Rob Owen

Rob Owen
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Attack of the Murder Hornets (2021) Filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson not only scores points on style but also substance, revealing the character of a state scientist and citizen scientists as well as the impact of greed on scientific research that comes in a last-act twist. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
95% Soul (2020) Soul is more abstract than past Pixar movies, but just as entertaining. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2020
55% The Prom (2020) The Prom offers an uplifting celebration of love, identity and tolerance, a cheerful, upbeat respite from the major bummer that is our pandemic-plagued present. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2020
83% Happiest Season (2020) Packed with a recognizable roster of supporting actors, Happiest Season is more blandly heartwarming than it is a generator of big belly laughs (this isn't Christmas Vacation), a decent enough diversion. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
89% Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) With a sumptuous color-saturated Steampunk production design, Jingle Jangle is both overlong and at times underdeveloped... Still, the musical numbers and choreography are high-caliber efforts that make this family-friendly effort worthwhile. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
92% A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (2020) Some of the appreciation for this special can be chalked up to nostalgia, but this West Wing special also delivers a patriotic balm with entertaining calls to vote, delivered with clever word play, that substitute for commercials. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
48% The Witches (2020) After a rousing early stretch, The Witches takes a colder turn before a sunny-again conclusion that feels rushed and incomplete. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Often screamingly funny as it bounces from one cringe-comedy setup to the next, often at the expense of random real people and a few bold-faced names. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
No Score Yet 9/11: The Final Minutes of Flight 93 (2020) It felt like time well spent because it retells such a powerful story of heroism in the face of terror. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
83% You Don't Know Jack (2010) Viewers may not know Jack at the beginning of the film, but they have a somewhat better sense of this enigmatic character by the end. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2020
100% Temple Grandin (2010) Temple Grandin turns out to be the kind of biopic Hollywood rarely makes anymore: It's positive, revealing and surprising; an intelligent period piece without sex or violence that's virtually free of profanity. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
79% Greyhound (2020) Greyhound, directed by Aaron Schneider, is a sufficient exercise in efficient tension-building -- the running time is just 90 minutes -- elevated by Hanks' performance and impressive CGI wartime effects. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
40% Irresistible (2020) Irresistible sometimes strains with the obvious jokes it hangs around Gary's persona, but the movie also delivers its share of surprises and proves far funnier than Carell's disappointing Netflix misfire "Space Force." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
61% Cinema Verite (2011) It dwells too long on the setup and doesn't spend nearly enough time on the public response to the program and the impact that reaction (much of it negative) had on the Louds. Clocking in at just about 90 minutes, the film feels like it ends too quickly. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2020
83% Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (2003) The new "Battlestar Galactica" is joyless, somber and a little boring. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2020
50% Salem's Lot (2004) My advice: If you have four hours to spare, spend it reading the book. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
73% Prayers for Bobby (2009) Prayers for Bobby is not a great movie, but it is a worthwhile one with a purpose beyond mere entertainment. It should be required viewing for any parent who considers disowning his or her gay child. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
No Score Yet Let It Shine (2012) [A]n enjoyably upbeat TV movie set in the worlds of hip-hop, rap and gospel music. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
90% Descendants (2015) At 111 minutes, Descendants feels too long and overly tactical. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
40% Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed (2005) Lively, fast-paced and full of laughs, this new special showcases Ullman at her schizophrenic best. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
98% Deadwood: The Movie (2019) (Deadwood: The Movie) belatedly puts the "Deadwood" story to bed in a manner that's appropriate, rewarding and surprisingly emotional. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
45% The Mists of Avalon (2001) This feminist retelling of the Arthurian legend is dark, kinky and violent. It's also more entertaining, intriguing and thought-provoking than those godawful NBC miniseries of recent years. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
50% My House in Umbria (2002) My House in Umbria is not sexy, not cutting edge; it does not "push the envelope." It tells a simple story about love and hope, sadness and loneliness. In the current coarse pop culture climate, that makes "Umbria" the riskiest type of film of all. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
No Score Yet Saving Jessica Lynch (2003) Handsomely produced and legitimately emotional at points, "Saving Jessica Lynch" isn't a great film, but it is decent. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
No Score Yet Born Rich (2004) Johnson directs, produces and narrates the program, and the fact that he's willing to explore issues of wealth and what it means earns him some admiration right off the bat. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
No Score Yet The Reagans (2003) Is "The Reagans" a hatchet job? Yeah, a little. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
No Score Yet Foster (2018) It's about time for a quality drama that explores the foster care system from all angles and perhaps in so doing encourages more adults with a stable home life to consider fostering. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
No Score Yet Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story (2019) If the goal was to goose the drama, "Escaping the Madhouse" falls well short of its intent. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
100% United We Fan (2018) For anyone who has ever written to a network on behalf of a low-rated program, "United We Fan" will strike a chord. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
81% Instant Family (2018) Although "Instant Family" takes more than an instant to rev up the funny, the film crescendos well, ultimately maximizing the humor, reality and drama that are all present in real-world foster parenting scenarios. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
77% Too Big to Fail (2011) If not for the seriousness of the situation - the potential for a new Great Depression - Too Big to Fail could play as a black comedy. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2018
79% Recount (2008) There's no suspense about the outcome, but following the twisted, oftentimes maddening journey to that point is filled with tension and dark humor. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2018
No Score Yet Warm, welcoming and occasionally tear-jerking, this three-hour production goes down like a warm glass of milk at bedtime. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2018
70% Paterno (2018) The laser-like focus benefits Paterno, a taut story told in a succinct fashion -- the film runs just one hour and 40 minutes -- that mostly avoids tangents. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
79% The Child in Time (2018) Credit PBS's Masterpiece film The Child in Time... starring Benedict Cumberbatch, with tearing the Band-Aid off its difficult-to-watch premise. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
2.5/4 24% 7 Days in Entebbe (2018) [It] is a serious, thought-provoking attempt to get the behind-the-scenes details straight. But I'm not sure it was really necessary. And I'm not sure its effort to "humanize" the misguided anti-Semitic German radicals behind it really works. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2018
3/4 89% In Search of Fellini (2017) This sweet story that has been put to film shows the passion Cartwright found for the 1954 Fellini film "La Strada" that started a three-decade journey that resulted in the story of what it means to be deeply passionate about something. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
4/4 77% Last Flag Flying (2017) It would have been easy for Mr. Linklater to make this an anti-war film or a pro-military production. There are moments when both are discussed with a kick-to-the-gut frankness, but the big-ticket political items always give way to the very human aspects. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
No Score Yet The Christmas Train (2017) Train inaccuracies aside, The Christmas Train is pleasant enough pabulum for viewers who seek comfort viewing. Fans of more complicated, well written TV can let this train pass them by and turn their attention to... Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
100% King Charles III (2017) It all feels a bit unfair to the real-life counterparts. And then King Charles III makes a fascinating pivot. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2017
69% The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017) Ms. Winfrey's Deborah can jump from settled to agitated and filled with perseverating thoughts in the blink of an eye. It's a role that could fall into caricature, but Ms. Winfrey brings vulnerability and believability to the part. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2017
94% Tickled (2016) Tickled runs a bit too long (at 90 minutes) and proves slightly unsatisfying in its denouement. The new, 20-minute tack-on, The Tickle King, helps somewhat and offers new, necessary details. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2017
No Score Yet The Obama Years: The Power of Words (2017) The Power of Words, a one-hour film, portrays Mr. Obama's oratory prowess in glowing terms, but it doesn't get into policy and mostly avoids politics. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2017
100% Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (2017) A wonderfully entertaining program, Bright Lights shows just how close the mother and daughter had become in recent years... that vaguely brings to mind Grey Gardens without the fallen-from-grace squalor. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 5, 2017
27% The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016) What plot there is goes sideways in the last half-hour, just as in the movie. At that point, I just wanted it to be over. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2016
63% Killing Reagan (2016) Killing Reagan is pretty much the expected, rote bio movie of the assassination attempt on President Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2016
14% Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016) With Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, this B movie series most definitely - wait for it - jumps the shark. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2016
83% Confirmation (2016) An interesting reminder of an earlier political debacle, Confirmation likely will confirm whatever biases a viewer brings to it: Hill was railroaded; the filmmakers are in the tank for Hill (those two positions are not mutually exclusive). - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2016
68% A Very Murray Christmas (2015) Written by Murray, Mitch Glazer (Scrooged) and the special's director, Sofia Coppola, A Very Murray Christmas is an odd holiday entry but one that surely has a small but loyal audience that will find its hipper-than-thou vibe entertaining. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2015
60% Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow (2015) "I'm probably missing some great Internet snark right now," [Annie] whines. "#boring." Alas, the same hashtag can be applied to Turkey Hollow at times. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2015