Rich Cline

Rich Cline
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
California-born freelance journalist living in London since 1992, reviewing films for the BBC, Shadows on the Wall, magazines, newspapers and radio. Chair of London Critics' Circle; member of Galeca, Online Film Critics Society and Fipresci.
Favorites:
La Strada, Rear Window, Star Wars, Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane, The Stunt Man
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: London, UK
Official Websites: shadowsonthewall.co.uk

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 43% Effie Gray (2015) With churning performances and a terrific recreation of the period, the film is a startling story of a woman caught in an impossible situation. So it's a shame that it's rather muted. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
4.5/5 50% Homeward (2020) The simple idea is strikingly developed to get deep under the skin. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
3.5/5 40% Into the Labyrinth (2020) With a noir-style script and stylised visuals, the film catches the interest from the start. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
3/5 25% Me You Madness (2021) Heavily stylised, it's a riot of 1980s pop classics, with scenes that look more like fabulous Instagram dreams than actual events. So while the fantasy is fun, the plot itself feels rather thin. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
3.5/5 77% Stowaway (2021) There's a remarkably internalised tone to this sci-fi drama, as filmmaker Joe Penna deploys the usual genre elements while maintaining a strong character focus, including both interpersonal comedy and darker emotions. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
3/5 55% Mortal Kombat (2021) it's the effort the actors and script put into the characters that keeps the story engaging, even in the movie's silliest scenes, which are frankly too many to count. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
3.5/5 64% The Banishing (2020) With an unusually complex script, this is another expertly directed freak-out from Christopher Smith, mixing offhanded humour with a growing sense of dread that leads to properly scary nastiness. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
3.5/5 76% In The Earth (2021) It's a bonkers movie with a clever message about the impact of human discovery. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
3/5 78% Beast Beast (2021) While writer-director Madden's approach isn't particularly subtle, it definitely gets us thinking. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
4/5 97% Gunda (2020) Even without a glimpse of humans, there are a few unfolding mini-narratives along the way to add flickers of excitement and some surprising emotion. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
4/5 67% Steelers (2020) Each person he interviews tells their own moving story, and the film is packed with witty banter and enjoyably riotous off-pitch antics. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2.5/5 No Score Yet I'm Not in Love (2021) Perhaps the main problem is that the film's message about the complexities of love is delivered in way that's both preachy and simplistic, complete with a few plot points that are strangely random and undeveloped. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2.5/5 No Score Yet Sensation (2021) There's no thematic depth in the story or characters, so it's watchable without being very involving. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
4/5 100% Sequin in a Blue Room (2019) Filmmaker Samuel Van Grinsven takes an inventively visceral approach to storytelling, revealing the plot and characters through internalised feelings and sometimes jarringly tactile imagery. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2021
4/5 85% Rose: A Love Story (2020) This is a fiendishly clever approach to the horror genre, with an enjoyably snaky narrative and lots of nasty implications that keep us on our toes right to the abrupt final moments. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2021
3.5/5 67% A Common Crime (Un crimen común) (2020) Shot with an eerie calmness, this understated Argentine drama quietly shifts into gnawing, internalised horror. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2021
3/5 100% Enfant Terrible (2021) The film makes a powerful comment about the destructive nature of creation. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
3.5/5 100% Zana (2020) It's also fascinating story that finds meaning in a collision of tradition, superstition and history with profoundly human emotions. The narrative sputters now and then, but it's darkly engaging. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
3/5 100% Like a House on Fire (2020) The central themes are vivid, exploring how life changes without notice and how difficult it is to confront or make up for past mistakes. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
5/5 94% The Man Who Sold His Skin (2021) Visually sumptuous, this breathtaking film has a remarkable sense of light and shade, colour, shapes, texture and especially skin. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet The Drifters (2019) Filmmaker Bond has a terrific eye for catching telling details in the connections between characters who live in society's margins. Although the light-hearted tone he creates often feels like it's sidestepping the darker, more serious issues. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
2/5 No Score Yet Last Call (2021) This movie is vaguely engaging even as everything about it feels contrived. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
3/5 75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) The enormous effects sequences are the most exciting parts of this film, elaborately overwrought for maximum impact. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
4/5 84% Undine (2020) The story's ripples are often heart-stopping, adding unexpected emotions to a narrative that holds us in its grip, refusing to take an expected route. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
4/5 No Score Yet Under My Skin (2020) This is an important film, powerfully eye-opening and hugely moving. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
3/5 52% Silk Road (2021) Writer-director Tiller Russell resists moralising for the most part, breezing through a range of political issues, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal dramas. So even if it's fairly bog-standard stuff, it's entertaining. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
2.5/5 75% Bad Trip (2020) Without a point to it, the movie is never more than mildly amusing. But there are some funny moments along the way. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
4/5 45% Shoplifters of the World (2021) Writer-director Stephen Kijak has fun filling the screen with witty 1980s musical references and cultural iconography, which makes the film feel like a vintage teen comedy that blends John Hughes' astuteness with Richard Linklater's kinetic flow. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
3/5 77% The Croods: A New Age (2020) There's nothing particularly surprising in the plot, but the characters are funny enough to keep us entertained. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
2.5/5 92% Wildfire (2020) Because it's so relentlessly bleak, writer-director Cathy Brady never achieves the catharsis the story seems to be seeking. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
4/5 51% City of Lies (2018) The urgent tone feels a little overstated, but the story is genuinely incendiary. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
4/5 43% Luz (2020) It's an ambitious story told with remarkable sensitivity. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
5/5 100% Quo Vadis, Aida? (2021) Writer-director Jasmila Zbanic takes an skilful approach that immediately gets under the skin, pulling us into the urgency of the situation. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2021
3.5/5 71% Fukushima 50 (2020) Understandably, this is a worthy depiction of heroism, so the old fashioned filmmaking suits it well, offering human detail behind the headlines. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet Martyr (2018) It's an odd little film, but has a certain hypnotic effect. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
3.5/5 90% Keep an Eye Out (Au Poste!) (2018) It's more than a little silly, but there's enough visual panache and thematic depth to make it worth a look. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
2.5/5 23% Chaos Walking (2021) It's visually inventive and thematically suggestive, but the film stubbornly remains a rather cartoonish battle between people who have no textures. At least the superb cast makes us wish it was better than this. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
4/5 86% Justine (2021) It's a clever film that knowingly skewers the expectations most people have about their lives, written with bracing honesty by Jeff Murphy and directed with with a mix of sensitivity and unflinching authenticity by Jamie Patterson. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
3/5 80% Foster Boy (2020) Even if the storytelling is oddly timid and obvious, and occasionally implausible, what emerges still manages to carry an enormous emotional punch. And it shines a light on an endemic problem. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
3.5/5 76% Pixie (2021) With its snappy collision of comedy and violence, this Irish caper has strong echoes of the McDonough brothers as it weaves criminality into everyday life. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
3/5 42% Locked Down (2021) The movie is both entertaining and slightly dull at the same time. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
4/5 70% Moxie (2021) With a snappy script and witty direction, the movie quickly gets under the skin, telling an engaging story while igniting righteous anger. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
4/5 98% The Truffle Hunters (2020) There's an absurd sense of profound joy in this gentle documentary, which follows a group of old Italian men who defiantly do things their way. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
3.5/5 94% Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) The combination of action, drama, sentimentality and wackiness isn't always smooth, but the film looks so good, and the characters are so vivid, that it's easy to enjoy the ride. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2021
4.5/5 98% The Father (2021) It's a fiendishly inventive approach to the topic at hand, challenging the audience with clever storytelling and frankly astonishing performances. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
2.5/5 No Score Yet Tyger Tyger (2021) It's a bit frustrating that the plot is so unfocussed, and so difficult to engage with on any real level. Mondragon definitely has a distinctive eye, and a more compelling narrative might have made this a cult hit. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
2.5/5 63% Crisis (2021) Jarecki may create a sense of urgency by touching many powerfully urgent angles around the topic, but aside from the film's educational value there's no path for the audience to crack into it in a meaningful way. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
3.5/5 37% Cherry (2021) The narrative covers a lot of ground, holding the interest even if the deeper themes seem a little thin. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
4/5 55% The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Lee Daniels directs the film with an open, raw heart, drawing out genuinely wrenching emotions and a bracing sense of resilience that bring the themes urgently to life. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
2/5 32% Tom & Jerry (2020) Despite a promising visual approach combining live-action with hand-drawn style animation, these iconic cartoon characters are badly let down by a limp script and unambitious direction. - Shadows on the Wall EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021