Moira MacDonald

Moira MacDonald
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
1.5/4 24% Men in Black International (2019) Of everyone on screen, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones come off best in "Men in Black: International." Because they're not actually in the movie. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
1.5/4 53% The Dead Don't Die (2019) "The Dead Don't Die" isn't just deadpan - it's dead. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
3.5/4 80% Late Night (2019) If only real workplaces were like this - but, in the company of Thompson and Kaling, it's a lot of fun to think so. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
3.5/4 97% Booksmart (2019) Olivia Wilde's raunchy yet adorable high-school comedy "Booksmart" understands a basic truth: For so many former teenage girls, your first love is your high-school best friend. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
2/4 61% Trial by Fire (2019) It's a haunting, heartbreaking story, told by a movie that never quite makes a case for itself to exist. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/4 47% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) It's all quite wistfully romantic, and mostly winningly so, despite the sometimes wise-way-beyond-their-years dialogue and not always plausible plot. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
1.5/4 15% The Hustle (2019) I wished I'd stayed home and re-watched "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" - maybe as a double feature with "Ocean's 8" - instead. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3/4 67% The White Crow (2019) It's a movie full of small pleasures, such as the Polaroid-ish softness of the cinematography, Fiennes' quietly noble performance as Nureyev's mentor Pushkin, and the glimpses of the ballet studios... - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/4 31% The Intruder (2019) There's exactly one good jump-scare, which probably would have caused me to drop my popcorn if I hadn't finished it already; otherwise it's fairly uninspired. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3/4 81% Long Shot (2019) Whoever came up with the idea of pairing Theron and Rogen needs to be put in charge of casting all Hollywood comedies. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
2.5/4 31% Red Joan (2019) Dench, in her limited screen time, gives us tantalizing hints of who this weary-looking woman, slumped by the weight of secrets, might be. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
3.5/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Oh yes indeed. "Avengers: Endgame" brought it. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/4 90% Wild Nights with Emily (2019) While the style of the movie works against the seriousness of that message just a bit, it still gets through. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3.5/4 64% Peterloo (2019) "Peterloo" takes its time, giving us little by way of explanation and grounding but creating, in its bits and pieces, a vivid and coherent world. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
4/4 99% Amazing Grace (2019) Franklin died last year, but her voice lives on in anyone who's heard it. In this joyous, unforgettable film, she'll never grow old. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
2.5/4 46% Little (2019) Martin - who at age 10 came up with and pitched the idea for this movie (she's now 14) - carries this movie on her small, resolute shoulders. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
3/4 90% Shazam! (2019) This movie is basically "Big" with a superhero. Need I say anything more? That premise already has you in the popcorn line, right? - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/4 27% The Aftermath (2019) "The Aftermath" is a lot of pretty mush. Or, rather, it's like suds; its lovely bubbles pop, leaving nothing behind. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
3.5/4 94% Us (2019) While the movie doesn't entirely do justice to its ambitious theme - it gets a little stuck in chase-and-attack mode for too long, and its final scenes are a bit opaque - it's always surprising and completely gripping. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/4 92% Gloria Bell (2019) You can see Gloria's bad decisions coming from across the street, but it doesn't matter: The pleasure of "Gloria Bell," whether or not you've seen "Gloria," is watching Moore wrap herself in the role like a soft shawl. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
3/4 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Like its tough, smart heroine, "Captain Marvel" dances to its own beat; it's an origin story that isn't structured as an origin story but gets there all the same. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
3.5/4 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) There's a lovely sense, throughout the film, of how real life sometimes interrupts things, the way a child's prattling disrupts the pretty wedding ceremony, or how even in the midst of grief breakfast must be made. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
2/4 60% Greta (2019) With one exception, everything about Neil Jordan's quick, tidy horror film "Greta" is disappointingly mundane. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2019
3/4 93% Fighting with My Family (2019) Resist it at your peril. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
2.5/4 68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) "Isn't It Romantic" both spoofs rom-com conventions and embraces them; it's a tricky balance, but it doesn't fall off the wire. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
3/4 89% Arctic (2019) This film makes for a compelling hour and a half; you know where it's going, but you never quite believe it'll actually get there. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
3/4 45% What Men Want (2019) Shankman gives it all an agreeable bounce, and Henson zestfully dives into the comedy. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/4 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) It's a bunch of plastic blocks that have an adventure, and it's basically insane; not quite as pleasantly so as the first movie (the element of astonished surprise isn't there), but hey, that's a high bar. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
2/4 22% Miss Bala (2019) You see Gina Rodriguez's infectious, light-up-the-sky smile only a couple of times in "Miss Bala," and it's just enough to make you wish that she were in a different movie. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
1.5/4 19% Serenity (2019) This is a movie that has tuna in its head. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/4 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) When it's not trying too hard, "Stan & Ollie" is itself a sweetly charming good time. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
3.5/4 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Cinematographer Lukasz Zal finds a chilly, etched beauty in every frame; you're struck by how snow seems to stroke and soften a harsh landscape, and by the poignancy of wind ruffling the grass in a quiet field. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
2/4 20% The Aspern Papers (2019) "The Aspern Papers," brief as it is, needed more of a lightness of touch; if you weigh down melodrama too much, it dies. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
4/4 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Jenkins lets the story unfold slowly and patiently, giving his actors room to tell their own quiet stories. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
2.5/4 66% Vice (2018) "Vice" is quite watchable; it zips along quickly, and the cast around chameleon Bale is strong. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
3/4 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) While the structure occasionally feels a bit awkward, "On the Basis of Sex" has the kind of crowd-pleasing story that skims over any minor shortcomings; by its end, you're ready to cheer. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
2.5/4 45% Second Act (2018) It's a pleasant enough diversion, helped along immensely by Lopez's warm screen presence and by a first-rate Sassy Best Friend performance by Leah Remini. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
3/4 82% Ben is Back (2018) Roberts... takes hold of this movie like a lamppost in the winter darkness. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
4/4 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Emily Blunt, holding the movie in her impeccably gloved hands, makes Mary Poppins her own. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/4 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Every one of master Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda's movies breaks your heart in a different way. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
2.5/4 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Every movie that has Saoirse Ronan in it works, to the extent that it has Saoirse Ronan in it. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
3.5/4 93% The Favourite (2018) The real fun here is in the three central performances, each of which threatens to steal the film - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
2.5/4 78% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) "Anna," though short, runs out of ideas - but not of fake blood - long before its ending. Nice spurting, though. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3/4 92% The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) This movie lives in its black-and-white clips, which provide both a fine introduction to those new to Keaton's work, and plenty to dig into for hard-core fans. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 84% Creed II (2018) It's always fun to decry a formulaic movie - except when the formula actually works. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
3/4 78% Green Book (2018) You watch "Green Book" wishing it were a little better but nonetheless enjoying how very good much of it is, thanks to Mortensen and Ali, who make every moment sing. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
2/4 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) While it's often great fun to look at, "Crimes of Grindelwald" fails at what should be Rowling's great strength: storytelling. Three more to go, and an infusion of magic is desperately needed. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2.5/4 59% The Front Runner (2018) The movie ultimately feels exhausting, raising issues it doesn't have the energy to address (about morality, the role of journalists, the public's right to know) and presenting a wide-eyed Rice as a lamb led to slaughter. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
4/4 91% Widows (2018) If all heist movies were like this, I'd never leave the multiplexes. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
3.5/4 89% A Private War (2018) A fact-based feature film both celebrating and illuminating the disappearing, dangerous art of the war correspondent. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018