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      FilmLand Empire

      FilmLand Empire is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Anton Bitel, Naila Scargill.

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      James White (2015) Naila Scargill A minimal approach creates an unflinching character study that relies on performance over traditional narrative.
      Posted Mar 04, 2019
      Nasty Baby (2015) Naila Scargill There are layers to this social satire, and the insidious effect of central character Freddy's brazen narcissism unexpectedly draws you in to observe more complex matters of class division, prejudice, and homophobia.
      Posted Mar 04, 2019
      Blue Sunshine (1976) Anton Bitel Blue Sunshine poses anxious questions about a late-Seventies America whose middle-aging middle class is made up, inevitably, of casualties from the previous decade, when the current establishment was first establishing itself.
      Posted Aug 17, 2015
      God Told Me To (1976) Anton Bitel Here the machinery of divine intervention is taken for a freaky secular spin via the familiar cinematic modes of urban realism and even science fiction, and a detective mystery becomes a mystery rite.
      Posted Aug 03, 2015
      He Never Died (2015) Anton Bitel Rollins is often known for his over-the-top presence in films, but in He Never Died he offers a performance of immense containment and restraint.
      Posted Jul 29, 2015
      Parents (1989) Anton Bitel The Oedipal conflict that Parents plays out is timeless, but also very much rooted in its times, with a darkly comic nostalgia that looks both backwards to a Paradise lost and forwards to one perhaps never regained.
      Posted Jul 04, 2015
      Darkman (1990) Anton Bitel ...comicbook slapstick and off-the-hook mania in a combination only previously seen in Evil Dead II.
      Posted Jun 22, 2015
      The Toxic Avenger (1984) Anton Bitel here, beneath all the smiles and sun and buff bodies, is a vision of the US as a place of corruption, pollution, and violent criminality, with the ordinary law-abiding "little people" constantly at the mercy of a toxic American Dream.
      Posted Jun 15, 2015
      Society (1989) Anton Bitel Putting a fist up America's hidden dynastic structures & pulling them inside out so that the terrible things underneath are revealed for all to see, Society is a veritable orgy of influences assimilated into something singular & entirely sui generis.
      Posted Jun 01, 2015
      Eaten Alive (1976) Anton Bitel Hooper's film, despite its apparent focus on zoology, is really an experiment in baroque Texpressionism, dominated by concerns of an anthropological, ethnographic nature.
      Posted May 21, 2015
      Jauja (2014) Anton Bitel Beautiful, haunting and hypnotic, Jauja sees its own legend grow disproportionately, until we all, in our search for sense, get lost on the way.
      Posted Mar 09, 2015
      Four of the Apocalypse (1975) Anton Bitel Maybe not quite as 'out there' as El Topo or even Django Kill, but the mix here of good-natured jokiness & gravity (even depravity), along with strange excursions into the discourse of theology & gender, make 4 Of The Apocalypse a weird trip alright.
      Posted Mar 03, 2015
      Rec 4: Apocalypse (2014) Anton Bitel sequel that, though not exactly fresh, contaminates the franchise's now established tropes with some unexpected subgenres, & keeps the pot boiling on its high-stakes tensions without ever taking itself - or horror - too seriously.
      Posted Mar 02, 2015
      Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy (2013) Anton Bitel a teenage girl's coming-of-age story, surreally reconstructed from 410 of a young Thai woman's consecutive tweets (which regularly punctuate the screen as a dynamic counterpoint to the events that we see).
      Posted Feb 14, 2015
      36 (2012) Anton Bitel uses just 36 fixed shots - the same number as is found in a conventional photographic film roll - to tell the elliptical story of a snap-happy location scout's attempts to recover digital files and love (both lost).
      Posted Feb 14, 2015
      The Congress (2013) Anton Bitel Both sci-fi and metacinematic documentary, The Congress is a hallucinatory vision of our new wired world - and yet for all its overt artifice, it locates a sense of loss that feels all too real.
      Posted Feb 14, 2015
      Boyhood (2014) Anton Bitel Time and change are the universal themes here, embodied and particularised in Linklater's dramatic study of a divided and mildly dysfunctional family... This is one for the (and all) ages.
      Posted Feb 14, 2015
      The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013) Anton Bitel both an immaculately crafted, highly sensual filmgoing experience, and a narrative puzzle whose intricate, interconnecting parts are best reintegrated by multiple visits.
      Posted Feb 14, 2015
      The Lust of Angels (2014) Anton Bitel What might sound like an underage variant on rape-revenge is greatly problematised by the abiding suggestion that all this sexual abuse by men comes with female complicity, even instigation.
      Posted Feb 05, 2015
      A Most Violent Year (2014) Anton Bitel Chandor's moody, muscular film finds 'the most right path' to the fewest clichs.
      Posted Jan 21, 2015
      Re-Animator (1985) Anton Bitel a retelling of Frankenstein with a psychosexual spin... an infectiously fun foray into science at its most insane and least ethical, as the mind's higher goals are repeatedly driven by the body's basest desires.
      Posted Jan 14, 2015
      Dark Summer (2015) Anton Bitel here the real, virtual and supernatural worlds merge in a bizarre love triangle that allows Solet to show the craft of a true manipulator of onscreen events - and to give viewers more than one kind of creep.
      Posted Jan 10, 2015
      Kundo: Age of the Rampant (2014) Anton Bitel Precision action sequences sit alongside dazzling period colour, coarse, crazy comedy rides side-saddle with domestic pathos, genre & tone are switched with deft ease, and the pace never lets up. [But] when anything goes, everything seems throwaway.
      Posted Nov 17, 2014
      Hard to Be a God (2013) Anton Bitel This is an extraordinary one-off, artfully constructed to make its base drives and impulses tangible in all their fluid squalour - but Hard To Be A God is also rather hard to like.
      Posted Oct 08, 2014
      The Duke of Burgundy (2014) Anton Bitel Groundhog Day (1993) as filtered through the visual language of Jess Franco or Jean Rollin's erotic oeuvre - a saucy theme & its minor variations that together modulate the ambiguous & ever-changing dynamics of these women's evolving relationship.
      Posted Oct 04, 2014
      And the Mud Ship Sails Away (2013) Anton Bitel made for under 3000, it is an excellent example of the bone-dry drollery that can result from a finely honed screenplay, a pitch-perfect cast and a highly dedicated crew. As a calling card, it shows Watanabe to be a real talent to watch
      Posted Sep 27, 2014
      Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats (2014) Anton Bitel [Oshima Miyuke's] brilliance in the role, anchoring the entire film, helps to reinforce the idea that Fukuda represents a different kind of cinematic hero, and a different model of masculinity.
      Posted Sep 27, 2014
      Creep (2014) Anton Bitel a very fresh, hilariously mean-spirited take on both the 'first-person' format and the stalk-and-slash subgenre - and a lo-fi mumblegore treasure that any discerning, or just unhealthily obsessive, cinephile will want to add to their collection.
      Posted Sep 06, 2014
      Deliver Us From Evil (2014) Anton Bitel here evil comes from the Middle East, but is ultimately dispelled by American goodness, in a mapping of post-millennial geopolitics onto a simplistic Manichaean worldview.
      Posted Sep 02, 2014
      River of Fundament (2014) Anton Bitel Though certainly challenging in its exuberant obscurity, its forbidding length and its transgressive offence, River of Fundament represents ambitious, uncompromising art of the highest ordure.
      Posted Sep 02, 2014
      If... (1968) Anton Bitel Shot a few months before the student riots in Paris of May 1968, if.... captures the rebelliousness and anti-authoritarianism of the time, while raising troubling questions about where it might all be leading, and what risked being lost.
      Posted Sep 02, 2014
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