Washington City Paper

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Bad Boys for Life (2020) Noah Gittell There's biting off more than you can chew, and then there's trying to eat the world's biggest ham with no teeth. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Bombshell (2019) Noah Gittell Bombshell makes the Fox newsroom feel like any other office space. That in itself is a remarkable achievement EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
The Aeronauts (2019) Noah Gittell It's a shining example of how technological advances should be used in mainstream movies but rarely are. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
Just Mercy (2019) Alan Zilberman Cretton's simple, unassuming style serves the film's sense of outrage, as does his curiosity about human nature. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Alan Zilberman Exhausting and exhilarating, the sort of film that takes the idea of escapism and pushes it to a nearly nauseating degree. We enjoy Howard's exploits because it is thrilling to watch someone get away with it, even if we aren't exactly rooting for him. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2019
63 Up (2019) Alan Zilberman Director Michael Apted's interview style - warm, if a little dispassionate - keeps this material from being too maudlin. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Alan Zilberman Johnson is a stylist specializing in characters who are smarter than the genres in which they appear, but both he and the cast make it all look so easy. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Waves (2019) Noah Gittell Director Trey Edward Shults delivers an emotional journey bathed in color. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
The Report (2019) Alan Zilberman This political procedural might sound too dry, but in Burns and Driver's hands, it is ferocious. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Noah Gittell The gangsters in The Irishman live the same life for too long, but Scorsese and his troupe avoid the same end. They are still kicking down doors, looking backward while moving forward... EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Alan Zilberman Motherless Brooklyn is far from perfect-it is too long and a touch too indulgent-and yet audiences may find themselves returning to it in the years ahead. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Noah Gittell Humor can be a powerful weapon against hatred, and Jojo Rabbit is a master class in how it works. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
Parasite (2019) Alan Zilberman All of its elements-the natural performances, dense plotting, and staggering political implications-coalesce into an undeniably provocative whole. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Gemini Man (2019) Noah Gittell It's meant to lure people to the theater and leave them shaking their heads in amazement at how far technology has advanced. Instead, it might make a Luddite out of you. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Joker (2019) Alan Zilberman Todd Phillips pulls his punches, so his film needles the audience, daring you to be upset about it. This is the cinematic equivalent of bullying. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Kamera o tomeru na! (2017) Alan Zilberman Zombie stories do not endure because they're original, but their very nature leads to a sense of camaraderie, and this one continues in that tradition. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) Alan Zilberman A good primer for those who have not considered the psychosexual possibilities of the chest-burster scene, or how the robot ultimately represents the patriarchy. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Wrinkles the Clown (2019) Alan Zilberman It is like the director read the article on Wrinkles and thought he had an idea for a feature-length film, only to realize the premise is not enough to sustain it. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Depraved (2019) Alan Zilberman It injects new life into a story that is essential to horror's DNA. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Ms. Purple (2019) Alan Zilberman This is a film with a committed sense of sadness, although it is never cloying or manipulative. The characters are too proud for that, but they wish they could be stronger. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Noah Gittell With its stabs at profundity, Ad Astra seeks to merge the visionary grandeur of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the domestic drama of The Tree of Life. In the end, it doesn't get close to either. If you're seeking intelligent life, best to look elsewhere. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Los Reyes (2018) Pat Padua With extreme close-ups of the dogs at rest and at play, Los Reyes is one of the more experimental dog stories you'll see, but it's not without its Hollywood-style arc, making you care about the dogs' welfare. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Monos (2019) Pat Padua Alejandro Landes is skimpy on backstory, which makes the spectacle of young men banding together in the wilderness that much more unsettling. It helps that the dissonant score is provided by Mica Levi. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Pat Padua By the harrowing final act, Tigers leans completely into its vision, in both reality and fantasy, leading to an unforgettable conclusion. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Rojo (2018) Pat Padua Naishtat distracts the viewer with subplots that may be irrelevant but contribute to a fevered tension that makes this the strongest of the festival titles we previewed. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Murder Me, Monster (2018) Pat Padua With its brutal, eerie atmosphere, remote setting, and goofy notes (Cruz likes to dance), Murder Me, Monster has shades of Twin Peaks, without the hipster trappings of the Bang Bang Bar. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
The Goldfinch (2019) Alan Zilberman Director John Crowley has the sensitivity and care to convey the book's emotions cinematically. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Official Secrets (2019) Noah Gittell Official Secrets is an effective entry in a genre that has outlived its usefulness...the film falters when it depends on character rather than procedure. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Love, Antosha (2019) Alan Zilberman It's a celebration of a life well lived, and how a creative kid transitions into the beginnings of a serious artist. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Angel Has Fallen (2019) Noah Gittell Angel Has Fallen simply has no reason to exist. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
Blinded by the Light (2019) Alan Zilberman As anyone who has written bad high school poetry can attest, good intentions do not always lead to great art. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
The Kitchen (2019) Noah Gittell It may take a long time to get going, but when it does, The Kitchen sizzles. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Alan Zilberman His loneliness, creativity, and chronic illnesses left him with an uncertain path ahead. Now that he is pushing 80, walking that path is not quite heroic, but it's close. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Noah Gittell It's the masterful work of a mature artist looking back on his life in film through glasses that were once blood-soaked but are now just rose-tinted. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
The Lion King (2019) Alan Zilberman It is a colossal blunder, a film so artless and bland that it may confuse younger audiences. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018) Noah Gittell The Reports on Sarah and Saleem [is] a mostly compelling, occasionally draining political drama from Palestine. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Alan Zilberman Far From Home is a mediocre Spider-Man film. Now that we have internalized the character's durability, genuine storytelling risks are the only way for the character to go forward. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2019
Yesterday (2019) Noah Gittell Yesterday is a fun thought experiment minus the thought. Or much fun. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Ted Scheinman The movie offers something more valuable than a hagiography: a rich and bittersweet film that investigates, without romanticizing, some of the anguish that lurked beneath the cool. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Autonomy (2019) Alan Zilberman Education is the primary goal, which can be worthwhile for something that's actually on the frontier of automation and artificial intelligence, except this particular technology has been a known quantity for years. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Kelyn Soong Using only archival footage, Belkin spotlights how Wallace, who died at 93 in 2012, lived a life of contradictions. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Midnight Family (2019) Pat Padua With the rush of nighttime traffic and dashboard cameras that capture the Ochoas rushing to beat rivals and police to their targets, Midnight Family is a real-life thriller and a dangerous reality show. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Law & Order (1969) Matt Cohen Fifty years later, Frederick Wiseman's landmark documentary Law and Order is as relevant as ever. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Caroline Jones Ivins was known for her sense of humor; the film contains no laughs. Although its subject was a shrewd prognosticator, Raise Hell runs a half step behind. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Slay the Dragon (2019) Matt Cohen If anything, this film should be a lesson that the will of the people will eventually prevail, even if all seems lost. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
() Noah Gittell Gu keeps her lens trained on the film's women, who suffer the slings and arrows of league officials, the public, and even some of their fellow cheerleaders as they mount an effort to protect their own rights. It's an inspiring tale... EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
We Believe In Dinosaurs (2019) Will Warren We Believe in Dinosaurs invites its audience to think about big ideas, which is the best thing that can be said about any film. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
Being Frank (2018) Noah Gittell Being Frank works so hard to make its male abuser sympathetic, while virtually ignoring the inner lives of the women unfortunate enough to be in his path, that each moment of empathy feels unearned and every laugh regrettable. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
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