Piers Marchant

Piers Marchant
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
66% Friends: The Reunion (2021) The stark contrast between their sheer physical beauty and crack timing in their heyday, and their slowed-down, vastly more hesitant selves in the present is, at last, something directly relatable. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
77/100 56% The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) If it sounds somewhat Scooby Doo-like, minus the inevitable hoax revelation, that is more or less the set repetition of these films, which has settled into a docile pattern. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
97% Chop Shop (2008) Bahrani shoots the film in classic verite style, all hand-held cameras, and natural dialogue, capturing a docu-feel for a story as gritty and resourceful as its young protagonist. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2021
83/100 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) If the original film's secret sauce was its ingeniousness, the sequel's lack of it becomes all the more glaring. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
81/100 62% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) There were likely the makings of something interesting here, at one point, but most of what made Sheridan's earlier work notable gets burned to a crisp, along with a good section of depicted forest, in this Hollywood-fueled bonfire. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
No Score Yet Songs that Flood the River (2021) The director also allows for moments of lyric intrusion that adds to it a sort of silent visual poetry. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
No Score Yet The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman (Les deux visages d'une femme bamiléké) (2018) Mbakam's film, her feature debut originally released in 2018, is impressively assured, capturing the sense of her native land and the culture she left behind to forge a new life for herself a continent -- and seemingly, a lifetime -- away. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
No Score Yet No Kings (2020) What at first seems like a sort of idyllic existence (that is, if you love fish, fishing, and being on the water on a daily basis), however, eventually turns darker... The ambiguity adds a needed dash of depth to what is otherwise mainly a travelogue. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2021
79/100 66% Wrath of Man (2021) In place of what used to be [director Guy Ritchie's] defining joie de vivre, and the thrill of a genre maven discovering his powers and making a hash of conventional rules in the process, there now seems mostly mournful rumination. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
55% Mortal Kombat (2021) Amateurishly constructed, with precious little ebb and flow, it does at least provide us the answer to just how little connective tissue between bloody battle royales you need in order to reach feature length. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
89/100 90% Moffie (2019) It's quite the aesthetic package, with its gorgeous cinematography from DP Jamie Ramsay and lyric, elliptical style. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
9/10 86% Islands (2021) Edralin's style may trade in realism -- the precision of his emotional pacing and eye for quiet detail recalls the work of Ira Sachs -- but the film's small emotional beats are extremely evocative. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
9/10 92% The Fallout (2021) Park's film is astonishingly well-honed and made with care and depth. As the faltering Vada, Ortega is a whirlwind. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
86% The Feast (2021) Its environmental message is perhaps made a bit too clear by the end -- Jones' inspired atmospherics and haunting visual style work better in more shaded bands of esoterica -- but a well-crafted and disturbing effort nonetheless. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
7/10 96% Alien on Stage (2020) Just what they get away with is the magic of this joyful documentary from Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) The usual, cynical cash grabs, like this junk, shouldn't be our sole cinematic reward for surviving 2020. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
85/100 84% Nobody (2021) There's at least a few moments of more genuine inspiration, but there's nothing much more to see here, other than the empty calories of cartoonish violence. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2021
85% Beau Travail (2000) Denis tells her story in typically cryptic ellipticals, allowing the film's stunning visual work, forged by legendary French cinematographer Agnès Godard, to convey the layers of complex emotion, desire and futility of Galoup's memory. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
83/100 71% Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) Even though Snyder has added another film's worth of material into the first one, his movie still feels choked with too much happening too fast and too little time for any of the characters to breathe. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
79/100 22% Chaos Walking (2021) Instead of following the concept to its more logical and interesting extensions, the film seems content to dance around such worthy complications in order to keep things above-board and cutely saccharine. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2021
79/100 76% Pixie (2021) The film feels seriously dated by its '90s-era spin through gruesome violence, spiked with a plethora of characters who can't be bothered to pay much attention to what they're doing. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2021
86/100 37% Cherry (2021) At times, it feels like a YA novel; other times, a war story; and yet other times, a junkie fable -- but Holland certainly gets his point across, if nothing else: He can go beyond spandex and CGI into something a good bit more gritty. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
81/100 42% Boogie (2021) It's possible Huang is making a point about the choices the child of an immigrant doesn't get to make, but if so, the film is too murky by the end to determine. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
86/100 75% The Mauritanian (2021) Despite its obvious political bent, the film doesn't spare either side, which paints a troubling portrait of a country all too keen to sell out its morality when it becomes inconvenient to do otherwise. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
88/100 93% Saint Maud (2020) The terrors that Glass' film forces us to confront are instead of the psychological variety, and couldn't be more timely in an era half-obsessed with group-think misinformation and rising belief in outrageous conspiracy theories. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
88/100 80% The Night (2021) It's a carefully laid-out picture, albeit perhaps a bit too restrained to become anything more than solidly unnerving. Still, strong moments abound. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
78/100 70% Land (2021) Her journey is inert, and all the most beautiful natural world vistas in the world can't make it any more compelling. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
88/100 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) King's film features absolutely blazing performances from its two male leads -- Kaluuya, in particular, is incredibly good at conveying Hampton's inherent humanity. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
93% Mass (2021) Unsurprisingly, Kranz has an actorly sense of conflict and explication, but, despite the limited setting, he gives his actors plenty of room with which to work, and the quartet are more than up to the task. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
67% A Glitch in the Matrix (2021) The views are intentionally conflictive -- one subject suggests the very idea of such conflict is the basis of the simulation -- and anything but conclusive, but, of course, that's the very point. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
71% Cryptozoo (2021) A film whose halting animation style takes a bit of getting used to, but Shaw's screenplay is smartly taut, creating a narrative fantastic in subject matter and execution. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
77% In The Earth (2021) Too much of the film feels rushed, and not entirely worked out (the script alone could have used another draft of two), and the psychotropic ending dazzles the eye but doesn't add much depth. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
87/100 91% Little Fish (2021) Cooke and O'Connell are both very strong, bringing depth to their characters even in the small, imbalanced scenes they share together. The sense of kinship, even as one of them begins to slip away, is palpable. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
85/100 58% Malcolm & Marie (2020) If all the character profundity and insight becomes overreaching by the end and you grow weary of the grinding drama wheel, you can still appreciate the skill and care taken in the film's production, and the charisma of its leads. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
83/100 45% The Little Things (2021) By the third act, though, it's clear Hancock doesn't have nearly the vision or intellectual conviction of the films he so clearly admires, and it more or less falls to pieces. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
89/100 91% The White Tiger (2020) It's a powerful idea, masterfully executed by Bahrani, whose precision and compelling mise en scene help forge Balram's journey from an individual's arc into an indictment of an entire social order. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
90/100 98% One Night in Miami (2020) The set-up might reek of Grand Contrivance, but in King's talented hands, it becomes a fascinating and illuminating examination of racial politics and the bondage of fame. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
88/100 93% 40 Years a Prisoner (2020) Through his charisma, and the vigilance of he and the MOVE legal team, the film earns a satisfyingly simple dramatic climax, but it feels as if it leaves far too much of the story on the table. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
95% The Irishman (2019) In a very real sense, Martin Scorsese is fighting against his own mythic legacy. In another way, of course, his return to the form in which he made some of the more compelling American cinema of the last five decades is a perfectly fitting closing coda. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
88/100 88% News of the World (2020) As a standalone film, it's a credible mix, if not by much, but as a kind of exhausted testament to the surging misery of the last four years, and the further splintering of the country as a whole, it does offer at least the faintest sort of solace. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2020
75/100 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) You can see how Jenkins and company were attempting to offer healing to a world ravaged by bad news and ever-dividing political fractiousness, but despite good intentions, this flabby mess most certainly won't help. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2020
88/100 95% Soul (2020) Like a perfectly soothing, candlelit bath on an otherwise beastly cold night. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2020
96% 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) A Dogme 95-style naturalistic masterpiece, as intricately woven and delicately put together as an ancient tapestry. The lives of the characters are fully invested, imbued with ambiguity and shimmering with verisimilitude. They won't soon leave you. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
89/100 89% Black Bear (2020) I've long championed the Christopher Abbott cause, and he is, once again, outstanding, but in this film, it's Plaza's skills which are most notable. She's an absolute whirlwind, a revelation of ferocious, billowing emotion from one direction to the next. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
93% Klute (1971) The film is meticulously made, offering a swirl of tension -- aided in this by Michael Small's haunting score -- and Fonda is indeed fantastic, even if the role she's playing happens to be a Hollywood staple of outdated moors. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
87/100 80% I'm Your Woman (2020) Through it all, the film's oddball pacing consistently throws the genre standards out of whack, which gives it a jolt of off-kilter energy. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
90% I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) It's hardly a masterpiece, but there is a scrappy, inventive sort of energy that becomes infectious. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
83/100 77% Uncle Frank (2020) The writer/director's peculiar misunderstanding of his audience, and penchant for clichéd characters makes a hash of what would be a strong, lead performance from Bettany, a wonderful actor, long regulated to the sidelines. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
26% Hillbilly Elegy (2020) It isn't much good, but there's enough effort put in from its cast -- in one case, perhaps a bit too much effort -- to keep it from completely collapsing. Where it runs into predictable trouble is the filmmaking concept itself. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
100% Local Hero (1983) Filled with Forsyth's understated witticisms, from the b-roll footage of side characters, enacting their own moments of comic whimsy... It's the same puckish quality that also fuels the film's careful sense of longing. - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020