Preston Barta

Preston Barta
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B+ 67% Fatherhood (2021) Kevin Hart delivers a career-best performance in [this] sweet, tender Netflix drama. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
3.5/5 89% Luca (2021) Despite its [familiarity], 'Luca' is a deliciously adorable tale with lovable characters, dazzling visuals and colors, and a tender message about growing up that hits you square in the heart. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2021
B- 67% Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021) Unfortunately, ['Peter Rabbit 2'] is nowhere near as grounded [as its predecessor], often steering more toward cartoon antics and less original comedy. However, the continuation still provides wholesome entertainment for the family. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2021
3/5 58% 12 Mighty Orphans (2021) It succeeds primarily as a story of a chapter in history - one that shows how a coach and a team arrived at a conclusion and acted on it, helping change the game and its community forever. Sometimes, you can't help but get romantic about it all. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
4/5 96% In the Heights (2021) With its stunning vision, catchy tunes, and mesmerizing choreography, and compelling narrative, 'In the Heights' is magic on every level. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2021
4/5 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) 'Part II' roars with heart and intensity. It's one of the better sequels out there, and there's more room for the film series to grow (if in the right hands). - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
4/5 74% Cruella (2021) Its daringness to be character-driven and different (in a Tim Burton/Batman kind of way) isn't so black and white. It's killer fun! - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2021
A- 90% The Dry (2021) Eric Bana gives a career-best performance in this taut murder mystery. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2021
3.5/5 66% Wrath of Man (2021) Ritchie directs a tightly-wound thriller with a palpable menace that has much more on its mind than attention-grabbing criminal activity and shoot-out action. It's a worthy welcome back to the theater during the summer movie season. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
A- 98% The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021) Rianda and Rowe impeccably craft unforgettable characters and shape a story told with wit and depth. It's a real treat that you'll want more helpings of. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
B- 84% Bloodthirsty (2021) Drips with disgusting fun, mixes familiar story beats to craft a contained blood fest. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2021
C 55% Mortal Kombat (2021) It throws a lot at the wall without any service to its characters. Allow all the bells and whistles to sound down the road. You're not the Avengers just yet. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2.5/5 78% In The Earth (2021) Some aspects are tasty in the moment, but the aftertaste is nothing too special. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2021
4/5 49% Monday (2021) 'Monday' is a beautifully rendered film, with an imaginative narrative structure, stunning cinematography, and two leading performances from Stan and Gough that sting with naturalism. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2021
4.5/5 90% Moffie (2019) 'Moffie' is the first truly great film of 2021. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
3/5 75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) While it may be just as dumb, nonsensical, and overstuffed as everything that has come before, Adam Wingard's clash of the titans is a big bowl of popcorn fun and easily the best entry in this new MonsterVerse. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
B 34% Six Minutes to Midnight (2021) It melds together the intensity of a Hitchcockian thriller and the heart of 'Dead Poets Society' for a solid war-time movie. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
B+ 84% Nobody (2021) Bob Odenkirk's self-proclaimed "Nobody" character packs enough heat and gritty bravado to make this high-octane action vehicle rev a lean, mean machine. Non-stop carnage and a total blast! - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2021
B 86% The Courier (2020) Another outlet to charge up your dad-movie energy. It also happens to be a thumping good Cold War thriller. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2021
4/5 95% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) 'Raya and the Last Dragon' borrows from Disney's vast universe, applies it well. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
C 42% Boogie (2021) How Huang positions the parents' story alongside [the central character's] is a beautiful way to structure the film. It's just unfortunate 'Boogie' loses its way during the in-between moments. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
D 49% Coming 2 America (2021) I'm sorry, but no. There's not much to this second 'Coming.' - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2021
B 64% Wrong Turn (2021) Although it's admittedly beholden to clichés, 'Wrong Turn' keeps from falling into enough narrative traps to arrive at an exciting destination that clutches you by the throat. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2021
B- 56% The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) While a good portion still sticks to the biopic formula, there's no denying that Daniels brings some unique vision to the tale, and Day is absolutely mesmerizing to watch on screen. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2021
4/5 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) King's film transcends beyond its familiar narrative beats to offer an electric depiction of history with powerful performances and stinging contemporary relevance. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2021
B 67% A Glitch in the Matrix (2021) Deem all these ideas as nonsense or brilliant; it's ultimately up to the viewer if you want to swallow the red or blue pill in the end. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
C- 27% Bliss (2021) As intriguing as the themes are, 'Bliss' is too emotionally disconnected to make its big ideas land with the same impact of Cahill's previous work. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
B+ 58% Malcolm & Marie (2020) Watching a couple flirt, fight, and challenge each other's thinking and emotions has never felt so stingingly relatable and powerful on screen. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
3/5 73% Palmer (2021) There's nothing wrong with a little predictability and a comfortable presentation when it's a sweet and moving movie like 'Palmer.' - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
4.5/5 94% Nomadland (2021) Zhao's patient and tender drama is as comparable as it gets to embarking on a long, meditative bike ride. It teaches us to embrace the world's natural state, with all its ups and downs. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
3/5 45% The Little Things (2021) Points for an original ending. If only the rest of the film was up to snuff. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
4/5 93% Saint Maud (2020) With Glass' nightmare visuals and Clark's deliciously wicked performance at the center, 'Saint Maud' just may crawl into your soul and make a home there for a good while. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
A 100% Minding the Gap (2018) Filmmaker Bing Liu makes a heartfelt tale about friendship and the peaks and valleys of adolescence. Candid conversations transpire, and captivating reflections of youth and hardships surface in this cinematic rarity. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2021
5/5 92% Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese (2019) 'Rolling Thunder Revue' is like being thrown back into the 1970s. Passion can be felt in every frame as the possibilities of music and living an authentic life are shown. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2021
4/5 88% News of the World (2020) It showcases another terrific Tom Hanks performance, an endearing father-daughter type of relationship, and a feel-good story about broken people coming together. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
4.5/5 95% Soul (2020) 'Soul' offers an adventure that seamlessly balances insight with understanding. It's bright, beautiful, and emotionally affecting. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
2/5 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) As much as Clooney brings a superb level of emotive sensitivity to the central role, 'The Midnight Sky' is a clunky blunder that's one yawn away from inducing a coma. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
2/5 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) That vibrant, kinetic energy that oozed from the first chapter, quickly drains away in the sequel. 'Wonder Woman 1984' lacks the impact of making a superhero movie fly. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
3/5 94% Hunter Hunter (2020) It'll prey on your mind and leave your mouth almost permanently agape. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
4.5/5 90% Promising Young Woman (2020) Visually sleek, sharply written, and powered by a towering star performance from Carey Mulligan, 'Promising Young Woman' is a different flavor of revenge - one filled with thought-provoking thrills and leaves a lingering effect. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
B+ 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) A chamber piece with powerhouse performances and layered storytelling. Boseman shines. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2020
A- 92% Another Round (Druk) (2020) 'Another Round' serves up one of the year's very best and an award worthy Mikkelsen performance. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
4/5 80% I'm Your Woman (2020) Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, 'I'm Your Woman' is a touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child as well as a grand story of survival. I remain struck by both [its] simplicity and tenderness. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2020
B+ 89% Black Bear (2020) Levine's darkly exciting and turbulent drama is a film you can't pigeonhole, and that's part of its appeal. Plaza gives one of the most impressive dances of madness that I have ever seen. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
B+ 92% Leap of Faith (2019) The power of documentary compels you. You'll grow to have a greater appreciation of the directors' work (both Friedkin and Philippe) and a desire to seek out and revisit their titles. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
A- 77% Uncle Frank (2020) A nuanced drama that's impeccably self-controlled and has a deep emotional well. An Oscar-worthy performance from Peter Macdissi. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2020
B+ 76% The Croods: A New Age (2020) A significant improvement upon the 2013 original and a strong contender for the year's funniest movie. It manages to tell a heartwarming family tale about growth while expanding its colorful world and focusing on characters and relationships. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
4.5/5 97% Sound of Metal (2020) With 'Sound of Metal,' filmmaker Darius Marder crafts one of the most compelling, raw, and unforgettable films of the year. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2020
4/5 82% Mank (2020) With its stunning black-and-white photography and rhythmic language, 'Mank' is a mighty fine couple of hours of cinema. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2020
B- 67% The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020) Predictable, but a pleasant-enough follow-up, with a thimbleful of creative ideas at play. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020