Neal Pollack

Neal Pollack
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Neal Pollack is the editor-in-chief of Book and Film Globe, the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, and a three-time Jeopardy! champion. His memoir Pothead will be published in the summer of 2020. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.
Publications: Decider, Book & Film Globe

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
92% The End Of The Tour (2015) By removing the artifice and mystery surrounding the writer's life, by showing the gritty and semi-depressing details, The End Of The Tour actually ends up celebrating literature in a way that no cheesy Hemingway biopic can. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
98% Deadwood: The Movie (2019) The Deadwood movie is a deeply-satisfying and tightly-written coda to one of the best TV series ever. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
88% Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' (2019) It was fine, a kind of lukewarm TV bath. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
80% 22 July (2018) [Paul] Greengrass spends much of his movie focusing on the recovery and healing of one of Breivik's victims. It's deeply humanist and necessary. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 49% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) [Richard] Linklater is trying to rook us all into believing this is a universally heartwarming scenario. The unfathomably wealthy can be heroes, he says. That is, until the peasants sack the White Palace that Bernadette designed. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 79% Good Boys (2019) Multiracial and shot through with conversations about "consent," Good Boys doesn't offend in the contemporary sense. But like every other mainstream studio comedy, it's shot through with class blindness. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) The thrilling crime drama that grips the book's final third flits by in about five minutes, as the director perhaps realized that we were already at the two-and-half hour mark. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/5 82% Judy (2019) The scenes between teen Judy and studio head Louis B. Mayer are creepy and effective, and it well sets up the movie's corny but ultimately humanistic and effective ending. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
5/5 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) A masterful genre chronicle of savage injustice and a master-class in genre filmmaking from Bong Joon-ho, Parasite is a classic must-see for anyone who loves film. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 90% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! is 20 percent too long, 20 percent too sappy, and, let's face it, kinda stupid. The movie's monsters, who are supposed to be scary, just seem like typically cheap DC CGI. But little boys will love it. Little girls will love it. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 83% Her Smell (2019) The movie refuses to present a conventional narrative. Instead, it gives us a half-dozen Very Long Scenes full of nervous energy and self-importance. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) The action scenes are by far the best part. Some of them are genuinely exciting. But there aren't nearly enough. It's mostly just boring talk about destiny, punctuated by zero jokes. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 62% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Because [Dan] Gilroy's satire is so harsh, and so arch, the movie lacks emotional impact. Not one of the characters feels remotely sympathetic. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 93% Fighting with My Family (2019) Director and writer Stephen Merchant shoehorns [Florence] Pugh into a typical sports underdog plot... Yet despite the very familiar and familial feel, this one only lags occasionally. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 71% Triple Frontier (2019) Poor Affleck mostly hangs in the background while Hunnam and Hedlund do their weird flexing. Ben Affleck ends up being the least-grating actor in the ensemble. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/5 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) Hotel Mumbai doesn't exploit. It chronicles the randomness of violence, and the ordinary heroism and decency of people forced to confront terrorism. Everyone should see this movie, because it could happen to you. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 60% The Front Runner (2018) [Jason] Reitman takes a mostly-forgotten sex scandal and turns it into a flat and maudlin lecture on media ethics. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 66% Aquaman (2018) Watching it feels like eating 10 boxes of Junior Mints while drinking a 64-ounce Icee. It cements the idea of a DC Cinematic Universe that people actually enjoy, and also the end of human sanity. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 91% Mirai (2018) The movie basically lacks a sense of humor and imaginative celebrity voice work. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) At Eternity's Gate seemed to have been shot through the grimmest Instagram filter, a mournful elegy and a long whine that Philistines don't understand the True Nature Of Art. It's abstract and exclusive. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 84% The Land of Steady Habits (2018) Characters spend most of their time wandering through grocery stores and wine depots. None of it gets satirized as hard as it should. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) The story may be mostly true, but the movie makes it believable. It contains no flashbacks, no explanations, just narrative drive and character exposition. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Boy Erased exists to shine a light on the horrors of conversion therapy. It does so very effectively. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/5 89% A Private War (2018) The war scenes have a you-are-there quality, gripping and vivid. But the scenes at the newspaper, where editors clutch their collars and say "the world needs to hear this" feel a bit self-congratulatory. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/5 94% Private Life (2018) Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn break out all the acting stops to play a hipster Lower East Side couple who put off getting pregnant until it's too late. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 61% Outlaw King (2018) At one point, when Pine was riding around on a horse while wearing what looked like a gold blanket, I had absolutely no way of distinguishing Outlaw King from Monty Python And The Holy Grail. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 84% Creed II (2018) I almost found myself rooting for Viktor Drago to win the final fight, not because of any anti-American sentiment, but because it's always fun to see the actual underdog win. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 78% Green Book (2018) It's inoffensive and emotionally generous and competently, if not imaginatively, shot. The colors are bright, the scenery pleasant. Both main characters get plenty of laugh lines. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 85% A Simple Favor (2018) Blake Lively dominates the screen with a ridiculously sexy star turn that forces her into some outrageous outfits. She delivers a precise comic performance. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
1/5 27% Night School (2018) Somewhere in here lies a sweet movie about overcoming learning disabilities, but the sixty screenwriters have buried it under endless cynical repartee. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
2/5 70% Hold the Dark (2018) [Jeffrey] Wright does what he can with a thinly-written part. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) [Drew] Goddard sure knows how to build tension in a scene, even if there are too many of them. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 86% Monsters and Men (2018) Monsters And Men will convert no one, because it's hard to care about anyone in the frame. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/5 97% The Hate U Give (2018) They don't make "issue movies" better than this. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 73% The Gentlemen (2020) "Ritchie is all about hip style, macho posturing, and opera-style violence that appears to have no lasting societal consequences. And the movie is also racist against Chinese people." - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
3/5 89% The Two Popes (2019) The Two Popes is clever, kind, and warm, and I'm sure your Catholic grandma will love it. Thanks at least in part to The Two Popes, the Catholic church will get away with its many sins-again. It's a liberal fantasy about a conservative institution. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/5 47% No Safe Spaces (2019) No Safe Spaces provides an intermittently amusing and chilling reminder that the 1st Amendment rests on precarious footing and that our civics education has gone to hell. But I'm not entirely persuaded that America is in as much danger as it claims. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2020
4/5 98% The Farewell (2019) After watching The Farewell, I found myself sad for no reason, and angry at the movie's happy ending. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2019
92% Fyre (2019) The film provides more than enough footage of the failed festival, and the lead-up to it, to give the narrative some nail-chewing zip. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
5/5 100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) They Shall Not Grow Old proves surprisingly involving, given that 50 percent of the footage involves closeups of British tommies, who've clearly never heard the word "dentistry," chomping on cigarettes. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
3/5 72% The Aeronauts (2019) The Aeronauts reminds me of old-school Disney live action movies, with a slightly modern sensibility. It's steampunk without the punk. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
4/5 96% Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator (2019) Big Yoga is having its reckoning moment. And the Bikram documentary is the capstone. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
2/5 63% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Motherless Brooklyn is like a new novel inspired by an old novel that, honestly, wasn't that inspiring in the first place. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
2/5 42% Midway (2019) Midway may remember Dick Best. But other movies have done it better, without Ed Skrein. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 89% Dark Waters (2019) Dark Waters is a quiet film, intelligently presented and professionally crafted. In other words, it's Oscar season. - Book & Film Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019