The L Magazine

The L Magazine is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Ela Bittencourt, Keith Uhlich, Nick Schager, R. Emmet Sweeney, Violet Lucca
Rating Title/Year Author
Unexpected (2015) Abbey Bender Unexpected deserves credit for featuring a relationship between two women that is not often shown. At the same time, though, that relationship, fraught with race and class tension as it is, never really challenges us in a believable way. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Girlhood (2014) Abbey Bender Girlhood shines a poignant light on black female friendship, and the presence of violence feels like an unfortunate attempt at projecting racial verisimilitude. What's far more interesting is the sight of these four girls enjoying each other's company. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Amour fou (2014) Abbey Bender The story has the potential to be emotionally bombastic, but Hausner's careful direction keeps us at a determined remove. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Northeast (2011) Ela Bittencourt Northeast never finds enough direction, or gathers enough oomph, to leave a lasting impression. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
Meet the Fokkens (2011) Ela Bittencourt A prostitute's sexual freedom is a fiction; though this isn't news, the film confronts the issue with rawness and panache. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
Ricky on Leacock (2012) Ela Bittencourt Weiner seems star-struck, and treats viewers to too many chats over home-cooked dinners and film-award ceremonies. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
Farewell, My Queen (2012) Ela Bittencourt It might be that Marie still waits for a true incarnation, but Jacquot's pushing her beyond likeability is refreshing. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
The Woman in the Fifth (2011) Ela Bittencourt It is a pity that Pawlikowski abandons his quietly haunting impressionism in the film's more literal second half. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
Gerhard Richter Painting (2011) Ela Bittencourt Shows the process behind Richter's fancy free abstract paintings, but leaves the greater forces and themes that make him not only a famous or a rich painter but an important one unexamined. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
Putin's Kiss (2011) Ela Bittencourt It does deliver a forceful message: the fight for the young Russians' hearts and minds is far from over. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2018
The Girl (2009) Violet Lucca If nothing else, see The Girl to remember what a real cinematic visual sensibility can be. Bliss out, don't read the subtitles. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2016
Daniel & Ana (2009) Violet Lucca Daniel & Ana may seem like a terrible choice for a first date, but if you're brave enough, the post-cinematic discussion will assuredly be more revealing of character than any online compatibility test. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2016
Outrage: Beyond (2012) Violet Lucca Another cash-grab that unfortunately wears its cheapness on its sleeve. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2016
Obvious Child (2014) Violet Lucca The humor in Obvious Child never trivializes its characters' feelings, but instead provides a balance and the ability to explore more nuanced emotional situations. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2016
Miss Julie (2014) Violet Lucca Miss Julie's acid dialogue and sardonic twists burn down to the bone of costume drama's fattened arm, its darkness closer to original-series Upstairs Downstairs than to polished one-percenter porno Downton Abbey. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2016
Whores' Glory (2011) Violet Lucca For a film with such fraught subject matter, Whores' Glory feels ultimately empty. Whether or not that's the ultimate comment on these lives is unclear. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2016
Gloria (2013) Violet Lucca What truly makes the film riveting is Paulina García's performance as the title character -- and she appears in nearly every shot. With a wide, truly contagious smile, García exudes a lived-in confidence and control with every movement. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2016
Don Jon (2013) Violet Lucca In terms of disposable, enjoyable entertainment, you could do much worse than this. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2016
Rubber (2010) Violet Lucca Rubber may not be everyone's comedic go-to, but certainly it's a sui generis indie that doesn't portend to be anything more than its 86 minutes. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2016
Viva Riva! (2010) Violet Lucca One of the most vivid, ambitious cinematic offerings of 2011. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2016
United Red Army (2007) Violet Lucca Neither glowing hagiography nor glowering condemnation, United Red Army is about the why of that failure -- in exacting detail, and with plenty of time to think it over. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2016
Saint Laurent (2014) Violet Lucca Bertrand Bonello's film shares more DNA with Olivier Assayas's Carlos than the September Issue (magazine or documentary), and prioritizes action, energy, and form over lengthy explications of history or psychology. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2016
The Honeymoon Killers (1969) Henry Stewart A critical response to Bonnie and Clyde and its romantic violence...subverts every Hollywood shibboleth... EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2016
Natural Born Killers (1994) Henry Stewart Feels like watching television when the cat's got the remote. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2016
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) Henry Stewart It's Chinatown dipped in honey--then left out in the sun for the flies. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2016
The Craft (1996) Henry Stewart Witchcraft becomes a metaphor for drugs in this conservatively cautionary 90s camp favorite. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2016
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1969) Henry Stewart Unlike the slashers it resembles, its monster enforces no reactionary moral code; the bad guy is a [Catholic father], and the unbelieving hero...leaves the praying to priests. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2016
Foreign Correspondent (1940) Henry Stewart Hitchcock's second American feature...is mostly set anywhere but in America, yet it's a curious piece of Hollywood propaganda. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2016
River's Edge (1987) Henry Stewart Like a typical high school comedy under extreme duress...interrogates a suburban generation that's either numb or nasty, born of the 60s' failed idealism...about a boy who has to betray his hometown to do right by the world. And by himself. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2015
Paperhouse (1988) Henry Stewart There really are no other movies like this one. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2015
Autumn Sonata (1978) Henry Stewart Here are two women wrestling with each other, a true grudge match, but also two actors with distinct styles, challenging one another, making the other better. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2015
The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) Henry Stewart The Stanford prison experiment never felt more relevant...This is how the conditions are created for both Rikers Island and Staten Island; correctional officers aren't so different from police: from New York to Ferguson, Baltimore to Cleveland. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2015
Jaws (1975) Henry Stewart Spielberg reduced [Benchley's novel] to a fight at sea between animal and man, which is as old as American literature itself. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2015
The Stepfather (1987) Henry Stewart The coup de grâce? He's also a real-estate agent. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2015
Excalibur (1981) Henry Stewart This trippy telling of Thomas Malory mixes myriad mythologies...to create transcultural ur-lore... EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2015
Heaven Knows What (2014) Henry Stewart We all live on top of each other in the Safdies' city. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2015
After Hours (1985) Henry Stewart All the anxiety of Koch-era New York is wrapped up in this surreal, screwball and terrifying film. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2015
Tomorrowland (2015) Keith Uhlich Corny, childish gibberish writ large. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2015
Altered States (1980) Henry Stewart The far-out fringes of studio-funded cinema. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2015
Explorers (1985) Henry Stewart Nostalgic but not naive, celebrating not jingoism or violence but certain American characteristics, embodied by each of the characters, that did approach greatness: pluck, know-how, and rock-n-roll attitude. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2015
Patterns (1956) Henry Stewart Captures a transitional moment, before the term "ruthless American businessman" was assumed redundant, when a few of them still had honor and character--just before the country went full Vader. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2015
God Told Me To (1976) Henry Stewart Grimy and off-the-rails, an overlooked masterpiece, a thinking man's grindhouse picture that fuses the religious-crisis pretensions of a Great Novel with the tawdry horror tropes of a Times Square also-ran. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2015
In Cold Blood (1967) Henry Stewart B&W rarely looked so good, before or since. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2015
It Follows (2014) Henry Stewart As scary as a serious consideration of your own death. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2015
Focus (2015) Keith Uhlich Swindler cinema is only as good as its architecture; once the big picture is revealed, viewers should be thrilled at having had one pulled over on them. Focus, sadly, leaves you feeling bilked. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2015
She's Gotta Have It (1986) Henry Stewart Her three suitors seem to represent different facets of black identity, and her spurning of all three feels like a defiant rejection not only of being pigeonholed but also of pigeonholing the black experience. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2015
Queen and Country (2014) Keith Uhlich Once more unto the breach for writer-director John Boorman, who revisits the semiautobiographical characters from his superb WWII dramedy Hope and Glory in the beautifully bittersweet Queen and Country. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2015
Compulsion (1959) Henry Stewart Director Richard Fleischer brings to the film style and occasional jazz-wailing verve, teasing out the underlying homoeroticism [in this] mashup of Rope, In Cold Blood and Inherit the Wind. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2015
Wild (2014) Jesse Hassenger The movie does an admirable job visualizing the potentially tedious process of a person walking around, thinking about herself. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2015
Big Eyes (2014) Jesse Hassenger A portrait of Burton's native California: sunny pop-art sprawl with undercurrents of dysfunction and menace. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2015