Pasadena Weekly

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Almost Perfect (2011) Jana Monji easy-going romance that doesn't pretend to have solutions or to wrap up the problems in a pretty package. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020
Harriet (2019) Jana Monji A major movie on Harriet Tubman is long overdue and, for all of its faults... "Harriet" is a good start in that direction. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Parasite (2019) Jana Monji Expect some blood and a surprisingly poignant ending. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Jana Monji If you don't mind F-bombs dropping fast and furious, "Dolemite Is My Name" easily ranks as one of funniest movies of the year. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Judy (2019) Jana Monji If you don't mind a grueling ride, and a Hollywood treatment of an entertainment legend heading toward her final train wreck, "Judy" might be worth the ticket. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
Neither Wolf Nor Dog (2016) Jana Monji If you are patient, this film will gently ask you to re-think the history you learned and the cultural bias that surrounds us. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
A Give Me Liberty (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Give Me Liberty" is a must-see. Take some friends. Spread the word. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
B Ready or Not (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Ready Or Not" walks a fine line between extreme bloodshed and dark humor that few movies manage to pull off, and it succeeds most of the time on that level. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
A Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Carl Kozlowski [Paul Downs] Colazzo and [Jillian] Bell team up to make the movie equally funny and uplifting, while also making its sadder moments deeply affecting. The supporting cast are also vibrant additions to the movie. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
A Blinded by the Light (2019) Carl Kozlowski Most powerfully, "Blinded" is a story of the universally relatable divide that comes between fathers and sons as the younger generation learns to stand as men. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
A Brian Banks (2018) Carl Kozlowski [Aldis] Hodge and [Greg] Kinnear are both terrific in the lead roles, as the sharp screenplay by Doug Atchison ties together relatable emotional drama with a series of surprising twists en route to their goal. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
B The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Carl Kozlowski While "Falcon" occasionally feels a bit too ramshackle along its lead characters' journey, it still arrives at a destination that's more than satisfying. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
B The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Carl Kozlowski Director Simon Curtis, who has previously directed arty British dramas, gives the movie a sense of sadness throughout, shot through with an underlying optimism that pays off at key moments. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
A Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Carl Kozlowski The script by longtime "Furious" scribe Chris Morgan and the direction by veteran stuntman-turned-director David Leitch make this movie zip along at a nonstop rapid pace. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
B Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Carl Kozlowski It's also a kinder, gentler film than one would expect from this master of fast-bursting graphic violence and one that those seeking fun characters, an unpredictable plot and the ability to sit for nearly three hours in a theatre should enjoy. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
The Lion King (2019) Carl Kozlowski It's almost impossible to find anything wrong with the film, continuing the Disney brand's tradition of technical perfection matched with a heartfelt tale. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
A Stuber (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Stuber" is a genuinely entertaining and inventive throwback to the great buddy-cop comedies of the 1980s, while layering in hilarious twists in the details of the film throughout. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
A Yesterday (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Yesterday" is a terrifically good time at the movies, with [Danny] Boyle deftly handling the fantasy, comedy and romantic elements with total grace. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
B Wild Rose (2018) Carl Kozlowski If you love good music or character-based drama "Wild Rose" should smell quite sweet. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
A The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Last" doesn't rely much on conventional narrative, but rather is a mesmerizing visual poem and mood piece that grabs viewers from the start and never lets go. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
A Late Night (2019) Carl Kozlowski In a summer filled with special effects-driven action spectacles and endless sequels and reboots, "Late Night" provides a fresh take on lovable characters and helps add a dose of humanity to the season. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
A Rocketman (2019) Carl Kozlowski Egerton does a phenomenal job... His performance is an emotional rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows, but is always underpinned by a heartbreaking wish for true acceptance and love. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
D Booksmart (2019) Carl Kozlowski Aside from the acting and very sporadic flashes of true wit, it's one movie that viewers would be smart to avoid. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
A The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Carl Kozlowski This is a film that spotlights not only the rewards of hard work but also the all too forgotten meaning of respecting the wonders of creation both on the ground, beneath the soil and in the gorgeous night skies above. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
A Long Shot (2019) Carl Kozlowski this seemingly simple film actually has a lot to say about life and the world we live in today, and is a sure bet for a great date night and to wind up on my 10 favorites list at the end of the year. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
B Hesburgh (2018) Carl Kozlowski Hesburgh packs a lot of fascinating stories into its 106-minute running time. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
B The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Carl Kozlowski The performances in "La Llorona" are solid across the board, and director Michael Chaves makes his feature-film debut an impressive one by keeping the storyline and the action moving. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
B Breakthrough (2019) Carl Kozlowski Franklin has succeeded by placing quality actors in the service of stories that manage to include some levels of nuance that make them appealing to audiences beyond the proverbial choir. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
F Little (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Little" is one of the most creatively clueless, utterly bankrupt ideas to come out of Tinseltown yet. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
A The Highwaymen (2019) Carl Kozlowski Serves as a bracing reminder that Americans were losing their collective minds over notorious figures in the news decades before the infamous football player captured the nation's attention. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
B Gloria Bell (2018) Carl Kozlowski "Bell" is the kind of film that rests squarely on the shoulders of its star, and Moore delivers a superb portrait of the kind of person who exists anonymously throughout the LA singles scene. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
C+ Hotel Mumbai (2018) Carl Kozlowski Since it's known that many innocents died in the assault, any sense of fun is gone, and the film's unrelentingly evil portrait of the young Muslims with no redeeming characters from that faith makes it feel irresponsible. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
A Dumbo (2019) Carl Kozlowski Such an enchanting wonder that there's not much to say about it without spoiling the magic of director Tim Burton's most engaging film in many years. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
C Us (2019) Carl Kozlowski This is a stunning fall for Peele, who's trying to make a commentary about our light and dark sides, as well as class warfare, but it has none of the punch and effectiveness of "Get Out." EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
B Five Feet Apart (2019) Carl Kozlowski This is a film that hinges almost completely on the strengths of the two leads, and they deliver by showing a love that is selfless, true and profound. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
B Captain Marvel (2019) Carl Kozlowski Plenty of other Easter eggs abound throughout, but the only wish I have is that this and future MCU movies remember to keep the human side as strong as the super heroics and not devolve into murky mayhem when the action hits. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
A Fighting With My Family (2019) Carl Kozlowski A surprisingly vibrant and extremely entertaining film, far better than one would have any right to expect when hearing that it's about the life of a pro wrestler. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
A Isn't It Romantic (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Romantic" tears apart seemingly hundreds of ridiculous rom com tropes while constantly creating fresh takes on the timeworn genre, and Strauss-Schulson keeps everything moving with high energy. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
B What Men Want (2019) Carl Kozlowski "Men" succeeds greatly by handling its standard-level core material extremely well. Led by Henson and Morgan, the cast is uniformly excellent, providing a constant stream of laughs while also handling the more heartfelt moments solidly as well. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
A Cold Pursuit (2019) Carl Kozlowski Coming after a January that served up relatively gentle fare, "Cold Pursuit" kicks February off with an impressive bang. Here's hoping it's a hit, so that similarly smart shoot-em-ups keep having their shot at the cinema. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
A Glass (2019) Carl Kozlowski Shyamalan's shot compositions are impressive to behold throughout, making "Glass" often appear like a living, breathing artwork and inducing grins in this reviewer throughout over his audacious shot and color choices. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
A The Upside (2017) Carl Kozlowski As we launch into a new year, filled with hopes and a short-lived determination to make our lives better, a film like this can serve as an extra level of inspiration. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
F Holmes & Watson (2018) Carl Kozlowski But even beyond wasting the talents of Ferrell and Reilly, writer-director Ethan Coen piles on one stupid anachronistic joke after another throughout the movie and then doesn't even bother to take them to their logical climaxes. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
C Second Act (2018) Carl Kozlowski Lopez knocks her well-rounded role out of the park, but "Second Act" unfortunately has a number of gaping plot holes and logical lapses that render it a bit second-rate. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
B Aquaman (2018) Carl Kozlowski Aquaman actually breaks the dour DC mold and delivers a gonzo, highly inventive piece of entertainment that has a surprisingly fresh vision overseen by director James Wan. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
C Vice (2018) Carl Kozlowski Much of the film plays like a "greatest hits" (or rather, worst moments) version of Cheney's career. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
A Ben Is Back (2018) Carl Kozlowski For those seeking great acting, unpredictable twists and some unexpected heart, it fills the bill. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018
A Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Carl Kozlowski This movie is unabashed pure joy that anyone who's human and alive will come out of feeling great. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
B Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) Carl Kozlowski John McPhail ensures that an anything-goes sense of fun saves the day, even if these plucky kids can't always save their town and their loved ones. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
B The World Before Your Feet (2018) Carl Kozlowski The film and Matt's quest serve as valuable reminders of some of life's most precious lessons: that we don't need a ton of possessions and electronic gadgetry to be happy, and to appreciate the incidental beauty that is around us constantly. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018