Mania.com

Mania.com is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Rob Vaux
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ Black Sea (2014) Rob Vaux It might not be the most original submarine movie you've ever seen, but don't be surprised if it ranks among the better ones. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2015
A The Last Unicorn (1982) Rob Vaux We don't see stories like this anymore. In point of fact, we never did... which makes this movie all the more wonderful. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2015
B- Blackhat (2015) Rob Vaux While it isn't great, the director's technical flourishes and storytelling elements remain consistently compelling, EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2015
A- Paddington (2014) Rob Vaux The movies can still be worth it, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. If you need proof, look no further than Paddington. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2015
C Runaway (1984) Rob Vaux A cautionary tale about robots run amok that ages as badly as keyboard ties and shoulder pads. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2015
D Taken 3 (2014) Rob Vaux [It] isn't so much out of gas as it is dragging itself away from the stalled car across the baking desert by its fingernails. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2015
F Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) Rob Vaux Its blithe self-confidence shows not the slightest inkling of just how terrible it all is: a wonderful kind of terrible that makes you weep for joy. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2015
C+ Big Eyes (2014) Rob Vaux The talk at Denny's afterwards is going to be much more enjoyable than the movie itself. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2015
B Into the Woods (2014) Rob Vaux It performs its duties competently, benefits from some fantastic casting, and gives us some fun tunes to whistle on our way home. But Sondheim was hunting for bigger game. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2015
C- The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014) Rob Vaux This is a case of taking things too far without the proper structure in place, leaving it trapped like its hapless protagonists far from safety. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2015
B+ 1984 (1984) Rob Vaux Its accuracy goes hand-in-hand with its unobtrusive nature, perfectly creating the ordinariness of Orwell's dystopian nightmare in ways that unsettle you only in retrospect. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2014
B- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) Rob Vaux Even Jackson seems a little weary of Middle-earth by now, a land whose cinematic history The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an overly delayed close. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2014
A Starman (1984) Rob Vaux We see a sweet side to the director that never appeared anywhere else: an emotional palate that he rarely indulged in, but which he handles with surprising grace and subtlety. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2014
B- Dune (1984) Rob Vaux It's bad - as bad as they come - but also built to last, and as the years roll on, its fascinating qualities continue to grow. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2014
C Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) Rob Vaux A well-meaning movie directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time who just can't get his finger on the pulse of this story. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2014
D The Pyramid (2014) Rob Vaux Ah, found footage: my old nemesis. We meet again. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2014
A The Babadook (2014) Rob Vaux It wants to get to the core of our fears: the ones that don't need a fright mask to keep us up at night. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2014
D Supergirl (1984) Rob Vaux A festering dump of bad ideas, corny lines and Hollywood excess. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2014
B VHS: Viral (2014) Rob Vaux I credit it for really engaging with our culture's omnipresent voyeurism instead of just using it as an excuse to cut the budget. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2014
B+ The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014) Rob Vaux It doesn't pull the trick off quite as slickly as it should, but it never fails to engage us and more importantly, it leaves us wanting more. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2014
B Night of the Comet (1984) Rob Vaux The irreverence at the perceived end of the world constitutes Night of the Comet's biggest selling point: borrowing some of the cheekiness that George A. Romero used so well, and making it the main dish rather than the garnish. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2014
C Dumb and Dumber To (2014) Rob Vaux Its overall desperation makes it a much more depressing experience than the first one, despite sporadic fits of humor. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2014
D Missing in Action (1984) Rob Vaux CHUCK NORRIS WILL KILL YOU WITH HIS GIANT MECHANICAL DEATH PENIS!!! EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2014
A A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Rob Vaux Not since the shower scene in Psycho did one director discover our most intimate vulnerabilities: in bed, while we're asleep, in a state of consciousness where absolutely no one could help us. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2014
D Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) Rob Vaux It had its moment and then vanished, like all garbage does. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2014
B+ Big Hero 6 (2014) Rob Vaux With this film, Disney expresses a willingness to test new waters in a genre flirting with stagnation. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2014
B Interstellar (2014) Rob Vaux Whenever Christopher Nolan has something to say, it pays to listen. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2014
D+ C.H.U.D. (1984) Rob Vaux Boring in the extreme, lurching along in search of diversion before fitfully delivering what the customers presumably paid to see. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
C Dreamscape (1984) Rob Vaux I really wanted Dreamscape to work and when I was younger, it probably worked better. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
F Ninja III -- The Domination (1984) Rob Vaux It distills the 80s down into diamond-hard pellets, dumps them into a shotgun, and unloads both barrels right in your face. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
F Sheena (1984) Rob Vaux An earnest mid-80s attempt to bring a comic-book heroine to life in ways that make Halle Berry's Catwoman look like Anne Hathaway's Catwoman. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
B+ House on Haunted Hill (1999) Rob Vaux In our post-torture-porn era of gloom and doom, its ebullience feels like a breath of fresh air. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
A All of Me (1984) Rob Vaux His manic thrashing actually hides a very measured and deliberate performance. We can see the twin halves of his body struggling to work in sync, turning a simple walk to the bathroom into a piece of comedic gold. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
A- Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) Rob Vaux I don't expect to see a lot of movies like this, nor do I want to. It wouldn't be as special otherwise. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
D+ Ouija (2014) Rob Vaux The sheer brazen chutzpah of turning a horror movie into an advertisement may be the most original concept here, all the more bizarre because of the horrors unfurled by the product in question. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
B John Wick (2014) Rob Vaux If we've learned nothing else from the movies, it's that you don't mess with a man's dog. Because said man is likely some supreme ultimate bad-ass who goes on to kill you, your idiot buddies and the massive criminal organization to which you belong. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
B+ Gone Girl (2014) Rob Vaux Gone Girl jumps right into the thick of the gender gap at a time when women's rights are in the news every day. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2014
C- Annabelle (2014) Rob Vaux This couple could have avoided all of it just by acting with the intelligence God gave the average stink beetle. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2014
B+ The Equalizer (2014) Rob Vaux Solid revenge porn: the kind that lets you be a grown-up in the most childish way possible. That's not a criticism. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2014
B- Space Station 76 (2014) Rob Vaux It's almost as hard to hate Space Station 76 as it is to recommend it without an apologetic grin. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2014
B The Maze Runner (2014) Rob Vaux It presumes nothing and works hard to make us respect it, a sign of good filmmaking first and franchise building second. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2014
A- Devoured (2012) Rob Vaux Olliver borrows more than his share from Polanski, but never hides his inspiration, and indeed does justice to it instead of just regurgitating its tricks. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2014
C- As Above, So Below (2014) Rob Vaux Dear horror movies, ENOUGH WITH THE GODDAMN SHAKY-CAM! EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2014
C Cloak and Dagger (1984) Rob Vaux For a movie so obsessed with the line between reality and make-believe, it never knows which side it wants to be on. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2014
C+ Red Dawn (1984) Rob Vaux Red Dawn knows what it wants to say; it just has a hard time saying it, and too often it goes for the easy score instead of really delving into the possibilities of the scenario. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2014
A The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984) Rob Vaux A one-film franchise that never was, too daft and marvelous to expand any further. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2014
C Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Rob Vaux When you walk in braced for a howler, the occasional good point feels like an unexpected surprise, and even the worst moments are more "been there, done that" than "holy cow this stinks!" EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2014
B Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Rob Vaux Nothing ruins a good movie more than calling it a great one, and while Guardians of the Galaxy is good, no one will mistake it for a high point in the MCU. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2014
A- Lucy (2014) Rob Vaux Lucy is either the dumbest smart film or the smartest dumb film I've ever seen. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2014
D Revenge of the Nerds (1984) Rob Vaux The kind of movie you saw on video when it was still forbidden fruit and loved it, only to find it much uglier with the rose-colored glasses removed. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2014