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      Abby Olcese

      Abby Olcese

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      Saltburn (2023) Saltburn is the work of a filmmaker working from a place of self-assured confidence. It feels like a glorious announcement of the kind of work we can expect from Fennell going forward. Bring it on. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2023
      The Origin (2022) What sets Cumming’s movie apart is how it shows audiences how little it takes to tell a story that holds our attention and makes us think, from the narrative tactics it uses to the old-school cinematic trickery and natural scenery that make it sing. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2023
      The Toxic Avenger (2023) If you miss the days when super-adventures ran under two hours and featured unique backdrops, exaggerated villains and origin stories overflowing with radioactive ooze, Macon Blair’s remake of Troma’s The Toxic Avenger is for you. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2023
      A Haunting in Venice (2023) A Haunting in Venice lacks the atmosphere and visual flair to properly spook viewers, or the character development to make the ensemble worth investing in. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2023
      Stop Making Sense (1984) It’s difficult to watch Stop Making Sense and not have a great, engrossing time, a fact that’s as true now as it was in 1984. With the benefit of hindsight, it may even be more so. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2023
      Bottoms (2023) The point of Bottoms isn’t coherence as much as it is catharsis. It’s a movie designed to make audience members snort soda out of their nose, bark out laughter and drop bags of popcorn in surprise. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2023
      The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023) The story is tragic, the vibes are excellent, and the ensemble sells every minute. It may feel subdued, but you’ll probably still leave with a satisfying chill. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2023
      Landscape with Invisible Hand (2023) Landscape with Invisible Hand is a piece of knowing absurdism that may not always form a coherent narrative, but hits the nail on the head emotionally. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2023
      Talk to Me (2023) As popular YouTubers, the Philippous understand how to quickly grab and keep an audience’s interest. As filmmakers, they haven’t yet learned the art of a satisfying conclusion. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2023
      Oppenheimer (2023) This is a story for all times, but it’s also an especially interesting one at this present time. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2023
      Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One (2023) Dead Reckoning Part One is reliably great. But like many recent Cruise-led projects, it’s also deeply concerned with the future of cinema. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2023
      Joy Ride (2023) Joy Ride, in all its raunchy, heartfelt, friend-centric goodness, feels like a true heir apparent to studio comedies of the previous decade. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jul 07, 2023
      Past Lives (2023) This is the kind of movie that sets up a pup tent in your brain and never really leaves, drawing you gently back every so often. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2023
      Flamin' Hot (2023) Don’t look too closely behind the curtain, and you’ll have a moderately rewarding time. - Paste Magazine
      Read More | Posted Jun 07, 2023
      Fast X (2023) Much of Fast X is lots of fun, and the dynamics between the characters are as satisfying as ever - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted May 20, 2023
      Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) If you’re looking for a way to conclude your relationship with Marvel’s most vibrant characters, this is it. Given signs of diminishing returns here, it’s also a good example of quitting while you’re ahead. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted May 12, 2023
      BlackBerry (2023) BlackBerry is so far the only entry among a growing number of cinematic Tall Tales of the Corporate World that asks the right questions about the toxic relationship between innovation and corporate culture. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted May 12, 2023
      Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. (2023) Bright, joyful and gentle, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. belongs to the great tradition of movies about girls growing up, cemented in the pantheon alongside My Girl, Now and Then, The Parent Trap and Lady Bird. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2023
      Beau Is Afraid (2023) It’s the narrative of every self-pitying boyfriend you’ve ever had, blown up to monumental proportions. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2023
      Air (2023) Air, part of a wave of movies that treat corporate products as their own IP with questionably worthy origin stories, feels cynical whether it means to or not. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Apr 07, 2023
      Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023) Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ self-aware humor, combined with thoughtful backstory and actual character arcs, is well-balanced and feels accurate to the experience of playing a campaign with a group of friends. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2023
      John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) John Wick: Chapter 4 is exactly as satisfying as you want a John Wick movie to be. It also allows its supporting characters a little more personality and development than the films have up to this point. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2023
      The Stroll (2023) The Stroll is an accessible movie made to be shared with people, and on that score, it’s a valuable resource. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Ramona (2022) Ramona slowly evolves into a loving, playful film that addresses the dark realities of its subjects’ lives while also giving them agency to tell their own stories and build community together. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Going Varsity in Mariachi (2023) This movie is easy to love, full of spectacle, charm, and high production value. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Bad Press (2023) A top-tier portrayal of newsroom life and investigative reporting. It’s also an interesting look into the complex relationship between indigenous journalists and their communities. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Art Talent Show (2022) Komrzý and Bojar take an observational approach that embraces the endearing awkwardness and inherent absurdity of the application process and the people involved in it. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Hummingbirds (2023) Perfectly captures the spontaneous joy and lazy, meandering conversations of warm summer nights in young adulthood when time seems both limitless and fleetingly tender. Silvia and Estefanía are human fireworks who you’ll fall in love with. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Scream VI (2023) It could stand to have more of the mean energy of its origin. Those issues aside, however, Scream VI is still stabby, nasty fun, with lovable heroes, a quick pace, and a cast clearly having fun slashing up the scenery. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Cocaine Bear (2023) A satisfying cheeseburger of a movie; not exactly substantive, but entertaining, trashy fun nonetheless. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2023
      Knock at the Cabin (2023) Offers some helpful answers to the eternal question “How do you fix an M. Night Shyamalan movie?” Those answers: make sure other people work on the script, adapt the story from a high quality source, and cast Dave Bautista. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Feb 04, 2023
      The Devil Conspiracy (2022) The Devil Conspiracy, like many of its faith-based cinematic relatives, is a disappointingly bland take on a subject that has many unexplored possibilities. - Sojourners
      Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2023
      The Pale Blue Eye (2022) With its wintry aesthetic, candlelit hallways, and gothic pedigree, The Pale Blue Eye could stand to be a lot pulpier and more fun than it is. As it stands, the film’s fealty to its period-piece trappings make it disappointingly dry. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jan 07, 2023
      Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) As with his best work, del Toro does an excellent job combining emotional vulnerability with a love of the freaky and uncanny, a balancing act that here gives the film a strikingly dark sense of humor. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2022
      Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) It’s a little overstuffed, and some elements that are clearly there to tie it into the larger direction of the MCU could be cut entirely... However, it’s still a grand, vibrant epic and a worthy series continuation. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2022
      The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) The result is a sharply funny, heartfelt and blunt film -- notice I said heartfelt and not heartwarming. McDonagh’s latest won’t leave you feeling happy, but it will put you in a curious, introspective state. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Nov 04, 2022
      Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) Very little care seems to have gone into this sequel, other than a cursory watching of the 1993 movie and a checklist of what the studio thinks the original’s fans liked the most. - Crooked Marquee
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2022
      Bros (2022) Bros is a great example of the form, one that’s been lagging in quality in recent years. The dialogue is snappy, the characterization is thoughtful and the world the characters inhabit feels like a space people actually live in. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2022
      The Pez Outlaw (2022) While not exactly profound, The Pez Outlaw is a modern tall tale that handily succeeds in hooking viewers early and keeping them invested. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2022
      The Woman King (2022) The fight choreography is stunning, with Prince-Bythewood showcasing the abilities of her performers in shots that grab hold of your eyeballs and refuse to let go. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2022
      Don't Worry Darling (2022) It’s not great art. It is, however, a solid piece of entertainment that’s still a little more thoughtful than the average blockbuster, and provides plenty of eye candy to keep viewers happy besides. - Crooked Marquee
      Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2022
      Pearl (2022) Pearl is plenty of fun, without a doubt... However, knowing a lot about a genre is one thing. Being able to say something substantive about it is quite another. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2022
      See How They Run (2022) See How They Run isn’t a terribly novel take on its genre, but it is an innately satisfying example of it. This is a movie for a rainy Sunday afternoon or evening. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2022
      Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) Miller’s film is full of epic potential, with not quite enough space to breathe. However, it’s rare we get something so creatively ambitious and strange on a studio budget like this, and much of what’s here is incredible, dramatic disappointment aside. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2022
      Spin Me Round (2022) It sounds great on paper, but in practice it’s tonally incongruous and mean-spirited. - Crooked Marquee
      Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2022
      Bullet Train (2022) Even though Bullet Train mistakes style for substance, it has the good sense to look awesome. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2022
      My Old School (2022) The resulting film is certainly likable, though like a class clown in an AP English class, it doesn’t feel like it’s living up to its full potential. - Crooked Marquee
      Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2022
      Nope (2022) Nope does indeed lack some connective tissue between its two biggest story threads that might help the movie be even stronger than it is. However, it’s so ambitious and interesting that it hardly matters. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2022
      Where the Crawdads Sing (2022) The movie might as well be cinematic teflon -- it’s not overtly bad, and there’s enough content to sustain you through the running time, but don’t expect anything to stick. - Crooked Marquee
      Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2022
      Flux Gourmet (2022) It’s not always easy to make a movie about making art, but Flux Gourmet’s inherent absurdity serves it well, acknowledging industry dynamics and in-jokes without ever feeling insular or shop talk-y. - The Pitch
      Read More | Posted Jul 08, 2022
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