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      Cinema Signals

      Cinema Signals is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jules Brenner.

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      Roma (2018) Jules Brenner The astounding size of the purse to promote "Roma" paid off with a nomination and other awards, but it buys me little appreciation except for the downright beauty of the black and white imagery.
      Posted Apr 12, 2019
      The Others (2001) Jules Brenner The visual delights of horror filmmaking are all extremely well realized by the low-key, modulated lighting of Spanish Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, displaying mastery of his medium in a setting and story that amply provide the opportunities.
      Posted Oct 29, 2018
      On Body and Soul (2017) Jules Brenner A bit long in the telling, or may just feel that way, but very involving for romantics and arthouse types despite or because of its air of restraint, emptiness and hope--not to say, loving originality.
      Posted May 04, 2018
      Baby Driver (2017) Jules Brenner Breakneck auto action matched with a stirring sound track, plus a freshly conceived central character -- this joy ride will keep a hip audience strapped to their seats.
      Posted Apr 17, 2018
      Wind River (2017) Jules Brenner Sheridan leaves little doubt about the psychological depth he aims to join to criminality. Renner's low key competence and authority supports that and says much about his growing suitability for this kind of role .
      Posted Jan 26, 2018
      The Shape of Water (2017) Jules Brenner For me, this manner of finding your beloved pretty much died with the tide.
      Posted Jan 06, 2018
      Wonder Wheel (2017) Jules Brenner If there are acts in a filmmaker's career, "Wonder Wheel" may be a sign that the auteur is in the last act of a prolific, ofttimes brilliant one.
      Posted Dec 14, 2017
      La La Land (2016) Jules Brenner Any concerns about the experimental nature of this film fantasy are blown away by the sheer talent and attractiveness of the stars.
      Posted Dec 25, 2016
      Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Jules Brenner The ever fertile mind and imagination of Ms JK Rowlings opens a portal to a world of hilarious anthropomorphism and high eccentricity.
      Posted Dec 22, 2016
      Miss Sloane (2016) Jules Brenner The message that resonates is that drama belongs to the combative.
      Posted Dec 02, 2016
      Hacksaw Ridge (2016) Jules Brenner A feel-good biopic about a WWII pacifist who earns the Congressional Medal of Honor with shots of morphine and a will of cast iron. Nominations could be part of the film's earnings.
      Posted Nov 24, 2016
      Love & Friendship (2016) Jules Brenner The trick for Beckinsale was to make it stylish and comedic enough to maintain audience sympathy for such an inscrutable demon, which is actually a bit of an acting tightrope to walk.
      Posted Nov 05, 2016
      Long Way North (2015) Jules Brenner With animation art that is both minimalist and fascinating, the girl power throbs in this old-timey riff on courage and adventure. To a teen and under, the motive and the wonderment will take you far.
      Posted Oct 21, 2016
      Captain America: Civil War (2016) Jules Brenner Marvel, with its comic strip cool, Industrial Light & Magic control of gravity, what may be the largest ensemble of characters in its movie history and visual artistry, has done it again.
      Posted May 30, 2016
      The Trust (2016) Jules Brenner A bit of light larceny and a trippy ride-along with more than a little magical realism featuring an outlandish interpretation by Nicolas Cage of a corrupt detective who mentors and depraves a junior officer with off-the-charts avarice.
      Posted May 14, 2016
      Spotlight (2015) Jules Brenner Near-breathless high-tension performances from a fully immersed ensemble, each member conveying an unflagging determination to unveil the breadth of degeneracy.
      Posted Feb 28, 2016
      The Hateful Eight (2015) Jules Brenner I'm left hoping that the sage of violent cinema will get back his former edge of ingenuity for something less toxic.
      Posted Jan 12, 2016
      Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Jules Brenner The creative team is to be commended for a franchise resurrection that catches the spirit of what knocked the socks off a prior generation of galactic film fans. Epic entertainment. Epic movie event.
      Posted Jan 03, 2016
      The Revenant (2015) Jules Brenner In a rare performance that intertwines the character with an appreciation of what the actor had to do to achieve it, DiCaprio sets a new standard of physical sacrifice for the realization of a role.
      Posted Dec 28, 2015
      The Big Short (2015) Jules Brenner Told the way it is, the story is both expose' and entertainment. The traders taking the biggest profits come off as sympathetic heroes. We tend to like stories about underestimated people who get the last laugh or which expose corruption in high places.
      Posted Dec 14, 2015
      The Peanuts Movie (2015) Jules Brenner The movie is composed of brief little episodes that seem to simulate comic strip panels but the style makes the film tiresome.
      Posted Dec 05, 2015
      Youth (2015) Jules Brenner Sorrentino mixes issues of mortality with ironic understatement and satiric wit in his unrushed vacation itinerary.
      Posted Nov 22, 2015
      Bridge of Spies (2015) Jules Brenner A riveting tale spun around a relationship between a spy and a lawyer. Hanks and Rylance produce a chemistry that makes history boil with intrigue.
      Posted Nov 02, 2015
      Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015) Jules Brenner The clumsy technical skill and James Bond promotion were trumped by the actors. They were doing their best every minute and, in the final analysis, made it fun.
      Posted Oct 26, 2015
      The Martian (2015) Jules Brenner Damon has a "care for me" gene that (one can argue) makes him one of the MVPs in Hollywood and he just takes us along with him on a ride that I, for one, wouldn't have missed.
      Posted Oct 14, 2015
      Black Mass (2015) Jules Brenner Depp shows us what he can do with psycho-serial instead of charming, funny and slightly idiotic. And the effect is spellbinding.
      Posted Sep 29, 2015
      Adult Beginners (2014) Jules Brenner Kroll is too limited with what he can do with the personality he either has or creates for the film. (I'll go with the former). Twenty lashes with film stock and back to TV for him.
      Posted Aug 07, 2015
      Southpaw (2015) Jules Brenner The melodrama is absorbing and well directed, but I have to take points away for indulging so much in jacked up brutality of sustained fight scenes... and behavioral swings on the extremes of sympathetic acceptance.
      Posted Jul 18, 2015
      Jurassic World (2015) Jules Brenner A pitch against genetic modification of animals, ancient or otherwise? An indictment of corporate greed at any cost to others? To the extent it's seen that way, the purposes of entertainment override the "messages."
      Posted Jun 21, 2015
      The Age of Adaline (2015) Jules Brenner This pseudo-scientific contemplation of beating the process of aging is questionable from the start, but it's a bold and risky sci-fi in which logic isn't its primary source of dramatic gravity.
      Posted May 02, 2015
      Big Hero 6 (2014) Jules Brenner A new concept in fictional robots and a cartoon that goes beyond clever is a masterpiece of originality, big hug sweetness and one of the year's best surprises.
      Posted Mar 19, 2015
      The Theory of Everything (2014) Jules Brenner In a biopic-heavy Oscar season, Redmayne's crack performance pays homage to a man who has advanced the studies of quantum mechanics, general relativity and black hole radiation.
      Posted Feb 22, 2015
      Whiplash (2014) Jules Brenner A more distasteful rendering of character and story I can't begin to imagine. I must be missing something.
      Posted Jan 20, 2015
      Predestination (2014) Jules Brenner Warning: what you get is not necessarily what you see, and the revelations come, at times, at explosive speed.
      Posted Jan 12, 2015
      Interstellar (2014) Jules Brenner For all the themes intended to rocket our minds into a futuristic escape plan, it's too overloaded with hopelessness and bent logic to get off the ground.
      Posted Jan 06, 2015
      American Sniper (2014) Jules Brenner For very hard-working Bradley Cooper, making an homage to a lost warrior, this is a bullseye.
      Posted Dec 31, 2014
      A Most Violent Year (2014) Jules Brenner Chandor continuously raises the stakes on defying the violent, capturing our sympathies and commanding our engagement. That comes with the enjoyment of penetrating character insight and expression without compromise or exaggeration.
      Posted Dec 28, 2014
      Inherent Vice (2014) Jules Brenner Though it's radically befuddling, the movie is full of surprises, some of them hilarious, inventive, evocative and sexy (frontal nudity and a copulation scene included).
      Posted Dec 21, 2014
      A Most Wanted Man (2014) Jules Brenner With casting like this, I'd rather see the movie than read the book. At least in the case of one spy novelist.
      Posted Nov 30, 2014
      The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014) Jules Brenner This sequel-split rests on the time-tested theory that there's money to be raked in by extending the life of characters who had us from the first arrow.
      Posted Nov 27, 2014
      Fury (2014) Jules Brenner Besides big gun Brad Pitt, the distinguishing feature here is the metal -- the clang and thunder of tank warfare: the power of it as a weapon, the sheer terror of it as a target.
      Posted Oct 29, 2014
      Gone Girl (2014) Jules Brenner With the exceptional commercial pedigree of its source material, this is overwritten in all aspects--presumably for being crafted for the screen by a novelist determined not to compromise her work for the sake of the medium.
      Posted Oct 05, 2014
      The Equalizer (2014) Jules Brenner Washington demonstrates the role-proof gift he has to connect sympathetically to the audience.
      Posted Oct 04, 2014
      The Drop (2014) Jules Brenner The drama of this mean-streets tale is told on the deceptively gentle face of Tom Hardy. Don't let him out of your sight. (Not that you'll be able to.)
      Posted Sep 18, 2014
      The Two Faces of January (2014) Jules Brenner This is that rare movie that's way ahead of the viewer instead of the other way around. In terms of what it sets out to do, and does, there's nothing missing.
      Posted Sep 13, 2014
      Frank (2014) Jules Brenner Call it an offbeat psychological comedy, an off-balance dramedy with instrumental backing, a study in psychopathy, an amusement from a dark mind, or an adventure with a wannabe musician who gets a gig in the wrong (or, right) band.
      Posted Aug 27, 2014
      Upside Down (2012) Jules Brenner An otherworldly framework in which the rules exist to separate the classes until Romeo & Juliet come along to break them with the gravity of romance. If only.
      Posted Aug 19, 2014
      Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Jules Brenner A piece of wit that makes it's own niche within the genre. This galactic treat is new world.
      Posted Aug 09, 2014
      Lucy (2014) Jules Brenner I don't know where CPH4 stands on the narcotics table, but this is a large dose of pseudo-science entertainment and an attitudinally hot character sketch for Ms Johansson's brain.
      Posted Jul 28, 2014
      Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) Jules Brenner Serkis does what every actor wishes to do: leave an impression of himself on the audience's memory. That impression will draw crowds and will not fade by Oscar time.
      Posted Jul 21, 2014
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