Zaki Hasan

Zaki Hasan
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Born and raised in Chicago -- with a decade-long detour in Saudi Arabia -- before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zaki Hasan has been a media scholar and critic for more than twenty years. He is a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, and his film reviews and analyses have appeared at HuffPost, Philly Weekly, Fandor, Sequart, and more. He is also co-host of the MovieFilm and Nostalgia Theater Podcasts, and co-author of Quirk Books' Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture, as well as a contributor to books on the Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and Blade Runner franchises. Additionally, he has appeared as a panelist on Al Jazeera America's The Stream and HuffPost Live.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
C 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) While Johnson and Statham have bags of charisma to spare, all that does is keep this from being worse than it is. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
1/4 76% The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) Things like character and story feel awkwardly inserted edgewise, and cobbled together from scraps found in the "CGI kids' movie" breakout kit. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
3/4 82% Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) There's a genuine void in the marketplace for offerings like this. It's so joyful and confident in its own premise that it practically dares you not to walk out of the theater with a smile on your face, strutting like a peacock. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
C 52% The Lion King (2019) No doubt, it's impressive to look at. A visual feast. But it also lifts its heart and emotion wholesale from the 1994 version and counts on your preexisting affinity to carry the day. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/4 86% The Great Hack (2019) At its best, The Great Hack will alarm you, infuriate you, and - hopefully - activate you. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
B+ 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) A sterling example of the MCU at its best: Likable hero, interesting villain, compelling premise, solid performances all around. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
3/4 96% The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2019) A fascinating and unsettling look at the ramifications of marital infidelity when shone through [a] specific geopolitical prism. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
3/4 97% Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) While the format as such doesn't allow for a critical push-and-pull, that's not a debit. This is about time well spent on a life well lived. A series of pieces adding up to much more than the whole. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
C 51% The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) Hopkins' direction is competent, and Goldman's screenplay merely serves its purpose. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2019
2/4 33% Being Frank (2019) It adopts a tonally dissonant and thematically confused approach to what is, in essence, little more than a Lifetime movie writ large. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
84% JFK (1991) JFK is so effective that regardless of one's agreement or disagreement with the conclusions director Stone draws from his considerable research, there is simply no denying its success as a work of remarkable persuasive power. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2019
C+ 22% Men in Black International (2019) MIB: International is a bit like the CSI: Miami of alien hunting sci-fi action-comedies. Sure, it'll do in a pinch if that's what you're in the mood for, yet it lacks the extra something that made the original stand apart. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
C+ 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) Dark Phoenix feels in many ways like a vestigial remnant from a past life, but it's also one last hurrah for a series that's been a steady presence for almost twenty years. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
B 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) This is a deeply silly movie that knows when to play things totally straight. That might sound like damning it with faint praise, but it's really not. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
C 57% Aladdin (2019) If you're a fan of the original, one has to wonder, why not just watch that? Why indulge the company's incessant need to churn out this endless parade of karaoke cosplays instead of giving us whole new worlds? - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) This isn't a movie you watch for story, but the stuff you do watch for is present in ample supply. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
B- 68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) As someone far outside the target demo, I found Detective Pikachu unobjectionable, if forgettable. But as for the generation(s) steeped in the minutia of this stuff? Warner Brothers is sure to catch them all. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
A 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Spellbinding, surprising, and immensely satisfying. Eleven years, twenty-two films, one singular cinematic achievement the likes of which we've never seen before and aren't likely to again for a long time to come - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
D 17% Hellboy (2019) Imagine a film where almost every single creative choice constitutes some kind of a misstep, and you have a sense of what this is like. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
B 53% Meet Joe Black (1998) Meet Joe Black marks the latest in a succession of strong turns by Anthony Hopkins. More than even [Brad] Pitt, the film serves as a showcase for the versatile and talented Oscar winner. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
A 86% Star Trek Beyond (2016) A welcome refresh that again grounds the series in the spirit of idealism and optimism that were at the forefront of creator Gene Roddenberry's thinking, and which have no expiration date. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
C+ 84% Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Gleefully scavenges familiar moments from prior iterations of the brand, but with none of the accrued emotional heft. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
A 94% Star Trek (2009) The 2009 model Star Trek is laced with the fresh thrill of discovery. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
D 37% Star Trek - Nemesis (2002) The least involving, least cohesive movie in the entire ten picture catalog. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
C- 54% Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) Content to skate on the pre-existing audience's fondness for these characters and the Star Trek brand. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
A- 93% Star Trek: First Contact (1996) First Contact just works. It works as a rousing chapter in the Star Trek saga, and to a lesser extent it works as mainstream entertainment - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
C- 47% Star Trek Generations (1994) Pretty much everything from the time Kirk leaves to the time he reappears is a distraction. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
C 91% James and the Giant Peach (1996) ...valiantly attempts to convey the amazement and childlike sense-of-wonder so characteristic of the late Dahl's books, and while it does succeed occasionally, more often than not it falls flat. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
B+ 52% The World Is Not Enough (1999) All the various gears and pulleys that go together to make a Bond film run like a well-oiled machine are at work here. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
B+ 91% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! has big action, big laughs, and a big heart underneath. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
A 81% Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country (1991) It's at once gripping, humorous, emotional, and immensely satisfying. An appropriate and fitting farewell to the finest crew in the fleet. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
C 22% Star Trek V - The Final Frontier (1989) The real tragedy of Trek V is that there are faint glimmers throughout, poking through the wreckage, of the deeper meaning the filmmakers were striving for. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
B+ 85% Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986) The marching orders here were for a romp, and a romp they produced. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
B 80% Star Trek III - The Search for Spock (1984) Star Trek III does what it needs to do by restoring part of the original status quo and setting up a new one to be resolved at a later date. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
A+ 89% Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Signaled the transformation of Star Trek from 'cult' into 'franchise,' providing a creative lease on life that would power the movie series for the next twenty years. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
C+ 42% Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) The first earnest attempt to foster large scale public interest in a moribund property that had survived up to that point solely on the enthusiasm of its small, devoted following. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
A+ 97% Spotlight (2015) Riveting and ceaselessly compelling, while also illustrating the inherent nobility of reporters hitting the streets and chasing down leads and finding sources. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
C 47% Dumbo (2019) While Burton puts all of his considerable expertise to work in Dumbo to make us believe an elephant can fly, it'd take even more than he can muster to make us believe that it needs to. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2019
63% Spider-Man 3 (2007) A forced, altogether unsatisfying conclusion to a series that had hit some pretty satisfying creative highs during its short lifespan. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
93% Spider-Man 2 (2004) Displays the kind of poise and confidence that can only happen when you're following on from a critical smash that also became one of the most successful movies of all time. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
90% Spider-Man (2002) Watching Spider-Man today, it's easy to see why it worked as well as it did, while also fully acknowledging those parts of the machinery that have gathered some rust in the interim. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
A 92% Sicario (2015) Not merely an engrossing drama. Not merely a challenging thriller. One of the best movies of the year. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
C+ 78% Captain Marvel (2019) A rare misstep from a franchise factory that otherwise strides the movie landscape so assuredly. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
B 60% Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows doesn't go nearly as deep as I would have liked, but is a mostly-diverting concoction that, thankfully isn't as broad as it could very well have ended up. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
B+ 70% Sherlock Holmes (2009) The '09 model Holmes is at once a fresh reinvention of the concept for modern sensibilities, and a surprisingly grounded embrace of its pulpy roots. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
A 99% Selma (2014) Selma serves as a pointed and poignant riposte to our current historical moment. It's an important film about an important story. It deserves to be seen, shared, discussed, and, like the events it depicts, never forgotten. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
B- 44% The Siege (1998) Unfortunately, the movie's ignorant portrayals of other cultures while espousing a message of brotherhood comes across as not a little hypocritical. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
C 50% San Andreas (2015) Per San Andreas, if the big one hits, just sit back, cross your fingers, and wish the Rock was your dad. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
C+ 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Never quite manages to be more than the sum of its many engaging parts. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
B- 20% Sabotage (2014) There's something deliriously subversive about how proudly Sabotage wields its R rating. And while it's too clumsy to be good, it does tie together in way that's mostly satisfying. - Zaki's Corner EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019