NPR's Fresh Air

NPR's Fresh Air is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Armond White, David Bianculli, David Edelstein, Henry Sheehan, John Powers, Justin Chang, Soraya Nadia McDonald
Rating Title/Year Author
Cold War (2018) John Powers Cold War is an immaculately crafted film shot in exquisite black and white and marvelously acted - especially by its incandescent lead actress Joanna Kulig, whose mercurial performance recalls Jeanne Moreau. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
Destroyer (2018) John Powers If "Destroyer" sounds like some girl-power version of a cop movie, I can assure you that it's darker and more interesting than that. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2019
Vox Lux (2018) John Powers I disagree with this puritanism about pop culture, but I respect that "Vox Lux" actually has ideas on the subject. And I'm happy that such moralism doesn't prevent Corbet from filling his own movie with style, humor and pleasure. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2018
22 July (2018) John Powers If Anders Behring Breivik represents today's West at its self-devouring worst, the movie wants us to see that Viljar's endurance offers a reason for hope. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2018
Jane Fonda in Five Acts (2018) John Powers Although this doc is as conventional as Fonda herself has never been, Lacy tells a terrific story. The film reminds us why Fonda is the only actress of the '60s generation whose name still resonates. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) John Powers Tacitly championing tolerance every single day, Rogers used his authority to make everyone feel appreciated for being who they actually are. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2018
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018) John Powers Righteously angry, she shows us the real woman behind the amused persona we first met. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2018
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) David Bianculli What's even more interesting are the comments from other very funny comics who drop their guard here and speak very seriously about both the comedy and personality of Robin Williams. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2018
Fahrenheit 451 (2018) David Bianculli This adaptation hits every point and every scene with the subtlety of a firehose. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2018
Jack Irish: Bad Debts (2012) John Powers Irish's blend of old and new masculinity is perfectly conveyed by Pearce, who's not merely the best reason to watch these movies, but one of the best reasons to watch anything. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Crossfire Hurricane (2012) John Powers As Crossfire Hurricane reminds us, the Stones were consciously designed to occupy a less reputable place in the pop zeitgeist... They embodied psychic danger, a Dionysian force flirting with all manner of uncontrollable sensuality and violence. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Skyfall (2012) John Powers Bond can be forever reinvented, reinterpreted, updated. And as Skyfall is showing, he's more popular than ever. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Ajami (2009) John Powers It's a dark, unsparing vision, yet what makes watching bearable, even pleasurable, is Copti and Shani's humane intelligence. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Battle of the Sexes (2017) John Powers Serves as a useful reminder of the crazy-huge role that pop culture plays in our national life, where the border between entertainment and real life is more porous than anywhere else. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2016) John Powers Builds to a dazzlingly regulatory ending, one that's as elegantly constructed as its hero's life is messy. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Kedi (2016) John Powers A loving, gorgeously shot ode to the hundreds of thousands of cats living on the streets of Istanbul. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Black Girl (1972) John Powers Sembene's debut feels as timely today as it did half a century ago... As Westerners, we begin the movie thinking we're watching Africans, but we realize that Africans like Sembene have been watching us, too, and know us far better than we know them. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Zero Days (2016) John Powers Filled with juicy historical tidbits, it keeps expanding its frame of reference to reveal one of the looming, but invisible threats of the digital age. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
A Bigger Splash (2015) John Powers If you want to enjoy a location being used properly - and alluringly - let me suggest A Bigger Splash... this remake of a 1969 French thriller offers the brand of grown-up entertainment that has all but vanished from our theaters. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (2015) John Powers Although it has the offkilter rhythm of actual memories and employs stylistic flourishes like 80s-era split-screens, My Golden Day" is never hard to follow. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
War Dogs (2016) John Powers Although this is easily [Todd] Phillips' most ambitious film... he remains a specialist in lavishness. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
13TH (2016) John Powers Even as I find large parts of 13th convincing, I also find myself resisting its sleekly-packaged presentation of the jagged, messy, exhaustingly convoluted complexities of race in America. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Certain Women (2016) John Powers Reichardt is tuned to precisely the thing that most movies cut out, the largely undramatic texture of daily life. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) John Powers [Director Kevin] Rafferty skillfully uses this collection of characters to offer a fascinating piece of social history. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Terror's Advocate (2007) John Powers Makes every lawyer joke you've ever heard seem eminently fair. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Still Life (2006) John Powers Jia is a great director, and much of Still Life's power comes from the way he depicts his characters moving through the landscape... Jia's eye for composition recalls Antonioni in its rigor and poetry, but he isn't after mere pictorial splendor. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Gomorra (2008) John Powers Highly conscious of how it portrays the mafia, Garone's film serves as a useful antidote for those of us who watch and love movies that transform murderers into mythic figures. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Let the Right One In (2008) John Powers I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's probably the best vampire movie in the last 75 years... Let the Right One In takes its sting from the fact that the one you let in your door may, in the long run, not be so right after all. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Les plages d'Agnès (2008) John Powers A wonderful portrait of a full life - smart, touching, sometimes unabashedly silly... EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
American Casino (2009) John Powers This smart, touching documentary traces the connections between Wall Street's high-flying practices and the countless citizens on Main Street who now face bankruptcy and eviction. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Rags to Riches (1941) John Powers An engrossing, elegiac history of the New York garment industry, largely seen through the eyes of those who've worked there. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
A Separation (2011) John Powers A Separation is a movie that keeps expanding, like one of those paper pellets that, when you drop it in water, blossoms into a flower. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
The Trip (2010) John Powers Now, in a way, The Trip is terribly up to date. Now, in a way, The Trip is terribly up to date. The Trip harks back to when movies, still not far removed from vaudeville, showcased stars who were able to do acts... EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Nostalgia for the Light (2010) John Powers An exquisitely shot essay on ultimate things - time, space, memory and how creatures so small and frail as human beings find meaning in a gigantic cosmos. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Poetry (2010) John Powers Here [Lee Chang-dong] takes a premise that sounds almost laughably boring - an old woman takes a poetry class - and elevates it into a work as constantly surprising as it is enigmatic and moving. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Cold Weather (2010) John Powers [Director] Aaron Katz... may not have much money to work with but has everything else - a sly sense of humor, a light touch with relationships, and a keen sense of visual beauty. These virtues are all on display in this dreamy shape-shifter of a picture. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
The Mechanic (2011) John Powers Statham belongs to the tradition of heroes, from John Wayne through Harrison Ford, who are laconic to the point of grumpiness. Yet it's not his terse toughness that makes him special. Oddly enough it's his fastidiousness... EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
The Social Network (2010) John Powers In keeping with the spirit of the age, Zuckerberg's fantasy isn't toppling the system; it's being successful within it. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Carlos (2010) John Powers It's an amazing story, one told with gripping lucidity. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
Last Train Home (2009) John Powers The movie puts a human face on this migration by showing its affects on a single family. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Mesrine: Part 1 - Death Instinct (2008) John Powers Killer Instinct is at most enjoyable as a classic, French-style character study that seeks to show us Mesrine in all his aspects. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Henri-George Clouzot's Inferno (2009) John Powers Trust me. You'll remember this failure's images long after you've forgotten countless other movies, even those that have been hailed as a triumph. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
I Am Love (2009) John Powers It's sumptuous, operatic, and swooning with a passion so grand that, like most grand passions, or at least those of other people, it occasionally feels a bit silly. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Nobody Knows About the Persian Cats (2009) John Powers As we listen to the various bands, Ghobadi offers us video montages of that city - shades of early-'80s MTV. The shots give us a feel for the texture of a sprawling metropolis defined by wealth and poverty, exuberance and repression. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
No (2012) John Powers In fact, for all its good cheer, what gives Larrain's movie an emotional undertow is its suggestion that while Rene's marketing strategy may work, it may also be a double-edged sword. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Room 237 (2012) John Powers It gives us a safe version of the paranoid search for meaning to which we're all susceptible. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Narco cultura (2012) John Powers At first, I feared that Schwarz was doing something worthy but obvious: showing how narcocorrido songs and movies make people rich by falsifying the horrific reality of the drug biz. But gradually you realize that things aren't so simple. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
The Great Beauty (2013) John Powers At first, The Great Beauty plays like an enjoyably exuberant satire of modern Rome. Yet slowly, grandeur starts shining through the decadence. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Leviathan (2014) John Powers What makes the movie sting is its savage political portrait of a present-day Russian culture that, like Leviathan, threatens to swallow up everyone in its path. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018
Red Army (2014) John Powers Red Army is about more than just hockey. Filmmaker Gabe Polsky is the American son of Russian immigrants. And without belaboring it, he transforms a sports saga into a novelistic metaphor for the promise and failure of the whole Soviet system. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2018