Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B- 52% Settlers (2021) When it comes to envisioning and creating a tangible world, Setters is terrifically seducive. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
B 84% Blood Red Sky (2021) It's an utterly ridiculous idea performed with such unflinching gravitas that somehow the whole lurid mess works. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
C+ 63% Jungle Cruise (2021) Like the famed Disneyland ride that inspired it, Jungle Cruise is jammed with instantly forgettable silliness; moreover the whole thing is 100 percent synthetic. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2021
C+ 38% Joe Bell (2021) As much as I wish I were enthusiastic about Joe Bell, I'm not. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
B 100% The Hidden Life of Trees (Das geheime Leben der Bäume) (2021) The Hidden Life... then, is more noteworthy for its visual wonders and environmental impressionism than for making a measured scientific argument. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2021
B+ 96% I Carry You with Me (2021) A genre-bending hybrid that nails both the triumph of these two enterprising individuals and the acute sense of loss they experience as men without a country. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2021
A- 99% Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) [Questlove] and editor Joshua L. Pearson masterfully interweave the performance footage with old newsreels, photos and other archival elements. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2021
B 91% Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation (2021) Are there questions left unasked and unanswered? Sure. But this doc isn't about everything. It's about some things... some pretty wonderful things. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2021
B 96% Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021) It's been a hell of a life...and given what she's accomplished so far, I imagine we're still awaiting Rita Moreno's last act. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
B- 90% Les nôtres (2021) The resulting film is neither fish nor fowl but something in between. Emilie Bierre, though, lays claim to nascent stardom. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
B 95% In the Heights (2021) At its best the film version of the Broadway musical In the Heights is a colorful Valentine to a neighborhood and a way of life, overflowing with generosity of spirit and gleefully embracing Latinx culture. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
C+ 92% Take Me Somewhere Nice (2019) Ultimately Take Me Somewhere Nice pushes its low-keyed approach too far...it's hard to get invested in the characters' plights when their dullness is relieved only by brief flashes of sullenness. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
B 93% The Killing of Two Lovers (2021) The Killing of Two Lovers tears a page from the Kelly Reichart playbook (if you're gonna steal, steal from the best). - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
98% Rear Window (1954) Rear Window remains, for me anyway, the best film Alfred Hitchcock ever made, matched only by North by Northwest for its tension and humor and virtually unchallenged as a technical tour de force. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
C- 59% Edge of the World (2021) There's undoubtedly a great film to be made of the life of Sir James Brooke, the Englishman who in the early 19th century schemed and fought his way into ruling a good chunk of the island nation of Borneo. Alas, Edge of the World isn't that movie. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
B 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) With only two directing credits under his belt, actor-turned-filmmaker John Krasinski has proven himself one of the brightest up-and-comers in cinema. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2021
3/4 67% Target (1985) Mr. Hackman seems to have been born for this role... Mr. Dillon seems to be putting the obnoxious punks of his early roles behind him for a somewhat more complex and satisfying characterization. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
B- 63% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) The results aren't particularly memorable, but provide a couple of hours of solid diversion. I'll take it. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
B- 88% Dream Horse (2021) Not earth shaking, but pleasant enough. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2021
3/4 96% Chan Is Missing (1982) Chan is no masterpiece but those interested in seeing an undeniable talent on his solo flight will be more than satisfied. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2021
B- 19% The Virtuoso (2021) Nick Stagliano's The Virtuoso works a couple of intriguing variations on the usual setup. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2021
C+ 47% Here Today (2021) Billy Crystal's sincere but ultimately unfulfilling dramedy Here Today is a queasy blend of vintage Crystal wise-cracking and dour navel gazing. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2021
C 45% Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) There are forehead-smacking lapses of common sense and the conspiracy at the movie's core is just plain dumb. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
3/4 100% Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Negres) (1984) As Jose, young [Garry] Cadenat offers a winning blend of mischief and devotion, and the supporting cast -- although filled with first-time actors -- is excellent. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2021
4/4 97% Pather Panchali (1955) Pather Panchali concludes with one of the most extraordinary evocations of grief ever captured on film, a wrenching scene that tears us out of our roles as complacent movie watchers and transforms us into participants. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2021
A- 97% The Truffle Hunters (2020) Ultimately The Truffle Hunters achieves an almost meditative state of oneness with nature. It also leaves you ravenously hungry for a dish that most of us have never tasted. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
B- 77% Stowaway (2021) Thank heavens for the players, who find ways to personalize their rather impersonal characters. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
B+ 52% Four Good Days (2021) By giving Molly a timetable for recovery, Four Good Days sets a tangible goal and notes Molly's every step toward and retreat from sobriety. Plus the setup allows its leading ladies to work their way through just about every human emotion. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2021
B 91% Together Together (2021) Writer/director Nicole Beckwith's sophomore effort... delivers a delicate character study more interested in human truths than easy laughs. The resulting film is a low-keyed affair that worms its way into the head and heart. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2021
3.5/4 98% Schindler's List (1993) Schindler's List is an amazing film and a triumphant coming of age for the world's most popular filmmaker. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2021
B 80% Concrete Cowboy (2021) The basic plot of Concrete Cowboy offers little in the way of surprises. It's very familiar territory. The presentational style, though, is fresh and gritty and hugely effective. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2021
C 62% French Exit (2021) A bizarre black comedy (at least I think it's supposed to be a black comedy) that left me dissatisfied despite the presence of big-time star Michelle Pfeiffer, up-and-comer Lucas Hedges, and a strong supporting cast. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
B 67% Penguin Bloom (2021) The filmmakers -- director Glendyn Ivin and screenwriters Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps -- never go for a big gesture when a little one will do. Sometimes less IS more. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2021
3/4 85% The Apple (1999) The Apple would be a good film even without the extraordinary circumstances of its creation. And when you know the "back story," as they say in the movie biz, it becomes one of those truly amazing moments in cinema. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2021
3/4 100% The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) Miss Spheeris has captured some harrowing and hilarious images with her camera and she shows a natural film maker's instinct for editing, particularly in the way she crosscuts interview footage for humorous effect. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2021
4/4 93% Daughters of the Dust (1991) If Daughters of the Dust is deceptively simple in its story and characterizations it is an overwhelmingly rich sensory experience. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2021
B- 86% The Courier (2020) Like its title, The Courier is an unprepossessing Cold War thriller that, despite an OK turn from leading man Benedict Cumberbatch and a based-on-fact birthright, never works up a full head of steam. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2021
B+ 100% Sophie Jones (2021) The film has been performed with a disarming naturalism that defies the usual conventions of teen melodrama. The results are both sad and inspiring. And Jessie Barr establishes herself as a filmmaker to watch. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
B 98% The Father (2021) As a dramatic work The Father is far from perfect, yet there is no denying the fascinating power of Hopkins' performance. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/4 87% Bhaji On the Beach (1995) "Bhaji on the Beach" delivers a satisfying emotional punch. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/4 81% Clueless (1995) Silverstone's performance is simultaneously witty and natural. sweet and acerbic. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2021
2/4 78% Wayne's World (1992) To give credit, there are isolated moments of hilarity here -- individual lines that suggest an insouciant wit or a sight gag, usually involving Carvey's befuddled Garth that triggers explosive laughter. But those moments are few and far between. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2021
B+ 69% Moxie (2021) The highest praise I can bestow on Moxie is that for two hours it made me once again feel like a teenager... and left me with a much-needed sense of optimism. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
B- 73% Palmer (2021) As directed by Fisher Stevens and performed by a first-rate cast the film is low-keyed, sincere, humanistic and occasionally shockingly tough. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2021
B- 70% Land (2021) At its most poignant the Land is about the need for human contact, even among those of us who fiercely deny that impulse. But even if the message gets muddled, there's always something gorgeous to look at. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2021
B 96% Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) From a purely historic point of view, [Judas and the Black Messiah] does a terrific job of recreating a seminal moment of the Civil Rights movement. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
B- 87% The Dig (2021) The Dig may be little more than motion picture comfort food... but right now comfort food is what we want. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
B+ 98% The Dissident (2020) This documentary is still capable of setting us back on our heels with gut-clutching revelations. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2021
C 45% The Little Things (2021) Were there an Oscar for frustrated expectations, John Lee Hancock's agonizingly moody "The Little Things" would clearly take home a statuette. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2021
B 75% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Pieces of a Woman, then, is a mixed bag. Go for the good stuff; try to overlook the iffy. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021