Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Vanity Fair

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
64% Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) After watching Eurovision's loopy introduction, I urgently wanted to see a true romance set during Eurovision, or a serious songwriter drama, even a nervy thriller. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
93% Babyteeth (2020) Mendelsohn and Davis are reliably excellent, each taking what could be boilerplate portraits of fraying parents and turning them into vividly individual people. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2020
72% The King of Staten Island (2020) Tomei and Powley-whose winsome intelligence shines through a wobbly New Yawk accent-are the two star players here, and yet they are forced to orbit around all this vaguely Oedipal male rutting. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2020
69% The High Note (2020) An inviting opportunity for two likable actors, Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross, to simply exist on screen together, fluid in their casual appeal and gracefully bringing a sappy, aspirational story to mostly credible life. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
88% The Trip to Greece (2020) You can't taste all the miraculous food the sorry men of The Trip to Greece are served. But you can, at least, relate to the feeling the film evokes. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2020
75% Military Wives (2020) With more patience, and a little rigor, Military Wives could have been a massive crowd-pleaser. As is, it's only fleetingly charming. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2020
50% Scoob! (2020) It's a hasty, throwaway cartoons-assemble job reminiscent of Warners', well, throwaway superheroes-assemble disappointment, Justice League. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2020
41% Capone (2020) The film's arresting oddity is fleeting, and then we're just made to sit with it for another humid 90 minutes. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2020
68% Extraction (2020) [Hemsworth] seems more at home here than he has in so many of his non-Thor projects... Hargrave similarly proves his fortitude as a director. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2020
69% Trolls World Tour (2020) I wish you luck, parents. I pray that you are able to keep this film's existence a secret from your children as long as possible. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
77% Disneynature: Elephant (2020) Markle is an engaging narrator, a warming voice of omniscience who gives lively shape to a story that's . . . well, true in the purest sense, though given a heavy zhuzh by the Disney machine. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
100% Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020) The spirit of revolution - righteously angry yet full of bonhomie, demanding but generous in its reach - is alive and well in the film. As, one hopes, it is everywhere else. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
70% Stargirl (2020) Hart gives tired material a jolt of life, which is no easy feat, especially in the churned-out, fast-fiction Y.A. space. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2020
99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) [Writer-Director Eliza] Hittman is making direct points here, about misogyny and money and bodily autonomy. They could be delivered heavy-handedly by someone not as concerned with subtlety and restraint; not so with Hittman. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2020
84% The Way Back (2020) It's neither happily hokey tear-jerking sports movie nor low-to-the-ground, unforgiving indie about an alcoholic. It's stuck in some awkward space between those tropes: not roundly poignant and not unflinching enough. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
91% The Invisible Man (2020) [Moss] still holds her own as the movie crumbles around her, but her performance deserves better than what Whannell ultimately gives her. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2020
74% To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) A sturdy continuation of this sentimental filmic universe, one in which people are for the most part nice, the boys are for the most part cute, and there's even a sassy, Bloody Mary-swilling older lady mentor played by the great Holland Taylor. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) [Has] a contemporary verve that offers a glimpse of something heartening: a future in which all kinds of people get to tell these stories, and we're all the better off for it. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2020
100% The Father (2020) The Father is an act of understanding, radical in its toughness and its generous artistry. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
91% Promising Young Woman (2020) Written and directed by Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman is not always surefooted in its style or substance, but Mulligan is consistently riveting throughout. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
88% Shirley (2020) It's breakneck, exciting stuff. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
92% Miss Americana (2020) Swift makes for a fascinating documentary subject, both generous and withholding, frank and elusive... as a standalone illustration, Miss Americana has too much blank space, voids in its portraiture that are all too quickly filled in with doubt. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
37% Downhill (2020) As American comedies go, Downhill traffics in a welcome subtlety and wit. It's a worthy enough film when one doesn't compare it to its sterling predecessor, which I suppose most Americans won't do. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2020
65% Worth (2020) Worth finds its ultimate value in accepting what the film, and we, cannot ever determine for certain. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2020
89% Zola (2020) Though premised on the slight pretenses of Twitter, the world of Bravo's film is no fictionalized, seedily appealing underbelly. It's simply America: often frightful, sometimes grimly amusing, and ever rattling along in its entropy. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
75% The Gentlemen (2020) I can at least appreciate the sprawl of the movie, the way it binds together disparate character threads into a story that manages to satisfy. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
14% Dolittle (2020) Dolittle is a film made for children. So we should probably mostly view it through that lens. In that regard, the movie is perfectly okay. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
20% Cats (2019) The Cats movie is about cats, yes. But it also should have been about, well, Cats. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
51% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) There doesn't seem to be any real organic idea animating Rise of Skywalker; instead it feels cobbled together from notes stuffed in the suggestion boxes of Reddit and Twitter. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
70% Bombshell (2019) Bombshell doesn't really try to explore the moral complexity it sets up. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
89% 1917 (2020) It's a staggering piece of filmmaking, admirable both for its complexity and its control. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
94% Little Women (2019) It's often a lovely experience, to sit with Gerwig's ardor, to feel the warming beam of her cast radiating off the screen. I left the theater with eyes brimming. I only wish that the film's spell was cast a bit less briskly... - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
90% Dark Waters (2019) A movie with a story as urgent as this needn't look lovely, and yet Dark Waters often does, finding beautiful patterns and motifs in the quotidian stuff of folders and desk lamps and stacks of paper. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2019
77% Frozen II (2019) Unnecessary isn't always a bad thing; plenty of fun or otherwise enriching stuff doesn't need to exist. But a dire case of cynical sequelitis plagues Frozen 2. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
52% Charlie's Angels (2019) Banks's film has an offbeat sense of humor; its rhythms are weird, the volume surprisingly muted for a movie from the director behind two Pitch Perfect films. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
46% Last Christmas (2019) It's a very nice movie, chipper and sweet and homey while still pitched with a modern sensibility. But that's not enough-none of those qualities resonate without a richer sense of soul or purpose, of which Last Christmas is direly devoid. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Lying underneath the emotional context is a perfectly serviceable action movie. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2019
40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) In its earnest evocation of so many horrors - and of so many hard-won triumphs against poisoned power structures - the movie does have a salient weight to it. I just don't know if this is the right vessel for all that heaviness. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
26% Gemini Man (2019) Its old action-movie trappings, the quaintness of it, cannot be reconciled with its ultra contemporary execution. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
21% Lucy in the Sky (2019) Lucy presents Portman with another juicy assignment. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) I found myself reluctantly taken by the movie, and the way Scorsese uses it to maybe, just a little bit, atone for some of his own past blitheness about violence. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2019
84% Downton Abbey (2019) I'm aware that any veneration of dynastic wealth is to be carefully scrutinized if not rejected outright. But all that tea and manners has a perversely soothing effect. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
93% Bad Education (2019) A tidy and engrossing corruption drama. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
83% Just Mercy (2020) Just Mercy pays noble credit to a specifically remarkable man. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
87% Hustlers (2019) [The Meddler] was [director Lorene] Scafaria's last effort behind the camera, and while it's a more than worthy showcase for her abundant talent, Hustlers rockets past it with mesmerizing exuberance. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
97% Knives Out (2019) The film rolls and bounces with giddy elation, Johnson and his troupe of actors clearly enjoying themselves as they entertain. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
24% The Goldfinch (2019) The Goldfinch is better than I expected it would be. And yet in clearing that bar, it bares open all the possibility that it could have been even more. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
42% The Laundromat (2019) There's something indulgent about its many digressions, a dinner party guest yammering on and on rather than getting to the point. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2019
72% The King (2019) Chalamet does robust work, straightening his lanky posture as he goes, rising up into the role like a man ascendant. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2019
68% Joker (2019) I've not always gotten along with Phoenix's mannered, muscle-strained approach to his craft, but here he makes a compelling case for going full-tilt. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019