Neil Pond

Neil Pond
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 24% Men in Black International (2019) Strands its cast and its franchise with a script that feels stale and cookie-cutter, underwhelming F/X, a messy, meandering plot and a shortage of the crisp, feisty zip and zing that made the original idea so much gosh-darn fun. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
3.5/5 89% Rocketman (2019) A glittery goblet of tribute, a rollicking twist on rock biopics, and a stupendously inventive musical with a star-making performance by Egerton, who fills it with pitch-perfect performances. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
3.5/5 57% Aladdin (2019) Not a whole new world, but a bit brighter, bluer, and newer for a modern generation of young viewers who need to hear that a princess has more on her mind than marrying a prince. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
4/5 97% Booksmart (2019) The best, brightest coming-of-age comedy in years. An easy A+. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
2.5/5 49% A Dog's Journey (2019) Warm and fuzzy but a bit lacking in substantial bow-wow-wow, this franchise nonetheless feels like it's turning into a faithful movie companion that's figured out its own secret to coming back again and again. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
2.5/5 34% Poms (2019) I kept wishing for a bit more rah to go with the sis-boom-bah, but the movie's heart is in the right place, with an uplifting message about teamwork, friendship and not letting age be a barrier, of any kind. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
3.5/5 81% Long Shot (2019) You've heard politics make strange bedfellows. In this smart, sharp, frequently hilarious, often raunchy odd-couple rom-com, strange bedfellows make some pretty interesting politics. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
3.5/5 92% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) Reminds us of the grand cycle of life not just for penguin Steve, but for nature in general--the mystery of animal instincts, the majesty of their domains and their marvelous, miraculous adaptability. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
3/5 46% Little (2019) A little of this, a little of that, Little is a pleasant enough springtime diversion, with a bigger, multi-generational, women-of-color message about empowerment. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
3.5/5 90% Shazam! (2019) A playful, witty, clever, teen-centric jaunt that soars with a simple, uncluttered story, free of the past and full of both humor and heart. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 47% Dumbo (2019) Burton's signature, curveball spin edges into some deliciously dark corners, but the movie's big--and big-top--heart throbs with the rousing pulse of family, togetherness and freedom. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
4/5 94% Us (2019) A modern horror movie that has the feel of an instant classic, one that has staying power to shock and awe years or even decades from now. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Soars as an origin story with heart, cheeky humor, wit and warmth, zingy dialogue, punchy action, colorful characters and a hero--heroine--who breaks the glass ceiling on two worlds. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
2.5/5 60% Greta (2019) A tight, pulpy, nasty little crazy-train psychological thriller that takes a sharp turn into something even nastier in the homestretch. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The third time is definitely a charm---and a charm(er)---for the final, closing, soaring chapter of this popular, successful franchise about a Viking boy and his faithful, flying dragon. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) With a brisk streak of send-up humor, and outright comedy, stirred into the killer mix, it isn't a bloody slasher film, by any stretch---it's more Scooby Doo than Scream. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
2/5 45% What Men Want (2019) Pours on the yuks but doesn't have much of a feel about how to make this raunchy comedy about workplace inequality much more than a broad, lazy swipe at an easy, timely target. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2/5 37% Glass (2019) Shyamalan's geeky intersection of comic book culture, superhero backstories and pop mythology builds to a showdown, but it's more of a letdown. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
2.5/5 40% The Upside (2019) Offers a pleasant thaw from the January cold, but can't quite overcome the downside of stereotyping, clichés and an overlay of hokey, jokey sap and gloppy, predictable Hollywood goo. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
3/5 73% Destroyer (2018) A down-and-dirty walk on the wild side that few actresses ever take. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3.5/5 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) An eye-popping charmer of song and dance with an all-star cast, cascades of old-school, feel-good warmth, audaciously entertaining showmanship and massive dollops of Disney enchantment. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
4/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Superhero flicks just got a whole lot more super, a bit more crowded---and much more inclusive. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 82% Ben is Back (2018) Hedges wraps up a tremendous year with another powerful gut-punch of a performance. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
3.5/5 78% Green Book (2018) The miles melt away with two of the most unforgettable characters from one of the best feel-good films of 2018. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
3/5 59% The Grinch (2018) This groovy, green, not-so-mean movie kickoff to the Christmas season will delight children and remind grown-ups why Dr. Seuss still rocks. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/5 32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) This overcooked Christmas-movie meatloaf is a Disney dud. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3.5/5 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Malek's remarkable, spellbinding performance almost makes you forget you're really watching a quasi-Queen with a faux Freddie. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
80% Mid90s (2018) Bumps, bruises and broken bones aside, the movie is kinda sweet, often dreamy, and ultimately a tribute to camaraderie among young, outlier, outsider friends of any stripe, anywhere, anytime. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
3.5/5 79% Halloween (2018) Full of pulse-pounding scares, enough "tasteful" slashing, stabbing, skull-smashing and impaling to keep gore-hounds happy, and terrific nods to the movie that started it all. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
4/5 87% First Man (2018) Maybe not the rah-rah, American-pie space-race victory lap you're expecting, but still a masterful, monumentally introspective moon-movie character study in a class all its all own. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
4.5/5 89% A Star Is Born (2018) A Star is Born is aptly titled--Lady Gaga has arrived. A movie star is born. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
3.5/5 85% A Simple Favor (2018) A deliciously, deliriously twisty tale of moms, martinis and a far-out gone girl that's way more fun than you'd likely ever expect. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
2/5 13% Peppermint (2018) A red-meat movie and a vicarious shooting gallery for people who are fed up, like Garner's character, Riley, and pent-up, about...well, whatever. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
3/5 23% The Happytime Murders (2018) I dug the dirty jokes, off-kilter humor and subversive spin on a crazy, grimy world with puppets and humans trying to make their way together. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
4/5 91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) At this core of any Cinderella story is, of course, Cinderella. And Constance Wu is terrific in her first leading movie role, bringing the audience along for every magical moment. She's now officially a movie star. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2018
2.5/5 46% The Meg (2018) A mega-chunk of summer-movie shark cheese. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) A straight-up, fire-breathing story about the long, painful scar of racism in America. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2018
2.5/5 47% Skyscraper (2018) It's a sky-high stack of cheese, sure, but it's pretty good cheese, especially for a lite summer snack. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
3.5/5 88% Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) No matter your size or your grasp of science or superheroes, Ant-Man and the Wasp is pure quantum fun. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
2.5/5 61% Uncle Drew (2018) The big appeal is seeing these big basketball stars in deep disguise, then breaking out their mojo to show younger hotshots how it's done--like an NBA edition of Undercover Boss. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
3/5 47% Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Little dinos, big dinos, sad dinos, scary dinos, angry dinos, rampaging dinos, even a crying dino. If you come for the creatures, you'll definitely leave with a paleo pallet-full. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
3/5 56% Tag (2018) Wild, nutty and preposterous, but true...with a cherry message we all need to hear: Long may we run--and oh, by the way, you're it! - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
4/5 94% Incredibles 2 (2018) A deliciously detailed, multilayered, multi-textured, multigenerational tale brimming with espionage satire, cinema savvy and pop-culture wit. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2018
4/5 89% Hereditary (2018) It borrows from other horror movies, but this tale of ancestry gone to hell and family dysfunction twisted, toxic, wicked, warped and wrong finds a horror path all its own. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
3/5 70% Adrift (2018) This sea-saga blend of love story, fem-strong survival tale and ocean-yarn adventure makes a decent date-night flick. It still doesn't, however, make me want to get on a sailboat. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2018
4/5 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) These are some big space shoes to fill. But hey, give the new Han some room to grow--to become Solo--and he grows on you. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2018
3/5 54% Book Club (2018) A charming, grown-up, feel-good movie, with just the right amount of saucy seasoning for audiences who may not be in the mood for sassy superheroes. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
38% Life of the Party (2018) This feel-good, back-to-school comedy won't get many extra credits, but it shows just how dependably, reliably funny Melissa McCarthy continues to be when she's "down to clown." - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2018
3.5/5 85% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) It's crowded, busy and noisy--and if you're a Marvel fan, pretty close to heaven. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/5 35% I Feel Pretty (2018) Schumer, who's spoken publicly about the many potshots she's taken about her looks and her body--many of them disgustingly, disturbingly nasty--here boldly confronts them head-on. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018