Leslie Combemale

Leslie Combemale
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Leslie Combemale, who writes about women in film and artists behind the scenes and below the line at http://cinemasiren.com/, is a movie lover and aficionado who aspires to get more people back into the beautiful alternate worlds offered in dark movie houses across the country. She has also been the owner of ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art (https://artinsights.com/) for over twenty five years, promoting artists who are the unsung heroes essential to the finished look of films and their campaigns. She interviews actors, directors, and production artists from all over the world, and writes about film for sites like AWFJ.org, thecredits.org, http://www.animationscoop.com and likeabossgirls.com, and is often invited to present at conventions such as the San Diego Comic-Con, where she has been a panelist and host for The Art of the Hollywood Movie Poster, Classic Film History, Disney & Harry Potter Fandom discussions, and now produces a panel at SDCC called "Women Rocking Hollywood", in its third year.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 73% All Is True (2019) Deeply rooted in a costume drama aesthetic and with the pacing to match, yet has enough plot twists to give BBC period piece-loving viewers whiplash. Also, Branagh, McKellen, & Dench! - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
4/5 69% Wine Country (2019) A funny, snarky, and thoroughly enjoyable cinematic trip worthy of a toast and an impromptu viewing party made from your own crew. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
5/5 93% Rafiki (2019) As played by Mugatsia and Munyiva, Kena and Ziki have a curiosity between them that goes beyond magnetism, seeming to go to their souls. The actors are completely mesmerizing to watch. - AWFJ Women on Film EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
3/5 45% Little (2019) Frustrating pacing nearly derails superior performances and great co-star chemistry in the new film Little, a sweet confection still great for a night out with your gal pals. - Women Rocking Hollywood EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
4.5/5 No Score Yet Superpower Dogs (2019) Only happy tears might be shed watching Superpower Dogs. The whole movie is a celebration of the canine species, and highlights six four-legged heroes making the world a better place. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
44% The Chaperone (2019) The Chaperone is a delightful diversion for fans of period films, personal development, and women over 40 figuring out what they want and going about getting it. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
4/5 94% Us (2019) Lupita Nyong'o's exquisite blend of nuance and scenery-chewing as Adelaide and Red deserves to be listed among the best horror performances ever. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 31% Mapplethorpe (2019) Matt Smith's portrayal of the mercurial, brooding genius is nearly as provocative as Robert Mapplethorpe's famous photograph 'Calla Lilly', elevating the film. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Along with champions of parity in film and strong female leads, fans of Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, cat fanciers, and lovers of fun everywhere, you'll want to be there for it. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
4.5/5 95% Transit (2019) Bleak but beautiful, Transit is a perfectly-timed look at ethnic cleansing, and the ever-sliding scale of each individual's perceptions of personal responsibility and moral obligation. - AWFJ Women on Film EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2.5/5 38% Untogether (2019) A mixed bag, the film isn't altogether satisfying, apart from watching the actors engage themselves fully in their portrayals. - AWFJ Women on Film EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) What a delight that the ending to these wonderful characters, even as it teaches everything must come to an end, offers charm and just the right dose of sweetness. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
A 95% Call Me by Your Name (2018) It is a lyrical, mesmerizing, experience at the cinema that numbers among the best movies of the year. - Patch EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
4/5 88% To Dust (2019) To Dust is equally strange, darkly funny, and insightful about the all-too-often mind-altering and devastating effects of grief. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 58% Touch Me Not (2019) An intentional blurring of the lines of reality, fiction, and fantasy. Confrontational, experiential storytelling that will move some, while offending or boring others. - AWFJ Women on Film EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
4/5 89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) It's like Slumdog Millionaire, but without any of its optimism, and it's all the better for it. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
5/5 97% I Am Not a Witch (2018) In the debut of newcomer and previously untrained 9-year-old Maggie Mulubwa, the actress carries a sorrow that reads both weary and bone deep. She is compelling to watch and impossible to ignore. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4/5 85% A Simple Favor (2018) A fluffy throwback to the B-movie thrillers of the 50s, with girls who are very good at being bad, plowing through a plot with more twists than a Wetzel's Pretzel. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4.5/5 89% A Star Is Born (2018) A Star is Born proves Bradley Cooper has a future as a director, Lady Gaga can act, and that for a film that has been made over and over, the 4th time's a charm. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 97% The Hate U Give (2018) Breathtaking work by perennially underrated co-star Russell Hornsby, and a reaffirmation of Amandla Stenberg's worth as an A-list star, The Hate U Give works best in the ensemble pieces celebrating the close-knit family at the story's center. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Director Marielle Heller's latest brings out the best in both Melissa McCarthy and co-star Richard E. Grant in a story almost too bizarre to believe. It feels like a slow burn, but it's a stunner. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Both as an emotional family drama as well as an education to those who know little about conversion therapy, Boy Erased succeeds. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4/5 78% Green Book (2018) Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen play off each other with such attention and subtlety that they entirely avoid the cliches or sentimentality that might be the normal byproduct of many of their scenes as written. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4/5 91% Widows (2018) Movie fans looking for a film celebrating women onscreen that doesn't use femininity, whatever that is, as a crutch, should flock to Widows. It fits the bill. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
2.5/5 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Audiences will likely find themselves losing connection to everyone but Newt, who is the only character given a solid arc. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a visually beautiful misstep. "Accio, better script!" - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4.5/5 89% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) What should be subtitled "Disney's Death Race 2000: When Friends Collide", it offers Disney flamboyance, self-deprecating humor, and the sort of pathos that may draw a tear or two from even the least sentimental viewer. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
2.5/5 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) The camera work seems to be used as a metaphor for Van Gogh's descent into madness, visually expressing his manic states by jostling the camera to the point of causing motion sickness in the viewer. Willem Defoe, however, is in top form. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
3.5/5 77% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) As a palate cleanse for the endless parade of Hallmark Christmas movies, Anna and the Apocalypse serves up a wacky diversion, but not without a little darkness and tragedy on the side. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
5/5 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Mary Poppins Returns is built around subjects carrying decidedly more weight than the 1964 film, tackling issues like grief, neglect, the damaging effects of loss on both children and adults. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
4/5 88% Rust Creek (2019) Watching Rust Creek, a realization dawns at how rare and refreshing it is to see a capable, strong everywoman portrayed in an escape thriller. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
4.5/5 95% Jinn (2018) Coming-of-age drama Jinn is a beautiful meditation on the complexities of becoming whole in a world that seems to thrive on breaking the spirit of anyone seen as 'other'. - AWFJ Women on Film EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
5/5 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Barry Jenkins brings Baldwin's words to life beautifully, in this lyrical, moving film, one of the best of 2018, that proves the director is no one-hit-wonder. - Cinema Siren EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2018
4.5/5 100% Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018) On rare occasions, the truly bizarre and the utterly charming intersect. Dava Whisenant's directorial debut about industrial musicals shines delightful light on the subject matter. - AWFJ Women on Film EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018