Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Film Critic, Capital Times, Madison, WI
Location: Madison, WI
Official Websites: madison.com

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
2.5/4 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) "Alita: Battle Angel" is like "It's Just a Flesh Wound: The Motion Picture." - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3/4 93% High Flying Bird (2019) "Bird" is a bracing shot across the bow of both the sports and movie industries. And one senses that Soderbergh, 30 years into his career, is just getting started. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/4 73% Cold Pursuit (2019) What I'll remember from the movie isn't the grisly violence, but the little comic flourishes, like a shot of a group of hardened assassins throwing snowballs at each other and giggling like little kids. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/4 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) It isn't quite the revelation that the first movie was, but keeps the original's zippy, cheerful spirit intact while building upon its world. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3.5/4 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) In its quiet, gentle way, "Shoplifters" builds to an emotional climax that's all the more devastating for the restraint that Kore-eda shows. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
4/4 93% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Like the great old movie romances, "Cold War" packs a full range of emotions into its narrow frame. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3/4 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) Jon S. Baird's genial and warm-hearted film looks at them not as legends, but as men, who have their friendship tested by fame - when it's there, and when it's gone. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
3/4 93% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) The film rewards patience, becoming layered and nuanced with insight into the state of modern Turkey. It's also a complex portrayal of a strained father-son relationship, and, when you least expect it, it's pretty funny. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
3/4 38% Close (2019) It's not perfect. But it gives Rapace the kind of showcase she deserves, and it's a rare action film led by women both in front of and behind the camera. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/4 72% On the Basis of Sex (2019) While Daniel Stiepleman's screenplay fudges the facts here and there to amp up the drama, enough of the real woman shines through in Felicity Jones' fiery performance to make it a satisfying, if formulaic film - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
3/4 86% Modest Heroes (Ponokku tanpen gekijô: Chiisa na eiyû - Kani to tamago to tômei ningen) (2019) As a chance to see some of Japan's finest up-and-coming animators at work, good things come in small packages. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
2.5/4 65% Aquaman (2018) Take a dehumidifier to "Aquaman," and after all the water evaporates, what's left is a garden-variety superhero movie. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) It's a well-executed (no pun intended) period drama that finds contemporary echoes for these centuries-old schemes. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
2/4 45% Second Act (2018) Peter Sagal's film itself takes a second try about halfway through. It almost entirely forgets about its own workplace comic premise and tries to reinvent itself, with a plot twist that is truly bizarre, as a weepy melodrama. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
2/4 60% Vox Lux (2018) Despite a go-for-broke performance by Natalie Portman, the combination of real-world horror and celebrity fluff mixes together about as awkwardly as you might expect. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
3.5/4 96% Roma (2018) Cuaron's signature long takes immerse the viewer in this environment, the camera slowly panning to drink in the details of this world he's recreated from his memory. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
3.5/4 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Witty and wild, it makes "Ant-Man and the Wasp" look like "The Punisher" by comparison. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
3.5/4 94% The Favourite (2018) As the schemes escalate, watching "The Favourite" is a lot of fun. But the cream curdles after a while, as Abigail and Sarah's war starts to draw real blood, take real casualties. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
3/4 98% Border (Gräns) (2018) Some people will think this is the worst movie of the year. Others will love it. Both groups won't be able to stop talking about it. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3/4 74% The Mercy (2018) This is really a one-man show for Firth, as we spend long stretches with him on the boat, watching his stiff-upper-lip British façade splinter and crumble in the face of harsh weather, mounting mechanical problems and punishing loneliness. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
3.5/4 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" combines elements of a caper thriller, smart New York comedy and sobering drama, with a revelatory performance by McCarthy as the delightfully dyspeptic Israel. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 97% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) In a way, the film is about two resilient species that refuse to back down - the nutria and the Louisianan. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 59% The Front Runner (2018) This is not a zippy, fast-paced political film, but has the somber, dazed mood of a 2 a.m. hotel bar session - or one of those war movies where the soldiers are trapped in a foxhole, praying for the shelling to let up. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
1.5/4 14% Robin Hood (2018) "Forget history," the opening narration to Otto Bathurst's "Robin Hood" intones. "Forget everything you think you know." And while you're at it, forget pacing, character development and general excitement. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
2.5/4 79% Green Book (2018) "Green Book" is a feel-good movie, with strong performances and a generous spirit. But maybe this isn't the time to feel good. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2018
2/4 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) By the end, the movie has gotten so far away from its characters that the climax is basically blue fire fighting orange fire. All that fire, and no warmth. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/4 91% John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018) There's a strange allure to the film, how it whimsically and playfully approaches one of the greatest tennis players to play the game from such unexpected angles. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
4/4 94% Wildlife (2018) "Wildlife" is one of the best movies of the year, and a hard one to shake. - Madison Movie EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
3/4 100% Too Late to Die Young (2018) Hernandez is magnetic, suggesting Sofia's resentment and loneliness with a glare and a sullen drag on a cigarette. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
3/4 70% The Happy Prince (2018) What remains is courage and wit, and a resolve not to give in to the hypocrisy of the era despite the enormous personal cost. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
3/4 99% Tea With the Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) (2018) As the tea turns to champagne and they talk about their mortality and the indignities of aging, the four women stop being famous actresses and seem like any other group of old friends. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
3/4 75% Never Goin' Back (2018) "Never Goin' Back" is one of several movies this year, including "Flower" and "Assassination Nation," which let teenage girls be just as gross as their male counterparts. You wouldn't think gags about throwing up and constipation could be so empowering. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3.5/4 96% Bisbee '17 (2018) The unorthodox methods of "Bisbee '17" conjure up the past in a powerful and cathartic way. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
3.5/4 69% Beautiful Boy (2018) Forget "Halloween." For parents, the scariest movie of the season is "Beautiful Boy." - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
2/4 77% Mid90s (2018) If you told me that "Mid90s" was a lost movie made in the 1990s by a first-time filmmaker and his friends, I would probably a) believe you and b) give the movie a pass. But it's not. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
3.5/4 61% The Oath (2018) Some might balk at the idea of seeing a comedy about the heightened political tensions of our times, but as someone who has had a few of those arguments with family members myself, I found "The Oath" to be utterly cathartic. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
3.5/4 98% Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (2018) Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is a fascinating look inside Sakamoto's process for creating art, and his humility in the face of nature's own creative process. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3/4 85% The Sisters Brothers (2018) Like an unfamiliar horse, the gait of "The Sisters Brothers" takes a little while to get used to, shifting between extreme violence and gentle character comedy. But it makes for a memorable ride. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3/4 98% Free Solo (2018) I actually yelled out loud when Honnold's foot slipped slightly at one point, which was kind of embarrassing. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3.5/4 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Redford has since said he's not closing the door on acting after all, which makes him a lot like Forrest Tucker, the elderly bank robber he portrays. Both are having too much fun, and are too good at what they do to stop now. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
3/4 83% Notes on an Appearance (2018) "Notes on an Appearance" feels constructed like a maze with no exit. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
3.5/4 No Score Yet June Falling Down (2018) "June Falling Down" doesn't feel like a heavy film. Weaver gracefully entwines the two dramatic strands of her story with plenty of humor and Wisconsin character, right down to the bottles of Spotted Cow. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
2.5/4 80% Living in the Future's Past (2018) "Living in the Future's Past" coalesces around an earnest and resonant message, especially as Bridges' gravelly voice urges us to do more than just "scratch the guilt itch" and make sustainable changes that feel authentic to our lives. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
3/4 89% Skate Kitchen (2018) On a skateboard, there's no room for thinking. It's just feeling and doing, which is what makes it such a symbol of emancipation in Crystal Moselle's joyful and wise new film. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2018
3.5/4 90% A Star Is Born (2018) It's a film that's wise to what it means to be famous in 2018 as well as old-fashioned movie entertainment, with gangbusters musical numbers and an effective and appealing love story between its two leads. And it will make Lady Gaga a movie star. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2018
3.5/4 91% Mandy (2018) Cage is at his most unhinged here without degenerating into self-parody in a film that's part B-movie horror, part phantasmagoric fantasy. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
4/4 95% Blaze (2018) Featuring a mesmerizing central performance by Ben Dickey, "Blaze" avoids the clichés of the traditional biopic, instead creating a mood piece that feels like living inside one of Foley's songs, in all its beauty and sadness. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
3/4 100% Pick of the Litter (2018) Sometimes you just need a cute documentary about good dogs. "Pick of the Litter" is that movie, an escape into sweetness and decency for 80 minutes. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
3/4 100% The Dawn Wall (2018) While the climbing scenes are white-knuckle exciting, the filmmakers understand that thrills alone don't make for a good climbing documentary. We have to care about the climbers before they set one foot on the rock. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
3.5/4 85% The Wife (2018) Pryce and Close perform with and for each other, rather than the camera, in ways that go beyond mere chemistry between actors. It's as if they are working together on a single, unified performance. - Capital Times (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018