Film Comment Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Mole Agent (2020) Eric Hynes The deadening/enlivening line that Alberdi walks here is something like that between surface twee and bone-deep pathos...but it's elevated through the buy-in of its subjects. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
Some Kind of Heaven (2020) Eric Hynes I hazard to think that the film's mutual curiosity gives Some Kind of Heaven its vivifying spirit, that transforms what might have been familiarly charming and smirkily knowing into something more troubling, elusive, and enduring. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) Eric Hynes It's in the film's non-dioramic elements, the observational and candid moments, that life is most urgently asserted. Yes, time is short. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
The Girl (2012) Violet Lucca Despite warranting "a trigger warning" for anyone who has been the victim of sexual harassment, The Girl too often feels too small. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
The Other Lamb (2019) Jonathan Romney What you're left with is not so much a story as a concept presented handsomely but very frustratingly. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2020
Metropolitan (1990) Jonathan Romney Metropolitan is a melancholic lament for not-quite-doomed youth-a self-styled new "lost generation" that isn't really lost, but might just never have a purpose. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2020
A White, White Day (2019) Jonathan Romney A stark, controlled psychological thriller that unpicks its hero's troubled soul with forensic coolness. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2020
Night Warning (1981) Justin Stewart Asher... directs with a meat-and-potatoes efficiency and visual sense, letting the casting, risk-taking performances, and the twisted, quirky screenplay carry the day. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2020
A+ Crip Camp (2020) Jonathan Romney Crip Camp is a buoyant, illuminating, and very to-the-point historical documentary. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2020
The Hunt (2020) Michael Sragow After a shocking 'gotcha' prologue, we're simply dumped with human targets on a killing field, as the hidden left-wing cadre picks them off with bullets, arrows, and grenades. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2020
The Cloud in Her Room (2020) Jonathan Romney It's as if Zheng were shuttling from idea to idea, image to image, and leaving the viewer to latch on as best they can to this meandering train of thought. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2020
5/10 The Way Back (2020) Michael Sragow The Way Back wants to be Manchester by the Sea on the hardwood, but it's more like Hoosiers with a hangover. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2020
A+ Days (2020) Jonathan Romney Days was a reminder of the profundity and the emotional eloquence of stillness and near silence: this is a film where you can sit at length marveling at the curve in a country road at night. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
C+ The Call of the Wild (2020) Michael Sragow This film clocks in at a mere 100 minutes, but, except for a race between a dog sled and an avalanche, it lacks crispness as well as elan. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
A+ Workforce (2019) Jonathan Romney It's a taut, concise, bracingly uneasy film, all the more involving because it starts off promising a realistic drama of the working life, almost in a Loachian vein, then becomes something else entirely, something closer to an absurdist political parable. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018) Molly Haskell If Phoenix doesn't generate much humor, he also acts as an astringent against the potent sentimentality of Callahan's Saul-to-Paul transformation and pilgrimage of apology, underlined by a heart-tugging Danny Elfman score. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
The Favourite (2018) Molly Haskell It's a dark view, but dark views, like sunny views, have to come from somewhere. Where is Lanthimos's dark sun? I don't know, but I'll definitely keep watching. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Devika Girish The most powerful moment in [Never Rarely Sometimes Always] is not one of confrontation but of self-realization. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
The Cordillera of Dreams (2019) Jonathan Romney [The Cordillera of Dreams] contains blunt talk and unvarnished footage of the brutal facts of modern Chilean history [that] makes for a compelling, revelatory essay. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
I Was at Home, But (2019) Jordan Cronk There's no denying the boldness of [I Was at Home, But...]-fractured, elliptical, and highly mannered, the film hardly betrays Schanelec's ideology. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
Vitalina Varela (2019) Jordan Cronk [Vitalina Varela] invests a tragic episode in its heroine's life with an intimacy and grace that forges new dimensions in Costa's cinema. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
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 () 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
Chinese Portrait (2018) 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
Birds of Passage (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