Groucho Reviews

Groucho Reviews is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Peter Canavese
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/4 Dolor y gloria (2019) Peter Canavese The filmmaker contemplating his own creation as a man and an artist...plays as a poetic remembrance of things past, a reconciliation of self, powerfully capturing the emotional essence of keenly formative experiences and deep loves. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
2.5/4 Joker (2019) Peter Canavese Joker isn't the film to seriously tackle the issue[s]--it's more concerned with flair than genuine inquiry--but Phoenix's pained, raw-nerve performance is one for the ages. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
3/4 Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Peter Canavese A primer...proves most valuable by gathering a number of Miles' friends, lovers, musical collaborators, admirers, and musicologists...to share their recollections and perspectives on Davis, his musicality, and his personality. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
2.5/4 Official Secrets (2019) Peter Canavese It's a story worth shining a light on, Gun a hero deserving of a movie-star moment. And yet this docudrama struggles to give feature-length narrative shape to the story in a way that brings it to vibrant dramatic life. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
3.5/4 Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Peter Canavese A deeply moving story of a remarkable woman, its only real fault an arguable virtue: adhering to the old showbiz adage of leaving the audience wanting more. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
2/4 Downton Abbey (2019) Peter Canavese Forgive me for suggesting that Conservative peer Fellowes--or, as he's sometimes known, Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford DL--might consider Downton the cake he's letting us eat. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
2.5/4 Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Peter Canavese The film's darkest-before-the-dawn middle passage honors the complexity of mental-health struggles for the sufferer and those who, unsure at every step, try to steer their troubled loved one down a path to healing. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
3.5/4 Luce (2019) Peter Canavese Primarily concerns itself with African-American identity, plagued by withering lowdown stereotypes and polar-opposite pressures...In some ways, the film's subtle political satire proves even more distressing. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
2.5/4 The Kitchen (2019) Peter Canavese Because of its hurried pacing, the film doesn't quite make us feel the potentially Shakespearean sweep of this arc, and the leading performances feel similarly hemmed in by the script's limitations. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
3.5/4 The Farewell (2019) Peter Canavese The setup makes for genuinely amusing light farce, but in their patient observation, Wang and cinematographer Anna Franquesa Solano conjure a heartfelt intimacy with the family...[and] the actors always offer up finely etched emotional truths... EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
3.5/4 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Peter Canavese Content finally joined by the movie gods to form--for at last, the moving-picture magpie has lighted on Hollywood as his setting and, in no small part, his subject. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
1/4 Stuber (2019) Peter Canavese Unexciting action and unfunny comedy...Bautista and Nanjiani have star power, and could've made a buddy comedy work, but not with this script and this little help behind the camera. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
3/4 Maiden (2018) Peter Canavese This Maiden voyage's degrees of heroism and ugly behavior, of victory and defeat, illuminate a gripping and inspiring story that demands to be remembered. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
3/4 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Peter Canavese Marvel deserves credit for the ways it has so far managed to freshen up formula, harness genres to its purposes, and hold a mirror up to contemporary society. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2019
2/4 Yesterday (2019) Peter Canavese Make the mistake of considering this feature-length stunt's many logical fumbles and obvious but ignored questions, and you're likely to get angry... All you need is love...and a better script. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
3.5/4 Toy Story 4 (2019) Peter Canavese At a moment when studios and pundits have begun again to question the efficacy of sequels, Pixar's graceful follow-up justifies the practice, when executed with smarts and heart. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
2/4 Men in Black: International (2019) Peter Canavese Outside of the win for representation represented by the likeable Tessa Thompson's leading role, there's no creatively compelling reason to tell this story, which--not for nothing--drags on seventeen minutes longer than the 1997 original. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
3/4 Crystal City (2019) Peter Canavese Potent... Crawford's empathy and care for his subjects shine through, inevitably taking the audience on an emotional journey. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
2.5/4 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Peter Canavese The CGI creatures impress--a star is reborn in Mothra...It's just unfortunate that the picture as a whole lumbers a lot like its forty-story star. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
3/4 Double Lives (2018) Peter Canavese Slyly addresses...how we think and how we consume media, how we tell stories to each other and ourselves, and what we need out of our personal connections. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
2/4 Aladdin (2019) Peter Canavese The results aren't exactly magical...Heck, I'd even take a low-rent theme-park version if it spared me this film's descent into the uncanny valley. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3/4 All Is True (2018) Peter Canavese An elegiac valediction for Shakespeare's genius...a celebration of the centuries of scholarship that got us here...[and] an ode to parental love, complicated as it is by ego. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
2/4 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Peter Canavese With Reynolds cracking wise and a number of frantic action sequences, this looks like an effective enough franchise launcher. But...it all feels a little too much like work. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
2.5/4 Long Shot (2019) Peter Canavese Diverting enough for date night...good enough for government work. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
3.5/4 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Peter Canavese Marvel tourists may surprise themselves how much they care...while fanatics will have a geekgasm of heretofore undiscovered proportions at what amounts to the biggest series finale ever. To put it more politely, they'll love it "times 3000." EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
2.5/4 Teen Spirit (2018) Peter Canavese Serves mostly as a vehicle for star Elle Fanning, who provides her own vocals in the film's multiple vocal-performance sequences and, more importantly, provides the film its soul of quietly defiant determination. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
3.5/4 Peterloo (2018) Peter Canavese [Leigh] bustles his audience into a time machine and transplants them to a time and place--1819 England--for full immersion into the physical and social landscape where a politically charged tragedy played out. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/4 Shazam! (2019) Peter Canavese DC's answer to Marvel's Ant-Man: a family-friendly, comical comic-book adventure that never crosses the line into camp. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
2.5/4 Dumbo (2019) Peter Canavese Dumbo has morphed into an fable of modernized entertainment business models and the handling and packaging of IP...strange thematic material for a PG Disney movie aimed at families...and it gets stranger. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
3.5/4 Us (2019) Peter Canavese Peele's messy stew of allusive ingredients and jokey allusions...can taste overwhelming, but it gives us a helluva lot more to chew on than a Halloween reboot. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
1.5/4 The Wedding Guest (2018) Peter Canavese I'll be damned if I can detect a pulse...Proves deliberately withholding, as if to punish us, along with its unlikeable characters, for expecting too much. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3/4 Captain Marvel (2019) Peter Canavese To watch another obscure hero beget a franchise-building smash-hit movie means marveling at Marvel once again. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
3/4 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Peter Canavese The little franchise that could is all grown up and ready to leave the nest, so wipe that tear away, and say your goodbyes, kids...For now... EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
2.5/4 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Peter Canavese Silly, but..big dumb fun. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
2.5/4 Arctic (2018) Peter Canavese While Penna shoots and edits the material well enough, its familiar paces probably wouldn't be tolerable were it not for Mikkelsen, whose grim visage crucially gives the film a racing mind and a beating heart. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2019
3/4 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Peter Canavese While adults will probably find somewhat diminishing returns in The Second Part, its cheeky variations on all the constructions that worked so well the first time also work pretty darn well, and to a good end. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/4 Stan & Ollie (2018) Peter Canavese Labors a bit to create drama from what's essentially a gentle, wistful story of two artists together eking out a last hurrah, but there's a refreshing warmth to a family-friendly show business tale, one not about backbiting but about love... EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
3.5/4 Cold War (2018) Peter Canavese A sweet romance this isn't, but Pawlikowski (Ida) balances the flatfooted realities of maddeningly thwarted love with swoony moments: smoky jazz clubs and songbird reveries. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
4/4 At Eternity's Gate (2018) Peter Canavese Memorable moments come from its series of penetrating philosophical conversations... Dafoe expertly plays the keenness of Van Gogh's intellect and creativity against his searing drive, his raw emotions, and the haunting that was his depression. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2019
4/4 If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Peter Canavese In Jenkins' sure hands, Baldwin's novel becomes an exquisite, impeccable, indelible piece of cinema of the ages. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2019
3.5/4 Vice (2018) Peter Canavese As strikingly original in form as Oliver Stone's JFK...infotaining Hollywood history that's equal parts funny and horrifying in its high-stakes political gamesmanship... EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018
2.5/4 Ben Is Back (2018) Peter Canavese Roberts' role as an intense mama bear cleverly corrupts her famous smile to an "everything's okay" mask. Ultimately, Ben is Back is about the lies addicts tell their loved ones, and those their loved ones tell themselves. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
2.5/4 Green Book (2018) Peter Canavese Though breezily entertaining, this cinematic vehicle also lurches into and out of the usual racial potholes, making its song of the South--and North--catch in the throat. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2018
3.5/4 Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Peter Canavese McCarthy clearly feels a connection to Israel's outsider artistry, her utter commitment to become someone else for a few stolen moments, and her pride in a job well done... EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2018
3/4 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Peter Canavese Productively acknowledge real-life dangers, with stellar animation and designs shoring up the storytelling of Johnston and Pamela Ribon's witty script...a useful all-ages fable for our time. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
1/4 Instant Family (2018) Peter Canavese Humor is subjective, of course, but the film offers this litmus test: do you laugh when a sane adult finally slaps Ellie ('You listen to me, you crazy woman!') and when another slaps cuffs on Pete? Or do you cheer? EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2018
2.5/4 Boy Erased (2018) Peter Canavese On the side of truth, social justice, and human dignity...despite all that, Boy Erased never quite coalesces into the deeply moving and insightful film its pedigree seems to promise. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2018
3/4 Wildlife (2018) Peter Canavese First-time director Dano, who co-scripted with partner Zoe Kazan, has a knack for capturing quotidian daily struggles as well as moments of discovery that hearten or, more often, horrify. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2018
3/4 Beautiful Boy (2018) Peter Canavese Makes a good case for itself as the addiction movie America needs right now...[offers] a primal 'you are not alone' catharsis for sufferers under the powerful grip of addiction or with a front-row seat to it. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2018
3.5/4 Fail State (2018) Peter Canavese Takes a cogent look at the issues, making comprehensible the complex history of American higher education, the government's shifting role in supporting it, and the increasingly corporate exploitation of the American-Dreaming underclass. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018