Scene-Stealers.com

Scene-Stealers.com is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Abby Olcese, Eric Melin
Rating Title/Year Author
2/4 Yesterday (2019) Eric Melin It's perfectly charming...until Jack gets an easy out featuring a seismically reductive and wrongheaded surprise appearance that will polarize viewers. After this, Yesterday falls back on its more standard romantic subplot. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 Late Night (2019) Eric Melin Accepting (and excepting) one dumb contrivance, it's funny and perceptive, embracing unique points of view from Molly and Katherine, which mines lots of fertile ground for hard truths and big laughs EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
4/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Eric Melin Affirmation of Marvel's storytelling strategy of connecting films in a shared universe, but maybe more significantly, it's proof that the franchise's consistent release schedule gives the viewer better short-term recall and deeper emotional investment. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/5 The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) Eric Melin It begs us to let go. And when you do, you realize that Gilliam's vision coalesces more as the movie progresses. Filmmakers are dreamers, after all, and reality sucks, so who wouldn't want to be caught up in delusions of grandeur every now and then? EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2019
4/5 Detour (1945) Eric Melin Ulmer brings an enormous amount of impressionistic creativity and (what are now considered) infamous noir tropes into the project without spending more money. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
2.5/4 The Hummingbird Project (2018) Eric Melin An interesting enough, if predictable, rumination on the state of the American dream. High-frequency trading isn't something everybody can relate to, but the idea of living up to a potential that's weaved into the fabric of your country's myth is. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3.5/4 Climax (2018) Eric Melin It is a powerful and unique experience that showcases all the external beauty, wonder, and hope that new opportunity can bring, and how those concepts are always just one thin wire away from chaos and madness. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
3/5 Piercing (2018) Eric Melin It's like an unholy melding of giallo horror with disturbing mondo literary adaptations by David Cronenberg, such as Naked Lunch and Crash. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
1/4 Glass (2019) Eric Melin The bigger his thematic ambition, the more Shyamalan seems to lose control. If Sarah Paulson's Dr. Staple is looking for a character with delusions of grandeur in this film, she might not have to look further than the director himself. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
1/4 Bird Box (2018) Eric Melin With unintentionally funny scenes featuring its characters hurtling themselves head-first through windows to commit suicide, Bird Box sadly has more in common with the M. Night Shyamalan disasterpiece The Happening than anything else. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
3/5 Halloween (2018) Eric Melin It evokes the original and takes into consideration how audiences have changed since then, which is a minor miracle, I suppose, and it is light years better than the nine films in between. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
4/5 First Man (2018) Eric Melin It ejects typical mythologizing to remind us that this extraordinary millennial-defining moment happened to an individual, a person just like you and me. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2018
3/5 Incredibles 2 (2018) Eric Melin The inventive choreography, animation detail, and stylish production design beg to be seen on the big screen. If the plot hadn't felt like a major recycling of the 2004 movie, it would surprise, but there's plenty outside the story mechanics to delight. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2018
3/4 Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) Eric Melin With a little inventiveness and charm to spare, it succeeds by charting its own course through the MCU, and I hope there are more lighthearted, character-driven adventures in this dysfunctional family's future. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2018
3/4 Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) Eric Melin It's a difficult task to keep viewers connected to a sprawling series and to put together two and a half hours of solid thrills and surprises with a good level of emotional investment. That's exactly what M:I 6 has done. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2018
2.5/4 Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Eric Melin The best - and worst thing - you can say about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it is a fun throwback. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2018
3/4 Comradeship (1931) Eric Melin A mix of elaborate studio sets and location shooting give the movie a naturalistic flavor but lots of camera movement also marks it as expressionistic. The lack of a score also marks it as less manipulative than traditional Hollywood pictures of the day. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
3.5/4 The Piano Teacher (2001) Eric Melin Both director and actor were clear on their intentions from the start, and this alignment produced a movie that holds up as one of the best arthouse films of the last 20 years, with a nearly unmatched quiet kind of intensity. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
2.5/4 Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Eric Melin Modern audiences will no doubt find the trial portion of the film quaint, but Fonda plays Lincoln with such calm, centered confidence that it's also a refreshing change of pace from the aggressive histrionics of today's cop/legal thrillers and TV shows. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
3.5/4 Night of the Living Dead (1968) Eric Melin It's tame of course by today's standards, but that, combined with he cynical racial component, was viewed as an all-out attack on "civilized" American society in general. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
4/4 The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Eric Melin Demme's use of close-ups is remarkable, and not something that's translated into contemporary film language too often anymore: Faces, eyes, hands; they're everywhere, making the suspense personal, and therefore way more frightening. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
1/4 The Week Of (2018) Eric Melin A messy patchwork of a movie that is tonally all over the map and way overstays its 116 minutes. What could have been an incisive comedy about class and ethnicity is instead a random dump of easy, mean-spirited jokes mixed with unearned sentimentality. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
4/5 Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Eric Melin Thanks to Thanos, Infinity War is much more than a two-part blockbuster, and for the first time in a long time, we can't easily anticipate more of the same, because the road ahead for superheroes is murky, complicated, and terrifying. EDIT
Posted Apr 27, 2018
2/4 The Polka King (2017) Eric Melin Bernie finds a more cohesive balance between the craziness of the story and a solid emotional center. The Polka King never quite gets there. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2018
2/4 The Post (2017) Eric Melin There's no doubt that the free press plays an essential role in a democracy, and the timeliness of this picture can't be disputed. It's just too bad Spielberg doesn't trust his audience enough to let them come to those conclusions on their own. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2018
4/5 Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Eric Melin It pushes the prison movie genre to new heights. The fact that there's a very small amount of an original score and a large amount of suspense speaks to Zahler's skill at building and sustaining anxiety. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2017
4/5 The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) Eric Melin One could accuse Baumbach of repeating himself, but when the writing and directing is this sharp, who cares? The neuroses and contradictions here become relatable to anyone who's had a difficult time listening to or being heard by their family. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2017
3/4 They Live by Night (1948) Eric Melin Maybe because of this close-up strategy, the actors all have a more naturalistic bent than most of the films of the day, opting for a low-key simmering approach. The result is a more intimate portrait of these two lovers. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2017
3/4 Stalker (1979) Eric Melin Aa lengthy, talky quest for meaning, punctuated by long takes and huge moments of silence. Ultimately though, it's a rewarding one for sure, especially once you fall under the spell of its hypnotic filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2017
3.5/4 The Breaking Point (1950) Eric Melin The Breaking Point adapts Hemingway's book and wrings out some genuine notes of solid tragedy, as well as a more nuanced performance from its lead actor. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2017
4/5 Poison (1951) Eric Melin An eye-opener. It satirizes the technicalities and inconsistencies of the legal system, as well as society's fascination with crime, and maybe in a reveal of some of Guitry's personal obsessions, also pokes nasty fun at the institution of marriage itself. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2017
3.5/5 Icarus (2017) Eric Melin Icarus is a frighteningly relevant movie that may go a long way toward explaining the danger of any state propaganda machine, whether it targets medals or more. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2017
3/4 Straw Dogs (1971) Eric Melin The questions it raises about sexual consent, masculinity, and humanity's penchant for violence are as urgent today as they were in 1971. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2017
2.5/4 Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk (2017) Eric Melin The film's real triumph is that it tells a cohesive story out of so many jagged parts, and does it with an energy that was reflective of that special moment in time. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2017
2/4 Atomic Blonde (2017) Eric Melin One amazing action scene is a bright spot in an otherwise dull, impossibly contrived spy thriller that's dressed up with a pulsing 80s synth-pop soundtrack and a darkly lit neon setting. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2017
The Book of Henry (2017) Abby Olcese With a plot far too dark for kids, and an approach that's often too mild to satisfy adults, the result is a film as uneven as the Rocky Mountain foothills. EDIT
Posted Jul 21, 2017
The Central Park Five (2012) Abby Olcese If hindsight is 20/20, the amount of perspective the film's talking heads provide practically amounts to a telephoto lens. It provides a comprehensive and detailed telling of a long-term, complicated series of events. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2017
Pontypool (2008) Abby Olcese Pontypool has an awful lot going for it. It's technically well made, well acted, creepy, funny, and weird. It's the kind of movie that, if it's seen in the right place and right time, can really have an effect on you. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
Down Terrace (2009) Abby Olcese It's basically a surprisingly funny mumblecore movie with a focus on guns and murders instead of self-indulgent whining and indie-pop music. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
Black Death (2010) Abby Olcese Black Death definitely isn't a rollicking, bloody good time, but it is a haunting study in the capacity for cruelty in people when they're scared, and the lingering effects that cruelty can have. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009) Abby Olcese It's got the kind of writing you'd expect to find in a Hitchcock movie, with performances that measure up on every level. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
Winter, Go Away! (2012) Abby Olcese It's a self-deprecating, likeable doc which also happens to be a darn good piece of journalism even established documentarians would have reason to be proud of. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
Leviathan (2012) Abby Olcese Unfortunately, this is an 87-minute movie, and those moments of brilliance take up only about a third of the film. The rest is devoted to shots that either feel long and pretentious, or suffer from a serious case of ADD. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
Stories We Tell (2012) Abby Olcese The film is, ultimately, a touching portrait of family, memory and shared history that keeps its audience hooked from the first moment, and doesn't let up until the final frame. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
No (2012) Abby Olcese No gives its audience their necessary dose of historical and cultural vegetables, but serves them up in the tastiest way possible. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
The Act of Killing (2012) Abby Olcese The visual highs and emotional payoffs contained within the film are well worth slogging through its slow patches. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
The Gatekeepers (2012) Abby Olcese No matter your opinion on the Israel-Palestine situation, The Gatekeepers is necessary viewing. It's very impressive that a documentary about Israel's intelligence-gathering organization comes off as neither pro-Israel nor anti-Israel. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
It's a Disaster (2012) Abby Olcese The movie may not always be a knee-slapper, but it's smart, creative, and oddly sweet. At the very least, you'll probably never think of brunch the same way again. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
One Small Hitch (2013) Abby Olcese One Small Hitch is just plain bad. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
The Numbers Station (2013) Abby Olcese Ultimately this movie is better forgotten. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017