Film Comment Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Downhill (2020) Michael Sragow For all its faults, Downhill is a gutsy little "serious farce." We've got to admire the chutzpah of a Valentine Day's opening that boldly proclaims, "Love means having to say you're sorry." EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
6.5/10 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Jonathan Romney But it exults in a vividly hued manic energy that qualifies it for membership of that select category: comic-book movies that actually look and feel like comic books. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
6/10 Incitement (2020) Jonathan Romney Incitement is an extremely interesting film because of the story it tells, and is altogether watchable-but it's rather lacking in lightness, humor, or grace. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
2/10 The Rhythm Section (2020) Michael Sragow This movie (The Rhythm Section) is devoid of thrills and personality and short on incident and local color. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Clinton Krute By blending the very serious with the childlike, Heller's film locates real feeling in what could easily have been a run-of-the-mill tearjerker. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
The Report (2019) Sukhdev Sandhu For a political thriller, The Report is more sad than revelatory, more melancholy than cathartic. Jones's work was not entirely in vain. His revelations of a cover-up, though heavily doctored, eventually were made public. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
Little Joe (2019) Yonca Talu Hausner aims to convince us that the open-endedness at stake is a productive one, but it's difficult to shake the feeling of having been deceived and manipulated by Little Joe when the closing credits roll. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Devika Girish Although affecting and even revelatory at points, The Assistant is ultimately a drama of resignation. The choice it dramatizes is a familiar one: we can all relate to the impulse to pick one's livelihood and career over challenging the rich and powerful. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
The Traitor (2019) Molly Haskell Dense and brooding, but, like Scorsese's film, vigorously told, The Traitor also unfolds under the looming shadow of mortality, of time running out for aging kingpins, and of debts coming due. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
A I Wish I Knew (2010) Jonathan Romney Ending a minor but fascinating film in Jia's provocative oeuvre, the images of these sleepers are a prelude to the other troubled dreams of China (A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart, Ash Is the Purest White) that he has made since. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
C+ The Gentlemen (2020) Jonathan Romney [Grant's] top value and way better than the film deserves: that is class, and given how he almost redeems the film, you can't begrudge Ritchie the luxury. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
D- The Turning (2020) Michael Sragow Sigismondi stumbles her way toward a bombastic, pseudo-psychological ending that undercuts her own terrible ideas and leaves audiences bemoaning their wasted time and money. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
C- Color Out of Space (2019) Michael Sragow Lovecraft provides Stanley with a sturdy frame: When you make a film called Color Out of Space, you don't have to color between the lines. The director throws everything into it, including a kitchen sink, and then fills the sink with blood. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
A- Weathering With You (2019) Michael Sragow Makoto Shinkai's sixth feature-length cartoon, Weathering with You, oozes visual lyricism and primal yearning. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
8/10 Earth (Erde) (2019) Jonathan Romney By the time Earth has come to this sobering conclusion, it leaves you wanting to see Greta Thunberg, or some other emissary of the planet's future, rise up over those slag piles and utter an imperious "Enough!" If only, if only... EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
6/10 Bombshell (2019) Sheila O'Malley Deep at points but paper-thin at others, the film skips over questions of complicity, and pulls some of its punches, especially politically. But it's still an engaging look at life behind the scenes of one of the weirdest workplaces in existence... EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
5/10 1917 (2019) Nick Pinkerton Technical brio, however, cannot redeem all that is callow and crass in Mendes's movie: the dialogue is pure placeholder stuffing, the approach a clumsy collision of the Assassin's Creed video games and Elem Klimov's Come and See... EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
3/10 Like a Boss (2020) Michael Sragow The movie (Like A Boss) isn't about sisterhood being powerful... It's about sisterhood being packageable. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
9/10 Invisible Life (2019) Jonathan Romney Invisible Life is constructed on heightened emotional intensity in an everyday domestic milieu, with discreet touches of narrative contrivance playing their part-- EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
8/10 Little Women (2019) Jonathan Romney Gerwig takes matters in a new direction, at once more playful and more sober, and very self-conscious. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
5/10 1917 (2019) Jonathan Romney However well-intentioned its spectacle, 1917 feels fundamentally wrong-disrespectful to a historical reality in its very attempts to evoke it. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Michael Sragow J.J. Abrams's mechanical, nonsensical Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker contains so many resurrections it's a wonder Disney and Lucasfilm didn't push back the release date from Christmas to Easter. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
() Jonathan Romney The first great film of this year, arguably, was Wang Xiaoshuai's three-hour So Long, My Son...although it is only 80 minutes long, his Chinese Portrait is equally expansive, although in a telegraphic, fragmented manner. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Michael Sragow But the artist...who keeps this film from collapsing into pandering mediocrity after it devolves into anti-media and anti-FBI caricatures-is Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Daniel Isn't Real (2019) Michael Sragow What connects us to the movie is curiosity rather than suspense...At its most likable, this film is very Jung at heart. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
In Fabric (2018) Jonathan Romney At its best, In Fabric achieves a density that transcends weirdness to become authentically alien-nightmare stitched into its very tissue. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
63 Up (2019) Jonathan Romney Because of this sense of an approaching end-in a world which, in any case, is tending to see the future in apocalyptic terms-63 Up may be the most revealing episode yet. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Pájaros de verano (2018) Manuel Yáñez Murillo Suffice it to say that while watching Birds of Passage this critic couldn't stop thinking about Martin Scorsese's Casino, with its lucid and kinetic dissection of the annihilation of a subculture at the hands of global capitalism. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Candice Frederick Queen & Slim excels as a poetic romance between two virtual strangers. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
8/10 Knives Out (2019) Michael Sragow "Like a clever piece of stage conjuring, Knives Out is slight but hugely enjoyable. " EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Michael Sragow The movie enables us to glimpse something great or near-great: Hanks's profoundly instinctive portrait of a preternaturally tolerant and rational man. But this trumped-up story keeps getting in the way. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Jonathan Romney Like a clever piece of stage conjuring, "Knives Out" is slight but hugely enjoyable. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Christina Newland With its narrative double bluffs and knowingly byzantine plot twists, Knives Out nimbly swerves around the pitfalls of murder mysteries past. Full of rhythmic verve and pithy humor, this is uproariously entertaining filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Waves (2019) Nicolas Rapold What probably could or should have taken up the bulk of the 135-minute film is its second act. But by this point, Shults has already run a marathon in circles, exhausting his own film. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Mister America (2019) Nicolas Rapold If Heidecker's not holding a mirror up to our idiocy Borat-style, there's no mistaking the echoes in a thin-skinned, name-calling brute elbowing his way onto political center stage for the ugliest reasons. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Mark Asch Motherless Brooklyn is not just nostalgic for the New York City it recreates, but fixated on the moment of its loss. Notes from Chinatown swirl like a saxophone solo as the birth of the city of the future and ponders the mystery of its parentage. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Joker (2019) Violet Lucca Joker doesn't understand its representation of violence because it doesn't know what to do with its politics, opting instead for a confused aestheticization of anarchy, all incendiary chants and masked malcontents thronging the streets. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Atlantics (2019) Jonathan Romney Mati Diop's debut feature is undeniably one of the boldest films of the year, crackling with invention, beauty, and anger. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Honey Boy (2019) Michael Sragow Har'el and Braier bring a gnarly shimmer to poolside dreams and roadside pipe-dreams. Along with LaBeouf, they bequeath the roughest characters with the tenderest mercies. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Jonathan Romney The Irishman is an act of rejuvenation for Scorsese too-it's his most thoroughly alive film in years. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
4/10 Gemini Man (2019) Michael Sragow The real mystery here: How did Lee and such a gifted cast and crew end up with such a vacuum? The plot bumps along from one ludicrous turn or gaping hole to the next. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Burning Cane (2019) Jonathan Romney It's the blurriness of "Burning Cane-"alongside its confident sharpness-that makes it so distinctive. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
The Kill Team (2019) Michael Sragow "The movie aims for eloquence...and it hits the mark. In its finest moments, performance, writing, and direction come together with chilling limpidity." EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
5/10 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Jonathan Romney Waititi has been interested in likeable, sheepish misfits, and the hero of "Jojo Rabbit" is absolutely cut from this cloth. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
8/10 First Love (2019) Phoebe Chen "The tone of Takashi Miike's latest film is best encapsulated by a single image: a close-up of a freshly severed head, its features wreathed in a goofy, blissed-out grin." EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
5/10 Joker (2019) Phoebe Chen In aping the ambition and prestige of its motley influences, Joker winds up with a bungled understanding of its own relation to violence. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
7/10 Rose Plays Julie (2019) Jonathan Romney Rose, wonders about the other life she might have lived under her birth name Julie, then effectively finds herself playing the role of Julie-effectively impersonating herself. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
The King (2019) Michael Sragow "The King"'s attempt to de-mythify patriarchal aristocracy and medieval war is so blunt and single-minded that it revises the underlying history and legend out of existence. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
First Love (2019) Jonathan Romney You'll find yourself grinning, whether or not your head is still attached to your body. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
The Sound of Silence (2019) Jonathan Romney ..."The Sound of Silence" is a modest, contemplative study of ideas that itself exemplifies those ideas in its design, not least its sound design; it embodies a conceptual rumination. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019