Peter Howell

Peter Howell
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 84% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) He's still funny, the humour is still gross, the cultural and political revelations are even nastier and the cinematography and screenplay seem even more improvised. - Night Vision EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
3.5/4 91% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) The movie puts the past on the stand to inform the present - and also to galvanize it. - Night Vision EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
2.5/4 86% On The Rocks (2020) Our attention is drawn more to the brushwork of paintings by Monet and Cy Twombly than to the inner lives of Coppola's human creations. She's chosen to merely coast this time out, hinting at depths unsounded. - Night Vision EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
3/4 77% Akilla's Escape (2020) Terrific performances from poet/actor Saul Williams ("Slam") as a dealer in need of redemption and Thamela Mpumlwana (who takes on two different roles) make this saga special. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2020
3/4 96% David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) Barefoot and brainy, this infectious, percussive and joyous meditation on life by ex-Talking Head frontman Byrne lets the cerebral become the physical. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
3/4 72% Ammonite (2020) Francis Lee's forbidden-love story in 1840s England is vital and austere, not unlike the fossilized sea creature that gives the film its title and poignant symbol. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
3.5/4 78% New Order (Nuevo orden) (2020) Paying riveting testament to the madness of modern times, it dares us not to look away. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
3.5/4 100% Inconvenient Indian (2020) Latimer... takes Thomas King's central thesis of white culpability for Indigenous suppression and conjures conscience-tweaking images of grace and power. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
3.5/4 97% One Night in Miami (2020) A resonant film that finds the humanity inside the supermen. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
3.5/4 100% The Father (2020) Director/co-writer Florian Zeller, adapting his stage play, exhibits the psychodramatic rigour of Michael Haneke or Stanley Kubrick, but also compassion and real understanding of mental-health issues. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
4/4 97% Nomadland (2020) A role and story drawn from life, "Nomadland" feels like classic fiction. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
4/4 98% Hamilton (2020) The film pulses with energy and life - and yes, this Revolution is genuinely cinematic, even if it is being televised. - Night Vision EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2020
3.5/4 71% Tenet (2020) Christopher Nolan's most challenging film - and also his most satisfying. - Night Vision EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2020
2.5/4 78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Pig-tailed and pitiless Harley was the best part of "Suicide Squad" (which I liked, by the way), and this is her coming-out party, replete with exploding glitter bullets. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
2.5/4 75% The Gentlemen (2020) Prepare to be entertained, if you enjoy watching charismatic actors act naughty, talk dirty and shoot first. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2020
2.5/4 86% Color Out of Space (2020) You know Nicolas Cage has reached peak freak when he's the scariest thing about a space-alien invasion of Earth. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
2.5/4 88% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2019) If Kael were still alive, she might well have wanted "What She Said" to cock a more critical eye toward her. She says right in the doc that it's dangerous for a critic to be too popular. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
2.5/4 77% Bad Boys for Life (2020) These two have become downright adorable together. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/4 92% Clemency (2019) Much of "Clemency" is told through the facial expressions of Woodard, an actor of the highest calibre who knows the most powerful stories are often the ones that need the fewest words to tell. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
3.5/4 89% Cunningham (2019) It's structurally daring, presented in 3D, and devoted to showing rather than explaining, via archival footage and colourful new interpretations of the artist's canon. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
1/4 48% Underwater (2020) There are the makings of a decent survival thriller in "Underwater," but everything gets tossed overboard by the disorientation of the rest of the movie, which just isn't all that scary. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/4 92% Uncut Gems (2019) This is the best character Sandler has ever played. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
3.5/4 89% 1917 (2020) One of the best movies of 2019. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
3/4 95% Little Women (2019) Gerwig's take on the Alcott classic may shock people who really know the story and who expect a more leisurely pace. But it could also invigorate them with its bold approach. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2019
3.5/4 98% 63 Up (2019) The participants in Michael Apted's ongoing social experiment, which began with "Seven Up!" in 1964 and has become increasingly fascinating, have reached the age where they can see the approaching exit sign in their lives. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
1.5/4 20% Cats (2019) "Cats" turns the most vacuous stage musical of the 1980s into a big-screen litter box for the hammiest of stars to unload into. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
2.5/4 69% Bombshell (2019) It fractures attention with multiple urgent distractions, much like the Fox News television environment it recreates and consciously mimics. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
3.5/4 51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) "The Rise of Skywalker" is pure fan service, for better or worse - and it's mostly for the better. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
2/4 72% Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) When did Jack Black stop being funny? He's now just a tiresome version of Oscar the Grouch. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 77% Richard Jewell (2019) Eastwood knows what he's doing here, and he does it well, especially with the casting of Hauser, Rockwell and Bates, excellent actors all. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 97% The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019) Quietly illustrates the eternal conundrum of trying to be good without being a do-gooder, and trying to be independent while also recognizing the need for a helping hand. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 92% In Fabric (2019) Is "In Fabric" amusing, terrifying or instructive? That cackle you hear, with another twist of the dial, is Strickland's maniacal laughter. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
3.5/4 92% Antigone (2019) "Antigone" views the plight of desperate immigrants through the lens of Greek tragedy, wringing compelling drama out of a situation that too often resembles catastrophe in the real world. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
2/4 No Score Yet Stand! (2020) "Stand!" unfolds as more of a series of teachable moments than as cohesive drama. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
3/4 90% Dark Waters (2019) It's enough to make you want to chuck all of your non-stick and waterproofed products after seeing this movie. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
3/4 100% Assholes: A Theory (2020) There's much humour but also a few swift kicks to the derriere delivered in the doc, including to supposedly mild-mannered Canadians. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
3/4 82% Queen & Slim (2019) "Queen & Slim" has more than a few dialogue clangers and narrative contrivances... but the felicitous pairing of Turner-Smith and Kaluuya makes the flaws easy to forgive. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
3/4 97% Knives Out (2019) "Knives Out" is as much a 'toon as it is a hat tip to the elaborate mechanics of an Agatha Christie mystery. It's silly and suspenseful in equal measure. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
3.5/4 94% Marriage Story (2019) It's not quite as bleak as a Bergman film, although the late Swedish auteur is clearly an influence on Baumbach, as well as on Robbie Ryan's austere cinematography. But it leaves similar scorch marks upon the mind and heart. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/4 77% Frozen II (2019) One thing that really sets "Frozen 2" apart from its predecessor is the visuals, which are as gorgeous and awe-inspiring as computer animation can possibly get. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
1/4 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) Many such scenes are shot in claustrophobic close-up, possibly in a vain attempt to disguise how fake they look or because most people will just end up watching this dumb movie on their smartphones, if they bother with it at all. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
2.5/4 47% Last Christmas (2019) Feig just wants to make people smile, and also to solve all the terrible "isms" of the world. So must all who come into his cuddly embrace. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
2/4 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) It just leaves you starving for something better. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/4 96% The Irishman (2019) It's a cinematic tour de force in form and substance, representing late-career high points for director Scorsese and his lead actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
3.5/4 97% The Cave (2019) "The Cave" is a stark reminder of the toll of war, but also of the tenacity of the human spirit. God may not be watching, but we all should. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
2/4 63% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Manages to seem like a paint-by-numbers detective story even as it ambles through a byzantine narrative. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
2.5/4 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Nostalgia, chemistry and some sneaky "Deadpool" sarcasm help carry the load. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3.5/4 94% Western Stars (2019) "Western Stars," Bruce Springsteen's best album in years, makes for an enchanting movie that looks bravely ahead at the open road while casting a longing glance in the rear-view mirror. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/4 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) "Double Tap" ultimately staggers to the finish line through a combination of personal chemistry and audience good will - this was a sequel most fans of the original actually wanted - but there are so many instances where it could have been better. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
2/4 44% The Addams Family (2019) All this talent, but an empty crypt of a committee-written script, which goes in mainly for cornball one-liners and sight gags working the eternal Halloween conceit of the Addams saga. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019