Nicholas Bell

 Nicholas Bell
Tomatometer-approved critic

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/5 75% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) Tom Mercier succeeds in a dynamic dance between madness and charisma in a film which is curiously as bittersweet as it is alarming. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
4/5 80% I Was at Home, But (Ich war zuhause, aber) (2019) Masterful in its subtlety, Schanelec once again proves her expert vision using unexpectedly simple parameters in complex ways. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3.5/5 22% The Golden Glove (Der Goldene Handschuh) (2019) An exercise clearly designed to disgust, assail and repulse. In these terms, it is the director's most effective exercise to date. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Monsters. (Monstri.) (2019) Though not distressing, Monsters. is particularly wistful in its contemplations of a necessary ending. But neither is it a film without hope. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
4/5 100% Öndög (2019) Strange, entertaining and always unexpected, Öndög is a rich new offering from Wang Quan'an, and perhaps one of the most pleasurable entries into his significant filmography. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
3/5 79% Mr. Jones (2019) Vanessa Kirby and a reptilian Peter Sarsgaard are both commendable accents in a fascinating recuperation which has troubling timely parallels to contemporary world politics. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
0.5/5 7% The Kindness of Strangers (2019) Scherfig's latest fails on every conceivable level, with a talented cast floundering haplessly like fish floating closer to their deaths as they rise to the top of the fishbowl. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
4/5 80% Daughter of Mine (Figlia mia) (2019) The portentous and gracefully naturalistic performance given by the trio of actresses definitely protects the film from all melodramatic risk. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3.5/5 83% Dolce Fine Giornata (2019) Borcuch makes excellent parallels to European and Polish history with iconic actress Polish actress Krystyna Janda as his marvelous centerpiece. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
2/5 80% The Magic Life of V (2019) It's a vehicle which ends up feeling as if it was too gingerly steered. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3.5/5 100% Divine Love (2019) Tender despite its oblique narrative style, Mascaro has crafted an eerie futuristic parable which resonates far beyond the credits in its thoughtful deliberations on faith. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2/5 83% Koko-di Koko-da (2019) Nyholm's increasingly absurd film tends to feel caught up in its own allegorical scenario without ever really ratcheting up the sympathy for his core couple. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3/5 58% After the Wedding (2019) Highly immersive and emotionally intuitive when it comes to the dramatic tension of its unique scenario, no matter some of the logistical questions it conveniently leaves unanswered. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet Golden Youth (Une jeunesse dorée) (2019) A film as visually sumptuous as it is entirely soulless. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3/5 83% Dirty God (2019) Incredibly, newcomer Vicky Knight makes her film debut as Jade with a quiet, sensitively primed performance. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3/5 100% Queen of Hearts (2019) Dyrholm, who remains one of Denmark's most accomplished contemporary performers, adds another signature performance to her filmography as Anne, a good person who, like everyone, has the capability of doing terrible things. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3.5/5 78% The Wolf Hour (2019) A compelling conversation piece on authorship, intention and our oft-limited search for meaning - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3.5/5 92% Monos (2019) While Monos refuses to define situational or locational parameters, as an intimate exercise of interminable strife and chaos produced and normalized by guerilla warfare in Latin America, it's certainly a fascinating and artistic achievement. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2.5/5 78% The Lodge (2019) As an exercise in stark atmosphere with a winning streak of nasty, blasphemous subtext, there's enough here to at least keep curious minds occupied as to what depths of depravity the film is willing to traverse. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
3/5 84% I Am Mother (2019) Sputore manages to express an age-old existentialist conflict concerning artificial intelligence on the backs of three performances. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2.5/5 63% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Intriguing but never coalescing into a hard-edged portrait of Bundy... Still, there's enough here to make this an enjoyable revisit of this grisly sociopath. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
2.5/5 89% The Last Tree (2019) While Amoo's narrative has all the requisite familiar beats and archetypes proliferating this tale... it at least features a commendable lead performance from Sam Adewunmi in a heartfelt, introspective turn. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
2/5 65% Native Son (2019) Misses the mark in a series of anachronistic flourishes by keeping its narrative thrust well within the realm of the novel's period parameters rather than properly transporting it to terminologies relevant to [modern] America. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
2/5 38% Close (2019) Ends up being a superficial mixture of barefaced mother-daughter issues and wan politically minded economic shenanigans despite the best efforts of the two women thrown together in exotically inclined cat-and-mouse parameters. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
2/5 37% Glass (2019) Try as he might, the pieces don't coalesce and like countless Shyamalan features, compelling ideas are besmirched by cloying passages of dialogue and a screenplay which deserves to be as smart as its story promises. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
2.5/5 73% Pity (2018) In essence, this is more of the same mix of idiosyncratic banality which once seemed novel about a decade prior. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
2.5/5 70% The Mule (2018) As it stands, for Eastwood, The Mule might be something new, though for the rest of us it fulfills all the expected beats of its narrative. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
3.5/5 95% Time Share (Tiempo Compartido) (2018) Hofmann knows how to leave us with a feeling of pent up discomfort and unease at the world and the characters he's created. It's an unsettled, ruffling experience of imperfect humans trapped in a world where they seem doomed. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
3/5 74% The Mercy (2018) A startling and tragic example of modern man's desperation and hubris, The Mercy is an impassive portrait of a fascinating catastrophe. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
4/5 86% Sisters (1973) While it's a potentially a spurious masquerade as a horror film, Sisters is a fantastic psychological genre exercise from Brian De Palma. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
5/5 75% The Devils (1971) Weird, disarmingly funny, and stuffed to the gills with inspired visuals and intense framing from [director of photograph] David Watkin, The Devils is a masterpiece. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2.5/5 89% Bodied (2018) Belabored and in need of some tangential edits, Bodied may be more than the sum of its parts but could have potentially been more gutsy. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
2.5/5 90% A Private War (2018) An onslaught of familiar flashbacks and war montages sometimes reduce A Private War to the usual passive preachiness of such horrors... Still, Pike manages to compel us to believe in the spirit of Colvin. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
3.5/5 86% The Naked Prey (1966) There's no real ploy for audience sympathies, which is perhaps what makes The Naked Prey feel relevant and naggingly pervasive thanks to this transparency and lack of manipulation. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
100% Les Parents Terribles (The Storm Within) (1948) By today's standards, the potential salaciousness of Les Parents Terribles may seem rather diminished, but it retains a unique energy thanks to its portrait of hopelessly enmeshed post-WWII bourgeois family ties. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2018
3.5/5 91% Trilogy of Terror (1975) for fans of Black, Matheson, or Curtis, there's no topping the weirdness of Terror, which ends in a fantastically strange crescendo. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
2/5 28% Rodin (2018) While it warms up a bit in the second half, Doillon only manages a rather obscure, even myopic depiction of Rodin's considerable cultural iconography. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
4/5 95% Andrei Rublev (1973) May be one of the most impressive portraits of an artist ever committed to film, if mostly because it also transcends its subject as a masterful examination of medieval Russia. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
4.5/5 99% Selma (2015) Selma is the kind of expert filmmaking that's long been absent from an American tradition of historical reenactment-it manages the forgotten art of depicting the graceful human beings that made it history in the first place. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
4/5 100% L'eau froide (Cold Water) (1994) Cold Water is a sterling example of the teen movie genre as art cinema. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
3/5 61% The Oath (2018) Although The Oath ultimately doesn't live up to its convictions about our contemporary political dystopia, it's at least attempting to grapple with a nightmarish but potential worst case scenario. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
93% The Baby (1973) The discomfort of The Baby is what makes it seem surprisingly subversive, thanks mostly to the rigorous physicality of David Mooney's (here credited as David Manzey) performance as a developmentally disabled adult. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
3/5 100% The Farmer's Daughter (1947) It is a hopeful romantic melodrama which hits all the right notes of an optimistic post-WWII America obsessed with its own virtuousness. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
3/5 67% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) More charming and sweetly calibrated than one might expect... It's a welcome change of pace from Roth, who shows a dimensionality previously undetected. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/5 63% Bel Canto (2018) Oddly assembled and never quite convincing either as a human interest drama, a love story, or a thriller, Bel Canto tries to be a lamentation when it might have been better served to scream. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/5 76% Five Fingers for Marseilles (2018) [Director Michael] Matthews clearly has a lot of love for the elements inspiring Five Fingers for Marseilles, but it ultimately falls apart during the exact moments it should be most compelling. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
3.5/5 65% Lizzie (2018) Turns a lurid melodrama into a compelling testament of the dangers of suppression. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
3/5 87% Colette (2018) Knightley excels as the titular author, the costume drama period piece clearly evoking her most impassioned emotional plateaus as a woman who finds her voice and reclaims her name. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
3/5 100% Gloria Bell (2019) For lovers of the first film, the remake has the tendency to feel a bit less refreshing... On the other hand, Moore's lithesome interpretation of a middle-aged woman finally learning how to live out loud still manages to be poignant and enjoyable. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/5 68% Maya (2018) In comparison to Hansen-Love's formidable body of work... There's an absence in rich texture otherwise seen in her strongest works. But even on its own merits, free of the clutter of expectations, Maya is rather a meandering trudge. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018