Nora Lee Mandel

Nora Lee Mandel
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
6/10 46% The Outsider (2019) Ultra-violent, ahistorical Western revenge intriguing mash-up of genres...Really captivating Jon Foo's...devastating use of formidable martial arts skills. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2019
6/10 57% Aladdin (2019) Frenetically whizzes around bland actors with flat American accents busy singing & dancing old & new songs through effects to keep child's attention during over-long scenes. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
8/10 100% Shoah: Four Sisters (2018) Lanzmann's original intent was to step-by-step document the Final Solution, so female survivors were seen only briefly. This is a timely response to Holocaust denial. - EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
7/10 88% Chasing Portraits (2019) More about her feelings...audience viscerally shares her whirligig of emotions during her search; she's especially sensitive in not pushing her father on difficult memories. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
7/10 80% Super Deluxe (2019) Like in entertaining Apatow movies, within madcap and even life-threatening situations, each character learns to work on primary relationships, thanks to forgiving females. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
6/10 47% Dumbo (2019) Lumbers too much, with too little charm. Just barely saved by a few elements: DeVito, Eva Green, production design, and the digital elephants, especially one that flies. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
8/10 100% Penguin Highway (2019) Charming anime children's story that also celebrates science education...Follows the child scientist doing careful scientific observation... though writing is un-translated. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
7/10 75% Sobibor (2018) Grimly strives to make up for the fact that for almost 60 years, Soviet/Russian leaders downplayed Jews were targeted by the Nazis...The Jews needed military organization. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
8/10 82% The Brink (2019) Observes Bannon as a fly on his wall while he enthusiastically sought a wider international impact by guiding far-right parties...Tantalizing glimpses of financial backers. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
8/10 100% The Unorthodox (2018) Malka's debut film, with a delightful score, that could make secular me not just empathize with but also be entertained by the Ultra-Orthodox is unusual and successful. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
8/10 94% The Mustang (2019) Involving story of struggle & redemption thru program where tough men work with wild horses in prison. Actors, horses and Nevada scenery are gorgeous, rises above docudrama. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/10 27% The Aftermath (2019) The only reason to consider seeing their surprisingly unappealing romantic triangle is the particular period context that hasn't been seen in fiction films. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
6/10 97% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) A light, charming tale of environmental activism, maintains a tone of gentle social and political satire for a subject usually known for its lack of humor. Kudos to Halldóra. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
8/10 90% The Golem (2019) Cheers to The Paz Brothers, and writer Ariel Cohen, for a feminist take on the traditional tale! - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
7/10 100% The Pluto Moment (Ming wang xing shi ke) (2018) Quest...for authentic funeral experience...with nocturnal song...Urbanites ruefully discover that Chinese pop culture is reaching ever farther into the hinterland. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
8/10 No Score Yet The Crosses (Las cruces) (2018) Movingly tracks where past, memory, conscience and grief come together in very specific locales of one community that looks like it hasn't changed - except for the crosses. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
8/10 100% Rojo (2018) Slyly demonstrates that the right-wing coup vs Peron '76...didn't occur suddenly without a context of support...Alarming harbinger or entertaining parable of Dirty War. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
8/10 82% Putin's Witnesses (Svideteli Putina) (2018) His camera were present at the creation of the Putin dictatorship...He now narrates his unique footage as a "witness" with the nuanced eye of the perspective of time. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
7/10 No Score Yet The Trial (2018) Astounding find: a complete film of one of Stalin's early infamous "show trials"...After, Loznitsa scrolls his research on what really happened to all the participants. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
7/10 92% Donbass (2018) Shrewdly targets several dimensions...utilized to punish Ukraine...Extraordinarily canny in showing how...history is frequently re-written and "news" is scripted. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2019
7/10 66% Vice (2018) Realized by a superb ensemble, cleverly tells true stories of Dick Cheney and Lynne Vincent...manipulating levers of power in DC...Satire meaningful mostly to political geeks. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2018
9/10 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Feel-good movie of the year on triumph over gender discrimination...Well captures the feeling of the period from 1955 to 1971 in Ginsburgs' lives upbeat hagiography. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2018
4/10 No Score Yet Mein Führer - Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler (My Fuhrer) (2007) Of anthropological interest, My Führer is like a curio exhibit in a Museum of German Comedy rather than a very amusing or profound entertainment for international audiences. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
9/10 98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) "Best of 2018" "Mr Rogers' Neighborhood" over three decades is revealed as dedicated ministry of Fred Rogers. He modeled kindness and empathy directly to each young viewer. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2018
9/10 100% Minding the Gap (2018) "Best of 2018" From a new generation of boys skating together through the desolation of the recession..we all can come closer to understanding, sadly, how abuse happens. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2018
9/10 97% The Rider (2018) "Best of 2018" Zhao blows away the traditional western movie stereotypes of cowboy, Indian, rodeo, horse whisperer-and a century of those American symbols of masculinity. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2018
7/10 90% The Last Resort (2018) Two young photographers saw more than I did in Miami Beach to make gorgeous visuals over ten years...They had foresight to document a Jewish community that didn't last long. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
10/10 93% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) In her passionate debut film, Green achieves a feat of making a two-level research project informative and entertaining. Exciting and essential documentary for film history! - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
7/10 100% Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018) Finally goes from treating the songs as a wonderful, well-researched visual and musical introduction to creators and performers of 1950's-1980's industrial shows. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
8/10 89% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Very little kids shouldn't be brought to see this entertaining, funny, and scary, animated PG ...feisty send-up of popular culture and Disney in theaters. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
9/10 100% The Waldheim Waltz (2018) Of riveting contemporary political relevance...effectively raises disquieting questions about a country's memories and moral responsibility as right-wing parties again rise. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
9/10 64% Memoir of War (La douleur) (2018) Liberation of Paris from Nazis gets a new, personalized perspective, where it serves as the background for one woman living through this fraught period, Marguerite Duras. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
9/10 96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) Powerfully, sometimes humorously...encompasses racial , cinematic history...Chilling link between past and present realities. Far more truth in tumultuous film than fiction. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
6/10 100% 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie (2018) Genial documentary is like your 50th reunion. No big drama, confrontation, revelation or insight. Men maturely make mutual decision to focus on good memories, pleasant music. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
6/10 83% Puzzle (2018) Just focus on how Kelly Macdonald beautifully lets her mid-20th century-type of woman slowly bloom and the inventiveness of Irrfan Khan's irresistible inventor. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
8/10 84% The Captain (Der Hauptmann) (2018) Schwentke intends for these actions to parallel what Wehrmacht participated in against Jews and Roma ...This astute film is an excoriating portrait of Nazism or fascism. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
6/10 79% Breath (2018) Inappropriate relationships...leave a discomfort to almost overwhelm the convincing portrayal of male adolescent bonhomie, the gorgeous scenery, and fantastic surfing scenes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2018
8/10 90% Bye Bye Germany (Es war einmal in Deutschland...) (2018) The year: 1946. The place: U.S. Displaced Persons Camp, Frankfurt, Germany. The genre: Comedy. Really, and it's enjoyable and rich with ironic humor and dark undertones. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2018
7/10 76% What Will People Say? (Hva vil folk si) (2018) For portrayal of so-called "honor crime," unique film emotionally touches issues in some 1st generation immigrant communities in West from point of view of 2nd generation. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
9/10 95% RBG (2018) Viewers are moved by the accomplishments and impact tiny Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had on so many lives and how the appreciation of her work is growing across generations. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2018
5/10 78% The King (2018) Pushes metaphoric parallels between life of Elvis and American exceptionalism as far as his 1962 Rolls-Royce can go. Car and doc break down...Insight gets drowned out . - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
9/10 98% Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2018) Feminist Western you should've been waiting for! Focusing on violent behavior and its impact on women...straddles tradition and modernity, distinctive look, strong females. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2018
7/10 88% Hitler's Hollywood (2018) Expands..seeing more of Goebbels' propaganda burlesque comedies and musicals...That Third Reich was cinematic self-delusion is intriguing but repeats the obvious. - Maven's Nest EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2018
9/10 86% A Bag of Marbles (Un sac de billes) (2018) First-rate example of making difficult history relateable to younger generation...Lovely, clever boys' war story movingly imparts history about the Holocaust and family. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
9/10 100% Keep the Change (2018) The most original romcom in years...infuses this traditional format with more empathy and sweet sincerity than is usually found in this genre...for a special date movie. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2018
8/10 98% Leaning Into the Wind (2018) Delicately documents recent work, from constructing permanent installations to seasonally temporary, and creating ones so fleeting they can only be seen through this film - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2018
7/10 94% Foxtrot (2018) Brings satirical tradition of Catch-22 to the Israeli Defense Forces...Some irony may be lost on foreign audience...but U.S. will appreciate caustic theater of the absurd. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2018
6/10 71% West of the Jordan River (2018) Interviews mostly liberal Israeli politicians, journalists, and activists in civic organizations working to bridge the gap the government won't cross--feels sadly dated . - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
9/10 88% The Post (2018) Absorbing First Amendment thriller rousing success due to behind-scenes business: feminist evolution of Kay Graham (sterling Streep) and step-by-step how feat was achieved . - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
6/10 77% In the Land of Pomegranates (2018) Amidst tense airings of grievances, context is set against beautiful images of the disputed homeland, archival footage, and personal testimonials of clashes and cooperation. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2018