Mel Campbell

Mel Campbell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Mel Campbell is a freelance cultural critic, author and commentator from Melbourne, Australia. Mel co-hosted The Rereaders podcast (2016-18), was a Melbourne International Film Festival preview panellist (2012-14), was national film editor at The Thousands (2008-13), and co-founded pop-culture website The Enthusiast (2008-14). Mel's writing on film, television, fashion, literature and media has appeared at Screenhub, Junkee, The Guardian, Metro, The Age, The Big Issue, Crikey, i-D and many more. She is currently a columnist at Overland literary journal and teaches in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. She has co-written two romantic comedy novels with fellow film critic Anthony Morris: Nailed It! (2019) and The Hot Guy (2017); her first book was the nonfiction investigation Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit (2013). She tweets at @incrediblemelk and her personal website is The Look: reviews and essays about film, TV, clothes and history.
Publications: Junkee, ScreenHub, The Look

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Entropy has crept into JK Rowling's wizarding world... but perhaps it was never meant to sustain grown-up stories. - The Look EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
83% The Age of Innocence (1993) The Age of Innocence is vivid, even feverish, in its sensuous focus on detail. - The Look EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
91% Widows (2018) Every day, women are robbed of respect, independence and opportunity... but Steve McQueen's thriller satisfyingly shows them taking it back. - The Look EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
72% Ready Player One (2018) Well crafted and fun to watch. Spielberg fans adore his blockbuster films for good reason: they're masterclasses in visual suspense and witty action choreography...But there's a certain exuberance missing from the fantastical, motion-captured universe... - The Look EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2019
78% Atomic Blonde (2017) It's exhilarating to see Lorraine deliver vicious punches and kicks, using nearby objects to inflict damage. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2017
26% Table 19 (2017) I found Table 19 refreshing because it seeks the humanity of characters who would usually be the background colour in other movies. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2017
48% Going in Style (2017) Despite Going in Style's interest in aestheticising the past, its three main characters never have a very convincing shared history. They're likeable enough, but it's hard to care when they decide to break bad. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2017
18% CHIPS (2017) It's clearly struggling to be what it presumes its audience wants -- bawdy, violent, yet socially aware. But it fails because it lacks any real spark. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2017
43% Ghost in the Shell (2017) Despite its striking imagery of cultural hybridity, Ghost in the Shell opens a troubling conceptual gulf between's cyberpunk's utopian futurism and the nostalgic pragmatism of today's contemporary blockbusters. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2017
11% Fifty Shades Darker (2017) Darker is also funnier than Grey: both intentionally, as Dornan discovers a goofiness to match Johnson's deadpan wit; and inadvertently, as it consists largely of grandiose gestures and tin-eared dialogue. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2017
85% Lion (2016) Lion is a feel-good story that works best when it uses the visual language of cinema to map such inner worlds onto outer ones. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2017
94% The Edge of Seventeen (2016) The Edge of Seventeen is brilliant, and it also ruined my day. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
87% Jackie (2016) By immersing us in Jackie Kennedy's (Natalie Portman) subjective experience rather than observing her from the outside, Larraín gets closer than a traditional biopic to capturing an individual's capacity to shape history. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
31% Passengers (2016) Ultimately Passengers can't stay the course of its own cascading errors. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2017
91% Elle (2016) It asks us to consider how our emotional responses to the narrative depiction of sexual violence are themselves conditioned by rape culture. Catlike, Elle lands softly and lightly -- with its intriguing antiheroine firmly on her feet. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2016
73% The Secret Life of Pets (2016) Kids will enjoy it because its air of barely controlled chaos never tips into anything genuinely scary. Adults will enjoy it because, under the one-liners, it understands the emotional power of nostalgia: a return to a place where you know you are loved. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2016
95% Sing Street (2016) Ultimately, this coexistence of joyful fantasy and dispiriting reality is what lifts Sing Street above the cheesiness of its premise. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2016
84% Hello, My Name is Doris (2016) This role is so perfect for Field -- she's famous for her ability to personify earnest gawkiness. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2016
18% Queen of the Desert (2017) Its melodrama is stodgy, its dialogue laugh-out-loud corny and its politics uncomfortably dated. I'm astounded that a director as idiosyncratic as Herzog could have made it. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2016
83% Midnight Special (2016) I haven't loved a film as viscerally as I love Midnight Special since I saw Whiplash. It's wonderful. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2016
95% The Jungle Book (2016) The story of this film is its consummate technical achievement. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2016
44% Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) Feels as if it's trying to have an each-way bet: its two constituent elements never really mesh satisfyingly and horror fans may be disappointed. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2016
46% How To Be Single (2016) Neither as bawdy as its marketing promises, nor as inspirational as its title suggests. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2016
86% Steve Jobs (2015) This screenplay is staggeringly lazy. It's factually incorrect in almost every way, consisting of self-satisfied, expository patter and cringingly simplistic characterisation. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2016
84% Deadpool (2016) Given how feebly some superhero films struggle under their own weight, Deadpool is impressively nimble. And it pulls off its relentless self-reference with a confidence that's solidly entertaining, even if it isn't always endearing. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2016
11% Dirty Grandpa (2016) I believe very few films are a genuine waste of time. Even the biggest turkey is worth discussing. But Dirty Grandpa really challenged me. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2016
73% Suffragette (2015) Suffragette is vividly made enough that even if it glosses the full breadth of the suffrage movement, it still introduces viewers to the history of women's activism, and gets them intrigued enough to want to learn more. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2016
76% The Good Dinosaur (2015) In 2015, for the first time in the company's history, Pixar released two films. One of them was wonderful. The other was The Good Dinosaur. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2016
93% 99 Homes (2015) A powerfully affecting modern tragedy. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2015
70% The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015) In remaining slavishly faithful to its source novel, Mockingjay Part 2 comes across as weary and dragging, ensuring that only loyal fans will really be satisfied. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2015
63% Spectre (2015) Perhaps Bond is overdue for some introspection; but tiresomely, Spectre fumbles the source of his angst. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2015
69% The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) Mockingjay Part 1's biggest problem is that it really feels like half a movie. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2015
35% Labor Day (2014) The fantasy it presents is easy to mock, but delicious all the same. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2015
94% Her (2013) I adored Her because it tells a story of technology using the DNA of a love affair: longing, flirtation, disappointment, delirious lust, contentment, jealousy, heartbreak and confusion. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2015
66% Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) The machinery of this franchise already seems to be breaking down. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2015
30% Machete Kills (2013) "Machete will return in: Machete Kills!" boomed the gritty voiceover dude at the end of Robert Rodriguez's 2010 Mexploitation parody. Three years later, we're reminded that it was a threat, not a promise. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2015
72% Pacific Rim (2013) It's brilliant. I couldn't keep the smile off my face the whole way home. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2015
73% Crimson Peak (2015) This film just flounders helplessly in its own elaborate universe. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2015
93% Whiplash (2014) It's a musical, a sports movie and an 'inspirational teacher' movie rolled into one -- and it subverts the clichés of all those genres. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
No Score Yet Graceful Girls (2015) Graceful Girls is beautifully shot, structured and paced. It's full of lipstick, chiffon, diamantes, sweaty rehearsal montages and a tense final act at the championships. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
69% The Nightmare (2015) This experiment is frustratingly flat and superficial: a mishmash of a horror movie a and shrink appointment that never really terrifies, nor delves into the cross-cultural and psychological aspects of the affliction. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2015
24% Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Unexpectedly delightful. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2015
20% Aloha (2015) The plot is a mess. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2015
60% Ruben Guthrie (2015) Perhaps Ruben Guthrie makes more sense if you watch it while drunk. Being sober, I loathed it. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2015
83% Ant-Man (2015) Ant-Man is entertaining because it uses big-movie tricks without big-movie hyperbole. - Junkee EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2015