Sydney Morning Herald

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 () Paul Byrnes It's both an engaging and frustrating film. Leunig wants to draw us near the flame, but not too near. Burgess doesn't like to push. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
4/5 EMMA. (2020) Sandra Hall Now American photographer Autumn de Wilde, directing for the first time, raises the bar to a new level, thanks to the grandeur of this version's design, the deftness with which she orchestrates its absurdities, and the wit of the screenplay. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3/5 A Guide to Second Date Sex (2019) Sandra Hall A lot of fumbling follows as the film threatens to die of boredom... It's all a little too half-hearted. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Brad Newsome It's a brilliantly exhausting movie that gaffer-tapes us to motormouth New York gem dealer and degenerate gambler Howard Ratner... The thrill and despair of the addict are palpable. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
Jexi (2019) Brad Newsome Workaholics' Adam DeVine and the disembodied voice of Rose Byrne are wonderfully puerile fun in this sweet but dirty-minded rom-com. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
Muscle Shoals (2013) Brad Newsome It's fitting that the first track we hear in this celebratory but emotionally dappled documentary is Wilson Pickett's Land of 1000 Dances. The rich, elemental energy of the recording encapsulates what would become known as the Muscle Shoals sound. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
() Melinda Houston and Debi Enker Extremely effective. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2020
Sunrise (1927) SMH Staff From two points of view, Sunrise is among the most remarkable films that have ever been flashed on the screen. One is the rich, sensitive beauty of the photography;, the other 'he tragic tenseness of the story. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) SMH Staff The Best Years of Our Lives is a fine arid fascinating example of Hollywood craftsmanship in its most mellowly sentimental and richly observant mood. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
Gone With the Wind (1939) SMH Staff Clark Gable sends a refreshing blast of cynicism through a narrative which otherwise would have been over-sweet. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
The Broadway Melody (1929) SMH Staff If all the songs and ballets were taken out of The Broadway Melody it would still remain an absorbing spoken drama. On the other hand, If the dramatic element were taken away, the film would still be appealing as a spectacular revue. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
Going My Way (1944) SMH Staff It is a slice of life, illuminated by those flashes of rich detail by which McCarey so often makes beauty out of the commonplace. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
Rebecca (1940) SMH Staff The actors, who are headed by Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson, represent the characters with uncommon intensity. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
3/5 () Paul Byrnes Sheedy never finds the right tone for this ambitious project. Candice's florid language is great on paper, one of the main attractions of the book, but it's almost impossible to translate to the screen. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
3/5 The Lighthouse (2019) Sandra Hall American writer-director Robert Eggers excels at transporting you into the past and putting you under the skin of those you meet there. Persuading you to be glad that you came is another matter. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
4/5 For Sama (2019) Sandra Hall [A] dynamic and poignantly personal account of a city's systematic destruction. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (2020) Brad Newsome Sadly, Timmy himself proves oddly charmless, pathologically deluded, self-centred and heedless of the distress he causes others, not least his struggling single mother. We don't find out why he's like this, but the bear is amazing. Kids will love it. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
Wings (1927) SMH Staff [Producer Lucien Hubbard] presents war as it should be presented -- truthfully, as a maelstrom of blood and horror, so that people who see it will be aghast at its cruelty and wastefulness. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2020
2/5 The Grudge (2020) Sandra Hall Pesce has hired some fine actors and squandered them on a plot that isn't ingenious enough to justify the heartlessness that's all part of the package at this end of the horror movie market. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
You Can't Take It With You (1938) SMH Staff James Stewart and Jean Arthur, as the young lovers, exemplify Mr. Capra's extremely naturalistic way of dealing with dialogue.Their mumblings and murmurings of humorous nothings is strangely endearing, and they make the two characters vividly real. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 Midway (2019) Paul Byrnes Why did Emmerich want to remake this battle, 77 years after the fact, if he did not have enough money?... We didn't need a new one, unless he had something new to say or a new way to say it. To both questions, the answer is no. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 Seberg (2019) Paul Byrnes It's an indulgent picture, a performance in search of a vehicle, a feat of set-dressing rather than the engrossing drama Jean Seberg deserved. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
Hamlet (1948) SMH Staff Its alliance of literature, theatre, and art is peerless proof that the screen can be brought to treat a wild dark poem of the mind, of unseen and unseeable things, in terms that do not corrupt great thought nor stultify cinema. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
The Lost Weekend (1945) SMH Staff The Lost [Weekend] is a fascinating, horrifying, and quite honest picture of a few days in the life of a hopeless alcoholic. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) SMH Staff Transcending the slaughter, the bursting shells, and the views of a countryside blasted by battle, there rises the human, personal element, which has been developed with a breadth and a passionate intensity that raise the play to the greatness of tragedy. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) SMH Staff The visual quality in the scenes of shipboard life -- the billowing sails, the surge of the rollers, the mighty impetus of the vessel's swing -- has in it a tremendous and Infectious verve. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
The Life of Emile Zola (1937) SMH Staff The general feeling of the play is rich and authentic. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
It Happened One Night (1934) SMH Staff It Is pleasant to travel across the United States with these two bickering vagabonds. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Cavalcade (1933) SMH Staff As director of the film, Frank Lloyd deserves the most enthusiastic praise. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Grand Hotel (1932) SMH Staff In Grand Hotel one finds the perfection of realistic acting. This was to be expected, for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has assembled in this production the most notable cast which has ever appeared In any one film. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Cimarron (1931) SMH Staff The conclusion of the story... is not in the least convincing. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) SMH Staff The Great Ziegfeld exacts not the slightest weariness in the running. On'the contrary, it is matter for astonishment that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have managed to maintain such a high degree of interest throughout this episodic story. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
Gentleman's Agreement (1947) SMH Staff Here is a great and moving film -- the best that has come from an American studio for several years. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
2.5/5 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Sandra Hall It's hard to tune in to the fervent tone of straight-faced sincerity which permeates every scene... If we ever needed proof that our flaws make us human, it's here. Perfection makes dull company. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
2.5/5 Like a Boss (2020) Sandra Hall A few scatological gags are scattered through the script and Arteta lays on the slapstick with Haddish handling most of it. You get the impression that he's trying to make another Bridesmaids but that his nerve and his inspiration keep failing him. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
Mrs. Miniver (1942) SMH Staff Mrs. Miniver is high-grade entertainment with a great appeal to national pride. But to claim-perhaps because of its subject matter-that it is the finest film in twenty-five years is but to perpetuate Hollywood's hyperbole and ignore past masterpieces. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch (2019) Brad Newsome The marvellously droll John Mulaney is in top form alongside a cohort of suitably arch mini-mes in this satirical take on old-fashioned children's TV specials. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
Casablanca (1942) SMH Staff Where most other war-time melodramas have pinned their faith upon breakneck action, [Casablanca] derives its superb strength from the clashes and interplay of character [and] Michael Curtiz's highly disciplined handling of the suspense. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2020
4/5 Just Mercy (2019) Sandra Hall Jordan, however, is completely persuasive. The virtues possessed by Stevenson are all on the quiet side. His analytical flair is matched by his patience, his tenacity and his acuity. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2020
4/5 The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Paul Byrnes The film succeeds beautifully. The science is fascinating, the results thrilling, the message sober and empowering. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/5 Bad Boys for Life (2020) Sandra Hall The demolition levels have been maintained, the Boys' banter is as cheesy as ever and the Miami leisurewear hasn't lost its neon glow. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/5 () Sandra Hall The racing sequences bring out the best in [director Owen] Trevor... Unlike so many action directors, he's not addicted to the kind of choppy editing that sacrifices narrative sense for kinetic energy. He keeps you informed. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
4/5 Bombshell (2019) Sandra Hall [Director Jay Roach] and Randolph are rightly fascinated by the social climate and geography of the Fox offices -- the factions, hierarchies, protocols and rivalries that define the place. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
3/5 True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) Paul Byrnes It may have been possible to adapt Carey's florid book for the screen, but Kurzel fails to bring the basics. He goes straight for the flourishes, neglecting character, plot and dramatic build-up. The film is all surface. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
4.5/5 1917 (2019) Paul Byrnes The overall impact of 1917 is simply breathtaking, horrifying, appalling. It offers a compelling version of what a day in the war might have felt like for two soldiers. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
4/5 A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019) Sandra Hall Aardman prefers the deadpan approach, helped by the fact its puppeteers, animators and editors can do so much with a single, well-timed gesture. Never mind about the words, Shaun's body language is all he needs to win you over and raise a laugh. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
4/5 The Gentlemen (2020) Sandra Hall The film is a triumphant return to home base for Ritchie... It's his wit which energizes the film and shapes the characters -- with a lot of help from his actors. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
4.5/5 Little Women (2019) Paul Byrnes About 20 minutes in, the characters cease to be characters; they are now flesh and blood, our sisters. We feel their happiness and despond, their cold feet and warm hearts, their slights and loves. It's a masterful, passionate, all-in kind of adaptation. EDIT
Posted Dec 31, 2019
4 Devils (1928) SMH Staff Murnau's work has a largeness and profundity of conception which are sadly lacking in the great majority of the films that come to the Sydney screen. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2019
() SMH Staff To the amusement-seeker the intensity of the dramatic action warrants more than one visit. At each visit new impressions are formed. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019