Creative Loafing

Creative Loafing is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Felicia Feaster, Matt Brunson
Rating Title/Year Author
2.5/4 Shazam! (2019) Matt Brunson The second Captain Marvel movie to be released this spring, DC's valiant effort doesn't soar as high as its Marvel counterpart, though there's still a hefty amount to enjoy in this thematically loose-limbed undertaking. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
1.5/4 Little (2019) Matt Brunson If Little at least delivered on its comedic material or provided some sort of emotional resonance, much could be forgiven. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
2/4 Pet Sematary (2019) Matt Brunson It's not like there wasn't any room for improvement. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
2.5/4 The Evil (1978) Matt Brunson Risible in a few spots but competently presented most of the time. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
1.5/4 The Swarm (1978) Matt Brunson As an adult, I recognize that The Swarm is, well, not good, but I can now enjoy it as a so-bad-it's-brilliant endeavor. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
3.5/4 A Raisin in the Sun (1961) Matt Brunson A groundbreaking work that manages to be both specific to the African-American experience and universal in its themes of hope, change, and upward mobility. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
3.5/4 The Official Story (1985) Matt Brunson Simultaneous serves as a crackling political thriller and a deeply moving family drama. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
2.5/4 The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) Matt Brunson It's an irresistible story, but the movie suffers from clunky dialogue and a barrage of mismatched performances that represent just about every school of acting known to man. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
3.5/4 The Last Hurrah (1958) Matt Brunson Terrific entertainment until it's stopped dead in its tracks by a painfully protracted finale. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
1.5/4 House on Haunted Hill (1999) Matt Brunson The passage of time hasn't improved this version one iota, although at least home viewers don't have to subject themselves to the lobby posters sporting that year's daftest tagline ("Evil Loves To Party"). EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2018
2/4 The Other Side of Midnight (1977) Matt Brunson Hampered by colorless characterizations and extreme overlength. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2018
3/4 The Naked Prey (1966) Matt Brunson Brutal in its depictions of both tribal savagery and English arrogance, the film nevertheless avoids lazy stereotyping. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2018
2/4 Looker (1981) Matt Brunson Slightly easier to take than such Crichton duds as Runaway and Congo. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2018
3/4 The Farmer's Daughter (1947) Matt Brunson Young won the Best Actress Oscar for her charming if hardly award-worthy turn (her win is still considered one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history). EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2018
1.5/4 The Cyclops (1957) Matt Brunson Even given my own proclivity for '50s fantasy flicks, this one is rough going. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2018
3/4 The Bravados (1958) Matt Brunson A hard-hitting Western saga which sports a chilling twist at the end. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2018
1/4 Scream for Help (1984) Matt Brunson It's a buffet of badness. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
2/4 Good Times (1967) Matt Brunson As for Sonny's acting talents, let's just say he makes Ringo Starr look like Daniel Day-Lewis by comparison. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
2.5/4 The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (1976) Matt Brunson I can't say that the picture is a success, but fans of bawdy comedies will appreciate at least some of its choices. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
1/4 Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) Matt Brunson Exorcist II: The Heretic is a perfect mix of tedium and hilarity, and it's easy to understand why audiences back in the day actually threw items at the screen (you'll doubtless fight similar urges). EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
3.5/4 The Day of the Jackal (1973) Matt Brunson Director Fred Zinnemann, scripter Kenneth Ross, and editor Ralph Kemplen (earning this film's sole Oscar nomination) all deserve high marks. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
2.5/4 The Bride (1985) Matt Brunson The Bride might be inspired by Mary Shelley, but its nature seems to draw from Robert Louis Stevenson. Aping the latter's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this feels like two separate movies battling for the upper hand, with the end result basically being a tie. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
3/4 The Baby (1973) Matt Brunson A terrific twist ending is what puts this one over the top. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
3/4 American Animals (2018) Matt Brunson Here's a movie that takes a tattered genre and manages to add some fresh elements to it. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
2/4 Night School (2018) Matt Brunson An ideal movie starring Hart and Haddish would make them comedic equals along the lines of Cheech & Chong or Laurel & Hardy. Instead, they're more like Martin & Lewis, Abbott & Costello and Groucho/Chico/Harpo & Zeppo. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2018
3.5/4 My Man Godfrey (1936) Matt Brunson This scintillating comedy was the first film to be Oscar-nominated in all four acting categories. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2018
3/4 Gold (1974) Matt Brunson Sandwiched between the releases of Roger Moore's initial two outings as 007, this benefits from director Peter Hunt's able handling of the tense mining sequences as well as engaging performances from the entire cast. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2018
2/4 Life Itself (2018) Matt Brunson The sort of sprawling saga meant to make audiences laugh, cry, and nod approvingly at moments they might recognize from their own roller coaster lives. Unfortunately, a deep sigh and a dismissive shrug will be all that many folks might be able to muster. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2018
3.5/4 Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Matt Brunson The strength of this film is that it never allows the myth to eclipse the man. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
3/4 The Virgin Soldiers (1969) Matt Brunson The story proves affecting in its look at boys in wartime. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/4 The Seventh Sign (1988) Matt Brunson Not to be confused with Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece The Seventh Seal (as if!), The Seventh Sign is an ofttimes admirable yet mostly silly supernatural thriller. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
2.5/4 Gloria (1980) Matt Brunson Cassavetes was always at his best when he was making raw and uncompromising indies (e.g. Faces, Shadows), and he was invariably always less interesting when he tried to guess what general audiences wanted to see (like here). EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
3.5/4 Deep Red (1975) Matt Brunson This exemplary giallo is clever enough to use its utterly compelling mystery to examine issues of gender identity and fluidity. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
2/4 Rapid Fire (1992) Matt Brunson A disposable action yarn. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
3/4 The Last Hunt (1956) Matt Brunson Ripe for rediscovery. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
3/4 Upgrade (2018) Matt Brunson With its emphasis on technology, slightly futuristic setting, and fondness for disturbing developments, Upgrade feels like an episode of Black Mirror that somehow managed to break free from its Netflix surroundings and emerge unscathed on the big screen. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
3.5/4 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Matt Brunson On a visual level, the movie qualifies as poetry in stop-motion. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
3/4 The Naked and the Dead (1958) Matt Brunson A flawed yet fascinating motion picture, one that traffics in gritty intensity yet also makes room for the expected concessions to convention and cliche. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
3/4 The Hot Rock (1972) Matt Brunson Those seeking something a little more off the beaten path than The Natural or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid should check out this entertaining caper yarn. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
1/4 The Horror of Party Beach (1964) Matt Brunson Like Robot Monster, Eegah! and other grade-Z atrocities, it's the sort of mindboggling film that triggers amusement rather than anger at its absolute ineptitude. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
3.5/4 The Changeling (1980) Matt Brunson Director Peter Medak opts for exposition and atmosphere over jump-scares and other cheap dramatic devices. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
1.5/4 The Unborn (1991) Matt Brunson Swiping from both the classy Rosemary's Baby and the cheesy It's Alive, this often risible flick is merely stillborn. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
3/4 The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1983) Matt Brunson Director and co-scripter Robert M. Young packs his picture with seasoned character actors who add grit rather than glamour. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
2.5/4 Strait-Jacket (1964) Matt Brunson The twist ending is one of the most obvious ever put on film, but Crawford's campy histrionics and some neat stylistic flourishes make this worthy entertainment. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
3/4 The Tingler (1959) Matt Brunson Perhaps William Castle's most outrageous film, The Tingler also stands as one of his best. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
3.5/4 Home From the Hill (1960) Matt Brunson A rich family drama anchored by Robert Mitchum's fine performance and further distinguished by superlative support, by George (two of them, actually). EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
2.5/4 Never So Few (1959) Matt Brunson The love story is commonplace and hampered by a noticeable lack of chemistry between Sinatra and Lollobrigida -- the war material is similarly humdrum until a late-inning development. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
3.5/4 Heaven Can Wait (1943) Matt Brunson What begins as a sprightly comedy eventually turns into an affecting look at loneliness, ageism and mortality. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
2/4 Deep Rising (1998) Matt Brunson Ya gotta give a sliver of credit to any movie that would include the term "Half-Digested Billy" in its closing credits. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
3.5/4 Village of the Damned (1960) Matt Brunson An atmospheric and intelligent watch. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2018