leonardmaltin.com

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Leonard Maltin Does the positive energy of a female-centric comic book movie-made by women-compensate for the nihilistic, super-violent nature of its content? Is this really a step forward for women, behind the camera and in the audience? That's the conundrum presented EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Downhill (2020) Leonard Maltin This talented team found commonality with the source material & put their imprint on it with the help of a perfect cast. Knowing the story left me free to admire the way the filmmakers handled this offbeat material, which embraces dry humor & drama EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Leonard Maltin My only criticism is that the film takes a long time to play out. Even so, it's a movie that commands your attention & lingers afterwards, as does Sandler's intensely focused performance. This tops everything he's done before & is worthy of an Oscar. EDIT
Posted Jan 1, 2020
1917 (2019) Leonard Maltin Many films claim to be immersive but this one genuinely is. It was inspired by the stories Mendes heard from his grandfather, a combat veteran. The younger man has done his family proud, and given us one of the finest films of 2019. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Leonard Maltin Rob Garver's valuable documentary will serve as a primer for those who don't know about Kael and an evocative reminder of what she meant to those of us who grew up reading her. What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kaelis stimulating and informative EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Little Women (2019) Leonard Maltin A true Christmas gift: a rich and rewarding slice of Americana that defies the odds of doomsayers who believe that major-studio movies are on their way out. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Leonard Maltin I didn't approach this film with a checklist of do's and don'ts. I just wanted to enjoy myself, and I did, albeit with reservations. I think the assets far outweigh the liabilities and fully expectitto be a giant crowd-pleaser. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Cats (2019) Leonard Maltin Some things shouldn't be tampered with. I enjoyed Cats onstage, where the theatrical experience worked its magic to great effect. The new film never swept me up as I hoped it might; for all its rich ingredients it felt like a soufflé that wouldn't rise EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Leonard Maltin The film as a whole suffers from tunnel vision. Charles Randolph's screenplay is so tightly focused on happenings at Fox News that if you didn't follow the players in this real-life drama-and I didn't-you may find it difficult to care. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Leonard Maltin Knives Outis never, ever dull and offers the kind of classy entertainment we could use more of on the big screen. And I have a feeling we'll see more of Daniel Craig's colorful character down the road. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Leonard Maltin I didn't think I would grow attached to this disparate couple, but both Kaluuya & Turner-Smith are charismatic and the film serves them well. The end may be inevitable to anyone familiar with lovers-on-the-lam stories but it still packs a punch EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Frozen II (2019) Leonard Maltin Frozen 2is forced to contrive new conflicts for royal sisters Anna and Elsa and the kingdom of Arundel. The resulting narrative is dizzying in its complexity. I'm sure it will be popular, I just wish I'd liked it more. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Leonard Maltin Wouldn't we all like to have a Fred Rogers in our life? This lovely film allows us to indulge in wish-fulfillment, which is something movies do so well. We could use a little more of it these days. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019) Leonard Maltin This film has no ambition except to entertain, and it does so exceedingly well. That's not something I take for granted. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2019
The Report (2019) Leonard Maltin 'The Report'is solid and straightforward, with Driver serving as an everyman character encountering issues and roadblocks he's never dealt with before. The film doesn't whitewash or simplify its narrative but I found it thoroughly absorbing EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2019
The Ghost Of Peter Sellers (2018) Leonard Maltin This fascinating feature documentary deserves a home like TCM to reach its target audience. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Leonard Maltin WatchingMarriage Storyis a transcendent experience. I don't know how someone puts such an intensely personal story on the screen, but Noah Baumbach has done it in a way that pierces your heart. This film is a must see. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Leonard Maltin "The Irishman" is a quiet epic that revisits a milieu Martin Scorsese has famously explored before--but never feels redundant or overly familiar. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
Making Montgomery Clift (2018) Leonard Maltin Making Montgomery Cliftis a highly personal endeavor that should be of interest to any film buff. It leaves some questions unanswered but paints an admiring portrait of a singular talent. It's available on VOD right now and well worth seeing EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Leonard Maltin Jojo Rabbitcovers the expanse of emotions one would expect to find in a dramatic film about Germany in the waning days of World War II. It's a dazzling achievement from a supremely talented artist who wrote, directed and costars in the film. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Gemini Man (2019) Leonard Maltin Director Ang Lee is trailblazing new territory with a highly enjoyable, action-packed story and a perfect star in Will Smith. The entertainment value is high and cutting-edge technology organically suits the content. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Parasite (2019) Leonard Maltin This is the best movie I've seen this year. What begins as a clever social satire about the haves and have-nots in our world morphs into an ingenious (and violent) thriller with endless story twists. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Leonard Maltin The gifted writer-director strikes a Fellini-esque pose as he takes us on this journey through his life, intermingling memories both happy and poignant. Ultimately I must throw off any misgivings that remain and bow to a true master EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Leonard Maltin Eddie Murphy is back and on top of his game in 'Dolemite Is My Name.' It's a role he was born to play and, to use the vernacular, he kills it. The cast couldn't be better and the film left me with a smile on my face EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Lucy in the Sky (2019) Leonard Maltin I'd call Lucy a missed opportunity, given the juiciness of the source material. Too bad. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) Leonard Maltin This much I can promise: after seeing this documentary you'll never look at Alien the same way again. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Judy (2019) Leonard Maltin Renée Zellweger is now considered an Oscar front-runner for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy. She is excellent, and it's nice to see her back onscreen. I only wish the film was nearly as good as she is. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
Jim Allison: Breakthrough (2019) Leonard Maltin Getting to know Jim Allison and some of his colleagues made me feel very small and humble. This worthy film chronicles a remarkable odyssey. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Leonard Maltin This is a first-rate piece of investigative journalism, a cautionary tale, and a fascinating piece of entertainment, especially if you lived through the period it depicts so well. I was glued to the screen from start to finish. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Leonard Maltin This filmis further proof that James Gray is one of our foremost & most original filmmakers. We already knew that Brad Pitt is an exceptional leading man but this performance burnishes that reputation. The film is among this year's very best EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The Goldfinch (2019) Leonard Maltin I don't know why critics in Toronto attacked this film the way they did. It's not perfect, to be sure, but it's not a bad movie by any means. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Leonard Maltin In a time of rampant cynicism The Peanut Butter Falcon dares to offer a sweet, sincere story with a happy ending. No wonder audiences are responding to it. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Leonard Maltin Semple's novel is told in epistolary fashion, so perhaps it was never meant to be a movie. A good many talented people tried to make this adaptation work, but sad to say, it falls short of the mark. Like its main characteris hard to embrace. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Good Boys (2019) Leonard Maltin When the first words out of young Jacob Tremblay's mouth are "F-, yeah!" as he's about to ogle pictures on his laptop, you know what you're in for withGood Boys. The film has some funny set-pieces as it proceeds along a fairly predictable path EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Leonard Maltin Having watched Wallace since childhood I was riveted to the screen from start to finish. As a character portrait and reflection on an era, Mike Wallace is Here is as vibrant and timely as its subject EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Leonard Maltin Tarantino is an omnivore of popular culture; he has no need to prove this again. This movie reveals ambition but drowns in excess. Once upon a Time...in Hollywoodis just an elaborate time-filler EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Sword of Trust (2019) Leonard Maltin Sword of Trust is light and satisfying. It left me while a smile on my face, and that's more than I can say for other, far more ambitious endeavors. Shelton and her co-writer Mike O'Brien earn my thanks. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Stuber (2019) Leonard Maltin A good comedy has to have structure, just like a dramatic film, and should possess some degree of logic. Stuberflaunts its implausibility so many times I lost count. I also lost the ability to invest in its characters and situations. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
The Farewell (2019) Leonard Maltin For her second feature, up-and-coming writer-director Lulu Wang has drawn on her own experiences to craft a touching story of a Chinese family. The Farewelltakes its time unfolding but pays off in a deeply moving conclusion. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Leonard Maltin Spider-man: Far From Homeis entertaining and perfectly attuned to an adolescent audience, as well as the young-at-heart. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
Yesterday (2019) Leonard Maltin This seemingly sure-fire movie misses the mark. I felt like I was watching a balloon as the air inside it leaked out. I can only rate it as a disappointment. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019) Leonard Maltin I was dubious about the first sequel to Pixar's wonderfulToy Story,which turned out to be terrific. This is a highly enjoyable film with laugh-out-loud gags, ingenious plotting, and endearing new characters. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (2018) Leonard Maltin I am grateful to Sophie Huber for opening my eyes-and ears. She has made a memorable film that jazz buffs shouldn't miss. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
Late Night (2019) Leonard Maltin Mindy Kaling has written perfectly-tailored starring roles for herself and the great Emma Thompson in Late Night, a smart comedy that manages to be relevant without forgetting to be funny EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Leonard Maltin I was never an aficionado of Japanese monster movies, but this overstuffed turkey makes me long for the original imports I saw as a kid. Two hours wasted: that's how I feel. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) Leonard Maltin [Director Joseph H. Lewis'] approach to this material elevates a B picture to new heights. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) Leonard Maltin Moe Berg has been the subject of several biographies but I confess that his story was new to me. I found it mesmerizing and can't think of another public figure whose biography contains so many surprises and revelations. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
La chute de l'empire Américain (2018) Leonard Maltin This film is enjoyable if not terribly believable, & manages to take potshots at the dumbing-down of our society while spinning its fanciful tale. That's Arcand at his best, and if he's coasting a bit with this trifle I'm not going to complain EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Rocketman (2019) Leonard Maltin In real life, Elton John is not only a great songwriter and showman; he is a survivor. But the celebratory final moments of Rocketman can't compensate for the often-dreary narrative that leads up to them EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Leonard Maltin If there were ever a movie designed to please its target audience, Endgame is an emblematic example. Anthony & Joe Russo manage to juggle the many components of this mosaic with finesse, & despite the outsized running time the movie seldom lags. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019