Robert Horton

Robert Horton
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Robert Horton is the film critic for Seattle Weekly and the Everett Herald, and a longtime contributor to Film Comment magazine. He is a guest speaker for Smithsonian Journeys, co-host of the Overlook Podcast, and teaches film at Seattle University. His books include <em>Frankenstein</em> (Columbia University Press) and <em>Billy Wilder: Interviews</em> (University Press of Mississippi) as well as the zombie-Western graphic novel <em>Rotten</em> (Moonstone Books), and he blogs on movies at <a href="roberthorton.wordpress.com" target="blank">The Crop Duster</a>; his Twitter handle is @citizenhorton. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Former activities include two stints as a Humanities Washington speaker, teaching at the Architectural Association summer school in London, and ten years as curator of the Magic Lantern film-discussion program at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. In 2012 he curated the Museum of History & Industry's "Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies" exhibit.
Favorites:
30 fave films, in chronological order: Un Chien Andalou; M; Monkey Business (Marx Bros. version); Freaks; The Wizard of Oz: The Great Dictator; Cat People (Jacques Tourneur version); A Matter of Life and Death; The Lady From Shanghai; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; The Third Man; The Quiet Man; Sansho the Bailiff; The Night of the Hunter; Rebel Without a Cause; Rio Bravo; Some Like it Hot; North by Northwest; Jules and Jim; Jason and the Argonauts; Help!; Masculin-Feminin; The Wild Bunch; Two English Girls; Duel; Chinatown; Barry Lyndon; The American Friend; Cutter's Way; Local Hero.
Location: Seattle

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/4 65% Peterloo (2019) A complex but amazing movie, one of Leigh's best - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
2/4 32% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Notable for one good performance and an almost complete lack of distinctiveness. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
3/4 69% Teen Spirit (2019) It's not what you tell, but how you tell it. And Teen Spirit has a sideways, moody take on its tale. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
3/4 83% High Life (2019) So many science-fiction films, though futuristic in content, unfold along familiar lines. Shouldn't a sci-fi film take a new form, the way 2001: A Space Odyssey did? - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
2.5/4 46% Mary Magdalene (2019) The film overall suffers from sluggishness; you wonder whether the characters are getting enough iron in their diet. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
3.5/4 96% Transit (2019) Fear and cruelty are never contained by a single time period. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/4 90% Shazam! (2019) Earns its punctuation through unrelenting, gee-whiz cheerfulness. Fueled by nerd energy and sold by a goofy cast, this superhero spin-off carves its own path through the usual comic-book material. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
1.5/4 58% Pet Sematary (2019) Distinguished only by its dour determination and a better-than-necessary cast. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
2.5/4 25% The Aftermath (2019) The film fails to psychologically prepare us for Rachael and Stefan abruptly unbuckling their costumes and getting busy on the nearest horizontal surface, but the casting makes it inevitable. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 47% Dumbo (2019) As with Burton's puzzling run of recent films, the actual business of telling a story seems not terribly important to him. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 91% Gloria Bell (2019) Moore has always been good at playing it cool until she needs to turn on the juice, and that's the case with Gloria, an understated soul until she's had enough. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 74% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) Wants to be hard-boiled, and sure enough, it's a 10-minute egg. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 94% Us (2019) Maybe it's inevitable that Peele's second film as writer-director doesn't light up the sky in the same way -- but at least it throws off plenty of sparks. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/4 55% Five Feet Apart (2019) Richardson gives a rich performance - she creates an authentic, deglamorized human being. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
2/4 33% Wonder Park (2019) This movie doesn't come together. But it might unintentionally generate a surplus of nightmare fuel. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/4 72% Triple Frontier (2019) The only thing more rugged than the landscape is the collective will of our battered adventurers. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
2.5/4 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Boden and Fleck leave room for quiet one-liners and sidelong glances - Mendelsohn is especially good at throwaway expressions, even in his space-lizard guise. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
2.5/4 42% The Kid (2019) The concept is promising, and D'Onofrio obviously has affection for the Western - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
2.5/4 57% Greta (2019) Enough stylish, bizarre touches along the way to at least qualify the film for future cult status. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/4 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) A feast of great actors. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/4 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) This does seem like an actual ending, with a story that rounds itself off, instead of keeping strands hanging for the sake of an endless franchise. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
2.5/4 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) A little too glib to be truly memorable and a little too top-heavy to be really fun. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/4 69% Isn't It Romantic (2019) It scores with Wilson's shade-throwing persona, but generates a sour aftertaste in how often it pats itself on the back for being clever. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
3.5/4 89% Arctic (2019) The simplicity of writer/director Joe Penna's approach and the magnificence of Mads Mikkelsen's acting is more than enough to make this survival tale a gripping experience. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/4 89% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) Zain Al Rafeea gives one of those indelible child performances, showing the tough street-kid exterior while allowing the frightened vulnerability to show through. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
2.5/4 46% What Men Want (2019) This kind of comedy should look effortless, but everybody here is working very, very hard. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/4 86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) If the sequel doesn't have the nonstop zing of the first movie, it's still the kind of thing that makes you grin from beginning to end. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
1/4 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) A premise so crackpot it's impossible to believe that one of its 17 credited producers didn't pull the director aside and slap him with a tuna. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/4 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) They re-create some classic routines, with obvious affection; these are performers who understand comedy in their bones. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
2/4 74% Destroyer (2018) Switching the sex around doesn't make it fresh. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
2/4 37% Glass (2019) I hope Shyamalan drops his grand ambitions to explain the Unified Theory of Everything and gets back to freaking us all out. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/4 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Along with the off-center black-and-white cinematography, Pawlikoski's most effective tool here is the way music provides the pulse of the story. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/4 90% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) Anytime you might be in danger of sympathizing with Ailes, the movie provides testimony from one of the women he pressured into having sex with him. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
2/4 41% The Upside (2019) A complete fantasy. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
3/4 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) If Beale Street Could Talk is all mood - and despite the film's uneven effects, that mood is convincing - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
3/4 73% On the Basis of Sex (2019) It's too bad the movie paints the opposing lawyers as such single-note chauvinist pigs in order to pump up the drama, because the case itself is engrossing. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
2.5/4 43% Second Act (2018) "An excellent commercial for J. Lo's upcoming beauty-care line. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
2.5/4 65% Aquaman (2018) There aren't enough drumming octopi to make this movie memorable, an observation I thought I'd never have to make. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Crisply executed and refreshingly old-fashioned. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
2.5/4 27% Mortal Engines (2018) There's a lot to look at here, but not much to think about. The story beats are so broad and the characters so bland that this movie wears you out well before the big finish, despite the quirky touches. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
2.5/4 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) As anything other than an actors' showcase, this Mary has a tendency to plod along. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
2.5/4 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) If somehow those jokes could have been squeezed into a 90-minute package instead of a 117-minute feature, maybe Spider-Verse would have more zip. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
3.5/4 93% The Favourite (2018) Serves as a corrective to all those fluffy period movies where pretty costumes and set design function as the cinematic equivalent of a bubble bath. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
4/4 96% Roma (2018) The way Cuarón accumulates details-the jumble of clothes drying on a roof, a broken jug after a New Year's toast, the ubiquity of the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack in 1971-builds an elemental power. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3/4 78% Green Book (2018) However much I rolled my eyes at its cornball touches, I have to admit that the film generates a great deal of goodwill, due to its smart pace, bright colors, and the Mortensen/Ali double act. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
2/4 15% Robin Hood (2018) Trapped somewhere between the legit derring-do of Robin's role in the resistance and the movie's smirky attitude about the whole thing. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
1.5/4 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Part Two of J.K. Rowling's latest franchise is a bewildering bummer, a real misstep by this generally sure-footed storyteller. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
2.5/4 91% Widows (2018) Tries to be a lot of different things: heist thriller, feminist statement, social-issue diagnosis. That's a lot to bite off, and 129 minutes isn't enough time for proper chewing. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/4 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) It's like a beautifully embroidered needlework laid across a gravesite. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 62% Outlaw King (2018) Operates in a glum, skeptical key. - Seattle Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018