NPR

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Hotel Mumbai (2018) Danny Hensel In Hotel Mumbai, death is ever-present, and it is so calculatingly exacted by its terrorists - and its filmmaker - that its depiction comes close to sadism: grueling, yes, but never truly shocking. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Us (2019) Scott Tobias Us is a serious film about the American underclass, those who toil out of sight and out of mind. Us is also a lot of fun. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Out of Blue (2018) Andrew Lapin It's bold and occasionally maddening, but there's not much other genre fare like it right now. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Napszállta (2018) Ella Taylor Nemes can be relentlessly opaque, which at time makes the film a drag to follow. But there's method in his determination to leave us with nowhere to park our own affinities. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
Wanda (1970) John Powers Wanda refuses to embody any of the female images she comes across in the film...You see, just because she can't articulate her desires, doesn't mean she doesn't yearn for something more. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
Ash Is Purest White (2018) Mark Jenkins Jia's films retain their documentary-like interest in real places and actual events, but acknowledge that depicting the new China requires a touch of surrealism. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
The Hummingbird Project (2018) Ella Taylor At its best The Hummingbird Project is a parable about failure, but one that ultimately undercuts itself with redeeming goo. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Girl (2018) Veronica Esposito By helping Monsecour heal by sharing her story, Dhont has done a wonderful thing that speaks to his purposes and successes. I'll be interested to see whose story he tells next. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Girl (2018) Andrew Lapin I was grateful for Girl, which I think offers a new reading on the young trans experience. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Ferrante Fever (2017) Andrew Lapin There's almost no narrative structure, which is not the sort of thing you want to say about anything associated with the biggest name in modern fiction. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Gloria Bell (2018) Danny Hensel It's Julianne Moore, more than any cast member, who's the reason to see Gloria Bell. Moore, and that fuzzy disco soundtrack, which keeps her dancing, and which will make you want to join in. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Se rokh (2018) Scott Tobias Panahi's sympathies are clear, but his humanity is boundless. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Glen Weldon Marvel has been churning out million-dollar superhero blockbusters for over a decade now. They know how to do them - and you know how to watch them. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
Mapplethorpe (2018) Andrew Lapin A rare misfire for [Timoner], a case where the filmmaker's career-long immersion in prickly subcultures and extreme personalities wasn't enough to wrestle down one of the most extreme of them all. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Climax (2018) Mark Jenkins The drawback, as Noé veterans will anticipate, is that his style trumps - no, obliterates - the scenario. Climax becomes steadily less thrilling as it approaches its, you know ... peak. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Apollo 11 (2019) Monica Castillo This documentary has the ability to freshly surprise us with 50-year-old footage, turning us back into kids staring in wonder, wide-eyed, as we watched a rocket take off for the very first time. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Transit (2018) Scott Tobias An utter beguilement, tied closely to characters whose motives and feelings are not entirely obvious, even to them. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Greta (2018) Kyle Turner Greta excels at its bizarre balancing act, maintaining an amusing self-awareness that avoids glib disdain. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
The Changeover (2017) Scott Tobias The Changeover is one of those supernatural thrillers where the rules are both abstract and arbitrary, rendering Laura's internal struggle as dull predestination rather than an act of intention and will. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Chris Klimek Alita too often feels thin, despite a surfeit of heavy-hitting talent. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2019) Andrew Lapin Despite the heavy subject matter and longer average run-times, the films in this showcase are the strongest group of the three Oscar short film categories. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action (2019) Andrew Lapin From a son of white supremacists to real-life child murderers, the young men in four out of five of this year's films plunge into a darkness where adults fear not tread. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Hotel by the River (2018) Mark Jenkins Shot in wintry black-and-white, Hotel by the River folds Hong's usual concerns into a structure that's more complex than usual. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Everybody Knows (2018) John Powers As ever, Farhadi shines at creating characters whose emotional complexity helps disguise his penchant for arbitrary plot twists. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) Linda Holmes It's the kind of film you can have a long conversation about at the end, trying to figure out who is right, who is going to prevail, and what would have to change to bring about the future that Ray is trying to create. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018) Simon Abrams The Man Who Killed Bigfoot and Then Hitler is a real movie - one more emotionally resonant and character-driven than that deceptively goony title suggests. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
What Men Want (2019) Scott Tobias What Men Wants misses the opportunity to drag through the unutterable sludge of the male psyche, trolling for dirty thoughts or more eccentric digressions from ordinary conversation. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation (2019) Andrew Lapin Still, even when these variations on a theme are slight, some raw filmmaking power still emerges. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Glen Weldon The film's final section features a clever-but-earned and entirely character-based pivot that serves to deepen and complicate its themes, adding a welcome layer of nuance to the proceedings. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
Arctic (2018) Mark Jenkins The simple yet intense scenario makes Arctic a taut, cohesive exercise for Penna and editor and co-writer Ryan Morrison. It's also a fine showcase for Mikkelsen, playing a man who's resourceful but no more heroic than he needs to be. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
Miss Bala (2019) Chris Klimek Resourceful and athletic without ever becoming superhuman, Rodriguez is easy to root for. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Glen Weldon Pleasantly bananapants... EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
The Image Book (2018) Andrew Lapin After all this time, we are not much closer to understanding Godard, but he seems to understand us all too well. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
King of Thieves (2018) Scott Tobias With a cast this rich in experience and history and a fact-based heist of such enormous scale, King of Thieves sounds like a shake-and-bake classic in the making, which makes its pedestrian execution all the more puzzling to behold. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
Serenity (2019) Chris Klimek A movie that executes its Nolanesque ambition with middle-period Shyamalanesque skill. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
All These Small Moments (2018) Andrew Lapin Some movies are so earnest and ask so little of you that criticizing them feels like kicking a puppy. From now on, we could call such movies All These Small Moments. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Fyre Fraud (2019) Linda Holmes If you love a story of absolute, no-holds-barred, extravagant disaster, you'll probably want to watch both. But if you just want a better idea of what the heck happened here, the truth is that either film will serve. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Fyre (2019) Linda Holmes If you love a story of absolute, no-holds-barred, extravagant disaster, you'll probably want to watch both. But if you just want a better idea of what the heck happened here, the truth is that either film will serve. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019) John Powers Yet despite such shortcomings, Brexit is worth seeing because it captures big truths about today's politics, and not only in Great Britain. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Who Will Write Our History (2018) Mark Jenkins The filmmakers aren't simply trying to appeal to viewers who might be bored by a movie constructed entirely of historical material. The mix of old and new elements actually makes an argument for the movie's approach. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
Las herederas (2018) Scott Tobias By the end of the film, the audience feels like it knows his heroine at almost precisely the same time she has gotten to know herself. It's a minor kind of magic. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
Glass (2019) Glen Weldon Glass stretches itself out over the course of more than 2 hours, and it makes us feel every leaden minute in our brittle bones. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
Jobe'z World (2019) Mark Jenkins Jobe'z World's screenplay begins with a promising scenario, but most of its eccentric characters - including Jobe himself - are sketchy, and the dialogue needs a couple more spins through the word processor. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
Buffalo Boys (2018) Andrew Lapin This 19th-century genre mashup can be giddy fun, though it's a good deal more mindless than its historical context would have you believe. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) Chris Klimek As a work of ethical, empathetic exhumation, They Shall Not Grow Old is a model. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
Escape Room (2019) Scott Tobias Escape Room is a throwback without the bite, a bloodless PG-13 thriller that recalls the mechanized horror trend while sanding off its serrated edges. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
Stan & Ollie (2018) Scott Tobias It strives for a middlebrow respectability that it's doomed to achieve, a platform for actors who deserve better. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
Cameron Esposito: Rape Jokes (2018) Linda Holmes It's very thoughtful, but it's also very funny. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018) Mike Katzif She has great command of pacing and long pauses. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives (2018) Stephen Thompson He mixes a lot of topical and political humor with goofy stand up, observational humor... but then it's funny. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018