Li Lai

Li Lai
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Li Lai is the founder of Mediaversity Reviews, a website that scores TV and films on gender, racial, and LGBTQ inclusion. Onscreen representation is her passion, and she considers art inextricable from its social contexts. For this reason, she values fresh perspectives from underrepresented voices, and her TV and film reviews reflect that. Li has been previously featured in Variety, The Verge, CBC Radio, Chicago Tribune, and other outlets. She has also spoken at venues such as Adweek Europe or with the Women's Impact Network of the Producers Guild of America.
Publications: Mediaversity Reviews

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.00/5 86% Plus One (2019) Plus One pulls back the curtain on romance to present what a 'perfect ending' actually looks like. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
3.08/5 95% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Where Endgame fails its female characters by devaluing them, it forgets its characters of color entirely. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2019
5.08/5 100% Lucky Grandma (2019) It's a joy to see Tsai Chin, who is now 85 years old, play the lead of an action-oriented gangster comedy set in New York City's Chinatown. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3.75/5 88% Wild Rose (2019) Wild Rose lives and breathes feminism without ever having to comment on it. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
4.08/5 83% Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019) Moonlight Sonata is an affecting work that gives full texture to the meaning of being deaf, hard of hearing, or having loved ones in the community. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
4.50/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart feels baked in sexual diversity. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2019
3.33/5 87% Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2019) Michelle Yeoh remains incredible to watch, but toxic masculinity rules the kung fu genre-and Master Z is no different. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
4.67/5 93% The Weekend (2018) The Weekend feels quietly radical with its rendering of Black characters in roles we normally see reserved for the white upper middle class. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2019
4.33/5 100% Jezebel (2019) Numa Perrier wraps you in a cocoon of safety as we traverse Jezebel's difficult material together. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2019
3.83/5 63% Native Son (2019) Native Son challenges society to stop objectifying Black culture, showing how worshiping it can be just as dehumanizing as loathing or fearing it. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
4.25/5 100% Romantic Comedy (2019) Romantic Comedy thoughtfully explores a major category of films from a distinctly female perspective. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
1.83/5 67% Vice (2018) Vice comes off as a boys' club that has its heart in the right place but ultimately succumbs to its own self-importance. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2019
4.42/5 45% What Men Want (2019) What Men Want never reaches for lazy stereotypes to garner its many laughs. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2.33/5 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Singer has been repeatedly accused of sexual assault against underage boys, leading to a thick cloud of unease that hangs over Bohemian Rhapsody. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2019
4.83/5 100% Vai (2019) Vai amplifies Pacifika filmmaking with its slate of 9 directors, all of them indigenous women. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2.00/5 78% Green Book (2018) Green Book has a race problem, but it delivers cringeworthy depictions of women and gay men too. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
5.00/5 100% The Farewell (2019) The Farewell dives straight into the deep end with authentic representation, handily revealing the infinite diversity within Chinese identity alone. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
3.58/5 92% Bumblebee (2018) Lack of racial diversity in Bumblebee is tempered by a complex female lead, with the end result of a rockin' movie guaranteed to make your Millennial soul soar. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
2.67/5 89% Hereditary (2018) Hereditary literally demonizes a transgender spirit. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
3.58/5 99% Eighth Grade (2018) Eighth Grade helps fill a void of complex young women in film, but its complete disinterest in characters of color feels limiting. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
4.00/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) I'm flummoxed by how many new (and progressive!) films still fail the laughably easy Bechdel Test. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2019
4.50/5 84% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Chirrut's abilities borderline the trope of portraying disability as a superpower, but thankfully writers avoid offense by giving him a personality and character development that has nothing to do with his eyesight. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
4.83/5 93% Hidden Figures (2017) Hidden Figures presents a different angle to what it means to be Black in America and delivers it to a wide audience. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
2.13/5 95% Sing Street (2016) Middling film that relies heavily on 1980s nostalgia-and unfortunately, the racist and male-centric tropes of that decade as well. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
4.83/5 97% The Fits (2016) The Fits champions young Black women, but the true journey that Anna Rose Holmer takes us on transcends anything external. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
4.67/5 94% Arrival (2016) In a refreshing gender role-reversal, Louise's male science partner plays the support character who deepens the main storyline of a woman. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
3.83/5 91% Mountains May Depart (Shan he gu ren) (2016) The film is at its best when depicting the sheer estrangement between generations within the modern Chinese family. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
3.00/5 91% La La Land (2016) "Beyond its music and costume, La La Land is retro in more ways than one." - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
4.83/5 96% Roma (2018) Roma stars a Oaxacan woman of color who pierces the idea of a nebulous Latino or Hispanic identity. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
4.17/5 92% Fences (2016) Fences is granular, depicting the vicious power that patriarchs can wield as they hurt the women and children in their lives. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3.33/5 87% Jackie (2016) The film is frustratingly obvious and pushes the viewer into a passive role. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
4.00/5 33% The Holiday Calendar (2018) As a woman of color who never felt included in the Christmas movies I'd seen growing up, The Holiday Calendar clicked for me. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
2.50/5 36% The Great Wall (2017) The Great Wall is about as literal to the white savior trope as you can get. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
4.17/5 98% Get Out (2017) Get Out winks at centuries of painful history and honors it with an absurdist de-pantsing of race in America. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3.50/5 75% Kong: Skull Island (2017) Although Kong: Skull Island doesn't even pass the Bechdel Test, it's a relief to watch a silly action romp without overt misogyny or cringeworthy racism. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
1.67/5 43% Ghost in the Shell (2017) The camera pans across the metropolis, displaying legions of women depicted as sex workers or fetishized, Orientalist fantasies. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
4.33/5 64% Sophie and the Rising Sun (2017) A wonderfully intersectional film, featuring love and friendship against the backdrop of WWII and the languid air of the South. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
4.63/5 81% Kiki (2017) You will be hard-pressed to find another film that celebrates gender and sexual expression the way KIKI does. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3.67/5 93% Logan (2017) At some point, we need to stop glorifying the deaths of saintly, self-sacrificial minorities and women who die to save white male heroes. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
5.00/5 92% Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017) It's life-affirming to watch a trans woman direct a movie about whatever the hell she wants. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3.33/5 84% Creed II (2018) The way disability gets used as a plot device to further Adonis' narrative feels mishandled. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
4.00/5 93% Wonder Woman (2017) This is an exciting moment for women all over the world, make no mistake. But the outdated source material hinders Wonder Woman from reaching full-out beast mode. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4.25/5 100% Kapoor & Sons - Since 1921 (2016) Kapoor & Sons makes great strides for progressiveness within the context of the Hindi film industry. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4.50/5 98% The Big Sick (2017) The Big Sick perfectly captures the Millennial experience, along with all the cultural tensions that come with changing demographics. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4.25/5 86% Okja (2017) I didn't enjoy the film, but I am a huge fan of creative risk-taking and inclusive media. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3.13/5 86% Loev (2015) LOEV has its heart in the right place but suffers from uneven storytelling. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.00/5 92% Dunkirk (2017) Oblivious at best and propaganda at worst, Dunkirk is admittedly a sensory feast but one that leaves me concerned about its palpable nostalgia for an era before women's liberation and civil rights movements. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4.67/5 88% The Incredible Jessica James (2017) The Incredible Jessica James actually wields colorblindness in a positive way. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4.92/5 97% Columbus (2017) If you give the reins to Kogonada and exert a little effort yourself, Columbus will give you back ten times what you put into it. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3.25/5 92% Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Women and people of color exist at the margins of Homecoming, peeking in but never developing corporeal form. - Mediaversity Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018