Matthew Monagle

Matthew Monagle
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Matthew is a Texas-based film critic and tabletop aficionado. You can find his writing wherever people argue about movies online. He is also the co-host of Certified Forgotten, a podcast about the best horror movies of the 21st Century that fell through the cracks.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 68% Wrath of Man (2021) Unsurprisingly, this stripped-down soundtrack serves as the perfect counterpoint for Ritchie's direction, adding an element of the funereal to even the most visceral action sequence. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2021
4/5 93% Limbo (2021) Limbo may be a smiling teardown of any society that actively facilitates the deportation of its most vulnerable inhabitants, but there's a wildness in the film's eyes... that betrays the political message underneath. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2021
1/5 23% The Rookies (2021) If filmmakers use posters as a way of nodding to their influences, then the bar for The Rookies seems to be set especially low. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2021
2/5 27% The Unholy (2021) It's a credit to Brown, Morgan, and Sadler that the story works at all. These actors maintain the illusion that The Unholy is a competent horror movie for far longer than it deserves. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
91% Here Before (2021) The slow twists and turns of Stacey Gregg's Here Before are almost radical in their treatment of grief on screen. - Film School Rejects EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
2/5 51% City of Lies (2018) City of Lies is more James Ellroy than docudrama, resulting in a tired police thriller that hitched its wagon to an untenable star. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
86% The Feast (2021) For as enjoyable as it is to watch the walls close in around Glenda and her family, it is the payoff itself that falls flat for The Feast. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2021
63% Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break (2021) It's Falling Down by way of Little Miss Sunshine, a movie that never lets its vengeance narrative outpace a cast of eccentric characters - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
82% Kid Candidate (2021) Director Jasmine Stodel uses Pedigo as an excuse to pull back the curtain on Amarillo, exploring the decades of gentrification that lead so many in the city to suffer. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
2.5/5.0 83% Gaia (2021) Gaia does not owe us all the answers, but the gap between concept and execution leaves many of the movie's best ideas unmoored. - WhatToWatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
67% The End of Us (2021) The End of Us delights in reminding us of the early days of COVID, cycling through shared cultural experiences with all the subtlety of an Ernest Cline novel. - WhatToWatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
80% The Lost Sons (2021) If we judge The Other Sons on the facts alone, then it is a work of mind-bending true crime on par with Three Identical Strangers or The Imposter. - Film School Rejects EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2021
4/5 98% The Father (2021) It is a credit to the performance that we are never entirely sure how much Anthony understands at any given moment. The line between righteous indignation and self-preservation has been completely blurred. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
3.5/5 90% The Vigil (2021) It dares to look forward, finding a future for Yakov that merges his two identities - religious and secular - and suggests a path back into the light. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
6.8/10 52% Silk Road (2021) In peak bad-husband mode as always, Clarke turns a middling cyberthriller into a fascinating exploration of ageism in the workplace. - WhatToWatch EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
3/5 83% Truth to Power (2021) Tankian has crafted a movie with an overt political ideology and cast himself as the well-intentioned face of a cultural revolution. But none of this takes away from the issues at the center of the film. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2021
2.5/5 79% Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Had the creative team sharpened the focus just a little - and perhaps cast someone a bit more charismatic than, well, whatever it is that Jamie Dornan is doing - there's a chance Barb and Star could've been a Popstar-esque revelation for these characters - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
2/5 45% The Little Things (2021) Whatever points The Little Things scores for a morally ambiguous ending are washed away in the hours it takes to get there. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
2.5/5 34% No Man's Land (2021) If Roger Ebert was right and cinema is a machine that generates empathy, then for all its uneven steps, No Man's Land may worm its way into the hearts of Americans who see Mexico as a supporting character (or worse) in our grand narrative. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2021
3/5 78% Greenland (2020) Greenland might be a B-movie at heart, but in keeping at least one toe on the ground at all times, the filmmakers craft something that punches well above its weight class. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
2.5/5 36% Ip Man: Kung Fu Master (2020) For every moment when director Liming Li successfully balances stunts and storytelling, there are dozens more where Kung Fu Master succumbs to its broader elements or its pull towards nationalist cinema. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
2/5 29% Vanguard (2020) Even a forgetful Jackie Chan movie is still a Jackie Chan movie worth seeking out. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
2.5/5 50% Attack of the Demons (2019) Power's film is a fascinating slice of Nineties nostalgia viewed through a cardboard lens. But when the bodies hit the floor, you will wish for a little three-dimensional storytelling in this two-dimensional world. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
1.5/5 60% Escape from Extinction (2020) This film may shed significant insight into zoological conservation efforts, but there is never any question of which institutions benefit the most from its version of history. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
3.5/5 63% The Secrets We Keep (2020) The Secrets We Keep blends the best of B-movie thrillers and black box theatre. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
3/5 100% Push (2019) It may not be the filmmakers' fault, but Push feels like a time capsule, an acknowledgment of how bad things were even before they got so, so much worse. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
3/5 94% Critical Thinking (2020) [It] captures the appeal of chess without defaulting to a white perspective of these students. It may be overly familiar at times, but just like the game of chess itself, sometimes it's the smallest moves that end up making the biggest difference. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2020
B 35% The New Mutants (2020) If New Mutants is any indication, the future is bright for young adult horror, even when that future is being carved out of the husk of billion-dollar properties. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
3/5 50% The Pale Door (2020) As a B-horror movie, The Pale Door holds its own. As a Western, however, the film struggles. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2020
3/5 89% Sputnik (2020) There is no denying that Sputnik is a work of incredible craftsmanship and a unique spin on a brand of Eighties science fiction. But without more believable character arcs, Sputnik loses the very human element it seems so determined to save. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2020
3/5 69% Cut Throat City (2020) There is a shorter version of Cut Throat City - one that better blends conspiracy and violence - that would elevate RZA's film. In the end, the film, like the bank robbers it follows, leaves just a little too much money on the table. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
3.5/5 100% In My Blood It Runs (2019) While the film may lack the conventional sociopolitical framework needed to locate it in the broader Australian experience, Newell and her subjects are a constant source of empathy and education. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2020
4/5 98% Fourteen (2020) There's nothing in Fourteen that moviegoers have not seen before, but the empathetic performances by both Medel and Kuhling make this a journey worth taking. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
1.5/5 No Score Yet A Clear Shot (2020) The whole thing might've held together with more consistent character work. Ignoring the suggestion that the 63-year-old actor might be playing an inexperienced cop, the elder Van Peebles brings plenty of heft to a middling character. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
3.5/5 100% Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (2020) The fact that Carroll and her crew choose to focus on the individual makes for a more engaging narrative, but the lack of broader context sometimes feels like a missed opportunity. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2020
3.5/5 90% Blood Quantum (2020) Barnaby's film rejects the default white gaze of so many horror films, choosing to tell a story through an unapologetically Indigenous lens. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
B- 97% Shithouse (2020) It's hard not to fall a little in love with Alex and Maggie as they let down their guard and open up about their college experiences. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
3.5/5 84% The Traitor (2020) There's a sharper film lurking somewhere insider... But those wanting a more detailed exploration of organized crime in Italy - and the mental trauma it inflicted on soldiers and civilians alike - would do well to make time for Bellocchio's latest. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
3/5 30% Bloodshot (2020) Bloodshot cannot help but be a cult classic in the making. This is Hollywood escapism at its finest at a time when we need it the most. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
3.5/5 83% The Way Back (2020) The Way Back spends most of its run time making the difficult decision, and the final few minutes of the film offer a moment of hope that both satisfies and feels at odds with the grounded storytelling of the first two acts. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
3/5 91% The Invisible Man (2020) As The Invisible Man pivots from horror to social commentary to action and, finally, to revenge, Moss' performance is what holds the entire film together. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
3/5 63% Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) It may not be particularly memorable, but in an era where family-friendly movies like Paddington can be a hit across all audiences, Sonic more than manages to hold its own. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
4/5 78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Even if Birds of Prey doesn't reinvent the wheel, it sure as hell gets it spinning. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
64% Gretel & Hansel (2020) This is Young Adult horror at its finest. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
C 75% The Gentlemen (2020) Ritchie's The Gentlemen proves he might be best served by walking away from the crime genre entirely. - The Playlist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
3/5 38% Black Christmas (2019) For all its political positioning and explorations of institutional violence, the thing that makes Black Christmas most endearing is the strength of its sisterhood. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
2/5 36% 6 Underground (2019) 6 Underground feels twice as disappointing for its early success. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/5 53% 21 Bridges (2019) Wrap those performances in a few half-decent plot points... and the film offers enough depth to justify the set-pieces and narrative twists and turns. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
1.5/5 52% Black and Blue (2019) Black and Blue's sins might be forgivable if it had taken some bigger swings with its politics or its fight choreography; but as it stands, this is little more than a direct-to-video construct with an A-list cast. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
4/5 90% The Lighthouse (2019) The Lighthouse an interesting movie; it's the performances that make it a good one. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019