Richard Combs

Richard Combs
Richard Combs's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer® when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Film Comment Magazine Sight and Sound Financial Times Monthly Film Bulletin

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Cockfighter (1974) Cockfighter looks as sleek an item - and almost as exploitable - as any of the company's recent work in the girl gang prison revolt cycle, and far less bizarre than the two Westerns which [Roger] Corman allowed [director Monte] Heilman to make. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
98% The Last Waltz (1978) At its best the style of The Last Waltz, at once kaleidoscopic and concentrated, discursive and fixated, distils more about its subject and its times (and about its maker and his obsessions) than the impressionism of cinema verite. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2020
81% The Last Wave (1977) Unfortunately, Weir's deftness with 'atmosphere' seems to have been developing at the expense of any narrative or thematic sense. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2020
67% The Morning After (1986) The Morning After is, for a romantic thriller, perhaps over-burdened with possible patterns. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
83% The Exorcist (1973) The film continually struggles to suggest through atmosphere what it promises but fails to provide in substance. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
44% The Day of the Dolphin (1973) A glibly sour and sentimental thriller. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
88% Winter Kills (1979) Richert gives the film a hard, bright surface -- this is not a seductive fantasy, it's more of the sarcastic, take-it-or-leave-it kind. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2020
60% Demon Seed (1977) Very uncomfortably directed: the performances are stilted and metallic (whatever is supposed to be assumed about robots taking over), and the perfunctory visuals leave the ramshackle plotdangerously over-exposed. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2020
No Score Yet Une belle fille comme moi (A Gorgeous Bird Like Me)(Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me) (1978) In the comic context of A Gorgeous Bird Like Me, a good deal of the savour is lost simply because this femme comes over as much less fatale than may have been intended. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2020
85% Woyzeck (1979) What Herzog does is to make his own contrary film inside the original, elevating Jonathan Harker from functionary to dual protagonist. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
86% Slither (1973) Zieff's talent goes further than a skill for packaging sound scripts and performances. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
88% Hearts Of The West (Hollywood Cowboy) (1975) For all that Zieff assembles these solid ingredients with a minimum of fuss, he does have a way of turning the simplest device to quietly expressive use. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
93% All the President's Men (1976) A story that has been marshalled with dazzling skill and precision, but lacks the imaginative hooks that might have taken it even further in mood and meaning. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
75% Hammett (1982) The classic element, to give it its due, works in an admirably terse, crisp, humorous vein. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2020
67% Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) The saddest failure though is Schaffner's inability to find a real centre for the film, and so achieve the kind of precarious constellation of forces that has formed round his protagonists in the past. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
100% A New Leaf (1971) The wistful, fierce integrity of these personalities, viewed with a detached amusement, allows the film to bypass the usual agenda of subjects (sex, the System, etc.) of current comedy... and lends a particular vivacity to the comic set-pieces. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
63% New York, New York (1977) Most rewardingly, [it] seems to have effected a kind of opening-out-allowing Scorsese to tackle material more experimentally than in Alice, the characteristic extremes of emotion without the over-determined mechanisms of Taxi Driver. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
67% The Illumination (Iluminacja) (1973) Illumination is an intelligent if unexciting discourse which never quite bridges the gap... between the inevitable and the predictable in the lessons it draws about life. - Financial Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2020
98% The Godfather, Part II (1974) In sheer physical terms, however, Godfather Part II displays even more spectacular panache than its predecessor. - Financial Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2020
88% Ordinary People (1980) Ordinary People, consequently, has a closeness but not much expressiveness of texture. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
50% The Killer Elite (1975) The result is a strangely dissonant and compelling entertainment, an unsettling criss-cross of Chinatown Nights' fantasy and dyspeptic meditation on figures set firmly in their contemporary landscape. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
94% One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) What Forman achieves with most consistent success in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest... are the group portraits -- the scenes of inmates embarking on some joint enterprise of liberating madness. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
64% Another Woman (1988) Perhaps Allen is now less like Bergman than he is like, say, Clint Eastwood, in the way he makes films to escape the kind of persona he used to have in films. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
82% Bird (1988) What the film pulls off is the difficult fusion of this kind of accuracy with larger 'truths' which are no respecter of accuracy. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
67% Mountains of the Moon (1990) The narrative sprawls in the usual epic fashion -- though largely without the usual epic excitements. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
95% Being There (1979) The result must be one of the boldest of commercial comedies, for the way it turns on passages of dead time, the dreadful pauses while other characters struggle to see the significance in each of Chance's cryptically meaningless remarks. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
86% White Hunter Black Heart (1990) It's as if White Hunter, Black Heart had opened up the gap that exists in any Huston film between the playful surfaces and the depths beneath. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2020
94% Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) That story counts for less than gimmicks, and characters less than both, might be judged from the lack of resonance in the one narrative revelation, concerning Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2019
92% Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) Without the simple spiritual convictions of his predecessors, or the philosophical speculations of his contemporaries, Lucas has rather left his audience out in the cold. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2019
93% Heathers (1988) If there's a weakness of motivation in Heathers, it may be because the whole film is rather dream-like, a product of Veronica's fevered writing and imaginings, with a consequent chaos and interchangeability of roles. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
82% Saturday Night Fever (1977) Most details of character and setting, finally, are reduced to simplistic icons, mingling with such over-emphasised bric-a-brac as posters of Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Rocky and Al Pacino. - Monthly Film Bulletin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
85% The Shining (1980) Kubrick again plays off the awesomeness of the internal odyssey and the banality of ordinary human behaviour. - Monthly Film Bulletin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2017
95% Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) What the film is 'about', in a way, is its own illusionism, the process by which it creates a world we are invited to share. - Monthly Film Bulletin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2017
83% Silence (2017) Silence is Scorsese's most expansive historical canvas, but in the tightness with which it plots these torturing relationships that might lead to enlightenment it is his most hermetic, secretively enclosed. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2017
83% Evolution (2016) The world here - the dark volcanic sand, a tight little village of white houses - is as strangely but as satisfyingly organised as the dank tunnels and lush forest of [Hadzihalilovic's 2004 film] Innocence. - Sight and Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2016
96% Jafar Panahi's Taxi (2015) [Panahi] presents us with an infinite regression of setups, touching on both his own movies and the difficulties for any filmmaker of addressing Iranian 'reality.' - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2015