Moira MacDonald

Moira MacDonald
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/4 97% Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021) Moreno, now in her late 80s, thoughtfully walks us through a life that encompassed both enormous success and constant struggle. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
3/4 89% Luca (2021) Maybe not every Pixar movie can be "Up." For now, we'll just let adorable be enough. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
4/4 96% In the Heights (2021) Maybe I didn't exactly dance down the aisle on my way out of the theater, but rest assured that I did so in my heart. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2021
3.5/4 74% Cruella (2021) "Cruella" feels like a wildly imaginative superhero movie, but with fashion instead of superpowers. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
3/4 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Bring on Part III, quietly. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2021
3.5/4 90% The Dry (2021) You watch waiting for rain and hoping it doesn't come, so you can stay in "The Dry" a little bit longer. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2021
2/4 63% French Exit (2021) "French Exit" isn't without its pleasures; but you watch it dreaming of the movie it might have been. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2021
2.5/4 56% The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" isn't quite worthy of the performance at its core. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
3.5/4 98% Minari (2020) In creating a filmic love letter to his own family, Chung has crafted one for us all. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2021
97% The Half of It (2020) It's a wistful charmer. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2021
4/4 94% Nomadland (2021) Zhao shows us the difficulty of this life - the endless laundromats, the cramped bed in the van, the cold, the possessions left behind - but also its beauty and freedom. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
2.5/4 45% The Little Things (2021) At a time when movie-star charisma is in short supply, it brings some somber but welcome diversion. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
3.5/4 95% Soul (2020) Play it again, "Soul." - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
2.5/4 60% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) You watch thinking of the original three years ago, and wishing this one were better. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
4/4 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) A celebration of language - Wilson's glorious storytelling is given its due by this masterful ensemble cast, who weave colorful tapestries with his words - and of music's transformative power. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
3/4 89% The Nest (2020) You may not sympathize much with these people, but you'll have a hard time looking away. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
2.5/4 29% Come Away (2020) It just feels like a pretty idea that didn't get fully developed; an origin story that we didn't need. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
3.5/4 72% Mulan (2020) While it's still unmistakably a Disney film, with its uncomplicated character arcs and picture-prettiness, it's also at its core a moving story of a young woman finding her strength. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
3.5/4 64% Hope Gap (2020) "Hope Gap" is a deeply sad film, and maybe not what a lot of us are in the mood for these days, but it's ultimately uplifting, in its quiet way. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
3/4 91% The Invisible Man (2020) Whannell expertly plays with our fears: the sudden metallic screech of a dog dish accidentally kicked in the quiet; the house's labyrinthine hallways; the breathing darkness of an empty road. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
3.5/4 87% Emma. (2020) All this adds up to a movie filled with that simple yet rare thing: pure pleasure. This film is both a loving homage to Austen and a celebration of fashion and decorative arts. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2020
3.5/4 98% 63 Up (2019) There is a touching universality to these life stories, which at this point have a lulling near-sameness... - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
4/4 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) You've never seen another movie quite like this. In its quiet gaze, love becomes art. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
2.5/4 37% Downhill (2020) I enjoyed "Downhill" purely for Louis-Dreyfus' performance; we don't get to see the "Veep" star on the big screen very often, so why not revel in her talent when we get the chance? - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
3.5/4 92% The Assistant (2020) You leave "The Assistant" thinking about why some of us are invisible and some of us don't notice - and about how evil lives in the places from which we look away. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
3/4 79% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) While I wished Robbie's performance might have had a teensy bit more abandon - her Harley is perpetually putting on a show, but felt perhaps too controlled - she carries the movie with careless aplomb. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
1.5/4 28% The Rhythm Section (2020) You watch wondering what good actors like Lively, Law, Jeffrey and Sterling K. Brown saw in this muddy screenplay, and why Morano, best known for the Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale," couldn't find a way to make them spark. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
2/4 21% Like a Boss (2020) If "Like a Boss" had a decent screenplay, and was competently directed, it might have been pretty good. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/4 85% Just Mercy (2020) Despite its flaws, "Just Mercy" is that rarity - a movie that inspires; a story that brings light. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
3.5/4 89% 1917 (2020) MacKay and Chapman disappear into their roles, pulling us into the story. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2020
4/4 95% Little Women (2019) This "Little Women" purist was moved to tears by this movie, and didn't want it to end. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2019
3.5/4 81% A Hidden Life (2019) You can imagine how other filmmakers might approach this - it's a beautifully cinematic story - but no one else would film it quite as Malick has. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
1.5/4 19% Cats (2019) By the final scene, by which my eyebrows were hurting from being raised so high (the winning cat goes to the Heavyside Layer in a chandelier? What is this, "Phantom of the Opera"?), I was just tired. As was "Cats." Meow. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
2/4 68% Bombshell (2019) Ultimately, the film's unwillingness to go deeper makes it fall flat. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2019
2.5/4 77% Richard Jewell (2019) As always... Eastwood's very good with actors, and the central trio of "Richard Jewell" make the film worth watching. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
2.5/4 72% The Aeronauts (2019) It's a pretty picture and a sweet adventure, and sometimes that's enough. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
4/4 94% Marriage Story (2019) Johansson and Driver are remarkably, heartbreakingly good in every scene; showing their characters' journeys to an unflinching camera, letting the gap between them get wider yet unable, for their son's sake, to completely walk away. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/4 84% Waves (2019) Schultz has a lovely way of telling a just-on-the-verge-of-melodramatic story on a very human level; his camera gets lost in the faces, the flashing sirens, the immediacy of two young people finding a home with each other. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/4 83% Queen & Slim (2019) "Queen & Slim" has a remarkable power. You watch it recognizing the world you know, and wishing you didn't. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
2.5/4 89% Dark Waters (2019) All of this works, for the most part, but only occasionally surprises. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
3.5/4 97% Knives Out (2019) "Knives Out" is a kick. By the time it was finally revealed whodunit, I just wanted to start over and play again. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
3/4 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) "A Beautiful Day" is lifted by a fascinating performance at its center, by a charismatic movie star who just happens to also be a great actor. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3.5/4 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Whether you care about motorsports or not, "Ford v Ferrari" is a kick: both a rollicking true story well told, and a moving depiction of male friendship. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
3.5/4 95% The Irishman (2019) "The Irishman" is long, to be sure, but it's never less than compelling - Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, all in their mid-to-late-70s, are each carrying a lifetime of work, with practiced ease. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
3/4 63% The Good Liar (2019) As a movie, "The Good Liar" is just so-so, but as a master class in performance and star quality, it's a pleasure. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
2/4 46% Last Christmas (2019) Its central characters never find much chemistry - Clarke's Kate is a one-note character, which is one note more than Golding's character gets... - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
3.5/4 96% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Almodóvar shows us that, even after nearly two dozen features over several decades, he can still hold an audience in his hand - and surprise it. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
2/4 64% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) It's easily half an hour longer than it needs to be, and it's full of moments that don't go anywhere. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/4 73% Harriet (2019) Erivo, like the real-life Tubman, is a tiny woman, barely 5 feet tall, but the forcefulness of her voice and her presence brings "Harriet" to vivid life. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
4/4 98% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) You'll watch knowing you're in the hands of a master filmmaker... - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2019