Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/4 25% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) While Howard does his best to scrub the book's political posturing, it still reeks of the most insidious kind of classism, leaving behind a bland and lifeless film that has little to say. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2020
87% Monsoon (2020) Hong's languid sense of pacing lends this 85-minute film an uncommon grace and helps build understated power, exploring a lifetime's worth of longing and uncertainty in the most fleeting of encounters. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2020
3/4 No Score Yet Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City Without Jews) (2014) Its touches of German Expressionist inspiration and topical boldness make it a must-watch for silent film enthusiasts. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
89% Hyènes (Hyenas) (1992) A haunting, dreamlike, often absurd morality play, told with roguish mischievousness that only Mambéty could conjure. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2020
2/4 No Score Yet Tennessee Johnson (1942) Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that Tennessee Johnson basically gets the heroes and villains of this story completely flip-flopped, it's also extremely dull, representing the worst of MGM's glossy prestige drama instincts. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
4/4 84% Taste of Cherry (Ta'm e Guilass) (1998) Attains a kind of haunting mysticism, profoundly shifting the audience's perception of reality. It's Kiarostami's finest work, and one of the best films of the 1990s. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
3/4 88% Sergeant York (1941) Clearly American wartime propaganda...but Cooper's understated performance grounds the film and delivers some solid emotional moments in a film that desperately needs some tightening. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
3/4 92% Reversal of Fortune (1990) As distant and icy as Jeremy Irons' Oscar-winning performance as suspected murderer Claus von Bülow, but like Irons' inscrutable steeliness, it's also endlessly compelling. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
3.5/4 100% The Mortal Storm (1940) A harrowing and clear-eyed depiction of the Nazi threat, featuring strong turns by Sullavan, Stewart, and especially Frank Morgan. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
3/4 46% Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) An acidic, gleefully misanthropic comedy that pulls no punches in its razor-sharp satire of beauty pageant drama. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
3.5/4 86% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Not only is it deeply funny, it's also disarmingly moving - a damning yet hopeful portrait of America in 2020 that leaves us feeling that maybe, just maybe, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
29% The War with Grandpa (2020) Put simply, there's a reason The War with Grandpa sat on the shelf for three years. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
3/4 71% Tenet (2020) An often electrifying grand scale thriller that tackles bold structural concepts, but its execution is a decidedly mixed bag. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2020
100% All In: The Fight for Democracy (2020) While All In succeeds as a piece of inoffensive agitprop, it ultimately comes up short as a film - it makes no waves and leaves no strong impressions on the viewer. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2020
90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Sorkin is as unsubtle as ever, but the high dramatics and contemporaneous relevance of The Trial of the Chicago 7 make for a nice fit with the writer-director's showman instincts. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
3/4 80% Without Love (1945) So droll and casually paced that it often seems to disappear within itself, but the care with which director Harold S. Bucquet treats the central relationship is apparent, and Tracy and Hepburn consistently shine. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
2/4 84% Pat and Mike (1952) Coming hot on the heels of Adam's Rib (1949), one of their most successful comedies, Pat and Mike feels a bit tired, and its lackadaisical pacing feeds into the general sense of ennui. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
2/4 34% Michael (1996) An unfocused mess that, despite a few highlights, is one of Ephron's weakest films. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
95% Beans (2020) Oddly listless and dramatically inert, leaving the unfortunate impression that the Mohawk uprising and its enduring legacy deserve a film that offers more than good intentions. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2020
100% 76 Days (2020) This film is the kind of indispensable historical document that could one day be viewed as one of the essential texts of the era. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2020
53% Joe Bell (2021) Queer cinema for straight people, designed to make them feel good about their allyship by using gay people as tragic martyrs to teach heteros a lesson in tolerance. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2020
3.5/4 85% The Hole (Dong) (2020) Tsai's Kafakaesque existential nightmare turns quarantine into a uniquely harrowing love story, its digressions into abstraction in turn terrifying and rapturous. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2020
2.5/4 96% Class Action Park (2020) Its tonal shifts are often dizzying and don't seem to treat the subject with the gravity that it deserves. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2020
87% Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020) A disturbing and complex critique of the very thing it's accused of celebrating, anchored by a strong central performance and a deep sense of empathy for victims. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2020
3.5/4 100% Toni (1934) Renoir at his most class conscious, subverting the narrative of opportunity for all and laying bare the hypocrisies of capitalism. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2020
2/4 94% Boys State (2020) Functions as an indictment of our entire political system, and its lofty aspirations to finding a few diamonds in the rough are not enough to hide the fact that it paints an unrelentingly bleak portrait of American capitalism. - In Review Online EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
3/4 86% Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) Truly one of the most beautiful films of the 1950s, and it's a pleasure to watch Berkeley indulge his more expressionistic tendencies with a full palate of breathtaking color. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2020
2.5/4 100% Girl Crazy (1943) Berkeley was fired from the film after choreographic the "I Got Rhythm" finale, and as a result the film never quite achieves the same effortless charm his earlier collaborations between Rooney and Garland - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2020
3/4 100% The Cameraman (1928) An important missing piece in Keaton's oeuvre, but it represents a turning point in his career from which he would never recover. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2020
4/4 97% Come and See (Idi i smotri) (1985) An unrelenting experience, yet it's filled with a kind of grim, haunting beauty that's hard to shake, recalling Tarkovsky almost religious sense of weight in its remarkable evocation of horror and utter despair. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2020
3/4 88% Romance on the High Seas (1948) An easy-going crowd pleaser, and it's easy to see why Day became such a huge star - her effervescent, folksy charm feels almost effortless. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2020
3.5/4 No Score Yet Strike Up the Band (1940) Rooney and Garland are full of effervescent charm, and Berkeley delivers some of his strongest numbers of his MGM period. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2020
0/4 No Score Yet Child Bride (1938) When the camera begins to leer at young Shirley Mills from the POV of her pedophilic suitor, the film ceases to be a goofy grindhouse curio and becomes something truly, darkly exploitative. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
2.5/4 No Score Yet Tomorrow's Children (1934) As a melodrama it's actually one of the most engaging exploitation films of the period. The performances are universally strong, and the film feels less like an amateur production and more like an actual film." - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
2/4 No Score Yet Narcotic (1937) Of all of Dwain Esper's moralistic exploitation films of the 1930s, Narcotic is perhaps the "best," although I use that term loosely because you know going in basically what you're going to get here. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
1/4 No Score Yet Marihuana (1936) Has the distinction of being one of the most unintentionally hilarious of these sanctimonious "issues of today" films of the period due to the sheer outlandishness of its plot. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
3.5/4 94% Yourself and Yours (2020) One of Hong's most lovingly nuanced works, a film filled with longing and regret that finds great beauty in the in-between moments. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2020
3.5/5 82% Hill of Freedom (Jayuui Eondeok) (2020) Hong guides this small-scale wonder with a hint of mischief and a knack for deconstructing narratives and reconstructing them into something new and wonderful. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2020
3/4 92% The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) With no musical score to guide the audience, we're often left adrift in Igor's madhouse, conjuring up some truly haunting imagery that has been beautifully restored on the new Blu-Ray from Warner Archive. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2020
3.5/4 100% Spring Night, Summer Night (1970) The resurrection of an important piece of American independent cinema, a jagged, piercing look at small town life and the ruinous effects of economic depression that feels more relevant than ever. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2020
3.5/4 93% Da 5 Bloods (2020) Not only a powerful, elegiac tribute for the black soldiers who served in Vietnam, but a haunting and complex examination of the war's dark legacy, both for America and for people of Vietnam. - The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2020
3.5/4 74% The King of Staten Island (2020) Disarmingly strong; a perceptive and smartly written love letter to Davidson's family that feels like a comedic revelation. - The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2020
2.5/4 98% Fourteen (2020) Consistently filled with wise insights into the nature of human connections and the general ennui of millennial life, seeking stability where there is none to be found. - The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2020
3/4 88% AKA Jane Roe (2020) As fascinating, as frustrating, and as full of life as she was. It's a moving, must-watch experience. - The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2020
3.5/4 55% Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) The golden version gives the film a heated, otherworldly quality, as if its characters are wondering around in some sort of erotic dream, lost in a tangled web of their own unexplored desires. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
3/4 100% Blood on the Moon (1948) Mitchum manages to find a sense of moral ambiguity to his amoral gunslinger that elevates the film above your typical western B-movie. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
3/4 87% Spaceship Earth (2020) A mildly diverting documentary that makes for some intriguing quarantine viewing, painting a big picture but ultimately failing to ask big questions. - The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
2/4 38% Downhill (2020) Takes a troubling and uncomfortable study of human relationships and turns it into mildly entertaining sitcom. - The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2020
3.5/4 100% The Golem (Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam) (1920) Remains one of the most beautifully designed and evocative films of its time, and it hasn't lost any of its eerie luster in the century since its release. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2020
2.5/4 88% Tartuffe (1925) Murnau is, of course, an incredible visual stylist, and the golden-tinted hues of Karl Freund's cinematography are often breathtaking. But Tartuffe is ultimately one of Murnau's minor works. - From the Front Row EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2020