Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
47% A Dog's Journey (2019) Resistance is futile. Scratch its belly. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
50% Tolkien (2019) Thomas Newman's score is lovely, cinematography by Lasse Frank Johannessen is dramatic. Combined under the direction of Dome Karukoski, they've managed to fashion a fine film. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2019
15% The Hustle (2019) The film doesn't deliver on its initial promise. What we have here is a failure to ingratiate. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2019
32% Poms (2019) While there are a few literal and figurative moments of in-your-face pom pom shaking, this movie is nothing to cheer about. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
80% Long Shot (2019) Who would have thought the graceful, elegant and Oscar winning Charlize Theron and the dorky, often outrageous Seth Rogan would make such a perfect pair? - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Kudos to Anthony and Joe Russo for so elegantly tying together 21 movies and 25 heroes, giving poignant and satisfying send-offs to some, fresh new beginnings to others. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
45% William (2019) A surprisingly gentle yet provocative sci-fi drama about the evolution of a fish out of water. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2019
60% Breakthrough (2019) Sustenance for the faith-based and an interesting look at a devout culture for non-believers. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
30% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) For a pretty much by-the-numbers ghost story, it scared the hell out of me. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
16% Hellboy (2019) An excruciating amount of ridiculous exposition numbs the audience to the relentless bludgeoning that happens in between. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2019
45% Little (2019) The actors do the best they can with the material they're given, but the script is awkward, lurching from scene to scene with minimal setup or payoff. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2019
65% Peterloo (2019) Leigh deserves credit for exposing the blot on his hometown history with such distinctive strokes. Still, it's a long, slow wait for a devastatingly brutal and violent ending. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
53% The Best of Enemies (2019) Terrific performances by Rockwell, an extremely convincing bigoted good-old-boy, and Henson, who throws her all into the character, take the film to another level. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) The new superhero in town bursts on screen in a blaze of adolescent energy and excitement. At last we have a DC character filled with mirth rather than mourning. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
47% Dumbo (2019) There's a lot to love about Disney's new live action reboot of the 1941 animated classic. Just keep your eye on the elephants, and all will be well. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
94% Us (2019) It has some masterful cinematic bites, but when you step back and take a look at it as a whole, there are too many random pieces stitched together that don't quite fit. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
54% Five Feet Apart (2019) Jaded adults will not be overly impressed with the film's manipulation, but teenage girls will flock to see it, keeping Kleenex in business. They could make worse choices. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) Captain Marvel almost has it all: excitement, wit, plot twists, multi-faceted villains and stunning visual effects. What it doesn't have is the gravitas of a Wonder Woman. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
59% Greta (2019) There are gigantic plot holes, with the story being far too dependent on luck (both good and bad) and coincidence. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Adults and children will be awed the wonder and spectacle of the glorious animation. It's the perfect franchise ending. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
36% Patrick (2019) With so much utterly appalling drama going on around us these days, it's nice to have a cozy retreat of a film that will entertain both you and your best friend. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
92% Fighting with My Family (2019) It's strange to say that a film about professional wrestling feels tenderly authentic and sincere, but that's how good the actors and filmmakers are. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
69% Isn't It Romantic (2019) It's a romcom within a romcom that makes fun of romcoms. Of course it follows the conventions that it mocks. That's half the fun! - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
45% What Men Want (2019) The premise has great potential, but very little of it is fulfilled as the plot pointlessly lurches about, regardless of Henson's valiant efforts. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
69% Cold Pursuit (2019) This pitch perfect, cold blooded film will send shivers down your spine while bringing laughter up from the darkest part of you psyche. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
22% Miss Bala (2019) It's a bit like The Mule for Millennials - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
40% The Upside (2019) Regardless of how it compares to its French predecessor, The Upside is a highly watchable film. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) The rivalry and and intrigue between the two Queens has already been well documented, both on screen and on the written page. There is little new here. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
93% The Favourite (2018) The Favourite, from wildly creative and original director Yorgos Lanthimos, is unlike any period costume drama you've ever seen. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
96% Roma (2018) Oscar-winning writer/director Alfonso Cuarón's breathtakingly poignant and personal Roma will move you to the core. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2018
33% Welcome to Marwen (2018) It may be a fascinating doc subject, but dramatizing it and putting a twee score behind it, as if it were a heartwarming tale about the guy next door, just doesn't work. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
65% Aquaman (2018) Hunky, self-deprecating Jason Momoa is more of an Aqua Dude buoyed by a riotous deluge of dazzling visuals that refresh the DC universe. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) It's not a perfect film, but it's so packed with joy, creativity and sheer delight that the minor flaws hardly merit mention. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
69% The Mule (2018) The Mule, much like The Old Man & the Gun, is a pleasant film, it's an entertaining film, but it's not a riveting or thrilling film. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
89% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) The scenes where Vanellope inserts herself into the world of Disney Princesses (many of them voiced by the original stars) is worth the price of admission alone. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
91% Widows (2018) The film's greatest strength is the character development... everyone has a cunningly explained motive, and the tenuous relationships are constantly threatening to unravel. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Any efforts at deep understanding will leave you in a trance that even Dumbledore can't break. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) It has a certain bleak beauty, and although the film is relentlessly glum, there's a stark yet scintillating consistency to it, as well as an edgy female empowerment message. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) The double directing team of Lasse Halstrom and Joe Johnston just couldn't seem to mesh. No surprises, no spice, all predictable sweetness from start to finish. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) The film is so much fun yet so moving it doesn't matter if the story is not 100% accurate and doesn't truly and completely document the band's meteoric rise to fame. It rocks! - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Who would have believed a film about an acerbic misanthrope, played by an actress known for her raucous comedies, could be so moving, intimate and ultimately sublime? - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2018
87% First Man (2018) I'm a great admirer of the work and efforts of everyone involved in this film. I just don't think this is their finest moment-or 138 overly drawn out moments, to be exact. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
69% Beautiful Boy (2018) Stellar performances have difficulty breaking through the excruciatingly glum cycle of addiction, recovery and relapse. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) It's a film that skates on the surface of brilliance, but doesn't quite take the plunge into its bracing depths. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
90% A Star Is Born (2018) I'm usually the first to ask, "Do we really need another reboot?" But in the case of this spectacular cinematic event, the answer is a passionate "Yes! Yes! Oh YES!" - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2018
93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Robert Redford goes out in a blaze of story. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2018
81% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) This could be Moore's best effort yet. His passionately presented message that democracy won't save us, we must save democracy, might even resonate across the aisle. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
14% Life Itself (2018) A slow and sappy slog through every emotionally manipulative device known to filmkind. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
32% The Predator (2018) Instead of a franchise reboot, it's more of a rebirth, with quippy, quirky characters, cartoon/video game violence and a Swiss cheese plot that doesn't grate because the film is actually (dare I say it?) kind of fun. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
85% A Simple Favor (2018) ...a bubbly blend of noir, humor, style and suspense. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018