Washington City Paper

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The White Tiger (2021) Alan Zilberman While Ramin Bahrani's early films were gentle, even soothing, his latest is misanthropic and cruel. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
The Midnight Sky (2020) Noah Gittell Maybe you'll be satisfied watching the pieces click together, but a film that deals in such primal stuff should make you feel something more. Say no to it. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Alan Zilberman Boseman's performance is a fitting end to a singular career that was tragically cut short. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Mank (2020) Noah Gittell It's almost as if Mank is writing the screenplay of his own life, and so the film is just as scattered, tedious, and occasionally brilliant as he is. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Wander Darkly (2020) Alan Zilberman That director Tara thinks this schlock could move an audience is an insult to our intelligence and our hearts. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Alan Zilberman There is little narrative arc, only a raw glimpse of this flawed family, so Howard and his collaborators strain for significance that always eludes them. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
Mephisto (1981) Pat Padua Brandauer ... embodies the tortured artist through a wildly vivid range that careens from hammy, operatic full-body gestures to the most subtle changes of expression at eyeball-level. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
The Insect Woman (1972) Pat Padua The only available copy on YouTube is transferred from a faded, scratchy print that suits the scandalous proceedings, as if the film stock has been corrupted by moral turpitude. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) Pat Padua the inventive visuals seem like a valiant, if ultimately futile, attempt to reckon with the folly of human behavior. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
A One and a Two... (2000) Pat Padua For three hours, the film observes its sprawling family with a quiet tenderness. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
The Twentieth Century (2019) Noah Gittell The Twentieth Century is a radical work that takes brazen liberty with established histories, but it hits home as a story about a guy trying to find some peace in a complex, overwhelming, and beautiful world. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
The Climb (2019) Alan Zilberman In a moment when most comedies are hastily assembled joke factories, this one feels like it's alive. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
Let Him Go (2020) Noah Gittell The film is surprisingly appropriate for the era...now is the time to watch Let Him Go. It will never resonate more. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
His House (2020) Alan Zilberman This is a horror film with a lot on its mind, without losing any genre requirements. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
Rebecca (2020) Noah Gittell Trying to remake Hitchcock might always be a bad idea, but Ben Wheatley is especially ill-suited to the task. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
12 Hour Shift (2020) Alan Zilberman The presence of Angela Bettis adds instant credibility to a horror movie...that is also the case with 12 Hour Shift, a horror thriller that has grace notes of gallows humor. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
Hail to the Deadites (2020) Alan Zilberman Hail to the Deadites is an example of what happens when someone depicts fans without questioning their fandom. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
Get the Hell Out (2020) Alan Zilberman Unlike The Walking Dead, this film has a bright palette and stylized choreography. It is always goofy and never grim, which is a shrewd way to hide the political satire under the film's surface. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Noah Gittell The Forty-Year-Old Version is like a time machine to the independent film boom of the 1990s... EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
Minor Premise (2020) Alan Zilberman With its stirring lead performance and ticking clock, this modest thriller is a major accomplishment. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Alan Zilberman Distortions notwithstanding, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a rousing reminder of what was at stake in the late 1960s. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
Faith Based (2020) Noah Gittell It pokes fun at Christian films while also telling a character-based story and taking the issue of belief quite seriously. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2020
The Mole Agent (2020) Alan Zilberman The line between recreation and cinema vérité is deliberately unclear, and yet the message is unshakable-elderly people deserve more dignity than they get, and the loneliness they face is a tragedy. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
Kokoloko (2020) Alan Zilberman Kokoloko is an unlikely travelogue since so much of the story involves mayhem and murder, but the 16mm imagery is a pleasure to behold. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
El robo del siglo (2020) Alan Zilberman This film has just the right balance of suspense and comedy, the sort of thing you should rush to see before the inevitable American remake. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
Ema (2019) Alan Zilberman Larraín intersperses Ema with beautiful dance sequences and crisp cinematography. If this drama provides no easy answers, at least it's a delight to behold. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) Alan Zilberman Johnson is a deft filmmaker, using careful staging to suggest scenes that are alternately exaggerated and intimate. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2020
The Nest (2020) Alan Zilberman We have been these characters before, in one way or another, and the film's final mercy is to show what is possible when our deepest mistakes are finally acknowledged. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Alan Zilberman Kaufman embraces more genre tropes than his usual work, although the frequent discursions can test our patience. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2020
Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Noah Gittell Just like its protagonists, it's sweet, stupid, and imbued with an earnest belief that music can save the world. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020
Tesla (2020) Alan Zilberman It is rare and refreshing to see it in a film that expects its audience to take it seriously. Just because Tesla was active in the late 19th century doesn't mean that he should speak or act like an old-timer. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2020
Boys State (2020) Noah Gittell It's a riveting political documentary and a heartfelt coming-of-age drama. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2020
Dirt Music (2019) Noah Gittell ...as a film, Dirt Music leaves us stuck in the mud. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2020
She Dies Tomorrow (2020) Alan Zilberman Although it is astute and curious about death in a way that few films achieve, it is never too grim. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2020
The Shadow of Violence (2019) Noah Gittell Guided by first-time feature director Nick Rowland, each actor creates their own riveting interpretation of our flawed, beautiful humanity... EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
The Rental (2020) Alan Zilberman Director Dave Franco internalizes the formal requirements of the horror genre, without fully understanding what those tropes are in service of. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2020
() Emma Sarappo The film is a snappy labor history that takes care not to get too starstruck by its celebrity connections and to be honest about the movement's failures as well as its triumphs. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2020
Freedia Got a Gun (2020) Kayla Randall The film takes viewers on a journey with Freedia through the area, and it covers the effects of everything from mass incarceration to Hurricane Katrina on the psyche of the people in the city. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2020
Sing Me a Song (2019) Ella Feldman The film is also dripping in moral judgement about technology, and unfortunately misses the opportunity to paint a fuller picture of Peyangki in favor of delivering a rudimentary lecture about how young people spend too much time on their phones... EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2020
() Noah Gittell The Letter is as much a portrait of a culture as it is a chronicling of one family's situation. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2020
Through the Night (2020) Alan Zilberman This is the rare gentle and heartfelt film that nonetheless may provoke your sense of anger for justice. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2020
The Dilemma of Desire (2020) Emma Sarappo Ultimately, the documentary doesn't seem interested in asking what purpose, say, the vibrator on a necklace that San Francisco-based designer Ti Chang sells serves beyond starting conversations... EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) Alan Zilberman This is a love story about two depressed, anxiety-ridden people whose mental states are constantly deteriorating. But it is also demented, charming, and funny as hell. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
The Truth (2019) Noah Gittell The high drama and post-modern intrigue are beautifully counter-balanced by Kore-eda's easy naturalism... EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2020
Babyteeth (2019) Noah Gittell The film feels inconsistent, despite great performances from its actors. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
4/5 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Alan Zilberman Unlike the Judd Apatow model where the dialogue is the primary source of humor, Ferrell's script (co-written with Andrew Steele) creates funny situations. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
Miss Juneteenth (2020) Kayla Randall There is so much love in Miss Juneteenth, and right now, for at least an hour and a half, that love could be the balm for many souls. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2020
The Reason I Jump (2020) Alan Zilberman It has the power to permanently change how you think about and consider a community you may not have understood. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
Through the Night (2002) Alan Zilberman It is not a polemic about child care, or a policy brief about suggested reforms. Instead, it shows the hard work that goes into operating one child care center. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) Alan Zilberman It's admirable how he advances the careers of his lead actors, however all that goodwill drains with an unfocused approach. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020