Troy Patterson

Troy Patterson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Slate movie critic.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
61% Cinema Verite (2011) The relationship between Gilbert and Pat is the strange, sexy mechanism that makes Cinema Verite work... And the movie is nicely ambiguous about what Gilbert wrought as the inventor of the reality-TV show. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2020
49% Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) Hemingway & Gellhorn's daft romanticization of its subjects proves central to its overwrought sense of self. This is the kind of film where the protagonists consummate their affair while Fascists are shelling their hotel. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
97% When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) Think of the film as a companion in mourning. - New Yorker EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2020
4/4 94% Juno (2007) As directed by Jason Reitman, the movie builds from sitcom setups to wistful payoffs. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
4/4 94% The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) Its flow of memory and imagination transforms the hero's nightmare into a dream, where a glance at the radiance of sunlight in a curtain is an elemental vision of what it means to be alive. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3/4 91% There Will Be Blood (2007) Though Day-Lewis seethes juicily, under the weight of all that allegory, Plainview steadily grows more vicious and less fascinating, wasting away to just a cackle and an empty leer. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3.5/4 32% Youth Without Youth (2007) The first half of Youth has the tension of a crack thriller. But director Francis Ford Coppola has rigged things so that the suspense story melts into a New Age puddle. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3/4 74% Avenue Montaigne (2006) Because the movie -- bright as a postcard and flooded with music ranging from richest Beethoven to bittersweet ballads -- is enchanting at its core, the creaky plot doesn't matter that much. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3.5/4 90% Starter for 10 (2006) Adhering to every convention of the coming-of-age film in a sneakily alluring way and flirting with cliche without slobbering all over it, this sweet little date-night flick is built to charm everyone's inner 18-year-old. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
2.5/4 34% Reno 911!: Miami (2007) Maddeningly hit-or-miss, Reno 911! plays as if the filmmakers were aiming simply to outclass Police Academy 5. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
1/4 66% Black Snake Moan (2007) Writer/director Craig Brewer has whipped up a controversy magnet that will make some fans of his first film, Hustle & Flow, retract anything they said in defense of its depiction of women. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
4/4 79% Crazy Love (2007) Dan Klores shapes their tale into a documentary as arresting as a Weegee crime-scene photo. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3.5/4 72% Black Sheep (2006) A genre mash-up... director Jonathan King's first feature doubles as a fable about two grown brothers and triples as a fresh national myth for his native New Zealand. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3.5/4 84% Paprika (2006) Though Kon sometimes hits on startling visions ripped straight from your head last night, he's ultimately more interested in film theory than the Freudian sort, evoking dreams in a way that's most faithful to dream sequences. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3/4 90% Knocked Up (2007) Knocked Up must be the funniest Hollywood romantic comedy since Apatow's 40-Year-Old Virgin. Granted, there are higher compliments, but the movie undeniably offers audiences many abdomen-impairing moments they'll talk (and talk and talk) about. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3.5/4 90% A Serious Man (2009) The movie develops into a pretty good rabbi joke about the meaninglessness of the universe. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
2.5/4 40% Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009) The urgency of the tales gets lost along the way, weighed down by staginess and an inconsistent tone, although Krasinski's ambition suggests a noble failure. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
2.5/4 94% An Education (2009) Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay by inflating a fragment of Lynn Barber's memoir, failing to disguise the thinness of the material. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3/4 85% Whip It (2009) Though Whip It celebrates risk-taking ladies, its plot turns gently from one formulaic moment to the next. The only surprise is just how much silliness Barrymore is willing to commit. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
4/4 40% Middle Men (2010) If you're not turned off by a standard-issue subplot about the Valley of temptation, then click ENTER to watch some hot and witty business thriller action. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
2.5/4 80% The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2010) After meticulously rigging a combination of claustrophobic suspense drama and icy procedural, director J Blakeson allows his movie to fall apart. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
2.5/4 42% The Extra Man (2010) Extra Man's superfluous oddities threaten to obscure its peculiar charms. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
3/4 68% Life During Wartime (2010) Life During Wartime presents scenes that feel as authentic as bad dreams, and sometimes that's happiness enough. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
71% The College Admissions Scandal (2019) The crimes here seem heinous because they subvert meritocracy, and this Lifetime movie-with its strokes of low-brow expressionism, inadvertently funny production values, clever lead performances-converts the news story into an exhilarating nightmare. - New Yorker EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
45% Camp Rock (2008) A workaday professionalism that's never too slick to alienate anyone. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
C- No Score Yet The Queens of Comedy (2000) Is this in the tradition of the great Moms Mabley? Sure. Does it rise to the sophistication of Married ... With Children? Rarely. - Entertainment Weekly EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
98% Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (2019) Homecoming is in a class of its own as a total synthesis of the pop arts. - New Yorker EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
79% Brexit (2019) Brexit is nicely ambiguous as to whether Cummings is a misguided genius or simply a talented opportunist, and Cumberbatch is excellent at conveying the lonely monomania of a man stubbornly devoted to principles that only he recognizes. - New Yorker EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
100% A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) Witnessing the principle in action last night inspired some ready-made nostalgia and some ritualized pleasure. It affirmed the conviction that Charlie Brown is not just a good man, but a beautiful loser. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
83% My Dinner with Hervé (2018) My Dinner with Hervé cannot make a straight-faced claim that Villechaize was an important actor or significant cultural figure, so its own significance depends on the star's charisma, which lends the proceedings a simple poignance. - New Yorker EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
96% Persepolis (2007) Adapting her memoir into a starkly beautiful animated feature, comics artist Marjane Satrapi braids personal history and national tragedy. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
65% Be Kind Rewind (2008) Gondry connects the guys' toil and glee with a kind of old-time neighborhood hominess that's dying away and a jazzed creative joy that never will. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
39% The Killing of John Lennon (2006) What Killing lacks in celebrity sparkle, it compensates for in raw ambition and rude chills. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
29% How to Rob a Bank (2007) Variously reminiscent of a Harold Pinter play, a Tarantino wannabe, and a deranged cell-phone commercial, the legitimately suspenseful How to Rob a Bank has the courage to embrace the ridiculous. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
77% Paranoid Park (2007) Glum yet gorgeous, Paranoid Park ties together Alex's bleak confusion with his more mundane existential teen traumas. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
68% Snow Angels (2007) Tragedy is juxtaposed, clumsily, with stories from the so-called life of a high school student, as if the plot had sprained something in the course of its transition from Stewart O'Nan's novel to the screen. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
79% The Bank Job (2008) Some great heist films concentrate on the quiet craftsmanship of the big score; and some very good ones, like The Bank Job - wild and willfully shaggy - prefer to revel in the sport of thievery. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
93% Milk (2008) Gus Van Sant's portrait of San Francisco politician Harvey Milk clunks along as the squarest movie he's ever made, a result of the director investing more emotion in the martyred idol than in the bleeding man. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
32% Boarding Gate (2008) Combining elements of a D-grade erotic thriller and a deconstructed international thriller, Boarding Gate proves duly snazzy and sleazy - kinda skanky in a highfalutin' way. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
79% It Might Get Loud (2009) David Guggenheim's delightfully unsnobby symposium of a documentary convenes three masters who share one love: electric guitar. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
68% Shutter Island (2010) Yes, [it's] built on pulp landfill, but purposefully so, with Scorsese using the twist ending to riff on the very power of elaborate fantasy. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
70% The Runaways (2010) While the offstage passion between Jett and Currie gives the film its emotional drive, their in-concert erotic aggression is an occasion for elegantly examining the line between self-expression and self-exploitation. - Spin EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
88% Grey Gardens (2009) If there is a meaning to this adaptation, it lies in the filmmaker's gentle suggestion of the Beales' martyrdom-though for what cause the ladies suffered remains unclear. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2018
74% Too Big to Fail (2011) The movie is a tense vignette with a nonending. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2018
50% Phil Spector (2013) I'm wondering if it is possible to do something analogous to a citizen's arrest and file a credit dispute on behalf of the viewing public. Nobody produced this film. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2013
63% Philip Roth: Unmasked (2013) That neither Krauss nor anyone has anything remotely unflattering to say about the subject points to the fundamental dishonesty of the work, which extends from its excessive reverence. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2013
No Score Yet It gets beneath the skin by examining the state of isolation at the bottom of the world. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2013
No Score Yet Bollywood Hero (2009) It must be said that Bollywood Hero is an entirely novel kind of slog. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2013
89% Crossfire Hurricane (2012) It was my pleasure, as an intermediate-level Stones buff, to see that director Brett Morgen has put together something reeking of astringent danger. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2012
67% Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis (2012) The documentary's camera captures the lensmen from an angle designed to make a tiny swarm of shutterbugs appear like a teeming plague, and you quickly begin to distrust the film's perspective in the most literal sense. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2012