Lisa Jensen

Lisa Jensen
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Good Times Santa Cruz

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 98% Ash Is Purest White (2019) It's stylish and admirable, often surprising in interesting ways, but rarely engaging. Tao Zhao's performance, however, is totemic. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3/4 94% The Mustang (2019) The analogy between wild-spirited mustangs and incarcerated men who have lost their freedom is pretty standard stuff, yet the nuances of character, story and subtle, yet profoundly felt emotion keep viewers involved. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
2.5/4 75% Hotel Mumbai (2019) There's nothing especially transcendent in Maras' storytelling -- some epiphany that would make wading through all the bloodshed more meaningful. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
2.5/4 44% The Wedding Guest (2019) Patel's uncompromising presence gives the movie its backbone. It's too bad he wasn't given more of a part to play. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3/4 77% Never Look Away (2019) Its three-hour-plus running time gives Von Donnersmarck plenty of room to tell his story in meticulous detail, but the storytelling loses tension in the midsection. Still, the journey of its protagonist... remains compelling. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
3/4 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) It's interesting to see how Fahardi's grasp of intricate human interaction translates to a more open, expressive culture. Everybody Knows teems with life lived in the moment, even if the destination is less compelling than the journey. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
No Score Yet Late Afternoon (2017) Louise Bagnall's lyrical, emotionally stirring Irish entry Late Afternoon, beautifully rendered in fluid pastel watercolors, features an older woman diving deep into the well of memory to piece together fragments of a life she's forgotten. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
No Score Yet Skin (2018) Explores deeply ingrained racism and its consequences in a manner better suited to The Twilight Zone. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
No Score Yet Mother (Madre) (2019) The filmmaking is crisp and intense, but Sorogoyen has no exit strategy; the story just stops. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
83% Detainment (2018) Marvelously well-acted (especially by its young stars) and discreet about how much of the crime it chooses to show onscreen, it nevertheless drags viewers along in an atmosphere of non-stop dread. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
No Score Yet Marguerite (2019) A beautifully acted tale of the bond between an elderly woman and the younger woman who is her visiting caregiver. It's an oasis of tenderness and compassion. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
No Score Yet Animal Behaviour (2018) The gag wears a little thin, but crisp dialogue keeps it amusing. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
3/4 89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) In young Al Rafeea, a real-life Syrian transplant and first-time actor found on the streets of Beirut, Labaki has found the perfect vessel to express her views on the refugee experience. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3.5/4 96% Roma (2018) Roma builds to a celebration of simple virtues that are so undervalued in the current socio-political climate... And Cuarón observes these values in practice, with artistry and perception. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
2/4 93% The Favourite (2018) The characters as written never achieve the resonance that would keep viewers engaged and invested in them. They remain pawns in an exercise of mannered absurdity. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2.5/4 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) For all of Schnabel's determined technique, nothing in his movie ever quite achieves the emotional clarity of a single Van Gogh painting. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/4 78% Green Book (2018) The movie glides by on cruise control, thanks to its charismatic stars... Together, they make this a trip worth taking. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
3/4 81% Boy Erased (2018) It's the insider's view of this predatory "therapy" that gives the movie its infuriating power. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
2.5/4 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) And McCarthy's curmudgeonly Lee and Grant's fizzy Jack make a delicious odd couple. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/4 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) The movie falls into some of the pitfalls of telescoping events to fit the format. But it heroically depicts the Queen era (late '70s-early '80s), and the band's phenomenal creative energy and output. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
3.5/4 70% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett's towering performance as Wilde is mesmerizing. Often shot in extreme close-up, we see every millimeter of his dissipation, but also every glimmer of stubborn, ironic wit. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3.5/4 99% Tea With the Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) (2018) These four great ladies of stage, screen, and television, and longtime friends in real life, get together for an afternoon of tea and conversation -- always, trenchant, often hilarious. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
3/4 87% Colette (2018) The movie looks beautiful (largely shot in old-world Budapest), and Knightly captures enough of Colette's spirit of adventure to encourage viewers to explore the rest of her story. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
3/4 85% Monsters and Men (2018) Green's movie urges us to delve beneath the headlines and slogans and face the nature of injustice in our dysfunctional society. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
2.5/4 66% Lizzie (2018) A crawling narrative pace and repetitive last act mar the film's effectiveness. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
3.5/4 81% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) This is a scorching portrait of a nation on the brink of utter chaos that challenges even Moore's patented brand of raging absurdist humor. That Moore manages to identify thin rays of hope is sort of miraculous. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
3/4 91% We the Animals (2018) Manages a very deft balance between powerful, evocative visual style and the casual poetry of Torres' narrative voice, using minimalist dialogue, documentary realism, and fanciful animation to tell a simple-seeming, yet complex and moving tale. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
3/4 83% Juliet, Naked (2018) This isn't a weighty film, but its pleasures are consistently entertaining. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
4/4 94% Blindspotting (2018) Both actors turn in virtuoso performances as friends confronting issues of race, class, identity, and their own volatile, longtime friendship. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
3.5/4 99% Eighth Grade (2018) It's a return trip most of us would not care to make in real life, but we can view Burnham's intense replication from a safe distance, with a spectator's eye - and escape, intact, after only 93 minutes. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2018
3/4 76% Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (2018) Westwood is proof that fashion and political audacity have no age limit. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2018
3/4 100% Leave No Trace (2018) This is a family drama, not a Social Studies discourse, and in that respect, it succeeds with quiet grace. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
3/4 96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) Tim Wardle's engrossing documentary follows the true story of three young men who met by chance and discovered they were triplets... How this happened - and the darker question of why - makes Wardle's movie as gripping as any thriller. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2018
3/4 98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) !t's another engrossing peek behind the scenes of a popular culture phenomenon by filmmaker Morgan Neville... in Neville's skillful hands we see just how radical Mr. Rogers could be. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2018
3/4 91% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) Hearts Beat Loud touches on serious themes - financial hardship, broken dreams, grief and loss - but the movie's attitude is refreshingly buoyant. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2018
2/4 67% On Chesil Beach (2018) Sloppy, inconsistent storytelling keeps us from getting caught up in the tale's emotional core, and the audience, too, leaves unsatisfied. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
2.5/4 93% First Reformed (2018) The movie loses focus when it most needs it. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2018
3/4 92% Beast (2018) For his impressive debut feature, writer-director Michael Pearce crafts an eerie mood of unspecified menace in which anything might happen, and anyone might be capable of the most heinous actions. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2018
3/4 84% Disobedience (2018) [Rachel] McAdams is the wild card as the more reserved Esti; her buried emotions smack the movie like a tsunami. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
3.5/4 94% RBG (2018) Here's a movie that's really worth cheering about, entering the marketplace with the same quiet, unassuming, yet determined demeanor as its subject. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
3/4 73% Final Portrait (2018) Final Portrait may not plunge you into the miracle of artistic expression-go see an Andy Goldsworthy movie for that-but it offers a lively glimpse at the process from the outside looking in. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/4 68% Finding Your Feet (2018) This is a frisky charmer of a movie, with a stunning final image that will leave you cheering. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018
3.5/4 90% Isle of Dogs (2018) This is sly, smart social commentary, as much fun as a barrel of puppies. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
4/4 98% Leaning Into the Wind (2018) This movie is a feast. Peel your orbs and dig in! - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2018
2.5/4 81% The Party (2018) But, worse, the movie never transcends its own artifice to give us something more meaningful to ponder. It's content to be a bright, shiny bauble. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
3.5/4 93% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) So the role was not exactly written for [Daniela] Vega, but thank heavens for serendipity-her performance is outstanding. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2018
75% Dear Basketball (2017) A heartfelt love letter. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
100% Negative Space (2018) A reserved, yet surprisingly touching tone poem about a father and son who bond over the art of packing luggage. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
82% Lou (2017) A comic, but empathetic tale of schoolyard bullying thwarted by a boxful of plucky lost-and-found items. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
100% Garden Party (2017) Astonishingly life-like animation. - Good Times Santa Cruz EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018