Marjorie Baumgarten

Marjorie Baumgarten
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 94% Nomadland (2021) McDormand turns Fern into a great protagonist, but she lacks narrative direction. By the end, Nomadland frustratingly wanders off the edge of the map. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2021
3.5/5 No Score Yet American Job (1996) Director Chris Smith manages to situate the film within a mixture of tones -- it is simultaneously deadpan, stark, weird, realistic, provocative, and funny. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2021
3/5 97% The Reason I Jump (2021) The Reason I Jump will be revelatory for viewers who know little about the subject, and affirmative for caregivers and parents of children on the autism spectrum. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
3/5 97% Farewell Amor (2020) In her feature film debut, writer/director Msangi reveals the maturity of her storytelling talent and her strong aptitude for eliciting terrific performances from her actors. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
2.5/5 60% Sunset (Napszállta) (2019) Stripped of life-and-death consequences, Sunset never convinces us that its protagonist can sustain such unrelenting scrutiny. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2020
20% Stardust (2020) Even though Stardust is not coated in gossamer, the film still has some glittery moments. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2020
3.5/5 94% Kárhozat, (Damnation) (1988) Filmed in black & white during the waning days of the Soviet socialist occupation, Damnation is infused with a gloomy fatalism. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
2.5/5 84% Let Him Go (2020) The performances in Let Him Go are engrossing (even if the characters are a bit underdeveloped), but the film's gear change between mournfulness and madness is stuck in idle. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2020
3.5/5 86% On The Rocks (2020) The story is slight, but in Coppola's hands the film is infused with small moments that provide gateways to deeper emotions. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2020
2.5/5 84% The Way I See It (2020) Photographers, like writers, do not usually make the best film subjects. Director Dawn Porter, who also directed John Lewis: Good Trouble, doesn't find a good way around this. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
3/5 100% Our Time Machine (2020) Maleonn somehow finds an anchor of optimism amidst the situation, despite his father's steady memory decline. That, too, is part of this film's gift. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2020
3/5 90% King of the Ants (2003) The seamless performances and the story's quirky progression make King of the Ants an intriguing indie effort. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
3.5/5 88% Desert One (2020) Desert One does accomplish in shining a light on this epic national failure is to celebrate the American can-do spirit and a noble willingness to go down trying. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
3/5 98% The Last Tree (2020) Rich with technical strategies that enhance our view into Femi's emotions, The Last Tree uses slow-motion, diffused sound, and many Spike Lee-like camera shots to make the story extremely personal and unique. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
3/5 88% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) While the performances are total delights, there remains the nagging feeling that Kore-eda is not working at his peak. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2020
100% Losing Ground (1982) Part of the film's originality lies in its portrayal of black middle-class artists and academics. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
3.5/5 80% Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives (1992) Their oral recollections are informative, absorbing, funny and insightful and open the curtain for a closer look at hidden aspects of lesbian cultural history. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2020
2.5/5 49% Greed (2020) Despite the bright spots of humor provided by the film's game actors, Greed chintzes on unexpected barbs. Its satire hits every target but the film never aims at anything that doesn't already have a giant target on its back. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
3/5 84% Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2020) In most ways, the film is a conventional rock doc, a nostalgic and valorizing chronicle of a group's rise and fall. The Band is one group that deserves the deep dive. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
4/5 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) What the film excels at, however, is the anticipatory desire. It builds slowly, concluding with a stunning sequence that is all breathless remembrance and self-satisfaction that is both wordless and impalpable - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
3.5/5 92% The Assistant (2020) Making her feature debut after directing a couple of documentaries, Kitty Green sustains the story's pressure-cooker feel throughout. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet Becoming Leslie (2019) Like most portraits of icons, Becoming Leslie dips into hagiography, although the film does not seem as worshipful as it is surface-deep. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
3/5 85% Just Mercy (2020) Cretton's filmmaking technique is straightforward, but his lack of frills allows the viewer to soak in the emotions of every situation. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/5 68% Bombshell (2019) Bombshell's ultimate punch lands more like a spectacular bottle rocket than a scorching Molotov cocktail. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
3.5/5 83% Queen & Slim (2019) Queen & Slim artfully weaves together a lovers-on-the-lam crime story with very trenchant Black Lives Matter thematic content. It is a perfect movie for our times. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
4.5/5 94% Marriage Story (2019) [T]he keen observations and sharp wit of Marriage Story are likely to wed the audience to the film until death do us part. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/5 82% The Report (2019) [Scott Z.] Burns seems better positioned than most to straddle this intrinsic paradox concerning fact-based, politically charged dramas. However, in favoring datelines and details over personalities and concision, Burns does his film few favors. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
3/5 64% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Motherless Brooklyn may have no solid direction home, but it indeed walks the walk of a movie that knows the way. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
4/5 96% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Banderas creates a shadow image of Almodóvar, with similar hair and physique, without becoming a replica. It's a very controlled performance. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/5 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) As sequels go, Double Tap delivers the goods, but exists in a realm that feels more like a second serving than a new taste treat. It still tastes good, but nothing ever replicates the joy of the first bite. Just ask a zombie. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
58% In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) In the Shadow of the Moon comes up short in regard to the human angle. Still, there's enough mystery to pull the plot through, and all the technical aspects of the made-for-Netlix film are top tier. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
36% In the Tall Grass (2019) The performances are all solid, and writer/director [Vincenzo] Natali and cinematographer Craig Wrobleski wreaking fiendish menace from the grass jungle. Surely, they're not in Kansas anymore. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
3/5 67% Sister Aimee (2019) Sister Aimee is a scrappy period piece that supplants the things a bigger budget might have afforded with good choices about things that were under the filmmakers' control. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
2/5 53% American Dreamer (2019) Since none of the characters are terribly bright or likable, the experience of watching the film is like being trapped inside a locked car stuck in neutral. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
3.5/5 92% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) [Stanley] Nelson has gifted us with a thoughtful and rich profile which, like a fading note escaping from Davis' trumpet, leaves us wanting more. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
2.5/5 89% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Since [Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein] are a top-notch documentary duo with such probing films as The Celluloid Closet and The Times of Harvey Milk representative of their filmography, it's fair to have expected more from this music doc. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
3.5/5 50% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Although [Cate] Blanchett's performance seems a bit mannered and slightly reminiscent of her Oscar-winning performance in Blue Jasmine, these are hardly flaws when the outcome is so riveting. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
2.5/5 93% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) A Sixties survivor who by his own account has crossed lines the rest of us have yet to think of, [David] Crosby is indeed a living legend. However, he also remains a legend in his own mind. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
3/5 78% Pasolini (2019) Just as he did with 2018's At Eternity's Gate, in which he embodied the artist Vincent van Gogh, [Willem] Dafoe brilliantly captures the essence and a more-than-reasonable resemblance to the real figures. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
2.5/5 95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) The Peanut Butter Falcon may lack depth and subtlety, but you can always feel the beat of its heart. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
3/5 64% The Mountain (2019) The Mountain has productive veins of ore for those willing to mine it. But be aware that finding gems will require sweat equity. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
3/5 77% The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) Despite the abundance and thoroughness of the historical research and on-camera interviews, the film never fully completes its picture of [Moe] Berg. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
2.5/5 79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) The film should lure in all Cohen-heads, but it doesn't color outside its two-person narrative, which only exists because one of the two is famous. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
No Score Yet Crocodile (1979) One of the daft selling points of the Thai-Philippine co-production is that it is one of the most inept monster movies ever made. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
2.5/5 90% Echo In the Canyon (2019) Despite the obvious shortcomings, Echo in the Canyon should please fans of the music, as well as newcomers to the sound who are experiencing it fresh. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
4/5 92% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) The Last Black Man in San Francisco offers the perspective of residents who are embedded in the here and now rather than those who have only recently arrived looking for something better. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/5 42% The Tomorrow Man (2019) The Tomorrow Man gives off a feeling of having seen it all before. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
2/5 72% All Is True (2019) Apart from fleeting pleasures, All Is True is mostly a goodie bag stuffed for Shakespeare completists. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2.5/5 79% Photograph (2019) The film's small, quiet moments are its most alluring feature, although it's possible the film may ultimately be too quiet for its own good. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
2.5/5 68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) The film's plot is either too much or too little. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019