Houston Press

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 Color Out of Space (2019) Pete Vonder Haar How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Yog-Sothoth? EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2020
2/5 The Gentlemen (2020) Pete Vonder Haar Dry Eye is little more than an ambulatory sneer, and serves as the primary focus for the script's throwaway racism. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2020
3.5/5 Underwater (2020) Pete Vonder Haar While Underwater was probably never going to be a blockbuster, it deserves better than "movie option for people whose NFL team didn't make the playoffs." EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
2.5/5 1917 (2019) Pete Vonder Haar By relying on technique over most everything else, Mendes takes the focus from the characters, where it truly belongs. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
4/5 Knives Out (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Rian Johnson's last movie was something called The Last Jedi, a trifle of a film which made little impact at the box office and generated no online reaction whatsoever. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
2.5/5 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Pete Vonder Haar It's hard to believe, at the culmination of 42 years and nine movies, that the last three would be essentially improvisational exercises by all directors concerned. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
4.5/5 The Irishman (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Methodical, lyrical, and powerful, it earns every minute of its three-and-a-half hour running time. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Frozen II (2019) Jef Rouner Frozen 2 is easily the most-anticipated animated Disney sequel ever, and it does not disappoint. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
4.5/5 Uncut Gems (2019) Pete Vonder Haar As with their previous film Good Time, the brother-directors Josh and Bennie Safdie have a wonderful gift for capturing desperate lives spinning even further out of control. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Parasite (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Parasite is a triumph by a director who still hasn't really made a misstep. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
3.5/5 Charlie's Angels (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Charlie's Angels is frothy and light-hearted and is honestly more fun than it has any right to be. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
3/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Pete Vonder Haar In spite of the bloat, there are some decent scares, and Hader almost makes Chapter Two watching on his own. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
3/5 Joker (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Joker is a decent movie. It has its strengths: Phoenix's tour de force performance and Hildur Guðnadóttir's score among them. But for all that, it's not really worthy of all the hand-wringing it's inspired. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
3.5/5 Hustlers (2019) Pete Vonder Haar ...accurate in [its] estimation of our nation, and what's increasingly required to get ahead in it. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
4/5 Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Perhaps what stands out most of all is how disarming Ivins was in spite of her sharp tongue. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
4/5 The Nightingale (2018) Pete Vonder Haar It's a rough watch, to be sure, but rewards the viewer who makes an effort to stick it out. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000) Bill Gallo [The Original Kings of Comedy] is a fresh, intimate, gloriously unpolished performance film that measures up to the classics of the genre: Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip and the notorious Eddie Murphy Raw. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/5 Crawl (2019) Pete Vonder Haar If you want to see a woman improbably outswim pissed-off reptiles, or ATM thieves get messily devoured, you're in for one of the most enjoyable movie experiences of the year. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2019
4.5/5 Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Pete Vonder Haar If Once Upon A Time in ... Hollywood really is Quentin Tarantino's penultimate film, he's entering his home stretch on a high note. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2019
2.5/5 Stuber (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Director Michael Dowse helmed Goon, one of the best movies of 2011. With Stuber, he's clearly trying to recall that film's combination of comedy and brutality. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2019
2.5/5 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Make no mistake: a species that has to be "caught" before being deployed into a fighting arena to duel its own kind is not a "partner." It's a slave. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
3.5/5 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Maybe it's time to include Godzilla in the discussion of our richest cinematic franchises. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
4/5 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Stahelski and screenwriter Kolstad continue to build their shadowy alternate reality incrementally, but sometimes feel like they're biting off more than they can chew EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
2/5 Men in Black: International (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Thompson is doing the best work in this movie by light years, and underutilizing her should get Gray a reprimand from the Directors Guild. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
2.5/5 Aladdin (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Will Smith really can't sing. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
2.5/5 Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Pete Vonder Haar And if you thought a Satanic doll was creepy, that '70s wallpaper is the real horror, honey. (Read that last part in Paul Lynde's voice.) EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
3.5/5 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Pete Vonder Haar The title "Far From Home" may be a little on the nose, but Sony could have just easily called this Spider-Man: Father Figures. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
4/5 Midsommar (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Aster has a real knack for showcasing the horror resulting from large groups of white people getting together. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
2.5/5 Dragged Across Concrete (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Officer Ridgeman is a man left behind by his inability to adapt to the present, and the jury's out on whether the same thing will happen to Zahler. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2019
3.5/5 Hotel Mumbai (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Vasili tells Oberoit, "Save your prayers. That's what started this sh*t." It's the closest Maras gets to editorializing, and speaks to the utter futility of the whole thing. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2019
2/5 Pet Sematary (2019) Pete Vonder Haar And unfortunately what works in the book - in this case, deliberations on parental grief and loss - loses something in translation, like so many adaptations of King's work. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2019
4.5/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Whatever your feelings about Disney's Borg-like assimilation of all entertainment, Endgame's synthesis of 22 movies' worth of characters/plot is nothing short of remarkable. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2019
3.5/5 Climax (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Problem is, someone has spiked the sangria, and not with Everclear (like normal, God-fearing Americans), but with LSD (like perverse, chain-smoking Burgundians). EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
5/5 Apollo 11 (2019) Pete Vonder Haar If Miller's film excels at anything, it's depicting the sheer scale of the moon program. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
3.5/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Pete Vonder Haar Alita: Battle Angel is everything you'd expect from a movie about an adolescent girl who also happens to be an alien-engineered killing machine. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
3/5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Pete Vonder Haar What do you call Berk's weird hybrid dragon tech, anyway? Norsepunk? Svengineering? EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
3/5 Captain Marvel (2019) Pete Vonder Haar No, I don't want no Skrull A Skrull is a guy that can't get no love from Kree Hangin' out the earthbound side Of an Accuser's ride Trying to holler at Fury EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
2.5/5 Donnybrook (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Delia's suffering serves no real purpose. She, along with Dale's corrupt deputy, are two supposedly prominent characters who ironically do nothing to push the story forward. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
3/5 The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018) Pete Vonder Haar If audiences can get past their initial disappointment that the movie isn't all Hitler and Bigfoot murder, they may be able to enjoy his movie on its own terms. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 () Pete Vonder Haar It's hard to say if Hardwicke's unwillingness to ugly things up is a feature or a bug. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
4/5 Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) Pete Vonder Haar The success of his first superhero movie has allowed director Peyton Reed to loosen the reins, and the results are much sure-footed and humorous this time around. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
4/5 Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Such will be Cruise's monument, and to quote Watership Down, perhaps it would not have displeased him. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
2/5 The Meg (2018) Pete Vonder Haar What little shark attack action we get is far too sporadic and uninspired. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
3/5 Operation Finale (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Put another way, director Chris Weitz didn't exactly need to Argo this up for us, but that's pretty much exactly what he does. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
5/5 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Pete Vonder Haar Watching 2001 on the 50th anniversary of its release brings about feelings of both wonder and disappointment. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
2/5 Peppermint (2018) Pete Vonder Haar But while the blown-out skulls and bone fractures are occasionally gratifying, they're also almost exclusively at the expense of a bunch of MS-13 adjacent Latino bogeymen. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
2/5 The Predator (2018) Pete Vonder Haar None of it is enough to convince anyone this iteration of the franchise was absolutely necessary. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
2.5/5 Venom (2018) Pete Vonder Haar It's too much of a stretch to say Venom is "good," but it's certainly not terrible, and maybe worth seeing for Hardy alone. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
4.5/5 First Man (2018) Pete Vonder Haar Did Ed White have it right when he said, "If a civilization doesn't try to expand its horizons, it can never grow as a nation." What was that about American prestige again? EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
2/5 Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Pete Vonder Haar "Adequate" is an accurate assessment of Bohemian Rhapsody, and you really couldn't ask for a more damning indictment of a movie about the greatest rock singer of all time. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019