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
2/4 84% Crawl (2019) Missing that extra dash of style that can boost a monster movie onto the next level. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2019
3/4 42% Stuber (2019) You are free - and you are probably exhibiting good sense - to reject this implausible concept. However, if you roll with it just a little, there's an appealingly goofball comedy lurking within the contrived storyline. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/4 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) The movie's action beats seem more tiresome than usual because they drag us away from the winning interplay between the teens. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
3.5/4 82% Midsommar (2019) Without the running time, Midsommar wouldn't have its madly epic quality. And make no mistake: This movie is epic. Also completely mad. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2019
2/4 59% Ophelia (2019) Succeeds neither as potboiler nor as quasi-Shakespeare. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
3/4 63% Yesterday (2019) A big part of why the film stays enjoyable is that instead of watching a movie star play an unknown, you're watching an unknown play an unknown. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
2.5/4 64% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) This movie revels in the haunted house conventions of people entering basements and opening forbidden doors. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
3.5/4 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) This movie is all about casting a spell. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
4/4 98% Toy Story 4 (2019) The film's themes of moving on and letting go become unexpectedly poignant, with real weight behind them. But then this is the world of Toy Story, so we should have expected it. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/4 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Jarmusch is on something like a vacation here, gathering his favorite actors and flipping the bird in the direction of modern society. Despite the bitter aftertaste, the film makes for strangely good company. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
2.5/4 80% Late Night (2019) This movie's sincere do-gooder attitude takes the edge off its better jokes. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
2.5/4 22% Men in Black International (2019) The movie stays low-key in a way that's both agreeable and underwhelming. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
3/4 59% The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Ambles along in pleasant fashion, blending wry jokes with slapstick, and relying on clever but basic animation style. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
1.5/4 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) The X-franchise, a generally entertaining series dating back to 2000, hits its lowest point since X-Men: The Last Stand. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
4/4 89% The Souvenir (2019) The film feels like a memory exercise, where forgotten moments are left out, and the things that stick in the mind are left over. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/4 90% Rocketman (2019) Whatever this movie's blunders, it succeeds because of two big selling points: the songs are just as catchy as they were in 1973, and Elton John is splendidly incarnated by Taron Egerton. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2/4 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) The overall lack of any compelling storyline - or any reason to care about the people onscreen - made me start to squirm around the halfway point of this 131-minute movie. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2.5/4 63% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) For at least the first hour it's wild fun, fueled by Gilliam's exuberance and a terrifically funny performance by Adam Driver. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
3/4 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) I've always liked the fact that Reeves doesn't look like he pumps a lot of iron to get into the role; it makes John Wick's skill-set all the more otherworldly. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
1.5/4 14% The Hustle (2019) Is it too much to ask that a film with glamorous people set on the Riviera might actually look good? - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
3/4 51% Tolkien (2019) The movie doesn't nail its attempts to depict how hobbits and wizards and elves were born from Tolkien's youth, but it does create an appealing portrait of a brainy misfit. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/4 67% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Tedious. But it's enough to sustain a universe until next time, which is all that's required. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
1.5/4 31% The Intruder (2019) Everything is telegraphed a mile in advance, and the plot depends on various characters doing the dumbest thing possible at the worst time. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
2.5/4 81% Long Shot (2019) Takes it time to allow mutual attraction to build, and Theron and Rogen play it with just the right amount of uncertainty and fun. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
3/4 68% Stockholm (2019) Hawke never tips completely into cartoon territory - in the end, there's something human about this idiot. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
3/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) This movie is slow, steeped in nostalgia for the previous chapters, and very serious about itself. - HeraldNet (Everett, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
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 31% 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 72% 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 45% 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 95% 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 91% 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 57% 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 27% 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 46% 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 34% 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 46% 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 60% 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 79% 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 61% 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 88% 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