The Herald (Ireland)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
1/5 Dark Lies the Island (2019) Chris Wasser Cheap, incoherent and sorely lacking in structure and sense, Ian Fitzgibbon and Kevin Barry's film is exactly the kind of oddball dramedy that this country used to be famous for. But we've moved on. We know better now. Down with this sort of thing. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2019
3/5 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Pat Stacey While it's great to be back in the company of Aaron Paul, I'm not so sure you'd be missing out on a lot if you skipped El Camino. Viewers who know Breaking Bad inside out can probably figure out Jesse's ultimate geographical destination. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
4/5 A Bump Along The Way (2019) Chris Wasser A Bump Along the Way transcends its ordinary, soap-opera set-up to deliver something that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2019
5/5 Joker (2019) Chris Wasser It's a piece of art; a dark, devastating yet mesmerising offering, in which Phoenix - whose magnetic and eerily graceful Joker hobbles and dances his way from mentally unstable loser to despicable murderer - gives the performance of a lifetime. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
3/5 Judy (2019) Chris Wasser Goold's film - though capably performed, and reasonably well assembled - isn't nearly as good, or as insightful, as it might have been, and you come away with more questions than you had going in. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Chris Wasser Ad Astra - an arty, textured space epic, with a brain, and a heart - has more in common with say, Interstellar, than it does with Armageddon. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
The Farewell (2019) Chris Wasser Armed with a tender, naturalistic screenplay and a charming, committed ensemble, The Farewell is a wonderfully acted family drama, and a note-perfect one, at that. Lovely stuff, altogether. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
1/5 The Kitchen (2019) Chris Wasser Great cast, awful film. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
3/5 Extra Ordinary (2019) Chris Wasser The extraordinary thing about Extra Ordinary - and believe me, there are a lot of extraordinary things about this homegrown, supernatural comedy - is that it is just as bonkers on screen as it is on paper. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/5 Untouchable (2019) Pat Stacey Untouchable is compelling but uneven and imperfect; a welcome first strike, but no more than that. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
2/5 () Pat Stacey It's a short documentary, running just 40 minutes. Alas, it's also short on rigour and bite. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Pat Stacey Ironically, for a series in which so many the characters were motivated by selfishness, ambition, greed or unadulterated wickedness, this was a surprisingly warm, almost sentimental finale. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
3/5 Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Chris Wasser We should be thankful for Efron, whose unsettling performance as a man who seemed to genuinely believe his own lies, leaves a mark. It's an extraordinary turn in an ordinary film. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
3/5 Shazam! (2019) Chris Wasser Shazam! gets a little greedy towards the end, and it could probably stand to lose at least 20 minutes from its noisy finale. But hey, it gets the job done. It might just kick-start a new franchise. It's a bit of a hoot. I didn't see that coming. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
4/5 Cold Pursuit (2019) Chris Wasser A witty, smart and imaginative display, Cold Pursuit digs a hell of a lot deeper than it needs to. The closer our man in the winter coat gets to the Viking, the more this story opens up into some weird and deliciously dark places. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 Instant Family (2018) Chris Wasser It's a very well-acted display, and you know something else? It's far better than we had any right to expect. A feel-good movie for everyone? Oh, go on, then. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
Destroyer (2018) Chris Wasser It all hangs on a career-best performance from a committed and frighteningly convincing Kidman. That woman is in the form of her life at the minute. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2019
5/5 Springsteen on Broadway (2018) Pat Stacey Stripping the songs back to their basics - only a voice and an instrument - lets the lyrics breathe, bringing out their beauty and aching poignancy. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
5/5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Chris Wasser The whole thing is a zippy, frenetic and surprisingly meta commentary on the comic-book industry - but it also has a heart, a fabulous voice cast, and comes equipped with some of the sharpest punchlines of the year. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (2018) Chris Wasser What we're left with is a bizarre, angry and surprisingly disorganised film that prioritises themes over storytelling. Pity. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2018
3/5 Disobedience (2017) Chris Wasser Disobedience is a bit too fond of itself, and isn't nearly as smart as it thinks it is. It's hard work, basically. Weisz is strong here, as is Nivola. But Rachel McAdams is sorely miscast as Esti, and her British accent is all over the place. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2018
The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Chris Wasser A brilliant Claire Foy is at the top of her game here, even if the rest of the film isn't. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2018
2/5 Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (2018) Chris Wasser Underwhelming, unimaginative and uninspired, this cold and careless adaptation is severely lacking in the zingers department. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2018
4/5 Overlord (2018) Chris Wasser Yes, Overlord is outrageous, violent, gory, absurd, upsetting and all the rest of it. It probably shouldn't work quite as well as it does. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2018
4/5 Katie (2018) Chris Wasser It's a beautiful documentary, basically, and Katie Taylor comes out of it looking very well, indeed. It's a bit of a knockout. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2018
4/5 The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid (2017) Chris Wasser With The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, Irish director Feargal Ward has crafted one of the most unique and, perhaps, indefinable pieces of cinema this year. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2018
3/5 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) Chris Wasser Goosebumps 2 is like something you'd see on Nickelodeon around this time of year - glossy, spooky, well-acted, and just about entertaining enough for a lazy Sunday afternoon. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
2/5 Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) Chris Wasser The jokes are signposted from a mile away. The ham-fisted one-liners are as old as time itself. It is, I'm sorry to say, a lazy, predictable and oddly lifeless affair - and an awful waste of a good cast. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2018
5/5 A Star Is Born (2018) Chris Wasser Here we have a film that is as accomplished as they come; a muscular, note-perfect, old-fashioned, cinematic event that longs to be experienced on the big screen - preferably, one with a stellar sound system. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2018
2/5 Venom (2018) Chris Wasser It's true, Venom is a bit of a catastrophe. It is a bad, bizarre and baffling entity of a film. But do you know something? I could not take my eyes off it. We have a hilariously over-the-top Tom Hardy to thank for that. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2018
4/5 Selma (2014) George Byrne What Selma does particularly well is balance the ideological in-fighting within the Civil Rights movement. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2018
1/5 Night School (2018) David Diebold [Night School is] schmaltzy, cliché riddled, slapstick, over-milked, fart-joke comedy. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2018
1/5 Mile 22 (2018) Chris Wasser Honestly, it's in an awful state, altogether; a choppy, confusing, and structurally unsound thriller that struggles to make sense, let alone entertain. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2018
3/5 The House With a Clock in Its Walls (2018) Chris Wasser Helmed by Eli Roth...this whimsical and magical feast is every bit as silly as it sounds. But listen, it all comes together rather splendidly. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2018
4/5 The Little Stranger (2018) Chris Wasser A moody, chilling and slow-burning mystery, with elements of the supernatural, this film gets right under your skin, and stays there for weeks. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2018
2/5 King of Thieves (2018) Chris Wasser It's a frustratingly clunky affair, and a tad uneven, tone-wise. In short, it's a wasted opportunity. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2018
5/5 American Animals (2018) Chris Wasser This is one expertly crafted, bat-s**t crazy heist flick, and you know what else? It's up there with the best of them. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2018
BlacKkKlansman (2018) Chris Wasser It works brilliantly as a dark comedy; it works as a muscular, historical drama that educates as much as it entertains; it works as a thrilling cop flick. It works, basically. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2018
2/5 The Equalizer 2 (2018) Chris Wasser A bloated, confusing, and terribly bland thriller. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2018
2/5 Christopher Robin (2018) Chris Wasser Hats off to the voice cast, who put the effort in, but the end result remains a surprisingly sticky presentation; slow, stagnant and mysteriously void of charm and warmth. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2018
3/5 Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) Chris Wasser There's a lot to be said for a superhero film in which the entire world isn't at stake, and where everyone isn't worrying about a skyscraper falling on their heads. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2018
5/5 Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) Chris Wasser Honestly, I don't know who's bigger - the series, or its leading man. But they're a match made in heaven. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2018
3/5 On Chesil Beach (2017) Chris Wasser Indeed, On Chesil Beach is the lovely, sad, awkward, tender, gorgeous, tragic, melodramatic love story you didn't know you'd been waiting for. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2018
Manchester: The Night of the Bomb (2018) Pat Stacey As a film-maker, Jamie Roberts has done an extraordinary job, weaving together the testimonies of bomb victims young and old into a powerful, harrowing hour that takes the viewer closer to the heart of carnage and tragedy than any documentary I've seen. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2018
1/5 The Delinquent Season (2017) Chris Wasser The whole darn thing is overwritten. Everyone is on autopilot. Everyone can do better. Nobody - especially a sleepy [Cillian] Murphy - is aware of just how bad a film they're dealing with. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2018
2/5 The Cured (2017) Chris Wasser Bitterly disappointing. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2018
5/5 Michael Inside (2017) Chris Wasser It's no easy watch, that's for sure -- but it's an important one. Stellar Irish film-making. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2018
3/5 Game Night (2018) Chris Wasser Game Night -- a slick, inventive and surprisingly efficient action/comedy -- is as solid a studio chuckle-fest as you could hope to see. Flawed, for sure, but we'll take it. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2018
5/5 Lady Bird (2017) Chris Wasser The meanest thing we could say about Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird is that there isn't enough of it. Maybe we're being greedy. Maybe 93 minutes is the perfect running time. That way, we can be sure we'll never tire of repeat viewings. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2018
Finding Your Feet (2017) Chris Wasser It's an unexpected joy, basically; a cosy and casual, Sunday afternoon offering, that passes the time nicely. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2018