Samuel R. Murrian

Samuel R. Murrian
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Samuel R. Murrian is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist, critic and animal welfare enthusiast.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 85% Empathy, Inc. (2019) One of the freshest genre surprises of the fall movie season. This movie freaked me out more than any traditional horror film I've seen all year. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 71% Haunt (2019) Lots of flicks of this ilk today feel the need to be meta and overly self-aware, which sometimes works and is sometimes annoying. I was charmed by Haunt's throwback, streamlined, less-is-more approach. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
5/5 98% The Wizard of Oz (1939) The world's favorite movie. Exciting, touching and big-hearted,The Wizard of Ozis the movie we most look forward to sharing with future generations. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
5/5 96% Halloween (1978) The quintessential popcorn horror film, a thrill ride with few equals. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
5/5 98% The Babadook (2014) [In 2019], it remains the best horror film so far this century. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
4.5/5 83% Midsommar (2019) Midsommar is a damn good horror movie, maybe even a great one. And, it's one of the funniest movies of 2019. - Instinct Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2019
2.5/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Ultimately, it's hobbled by some thin characterizations, most crucially a romance that just doesn't work. - Instinct Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
2/5 79% Halloween (2018) For all the talk of how this is the movie to take Halloween back to its roots, it has far more in common with the sleazy, derivative blood-soaked sequels than with the patient, more chilling and terrifying original. - Instinct Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2019
5/5 91% Phantom Thread (2018) It's Workaholism: The Movie. With Phantom Thread, Anderson has made, unequivocally, the best film about workaholism of all time. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2019
5/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart has something urgent going on under the surface. This is a lively and rebellious, rather profoundly feminist movie about young women with dreams, and the enormous pressures facing them. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2019
3/5 64% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Vera Farmiga is the Jamie Lee Curtis of this series and that's that. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2019
2/5 63% Child's Play (2019) In the remake, the human characters are selfish and cynical, and many will be rooting for the doll. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2019
2/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) Downbeat and self-serious yet insubstantial...It's unclear what the big draw for an X-Men film is when neither joy nor simple popcorn pleasures are on the table. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
5/5 93% Wild Rose (2019) I was completely enthralled by every inch of Wild Rose. This is a really special, affecting film that leaves a mark. It's one of the best films of 2019. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) King of the Monsters is definitely a worthwhile way to kill two hours and change this summer. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
3.5/5 68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) So, is Pokémon Detective Pikachu a genre-transcending masterwork? Absolutely not. Is it much of a drama? Nope. Is it a low-key good time at the movies that's sure to satisfy kids and even charm some parents? Why, yes. Yes it is. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
4/5 91% The Biggest Little Farm (2019) 'The Biggest Little Farm' is a winner. This is illuminating, even riveting real-life entertainment the whole family can enjoy and learn something from. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
3/5 77% Sleight (2017) This could be a star-making turn for Latimore, who is effortlessly engaging in a layered role. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
4/5 90% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) With hindsight the plot unfolds too conveniently in places, but the acting here is straight-up extraordinary, and Three Billboards is always riveting and consistently surprising to watch. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
3.5/5 80% Colossal (2017) Colossal isn't perfect, but it's fun, distinct and ultimately rewarding, thanks in no small part to Hathaway's enthralling performance. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
4/5 81% Personal Shopper (2017) Personal Shopper is Kristen Stewart's finest work to date. Appearing in virtually every scene, she commands the screen - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
5/5 91% La La Land (2016) The takeaway for me is the love story here. At risk of understatement, this is a cinematic love story for the ages. This is a story we haven't seen on screen before, at least certainly not done this well. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
5/5 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Let's not mince words: This will be remembered as one of the best science fiction/fantasy movies of all time, and this backlash simply must stop, because that's no way to treat a near-masterpiece. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
4.5/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) The MCU pictures have always stressed that neither the destination nor the journey are as important as the connections we make along the way. As this is already the most lucrative series ever, clearly that message has struck a chord with millions. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
4/5 94% Shadow (2019) Shadow takes its time- but when the action hits, your jaw will drop. The talky first half leads into some of the most exciting, inventive and brutal action sequences of 2019. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
4/5 96% Little Woods (2019) Little Woods covers this territory more astutely and thoughtfully than TV's uneven, entertaining Ozark, and it's lightyears better than Clint Eastwood's The Mule, which was at its worst, unintentionally funny. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
4.5/5 90% Shazam! (2019) The action finale of Shazam! takes place at a carnival. It's clever, and packs a surprising emotional payoff. The same can be said of this whole big goofy irresistible flick. It isn't too soon to call this one of the best superhero movies ever. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
4.5/5 94% Blowin' Up (2018) "Female empowerment" is a phrase that gets tossed around in entertainment a lot. Blowin' Up is an illuminating, moving account of female empowerment in the real world. It's one of the best films of 2019 so far. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
4/5 84% Disobedience (2018) Disobedience doesn't reach the rapturous, magic-realism-tinged heights of A Fantastic Woman (an unusual and virtually flawless movie that just gets better with repeat viewings), but it is absolutely another big win for Lelio, a red-hot and unique talent. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
4/5 85% Beach Rats (2017) The film is hard to shake and hypnotizing to watch, like a neon dream you never want to leave. It is also, in many ways a nightmare. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
4/5 87% My Friend Dahmer (2017) Lynch's fellow Disney alum Zac Efron is set to play Ted Bundy in the upcoming drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile... It's anyone's guess as to whether or not that movie will spin as intricate, alluring and unique a web as Meyers's film. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
4.5/5 66% Vice (2018) Vice has many virtues, but without the salt-of-the-earth toughness Adams brings to Lynne, whom she clearly doesn't judge and doesn't play for laughs, the picture inevitably would have felt like a 2-plus-hour SNL sketch. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
4/5 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Though it has a touching love story we care about, If Beale Street Could Talk works better as a tribute to the strength of African-American mothers who are the backbones of their families. From that angle, I found it really moving. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
4/5 91% Beast (2018) In short, Beast is a psychological thriller with smarts and sharp fangs that is a cut above most takes on a classic, undeniably appealing story. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4.5/5 89% Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) The doc is made with a high level of technical skill and-crucially-compassion. It's another outstanding feature in a rich year for documentary filmmaking. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/5 92% Searching (2018) Once Searching is over, you might be tempted to nitpick some little plot conveniences, but such things are easy to forgive when the viewing experience delivers like this. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3.5/5 66% Lizzie (2018) The leading ladies are superb. Sevigny's career has been all about taking risks and experimenting from the beginning, and she's a natural fit for this daring, mostly successful big-screen take on the alleged murderess. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
5/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Some may be surprised by the depth of McCarthy's work here, but this really shouldn't be surprising. In her best comedic creations, the actress can deliver a single line that all at once makes you guffaw, scratch your head, wince and feel pathos. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3.5/5 93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) This is smart, big-hearted entertainment for grown-ups. Beyond that, it's a worthy send-off to one of the greats-if indeed it really is his send-off. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4.5/5 91% Lean on Pete (2018) Quietly brutal, stark and even chilly, Lean on Pete is a spellbinding study of snowballing trauma and its impact on a young boy. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
5/5 93% The Favourite (2018) Many will guffaw heartily throughout the increasingly bonkers The Favourite, but there isn't one cheap laugh here. The drama has heft, horror and fathoms of heartbreak below the surface. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
5/5 97% Free Solo (2018) In short, don't miss this. It's riveting nonfiction entertainment for the widest general audience. That this movie even exists defies all probability. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
4/5 96% Roma (2018) Roma is in a league of its own in terms of sheer cinematic ambition and prowess, but as a drama it's not as deeply moving as some of this year's very best. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
5/5 95% A Quiet Place (2018) Plain and simple, this movie is scary as hell, one of the most sweaty-palmed suspensers in years. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
4/5 94% Wildlife (2018) If the strikingly handsome, emotionally chilly Wildlife itself occasionally runs the risk of feeling a bit like we're watching a still life, that's ultimately eclipsed by Dano's exceptional work with his actors and the film's wondrous visuals. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
4.5/5 80% Boy Erased (2018) This entertaining and heartfelt movie will mean a great deal to so many young people and their families. It's not over-reaching to say it could change lives. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
5/5 91% Mandy (2018) This is an exceptionally thoughtful, striking horror picture with an all-time great Nicolas Cage performance at its core. Mandy is the reason midnight movies are a thing. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
3/5 78% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) Anna and the Apocalypse has giddy, highly entertaining momentum at the top. It loses some of this as it goes along, but it's directed and performed with a level of exuberance and wit that mostly keep it afloat when it feels like the plot is wearing thin. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
5/5 86% The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) Some will say The Miseducation of Cameron Post is too subtle, too quiet, and this really isn't a fair assessment; to say something like this is to overlook wholly remarkable, finely detailed filmmaking craft. It hits hard without ever hammering. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2018
3/5 74% On the Basis of Sex (2019) On the Basis of Sex could have used more of its subject's grit and daring, but as a respectful and uplifting tribute, it gets the job done pretty well. - Parade Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018