Michael SragowMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Sragow

Michael Sragow
Michael Sragow's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
69% Who's That Knocking at My Door? (1967) Martin Scorsese's début feature has just the slightest bit of story line, but the movie is a fascinating portfolio piece: a black-and-white blueprint for "Mean Streets." ‐ New Yorker
Posted Jan 16, 2017
87% A Monster Calls (2017) Bayona's actors connect and disconnect with heartfelt veracity and unexpected sophistication. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jan 3, 2017
92% Hidden Figures (2017) Melfi never loses sight of his heroines' dual struggle, as women and as black people. He encourages his actors to play on that duality with wisdom, anger, and a nuanced sort of farce. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jan 3, 2017
93% La La Land (2016) [Chazelle's] filmmaking exuberance and the energy and sweetness of his two stars give this thin soup considerable tang. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Dec 30, 2016
85% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Tudyk's K-2S0 has in miniature what Edwards's movie lacks overall: the soul of a new machine. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Dec 15, 2016
87% Lion (2016) The film ends with that contemporary movie rarity-an authentic and overwhelming display of gratitude. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Dec 2, 2016
78% Bells Are Ringing (1960) Vincente Minnelli makes use of the wide screen with graceful, fluid movement, and he helps Martin anchor his usual breeziness with just the right amount of anxiety. ‐ New Yorker
Posted Nov 21, 2016
72% Nocturnal Animals (2016) The second effort by fashion designer turned writer-director Tom Ford (A Single Man) is a roadside horror film wrapped inside a chichi relationship movie. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Nov 18, 2016
89% Loving (2016) Loving is a dogged work, not a great or inspired one, but it gets to you nonetheless. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Nov 4, 2016
86% Christine (2016) The movie conveys her rage, rejection, and isolation, but unfortunately doubles down on the confusion. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Oct 20, 2016
100% Tampopo (1985) Tampopo creates a culinary empire of the senses while entertaining an audience like crazy. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Oct 20, 2016
81% Denial (2016) Denial deftly establishes how the moral relativism of contemporary academics and the journalistic belief in giving all viewpoints equal time lead to intellectual bankruptcy. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Oct 13, 2016
92% Queen of Katwe (2016) The ensemble is seamless. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Sep 26, 2016
85% Sully (2016) Sully may be just want the mass audience wants in the 21st century: a disaster film with a happy ending. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Sep 15, 2016
61% Snowden (2016) Stone's own presence as a director is oppressive. It's as if he's phoning it in from O'Brian's video-call system, with big, obvious touches that might be confused with mastery. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Sep 15, 2016
60% The Light Between Oceans (2016) Cianfrance is so committed to Thomas and Isabel's perspectives that his movie becomes claustrophobic without ever being particularly revealing (or convincing). ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Sep 1, 2016
82% Jerry Maguire (1996) Some amusing stuff about sports agentry drowns in the emotional shallows of Jerry Maguire. ‐ New Times
Posted Aug 24, 2016
98% The Conversation (1974) Thanks to Walter Murch's keen, intuitive sound montage and Hackman's clammy, subtle performance, the movie captures [an] elusive and universal fear-that of losing the power to respond, emotionally and morally, to the evidence of one's own senses. ‐ New Yorker
Posted Aug 15, 2016
86% Pete's Dragon (2016) To borrow the tagline of Superman I, you'll believe a dragon can fly. You'll even believe he can feel. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Aug 10, 2016
26% Suicide Squad (2016) Even the most garish escapism requires a director who has the mental discipline to hold out for a fecund idea and the inventive power to build on it. In Suicide Squad, as in Sabotage, the only time brains enter the picture is when heads explode. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Aug 4, 2016
73% Ghostbusters (2016) The blinding, brain-smacking mayhem can't wipe out the movie's core of good feeling. Even after the action goes bust, the film's gifted stars continue to radiate their own nuclear-powered, Amazonian brand of bonhomie. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jul 14, 2016
93% Life, Animated (2016) Though Owen's achievements are extraordinary, the film demonstrates that there are things Disney cartoons can't teach: full self-sufficiency and satisfying adult sexual relationships. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jul 12, 2016
75% The BFG (2016) Generally, Spielberg packs the frame with so much amusing clutter that he detracts from Rylance's witty, emotional line readings. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jul 12, 2016
91% Zero Days (2016) Gibney is surely right in calling for open and informed debate about cyber warfare, but his own movie lacks transparency and persuasiveness. What a terrible moment for this director to go unclear. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jul 12, 2016
97% Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) We know we're in good hands from the opening moments, when the New Zealand greenery undulates across the screen while an otherworldly choral chant fills the soundtrack. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jun 23, 2016
94% Finding Dory (2016) Stanton is a born comic-fantasy director. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jun 17, 2016
87% The President (2016) In the best moments of Kandahar, Makhmalbaf conveyed every twist of irony in these savage juxtapositions. In The President, the weight of his preaching tends to flatten out the ironies and the epiphanies. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jun 9, 2016
96% De Palma (2016) De Palma has the best kind of ending for a director documentary: it leaves us wondering what's yet to come from this protean and multifaceted filmmaker. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jun 9, 2016
30% Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Bobin, who can do low-key, as in TV's Flight of the Conchords, and keyed-up, as in Muppets Most Wanted, goes no-key in Alice Through the Looking Glass. He directs so anonymously, it's as if he's imitating Burton on a bad day. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted May 26, 2016
57% Money Monster (2016) It wants to be a responsible topical thriller, but the change in focus from the fed-up prole to the battle-hardened broadcast virtuosos is so misjudged that the movie comes off as socially unconscious. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted May 13, 2016
90% Captain America: Civil War (2016) The "civil war" that erupts among Avengers foments filmmaking invention, not anarchy. It harks back to a comic-book tradition that predates the Avengers. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted May 5, 2016
89% A Bigger Splash (2016) In A Bigger Splash, Fiennes uses all his showmanship, imagination, and empathy to vitalize a character who is both the life of the party-and, in one uncanny twist, the death of it. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted May 3, 2016
97% The Dark Horse (2016) The Dark Horse is a rough beauty of a picture. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Apr 29, 2016
82% Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) (2016) Garrone makes you feel as if you've stepped into a world where fickle gods play crack-the-whip with man's-and woman's-fate. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Apr 29, 2016
77% Viktoria (2016) But defects and all, navels or not, Viktoria remains a distinctive, trenchant social-political mock epic about a little big girl. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Apr 29, 2016
90% Green Room (2016) Although Green Room has more scope and technical ambition than Blue Ruin, artistically it takes a giant step back. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Apr 14, 2016
52% Demolition (2016) Demolition lacks the substance to be genuinely poetic. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Apr 6, 2016
83% The Deadly Companions (Trigger Happy) (1961) The plot twists are hokey, but the atmosphere is bleak and tense, and the men's performances nuanced. ‐ New Yorker
Posted Mar 28, 2016
88% Born To Be Blue (2016) The magic of Hawke's performance is that, without whitewashing Baker, he never stops locating the innocence within his crude behavior. His simplicity and honesty are disarming, especially as Jane batters him with questions. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Mar 24, 2016
100% Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbe-soori) (2016) Farhadi has a terrific sense of touch. He knows how to use visual and dramatic means to make a milieu palpable to an audience. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Mar 17, 2016
95% Eye In The Sky (2016) In Hood's Eye in the Sky, Aaron Paul's conscience-stricken pilot is affecting, and you cheer him on when he challenges an order that he considers inhumane and precipitate. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Mar 10, 2016
98% Zootopia (2016) These filmmakers cross-fertilize social satire with burlesque, parody, and self-parody. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Mar 3, 2016
90% A War (Krigen) (2016) This movie rescues the concept of "the fog of war" from cliché and overuse. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Feb 11, 2016
85% Hail, Caesar! (2016) By now, the Coen Brothers are reflexively called "quirky." The only perverse thing about this movie, though, is that it salutes a company man. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Feb 4, 2016
80% Louisiana Story (1948) A powerful, swooning visualization of a wilderness childhood. ‐ New Yorker
Posted Jan 25, 2016
95% Julius Caesar (1953) Over Caesar's corpse Brando begins to mix grief, rage, cunning, and ferocity; his reading of the funeral oration is so quakingly angry you understand why it would rouse the rabble. ‐ New Yorker
Posted Jan 18, 2016
50% 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi (2016) 13 Hours is one combat movie that doesn't blink-and it doesn't gloat, either. Even when the men take pleasure in "kicking the ass" of the enemy, they express relief more than triumph. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jan 14, 2016
90% The Clan (El Clan) (2016) Director Pablo Trapero, who also co-wrote the script, pulls off his share of show-off sequences without succumbing to empty virtuosity. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jan 4, 2016
92% Zangiku monogatari (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums) (1979) Mizoguchi's harmonious yet unexpected compositions, his andante tempo and long takes, and his pellucid blocking produce sequences that resonate throughout the movie, often with material as mundane as the slicing of a watermelon. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Jan 2, 2016
81% The Revenant (2015) Defenders of this movie will talk about its "sense of place." But this film has only a sense of things framed in a world of wonders, like the patched-up keelboat of the trappers, or even Glass's banged-up anatomy itself. ‐ Film Comment Magazine
Posted Dec 24, 2015