Looking Closer

Looking Closer is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): J. Robert Parks, Jeffrey Overstreet
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ Ash Is Purest White (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Zhao's harrowing silences and penetrating stares suggest subterranean turmoil -- appropriate given the important scenic backdrop: a lush, green, dormant volcano. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
A Chungking Express (1994) Jeffrey Overstreet These flirtations may be as glossy and shallow as the soundtrack's pop songs, but they represent longings for magic, for transcendence, as deep as any 'California Dreamin'.' EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
A The Incredibles (2004) Jeffrey Overstreet Kids are going to love it, and ... their parents will love it even more. Packaging [the film] as family fun, Bird baits grownups into family therapy. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
B I Heart Huckabees (2004) Jeffrey Overstreet Russell directs with the ambition of Altman and the nervous energy of Paul Thomas Anderson, and his script sounds like it was co-written by Howard Hawks and Charlie Kaufman. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
C A Star Is Born (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Cooper leaps from one All Caps Scene to another. It's like we're watching a lengthy, spoiler-packed trailer of a longer movie's major moments. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2019
B The Hate U Give (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Its eagerness to educate and inspire keeps breaking the spell of its storytelling. ... [But as] preachy productions go, this is a stirring sermon that has me saying 'Amen!' EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2019
B Madeline's Madeline (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet It's a cautionary tale about visionaries who see everything, including the sufferings of others, as 'material' - and who forget the importance of telling the truth in love. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2019
A They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet A tremendous and sobering work. It honors those who gave up their own free lives that many more might be born into their own. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
C Widows (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet This thing doesn't have the luxury of time; it can't develop the characters or complexity it needs. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2018
B+ First Man (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet As when he made Whiplash and La La Land, Chazelle is interested in what compels some to reach for the stars ... perhaps even more in what it costs those who do. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
B+ Puzzle (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Kelly Macdonald shines in the lead. Her face is a powerfully expressive text ... representing hairpin turns of understanding and decision that are always convincing. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
B- Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet The camera ogles over the dresses, the jewelry, the houses, the cars, the feasts ... with a determination to render us helpless by sheer relentlessness. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
A Eighth Grade (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet It's like Burnham had the film tested for authenticity by real eighth graders. ... It ends with my favorite big-screen conversation of the year, a joy in its spontaneity. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
A+ Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Neville makes a quiet movie about a quiet man. ... [It] plays like a vivid, urgent beacon from a lighthouse during a storm. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
B Hearts Beat Loud (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet If I stumble onto Hearts Beat Loud on TV, I'll probably decide to 'watch a few minutes' and end up watching to the end. It's just so easy, enjoyable, and cost-free. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ Three Identical Strangers (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet You might begin to wonder if this isn't a documentary at all, but an unnervingly lifelike sci-fi/horror film. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ Prospect (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet What might be the film's most powerful advantage is its Pacific Northwest rainforest setting. ... If Terrence Malick were making hardcore science fiction films, they would look a lot like this. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2018
B+ Leave No Trace (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Leave No Trace immerses us in rugged and rain-saturated terrain, where it is easy to get lost and even easier to get into trouble. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2018
A- The Rider (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet The Rider has a wisdom all its own. ... It becomes a film about how the pain of loss and disappointment enables us to bear one another's burdens. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2018
A- Incredibles 2 (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Just as Elastigirl is stretched past recognition and restored to her proper definition, this is Brad Bird's demonstration of spectacular flexibility -- and a return to form. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2018
C Ocean's 8 (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet Soderbergh's movies live on the Ebert principle: 'The movie isn't about what it is about -- it's about how it is about it.' But Ross's film lacks any interesting 'how.' EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2018
B+ First Reformed (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet A rare and intriguing example of theological inquiry in American cinema ... driven by an aching conscience. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2018
C Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet File Solo under 'Frivolous Fan Fiction.' ... The starship streaking into light speed here is strictly the millennials' Falcon. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2018
B+ Isle of Dogs (2018) Jeffrey Overstreet A new high in Anderson's visual pageantry ... [but it] is also, for me, the least affecting Anderson narrative. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2018
B+ The Post (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet It's a sentimental, hagiographic history lesson ... but [moviegoers] would do well to studyhow the electricity intensifies, scene by scene, in a way we rarely experience. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2018
B+ Good Time (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet In his monstrous compulsion to lure others into his schemes, drain them of resources, and cast them aside, Connie's the first real vampire that Robert Pattinson has played. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2017
B+ Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet Watts and Company give us a new Parker and a new Spider-Man entirely sufficient to the task of course-correcting and extending the webslinger's adventures on the big screen. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2017
B+ Maudie (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Shines as a substantial illustration that love can take root even in the context of failure, frailty, and poverty --in fact, those things just might be what make it possible. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2017
B+ Dunkirk (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet It's high on noise, chaos, and anxiety, and low on visual poetry. [But] it provides a necessary corrective to the dangerous machismo of most war films. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2017
A- Get Out (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet Peele comforts the afflicted ... and he afflicts the rest of us, the comfortable, who often perpetuate racist behaviors and vocabularies even when we have the best intentions. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
B Don't Think Twice (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Even when Birbiglia's storylines takepredictable turns, he finds the most discomforting way to make those turns. And yet none of the anxiety or awkwardness feels forced. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
A- Personal Shopper (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Once again, [Stewart plays] a personal assistant who loses herself by supporting somebody else. ... It's a self-effacing performance made of raw nerves. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
A- La fille inconnue (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Doctor Jenny Davin is one of those rare characters who proves that a protagonist can be conscientious, humble, empathetic, quiet ... and compelling. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
B Baby Driver (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet Wright calibrates the noises of sirens, squealing brakes, even gunshots to participate in its pop-to-punk playlists, bringing new bursts of inspiration to familiar tracks. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
B+ Wonder Woman (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet Wonder Woman is not just exciting to watch -- she Wonder-fully undermines DC Comics' endorsement of vigilante justice and glorified bloodshed. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2017
A A Quiet Passion (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet At heart, this film is less about -- The art of poetry -- And more about life lived for truth -- And not mere piety. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2017
B Song to Song (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet The scenery is more interesting than the movie stars moving through it -- until we're blessed by this Malick movie's version of a priest: punk rock high priestess Patti Smith. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2017
B- A United Kingdom (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Fortunately for moviegoers, Assante's two leads are so adorable and charismatic together that it's easy to root for them. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2017
A- The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) Jeffrey Overstreet It's a rare thing to see a movie that spoofs all of the others in its genre while beating them at their own game. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2017
B Sully (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet This is a quietly powerful story about the importance of mastering, rather than surrendering to, machines. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2016
A- The BFG (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Feels like it's made by someone who has rediscovered the joy of reading fairy tales, and who has remembered what it's like to go wandering for the sake of discovery. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2016
B+ Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet While I could go on and on about what good company Neill and Dennison are, it's an actress named Rima Te Wiata who works the most magic. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2016
A- Sing Street (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet It's like Say Anything meets Billy Elliott meets The Commitments - in the best possible way. ... Joy is the film's reason for being, and joy wins the day. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2016
B+ Finding Dory (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Despite the familiar narrative scaffolding ... the most memorable joys of the journey are the things that artists undoubtedly discovered in the course of spontaneous play. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2016
A- The Innocents (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet Name one movie directed by a woman, filmed by a woman, focused primarily on female characters, and deeply concerned with matters of faith. This is a remarkably rare event. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2016
B Last Days in the Desert (2015) Jeffrey Overstreet Directed with admirable patience and spaciousness by Garcia ... Last Days achieves something very few Jesus films have achieved: Strangeness. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2016
B The Jungle Book (2016) Jeffrey Overstreet It doesn't treat kids like second-rate intellects, and it doesn't swing too far in the directions of Cute or Crass. As a high-adventure story ... it's 'just so.' EDIT
Posted May 7, 2016
B- April and the Extraordinary World (2015) Jeffrey Overstreet By the time the film finally brings the heroes face to face with the villains, these two hours are beginning to feel more like three. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2016
C The Revenant (2015) Jeffrey Overstreet Every event in the story ... seemed staged more to give Iñárritu a chance to show off technical virtuosity, to beat his own chest the way these characters beat their own. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2016
B+ Room (2015) Jeffrey Overstreet Room has strong staying power. ... [I found] something deeply, hurtfully familiar about it. We all can name a 'Room' that we've experienced. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2016