Michael Ordoña

Michael Ordoña
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
29% No Man's Land (2021) "No Man's Land" comes out of the blue to comment memorably on the immigration crisis by simply giving human life its due. It's wise and empathetic and worth a watch. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2021
34% The Marksman (2021) It's a simplistic, closed-loop moral universe in which the major plot thread is tied up too neatly and others are pretty much forgotten. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
94% Beautiful Something Left Behind (2020) There are moments of terrible sadness in the film, of course, but also some uplift; if only the experience had more form to it. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2021
46% Fatale (2020) Suffice to say, one can see why Swank chose the role and produced the film. It's a different part for her, and it's fun to see her in it. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
31% The Stand In (2020) The movie is Barrymore's, of course. Even after the initial jolt of seeing her as a cursing hellion and an ambitious hanger-on wears off, she does not disappoint. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
44% Ip Man: Kung Fu Master (2020) But where in "Grandmaster" the superhuman feats were related with cinematic poetry, this one's ambitions are expressed in the funny-pages vernacular of a superhero one-knee landing (which does occur in the film). - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
34% Half Brothers (2020) There's much to like about the road-trip comedy "Half Brothers." It's funny, smart, topical and even touching at times. But it's hard to overcome the inescapable rot at its center. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
92% Minor Premise (2020) It's smart and engaging once it gets going and presents a tense, fun labyrinth for viewers to navigate. One just wishes the cheese at the end were more rewarding. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
16% Stardust (2020) When it comes to revealing something new about its subject, "Stardust" sadly lacks insight into the art. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
91% Run (2020) It's not necessarily that the revelations will be all that shocking to jaded moviegoers; it's that we totally buy that they're revelations to her. It's a very promising debut. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
68% Embattled (2020) In "Embattled," the human side feels explored, as if the film could have been made without the MMA scenes and still been a worthwhile watch. But it does have those adrenaline-injecting fights, so ... all the better. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
59% Dreamland (2019) The new Margot Robbie vehicle "Dreamland" seems to be about legends, the price of escape, maybe unreliable narrators - but ends up not saying much about any of them. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2020
50% Recon (2020) If tension was the filmmakers' aim, they decisively miss - especially if it was meant to come from the puzzlingly casual sniper situation. Any possibility of buying into the story's reality is defused by the soldiers being so dang gabby, and loudly so. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2020
100% Make Up (2020) It's an insightful, deeply felt film that lets us in on a personal evolution. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2020
62% The Informer (2020) "The Informer" isn't bad. It's just nothing special. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
90% The Dark and the Wicked (2020) It isn't exactly terrifying, but is well-acted and sinister enough to rise (levitate ominously?) above the pack. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
81% Koko-di Koko-da (2020) It's metaphorical, vague but also precise in its specificity for the horrific trials these people are to face - their personal hell. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
78% The True Adventures of Wolfboy (2020) "Wolfboy" is a compassionate film with some insight into being different and into the destructiveness of letting the world's unkindness shape one's self view. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
47% Spell (2020) Not even thrill-starved movie audiences are likely to be bound by this "Spell." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
44% Holidate (2020) "Holidate" knows it's hitting every branch as it falls down the cliché tree. Does that soften the landing? Nope. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
69% The Place of No Words (2020) "The Place of No Words" won't be for everyone. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2020
79% The Kid Detective (2020) "The Kid Detective" is an unexpected mix of disparate elements that in the wrong hands could have resulted in lumpy parody but, fortunately, pours out as something smooth, funny, dark and potent. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2020
39% Honest Thief (2020) The new Liam Neeson crime movie "Honest Thief" doesn't feel ... honest. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2020
75% Aggie (2020) "Aggie" is a well-made portrait of an admirable woman you come away feeling you'd like to meet. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
29% The War with Grandpa (2020) Perhaps some folks, somewhere, can side with an entitled boy torturing a loving grandparent to get what he wants, but most will ask of this "War," what is it good for? - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
100% Meeting the Beatles in India (2020) Saltzman's observations and insight from Beatle historian Mark Lewisohn and TM practitioner David Lynch, among others, offer a window into this heretofore opaque time. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
94% Faith Based (2020) Is "Faith Based" the answer to the prayers of comedy-starved movie buffs? Not entirely, but it's no plague of locusts, either. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
73% A Call to Spy (2020) It's refreshing to come at the spy genre from a different angle and rewarding to be introduced to these extraordinary women. Just don't expect a pulse-pounder or even a particularly atmospheric, experiential film. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2020
No Score Yet Draupadi Unleashed (2020) It's not easy to follow, hampered by severe logical lapses. Character threads abruptly drop. How anyone feels about anyone is unclear at any given moment. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
88% Jay Sebring: Cutting to the Truth (2020) The stylish film hammers home how highly questionable portraits of Sebring were disseminated in the media after his death, obscuring the real man. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
100% Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story (2020) While the result may be scattershot at times, the achievements of these badass professionals are worth a look - especially if, like this writer, you believe an Oscar category for stunt performers is long overdue. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
48% Lost Girls & Love Hotels (2020) This is a sober portrait of a woman in trouble, whose depressive, compulsive and self-destructive tendencies lead her down a dangerous road. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
86% The Eight Hundred (2020) "The Eight Hundred" fetishizes martyrdom, but for those seeking big-screen, epic violence, it's pretty much the only game in town. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
62% Fatima (2020) "Fatima" is prettily shot but realized with little unique expression. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
49% Made in Italy (2020) With a gorgeous location, pretty people and familiar story, "Made in Italy" is too gentle to make an impression. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2020
100% A Thousand Cuts (2020) As the film focuses more tightly on her, it becomes a more gripping document. And it certainly is gripping, as the cloud of menace threatening her becomes firmer. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2020
90% We Are Freestyle Love Supreme (2020) Veneziale is a nimble and responsive interface between audience and group. While Miranda's verbal dexterity is well known, Utkarsh Ambudkar is right there with him and brings a staggering rhythmic gift to his flows. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2020
100% Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo (2019) What sets Brett Harvey's slickly made documentary apart, besides its engaging subject, is its convincing portrayal of a man who saw the error of his ways and worked to change himself. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2020
90% Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy (2020) [Yakim's] methods remain fascinating after all these years, but Alexander also lucks into a parallel story that couldn't have been planned and that succinctly conveys the value of Yakim's teaching. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2020
85% Olympia (2019) Without a more probing look into her artistry, it's hard to think of "Olympia" as a definitive Dukakis profile - though it's certainly an unusual celebrity documentary. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2020
100% Kaye Ballard: The Show Goes On (2019) Perhaps, despite its lack of structure, the film will inspire a new generation to investigate this funny lady who could sing the lights out. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2020
48% My Spy (2020) Surprise! "My Spy" is fun. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
40% You Should Have Left (2020) For those who've plumbed the depths of Netflix during this pandemic and are desperate for something new and creepy, "You Should Have Left" might serve to pass an evening. For those looking for something original and memorable, this ain't it. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2020
84% Aviva (2020) "Aviva" fails to find a deeply resonant rhythm. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
95% Marona's Fantastic Tale (L'Extraordinaire voyage de Marona) (2020) While it's sometimes dizzying in its visuals or its joy, it's often not cute. It can be fun, even exhilarating. It can also carry the emotional impact of loss. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2020
93% Be Water (2020) For the curious, it's a fair introduction to the man who became a legend. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2020
79% Screened Out (2020) One wishes "Screened Out" would have delved more deeply, with more focus and intellectual rigor, into proving its points and providing solutions. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2020
75% Tammy's Always Dying (2019) "Tammy's Always Dying" is a richly observed comedy-drama. Johnson's direction is intelligent and restrained. She trusts her actors, letting us see moments develop among them. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2020
91% The Willoughbys (2020) Cruelly neglectful parents and relentless slapstick in a loud, frantic package. Meet "The Willoughbys." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
70% Abe (2020) The movie is apparently aimed at younger viewers with its clean, simplistic message of unity, but it's doubtful many kids (or adults) would want to sit through those tiresome shouting matches that overwhelm the film's other flavors. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2020