Hartford Courant

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Bob Roberts (1992) Malcolm Johnson While he resists imitating or stealing from "Citizen Kane," Robbins proves himself a filmmaker whose first film shows something of the genius and daring of the young Orson Welles. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
4/4 Fresh (1994) Deborah Hornblow Screenwriter Boaz Yakin makes a stunning directorial debut with "Fresh," the gripping, finely acted tale of a 12- year-old's life on the mean streets of New York. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
2.5/4 The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) Malcolm Johnson In time... this tale of a terrible quandary becomes as witty and engaging as the confident yet oddly insecure Abby. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2020
National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993) Malcolm Johnson Neither Estevez nor Jackson displays much sense of comic edge. So after 15 minutes or so, "Loaded Weapon" becomes a shaggy cop story, a pointless joke that runs on ad nauseam. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
Angus (1995) Malcolm Johnson Though likable, it is a bit dull. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
2.5/4 Absolute Power (1997) Malcolm Johnson An ingenious, taut thriller beset with narrative gaps and unconvincing moments. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1994) Malcolm Johnson It isn't Kipling, but it is good old-fashioned Saturday-matinee fun. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2020
Paris Is Burning (1990) Malcolm Johnson A fascinating, ironic, triumphant, tragic film. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2020
War, Inc. (2008) Susan Dunne A few times, it hits its comic mark, but far more frequently, it gets distracted by hyperactive, irrelevant subplots. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2020
3/4 Mercury Rising (1998) Malcolm Johnson Fortunately, as directed with muscle and heart by Harold Becker, this tale of an angry die-hard and an orphaned autistic boy caught in a deadly government plot ranks at least as high as John McTiernan's first collaboration with an embattled Willis. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2020
3.5/4 Clockers (1995) Malcolm Johnson This harrowing portrait of a young, ulcer- ridden, low-level drug dealer, or "clocker," adds up to the director's best film since "Do the Right Thing." EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2020
2/4 Prefontaine (1997) Garth Stahl Prefontaine's cocky competitiveness overstrides his good qualities. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2020
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011) Jay Bobbin Crass as some of them may be, there are laughs to be had here. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
Airborne (1993) Donna Larcen The characters are clueless; the dialogue is cretin. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
The Little Kidnappers (1990) Susan Dunne "The Little Kidnappers" is a little precious and a little drawn-out, but for kids who aren't so little -- pre-teens and up -- and who have a little patience, considerable satisfaction can be had by watching it. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Right on Track (2003) Roger Catlin Its biggest problem is that it stars Beverley Mitchell, the most annoying cast member of "7th Heaven," whose most expressive look is crossing her eyes. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Buffalo Dreams (2005) Roger Catlin Graham Greene adds some weight to the story, which ends up as entertaining for grownups as it is for kids. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
School Ties (1992) Malcolm Johnson "School Ties" seems unlikely to capture the audience that made a hit of "Dead Poets Society." EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Scream 3 (2000) Malcolm Johnson Dimension Films is again asking reviewers not to reveal the plot twists in Scream 3... But the screenplay telegraphs the ending long before it arrives. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
The Cutting Edge (1992) Malcolm Johnson When Doug and Kate are off the ice, The Cutting Edge tends to come to a screeching halt. The script resembles an Astaire-Rogers musical with the song-and-dance numbers cut out. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
3/5 The Way of the Gun (2000) Deborah Hornblow The new director's pacing runs slack sometimes and never quite achieves the quality of taut suspense, but there is so much promise and the script is so much better than most that it's a pleasure to watch. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2019
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Malcolm Johnson The picture, after all, is about Macaulay Culkin, who plays the wise, sober, inquiring, luxury-loving Kevin with the same unmannered appeal he brought to the original, and his fiendish foes, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
2.5/4 Immortal Beloved (1994) Malcolm Johnson Despite Oldman's powers, this adds up to a less than immortal musical love story. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
0.5/4 Street Fighter (1994) Malcolm Johnson With Van Damme giving one of his most wooden performances, and de Souza failing to capitalize on his graceful fight moves, Street Fighter adds up to the worst of a bad crop of Christmas movies, a picture only an arcade junkie could cheer. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
2/4 Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Malcolm Johnson Vengeance proves more technically impressive than truly gripping. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
2.5/4 The Cell (2000) Deborah Hornblow "The Cell" is not for everyone, but some will find it a portal to some extraordinary sights. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/4 Stepmom (1998) Malcolm Johnson Though Stepmom has its ups and downs, it shows Columbus as a director who has graduated to adulthood after his two Home Alone hits without losing sight of the struggles of children. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Reign of Fire (2002) Malcolm Johnson For all of its design and special-effects artistry, "Reign of Fire" is seldom convincing -- only slightly more alive than the silly 2000 "Dungeons & Dragons." EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2019
2/4 Practical Magic (1998) Garth Stahl Practical Magic has its flaws. Some scenes are weak, occasionally lines are a little muddled, and there is some plot underdevelopment. Yet it is daring and fun. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
1.5/4 Blade (1998) Deborah Hornblow A futuristic gore fest that spills oceans of sticky stage blood but misses in a rather anemic attempt to pierce the heart. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 Bad Boys (1995) Malcolm Johnson Bay's picture sometimes looks spectacular, especially in the eye-filling skyline shots. But despite its style, this is the kind of movie that gives action pictures a bad name. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
.5/4 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) Malcolm Johnson "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" ultimately falls prey to the worst tendencies of horror and teen pictures. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
Hook (1991) Malcolm Johnson Unhappily, however, the transformation of a Type A American lawyer into a boy wonder unfolds with an uncertainty and clumsiness atypical of Spielberg. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
Space Jam (1996) Malcolm Johnson "Space Jam" soon demonstrates that this teaming of Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny adds up to an air ball, not a slam-dunking "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
1.5/4 Cruel Intentions (1999) Malcolm Johnson Yet after Cruel Intentions evolves into a boy-gets-girl, boy-loses-girl saga, it staggers towards a half-baked climax, and an absurd aftermath. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Unforgiven (1992) Malcolm Johnson With its unflinching depictions of brutalities, Eastwood's new western calls to mind the work of Sam Peckinpah. But Eastwood's cadences are slow, his antiheros rueful, his atmosphere murky and chilling. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
3.5/4 The English Patient (1996) Malcolm Johnson ...a deliberate, lengthy but always fascinating film... EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
3/4 The Beast (1975) Deborah Hornblow It dizzily and artfully celebrates the power of sex and lust without regard to anything but the primal, animal appetite. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Malcolm Johnson The rest of this romantic comedy about the strange power that pulls a man and woman together... only reinforces the notion that Ephron is a filmmaker whose time has come at last, after years as a novelist, screenwriter and feminist wit. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
1.5/5 Pokémon: The First Movie (1999) Deborah Hornblow Yes, parents, you poor things, "Pokemon" (derived from "Pocket Monsters") has morphed into yet another money-milking form, and it is going to cost you. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2019
The First Wives Club (1996) Malcolm Johnson Those in seach of a classic adult comedy -- a latter-day version of "The Women" -- are urged to join the "Club." EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2019
Clifford (1994) Malcolm Johnson Whether he is pretending to be angelic or flashing satanic looks, Short makes Clifford an often riotous comic creation. And Grodin, with his fussy airs, makes a perfect fall guy. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
Event Horizon (1997) Owen McNally Very early on, this defective dramatic vehicle runs out of fuel, degenerates into a slasher/Hellraiser wannabe and self- destructs among explosions, flames and streams of blood. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
3/4 The Cable Guy (1996) Malcolm Johnson For those with an appetite for Carrey and an admiration for Stiller, their zany collaboration will prove both funny and provocative. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
2.5/4 Mars Attacks! (1996) Malcolm Johnson Even Tim Burton's maddest fans will feel disappointment creeping in as the invasion careens along. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
The Craft (1996) Malcolm Johnson [It] will perhaps inspire a few rebel kids to search out a black-magic emporium or to make the sort of fashion statements that make Balk so amusingly spooky. All others should balk at taking in this suspenseless, hollow, kitchily crafted Carrie. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
Dr. Giggles (1992) Malcolm Johnson Friday the 23rd, the day of its opening, will live in trivia infamy as one of the low points in the history of the lowly splatter genre. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
Species (1995) Malcolm Johnson Species begins stunningly. Soon, however, as a murderous outsider disguised as a supermodel madly tries to breed, Feldman's screenplay betrays its ingenious concept. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2018
Moby Dick (1930) James Endrst There are moments on this unsteady ship, as well, when it's clear that the Pequod is carrying more than a cargo of whale. There's ham aboard, too, and plenty to go 'round. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2018
In the Gloaming (1997) James Endrst The conclusions that viewers might draw about this family, too, are a bit muddled. And yet, In the Gloaming' is an hour well worth investing in, an often deeply moving portrayal of an American family that too many, no doubt, know too well. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2018