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      CultureMap is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Alex Bentley, Craig D. Lindsey.

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      Saltburn (2023) Alex Bentley Films set on ornate British estates tend to be stuffy period pieces, so Fennell’s story is initially a breath of fresh air, telling a more modern version that’s full of life.
      Posted Nov 25, 2023
      Napoleon (2023) Alex Bentley History buffs may relish the chance to have Napoleon’s many exploits given a big screen extravaganza, but they may be the only ones who are able to track his progress to power in Scott’s version of events.
      Posted Nov 22, 2023
      Wish (2023) Alex Bentley Some may ding Wish for making Disney’s past movies such a big part of the new film, but the studio has never been shy about reminding people about its past works.
      Posted Nov 21, 2023
      Next Goal Wins (2023) Alex Bentley Next Goal Wins is light and fluffy on the surface, with a few emotional punches thrown in. It won’t be confused with Waititi’s best films, but it’s a perfectly serviceable comedy if you’re willing to accept the jokes it has to offer.
      Posted Nov 16, 2023
      The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023) Alex Bentley The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a thoroughly mediocre (and overlong, at 2 hours and 37 minutes) return to the world of The Hunger Games, with the only saving grace being that it’s a one-off event with no current plans for more films.
      Posted Nov 15, 2023
      The Marvels (2023) Alex Bentley The trio has a chemistry together that makes them enjoyable to watch, with Kamala’s unceasing positivity one of the film’s high points.
      Posted Nov 09, 2023
      The Holdovers (2023) Alex Bentley The Holdovers is so good that it’s infuriating that Payne hasn’t made more movies than the eight on his filmography.
      Posted Nov 08, 2023
      Rustin (2023) Alex Bentley Bayard Rustin may not have spoken at the March on Washington, but this film teaches us that he was as responsible as anyone for cementing its place in the history books.
      Posted Nov 02, 2023
      Priscilla (2023) Alex Bentley While Priscilla naturally depends on Elvis for its context, it gives Priscilla agency, showing the grind that comes with being the girlfriend/wife of the most famous person in the world.
      Posted Nov 01, 2023
      The Killer (2023) Alex Bentley Fincher's continued fascination with the darker side of society makes for compelling viewing, and getting another great Fassbender performance is icing on the cake.
      Posted Oct 27, 2023
      Pain Hustlers (2023) Alex Bentley Pain Hustlers could have used more depth and originality than it has, but it still deserves credit for shining a light on a problem that’s only gotten worse since the time depicted in the film.
      Posted Oct 26, 2023
      Anatomy of a Fall (2023) Alex Bentley Anatomy of a Fall is a great family drama, a great courtroom movie, and a great film overall, and deserves to be on the list of the best of the year.
      Posted Oct 25, 2023
      Dicks: The Musical (2023) Alex Bentley The film's thin premise carries the day, with Sharp and Jackson counting on the film’s many songs and absurdities to gloss over its lack of story.
      Posted Oct 19, 2023
      Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) Alex Bentley Scorsese’s preference for putting antagonists first undermines the overall story. His visual filmmaking prowess remains a strength, but it’s not matched this time around by his storytelling.
      Posted Oct 18, 2023
      The Burial (2023) Alex Bentley Betts and her team chose to take too many detours in both characters and story, and the film as a whole suffers because of it.
      Posted Oct 13, 2023
      Joan Baez I Am a Noise (2023) Alex Bentley The film ultimately succeeds because of who Baez is and was, a staunch advocate for social justice and someone always willing to stand up for her principles.
      Posted Oct 12, 2023
      The Royal Hotel (2023) Alex Bentley Green made a name for herself with The Assistant, and while she doesn’t squander that goodwill with The Royal Hotel, the point of the film never becomes clear.
      Posted Oct 05, 2023
      Fair Play (2023) Alex Bentley The film has a propulsion to it that keeps it interesting, and the intensity of the final sequence is sufficient to forgive any earlier missteps.
      Posted Sep 29, 2023
      Flora and Son (2023) Alex Bentley The depiction of a mother/child relationship in Flora and Son is atypical, but it still winds up in a great spot thanks to the power of music and some fine performances.
      Posted Sep 28, 2023
      The Creator (2023) Alex Bentley The Creator could’ve earned praise simply by giving us an original sci-fi story. But by accompanying it with awe-inspiring imagery and great performances, Edwards and his team have made a film that will likely be remembered for years to come.
      Posted Sep 27, 2023
      Dumb Money (2023) Alex Bentley Storytellers can rarely go wrong in showing people with little power taking on those with great wealth, and the fact that the story shown in Dumb Money is (mostly) true makes it that much better.
      Posted Sep 21, 2023
      It Lives Inside (2023) Alex Bentley It Lives Inside more than holds its own in the scare department and ups the ante with its unique details. In a year that’s featured its fair share of intense movies, it brings a different perspective alongside its horrors.
      Posted Sep 21, 2023
      Cassandro (2023) Alex Bentley There’s a lot to like about Cassandro, the story that’s being told, and the performances it contains. But by choosing not to explore certain parts of the story as much as they could have, the filmmakers left a lot of emotionality out of it.
      Posted Sep 20, 2023
      A Million Miles Away (2023) Alex Bentley The film is inspiring, featuring an appealing lead performance by Peña, who doesn’t get as many starring roles as he should.
      Posted Sep 15, 2023
      A Haunting in Venice (2023) Alex Bentley With solid acting and a story that doesn’t strictly follow a pre-determined outcome, it’s a surprisingly pleasurable experience.
      Posted Sep 13, 2023
      My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (2023) Alex Bentley The film itself is a hodgepodge of scenes with little humor or emotion, making it a waste of 90 minutes for anyone unlucky enough to sit through it.
      Posted Sep 08, 2023
      Sitting in Bars with Cake (2023) Alex Bentley While Sitting in Bars with Cake is inoffensive and has some interesting moments, it never offers up anything that would make you want to return to it.
      Posted Sep 07, 2023
      Beaten to Death (2022) Alex Bentley This type of horror movie is clearly not for everybody, and even those who get a vicarious thrill in witnessing people getting brutalized may find themselves begging for mercy.
      Posted Sep 06, 2023
      Bottoms (2023) Alex Bentley Bottoms goes for the gusto in its storytelling, making its plot weird in all the best ways. Quotable dialogue and a slew of great performances make it a film that will be talked about for years to come if it finds the right audience.
      Posted Sep 01, 2023
      Golda (2023) Alex Bentley You probably have to have more than a passing interest in Israeli history to fully understand everything going on in Golda.
      Posted Aug 25, 2023
      Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story (2023) Alex Bentley There’s no getting around the fact that the sole reason Gran Turismo exists is to try to convince viewers how cool the game is, but as a sports movie, it follows the formula to a tee for maximum satisfaction.
      Posted Aug 24, 2023
      Landscape with Invisible Hand (2023) Alex Bentley The strange way in which aliens are handled in Landscape with Invisible Hand makes for a consistently interesting and entertaining experience.
      Posted Aug 18, 2023
      Strays (2023) Alex Bentley The dogs in the film are as appealing in looks as they are disgusting in their behavior, a combination that makes for a very funny time at the movies.
      Posted Aug 17, 2023
      Red, White & Royal Blue (2023) Alex Bentley Red, White & Royal Blue breaks out from an early rut to become a charming, interesting, and utterly romantic movie.
      Posted Aug 11, 2023
      Passages (2023) Alex Bentley The performances of the actors and the way Sachs handles the storytelling give the film a depth not often found, more than enough reason for film lovers to seek it out.
      Posted Aug 10, 2023
      Dreamin' Wild (2022) Alex Bentley Almost everyone can relate to a dream dashed or deferred, and the empathetic and honest way with which this film deals with the reality of one such situation makes for a great watch.
      Posted Aug 04, 2023
      Til Death Do Us Part (2023) Alex Bentley Til Death Do Us Part is easily the worst film of the year so far, and it’s not even a close contest.
      Posted Aug 03, 2023
      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) Alex Bentley There’s no need to fear disappointment from yet-another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie; Mutant Mayhem is a success from beginning to end.
      Posted Aug 02, 2023
      Theater Camp (2023) Alex Bentley Those who aren’t part of the theater community or know about its eccentricities may find Theater Camp a bit much to take, but it has enough earnestness and sweetness at its core that most will be won over by the end.
      Posted Jul 28, 2023
      The Beanie Bubble (2023) Alex Bentley The boom and bust of Beanie Babies as a legitimate investment is told with panache in The Beanie Bubble, aided by a quartet of performances that sell the characters well.
      Posted Jul 27, 2023
      Talk to Me (2023) Alex Bentley Talk to Me is a solid new entry into the horror genre, one that uses familiar tricks to great effect even if the spell doesn’t last all the way through.
      Posted Jul 26, 2023
      Barbie (2023) Alex Bentley Barbie is very entertaining in the moment, but like the dolls themselves, it feels like a movie that will be forgotten once the novelty wears off.
      Posted Jul 21, 2023
      Oppenheimer (2023) Alex Bentley The implications of the story are dire, but the filmgoing experience watching it transpire is anything but.
      Posted Jul 19, 2023
      Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One (2023) Alex Bentley Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is still much better than the majority of franchise films being offered up by studios, but when you have the track record the series has had to this point, anything less than greatness is discouraging.
      Posted Jul 12, 2023
      The Out-Laws (2023) Alex Bentley Even by the already-low standards of the constantly-churning Netflix machine, this movie has almost no redeeming value at all.
      Posted Jul 07, 2023
      Biosphere (2022) Alex Bentley Biosphere is objectively a strange film that deals with issues not typically seen in movies. But the film’s approach to the weirdness and the acting of the two leads makes it easy to digest, even if they never really explain what the hell is going on.
      Posted Jul 06, 2023
      Joy Ride (2023) Alex Bentley Joy Ride is not as consistently funny as it could have been, but its showcase scenes are worth the price of admission, as is the opportunity to see four under-utilized Asian actors strut their stuff.
      Posted Jul 05, 2023
      Prisoner's Daughter (2022) Alex Bentley Prisoner’s Daughter tells a similar story that has been told many times before, but the filmmakers can never find a way to make it rise above that familiarity.
      Posted Jun 30, 2023
      Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) Alex Bentley Giving Ford one last chance to play one of his most iconic characters is fantastic, and the filmmakers make sure most of the rest of the film is worthy of him, too.
      Posted Jun 30, 2023
      Asteroid City (2023) Alex Bentley It’s Anderson’s most impenetrable film yet, with confusing diversions and a structure that seems designed to baffle.
      Posted Jun 21, 2023
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