Peter Howell

Peter Howell
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/4 51% Tolkien (2019) Tolkien is to filmmaking what spoon-feeding is to infants. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/4 15% The Hustle (2019) The third time for this tale is not the charm. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3/4 96% Hail Satan? (2019) These outspoken occultists consider themselves not so much part of a religion as a politically active agency espousing individualism, self-expression and liberty. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
1.5/4 81% Long Shot (2019) It's more than a little disturbing that a woman as smart and capable as Field would deem it necessary to hire an arrogant jerk like Flarsky to "punch up" her speeches. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3/4 100% Knock Down the House (2019) The definitive AOC doc awaits, but Knock Down the House provides a bracing first draft. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
3/4 93% Diane (2019) Diane is a sublime puzzle of a movie, resolving itself without completely yielding its secrets. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
3.5/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Mathematicians say infinity has no end. Avengers: Endgame thrillingly and movingly proves them wrong. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
0.5/4 30% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) This is what happens when franchise greed is put ahead of storytelling basics. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
3.5/4 83% High Life (2019) The vastness of space is such a natural fit for the free-floating narratives of Claire Denis, it's a wonder she hasn't embraced sci-fi before now. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
3/4 93% Rafiki (2019) Rafiki hardly breaks new narrative ground, but Kahiu's fluid direction and wholly empathetic performances by Mugatsia and Munyiva make the movie special. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
2.5/4 43% Girls of the Sun (Les filles du soleil) (2019) It doesn't stint on war-movie tropes and cliché-filled speeches, sometimes to its detriment. It fares better in recognizing the humanity and determination of the female soldiers. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
2/4 16% Hellboy (2019) It's in tune with the current public taste for over-the-top horror. But it seems pointless regardless, as does the CGI overkill that turns every battle into a bloodbath leaving mutilated and decapitated bodies. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
3/4 84% Her Smell (2019) A fame-to-flameout movie that leaves scorch marks on the brain. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
2/4 45% Little (2019) If only Jordan could have directed some of her drill-sergeant fury toward the writers and makers of Little, it might have been a better movie. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
3.5/4 99% Amazing Grace (2019) The film still isn't technically perfect - the editing is rough, technical snafus sometimes slow the flow and the camera crew is all too visible - but the sound and emotion power over any ragged spots. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
2.5/4 89% Missing Link (2019) The animation is almost too good for a story this slender - the water imagery is especially impressive. But it helps make this pleasant diversion all the more enjoyable, for bigfeet and smallfeet alike. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
2.5/4 63% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) Visually heroic, narratively tilting at windmills, Terry Gilliam's 25-year obsession with Miguel de Cervantes' eccentric knight-errant embraces illusion with such devotion I ended up liking The Man Who Killed Don Quixote more than fighting it. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
1/4 57% Pet Sematary (2019) Pet Sematary still isn't very scary, but it's gotten a lot more stupid. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/4 90% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! is irreverent in a sweet way, not a cynical way like Deadpool. There's more reason to fear a "suitcase wedgie" (don't ask) than the threatened planetary destruction (yawn). - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/4 97% Carmine Street Guitars (2019) Mann is the hipster fly on the wall, just happy to be there and drink it all in - and to share the joy of the experience with us. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/4 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) Hotel Mumbai is part survival thriller, part docudrama - and all of a confusion. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 47% Dumbo (2019) The film's a joy to behold, if not to ponder. Burton and his crew find magic in their paintbox that's missing in the story. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
1/4 54% The Beach Bum (2019) The Beach Bum might have worked as a fish-out-of-water comedy or redemptive story of a loser who finally learns how to win. Neither of these genre staples would appeal to a bête noire like Korine, the filmmaking equivalent of a bull in a china shop. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 33% Through Black Spruce (2018) The movie stands on its own merits, as a simmering whodunit where plot basics are secondary to personalities, thanks to a superb cast. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 100% Falls Around Her (2018) An unexpected homecoming becomes a mystery story in Falls Around Her, a movie marking the first lead film role for Tantoo Cardinal in her 48-year career. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
3.5/4 92% Firecrackers (2018) One of the best new Canadian films in a long while... - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 57% The Highwaymen (2019) Gets the job done in as ruthless a fashion as its subjects. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/4 94% Us (2019) The film relies on the brilliant-times-two acting of Nyong'o, who slips between protective mom and devilish double with a facility that keeps everybody on edge, both on and off the screen. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 98% Ash Is Purest White (2019) The narrative occasionally wavers but not Zhao's performance, her best yet. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/4 28% The Aftermath (2019) From the title on down, most of the drama in The Aftermath seems to have already happened off-screen. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 97% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) The droll absurdity of Nordic cinema acquires an eco-terrorism edge in Woman at War, a movie filled with dualities and one singular performance. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/4 98% 3 Faces (2019) Metaphors speak louder than words in this stealthy new drama by state-harassed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
2.5/4 80% Ruben Brandt, Collector (2019) This is Krstic's first feature and it's obvious that he has visual flair to spare. If he can only find a story worthy of it, he'd have a real work of film art. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
4/4 98% Apollo 11 (2019) It brings home, with IMAX size and thunder, the magnitude of the mission's achievement. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/4 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) What the movie lacks in narrative flow, it makes up for in action scenes and character appeal. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/4 76% Never Look Away (2019) There is horror and beauty in this film, and sometimes both at the same time... - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/4 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Upending expectations may be the biggest victory of all for this movie. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
2/4 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) It's more of a scavenger hunt than a movie. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
2.5/4 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) If this is a "B" Asghar Farhadi film, it's still better than the "A" efforts of many other filmmakers. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
1.5/4 69% Isn't It Romantic (2019) A sloppily written story that fails as both romance and comedy. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
1.5/4 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) It's like watching an infomercial where children mindlessly smash heaping piles of name-branded toys together for the better part of two hours - although the children are invisible for the most part. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/4 89% Arctic (2019) It would be easier to count the words spoken in Joe Penna's survival thriller Arctic than the number of beats your heart skips while watching it. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
2/4 44% The Prodigy (2019) Director Nicholas McCarthy and screenwriter Jeff Buhler could pen that aforementioned parental handbook for child demonic possession, since they blithely borrow from innumerable evil kid movies. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/4 88% The Image Book (Le livre d'image) (2019) Jean-Luc Godard is a lion in winter. He fairly roars in The Image Book, his new film that serves as a visual essay about life on planet Earth. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
3.5/4 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Pawlikowski remains a director to watch and Cold War is a film to watch again and again. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
1/4 38% Glass (2019) Shyamalan is so intent on not making a conventional superhero movie, he ends up not making much of a movie at all. This Glass isn't half-empty; it's not even one-third full. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/4 92% Stan & Ollie (2019) Coogan and Reilly perform the alchemist's feat of turning lead into gold, finessing all the trademark details - Laurel's puzzled head-scratching, Hardy's flirtatious tie-flipping, the duo's adorable dance moves - with skill and affection. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/4 89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) Capernaum is an absolute heartbreaker about children in peril and the plight of undocumented people. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
3.5/4 97% Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Vividly sketches African-American lives on an Alabama trek that bypasses stereotypes and narrative conceit, proceeding directly to empathy. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
3/4 94% Wildlife (2018) Few could play a character so ordinary with as much empathy as Oxenbould brings to the role. He's one to watch, here and in the future. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019