Robert Roten

Robert Roten
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
After graduating from the University of Oregon with a journalism degree, I wrote for several newspapers in Oregon, Michigan and Wyoming, writing news stories, columns, editorials and movie reviews. I started my movie review web page in 1996. I retired from newspapers in 2000, but continue to write reviews online. I was elected president of the Laramie Film Society in 2000 and continue to serve in that capacity. I am also the webmaster for the Laramie Astronomical Society and Space Observers (LASSO: www.lariat.org/LASSO/index.html).
Favorites:
Favorite Movies: Lawrence of Arabia, Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove, Tootsie, Groundhod Day, Citizen Kane
Publications: Laramie Movie Scope
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: Laramie, Wyoming

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B 81% Black Widow (2021) What makes this movie stand out from the majority of action movies is that it is more character-driven than most. It is about family relationships as much as it is about the mission. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2021
C 59% F9 (2021) As far as pure escapism goes, laced with plenty of action, this is passable entertainment, but I got the distinct feeling watching this at a local theater that the Fast and Furious franchise has jumped the shark and become a spoof of itself. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2021
B 95% In the Heights (2021) What comes across is the unity and power of families, friendships and the community to overcome obstacles and to persevere. It is a positive and uplifting film with good songs and dances. The acting and characterizations are convincing. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2021
B 98% Minari (2020) This movie is powered by a predictable, but solid story and some excellent performances, especially those of the incredibly cute child actor Alan Kim, and veteran actor Will Patton. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2021
B 84% Nobody (2021) This genre film is quite violent and unbelievable, but it is so witty, so unserious and so well crafted that it is fun to watch. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2021
B 91% Enola Holmes (2020) This movie is an enjoyable romp, dominated by the sparkling personality of Enola (Brown). Director Harry Bradbeer uses playful graphics and other inventive storytelling techniques which add much to the light, enjoyable tone of this film. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
C+ 75% Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) This movie is an unserious, fanciful, adventurous romp that works as pure escapism. It is proving to be a popular antidote the pandemic blues. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
B 95% My Octopus Teacher (2020) The underwater photography is excellent by Roger Horrocks and Foster. Editors Pippa Ehrlich and Dan Schwalm do a fine job matching the video and images to the story that Foster tells. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
B 98% The Father (2021) The performances by Hopkins and Coleman are outstanding. These two performances are really what make the film so affecting. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
B 71% Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) Zack Snyder's new director's cut of his 2017 film is twice as long, but not twice as good, as the original. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2021
B+ 95% Come As You Are (2020) Based on the 2011 Belgian film, 'Hasta La Vista,' this movie about three young handicapped men on a clandestine road trip looking for love is funny, heartwarming and emotive. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2021
B 99% Saint Frances (2020) I don't recall the last time I saw so many strong female characters in a film who all shared so many emotionally powerful scenes together. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2021
B 90% Kajillionaire (2020) There are aspects of this film that remind me of 'The Royal Tenenbaums' with its dark, subversive humor, headed up by Richard Jenkins, who plays a perfect scoundrel. All four main characters are well fleshed out and quite quirky. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2021
C+ 96% The Wolf House (La casa lobo) (2018) Had I gone into this film mentally prepared for this nightmarish depiction of a doomed existence of betrayal and abuse, it would not have been so bad, but I think it would still be a downer. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2021
B 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) The events depicted in this movie happened over 50 years ago, but they are still relevant today. Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield and Dominique Fishback all give powerful performances. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2021
B 100% Identifying Features (Sin Señas Particulares) (2021) Unlike most road movies, which are about the characters which turn up on the trip. This movie is more about the effect that the words these people speak have on one character, Magdalena. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2021
B 97% The Reason I Jump (2021) I enjoyed this film as far as its entertainment content goes, but as far as journalism goes, I think it falls short since it embraces some controversial beliefs as facts in a very uncritical way. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2021
C 77% Tommaso (2020) Willem Dafoe is a fine actor and he makes the most of the title role. He emotes the hell out of it, but I sure could not make much sense out of this movie. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2021
B 90% Epicentro (2020) This film is like an insider's view of Cuba, and it consists mainly of street scenes in and around Havana, loosely strung along a theme relating to the Cuban War of Independence and the Spanish-American War. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2021
B 59% Young Ahmed (Le jeune Ahmed) (2020) What will Ahmed do in the end? This question remains up in the air until literally the final seconds of the film. This makes for a compelling story. The actors are all very convincing. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2021
C+ 86% Martin Eden (2020) I feel this film lacks needed cohesiveness and continuity, but because I did like the story and the acting, I'll give it a pass. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
B 88% Sorry We Missed You (2020) For a good time, avoid this movie. I avoided watching this movie until last night because I knew it was going to be depressing, and it is. It is also a good movie. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
A 99% Collective (Colectiv) (2020) As a documentary about journalism and fighting corruption, this is as good as it gets. This is an unvarnished, clear-eyed presentation of what it is like to be a newspaper reporter or a government reformer in today's world. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2021
B 93% Love and Monsters (2020) This is a very enjoyable and entertaining movie despite a nonsensical premise. The movie is well structured and acted, and the monsters look real enough, thanks to good computer graphics. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2021
B 92% Another Round (Druk) (2020) The acting performances, led by Mikkelson, are very powerful. Director and co-writer Thomas Vinterberg again shows why he is one of the best directors around, with another powerhouse film. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2021
A 100% Born to Be (2020) Whatever your opinion on the subject of sex change operations, you might just change your mind about it after you see this movie. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2021
B 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) It is goofy fun and somewhat uplifting. Just what I needed in this bogus year. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2021
B+ 100% Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (2020) The movie shows Sacks as a man of enormous depth and complexity. He had a profound influence on the study of the human mind. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B 93% Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2020) The movie indicates America is now similar economically to what England was in the early 1800s. A tiny percentage of society controls almost all the wealth. Such inequality can destabilize a society. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
C+ 96% Beyond the Visible - Hilma af Klint (2020) This documentary about a long overlooked Swedish abstract painter is a bit like sitting though an art history class featuring a slide show of Hilma's work. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
C 55% The Prom (2020) The whole movie tries to balance the elitist, self-serving nature of these people against their desire to help someone. This delicate balance is handled clumsily. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B 93% Bacurau (Nighthawk) (2020) This film establishes interesting characters and is well acted. While the plot did not make a lot of sense to me, it does work on the level of being a satisfying action and morality tale. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B 97% Night of the Kings (La Nuit des Rois) (2020) The acting is excellent by the whole cast, especially in the fear and desperation of Roman, the hatred and resignation of Blackbeard and the crazy energy of the rest of the inmates. This is a prison drama unlike any other. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
C+ 97% Gunda (2020) From a pure cinematography and editing standpoint, this film is well done. If it was cut down to a normal 50-minute short documentary length, that would be about right. This film gets a positive rating for vegetarians only. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B 97% Buoyancy (2020) This Australian film, written and directed by Rodd Rathjen, is captivating despite its terribly grim subject matter. The acting is very convincing. It is stunningly photographed by cinematographer Michael Latham. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B 92% Beanpole (Dylda) (2020) The intense relationship between Masha and Iya, without being overtly sexual, is explored in some depth. However, I would not recommend this film to someone who is depressed, particularly in these grim days. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
B 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Over all, I did find myself laughing a lot at this film, and that is worth a lot in these trying times. Bakalova gives a marvelous performance in this film, and Cohen is fearless as the doltish, outrageous Borat. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
B 95% See You Yesterday (2019) This movie has a very attractive cast of talented young actors who go a long way towards making this downbeat story more palatable. It was also a treat to see the most famous time traveler of all in the film, Michael J. Fox. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
B 68% New Order (Nuevo orden) (2021) This film made me very uneasy about how uncertain life can be when society falls apart, just as it seems to be falling apart right now. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
C+ 63% Radioactive (2020) Rosamund Pike gives a fine performance as Marie, but the film seemed to me to be overly melodramatic, almost like a soap opera. There were also jarring, and unnecessary digressions in the film to much later events. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
B 26% Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) This film features fine performances from Christopher Walken and Emily Blunt, who also does a nice job singing the title song in one scene. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
B 96% First Cow (2020) Not a top 10 movie, but good because of the compelling story of friendship and the performances by Orion Lee and John Magaro that bring this friendship to life. It is good to be reminded that friendships should not be on a transactional basis. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
B 93% Herself (2021) This intense drama highlights the struggle of a single mother to achieve some independence in a society where the odds are stacked against her. This describes most societies, but this particular one is in Ireland. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
A 99% Wolfwalkers (2020) The story is compelling and the characters are interesting. The animation is colorful, like the other films in this Irish trilogy. It is a highly stylized throwback to the look of traditional hand-drawn animation. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2021
B 92% The Vast of Night (2020) Despite the goofs, omissions and the obvious limitations of a low budget, this film is pretty effective because of its breathless pace and solid acting. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2021
B+ 80% I'm Your Woman (2020) It starts out slow, but the suspense soon starts building, and continues to build right up to the conclusion. The plot has many unexpected twists. The performances by Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake and Arinzé Kene are riveting. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2021
B 79% Greyhound (2020) There is not much fat in Tom Hank's screenplay about an inexperienced U.S. Navy Captain trying to get a convoy safely past a German submarine wolfpack during World War II. The film's action scenes are intense, and very realistic-looking. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2021
B 69% Ammonite (2020) With its Oscar-bait November opening and lots of meaningful emotional glances, the lesbian love story loosely based on the life of famed paleontologist Mary Anning (1799-1847) will no doubt get some recognition this year. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
B 91% The White Tiger (2020) This movie, set in India, along with 'Nuevo orden' (2020) of Mexico, are both effective cautionary tales of the inherent dangers posed by income inequality and corruption. This is a danger in America as well, but nobody is paying attention, yet. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
B+ 95% Soul (2020) The movie is loaded with narrative and visual imagination. As is quite common in Pixar films, it may be just a cartoon, but it has plenty of soul. - Laramie Movie Scope EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021