Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Monos (2019) Mark Jenkins To watch this fierce drama is to be welcomed to the jungle. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Hustlers (2019) Andrew Lapin It's an astute commentary on the money moves we all need to make to survive. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Dear Ex (2018) Andrew Lapin Love in this movie is expressed in odd ways, but it is still genuine. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2019
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018) Linda Holmes One of the things Gadsby is doing is exploring tools for telling stories, particularly stories of trauma. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2018
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life (2018) Linda Holmes It is aggressively affable and very broad, and sometimes that's just what you need. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2018
Begin Again (2013) Linda Holmes For a movie that could have come off like a Hollywood version of something beautiful and tiny, it's actually quite successful. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2013
The Double (2013) Linda Holmes It's a very odd, genuinely offbeat film (there were a noteworthy number of walkouts, though that can have as much to do with the timing of other screenings as the reaction to the film), but it burbles and crackles with imagination. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2013
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Bob Mondello Writer-director Russell is just the guy to bring out (and then calm) the manic dysfunction in these folks. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2013
8.5/10 Into the Abyss (2011) Ian Buckwalter Herzog unforgettably shows how when you pull tight the straps on men who've lain down to die, it leaves a mark. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2011
7/10 Brighton Rock (2010) Bob Mondello Where the first film had a lawyer spouting Shakespeare, this one mostly has visual panache - crosses and crucifixes rather than dialogue about religion. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2011
8/10 Point Blank (2010) Bob Mondello Director Fred Cavayé has a reputation in France for getting the audience's pulse pounding, and in Point Blank, he does that while mixing in some intriguing social themes and character types that are usually outsiders to the genre. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2011
5/10 Everything Must Go (2010) Ian Buckwalter Writer/director Dan Rush takes one simple concept from Raymond Carver's spare, evocative, and extremely short story - a sad alcoholic with his furniture on the lawn - and fills in the blanks. Too many of them, as it turns out. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2011
The Taqwacores (2010) Mark Jenkins Unapologetically episodic, the movie is designed to awe and shock... and to plunge viewers into a world whose fury is half exotic and half typical of any group of unruly adolescents. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2011
5.9/10 The Way Back (2010) Ian Buckwalter There's an enjoyably old-fashioned brand of adventure at work here, when Weir doesn't handcuff himself with Red scare politics and maudlin sentimentality. The former outweighs the latter, but only just barely. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2011
7.5/10 The Time That Remains (2009) Ian Buckwalter The silence of the character played by director Elia Suleiman lends the role a kind of invisibility that seems meant as an analogy to his view of the Arab presence in Israel. He's present, yet absent. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2011
Night Catches Us (2010) Mark Jenkins The movie evokes its time and place so potently that it almost doesn't matter that Hamilton's script proves unequal to her vision. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2010
Let Me In (2010) Mark Jenkins Stylish and effectively creepy, if mostly secondhand. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2010
Barry Munday (2010) Scott Tobias A deeply off-putting independent comedy. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2010
8/10 Despicable Me (2010) Bob Mondello It's all thoroughly adorable, and with an overlay that's nearly as odd as Carell's accent: Despicable Me looks a lot like other computer-animated pictures... EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2010
Observe and Report (2009) Mark Jenkins That playlist proves that Observe and Report was shaped by a hip sensibility. Shame that sensibility didn't have more effect on the script. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2010
Gran Torino (2008) Mark Jenkins Gran Torino is less a sleek hybrid than a multigenre pileup. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2010
Moon (2009) Bob Mondello Start calculating the costs to Lunar Industries of its singular form of devaluing, and Moon's central premise stops making sense. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Dreamgirls (2006) Bob Mondello The energy is so high in sequences like this -- and there are lots of them -- that it almost doesn't matter that we've seen this story before, in Ray and other film biographies about the "heartbreak" of musical stardom. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Lymelife (2008) Mark Jenkins For all its emphasis on suburbia and its discontents, Lymelife never quite convinces that its story's environs are essential -- or even all that interesting. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Seven Pounds (2008) Mark Jenkins Reactions to the movie will largely depend on whether or not viewers decide this time that the divine Mr. Smith has overreached. I say he has -- but I can't tell you why. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Treeless Mountain (2008) Mark Jenkins While this minimalist tale could have been heartbreaking, what's most affecting is not the kids' plight but their pluck. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) Mark Jenkins Married, a father and pushing 40, Smith is no longer a trustworthy chronicler of 20-something slackers. He still can devise an impressively gamy set piece, but he's misplaced the humanity of his best work. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Orphan (2009) Nathan Lee The movie is, as these things go, enjoyably trashy. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Knowing (2009) Nathan Lee A slog through lazy writing, indifferent acting and blase direction with no hope of anything but chaotic violence as reward. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Tetro (2009) Mark Jenkins A dazzling stylistic exercise, Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro pays tribute to great bygone European filmmakers. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Bolt (2008) Mark Jenkins The latest generation of animated flicks is a sort of latter-day vaudeville revue. Kiddies who take Bolt to heart may conclude not only that dogs really do have superpowers, but also that everybody's in showbiz. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
The Reader (2008) Mark Jenkins A British movie of a well-reviewed German novel about issues both moral and bookish. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2010
Grown Ups (2010) Mark Jenkins Despite occasional attempts at plot and character, this is basically a roast with scenery. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2010
2/10 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2009) Ian Buckwalter This is a movie so in love with its own supposed cleverness that it never realizes it's not all that clever. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2010
Ondine (2009) Ella Taylor Ondine plumbs the country's most resonant fairy tale and plays impishly along the borders of postcard fantasies of Ireland. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2010
Warlords (Tau ming chong) (2010) Mark Jenkins Doesn't make fighting look graceful, easy or fun, and that's a mark of its courage. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2010
9/10 In the Loop (2009) Bob Mondello Blistering satire ... scabrous laughs. And it's so easy to imagine that this really is how governments make earth-shaking decisions. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2009
8/10 Humpday (2009) Bob Mondello The film ends up being about not just a really idiotic dare, but about the bounds of friendship and the bonds of marriage — and about much more besides. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2009
7.5/10 Herb and Dorothy (2008) Bob Mondello Briskly and engagingly cinematic. ... [Their compulsive collecting seems] at once crazy, smart, generous and enormously endearing. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2009
8/10 Departures (2008) Bob Mondello Multiplexes are crowded with noisy summer films, from which Departures will represent a sophisticated and elegant departure. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2009
4.9/10 X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) Bob Mondello Those movies where people get sent to an island somewhere, then discover that everyone's a clone, or a reactor is melting down? Imagine all of that happening at once, only everybody is indestructible. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2009
8.5/10 12 (2007) Bob Mondello The stories the jurors tell, of course, are different ... filled with arguments that reference local tensions and situations possessing a distinctly Chekhovian flavor. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2009
3/10 An American Affair (2009) Bob Mondello If you can get past the exploitation-of-minors thing, there's a tawdry exuberance to moments like the one in which the twerp and his overage girlfriend drunkenly splash paint on each other. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2009
8.5/10 Coraline (2009) Bob Mondello Selick puts his real faith not in the gimmickry that Coraline's audiences will think they've shown up for, but in the stronger virtues that they'd likely view as old-fashioned: character, and story, and so on. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2009
3.5/10 New in Town (2009) Bob Mondello Broad accents, broader slapstick and a willful shrinking from anything remotely original. ... Also much condescension, toward both the characters and the audience. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2009
7/10 Good (2008) Bob Mondello Good is pretty schematic — betraying its theatrical roots, perhaps. It's also a little drawn out. But it demonstrates the surprising power of character flaws in drama. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2008
Waltz With Bashir (2008) Mark Jenkins Israeli writer-director Ari Folman's powerful, innovative film is composed largely of nightmares, all but the final one rendered in graphic-novel style. EDIT
Posted Dec 25, 2008
3/10 The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Bob Mondello Dunno about the Earth, but time certainly stands still for a goodly portion of Scott Derrickson's expensively produced but utterly boneheaded remake. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2008
4/10 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) Bob Mondello The faux-naive point of view probably worked better in the novel; the literalness of film renders certain of the story's conceits ... overly precious. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2008
8/10 Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008) Bob Mondello Without their guns, the men prove surprisingly helpless. And when a [mediator] tells them that if they want the women to stop treating them like children, they must behave responsibly, you sense a corner has been turned. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2008