016) Nobody has made a "how-we-chase-'em" story this gripping since "Zero Dark Thirty." ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Mar 31, 2016
2/4 27% Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) The story, like the testicles of a weightlifter on steroids, dwindles away to nothing. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Mar 23, 2016
3/5 90% 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Abrams has tried to produce a film that stands on its own yet ties into a universe that has yet to fully reveal itself. "10 Cloverfield Lane" manages to do both - yet in retrospect, the first would have been enough. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Mar 10, 2016
1/5 25% London Has Fallen (2016) No characterization. A plot you could write on a single sheet of toilet paper. Sadistic violence we're meant to cheer. A surprise that wouldn't fool anyone who left the theater after the opening credits and came back for the last 10 minutes. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Mar 3, 2016
3/5 80% Eddie The Eagle (2016) Egerton ... understands his role perfectly. He wears a look of stubborn worry tempered with unquenchable optimism, because he's dead sure that finishing dead last would be a triumph. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 25, 2016
3/5 43% Forsaken (2016) True, we have seen almost all the elements in "Forsaken" in a hundred Westerns of the past. But they're assembled with such care that there's room for version 101. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 19, 2016
3/5 No Score Yet Providence (2016) As you get into the flow of the narrative, and the strangeness of hearing no dialogue recedes, the movie becomes a rewarding experience. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 18, 2016
3/5 91% The Witch (2016) The film works as a grim historical document, but it might also be a metaphor for our own society: Instead of banding together to solve problems and protect each other, we disintegrate into unfounded accusations and blame-passing. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 18, 2016
3.5/5 96% Son of Saul (2015) Hungarian writer-director László Nemes makes an extraordinary feature-length debut with this film, which requires us to put together bits of information and leaves us guessing at a few missing pieces. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 11, 2016
3.5/5 84% Deadpool (2016) "Deadpool" gives the superhero genre a kick in its pearly white teeth - and, for good measure, every other square inch of its pumped-up body. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 11, 2016
2/5 85% Hail, Caesar! (2016) "Hail, Caesar!" Hail? No. Maybe a faint nod of mild approval, but that's all. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Feb 4, 2016
5/5 63% The Finest Hours (2016) From the first gentle meeting of its hero and heroine to the last line of dialogue, "The Finest Hours" executes all the traditional moves beautifully. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jan 28, 2016
3/5 97% 45 Years (2015) Rampling carries the film, appearing in virtually every scene. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jan 28, 2016
2/4 93% Anomalisa (2015) Stone's just a self-centered, unaware bore. He doesn't merit attention from the kindly, cheerful, anxious Lisa - or from us. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jan 21, 2016
3/5 83% Lamb (2016) Ross Partridge directed, wrote the screenplay (from a novel by Bonnie Nadzam) and delivers the strong central performance. He keeps us on edge in all three capacities ... ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jan 14, 2016
3.5/5 98% Mustang (2015) Ergüven and Winocour hold education up as the solution; only when girls get schooling can they figure out how to change male-dominated behavior, at least as far as their society will allow. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jan 14, 2016
2/4 81% The Revenant (2015) A 156-minute western with 30 minutes of plot, a gorgeous and well-acted series of grueling battles between man and man or man and nature that amount emotionally to nothing at all. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Jan 7, 2016
1.5/4 74% Youth (2015) Weisz's heartfelt anger and pain suddenly show us what the movie might have been, before she and everyone else slip back into a doze. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 22, 2015
3/4 75% The Hateful Eight (2015) Even if you don't get the references, you can enjoy the ripely robust acting -- especially Russell, Jackson and Leigh -- and Tarantino's storytelling skill. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 22, 2015
3/4 60% Concussion (2015) If Omalu seems impossibly naive in spots, Smith still conveys the right air of injured innocence: Why won't anyone listen? ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 22, 2015
4/4 88% The Big Short (2015) [The Big Short] jumps off the screen in every scene and pins an elusive subject firmly in place. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 22, 2015
2/4 60% Joy (2015) Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Miracle Mop inventor and QVC pitchwoman Joy Mangano glues the movie together, but it threatens to unravel at any time. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 22, 2015
3.5/4 92% Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) If Hollywood's going to extend the most famous movie myth of the past 40 years, "The Force Awakens" seems a worthwhile way to do so. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 16, 2015
2/4 43% In the Heart of the Sea (2015) Director Ron Howard and writer Charles Leavitt (who adapted Nathaniel Philbrick's book) don't plumb the psychology of their characters ... After a brief preliminary on land, they sail into the Sea of Tedium and stay there. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 10, 2015
3.5/4 80% Chi-Raq (2015) Its full, sardonic title is Chi-Raq, Drillinois -- not a subtle way of putting things, like the film itself, but undeniably effective. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Dec 2, 2015
3/4 38% Secret in Their Eyes (2015) The fine acting and adept pacing by writer-director Billy Ray make this an entertaining experience. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Nov 20, 2015
2/4 70% The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015) Even Lawrence looks tired. She gives of her best in a few emotional scenes but slogs through the rest, as if completing a homework assignment she didn't want to do but had to finish to graduate from an obligatory class. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Nov 19, 2015
4/4 96% Spotlight (2015) McCarthy captures the flow of information around a major newsroom, back in the days when papers had the luxury to pay for year-long investigations by a four-person staff that worked on nothing else. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Nov 19, 2015
3/4 97% All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records (2015) Hanks makes the rookie mistake of covering the same points too thoroughly - the film could be 10 to 15 minutes shorter - but you can see why he lets entertaining interviewees ramble a bit. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Nov 12, 2015
4/4 94% Room (2015) Not a word or a gesture seems false. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Nov 12, 2015
1.5/5 65% Spectre (2015) At the center of the film, like a man trying to pull a donkey out of a peat bog, stands Craig: inexpressive, uninflected and obviously tired. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Nov 4, 2015
2.5/4 62% Truth (2015) In this telling, the final "truth" rings hollow. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Oct 29, 2015
1.5/4 35% Our Brand is Crisis (2015) Tim Orr's cinematography captures every mood beautifully, but his pictures don't compensate for a thousand ill-chosen words. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Oct 29, 2015
2.5/5 86% Steve Jobs (2015) Perhaps the strangest thing about the film is that Steve Jobs never seems capable of inspiring anyone: He's the smartest kid in the class and the biggest bully. ‐ Charlotte Observer
Posted Oct 22, 2015