Mark Asch

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

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
93% High Flying Bird (2019) A film abuzz with topicality, balancing perspectives on black identity and its link to entrepreneurship, personal branding, and "storytelling." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
100% The Juniper Tree (1990) Keene is doing the right kind of critical revisionism-reframing the uncanny, contorted alien logic of folktales within a politically updated dynamic, offering her own interpretation of an old story while honoring its lingering richness. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
5/5 70% The Mule (2018) The retro pandering of The Mule is so clunky it's poignant. - Little White Lies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
96% Bisbee '17 (2018) Bisbee '17 speaks to the stakes of local history and amateur genealogy for places and people that are twinkling out of living memory. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
4/5 82% Distant Constellation (2018) Mizrahi's circumscribed scope gives the film focus and density. - Little White Lies EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2018
93% Araby (Arábia) (2018) It's a life out of an outlaw country song, with the spaces between the notes expressing working-class yearning-not least for the lost promise of Brazil's stalled socialist project. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
23% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) Stone, Skarlatos, and Sadler's simulation of their own genuine lifelong friendship is notably unconvincing, full of camera-shy gravelly-voiced diffidence and hilariously basic half-speed evocations of everyday interactions. - Reverse Shot EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
89% Eastern Promises (2007) Knight throws in a twist that scrambles the movie's moral compass so late in the game, so perfunctorily and so pointlessly, as to render any final reckoning incoherent. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2017
52% Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) What, really, is so progressive about jockish games of yeah-dude-I-just-went-there - especially as played by guys whose views of women are stuck in high school gym class? - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2017
68% Pineapple Express (2008) The party got out of hand towards the end, and we probably should have booked out before we got too tired. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2017
68% Away We Go (2009) In this movie about finding a place to call home, the final destination is telegraphed almost immediately - and it's a postcard spot that looks as artificial as the conflict that got us there. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2017
84% Pontypool (2009) Pontypool's very resonant, localized fright, is to make sense of - to define - the inexplicable. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2017
94% All This Panic (2017) All This Panic feels very short at 79 minutes, but that's quite appropriate for a film which takes seriously the way 17-year-olds can feel nostalgia for their youth. - Brooklyn Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2017
No Score Yet The Show About the Show (2017) Forcing his motives, conflicts and compromises (all of them!) out into the open as he does, Zahedi invites viewers to layer on more of their own. - Brooklyn Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2017
95% Cold Fever (1996) Whether you've never been to Iceland, or are totally over it, watching Cold Fever'you'll understand what it feels like to be lost in translation. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2017
89% 101 Reykjavik (2001) 101 Reykjavík feels contemporary: fifteen-odd years along, the crush at Kaffibarinn hasn't abated, though there's fewer Awesomely 90s Britpop haircuts and jumpers to be seen these days. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2016
96% Old Stone (Lao Shi) (2016) The whole film ends in a beautifully orchestrated illustration of zero-sum socioeconomics and tragi-cosmic caprice. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2016
86% Kamikaze '89 (1983) The production design... is jaw-dropping for the full 100-odd minutes. - Brooklyn Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2016
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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2016
75% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2016
87% Noi the Albino (Nói albínói) (2003) One of the best of all Icelandic films. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2016
89% 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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2016
99% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
92% Mistaken for Strangers (2014) The film becomes a document of its, and Tom's, salvaging. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
79% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
No Score Yet 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
89% Jauja (2015) An intellectually stimulating, dreamy shaggy-dog story. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
91% 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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
82% Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) (2016) The actors give strong performances, finding a credible individuality in frankly impossible roles. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
63% Future My Love (2012) In this loopy, lovely film, Borg muses on the rational future, and our irrational attachments to the past. - Reykjavík Grapevine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
95% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
100% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2016
82% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2016
100% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2016
98% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2016
94% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2016
79% Humpday (2009) Humpday works because... its moments of truth and familiarity aren't isolated. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2016
85% 500 Days of Summer (2009) Similar taste in stuff, it seems, is not reason enough to love a movie. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2016
34% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2016
88% 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 EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2016
74% Louder Than Bombs (2016) Moment to moment, it buzzes with excitement. - Brooklyn Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2016
81% Actor Martinez (2017) One of the more interesting American independent films of the moment-transparent in its artifice, and artificial in its transparency. - Brooklyn Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2016
41% Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009) [Brief Interviews] is within the limits of the medium, a rigorous record of the process of thought. - Stop Smiling EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2015