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      Monsters and Critics

      Monsters and Critics is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Ron Wilkinson, Fred Topel.

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      Charlie's Angels (2019) Fred Topel Charlie's Angels is another studio movie that just does everything with no intention. It's like not having a take on the material is your take.
      Posted Nov 12, 2019
      Last Christmas (2019) Fred Topel By the time the connection is apparent the characters have long lost the audience. Then there's a Brexit and racism subplot.
      Posted Nov 06, 2019
      47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) Fred Topel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged really took scuba survival to new depths. Get it? Depths because they're 47 meters deep in the water!
      Posted Aug 16, 2019
      Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Fred Topel I was entertained the whole time, although I also definitely felt its length. Quentin Tarantino does his slow burn thing, and I'm not sure it ultimately means anything, but it's still entertaining to see A-list actors doing his dialogue.
      Posted Jul 25, 2019
      The Lion King (2019) Fred Topel The disappointment of The Lion King bodes poorly for live-action remakes of The Aristocats and Rescuers Down Under. Maybe Andy Serkis can do The Lion King with actors actually performing motion capture for the animals and that'll be better.
      Posted Jul 19, 2019
      Ma (2019) Fred Topel It's not a high body count movie, but it's very creepy.
      Posted May 30, 2019
      Brightburn (2019) Fred Topel Brightburn is the next great cinematic monster.
      Posted May 23, 2019
      Rocketman (2019) Fred Topel By making Rocketman an actual musical, it avoids some of the Dewey Cox biopic formula.
      Posted May 23, 2019
      Booksmart (2019) Fred Topel Every generation deserves their own definitive teen movie, although I'm proof that you never stop appreciating them, even though I'm 41. Booksmart will speak to teens of 2019 and let the rest of us feel like teenagers again, for a little while.
      Posted May 22, 2019
      The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Fred Topel I think it's a positive thing to give young audiences an example of connection and thoughtfulness rather than just gimmicks and spectacle.
      Posted May 15, 2019
      The Intruder (2019) Fred Topel I strongly encourage Hollywood to start making these ______ from Hell movies again. It's a high concept that, when done right, is satisfying to audiences and makes them shout back at the screen. Feel free to cast Quaid in them too.
      Posted May 02, 2019
      Little (2019) Fred Topel I expected a little more from Little. And really, just a little. A fish out of water is one of the seven plots that exist and it should write itself. I guess it can write itself but it can't add jokes. For that, we need more clever screenwriters.
      Posted Apr 10, 2019
      Wonder Park (2019) Fred Topel Your mileage may vary but I've got to appreciate Wonder Park's ambition.
      Posted Mar 15, 2019
      Greta (2018) Fred Topel The serious arthouse version of Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach. That's the one where Commandant Lassard switches luggage with the bad guys. Chloe Grace Moretz is the Lassard who picks up the wrong bag in this version.
      Posted Mar 01, 2019
      Isn't It Romantic (2019) Fred Topel The ultimate romantic comedy for people who both love and hate rom-coms. If you love them it is a celebration of cinematic romance. If you hate them, this movie mocks the maudlin mercilessly.
      Posted Feb 12, 2019
      The Sound of Silence (2019) Fred Topel Your mileage may vary depending on how interested you are in the science but I'm very interested in the theory of which sounds combine to form toxic chords.
      Posted Feb 04, 2019
      Corporate Animals (2019) Fred Topel The cast is full of comedians who deliver but they all orbit around Moore. She has never been this funny. I hope Corporate Animals is the beginning of a Demi Moore comedy renaissance.
      Posted Jan 31, 2019
      Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Fred Topel Bell is endearingly funny as Brittany... Brittany Runs a Marathon also lets her be real and vulnerable.
      Posted Jan 29, 2019
      Fighting With My Family (2019) Fred Topel Unfortunately, Paige and her family's success story gets watered down by the Hollywood machine.
      Posted Jan 29, 2019
      The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Fred Topel It seems like The LEGO Movie 2 has matured along with the kids who've grown up five years since the first movie.
      Posted Jan 27, 2019
      The Upside (2017) Fred Topel The underlying spirit of The Intouchables is still there, but it's Americanized, so you know what that means. They just made The Intouchables more superficial.
      Posted Jan 08, 2019
      Aquaman (2018) Fred Topel Even Arthur seems to know this is all 'find the maguffin and save the world' but the film can't have that much fun with it. The screenwriters have to play through the typical save the world/fulfill your destiny plot with predictable twists.
      Posted Dec 21, 2018
      Welcome to Marwen (2018) Fred Topel Hollywood's Mark Hogancamp sure imagines his fantasy women getting raped a lot.
      Posted Dec 20, 2018
      Vice (2018) Fred Topel Vice is Adam McKay's JFK.
      Posted Dec 17, 2018
      Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Fred Topel I know it's not fair to compare the new songs in Mary Poppins Returns to the classic songs from Mary Poppins that I've known as long as I've been alive. I'm just comparing them to recent musicals when I say I will never remember any of these songs.
      Posted Dec 17, 2018
      The Mule (2018) Fred Topel There's no other movie like it in theaters this holiday season.
      Posted Dec 12, 2018
      They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) Fred Topel In the early 20th century, film was a brand new technology. Now this early 21st century digital technology is giving it new life. It's a marriage of two cinematic births.
      Posted Dec 11, 2018
      The Favourite (2018) Fred Topel I always dread period pieces, that it's going to be all highfalutin royalty and frilly dresses and antiquated customs that don't interest me. The Favourite will still satisfy those die-hard costume drama fans, but it won me over too.
      Posted Nov 21, 2018
      Green Book (2018) Fred Topel Mortensen and Ali have such great chemistry and give such great performances, that it's easy to watch them banter and teach the world to be more tolerant.
      Posted Nov 21, 2018
      Widows (2018) Fred Topel Really there should be no delineation between 'important' movies and 'popcorn' movies, but there is, so take Widows as an example of how genre film benefits from letting artists play in the sandbox.
      Posted Nov 17, 2018
      Instant Family (2018) Fred Topel Instant Family is putting a lot of good out into the world. Whether it's encouraging families to consider adoption, showing foster families they are not alone or telling all families it's okay to be overwhelmed, this is all healthy and valuable.
      Posted Nov 15, 2018
      The Front Runner (2018) Fred Topel The Front Runner has its Hart in the right place (get it?) but it maybe bites off more than it can chew in under two hours.
      Posted Nov 07, 2018
      Suspiria (2018) Fred Topel Adding 45 minutes to the adaptation doesn't improve it, especially in the protracted epilogue. The most egregious addition is a Holocaust subplot that may be poignant, but it is entirely extraneous.
      Posted Oct 28, 2018
      Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Fred Topel I'm happy to report that this is not Bohemian Crapsody.
      Posted Oct 23, 2018
      Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Fred Topel It's more Ocean's 11 than Goodfellas with the montages and the banter between Israel and her friend/fence Jack Hock.
      Posted Oct 19, 2018
      Beautiful Boy (2018) Fred Topel Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting captured the physical experience of being a drug addict. Beautiful Boy is about the emotional experience.
      Posted Oct 18, 2018
      First Man (2018) Fred Topel The flight sequences capture Armstrong's point of view, trapped in a helmet, pretty much helpless while technicians fasten him in. Much of the flights are in the dark and then there are flashes of light, and sound.
      Posted Oct 16, 2018
      The Oath (2018) Fred Topel This conversation needs to happen, whether it makes people uncomfortable or not, probably more so because it does.
      Posted Oct 10, 2018
      The Hate U Give (2018) Fred Topel The Hate U Give gives people a shared language with which to unite and fight oppression. If all it does is teach a generation of Starrs to use their voice, that alone would be profound.
      Posted Oct 05, 2018
      A Star Is Born (2018) Fred Topel There's a reason they keep making A Star Is Born. As long as you tell this story, you're going to have a good movie. This is not my favorite A Star is Born (that would belong to Barbra) but it's definitely in my top three Star is Borns.
      Posted Oct 05, 2018
      Smallfoot (2018) Fred Topel These are pretty complex ideas for kids. They would have started work on Smallfoot years ago but it is entirely relevant to today's world where you can present facts and people still prefer to believe the comfortable lies.
      Posted Sep 19, 2018
      Life Itself (2018) Fred Topel Perhaps it's the contradictions that unravel everything. Life Itself opens with an elaborate unreliable narrator sequence, but then wants us to believe all the convoluted drama that ensues.
      Posted Sep 18, 2018
      Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) Fred Topel Fortunately, there are now enough real people fighting back that Moore can focus on them instead of his own schtick.
      Posted Sep 18, 2018
      Lost Child (2017) Fred Topel With Lost Child, Mosely has created another modern day myth, and it doesn't hurt that she keeps casting my favorite actresses.
      Posted Sep 14, 2018
      White Boy Rick (2018) Fred Topel It's stark in portraying the realities of gun violence, but poignant in how it shows the love of a family isn't compromised by these factors.
      Posted Sep 12, 2018
      A Simple Favor (2018) Fred Topel There is comedy in A Simple Favor, both the overt and the macabre, but this is a mystery thriller. It turns out seeing a mystery thriller through Feig's eyes is just as awesome as seeing a spy movie through one.
      Posted Sep 11, 2018
      Peppermint (2018) Fred Topel No movie has really capitalized on Alias. Imagine Jennifer Garner in the action roles Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron get. Not that Jolie or Theron should lose those roles, but they should make more good ones like those.
      Posted Sep 06, 2018
      Destination Wedding (2018) Fred Topel These kinds of abrasive curmudgeons could easily be insufferable in lesser hands. Reeves and Ryder have the charm to make them endearing without letting them off the hook.
      Posted Aug 30, 2018
      Night Comes On (2018) Fred Topel Every year people go to Sundance hoping to discover some new, emerging voices in cinema. Night Comes On represents many voices, from Spiro and co-writer Angelica Nwandu's to stars Fishback and Hall's.
      Posted Aug 24, 2018
      The Happytime Murders (2018) Fred Topel As their first foray into an R-rated puppet movie, The Happytime Murders is as innovative as The Dark Crystal, and just as flawed.
      Posted Aug 23, 2018
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