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      Maggie Lee

      Maggie Lee

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      Ride or Die (2021) [Has a] liberating, inexhaustible energy. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2021
      The Dark and the Wicked (2020) [Bertino's] evocation of a familiar, domestic world mysteriously sliding into chaos feels all the more blood-curdling because the protagonists' distress and helplessness are emotionally relatable. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2020
      Under the Open Sky (2020) In his portrayal of a flawed hero who wears his heart on his sleeve, Yakusho is a towering presence delivering his career-best performance. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
      The Eight Hundred (2020) Plunges audiences into both the intimacy and magnitude of brutal war spectacle while immersing them in a stunningly mounted period canvas. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2020
      Special Actors (2019) A daffy ensemble trickster comedy with a few "gotcha" twists. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2020
      I WeirDO (2020) The age-old message that love ails without change and tolerance is given such a fresh spin, it attests to the creativity and increased sophistication of Taiwan's new generation of filmmakers. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
      Romance Doll (2020) Although its underlying attitudes about female sexuality might be problematic for female and feminist viewers, its suggestive subject matter (handled without offensive kinkiness) will set many an imaginative mind sprinting. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2020
      Lupin III: The First (2019) This lavish, technically polished animated caper featuring the beloved gentleman thief of Japanese manga delivers high-octane entertainment but plays safe with the canon. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 06, 2020
      On-Gaku: Our Sound (2019) "On-Gaku: Our Sound," an oddball music comedy directed by Kenji Iwaisawa, upends all that is typical of Japanese animation. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2020
      Haunters (2010) Kim Min-seok's Haunters has more loose strands and gaping holes than an old fishing net. - Hollywood Reporter
      Read More | Posted May 08, 2020
      Steel Rain (2017) Whips up the sort of worst-case-scenario, anti-Communist hysteria that's a hilarious throwback to the Cold War propaganda of 1970s cloak-and-dagger movies. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2019
      Chasuke's Journey (2015) Sabu might have branched out from his crime thrillers in his previous four films, but he still hasn't lost his flair for kinetic action. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
      Default (2018) Manages to make currency crashes and the Asian Financial Crisis a juicy subject onscreen. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
      Shoplifters (2018) At once charming and heart-wrenching, this exquisitely performed film will steal the hearts of both art-house and mainstream audiences. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
      The Shaman Sorceress (2018) The finished product doesn't disappoint and should cast its spell on specialist anime fans, though the protagonists' fates may be too cruel to target young or mainstream audiences. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Oct 07, 2018
      Baby (2016) Writer-director Liu Jie's vérité style captures China's new working-class milieu, imbuing the gripping plot turns with gritty authenticity. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
      Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (2018) The Hong Kong genre maestro's childlike imagination and technical inventiveness seems inexhaustible. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
      The Pluto Moment (2018) This deceptively simple yet quietly revelatory drama features engaging characters and offers wryly ironic comments on the unpredictable nature of film production. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 23, 2018
      Manto (2018) "Manto" is elegant and old school, epic without losing sight of the personal. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 19, 2018
      Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018) Comes up short in substance. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 19, 2018
      Ten Years Thailand (2018) A quartet of Thai directors offer a dystopian vision of their nation, steeped in a mood of collective paralysis. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
      The Spy Gone North (2018) This well-crafted work deserves to be seen for its thorough account of intricate workings of secret service and political skullduggery. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
      Sir (2018) A Cinderella tale of sorts, the film nonetheless gains gravity for its insight into Indian social rigidities that tether both impoverished villagers and well-heeled urbanites. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
      Ugly (2014) Kashyap's brilliant five-hour-plus epic is a hard act to follow, and this more pedestrian outing may well disappoint some critics. Still, as genre films go, it's punchy enough to enjoy a charmed life on the fest circuit. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 15, 2018
      Asako I & II (2018) Hamaguchi extols his source for a compelling representation of love as a mystic experience. However, what gets transferred to the screen becomes more like banal indecision. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 15, 2018
      Ash Is Purest White (2018) At 141 minutes, the work has its intellectually ponderous moments but is ultimately saved by Jia's muse and wife, Zhao Tao, who surpasses herself in a role of mesmerizing complexity. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 12, 2018
      Inuyashiki (2018) Sato...foregrounds interpersonal relationships and human emotion over action and effects. - Variety
      Read More | Posted May 01, 2018
      Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) Though less of a brainteaser than the original film, director-writer Chen Sicheng infuses Chinese color into a plot that solves crimes by using feng shui as clues, making things accessible and intriguing to local and international audiences alike. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Mar 08, 2018
      Operation Red Sea (2018) Neither the story nor characters have any moral ambiguity or psychological shadings. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Mar 03, 2018
      Ramen Shop (2018) More comfort food than haute cuisine. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
      1987: When the Day Comes (2017) A compelling depiction of how brave individuals from all walks of life mobilized a whole nation to bring a recalcitrant dictator and his henchmen to their knees. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
      Legend of the Demon Cat (2017) This stunning blockbuster shows that a superior original source, vaunting artistic ambition and a $170 million budget can turn a potboiler supernatural whodunit into something of ravishing beauty. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jan 05, 2018
      Bleeding Steel (2017) Features all the zesty fights, slick effects and goofy slapstick one expects from a Jackie Chan family movie ... though the film's corny cyberpunk pastiche appeals exclusively to kids. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jan 01, 2018
      The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (2017) As with so many of Tsui's works, subplots and characters multiply out of control after the first act. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2017
      Gurgaon (2017) What's more interesting is his insight into how extreme gender inequality is in Indian society. The film's moody noir sheen may help it travel beyond the domestic market, where it stands small chance against mainstream entertainment. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2017
      Monsoon Shootout (2013) The dark, tempestuous mise-en-scene serves to underscore the story's moral confusion. American-born Indian composer-singer Gingger Shankar's tensile score moves fluidly between heart-pounding and lyrical. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2017
      Filmistaan (2012) Although the film wears its utopian ideals on its sleeve, helmer Nitin Kakkar leavens the political content with an absurdist sense of humor and a heartwarming turn of events - Variety
      Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2017
      End of Summer (2017) Huang Yimei's predictable screenplay soft-pedals its social and emotional elements, making "Summer" nothing more than a pleasant diversion. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Nov 01, 2017
      Dark Is the Night (2017) The story draws viewers in by laying out an intricate web of crime that holds Philippine society in a tight grip. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2017
      The Great Buddha+ (2017) This ballad of sad losers mixed with satire on parochial politics is convulsively funny yet uncompromisingly bleak, bridging art with entertainment. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2017
      The Seen and Unseen (2017) A haunting and hypnotic interpretation of the child subconscious rooted in Balinese arts and culture. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2017
      Village Rockstars (2017) Pluckily optimistic and unsentimental to a fault, writer-director Rima Das' second film is a tonic to third world poverty porn. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2017
      Samui Song (2017) Mystery and danger percolate in "Samui Song" all the way till the elliptical ending, which leaves audiences with a sense of lingering disquiet. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2017
      Youth (2017) The film serves as a paean to idealism and endurance, yet the word "heart-breaking" comes to mind scene after scene. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 09, 2017
      Angels Wear White (2017) A brave and hard-hitting drama that provides a social context for violence against women. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Sep 07, 2017
      A Taxi Driver (2017) An entertaining journey into a tragic and violent chapter of Korean modern history. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2017
      Love and Goodbye and Hawaii (Koi to sayonara to Hawai) (2017) [Love and Goodbye and Hawaii] takes the timeworn premise "Can ex-lovers still be friends?" and fills it up with a delectable sundae of character quirks, deadpan dialogue and gently heart-tugging wistfulness. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Aug 01, 2017
      Doob: No Bed of Roses (2017) The screenplay is dotted with tantalizing ellipses at key points when others might have dialed up the melodrama. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2017
      Bad Genius (2017) Offers subtle yet stinging insight into Thailand's class inequalities and corrupt school system. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 02, 2017
      The Villainess (2017) "The Villainess" ... succeeds in being one-of-a-kind for its delirious action choreography and overall narrative dementia. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Jul 02, 2017
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