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      Niagara Gazette

      Niagara Gazette is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Michael Calleri.

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      80 for Brady (2023) Michael Calleri “80 For Brady” is a sweetly engaging comedy of the kind that we don’t see much of lately. It succeeds as entertainment because of the prodigious talents of Tomlin, Fonda, Moreno, and Field. They take the story and run with it.
      Posted Feb 12, 2023
      Infinity Pool (2023) Michael Calleri A psychological madness grips James. He starts appreciating the other strange goings-on. The cloning is only the tip of the iceberg and a fascinating part of the film, but unfortunately, it’s where writer-director Cronenberg stops being innovative.
      Posted Feb 03, 2023
      Maybe I Do (2023) Michael Calleri When you’ve got superstars like Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, and William H. Macy involved, you relish the jaundiced looks and little asides that only the best in the acting game know how to deliver to the camera.
      Posted Jan 28, 2023
      A Man Called Otto (2022) Michael Calleri “A Man Called Otto” lays down a familiar pattern for its storytelling and action. The movie clicks because Tom Hanks delivers a performance that is always in the moment. You sense there’s a more pleasant past Otto could recapture, if he’s willing.
      Posted Jan 23, 2023
      White Noise (2022) Michael Calleri The book made Don DeLillo a publishing superstar. The film never quite captures the epic feel of the story and it certainly doesn’t generate any electrifying white heat. It’s not a bad effort, but it is a misguided one.
      Posted Jan 23, 2023
      The Trouble With Harry (1955) Michael Calleri The film plays out with utterly charming merriment, which is assisted every step of the way by the acting of the sparkling cast. The characters may be naive, but they are adorably beguiling, and the tale bounces to a satisfying conclusion.
      Posted Jan 08, 2023
      Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) Michael Calleri Writer-director Rian Johnson has delivered a pleasing potpourri that’s peppered with wordplay and is blended with some strong characters who rescue the film from its lesser elements.
      Posted Jan 08, 2023
      Babylon (2022) Michael Calleri The story that wraps around Jack, Manny, Nellie, and Elinor runs 188-minutes and I never felt its length. The movie breathes. It’s bravura filmmaking with imagination, depth, and spectacular production values.
      Posted Dec 23, 2022
      Empire of Light (2022) Michael Calleri “Empire Of Light” captures the magic of moviegoing and the dream world of watching films in a local theater perfectly. A superb Olivia Colman plays a middle-aged woman, who enjoys the camaraderie found at her job as an assistant manager of the cinema.
      Posted Dec 23, 2022
      The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) Michael Calleri Beautifully written and superbly directed by Martin McDonagh with a keen understanding of the ways some people need conversation and attention and others don’t want it, the movie develops moods and insights that are both curious and sly.
      Posted Dec 23, 2022
      The Fabelmans (2022) Michael Calleri Spielberg captures the wonder and awe of movies as seen through the eyes of young Sammy. Not only is the boy smitten with the moviegoing experience, he is fascinated by the techniques required to create the art form.
      Posted Dec 11, 2022
      Bones and All (2022) Michael Calleri Regarding Maren and Lee, there’s a unique romantic connection between the two cannibals, and Guadagnino’s film, which is well-written by David Kajganich from Camille DeAngelis’s young adult novel, becomes an expressive ode to heartache, hope, and hunger.
      Posted Dec 02, 2022
      The Menu (2022) Michael Calleri “The Menu” is part psychological thriller and part horror movie. There will be blood. There are moments that are wickedly funny. After watching the unique, fast-paced, and savory film, you may never eat S’mores again.
      Posted Nov 25, 2022
      Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) Michael Calleri This retelling of Carlo Collodi’s novel about a wooden puppet who comes to life and dreams of becoming a real boy looks outstanding. The movie’s animation artistry is superb. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year.
      Posted Nov 24, 2022
      My Policeman (2022) Michael Calleri What Styles does, and why he’s so good in the part, is to play Tom’s deep emotional conflicts honestly. He rightly plays his character’s hesitancy strongly. The acting by the entire cast is outstanding.
      Posted Nov 11, 2022
      Tár (2022) Michael Calleri “Tar” is an uncompromising cinematic microscope examining creativity and the refusal to compromise. Cate Blanchett plays Lydia with a fierce, laser-like dedication to her character’s myriad desires and demons. A best actress Oscar nomination is assured.
      Posted Nov 11, 2022
      Amsterdam (2022) Michael Calleri Scenes drag on. Characters seem to be in different movies. The film looks terrific because of Judy Becker’s superior production values, but good grief, where are we headed?
      Posted Oct 24, 2022
      Blonde (2022) Michael Calleri Director Andrew Dominik mixes color and black and white and creates scenes that are more visually and thematic imaginative than is traditional. The movie has a rhythm that grabs you and never lets go. The story flows with conviction.
      Posted Oct 14, 2022
      Bros (2022) Michael Calleri What’s especially laudable is that director Nicholas Stoller and his co-screenwriter Billy Eichner, who stars as podcaster and future LGBTQ+ museum director Lieber, didn’t flinch at making him as caustic and bombastic a curmudgeon as possible.
      Posted Oct 06, 2022
      Don't Worry Darling (2022) Michael Calleri “Don’t Worry Darling” is a well-made motion picture with outstanding production values and a spectacular lead performance by Florence Pugh at its core. It also proves that filmmaker Olivia Wilde can direct an action sequence with the best of them.
      Posted Oct 01, 2022
      Blow Out (1981) Michael Calleri A sound effects man working on low-budget features thinks he has accidentally recorded a political assassination. He becomes obsessed with what he hears. Insisting on uncovering the truth, he seeks the help of a possible eyewitness to the supposed crime.
      Posted Sep 21, 2022
      Blow-Up (1966) Michael Calleri Italian New Wave director Michelangelo Antonioni was helping alter the European cinematic landscape with his bold features. One of Antonioni’s classics is the great “Blow-Up,” which is from 1966 and is one of my all-time favorite movies.
      Posted Sep 21, 2022
      See How They Run (2022) Michael Calleri One of the treasures of “See How They Run” are the bits of dialogue that are spoken as careful asides so that they impart a lot of worthwhile, albeit subtle, information to the audience. These are mostly British characters who are delightfully theatrical.
      Posted Sep 21, 2022
      Breaking (2022) Michael Calleri The acting in “Breaking” is sublime with Boyega leading the power we see on the screen. Director Corbin takes the tight screenplay and expertly frames the words that are spoken.
      Posted Aug 26, 2022
      Mack & Rita (2022) Michael Calleri You not only get Diane Keaton in all her quirky glory, but you also get a fabulous wardrobe to dazzle any budding costume designer living in your house. This is a comedy, after all, and the pratfalls come tumbling out from every corner of the screen.
      Posted Aug 22, 2022
      Bullet Train (2022) Michael Calleri “Bullet Train” has a story to tell, but director David Leitch, a former stuntman for Pitt, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Matt Damon, tells it in slapdash fashion. Much of the material is played for laughs, but little of it is actually humorous.
      Posted Aug 12, 2022
      Vengeance (2022) Michael Calleri The story is wrapped in the framework of a fast-paced thriller with rich, darkly comic undertones. The film is a gift of refreshing cinematic pleasure in a woebegone season of mostly remakes and retreads.
      Posted Aug 05, 2022
      Nope (2022) Michael Calleri “Nope” is an exuberant tribute to what would happen if all those “what ifs” about visitors from another planet actually happened right in the middle of the place where motion picture dreams are created.
      Posted Jul 29, 2022
      From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Michael Calleri The story is about the Gecko brothers, Clooney as Seth and Tarantino as Richie, two exceedingly dangerous bank robbers who are on a maniacal crime spree. The ultra-violent movie is pitch-perfect in its stylistic mayhem.
      Posted Jul 24, 2022
      The Gray Man (2022) Michael Calleri As part of the weak story, there’s a flash drive involved, which contains a treasure trove of top secret information that shouldn’t get in the wrong hands. Yes, that old canard. Too much is done for laughs. Mark Greaney doesn’t write comic novels.
      Posted Jul 24, 2022
      Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022) Michael Calleri Lesley Manville creates such a lovely, relatable, and heartfelt character that the audience readily believes in her and her quest. Her determination is infectious. Her energy is boundless.
      Posted Jul 19, 2022
      Jerry & Marge Go Large (2022) Michael Calleri Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening are wonderful as Jerry and Marge. Both create delightful characters who can’t believe their luck.
      Posted Jul 02, 2022
      The Book Keepers (2022) Michael Calleri Phil Wall, an accomplished documentary filmmaker, chronicles the passionate advocacy of his father. The resulting movie is a beautifully intimate portrait of loss and never-ending love.
      Posted Jul 02, 2022
      Father of the Bride (2022) Michael Calleri “Father Of The Bride” never catches wedding fever.
      Posted Jul 02, 2022
      Elvis (2022) Michael Calleri Butler understands his character’s struggle and the demons that would later consume Presley. His public persona is that of a charming fellow. Butler nails it. He also walks like Elvis in a way that is eerie. The movie never feels unrealistic.
      Posted Jun 25, 2022
      Jurassic World Dominion (2022) Michael Calleri “Jurassic World: Dominion” roars into movie theaters with creative exhaustion nipping at its rapacious dinosaur jaws. The only sense of awe is associated with the aw-shucks disappointment of a missed opportunity.
      Posted Jun 18, 2022
      Crimes of the Future (2022) Michael Calleri The haunting story proceeds in relatively straightforward and uncompromising fashion. The freakish idea of what we’re seeing is unsettling. Chilling and daring, the practice of creating art has become more personal than most would imagine.
      Posted Jun 11, 2022
      Rosemary's Baby (1968) Michael Calleri The movie is a masterpiece of editing (by Sam O’Steen and Bob Wyman) and the acting is flawlessly delivered by a brilliant, tour-de-force cast.
      Posted Jun 03, 2022
      Miracle in Milan (1951) Michael Calleri The character-driven tale flows forward with charm and energy and quite interesting special effects.
      Posted Jun 03, 2022
      Top Gun: Maverick (2022) Michael Calleri “Top Gun: Maverick” is a better movie than its predecessor. The jet-propelled flying thrills and crisp special effects are infinitely superior. This is high-gloss “Hollywood” entertainment.
      Posted Jun 03, 2022
      Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022) Michael Calleri Is this really the best the creative team could do? Recycle the plot of a classic Hollywood musical comedy from 1952? Send the younger members of the extended Crawley family to the French Riviera for obvious cross-cultural jokes? I’m embarrassed for them.
      Posted May 25, 2022
      Petite Maman (2021) Michael Calleri The film is a delicate cinematic poem that beautifully glides from nostalgia to something genuine and insightful.
      Posted May 25, 2022
      Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) Michael Calleri There is an army of promotional appearances from other Marvel characters. Ultimately, a story is told that is relatively uninteresting and assuredly repetitive. It is also excessively loud and remarkably bland visually.
      Posted May 25, 2022
      How They Got Over (2021) Michael Calleri A parade of extraordinary African-American musicians, including the magical singer and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, takes the audience on a groundbreaking exploration of how gospel music shifted the psyche of American teenagers.
      Posted May 09, 2022
      The Duke (2020) Michael Calleri Jim Broadbent delivers a performance that is exactly how we want to see a quirky chap behave. His comic timing is flawless. Helen Mirren has less to do, but she does it brilliantly.
      Posted May 09, 2022
      Anaïs in Love (2021) Michael Calleri The movie is written and directed by Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet her first feature film. She knows how to make kooky seem relatable. The storytelling is straightforward.
      Posted Apr 29, 2022
      Firebird (2021) Michael Calleri The compelling, flawlessly acted film showcases confident direction by Rebane. This is his first feature. The movie tells its story with beautiful cinematography by Mait Maekivi.
      Posted Apr 29, 2022
      The Northman (2022) Michael Calleri "The Northman" follows the breadth of savagery in savage lands. There is no escaping the pall of terror it reveals. Eggers is a master at blending psychology and cinema. He plays mind games with his most assuredly cowering audience
      Posted Apr 23, 2022
      Ambulance (2022) Michael Calleri The film is a fragmented morality fable about brothers that runs out of thematic gas long before the credits roll.
      Posted Apr 15, 2022
      Morbius (2022) Michael Calleri An attempt to toss in some comedy fails miserably. The evil doings and essential fight come across as labored and expected for the genre.
      Posted Apr 09, 2022
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