Nicholas Bell

 Nicholas Bell
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: IONCINEMA.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 100% Zero Fucks Given (Rien à foutre) (2021) Exarchopoulos is constantly compelling and simultaneously striking as the forlorn Cassandra, whose loneliness casts a languid melancholy. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2021
3.5/5 100% Drive My Car (2021) The prolific Hamaguchi... unveils his most complex endeavor yet with this tempest of fluctuating roles defined by formidable regrets and the difficulty of communicating. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet Down with the King (2021) A narrative of awkward transitions in the realm of artistry and adulthood, Gibbs shines in this simmering portrait of a defensive musician unsure of how to continue in the lane of gangsta rap as he retreats into the wilderness to regain his composure. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2021
3/5 75% Nitram (2021) A sinister performance from Caleb Landry Jones and an expert Australian supporting cast bolsters this arthouse horror film. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2021
3.5/5 80% Bloody Oranges (Oranges sanguines) (2021) For fans of offbeat cinema sprinkled with shocking splashes of violence, Meurisse finds an odd cross section of arthouse and exploitation. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
4/5 96% Red Rocket (2021) Baker nabs Trey Edward Shults' usual DP Drew Daniels for this grainy 35mm odyssey, which resists reveling in degradation and miserabilism for an acutely human portrait of hustler resisting the reality of his sell-by date. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
4.5/5 64% France (2021) A satire hybrid bolstered by one helluva committed Lea Seydoux performance, front and center in nearly every frame. Too sober for soap opera and yet too ludicrous for sentimentality, Dumont's latest is a fantastically pleasurable cinematic delight. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
1/5 64% Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades) (2021) Formidably inauthentic from its opening frames, the film professes to be about 'modern love' but plays like a throwback to Gen X romantic dramas from the 1990s, where such blunt depictions of sexuality and multiple sex partners still retained shock value. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2021
2.5/5 No Score Yet Tom Medina (2021) Shot by Patrick Ghiringhelli, Gatlif has created a beautiful showcase for Camargue. However, one wishes Tom Medina was more enigmatic, at least enough to justify his titular omnipotence. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet Softie (Petite Nature) (2021) Strong characterization and adept storytelling allow for an astounding level of authenticity even as it hews closely to a formula particularly well-utilized in French language cinema. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
2.5/5 No Score Yet The Employer and the Employee (El Empleado y El Patrón) (2021) The Employer and the Employee offers an upsetting portrait of reality, but coldly denies any semblance of comfort or catharsis. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
3.5/5 No Score Yet Are You Lonesome Tonight? (2021) Director Wen Shipei strikes an oddly satisfying balance between broody Neo-noir and simmering romance with his debut Are You Lonesome Tonight? - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
3.5/5 86% Medusa (2021) If the energy of the final act isn't as wickedly energetic as the film's set-up, there's definite catharsis in store for the denouement in a film which, like Russ Meyers once attempted, is an ode to the violence in women. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
4/5 94% Titane (2021) Bizarre, to say the least, sometimes off-putting and strangely enchanting, Titane is cold as chrome, hot as fire, securely nestling in the nexus of metal and flesh. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
4/5 100% A Hero (2021) Arguably a return to form, and his most masterful effort since his 2011 breakout A Separation, A Hero hews closely to the formula [director Asghar Farhadi]'s known best for, rippling social issue dramas as anxiety laden as any thriller. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2021
3/5 83% Petrov's Flu (2021) It's zany and strange, confusing and obtuse, but for each aberrant fixture, Serebrennikov loops back into his pool of perspectives as we chase the tail of a viral outbreak both literal and hypothetical. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
2/5 86% The French Dispatch (2021) Somewhere along the way of the conception of The French Dispatch, Anderson's aesthetic has become so expected, even self-reflexive, it aborts the empathy and humanity which always clinched the gap of pretension. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
3.5/5 80% Unclenching the Fists (2021) All four principals are making their film debuts, and while all are impressive, Aguzarova is the winning presence, aided by Soslan Khugaev as Akim, lost souls whose connection, while likely feeding into comorbidity, remains poignant. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
3.5/5 No Score Yet The Tale of King Crab (Re granchio) (2021) Like a spaghetti western, it hits a definite genre groove which feels uniquely self aware without seeming arch, a narrative crafted collaboratively for its own meandering, maximum effect. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
4/5 No Score Yet Returning to Reims (Retour à Reims (fragments)) (2021) Some familiar faces from the annals of Gallic cinema flash across the screen, but always in the service of underlining particular period sentiments which, in turn, were reflected in Eribon's family lineage. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
2/5 58% The Divide (La fracture) (2021) While not to suggest the narrative's idea is unwarranted, the script from Corsini, Agnes Feuvre, and Laurette Polmanas requires a smarter dash of subversion than this ineffective exercise. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
3.5/5 No Score Yet Bruno Reidal, Confession of a Murderer (2021) Upsetting and disturbing, Bruno Reidal is challenging arthouse horror, and suggests Vincent Le Port as a budding provocateur. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2021
3/5 84% Benedetta (2021) Enjoyably tawdry, if you enjoy Verhoeven (and you know who you are), Benedetta is a requisite entry in his formidable filmography. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
3.5/5 77% Bergman Island (2021) Krieps is clearly the star, down to earth and confident despite her self-doubts. Roth seems more bemused on the sidelines, while against all odds, Hansen-Løve draws us into the anguish of Amy thanks to Wasikowska, mirroring Krieps' energy. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2021
.5/5 35% Flag Day (2021) As a piece of filmmaking, Flag Day is completely inept. As a source of camp entertainment (outside of a major film festival)--priceless. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2021
4/5 100% The Worst Person In The World (Verdens Verste Menneske) (2021) Funny, poignant, and eventually bittersweet, authentically staged asides and a winning, complex performance from Renate Reinsve makes this a thoroughly unexpected offering from Trier. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
3.5/5 72% Ahed's Knee (Le genou d'Ahed) (2021) Meant to provoke, in which it certainly succeeds, Ahed's Knee may feel sometimes shrill, but it's also an unpredictable, refreshing howl. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
3/5 86% A Radiant Girl (Une jeune fille qui va bien) (2021) Kiberlain presents an adeptly conceived character portrait contained in just the right way to remain chillingly effective and memorable. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
3/5 100% The Hill Where the Lionesses Roar (La colline où rugissent les lionnes) (2021) Although a truncated finale suggests a stronger denouement might have bolstered the narrative considerably, it's set in an authentic realm of inevitable consequences. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
3/5 76% Annette (2021) With much of the creative energy usurped by the required singing, there's little room for emotional engagement, but some strident choices make for an altogether memorable experience. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2021
4/5 88% Zola (2021) A formidably entertaining cast helps cement Bravo's reputation (see her equally original 2017 debut, Lemon) as one of the most intensely interesting American filmmakers today. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2021
3.5/5 98% My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To (2021) Strong performances and a significant aura of menace born from the sinewy empathy conjured for its lead protagonist, Cuartas presents a nightmare of the finest ilk, marrying the fuel of folklore to disparate realities. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
81% God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya (2021) A curiously interactive and consistently enjoyable feature magnifying the innate and inherent oppression of patriarchal and religious paradigms. In the end, it isn't about winning a place at their table but making your own. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2021
3.5/5 80% Gaia (2021) While the narrative hits a monotonous stretch begging for several beats or moments to be condensed, Bouwer and scribe Tertius Kapp offer a compelling quartet of characters forced to contend with their contemporary heart of darkness. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
3.5/5 89% Roaring 20's (2021) Elisabeth Vogler's Roaring 20's is a single shot exercise which utilizes the anxious energy of a tentative return to socialization as well as the immortal vibrancy of Paris. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
2.5/5 45% Italian Studies (2021) The elements feel jarring all churned up into the mix. But even if it's the ultimate point of the film, in search of its own identity, it's not an ultimately interesting endeavor to behold. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
3.5/5 100% The Kids (2021) If Kids was considered a hellacious wake-up call... the story behind its origins and the abandonment of its first-time actors is another uncomfortable reality. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2021
3/5 83% Port Authority (2019) Port Authority may be far from perfect, but it's also a vital portrait of adaptability. Lessovitz presents a dynamic pair of protagonists while conveying the resilience of a community who's mastered building a world of their own. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
2/5 27% Gully (2019) Without the correct balance of grit and resilience, it's more along the lines of an exploitation melodrama than a proper portrait of modern South Central. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
2/5 56% The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) For genre fans appeased by going through the motions, this latest exhumation on the Warrens might superficially appease despite its obvious intentions as another endless franchise cash grab. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
3.5/5 100% My Tender Matador (Tengo Miedo Torero) (2021) This inspired recuperation of Lemebel at least recreates another rare opportunity to revisit the queer spaces and lives forgotten by both the oppressors and the liberators. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2021
3/5 46% Seance (2021) If only Bartlett had pushed the envelope a bit more, as mundane temerity is this film's ultimate undoing. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2021
3.5/5 74% Cruella (2021) Cruella is often infectiously entertaining despite its faults, and reframing Cruella de Vil as a devious stunt queen, at least for the briefest sparkle of a few moments, feels sublime. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet Impressively clear-eyed in this insular examination of a first love, Spring Blossom also has its fair share of clichés often seen in French cinema. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2021
4/5 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Touching, hopeful and effectively nerve wracking, A Quiet Place II is also a wonderful showcase for Millicent Simmonds. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2021
3/5 68% Army Of The Dead (2021) An energetic romp unafraid to feel grisly without wholly depending on comedy, it plays like a reprieve for Snyder, shrugging off the weight of expectation for something purely entertaining. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2021
2.5/5 37% Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) As an exercise about punishing corrupt members of law enforcement, Spiral certainly primes audiences for timely catharsis, but the dwindling and eventually insipid third act detracts from these subversive themes. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2021
1.5/5 63% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) Those Who Wish Me Dead, like Sheridan's treatment of Tom Clancy's Without Remorse, fails to deliver the requisite characterization or narrative energy necessary to remain interesting or memorable. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2021
3/5 26% The Woman in the Window (2021) Though it underwent an arduous journey to its release and is arguably a cobbling together of derivative elements, The Woman in the Window succeeds as a fun throwback to the grand days of noir. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
3/5 88% Oxygen (2021) Amalric seems to be having fun as the prickly and authentically precise helpmate, but this is Laurent's show all the way and serves as another reminder of her prowess. - IONCINEMA.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2021