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      Courtney Howard

      Courtney Howard

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      Boston Strangler (2023) A distant cousin to Zodiac, with splashes of Seven mixed into its homages, this thriller falls short of its influences yet carves out a small space of its own. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2023
      Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) A super solid, super fun and super smart blend of hilarity, heart and heroics, it’s a super-powered sequel that packs a punch. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2023
      John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) Brawny, bold and badass, this 4th film in a scorching, searing, soaring saga for the ages brilliantly balances vested stakes with an absolutely spectacular, high octane thrill ride. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2023
      65 (2023) With economy of time blessedly in mind, its big action set pieces do triple duty, keeping the unrelenting action moving, the dramatic tension building and the pair of protagonists’ stakes at the forefront. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2023
      Scream VI (2023) Despite better-constructed set pieces, these characters, their connections and their conundrums are stretched paper-thin, leading us to feel disconnected from their slaughter, let alone their survival. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Mar 08, 2023
      We Have a Ghost (2023) What should be a tight 90 minutes turns into a much longer commitment that, while spirited, is too sluggish for its own good. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2023
      Cocaine Bear (2023) Banks and Warden take a bare-bones, true-life tale and turn it into a rousing, completely gonzo, wildly berserk horror-comedy. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2023
      Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023) This chapter continually hobbles itself, churning out a hackneyed, exposition-heavy story that’s a nothing-burger – a feeble, forgettable and frustrating product. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2023
      At Midnight (2023) While a few of its lighthearted notions are genuinely timeless, its underlying commentary feels a tad regressive. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2023
      Somebody I Used To Know (2023) The romantic comedy genre’s broad, patented hijinks and hilarity are indeed on display, but cleverly cloaked by a beautifully-realized portrait of delicately faceted characters and their relatable conundrums. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Feb 09, 2023
      Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023) It’s a sexy, revelatory reinvention of the series. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Feb 07, 2023
      Knock at the Cabin (2023) Gnarly, psychologically gripping and thought-provoking, Shyamalan ramps up tension, artfully weaving sound and vision with great craft and care. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Feb 01, 2023
      Theater Camp (2023) This vérité doc lovingly lampoons and embraces insufferably endearing theater types and their very specific struggles. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2023
      A Little Prayer (2023) Once again returning to poignant, deeply-rooted, familiar themes tied to family, the assured filmmaker delivers a story thick with character, grace and humanity. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2023
      Fair Play (2023) Domont’s directorial debut has a coherent narrative and earns our good graces with its technical craftsmanship and assured performances. Yet it doesn’t forge new ground exploring the tired, sexist notion that men are threatened by successful women - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2023
      Shotgun Wedding (2023) Its sentiment offers a refreshing spin on the therapeutic benefits of the anxiety-inducing matrimonial process, along with a body count and a satisfying dose of escapism. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Jan 20, 2023
      The Pale Blue Eye (2022) The unrelentingly bleak material fails to provide more than a straightforward whodunit with a tacked-on reveal relying on frustrating contrivances. We don’t see its biggest twist coming—and, as it turns out, that’s the problem. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2022
      Babylon (2022) A dazzling, dizzying cacophony of demented depravity. And yet the unrelenting, frenetic spectacle showcased through a Scorsese-inspired lens gives way to profundity, both sentimental and scorching. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2022
      Violent Night (2022) The magic of Christmas becomes a bloody, crowd-pleasing riot in director Tommy Wirkola’s hands. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2022
      Disenchanted (2022) Its lack of legitimate wit, cleverness, and focus makes a promising concept feel like a wasted wish, conjuring little of the magic that made its predecessor feel so memorable. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Christmas With You (2022) It's a holiday trifle for sure, but there’s enough to feel satiated — if just temporarily — by the festivities on display. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2022
      Slumberland (2022) Playing like an amalgam of Monsters, Inc. and Inception, this family-friendly fantasy thankfully doesn’t put audiences to sleep, but neither does it draw us into its dreamy sensation. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2022
      Falling for Christmas (2022) Its subversive spirit, female-forward smarts and sweet sentimentality remix the formulaic and festive, making all things merry and bright. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2022
      Saint Omer (2022) This drama features provocative themes ruminating on female generational trauma and the racial imbalance of who’s afforded grace and mercy. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Nov 05, 2022
      The Eternal Daughter (2022) Joanna Hogg and Tilda Swinton turn in a beautifully understated, evocative elegy on the nature of grief and the ghosts that haunt us. The pair craft cozy claustrophobia that all at once feels enveloping, enriching and totally absorbing. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Nov 05, 2022
      EO (2022) This is what it sounds like when donkeys cry – and maybe you too. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Nov 05, 2022
      Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me (2022) This cinematic testimony provides hope by spotlighting its heroine’s search for honesty and humanity. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Nov 03, 2022
      The Good Nurse (2022) Feeling like a well-balanced cross between an investigative procedural and ’90s-era chillers, the filmmakers have created a strong throwback thriller. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2022
      Black Adam (2022) Director Jaume Collet-Serra has crafted a solidly entertaining B-movie with smarts and skill, allowing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to flex his trademark muscular showmanship and combine that with character-driven appeal. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2022
      Halloween Ends (2022) Filled with baffling creative choices, unearned thematic closure and no terrifying tension, this dreadful dud sputters to its conclusion. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2022
      Rosaline (2022) Crafting a comedy from the perspective of the Bard’s minor characters isn’t exactly new, but the innovative idea is reinvigorated with witty dialogue, a solid ensemble and astute direction. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2022
      Luckiest Girl Alive (2022) Utilizing a traditionally glossy, chick-lit-retrofitted heroine as a mouthpiece for somber, serious activist sentiments isn’t so much provocative as just downright batty. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Oct 07, 2022
      Mr. Harrigan's Phone (2022) More akin to a stern lecture by a grownup than an eerie, unsettling cautionary tale, this adaptation of Stephen King’s short story might have succeeded better if it didn’t completely collapse into boomer-style commentary. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Oct 04, 2022
      My Best Friend's Exorcism (2022) With very little interest conjured from the filmmakers to properly develop their characters, there’s little incentive to stay interested. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2022
      Lou (2022) Although it’s slightly overlong, the movie more than measures up to those of Allison Janney's male counterparts in the “serious actor starts kicking ass” subgenre. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2022
      Do Revenge (2022) Overall its bright, spirited attitude and attractive, propulsive gusto power a delightfully wicked journey. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2022
      Confess, Fletch (2022) Despite lacking a few key ingredients, this new chapter in an ever-growing saga is a deft series revamp. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2022
      Clerks III (2022) It’s admirable that Kevin Smith keeps these guys relegated to their Jersey bubble, but we’re living in an era full of Dantes and Randals, and by now they feel cliché, not comforting. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2022
      Brahmāstra Part One: Shiva (2022) Though the story is occasionally overcomplicated and the spectacle excites and exhausts in equal measure (as even Marvel movies do), it’s a wildly entertaining jump start to a planned trilogy. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 08, 2022
      3.5 out of 5
      Don't Worry Darling (2022) The highly-stylized artistic flourishes cloak commentary that, despite its lackluster and thorny aspects, is prickly, piercing and occasionally palpable. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Sep 07, 2022
      Love in the Villa (2022) But soft, what light from yonder TV breaks? A breezy, pleasing love story about star-crossed travelers that transcends Netflix’s romantic recipes. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 01, 2022
      Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) It's a haunting bedtime story for adults that makes for a two-hander played expertly by Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2022
      Look Both Ways (2022) While the filmmakers’ heads and hearts are in the right place with their resonant sentiments on taking risks and embracing fate, their execution of narrative basics proves lackluster. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2022
      Orphan: First Kill (2022) It’s the rare prequel that surpasses the original. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2022
      Day Shift (2022) There’s very little action, scares or comedy that have any bite, let alone draw blood, in Day Shift. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2022
      Mack & Rita (2022) Ultimately, Mack & Rita is a passable work at best. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2022
      Laal Singh Chaddha (2022) Heartwarming, tender and humorous, this is a beautiful, emotionally bountiful, big screen valentine to its cinematic forbearer and to lives well-led. - Fresh Fiction
      Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2022
      Secret Headquarters (2022) This action-adventure delivers a modicum of skill and smarts, though it ultimately winds up as forgettable as its generic title. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2022
      Thirteen Lives (2022) Taking a journalistic approach that’s similar to its predecessor, Howard’s film winds up as a rote retread, transitioning from headline news to big-screen snooze. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2022
      Persuasion (2022) Cracknell's Persuasion combines the classic and the contemporary with innovative, resonant craftsmanship. - AV Club
      Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2022
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