Michael A. Smith

Michael A. Smith
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I started doing film reviews while a student at H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. I got a great deal of help from Tampa Times movie guru Steve Otto. I moved to Baltimore in 1982 and, on a whim, purchased a chance to attend a movie with then Baltimore Sun film critic Stephen Hunter from a PBS sponsored auction. The movie was "Beastmaster." Not the best, but the lunch and discussion afterwards was more then memorable. More then 20 years later, I'm proud to still think of Stephen as a friend and mentor. He is currently reviewing films for the Washington Post and recently won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism!
Favorites:
Jaws
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Official Websites: mediamikes.com/film-reviews/

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 63% Jungle Cruise (2021) Full of fun, with another winning performance by Dwayne Johnson - I think if he met me he and I would be best pals immediately - "Jungle Cruise" is the latest Disney attraction to become a feature film and, I must say, it's pretty darn entertaining. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2021
3.5/5 81% Black Widow (2021) Full of non-stop action and some self-depreciating humor, "Black Widow" is an origin story that attempts to inform viewers where Natasha (Johansson) came from and why she defected to the Avengers. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2021
66% Crisis (2021) Quibbles aside, "Crisis" is an enjoyable film and well recommended. - Moviehole EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2021
4/5 75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Sure, you could stay home this weekend and watch the basketball Final Four, or you can treat yourself to the Ultimate March Madness and see "Godzilla vs Kong!" - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2021
5/5 92% Tina (2021) Full of amazing interviews and even more amazing vintage footage, TINA is a must see! - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
4/5 84% Nobody (2021) Action-packed from beginning to end, "Nobody" is a true cousin to films like "Death Wish" (the Bronson one, not the horrible Bruce Willis remake) and "Straw Dogs." - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
4/5 56% Stallone: Frank, That Is (2020) If you're looking for a film in which the underdog keeps fighting, and you've already seen "Rocky" a hundred times, I hope you give "Stallone: Frank That Is" a look. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
4/5 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) The film is beautifully shot and Ms Jenkins' direction flows smoothly, though at two and a half hours the film could have used some trimming. Hans Zimmer's score sets the mood of the film and energizes the action scenes. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
4/5 88% News of the World (2020) Hanks is his usual excellent self, seemingly able to inhabit any character he plays, much like Jimmy Stewart did in his career. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
5/5 98% The Dissident (2020) A powerful film that will make you think long after it's over, "The Dissident" is one of the best films of the year. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2020
4/5 100% HAM: A Musical Memoir (2020) A filmed version of Harris' award winning off-Broadway show, "HAM: A Musical Memoir" is an entertaining - and deeply moving - look at the life of a boy with a dream and the sacrifices he had to make to keep that dream alive. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2020
4/5 73% All Joking Aside (2020) A film about stand-up should, of course, be funny and "All Joking Aside" has some side splitting moments. But it also has heart, which makes it a rarity in the genre'. The heart here comes from the performances of the three leads. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
5/5 90% Belushi (2020) I have always maintained that John Belushi would have had a career similar to Robin Williams. Both men had unlimited range and talents and I would not have been surprised if Belushi won an Oscar one day. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2020
5/5 92% Leap of Faith (2019) Perfect films are rare and the list is short. "Citizen Kane..." "The Godfather..." "Chinatown..." and the most terrifying film I've seen in my 60 years on Earth, William Friedkin's "The Exorcist." - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
5/5 100% Where She Lies (2020) A puzzle that has you scrambling to put the pieces together right up until the end, "Where She Lies" is not only one of the best documentaries I have seen this year, but one of the best films as well. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2020
4/5 84% Let Him Go (2020) Smartly written (by director Buzucha) and based on the novel by Larry Watson, with fine performances all around, "Let Him Go" gives a look at how far people will go to save the ones they love. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2020
4/5 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Where I felt the first film was mostly spontaneous, this one is about 50/50 spontaneous and scripted. Both versions are hilarious, though one is rather disturbing. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
5/5 70% Tenet (2020) Technically the film is a masterpiece. The production design is first rate and the various locations jump off the screen like three-dimensional postcards. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
5/5 48% Unhinged (2020) A thrill-ride of a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2020
4/5 71% Trolls World Tour (2020) And, while you aren't going to be able to see it in a theatre any time soon, it's a brightly colored musical spectacular that I hardily recommend. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
3.5/5 76% Bad Boys for Life (2020) Moving at an almost breakneck speed, "Bad Boys for Life" plays on screen like a live action version of "Grand Theft Auto." - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
3.5/5 36% Reality Queen! (2020) Cleverly written by a gaggle of writers, including director Bernheim, the film is an amazingly precedent look at the state of "fame" today. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2020
3/5 19% Cats (2019) If you're a fan of the musical, or a member of the cast, then by all means go see "CATS." If you're not a fan of musical theatre, go stand in line and see "Star Wars" again. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
5/5 85% Just Mercy (2020) The film is well paced and Mr. Cretton's direction is spot on, his camera capturing the little things that help make the story a powerful one. He has definitely created one of the best films of 2019. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
4/5 78% Frozen II (2019) ... an early holiday present to princesses' everywhere. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
4/5 51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) "Star Wars" is, and has been, a very important and memorable part of my life and I must say that "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" is the perfect ending to my childhood! - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
4.5/5 64% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) ... the new crime drama "Motherless Brooklyn" is a triumph of cinematic art and deserves to be an Oscar contender in multiple categories. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
4/5 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Throw in plenty of race footage and you've got a film that takes the checkered flag. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
4/5 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass. And if Eddie Murphy made better career choices he'd already have an Oscar. He may have that opportunity soon thanks to his performance as Rudy Ray Moore in "Dolemite is My Name." - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
3/5 83% Ad Astra (2019) Pitt mentions in the film that his journey has covered 2 billion miles. Believe me, it feels like you were along for every last one. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
5/5 89% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) ...this film serves as a time capsule of her greatest moments and a reminder of how great music was before auto-tune! - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
4/5 67% Rapid Response (2019) If you're a fan of auto racing, this is a film I highly recommend. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
5/5 93% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) If you're a fan of Crosby, or just the music of the period, this film is a must see! - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
3/5 44% The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) An entertaining film that's light on plot points, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is the kind of film Walt Disney would make in the late 1950's and early 1960's... - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
4.5/5 89% Blinded by the Light (2019) Even if you've never enjoyed the music of Bruce Springsteen (I guess there may be a few people out there that feel this way), you will be swept up in the way that music is celebrated here. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 15% A Score to Settle (2019) An entertaining and well-paced film, "A Score to Settle" is Nicolas Cage at his best - deeply intense with a little bit of crazy mixed in for good measure. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 45% Ode to Joy (2019) Inspired by a true story - yes, cataplexy is very real - from events in co-writer Chris Higgins' life, "Ode to Joy" is held together by an amazing performance by Freeman. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet The Good, the Bad, the Hungry (2019) A very in-depth behind the scenes look at an event that draws 30,000 people annually, "The Good, the Bad, the Hungry" is another excellent film in ESPN's 30 for 30 canon. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4.5/5 63% Yesterday (2019) The film also packs an emotion punch with a scene that had many in the audience, myself including, tearing up. Boyle's direction is brisk and screenwriter Curtis is at the top of his game. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 75% Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk (2019) A particularly poignant sequence examines the relationship between golfer and caddie. Living as I do in Kansas City, I was happy to see local boy made good Tom Watson talk about the two-plus decades he spent with his caddie, Bruce Edwards. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 23% Men in Black International (2019) Like the other films, the two best things going are the chemistry between the leads and the amazing creature effects. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
4/5 60% The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Cleverly written and fast paced, "The Secret Life of Pets 2" is the ideal early summer film. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
3.5/5 89% Rocketman (2019) Full of great music and fantastical spectacle, "Rocketman" appears to be what everyone who found "Bohemian Rhapsody" lacking (I didn't - I thought it was one of the best films of the year) - wanted it to be. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
3.5/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) A love letter to the Hollywood he grew up watching, "Once Upon a Time..." is quite possibly the least "Tarantino" film the two-time Oscar winner has ever created. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
5/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Sadly, our rating system only goes up to five, because otherwise I'd give "Avengers: Endgame" six! - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
4/5 57% Aladdin (2019) The musical numbers are immaculately staged, like you just wandered into a "Bollywood" production. And while this film is about 40-minutes longer than it's animated predecessor, it doesn't suffer under the crush of added time like the recent "Dumbo." - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
4/5 92% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) A beautifully shot (over an almost three year period) film that manages to be both heart-warming and thrilling, "Penguins" gives the audience the "birds-eye" view of life in Antarctica. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
2.5/5 19% The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019) Eventually you become numb to the violence being inflicted, taking away from the horror of the situation. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
4/5 58% The Hummingbird Project (2019) It is so nice to see Eisenberg in a role that he can inhabit. While I thought he was OK as Lex Luthor in the recent "Justice League" themed films, it's been a long time since I've seen the "The Social Network" Eisenberg... - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019
5/5 93% Us (2019) In this reviewer's humble opinion, Peele has created a new horror masterpiece. - MediaMikes EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2019