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      Sam Fragoso

      Sam Fragoso

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      A native of Chicago, Sam lives and works in San Francisco as a journalist and student at San Francisco State University. He's the founder of Movie Mezzanine, residential film critic for SF Bay, and contributor to, Film School Rejects and others. He also happens to be illogically idealistic about everything (save for politics).


      Annie Hall, Casablanca, Blow Out, His Girl Friday, 12 Angry Men, Taxi Driver, Breathless, 25th Hour, High Fidelity, Groundhog Day, The 400 Blows, The Apartment, Vertigo, Almost Famous, Days of Heaven, 8 1/2, Manhattan

      Critics' Group:

      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) The result is a prismatic portrait, a movie that sits at the intersection of long-form journalism and riveting documentary. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2019
      Honey Boy (2019) There's a specificity to the proceedings, unfurling like a film written by someone who's spent three decades trying better to understand his father and, in turn, himself. LaBeouf's recreation is nothing short of miraculous. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
      Loro (2018) "Loro" is the definitive Paolo Sorrentino film to date. It's brash, stylish, and silly. It oscillates back and forth between horny and human, profound and misguided. It's a glorious mess. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 08, 2018
      Uncle Drew (2018) The closing credits crystallize into what it wants to be: a movie about a bunch of people who love basketball and trash-talking in equal measure. This is the film Stone probably wanted to make. What he actually made is something else. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2018
      Beirut (2018) Contains all the elements of a fun, snappy, pre-summer jaunt, and yet the film is actively in competition with itself. The tone is grim and honest when it wants to be, but not necessarily when it needs to be. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2018
      Hearts Beat Loud (2018) The messiness of the script or the lack of an aesthetic approach just don't seem to matter all that much. "Hearts Beats Loud" knows exactly what it is. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
      The Foreigner (2017) By the hour mark, it becomes abundantly clear why this film was made: Jackie Chan wanted it to happen. Everyone else is fairly disposable. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
      One of Us (2017) First and foremost a heart-wrenching account of three lives, lost and scared and searching for repair. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2017
      What Happened to Monday (2017) Lands somewhere in a creative middle ground. Part fugitives-on-the-run thriller, part post-apocalyptic familial drama, Wirkola's latest is a perplexing amalgamation. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2017
      All the Rage (2017) It's a movie about two people that ends up being about no one at all. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2017
      The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (2017) If the original Nut Job was about the emergence of a single hero, the sequel is about a collective banding together to combat the powers that be. This is the film's greatest strength. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2017
      Chasing Coral (2017) It's staunchly pro-life, in the truest sense of the term. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2017
      The Keeping Hours (2017) Where the film falls short, at times, is in Pace and Coon's representation of grieving and renewal. Whether it's an issue in the dialogue or direction, the actors struggle to break outside the same emotional quadrant. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2017
      The New Radical (2017) By nature of its central subject, it's a piece of work that infuriates and excites. It's a deeply upsetting movie, and then, sporadically, a hopeful one. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jun 07, 2017
      Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (2017) This is a film of highs and lows; there is no middle ground, no moment of silence, reflection, or introspection. It's like watching a prospective candidate give a mannered and rehearsed 80-minute speech on the campaign trail. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted May 27, 2017
      Good Time (2017) This layered, detailed approach translates to all facets of Good Time. It's a movie born into existence through true collaboration. It's clear the Safdie brothers are beyond substantive storytellers; they're astute delegators. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted May 26, 2017
      Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017) None of the virtues of the Diary series came along for the ride. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted May 15, 2017
      The Wall (2017) There's an absence of intimacy. We don't know who these people are, and by about minute 45, we don't want to. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted May 10, 2017
      Slack Bay (2016) One of those rare movies that looks like it was fun to make, and is even more fun to watch. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
      Gifted (2017) Gifted finds a collective of competent people making a perfectly competent movie -- nothing more, nothing less. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Apr 06, 2017
      The Disaster Artist (2017) Miraculously, the supporting players end up illuminating Wiseau's eccentricity instead of undercutting it. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2017
      Baby Driver (2017) The movie exists in this dreamlike state of ecstasy for nearly 70 minutes. Then there's a peculiar pivot into conventionality. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2017
      Gemini (2017) Transitions into an at once sleazy and slick genre thriller, enigmatic without being alienating. There's suspense in the movie's central mystery, enough to sustain the characters Katz has created. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2017
      Collide (2016) I don't subscribe to the notion that a piece of art shows its entire hand within its first ten minutes, but director Eran Creevy's third feature doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence with its bland introduction. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2017
      Monster Trucks (2016) These elements are all well and good, but if you're above the age of 12, it becomes considerably harder to reconcile the sporadic tone-deafness. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2017
      Incarnate (2016) Strident rhetoric is required for describing Brad Peyton's latest film, a maddening hodgepodge of ideas that range from undercooked to unoriginal. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Dec 02, 2016
      Shut In (2016) The presentation is dull, the plot is plodding, and the characters are sketches of people we've seen in better films. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2016
      Elle (2016) A deeply disturbing film that, at its best, serves as a meditation on the intersection between power, inequitable relationships, and retribution. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2016
      In a Valley of Violence (2016) In the final 20 minutes, West seems to finally figure out what kind of a movie he wanted to make. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2016
      Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) Equal parts horror masterclass and internal home-invasion thriller, Ouija is as chilling and nerve-racking as they come. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2016
      Max Steel (2016) A spectacle without the spectacle, an autumnal, amorphous blockbuster that just sits there, suspended in mid-air, as you soak in its ceaseless banality. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2016
      Do Not Resist (2016) It's a brisk 72-minutes, compact with hard-hitting data, rare behind-the-scenes footage of police activity (training, private discussions, on-the-job combat, etc.), and compelling personal anecdotes. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Oct 05, 2016
      Deepwater Horizon (2016) Nothing in what appears during the movie's 107-minute running time seems to truly honor those whose lives were irreversibly altered during this national tragedy. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2016
      The Secret Scripture (2016) Disjointed and disinterested in entertaining any and all prospective viewers, the overlong slab of melodrama is one of the most vanilla experiences at the movies in quite some time. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2016
      Daguerrotype (2016) Needlessly elongated, amorphous, under-cooked. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2016
      Moonlight (2016) Jenkins and McCraney have artfully cobbled together something that is impressionistic and wondrous, like a compendium of half-remembered memories, tinged by sadness. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 02, 2016
      Yoga Hosers (2016) What makes Smith a dynamic podcaster -- his shambolic, off-the-cuff storytelling -- is his undoing as a filmmaker. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Sep 02, 2016
      The Sea of Trees (2015) McConaughey and Watts seem to be reading from a tired script of unhappy, protracted matrimony. The dialogue feels rehearsed, and not in a good way. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2016
      Spa Night (2016) Together, Ahn and cinematographer Ki Jin Kim approach moments of sensuality subtly, as the camera languidly wades into the steamy saunas and the monochromatic showers where David's interest in the unknown begins to percolate. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2016
      Disorder (2015) Jessie assures Vincent that she has limited knowledge of her husband's professional life, and that she doesn't ask questions. Unfortunately, neither does Disorder. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2016
      Don't Think Twice (2016) Rarely does contemporary cinema so bluntly (and accurately) depict envy in its most insidious iteration. It's about the vexing confluence of emotions upon seeing their friends excel while they stagnate, a toxic amalgamation of happiness and jealousy. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2016
      Holy Hell (2016) Does a sub-par job probing the psyches of both Buddhafield's leader and its members. - TheWrap
      Read More | Posted May 26, 2016
      Mr. Pig (2016) "Mr. Pig" warrants praise for refusing to offer up a convenient, unearned reconciliation. - The Playlist
      Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2016
      Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) "Hunt For The Wilderpeople" is a perfectly amicable dramedy that makes a concerted effort to avoid offending or provoking. - The Playlist
      Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2016
      Morris From America (2016) Lazy stereotypes in our day-to-day lives -which are dangerously interested in who someone ought to be, rather than who they may be - are no longer acceptable. Why, then, should they be tolerated in our movies? - The Playlist
      Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2016
      The Final Girls (2015) A satirical confection in the same vein as "Cabin in the Woods." -
      Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2015
      Born to Be Blue (2015) "Born to Be Blue" is a good movie about a great artist. - The Playlist
      Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2015
      Kill Your Friends (2015) "The film doesn't trust its audience enough to keep up with the joke. As a result, the movie toggles back and forth between a pulpy crime drama and a zany satire. " - The Playlist
      Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2015
      The Royal Road (2015) A breathtaking cinematic essay. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2015
      #Stuck (2014) Through these characters the film cuts through our romantic affectations by digging beyond the artifice, and eventually, and perhaps a bit unexpectedly, finds its way into our hearts. - Movie Mezzanine
      Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2015
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