Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
88% North Hollywood (2020) It's bold and creative, yet subtle and edgy, with messages that will creep up on you, rather than accost you. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
67% Wrath of Man (2021) Start-to-finish suspense, break neck pacing and Jason Statham as we know and love him are enough to redeem the overall work. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2021
63% French Exit (2021) Suffers from potentially terminal ennui. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
83% Mank (2020) Mank didn't exactly go wrong-there are some glorious moments within. It just didn't go as right as it could have. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2021
55% The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) For many, Day's performance will be enough to redeem the rest of the film. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
94% Nomadland (2021) Frances McDormand and Chlo Zhaoshow the aching beauty in life stripped down to the bone. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2021
50% The Midnight Sky (2020) The look, feel and sound of spacecraft interiors have just about been done to death with so many genre movies and TV series, but these are intriguing and even artistic. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2020
100% 32 Weeks (2020) 32 Weeks is an organic, original and suspenseful slice of Millennial life. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Hillbilly Elegy is elevated by the performances of masters. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
100% The Ventures: Stars on Guitars (2020) It's fresh, fun and filled with fascinating facts (eg: In Japan, the Ventures outsold the Beatles 2:1), humorous stories, superstar interviews and poignant memories. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2020
39% Rebecca (2020) With stunning set design and locations, plus a correspondingly beautiful cast, the 2020 Rebecca is a lovely, languorous and lush take on a British period mystery. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2020
89% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) The Trial of the Chicago 7 is right up there with the best, a film for the day, a film for the year, a film for the ages. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
67% The Glorias (2020) The acting across the board is superb, if the story is a wee bit long and disjointed. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2020
72% Mulan (2020) Where Mulan falls short is in its emotional depth. There simply isn't much. This is the rare Disney film which may not send its viewers reaching for a tissue. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
61% The Last Movie Star (2018) The Last Movie Star aka Dog Years, directed by director Adam Rifkin, is Burt Reynolds' swan song, and a poignant and entertaining treasure. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2020
66% The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020) It's befitting that a film about art, directed by Guiseppe Capotondi, be extremely artistic, with vivid and well-thought images spread before our eyes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2020
77% Summerland (2020) The sweet and sentimental Summerland could be the closest most of us get to a British seaside vacation this year. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2020
79% Greyhound (2020) Even if you don't understand the naval jargon and the exact strategy, you'll still be fully invested. Tom Hanks' writing and acting are superb! - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2020
63% Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Ferrell, as the leotard wearing, talent-free guy with a dream, and McAdams, as his smitten, golden voiced bandmate, light up the screen and keep you giggling throughout. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2020
8% Artemis Fowl (2020) You might be wondering if your own, negative Artemis Fowl review is the result of quarantine-induced brain fog. Don't worry - it's not you, it's the movie. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2020
30% Bloodshot (2020) It's jam packed with flashy CGI, guys and girls pummeling each other, and gratuitous (but not unappealing) shots of Diesel in tight T-shirts. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
83% The Way Back (2020) It's a gritty and sometimes ugly look at a segment of a messy and conflicted man's life, and it's not based on an inspiring true story, which somehow makes it feel more real. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
62% The Call of the Wild (2020) Director Chris Sanders has taken all the skills learned from other celebrated franchises and created an endearing, creative, kid-friendly film. I just want to hug it. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
38% Downhill (2020) The performances are real and cringe-inspiring, making Downhill surprisingly thoughtful and deliciously uncomfortable. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Boldy directed by Cathy Yan, it's brightly colored hard candy, not for one second taking itself too seriously. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
76% Bad Boys for Life (2020) Full of crater-sized plot holes and non-stop, over the top action. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
94% Marriage Story (2019) Noah Baumbach's script, about the trials and tribulations of divorce and custody battles, is really nothing we haven't seen before, on big or small screens. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2020
91% Uncut Gems (2019) That acerbic, abusive and abrasive script, in which almost everyone is aggressive and annoying, can drive a viewer to distraction. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2020
89% 1917 (2020) You will be awed by the cinematography, the directing, the acting, the storytelling, the editing, the score - every aspect of this film is impressive and moving. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2020
95% Little Women (2019) Gerwig's colorful, warm and creative touch is what sets it apart from so many versions of the story, and so many other gritty, violent and tiresome films of the day. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2019
51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Viewers will especially enjoy the opportunity to get last, fond looks at some of their favorite characters (Spoiler alert! Jar Jar Binks is not among them). - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2019
19% Cats (2019) The big screen version of Cats may not be purrfect, but it's lovely, wildly entertaining and sparkles with movie magic. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Marielle Heller has directed a film that is beautiful for the overall feeling more than any other single aspect-a rare achievement. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2019
63% The Good Liar (2019) Mirren and McKellen are so sublime you can't help but wish they'd paired up for the first time in a better vehicle. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Director Jame Mangold has created an extraordinary film with a powerful engine that won't quit, fueled by human passion and frailty. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
46% Last Christmas (2019) Instead of skipping merrily into the holidays, it awkwardly trips over its own twinkle toes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
64% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Ya see, kid, if you're a real sucker for a moody noir picture, this one will smack you right in the kisser. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Three generations of powerful women grab the reins and take us for a wild and raucous cinematic ride. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) You will find yourself alternately laughing and crying, but continuously dazzled, by Waititi's gorgeous, vaguely Wes Anderson-esque style. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2019
69% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) There are soon-to-be classic comedic moments involved here, including some mirror character schtick and another outrageous Bill Murray/zombie riot. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
26% Gemini Man (2019) iGemini Man is worth a look for the special effects alone. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
68% Joker (2019) One of the most gratuitously grim films of the decade, you can't help but wonder for whom the film rolls. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
21% Lucy in the Sky (2019) Since it's so closely associated with Lisa Nowak's story, many find fault because it doesn't exactly embrace her narrative. But the film can and should stand on its own. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
84% Downton Abbey (2019) I'd call it painfully sappy if I didn't love those plucky characters, their costumes, their architecture and their interior design so much. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
25% The Goldfinch (2019) Expectations flew high for the film adaptation of this best-loved book. But instead of soaring, it takes a dive. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
87% Hustlers (2019) it's a riveting story, dazzlingly told from a female perspective, that puts the stiletto on the other foot. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
62% It Chapter Two (2019) While director Andy Muschietti does a fine job of keeping the creeps coming, after awhile all those chases, attacks, morphing and jump scares just become numbing. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
49% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Blanchett's performance is the highlight. The rest is a limp string of memorable moments from the book, listlessly assembled with no apparent regard for suspense or intensity. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2019
89% Blinded by the Light (2019) The tone seems muddled - the discordant flash mob routines feel like music videos, and when the letters of lyrics whirl around it feels like an antidepressant commercial. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2019
24% The Kitchen (2019) While the individual performances are superb, the plot doesn't cook them up into anything very savory. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019