Washington City Paper

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Alan Zilberman Since the film does not take itself too seriously, it invites us to relax and let its grimly deadpan worldview wash over us. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Dark Phoenix (2019) Alan Zilberman Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Jean Grey are durable characters, but our patience for them is not. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Alan Zilberman Snow, rain, and smoke obscure the action, so the audience must squint to make any sense of how the monsters are fighting each other, or what city is under siege. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
The Souvenir (2019) Noah Gittell It is Hogg's strong, purposeful voice that frames their relationship so perfectly... EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
Booksmart (2019) Tricia Olszewski Olivia Wilde's directorial debut is an easy A. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
All Is True (2018) Tricia Olszewski ...nearly as much time seems to be given to outdoor establishing shots; though the tranquil scenes nicely contrast with the turbulent household, they further hamper a pace that was already slow to begin with. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Alan Zilberman The sheer variety of brutal violence will have audiences cheer or wince in perfect harmony. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
Dogman (2018) Noah Gittell The tension is masterfully held by its dueling lead actors, both of whom have the easy naturalism of non-professionals. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Alan Zilberman All this world-building and attention to detail is ultimately in service of a story that's borderline incoherent. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
The White Crow (2018) Noah Gittell The White Crow isn't about dance. It's about the character of Nureyev, who ultimately is not drawn well enough to warrant the attention. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) Tricia Olszewski Despite the documentary's focus on Westheimer's tragic past, it's largely a joy. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Hugh Hefner's After Dark: Speaking Out in America (2018) Ted Scheinman There's a fine line between capitalizing on counterculture and promulgating it, and Hefner straddled that line as it suited him, in the same sad arrangement that in more recent years has given us woke corporations. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
General Magic (2017) Tricia Olszewski ... what makes it remarkable is its footage of those halcyon days. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Echo in the Canyon (2018) Noah Gittell Echo In the Canyon has the timeless appeal of a tasty riff. It's the sunny equivalent of a tourist bus trip past the homes of famous rock stars, and director Andrew Slater carefully avoids the dark alleys. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Tazzeka (2018) Ted Scheinman All the more powerful as a portrait of south-to-north migration in the 21st century... EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Alan Zilberman Fan service can be satisfying, just not the way the writers and directors handle it here, so by the time they get back to moments of gravitas, it is already too late. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
Teen Spirit (2018) Tricia Olszewski Elle Fanning shines in Max Minghella's directorial debut, but there's not much depth to her character. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
Her Smell (2018) Alan Zilberman This film is relatively pitiless, exhausting the audience until we acquiesce to Becky's rage. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
The Chaperone (2018) Noah Gittell You never quite know what Norma's story is about, and McGovern's performance is hardly compelling enough for that not to matter. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
Hellboy (2019) Tricia Olszewski Neil Marshall's reboot loses all the witty charm and imaginativeness of Guillermo del Toro's 2004 film. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
The Public (2018) Noah Gittell He should have let his central conceit do the talking...It is a brazen instance of white saviorism. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
Diane (2018) Alan Zilberman Character actors often transition into leading roles, but the nature of said roles should evolve accordingly. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
The Beach Bum (2019) Noah Gittell You might be fooled into thinking it actually matters, but it's really just a stoner comedy with some half-baked observations about the artistic process. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
The Brink (2019) Alan Zilberman Parts of the film unfold like a far-right version of This Is Spinal Tap. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
The Hummingbird Project (2018) Tricia Olszewski With the filmmaker's shapeless and dull script, an anticlimactic end was perhaps inevitable. And he directs it in such a bland and inconsequential way that you may wonder if what happened in the film did, in fact, happen. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
The Most Unknown (2018) Tricia Olszewski The problem is that, although the topics themselves are interesting, it's obviously impossible for anyone to go into much depth in a 92-minute film, resulting in generalities that hardly enlighten. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
This Mountain Life (2018) Amy Guay Still, This Mountain Life feels like going to church, especially when the alpinists and artists who give the landscape voice are so eloquent, so philosophical about their communion. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
The Human Element (2018) Tricia Olszewski Throughout, one tenet rings clear, says Balog: "People are the only element that can choose to restore balance." EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (2017) Pat Padua As we see vintage footage of the younger composer with jet-black hair, the artist's now-white hair and grizzled face make one wonder about the very purpose of decay... EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Meow Wolf: Origin Story (2018) Pat Padua Jilann Spitzmiller and Morgan Capps aren't afraid to reveal what really drives these one-time DIY pioneers; by the end of the movie, Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek freely admits he wants to turn it into a billion- dollar corporation. Yay environment! EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Into the Canyon (2019) Pat Padua Unfortunately, the end product is less about a natural wonder than about the friends they made along the way. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
When Lambs Become Lions (2018) Noah Gittell It's an irresistible hook, so why does so much of When Lambs Become Lions feel inert? EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
The River and the Wall (2019) Alan Zilberman If The River and the Wall runs the risk of being too repetitive, Masters breaks up the argument with a sense of adventure. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Woman at War (2018) Tricia Olszewski You get the feeling that although she may temporarily give up her battles, the Mountain Woman will never relinquish her war. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Rih rabani (2018) Pat Padua Divine Wind loses its way in its own shifting jet stream, but its gorgeous images and two of its central performances make it worth watching. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Alan Zilberman Cynical fans may think Captain Marvel is too little, too late, yet it convincingly makes the case she arrives right on time. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (2018) Amy Guay By framing her life in the context of second-wave feminism, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin captures Le Guin's legacy as a radical heroine. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
Penguin Highway (2018) Amy Guay Backed by a gorgeous score, Aoyama's quest for answers is only somewhat satisfied by the time the credits roll. And that is perfectly fine, Ishida seems to say. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
Metal Heart (2018) Tricia Olszewski Metal Heart's worst sin is that it's sloppy, with details that are either forgotten about or don't make sense to begin with. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Don't Leave Home (2018) Alan Zilberman There is a lot of symbolism in Don't Leave Home, and Tully keeps things at a gentle, almost lazy pace so you have time to consider it. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
The Hole in the Ground (2019) Alan Zilberman Unfortunately, the film falters because it relies so heavily on tropes. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
The Drummer and the Keeper (2017) Alan Zilberman A better, more daring film would follow these misfits to whatever unlikely, dark place their natures led them. Kelly instead opts for a contrived happy ending, and while the film goes down easy, it could have had more actual substance. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018) Noah Gittell Ruben Brandt, Collector is a visual feast for all audiences, and it makes a coherent, anti-elitist statement that is no less profound for its simplicity: Art literally is everywhere. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Fighting With My Family (2019) Noah Gittell Fighting with My Family may be best remembered, however, as a tale of two stars, one ascendant and one settling into the second act of his career. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Alan Zilberman By never overstaying its welcome, it is easier to look past the annoying bits. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
Isn't It Romantic (2019) Tricia Olszewski The scripters try to circumvent the tropes and inject a little feminist spirit into the plot development, though it turns out to be somewhat of a cheat. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Never Look Away (2018) Alan Zilberman The director somehow manages to insult his audience, misunderstand his subject, and reduce German history into the trappings of turgid melodrama. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Tricia Olszewski The result is impressionistic, a look at daily triumphs and challenges that feels like reverie but couldn't be more real. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
Pig (2018) Alan Zilberman By the time it reaches its frenzied conclusion, its comic exaggeration offers biting insight into what creative suppression must feel like. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2019
Se rokh (2018) Alan Zilberman Since it has an affable low-key quality to it, it is easy to forget Panahi is one of the few filmmakers whose efforts could be described as heroic. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2019