Mark Asch

Mark Asch

Agrees with the Tomatometer 88% of the time.

Mark Asch's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Film Comment Magazine, Stop Smiling, Brooklyn Magazine

Movie Reviews Only

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
No Score Yet

Country Wedding (Sveitabrúðkaup) (2008)

"Country Wedding invites more than a dozen of Iceland's best-known contemporary actors to one place, and loads them up with repressed sexual yearnings, violent urges, buried secrets, feuds, affairs, and general mayhem." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Oct 18, 2016
No Score Yet

The Oath (2016)

"For all its high-gloss proficiency, the payoff The Oath delivers is a bleak one, an emotionally draining summation of the film's take on fathers and daughters, love and control." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Oct 11, 2016

Noi the Albino (Nói albínói) (2003)

"One of the best of all Icelandic films." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Aug 15, 2016
No Score Yet

Remote Control (Sódóma Reykjavík) (1992)

"The film's depiction of fractured families and chance encounters, of bored overgrown kids filling their leisure time with booze and fireworks, shows an authentic fascination with the specifically urban lifestyle developing in 101 Reykjavík." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Aug 4, 2016

The Childhood of a Leader (2016)

"It's to the film's credit that, for long passages, The Childhood of a Leader feels more mysterious and nuanced than its central allegory" ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Jul 21, 2016
No Score Yet

Stella on Holiday (Stella i orlofi) (1986)

"This deceptively antic farce about a housewife accidentally bringing a Swedish alcoholic to a summer cottage remains perhaps the most beloved of Icelandic films." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jul 18, 2016
No Score Yet

Rock In Reykjavik (1983)

"Rokk í Reykjavík captures the ascendancy of a generation of young Icelanders taking American and British influences for granted, and moving beyond them to forge a pop culture parallel to international trends, while still authentically local." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jul 7, 2016

The Missing Picture (2014)

"This account of a genocide takes on a daring beauty, giving Panh's lost family, and millions of others, a dignity in their victimhood." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Mistaken for Strangers (2014)

"The film becomes a document of its, and Tom's, salvaging." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Tom at the Farm (2015)

"Motivations weaken as the third act goes psychodrama, but Dolan's direction is stylish, his little flourishes of virtuosity complicating but not compromising the tone of implication." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016
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Walking Under Water (2014)

"What mostly stands out is the diving photography: you've never seen so many shades of blue, from the steely gray clouds to the electric transparency of the ocean's surface when the camera looks up at the sun through a funnel of fish." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Jauja (2015)

"An intellectually stimulating, dreamy shaggy-dog story." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016
No Score Yet

Zerrumpelt Herz (2014)

"Supposedly based on an (actually spurious) unsolved mystery, this German film sustains an atmosphere of obscure expectation and spiritual portent." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Art and Craft (2014)

"While observing the ease with which the suggestion of largesse will open art-world doors, the film is less a meditation on creativity and originality than a sympathetic character portrait." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016
No Score Yet

Land and Sons (Land og synir) (1980)

"Land and Sons' is ground zero for Icelandic cinema because the themes animating the film -- tradition and change, rural heritage and the lure of urban modernity -- continue to reverberate through Icelandic culture in an unwavering tone." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016
No Score Yet

Albatross (2015)

"If Albatross is ultimately a modest addition to the dude-fighting-his-inertia genre, it's all the more likeable, earnest and grounded for it." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016
No Score Yet

Keep Frozen (2016)

"The film remains, in its way, quite patriotic. The title Keep Frozen comes from the instructions on each box of frozen fish, but it may also suggest an imperative for Iceland to retain some close, frosty national spirit: Stay cold, ponyboy." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) (2016)

"The actors give strong performances, finding a credible individuality in frankly impossible roles." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Future My Love (2012)

"In this loopy, lovely film, Borg muses on the rational future, and our irrational attachments to the past." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Rams (Hrútar) (2016)

"The brothers' connection to their sheep -- Gummi talks so lovingly to his prize ram, using endearments you suspect he's never said to another human -- is touching, and the subject of some of the film's rawest emotion." ‐ Reykjavík Grapevine
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Breaking A Monster (2016)

"A tense glimpse of the limits of precocity and into the retro teen-idol grooming, viral brand-building and cavernous infrastructure of the remnants of the music industry." ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Jun 23, 2016

Jia Zhangke, a Guy from Fenyang (2016)

"Interesting and valuable for its sense of Jia at low-key ease in almost incomprehensibly different worlds, among aunties, accountants and artists." ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted May 26, 2016

Pervert Park (2015)

"For degree of difficulty-as a social problem, a filmmaking subject, and a test of the viewer's emotional equilibrium-it's hard to beat Pervert Park." ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted May 20, 2016

The Wrestler (2008)

"A quarter-century (and, one senses, a lot longer in Rourke Years) since he pulled the popcorn-bag trick on Carol Heathrow and then talked his way back into her good graces, we'll still forgive Mickey Rourke anything." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted May 17, 2016

In the Loop (2009)

"Some have found In the Loop shallow for detaching its fevered gamesmanship from actual reasoning or consequences -- but isn't it rather chilling, how easy it is for the loop to form in a vacuum?" ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted May 17, 2016

Humpday (2009)

"Humpday works because... its moments of truth and familiarity aren't isolated." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted May 17, 2016

500 Days of Summer (2009)

"Similar taste in stuff, it seems, is not reason enough to love a movie." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted May 17, 2016

Under the Cherry Moon (1986)

"An inspired, delightful piece of cinema-pure cloudcuckooland escapism, and very much of a piece with Prince's genius." ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Apr 26, 2016

H. (2014)

"both grounded and deliberate, always anticipatory, aware of how it's doing what it's doing even as the why remains a mystery" ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Apr 19, 2016

Louder Than Bombs (2016)

"Moment to moment, it buzzes with excitement." ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Apr 19, 2016

Actor Martinez (2016)

"One of the more interesting American independent films of the moment-transparent in its artifice, and artificial in its transparency." ‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Apr 19, 2016

Goodbye Solo (2009)

"Goodbye Solo feels lived-in rather than forced upon us. Bahrani, who is his own editor, and regular DP Michael Simmonds have a sad, solitary, streetlamp-lit feel for night-shift rhythms." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Sep 29, 2015

Sin Nombre (2009)

"Sin Nombre still leaves an acrid aftertaste." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Sep 29, 2015

Tokyo Sonata (Tokyo Sonata) (2009)

"The family is just one of the nuclear units on the brink of systemic collapse in Kurosawa's mordant contemporary opus, which... builds up an edifice of wit around tragedy." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Sep 29, 2015

The Love Guru (2008)

"The Love Guru just feels lazy, filling time with jokes about Celine Dion, Oprah Winfrey, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Myers and Kanye West's Katrina telethon appearance -- essentially, inside jokes for everyone in the world with cable." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Jul 29, 2015

Get Smart (2008)

"The movie is hurt more than helped by having to carry over character names and shoehorn in the show's greatest hits, Carell and Hathaway's rhythm faltering with every recycled catchphrase." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Jul 29, 2015

You Don't Mess With the Zohan (2008)

"It's perhaps not much of a schtick, but it's a cohesive schtick, with the sub-schticks of the entire cast well integrated in support and counterpoint." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Jul 29, 2015
3/5 52%

Tokyo Tribe (2015)

"With its gonzo martial artistry, hip-hop performance, hyper-stylised cinematography and production design, and brazenly dumb throwaway gags, the film is often almost as fun as it sounds." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted May 26, 2015
5/5 95%

National Gallery (2014)

"One of cinema's Old Masters returns with this poetic and profound dissection of art and storytelling." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted Jan 8, 2015

The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

"Given the film's timestamp and the illusory nature of Chelsea's transacted affections, she may be the Aughties bubble economy incarnate." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Oct 1, 2014

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

"Sweeney Todd is maybe a bit too Grand for its own good. It's all danse, no macabre." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Sep 30, 2014

Diary of the Dead (2007)

"One needn't be a splatter junkie to miss Romero's marshalling of action across multiple theaters. But the maestro finds a way to slay intellectual and aesthetic antsiness with the same bullet." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Sep 30, 2014
4/5 100%

Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

"At once analytical and open-ended about the workings of political power." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted Sep 25, 2014

Un Conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale) (2008)

"Given his cornucopia of characters fighting wars on three fronts, his whiplash tonal switchbacks, his jazzlike aesthetic of chance, how is it that Arnaud Desplechin is only now coming home for the holidays?" ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Jul 8, 2014
4/5 92%

A Farewell to Arms (1932)

"Borzage effaces his leading man completely - what must Hemingway have thought? - the better to conflate passion and passivity, and you're borne right along." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted May 29, 2014
5/5 98%

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

"It is both Christian parable and folk tale, with its hymns, homilies, and orphans carried to safety by nature's benevolence; but it is also grounded in the social concerns of its makers." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted Jan 16, 2014
4/5 99%

The Missing Picture (2014)

"Panh's daring aestheticisation works, transcending the normal genre boundaries confining both personal and political histories." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted Jan 2, 2014

Southland Tales (2007)

"As in Kelly's previous film, Southland's flaws, and its scope, are magnificently earnest; the guy is in way over his head, but his flailing is extravagant." ‐ Stop Smiling
Posted Dec 16, 2013
4/5 90%

Silence (2013)

"The best cinematic portrayal of a man recording silence since that scene in 24 Hour Party People." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted Aug 8, 2013
3/5 98%

Beware Of Mr. Baker (2012)

"An interesting character study interspersed with classic rock, jazz and Afrobeat clips. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less." ‐ Little White Lies
Posted May 16, 2013
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