Leigh Monson

Leigh Monson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Leigh Monson is technically a licensed attorney but somehow thinks movies are a lot more fun. Leigh loves both award darlings and hilariously bad films, does not believe in superhero movie fatigue, and calls it like they see it.
Publications: Birth.Movies.Death.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
99% Maiden (2019) This isn't a revolutionary film or an elevation of the documentary form, but it is an empowering message of perseverance for women and their allies in the fight against male hegemony. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) While it manages to be a bit more thoughtful and charming than one might expect from something so narrowly driven, it also can't help but remind you just how obnoxious Beatles diehards can be. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
No Score Yet Stay Out Stay Alive (2019) A very solid genre exercise that competently uses the tropes and tools of psychological horror to remind us to be careful of what we wish for. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
80% Late Night (2019) Even when Late Night wasn't making me laugh, it never stopped charming me, which is certainly worthwhile in its own right. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
70% The Bastards' Fig Tree (La higuera de los bastardos) (2019) For as slight as The Bastards' Fig Tree is, I can't say I didn't have a good time watching it. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) Aladdin is definitely cheesy and messy, as cynically produced as the other live-action fare...but where that cheese is allowed to manifest into a distinct work of art driven by a great collection of performances, it's actually a pretty fun time. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
71% All Is True (2019) As the premier Shakespearean auteur of our time, Branagh's love letter to his idol is worthy of that love even as it suffers from some of the typical excesses of its genre. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
31% The Intruder (2019) I was expecting The Intruder to be a good enough film based on the trailer, but boy was I not expecting it to be so damn good at just being what it is. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
100% Bliss (2019) There's a good movie buried somewhere in Bliss, but at the end of the day it seems like the filmmakers were trying way too hard to bring artificial edge to a story wielded too bluntly to be cutting. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
93% Rafiki (2019) Thankfully, not only is the romance and social commentary beautiful, but the film itself is shot gorgeously. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
72% Teen Spirit (2019) Teen Spirit is a remarkably solid film that sets itself apart with so much style and effortless prestige that it's difficult not to appreciate the efforts to elevate this story past its formula. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
18% Hellboy (2019) Hellboy is some very ill-advised cinema, and those who enjoy the prospect of cinematic trainwrecks are likely to get some joy out of this. Everyone else... well, you all know where to find the better version. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
54% The Best of Enemies (2019) The highest praise I can offer The Best of Enemies is at least it isn't as bad as Green Book. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
46% Dumbo (2019) Dumbo might just be the most conventionally drab Burton has ever been. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
91% Gloria Bell (2019) Moore is simply fantastic in the lead role, often communicating more in a look than in a line of dialogue. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
72% Triple Frontier (2019) Triple Frontier feels like a film without an audience, attempting a heady bit of sleight of hand without fully grasping what makes the trick work. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) What makes The Hidden World stand out from its predecessors, though, is how wholeheartedly it commits to giving these characters and this franchise a proper send-off. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
69% Isn't It Romantic (2019) The film's writing is stuck in an ever-tightening spiral of repetition and redundancy before finally stripping away the irony altogether to embrace an understanding of romantic comedy that's about two decades out of date. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) There's something more to this story than redundant sequelizing. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) It is a decidedly goofier movie, and it plays that to its benefit. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
44% What Men Want (2019) What does save it is some fantastic direction by Adam Shankman and a pretty great performance from Taraji P. Henson. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
86% Rust Creek (2019) What a great example of the power of independent cinema. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
22% Miss Bala (2019) Miss Bala exists in this weird middle ground between heightened action and grounded realism, and it's clear that the film should have leaned into its more exaggerated moments to achieve its desired effect. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
89% The Vast of Night (2019) The climax is beautiful, to be sure, and the effects work is excellent given the budget on which this film was produced, but it doesn't have much more meaning than is presented on its face. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
20% Serenity (2019) How did multiple people look at the screenplay of Serenity and think "Yes, this is a good idea!"? - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
97% The Hate U Give (2018) An important artifact of our time that I consider it one of the best films of 2018. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
32% Io (2019) If you're looking for science fiction that makes manifest the anxieties of a dying world, our dying world, then Io is a good place to start. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
89% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Cornish has built a loving testament to the power of legends to build a better future. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
40% The Upside (2019) The Upside takes any sense of subtlety from the original and blunts it into the thinnest, broadest shape for minimal positive impact. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
88% Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Beradona) (1973) A landmark in animation and a bold statement on sexual autonomy and liberation. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
93% Stan & Ollie (2019) A bit on the predictable and clichéd side, but it's also immensely entertaining to watch Coogan and Reilly perform classic bits. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
49% Escape Room (2019) At the end of the day Escape Room is a pretty solid horror movie. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
93% Bumblebee (2018) Bumblebee feels like the Transformers movie we should have gotten in the first place: a slice of family-friendly fun. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
70% The Mule (2018) Earl is framed as loveable for his casual racism and lack of sympathetic filter, yet he's anything but, and The Mule is openly hostile to anyone who thinks otherwise. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) As a pair of character studies it is a fascinating contrast, with both Ronan and Robbie giving performances worthy of the dignity of their characters. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Perhaps the best film to ever encapsulate the essence of a comic book to the big screen, and not just because the fancy new animation style. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
85% Dumplin' (2018) It ultimately serves its purpose as a vehicle for empathy and positive energy, leaving little room to fault the film for feeling so basic. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
90% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) This is a level of insight that is, if nothing else, cathartic. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Lingers in a murky area between cynicism and hope that makes its final moments a wrenching punch to the gut. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
60% The Front Runner (2018) It collapses under the weight of its own ambition, painting every player as compromised without any idea of what to say beyond that. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
88% A Private War (2018) Pike's stellar work speaks for itself, and thankfully it also speaks on behalf of the film and on behalf of Marie Colvin. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) It's functional and plods along at a good clip, but it's entirely mechanical and without soul. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Barry Jenkins and James Baldwin are a match made in heaven. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Writer-director Joel Edgerton has made some quality Oscar bait. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
89% In Search of Greatness (2018) As frustratingly distracting as the actual filmmaking is, In Search of Greatness isn't without its value. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
78% Green Book (2018) A feel-good story if you are somehow able to look past the overbearing reality of today's pervading racism. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
87% First Man (2018) The result is a film that replaces humanity with a cold nothingness, and unfortunately nothing fills that vacuum. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
29% Venom (2018) In terms of narrative and character arc, Venom is an absolute disaster. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
No Score Yet Molly (2018) You won't be blown away by Molly's story, but you might just be impressed with what they were able to make of it. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
78% The Boat (2018) The film is solid, but it feels resigned to the limitations of its premise rather than actively pushing against its boundaries. Is there anything inherently wrong with that? Not really. Does it make for a safer, more boring film as a result? Undoubtedly. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018