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
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.
Posted Feb 13, 2019
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.
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Stan & Ollie (2019)
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...
Posted Jan 30, 2019
Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018)
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.
Posted Jan 23, 2019
At Eternity's Gate (2018)
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.
Posted Jan 16, 2019
If Beale Street Could Talk (2019)
In Jenkins' sure hands, Baldwin's novel becomes an exquisite, impeccable, indelible piece of cinema of the ages.
Posted Jan 9, 2019
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...
Posted Dec 21, 2018
Ben is Back (2018)
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.
Posted Dec 12, 2018
Green Book (2018)
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.
Posted Dec 9, 2018
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
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...
Posted Dec 9, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
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.
Posted Nov 20, 2018
Instant Family (2018)
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?
Posted Nov 14, 2018
Boy Erased (2018)
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.
Posted Nov 7, 2018
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.
Posted Oct 31, 2018
Beautiful Boy (2018)
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.
Posted Oct 24, 2018
Fail State (2018)
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.
Posted Oct 19, 2018
Because Green loves the material enough to have some good, old-fashioned fun in this playground, he's able to bring the audience along with him.
Posted Oct 17, 2018
First Man (2018)
By focusing on Armstrong's human perspective, First Man gives us a new window into the costs and benefits of taking 'one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.'
Posted Oct 9, 2018
A Star Is Born (2018)
Unabashed melodrama...the film's strongest moments are acoustic, not plugged-in...intimate, truth-telling exchanges between lovers who want the best for each other.
Posted Oct 4, 2018
Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)
[A] dire accounting of the corruption of the Republican Party, the sell-out centrism of the Democratic Party, and the victimization of working-class Americans...[and] an urgent call to action.
Posted Sep 25, 2018
Bland... something of a thinker, even a subversive one, but it's dubious that kids will pick up on the provocation between the pratfalls and the pop songs.
Posted Sep 25, 2018
Pick of the Litter (2018)
Informs and entertains in equal measure...not only proves thoroughly family friendly, but it's that rare moviegoing option likely to please everyone in any group.
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Operation Finale (2018)
A functional spy thriller and, more importantly, an intriguing character study of two men shaped by hatred.
Posted Sep 11, 2018
Twisty thrills also result in a climactic pileup, a resolution that strains credibility...with a dynamic leading performance by Cho, Chaganty manages an engaging popcorn suspense picture that also speaks to technology enabling and frustrating...
Posted Aug 29, 2018
The Wife (2018)
The ultimate secret of the Castlemans' marriage isn't entirely convincing in Joan's every rationale, but Close's sheer force of acting makes it possible to believe in the character, at minimum in the emotional broad strokes.
Posted Aug 29, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
By the film's climax, a $40 million wedding, conspicuous consumerism has been glamorized beyond the point of no return, and the difference between romance and showmanship becomes, at least momentarily, irrelevant.
Posted Aug 15, 2018
Can be overtly funny in its absurdity. For the most part, however, BlacKkKlansman isn't a comedy at all, but an earnest, vintage Spike Lee joint recounting history and projecting it onto our present.
Posted Aug 8, 2018
Eighth Grade (2018)
With Fisher's endearingly open face projecting every insecurity along the way, Kayla's journey of baby-steps self-empowerment resonates.
Posted Jul 27, 2018
Fallout proves deliberately dizzying, not just with its oft-vertiginous action, but in its outrageous plotting, its deliriously absurd entanglements of double agents, double crosses, and just plain doubles...
Posted Jul 24, 2018
Equalizer 2 (2018)
Suggests intriguing questions about the moral and ethical imperatives of justice...answers these questions with an Old Testament zeal: evil must be smitten by self-appointed good men.
Posted Jul 19, 2018
This is the kind of lackluster animated movie at which you'll lose count of how many times the characters randomly break into dance--and that's in addition to the...not one but two dance parties incorporated into the plot.
Posted Jul 11, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
A good time at the movies... If the first film felt more carefully laid out, the sequel succeeds in stoking some Pixar-style emotion in its family dynamics...
Posted Jul 3, 2018
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
A straight procedural, consumed by its plot at the expense of thematic nuance. Nevertheless...a darkly compelling reminder of the multifaceted folly of our War on Drugs.
Posted Jun 27, 2018
In what starts to feel like a 'meta' running joke (or admission of creative exhaustion), the characters keep stumbling upon the leftovers of the earlier films...
Posted Jun 20, 2018
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Plays it safe...another issue of the Incredibles comic book, another big-scale adventure with full-throttle action sequences, a bit of mystery, and career complications testing the structural integrity of this nuclear family of superheroes.
Posted Jun 11, 2018
Ocean's 8 (2018)
Ross brings a reasonably sure hand and plenty of eye candy to this slick, glitzy fantasy, which is no more or less than an amiable, star-powered trifle.
Posted Jun 6, 2018
First Reformed (2018)
It's Schrader's on-point filmmaking--a nouveau spin on the spiritual films, character studies, and transcendental style of cinematic Old Masters like Bergman and Bresson--that functions as what Toller calls 'another form of prayer.'
Posted May 30, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Like estimations of how many parsecs it takes to make the Kessel Run, your mileage may vary when it comes to Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Posted May 15, 2018
Life of the Party (2018)
Since Life of the Party shows little interest in investigating the satiric possibilities of the two-decade cultural gap in play, or a weirdly one-sided May-December romance, the movie wafts into disposable irrelevance long before the credits roll.
Posted May 10, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
[Spoiler-free review:] Marvel's superhero movies may not run the risk of being called 'elegant,' but they're sure as hell sturdy, well-built popcorn flicks that send audiences out unequivocally satisfied.
Posted Apr 25, 2018
Lean on Pete (2018)
The animal holds a mirror up to the human protagonist...how prone youth can be on the cusp of adulthood, how reckless when desperate or threatened, how vulnerably pure of heart.
Posted Apr 18, 2018
You Were Never Really Here (2018)
Ramsay's limber direction and another phenomenal leading performance by Joaquin Phoenix lend the material an aching sensitivity and an arrhythmic but persistent heartbeat.
Posted Apr 11, 2018
A Quiet Place (2018)
There’s plenty...that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny and even more that feels conspicuously derivative. But tell that to your pants as you pee them.
Posted Apr 4, 2018
The Death of Stalin (2018)
Tales of the venal, the selfish, and the desperate, lurking--when not preening--in the halls of power.
Posted Mar 28, 2018
Ready Player One (2018)
Conjures plenty of empty spectacle...but doesn't underpin it with characters that move beyond the generic or, more crucially, the productively sharp satire that just maybe could have saved this ain't-it-cool story from itself.
Posted Mar 28, 2018
Tomb Raider (2018)
One can see the wheels turning, literally and figuratively...
Posted Mar 16, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
Galumphing narrative and flatfooted whimsy...a downright awkward kiddie blockbuster.
Posted Mar 8, 2018
Red Sparrow (2018)
A guy's fantasy of an empowered woman's story. She's smart! She's capable! She's sexy! She's nude! She's degraded! Wait...
Posted Mar 2, 2018
Peter Rabbit (2018)
This Peter is...the Ferris Bueller of rabbits. As such, many will love him, and many will find his zany wisecracks, blatant selfishness, and borderline amorality repulsive.
Posted Feb 21, 2018
Game Night (2018)