Tom Russo

Tom Russo
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 98% Maiden (2019) Writer-director Alex Holmes ("Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story") absorbingly recounts the story of Edwards and her team in an unfussy linear style that effectively recaptures the tension of their gutsy undertaking. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
3/4 54% Ma (2019) The lady might be a wackjob, but she's one with some complexity behind the creeping instability. As showy character roles go, Spencer hits the motherlode. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2.5/4 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Whichever, the seat-rattling, super-size mayhem in this latest "Godzilla" is fantastic - emphasis on "fan." Regrettably, though, the human-scale action featuring Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, and Millie Bobby Brown borders on inane. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2.5/4 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Reeves and Dacascos's brutal, climactic sparring session definitely leaves us wanting more, not to mention wondering about a potential Oscars sound editing category for shattering glass. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
2.5/4 89% Missing Link (2019) Stick around for the end credits to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the heroes' elephant ride across India. The animators particularly strive to offer a fresh take on their final destination... - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
1.5/4 17% Hellboy (2019) In the end, the movie leaves us stuck with unmoving drama and increasingly numbing carnage, delivered with a hand as heavy as Hellboy's monstrously oversized right meathook. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
3/4 91% Shazam! (2019) [A]mid the unattributed riffing, the pinballing among YA-style quaintness, perv jokes, and graphic jolts, you start to realize: "Shazam!" is pretty entertaining. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
2.5/4 77% Hotel Mumbai (2019) "Hotel Mumbai" captures the Taj siege so hauntingly, messages of hope and reassurance aren't easily heard. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
3/4 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) It's the mark of many a standout sports movie that you don't necessarily have to be a fan to enjoy the story. The real-life pro wrestling portrait "Fighting With My Family" is a hugely entertaining case in point. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
2.5/4 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) For all of Alita's she-Pinocchio charm - and her Cameronian estrogen-charged badass-itude - she can't quite carry the audience all the way across that pesky uncanny valley. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3/4 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) [T]his one is worthwhile viewing, no matter how lightly it might tread. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
2/4 61% Vox Lux (2018) After a point, we're left wondering whether we're watching a character study or caricature. Either way, the portrait gradually morphs from intriguing to tedious. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/4 84% Creed II (2018) At its best moments, "Creed II" manages a feat nearly as striking as anything that Michael B. Jordan's Rocky Balboa protégé pulls off in the boxing ring: It doesn't play all that much like a sequel. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/4 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Reilly does nice work playing his big lug's insecurity and struggle to let his friend go, but Silverman delivers a performance that's downright moving in its expression of yearning - on a couple of different levels, interpretation depending. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
2.5/4 63% Outlaw King (2018) Pine and Pugh are well matched for a stirringly happy ending -- which would likely play even better if we were a bit less bummed from the rocky road getting there. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
2/4 59% The Grinch (2018) Advising folks not to touch all this with a 39 1/2-foot pole would be hyperbole -- but don't expect this to be the start of your family's newest holiday viewing tradition, either. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
2/4 33% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) The best we can say about the lengthy action barrage this kicks off is that Foy does look fab in her Nutcracker-regulation soldier-girl duds. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3/4 81% Mid90s (2018) It's as if Hill took his familiar sly humor and sneaked it into a segment from Richard Linklater's "Boyhood." - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
1/4 62% The Oath (2018) [Barinholtz] lacks storytelling chops, aiming for wildly provocative satire but instead churning out a technically spotty screed. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
3/4 97% Free Solo (2018) Go figure that the year's most outrageously harrowing action movie turns out to be an arthouse doc from National Geographic. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2018
3/4 76% Smallfoot (2018) An animated feature that puts some clever thought into the fantastical, conundrum-filled world it creates. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
2.5/4 66% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) A likably cast, mildly diverting Halloween appetizer that serviceably channels early Harry Potter. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
3/4 85% A Simple Favor (2018) Kendrick's interplay with Lively crackles, whether they're going for laughs or something darker. Both are big selling points - as is their director, even if it's not as advertised. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
3/4 61% Operation Finale (2018) A respectful chronicle of retribution, one that's suspenseful while resisting sensationalism. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2018
2.5/4 24% The Happytime Murders (2018) Once our initial LOL shock at the tone of "Happytime Murders" wears off, we begin hankering for something more - yet the movie is content mostly just to up the outrageousness, piling on material as liable to make us cringe as laugh. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
2.5/4 80% Alpha (2018) The stylishly crafted film mostly succeeds in its engaging (and tagline-ready) ambition to chronicle "how mankind discovered man's best friend," even if its naturalistic strengths are swapped out for an exaggeratedly epic tone in the later going. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2018
2.5/4 83% Puzzle (2018) The indie drama's aptly metaphorical goings-on have real warmth, and get an added boost from charming performances by Macdonald and Irrfan Khan... - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
3/4 73% Christopher Robin (2018) What's so satisfying about these telegraphed messages is the earnest, old-fashioned charm that McGregor and longtime Pooh voice actor Jim Cummings bring to them. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
2/4 51% Equalizer 2 (2018) A narratively and visually muddled disappointment, one that regularly confuses numbing brutality with vicariously thrilling righteous vengeance. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
2/4 51% Boundaries (2018) The film... crosses a line - between engaging idiosyncrasy and floundering improbability, amusing and cringeworthy. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
3/4 56% Tag (2018) What's most unexpectedly gratifying is how much energy veteran standup director Jeff Tomsic and his splashy cast pour into ensuring that this is legit entertainment, packed with gonzo wit and even some sentiment. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
3/4 89% American Animals (2018) The drama palpably, potently conveys the group's misgivings, their jangling nerves, the foolhardy resignation pushing them on despite themselves. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2018
2/4 70% Adrift (2018) Try as he might, Kormákur simply can't get around the fact that his haggard, despairing subject spends all that time at sea with a whole lotta nothing going on. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2018
2.5/4 93% First Reformed (2018) Is ambition is encouraging, and its dark musings are certainly provocative. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
3/4 67% On Chesil Beach (2018) The filmmakers and their charmingly sympathetic leads leave us with a picture of connubial needs and desires which, while maybe improbable, conjures up all the absorbing wistfulness of a classic weepie. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
2/4 38% Life of the Party (2018) [A] thoroughly vanilla comedy, a movie jammed with well-meaning girl power messages but surprisingly little edge. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
2.5/4 75% Little Pink House (2018) Keener's performance keeps the film grounded even as blunt scenes of the opposing camp's machinations flirt with soap opera villainy. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
2.5/4 71% Kodachrome (2018) Jason Sudeikis and Ed Harris do strong work playing harshly estranged, somehow pulling us close to their off-putting characters before forced sentiment in the late going undercuts director Mark Raso's film. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
2.5/4 52% Rampage (2018) The engaging dynamic between our hero and his gargantuan, computer-generated pal is the movie's best surprise, with silly and straight bits both working mostly as intended for director Brad Peyton. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
2/4 73% Final Portrait (2018) We get a vivid image of Giacometti, but after a time the film leaves us starving for some variety, too. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
2.5/4 83% Blockers (2018) Cannon and her cast keep us laughing enough to hang in for a satisfying takeaway: It's only natural for the 'rents to worry. Sometimes, though, teens know themselves better than their folks suspect. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
2/4 49% Flower (2018) It's hard to see the point of it all. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2018
2/4 44% Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) A movie that plays like a lost "Transformers" entry. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2018
2/4 24% 7 Days in Entebbe (2018) A serviceable thriller that might have been something more. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2018
3/4 86% Thoroughbreds (2018) More than a pure actors' director, Finley shows himself to be a theater product with a strikingly clear cinematic vision. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2018
3/4 45% Red Sparrow (2018) J. Law's spy game feels genuinely unpredictable, and not only as a career move. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
2/4 85% Game Night (2018) Shouldn't a movie called "Game Night" be entertaining? - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
2.5/4 40% Nostalgia (2018) The film can be naggingly vague and patchily written where precision seems called for, but the familiar procession keenly digging into the wistful material does hold interest. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
3/4 64% Peter Rabbit (2018) Even though this thoroughly contemporary adaptation frequently tramples the gentle whimsy of Potter's creation like so many bunnies overrunning a vegetable garden, it's also irresistibly entertaining. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2018
2/4 43% Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) If only the story line and setting were equal to the more compelling bits of character interplay. - Boston Globe EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018