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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      Tetris (2023) Shirley Li Like a frustrated player speeding up the falling blocks to end the game, the film haphazardly stacks ideas atop one another until, well, it’s a relief when it’s over.
      Posted Mar 22, 2023
      John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) David Sims Yes, I checked my watch a few times during the movie... But by the last hour of its elephantine running time, Chapter 4 is a preposterous blast.
      Posted Mar 17, 2023
      Scream VI (2023) David Sims There just isn’t enough juice behind the stagecraft. The Scream movies have thrived because they’ve always stayed one step ahead of their source material -- but as the franchise grows more bloated, they risk becoming their own punch line.
      Posted Mar 13, 2023
      All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) Brandon Tensley Edward Berger’s All Quiet skimps on human drama... As a result, such high-stakes moments fall flat.
      Posted Mar 07, 2023
      Chris Rock: Selective Outrage (2023) David Sims As live television, it was intermittently interesting, then briefly compelling; as comedy, it will be a minor entry in Rock’s estimable stand-up catalog.
      Posted Mar 07, 2023
      Creed III (2023) David Sims The first Rocky came out in 1976 and showed no sign of being the kind of movie that would spawn eight follow-ups. But with the inventiveness of Creed III, an old franchise suddenly feels fresh.
      Posted Mar 03, 2023
      Cocaine Bear (2023) David Sims Cocaine Bear could’ve been a triumph if the jokes landed, but the zingers just aren’t up to the mayhem. And though the character actors are all capable of sterling work, there’s nobody to root for here.
      Posted Feb 25, 2023
      Return to Seoul (2022) David Sims With its ever-evolving protagonist, Return to Seoul defies neat categorization. It’s a low-budget character drama with the twists and turns of a high-octane thriller.
      Posted Feb 23, 2023
      Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023) David Sims The story is in service of the larger Marvel engine, an increasingly creaky machine that nevertheless keeps grinding away, dropping superstar performers into CGI glop because the show simply must go on.
      Posted Feb 14, 2023
      Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023) Shirley Li Perhaps the sexiest entry in the Magic Mike movies. It’s intimate and emotional without losing any of the heat that comes with a sensually lit dry-humping scene.
      Posted Feb 07, 2023
      Knock at the Cabin (2023) David Sims At the core of Shyamalan’s story is the idea that raising children in this world is an inherently tragic project.
      Posted Feb 01, 2023
      Infinity Pool (2023) David Sims The premise of Infinity Pool was deliciously nasty enough to keep me invested for most of its nearly two-hour running time... [But] at a certain point, every last bit of allegory has been killed as well.
      Posted Jan 28, 2023
      Saint Omer (2022) Nicole Acheampong In this narrative-fiction debut, the director Alice Diop understands that a restrained image can be more haunting than a graphic one.
      Posted Jan 23, 2023
      Missing (2023) Shirley Li A film that is slickly made but buggy in execution, like a premature software update.
      Posted Jan 17, 2023
      Skinamarink (2022) David Sims Skinamarink, for all its dreaminess, is a successful horror film: Like many of the genre’s greatest examples, it has a sense of discovery and terrifying wonder.
      Posted Jan 13, 2023
      I Didn't See You There (2022) John Hendrickson I Didn’t See You There breaks many conventions of contemporary documentary... What the film offers viewers is something far more kinetic and compelling.
      Posted Jan 09, 2023
      M3GAN (2022) David Sims Yes, Gerard Johnstone’s M3GAN is pulled from January’s bucket of mostly low-budget pablum, but it’s cheeky and knowing enough to stand out from the slop.
      Posted Jan 09, 2023
      Women Talking (2022) Shirley Li To some, this may sound like the kind of verbose material more fit for a stage play than a film. But Women Talking, adapted by the writer-director Sarah Polley from Miriam Toews’s 2018 novel, is vibrant cinema.
      Posted Jan 06, 2023
      White Noise (2022) David Sims It’s funny and surprisingly unnerving stuff. The film also manages to feel contemporary without ever dropping the throwback aesthetic.
      Posted Jan 03, 2023
      Babylon (2022) David Sims Chazelle is trying to make a point with all the excess... I’m not sure if I agree or if I was simply beaten into submission after more than three hours, but Babylon is the kind of grandiose folly that at least gives the viewer a big old mess to chew on.
      Posted Dec 28, 2022
      Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) David Sims For The Way of Water, the decadence is more than enough -- for cinemas that have been starved of authentic spectacle, finally, here’s a gorgeous three-course meal of it.
      Posted Dec 13, 2022
      The Whale (2022) David Sims I am not opposed to body horror, but the genre is best suited to vulgar ends. The Whale is presenting itself as something noble and, ultimately, uplifting, but it just can’t make that sale.
      Posted Dec 13, 2022
      Emancipation (2022) Shirley Li A movie that's part prestige drama, part survival thriller, part war epic -- and all confused. The film's mishmashing of these genres is careless.
      Posted Dec 10, 2022
      Violent Night (2022) Megan Garber Violent Night offers up a timely amalgam: It is torture porn that is also a morality play.
      Posted Dec 07, 2022
      Lady Chatterley's Lover (2022) Shirley Li De Clermont-Tonnerre’s film threatens, in some scenes, to become a tad too romantic... Still, the otherwise thoughtful adaptation entranced me.
      Posted Dec 07, 2022
      The Wonder (2022) Sophie Gilbert The blessing of The Wonder is how it acknowledges the things we most want to believe and still proposes, in the end, that human acts and faith in others can be the most miraculous things of all.
      Posted Dec 01, 2022
      Bones and All (2022) David Sims Even with the gore and the gorgeous visuals that typically accompany a Guadagnino project, Bones and All too often feels frustratingly tame.
      Posted Nov 30, 2022
      She Said (2022) Shirley Li She Said is not self-congratulatory; it’s a reminder that empathy can require immense effort, and that even then, such effort might not lead to certain success.
      Posted Nov 29, 2022
      Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) Shirley Li Glass Onion wisely avoids trying to top its predecessor’s sentimentality. Rather, the film pushes deeper into playfulness, while still maintaining a poignant streak.
      Posted Nov 28, 2022
      Tár (2022) Spencer Kornhaber Tár’s mostly riveting two-and-a-half-hour saga turned out to be oddly clarifying. The film does tell its story in an elliptical, at times confounding way, but that stylistic choice shouldn’t be mistaken for moral indecision.
      Posted Nov 21, 2022
      The Menu (2022) David Sims More food for thought than your average glossy fall thriller tends to offer.
      Posted Nov 18, 2022
      The Fabelmans (2022) David Sims Viewers expecting a stirring childhood memoir about the power of cinema may be surprised at how bittersweet and raw the story actually is. But that vulnerability is what makes the film a triumph.
      Posted Nov 11, 2022
      Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) David Sims Wakanda Forever throws many emotional challenges at its heroes -- self-doubt, anguish, ennui -- and in Namor, it gives them an adversary brimming with assuredness. The result is a face-off that’s as entertaining as it is unpredictable.
      Posted Nov 08, 2022
      Barbarian (2022) David Sims Barbarian serves up all the requisite thrills with panache, but it also provokes deeper, longer-lasting reflections.
      Posted Nov 04, 2022
      The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) Shirley Li Given its small scale and lyrical dialogue, the movie may bring to mind McDonagh’s early work as a playwright. It’s a triumph of the same kind of harsh minimalism that fueled his shows.
      Posted Oct 20, 2022
      Black Adam (2022) David Sims Regardless of viewers’ needs or desires, they’ve ended up with Black Adam, an expensive-looking shrug that conforms to the trademark dullness of all of Johnson’s recent efforts.
      Posted Oct 20, 2022
      Decision to Leave (2022) Shirley Li If the erotic thrillers of the past explored the dangers of lust, Park Chan-wook explores the risks of longing. His take on the genre isn’t just sexy; it’s playful and mordant and convoluted -- and it begs to be rewatched.
      Posted Oct 14, 2022
      Tár (2022) David Sims Tár has intellectual heft, and watching her deploy it is breathtaking. Blanchett pours equal parts charisma and intimidation into her career-best performance.
      Posted Oct 06, 2022
      Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) Shirley Li The film wears its ridiculousness so proudly, it’s impossible to disdain. It is both a diverting watch and a sly commentary on its predecessor’s strengths.
      Posted Oct 03, 2022
      Bros (2022) David Sims Eichner is among the best at firing off zippy, acidic one-liners, and Bros never lets scenes get too heady or polemical without slipping in a few funny asides. That balance, and Eichner’s generally hyperactive onscreen style, keeps the momentum going.
      Posted Sep 30, 2022
      Don't Worry Darling (2022) David Sims Wilde’s film aims to be a feminist parable about how this idealized vision of the past is actually a curdled vision of coupledom. Abstractly, that’s a robust concept; in execution, the movie’s absurdity overpowers its message.
      Posted Sep 26, 2022
      The Woman King (2022) David Sims The Woman King is a barn burner if you’re just looking for an invigorating night at the movies. But Prince-Bythewood’s real triumph is in grounding that sterling entertainment in a challenging dramatic text.
      Posted Sep 16, 2022
      Pinocchio (2022) David Sims Instead of capturing the old-school charm of the original, the new film looks as dead-eyed as one of Zemeckis’s motion-capture characters, as it recites the familiar fable of the puppet who wanted to be a boy.
      Posted Sep 12, 2022
      Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) David Sims For all the film’s sprawling movements across history, the small-scale love story at its core is what makes it as arresting as Miller’s loudest hits.
      Posted Aug 29, 2022
      Bullet Train (2022) Shirley Li Bullet Train certainly serves the Brad Pitt brand, but it’s too weak to deliver him to a new destination.
      Posted Aug 11, 2022
      Benediction (2021) David Sims Davies is a remarkably empathetic filmmaker, attuned to his characters’ subtlest moods and intent on equally depicting their joys, hardships, and mundane middle grounds.
      Posted Aug 03, 2022
      Hit the Road (2021) David Sims Panahi is the son of the imprisoned filmmaker Jafar Panahi, one of Iran’s greatest living artists. He has his father’s subtle touch for interpersonal dynamics and for light tales that build to surprising hidden depths.
      Posted Aug 03, 2022
      Neptune Frost (2021) David Sims The film is a critique of the capitalist ravages visited on Burundi and its neighbors by a technology-obsessed society. It’s also a soaring, poetic vision of a transformative future, filled with abstract scenes of singing and partying.
      Posted Aug 03, 2022
      Mad God (2021) David Sims There is a plot of sorts and plenty of grisly stop-motion violence, but Mad God is most impressive as a work of sheer atmosphere, a visual experience that is actually unlike any other.
      Posted Aug 03, 2022
      Murina (2021) David Sims Murina has a terrific keep-you-guessing plot, and Filipović’s performance firmly establishes her as a talent to watch.
      Posted Aug 03, 2022
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