NPR

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Photograph (2020) Scott Tobias Most of it is curiously flat and under-seasoned, despite two stars in Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield who have an abundance of chemistry together. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Buffaloed (2019) Mark Jenkins In 2017, Zoey Deutch managed to carry Flower, a brisk but slight comedy about an exuberant young hustler with Daddy issues. She does it again in Buffaloed, in which she plays pretty much the same character, but confronts a different social evil. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Ordinary Love (2019) Ella Taylor Unlike most others of its kind, this one trusts us to stick with the slew of treatments that often hurt more than the disease. In its cheekily Irish way it offers a portrait of a great and enduring love under acute pressure. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) Linda Holmes It doesn't have the same effortlessness or the clean throughline that To All The Boys did, but that's partly because it's a more complicated story emotionally. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
And Then We Danced (2019) Scott Tobias And Then We Danced has a good sense of the challenges facing the LGBTQ community and it seems to tread carefully because of them, never provoking more than strictly necessary. Yet it's still following a winning formula... EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Glen Weldon Birds of Prey may be a manic circus, but it proves to be the best kind of circus - one without a clown. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Ella Taylor Without resort to a single scene of graphic sexual violence, Green nails down the awful truth that Jane's exploitation is part and parcel of a silent but systemic abuse of powerless and vulnerable women. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
Beanpole (2019) Scott Tobias As difficult as Beanpole can be to watch, it quietly accumulates kindnesses alongside the crueler twists of fate, and hopes that warmth is more sustaining. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
The Rhythm Section (2020) Mark Jenkins What are crucially missing from this scenario, besides sheer believability, are wit, ambiguity and irony. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) Bob Mondello Director Peyton Reed and his army of screenwriters haven't made "Ant-Man And The Wasp" a terribly clever movie, but it's clever enough to keep you from reaching for bug spray. And in the summer, Marvel has apparently decided that's all that's required. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) Chris Klimek The Gentlemen finds the unlikely director of Aladdin v.2019 released from Disneyland to return to his distinctly loquacious crooks played by distinctly memorable actors. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
Color Out of Space (2019) Mark Jenkins Despite all the peril, the film musters little urgency. It dawdles its way to a the final freakout, fueled by Colin Stetson's increasingly amok score. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
Zombi Child (2019) Andrew Lapin Haiti's rich history of revolution and rebirth is still in want of filmmakers willing to take it seriously. But at least this one returns the undead to their roots, before they themselves were colonized. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
Dolittle (2020) Scott Tobias Dolittle is a not a film. Dolittle is a crime scene in need of forensic analysis. Something happened here. Something terrible. Something inexplicable. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Weathering With You (2019) Ella Taylor Shinkai may be dipping his toes in his own pre-tested global market. But Weathering With You rises gracefully above its copycat blueprint... EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Just Mercy (2019) Andrew Lapin With all this weighted context, the fact that Just Mercy works is a pleasant surprise. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2019
1917 (2019) Bob Mondello The filmmakers don't shy from set pieces that would be astonishing even without their central gimmick. They set themselves a challenge for "1917", and met it in ways sure to be talked about by lovers of cinema for quite a while. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2019
1917 (2019) Chris Klimek It musters extraordinary technical daring in the service of a homily that boils down yet again to simply, "War is Hell." EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Bob Mondello It doesn't do anything new or even terribly distinctive, but maybe it didn't have to. It just had to be good enough to stick the landing, and it does that. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2019
Little Women (2019) Justin Chang Greta Gerwig has reshaped Alcott's novel with a touch that feels both faithful and radical. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Invisible Life (2019) Ella Taylor Traducing genuine suffering as mere histrionics (even the scaling of a fish becomes an excuse for violence), Aïnouz unnerves and alienates where he might illuminate. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Cats (2019) Scott Tobias It's hard to know how to react to Cats, other than gape in slack-jawed amazement that the dare has continued for so long. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Chris Klimek Certainly the blue-chip cast that has shown up to support Murphy in the buoyant-but-superficial Netflix biopic Dolemite Is My Name is its own tribute to Moore's intersectional significance... EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Glen Weldon It's an accretion - a buildup of plotlines and characters that rolls toward its conclusion by dint of momentum lent to it by all that's come before. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Linda Holmes It has a few strong moments, mostly courtesy of Robbie, but it's both underwhelming and overworked, inelegantly structured and missing something fundamental at the core. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) Mark Jenkins As usual, Malick's style of storytelling is roundabout and allusive, but this time it seldom stalls. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) Andrew Lapin It's the right movie for the right person at the right time, a thing of strange beauty forged under a mountain of heat, pressure, and irritation. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Chris Klimek This film about the smearing of an innocent man is itself a hit piece. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
Parasite (2019) Bob Mondello Let's just say that by "Parasite's" conclusion, what started out as a comedy of manners has become a furious snarl of rage and his most arresting social satire yet. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Hala (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald The film shines with a glorious commitment to the emotional evolution of its female characters, which James Sizemore's score accents with notes of subtle agony. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
The Aeronauts (2019) Bob Mondello I won't make great claims for "The Aeronauts" as a drama about a pioneering meteorologist, but as a thrill ride, it's certainly effective... EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
In Fabric (2018) Elizabeth Metzger Strickland suffuses In Fabric with intense whispers and a celebration of the beautifully twisted. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Andrew Lapin It's a relic out of time, creating a lush, erotic world out of glances and small movements; yet it's also very much of our time. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
Little Joe (2019) Ella Taylor Effectively creepy... EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
Knives and Skin (2019) Scott Tobias It's Twin Peaks as recast through the lens of radical feminism, if not nearly as academic as that sounds. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
Purple Rain (1984) Eric Deggans Purple Rain became a generational manifesto, while providing the largest megaphone yet for one of the greatest geniuses in pop music. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) Eric Deggans The perfect marriage of outlandish concept, amateurish acting and middling production values. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
63 Up (2019) Ella Taylor What's striking is not just the sturdy durability of family and community, but the fundamental decency of just about every participant in this long cultural experiment. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Mark Jenkins Queen & Slim is more interested in myth-making than storytelling, and viewers who don't care that much about the latter just might buy into the former. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Linda Holmes It's one of the best movies of the year, and one of the most purely enjoyable, as well. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014) Eric Deggans Mr. Dynamite is a fitting reminder of the singer's power and influence; the story of an artist whose rise mirrored the journey of black America from segregation to success. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
A Very Murray Christmas (2015) Eric Deggans It doesn't make for the most entertaining holiday special, but as a quirky Christmas card from the patron saint of down-to-earth stardom, it's not half bad. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
Confirmation (2016) Eric Deggans "Confirmation" soars when it shows how badly a group of middle-aged white male senators fumbled the race and gender issues raised by Hill's allegations. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017) Eric Deggans Whitney. "Can I Be Me provides a compelling portrait of a supreme talent isolated by fame, dysfunctional relationships and a crushing drug habit, slowly diminished by the same qualities that originally made her a superstar. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Eric Deggans When fake news can affect real elections, there is no better time to consider the lessons of this modernized "Fahrenheit 451." EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) Eric Deggans In providing a loving and reverential tribute to a legendary comic, "Come Inside My Mind" hesitates to fully explore the darkest corners of Robin Williams' complex story. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
() Eric Deggans I was blown away by its power. You could see, with his brash attitude, button-pushing material and ability to say things the audience didn't even know they were thinking, Rock had brought a new voice to the world of comedy. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
() Eric Deggans Pollard's film expertly depicts the line Davis always had to negotiate between his ambitions and what society would accept. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Eric Deggans "Deadwood" movie is a pleasing reunion, giving the characters and Milch the kind of ending this groundbreaking series always deserved. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Eric Deggans For fans of the show who know these characters, that's a welcome conclusion for a story we didn't even know we missed until Vince Gilligan showed it to us. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019