Washington City Paper

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
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
Glass (2019) Alan Zilberman Unfortunately, the cast's goodwill is all in service of a cranky magician who would rather show off his skill, instead of wow his audience. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
Capernaum (2018) Noah Gittell Capernaum is an immersive film that you can't shake about a child that everyone else has forgotten. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
Destroyer (2018) Alan Zilberman By the time the film reveals all its secrets, its total divorce from human behavior will make it impossible to care what happened. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
Welcome to Marwen (2018) Noah Gittell There are a lot of dots in Welcome to Marwen but little to connect them. It puts you in the shoes of its protagonist, who is overwhelmed by life and would rather live in fantasy land, but unlike him, it never finds its way out. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
Cold War (2018) Alan Zilberman Pawlikowski maintains a high level of energy with frequent music performances, subtle comedy, and a pitch-perfect bittersweet ending. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
Aquaman (2018) Alan Zilberman What ultimately holds it together is that this film is self-aware about its silliness, to the point that it is often sublime. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
Manbiki kazoku (2018) Tricia Olszewski That Kore-eda makes these people not only empathetic but lovable is a sizable achievement, though one that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's seen his earlier work. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Ben Is Back (2018) Noah Gittell It's a film for soccer moms with troubled teens, and while I suppose they deserve their movie, too, it's hard to imagine this one meaning much to anyone else. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Vox Lux (2018) Tricia Olszewski Tragedy awaits in Corbet's script, keeping Vox Lux strenuously serious and bleak, a tone the discordant score reinforces despite Celeste's bouncy pop hits... EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2018
Roma (2018) Alan Zilberman Alfonso Cuarón's new film is the rare family drama that's also a feast for the eyes. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2018
The Favourite (2018) Noah Gittell The Favourite is nasty, hilarious, obscene, absurd, and exquisite. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
Euthanizer (2017) Tricia Olszewski Unless you take a hard line against revenge-as in typical thrillers, things do escalate quickly-this Euthanizer is easy to get behind. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
Iceman (2017) Noah Gittell Directed by Felix Randau, Iceman doesn't say anything that America's bleakest westerns haven't said before, but it remains thrilling as a work of pure cinema. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
Knife + Heart (2018) Alan Zilberman The details of the mystery are incidental to Knife + Heart. What matters more is the vibe and liberation of watching it. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
Transit (2018) Alan Zilberman The complex, twisty love story also grows like a weed, until it ends on a wistful note. Rogowski is no Bogart, and yet Georg has the weariness, romance, and desperation of a lovable noir hero. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
In My Room (2018) Noah Gittell Neither of the characters are well defined enough to be fully invested in their romance, and so many of the questions you want the film to consider-like, why were these two people left behind-go unasked. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018