Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
All the Way (2016) Chris Ball Jay Roach, who directed all three Austin Powers films and Cranston in Trumbo, makes this 2016 HBO political drama relevant to today. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
A Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness (2011) Clint O'Connor Dorman's documentary reveals how one man's prolific writings could have such a profound effect on both assessing and advancing a language and a culture. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2020
I See You (2019) Joey Morona You can debate if the pieces of the puzzle actually fit in the end, but Adam Randall's sleight of hand direction and William Arcane's haunting score always keep the audience on the edge of their seats. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
D Wendy (2020) Melodie Smith For all the Zeitlins' noble intentions to make a contemplative art piece that says something important about aging and loss of innocence, Wendy is a joyless, hopeless, pointless mess. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
C Greed (2019) Laura DeMarco It's just that Winterbottom is too caught up in hammering home his point than making a movie that could make its point more slyly and thus powerfully. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2020
A EMMA. (2020) Laura DeMarco Emma. is a delightful romp in which nothing really bad is ever threatened, but the skilled director and cast make the vagaries of young love and social class thrilling. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2020
B- Onward (2020) Chuck Yarborough It really is a fun movie, even if the theme might be a little weird for the very young to grasp. EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2020
A A German Youth (2015) John Petkovic It's a compelling portrait that masterfully tracks down and assembles footage to document the radicalization of youth in a seemingly stable society on the verge of teetering into oblivion. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2020
C- The Call of the Wild (2020) Chuck Yarborough The Call of the Wild is a classic because London's ability to describe the harsh reality of life in the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush in vivid, unblemished terms. This telling is better retitled "The Call of the Mild." EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
A A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Chuck Yarborough Hanks delivers a powerful performance as Rogers. He wears the cardigan and canvas boat sneakers as if he were born into them, and speaks with Rogers' trademark guileless transparency without even a hint of parody. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
B Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Chuck Yarborough It's got quite a bit of the pizzazz that made the video game... such a global smash. But it's the innocence and personality that actor Ben Schwartz is able to impart in the character that makes Sonic so sweet. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
C Downhill (2020) Laura DeMarco With two of the greatest comic actors of our time as leads, Downhill seemed destined to trump the original. Would you believe, despite this talent, it's much, much less funny? EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2020
D The Rhythm Section (2020) Melodie Smith The filmmakers got ahead of themselves, envisioning big box office and endless sequels, when they should've focused on getting the first movie right instead. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
B- The Gentlemen (2020) Chuck Yarborough It's a little too quick to be tidy, like sweeping the dust under the rug instead of out the door. And yet, it's a 100 percent enjoyable movie, not too long and because of Ritchie's penchant for quick cuts, no time to be bored. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
A Present.Perfect. (2019) Laura DeMarco Can these Frenchmen and women find the redemption of Victor Hugo's characters? Ly provides no easy answers in his humane, poetic and shattering film. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
A Dolittle (2020) Chuck Yarborough Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big screen, not as a genius scientist in a high-tech suit saving people and the world, but as a genius doctor in a battered top hat saving animals and the world in the delightfully funny, wonderfully cast Dolittle. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Underwater (2020) Chuck Yarborough Remember how Jaws made you afraid to go into the water? Underwater makes you afraid to go into the theater. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
A 1917 (2019) Chuck Yarborough This film, though, with its gritty reality, is so much more -- a social commentary, even. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
A Little Women (2019) Laura DeMarco All of the casting is pitch perfect, but Ronan is especially strong as the headstrong Jo, who wants more from life than just marriages. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
A Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Julie Washington It's an exciting, absorbing and emotional conclusion that lifts the entire franchise to new heights. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
B Cats (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's a fun watch, even if it's not... Purrfect. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
A Christmas Carol (2018) Mark Dawidziak Purists and traditionalists and anyone preferring their Christmas Carol to be more heartwarming than blood-chilling should steer a path safely around this plodding production. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
B- Uncut Gems (2019) Chuck Yarborough Adam Sandler almost always plays Adam Sandler, a likable, sometimes funny jokester. But when he steps away from that, as he does in Uncut Gems, he proves that he is a true actor. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
Spies in Disguise (2019) Chuck Yarborough While it sounds on the surface like a bird-brained idea, it's a little bit of an eggs-istential genius. A feather in the collective caps, if you will, of directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, and writers Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
A- Richard Jewell (2019) John Petkovic Paul Walter Hauser is pitch-perfect at channeling Jewell, delivering one of the year's most compelling performances. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
B Dark Waters (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's not a great movie, from an acting standpoint... But that's not really the point here. The film should serve as a reminder of the dangers in repealing all the environmental protections that have been put into place over the years. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
A- Queen & Slim (2019) Melodie Smith Credit Matsoukas and screenwriter Lena Waithe for making a provocative movie that's worth the ride. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
C+ Honey Boy (2019) Melodie Smith Instead of being a journey of self-reflection and awakening, the movie is a jumble of mixed messages about love and surviving traumatic relationships. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
The Load (2018) John Petkovic A moving, impressionistic portrait of a man trying to survive chaos during wartime. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
A Frozen II (2019) Laura DeMarco As in the original, the animation is luminescent, perhaps even more so with the autumnal colors of Arendelle and the icy beauty of the north when they visit. The story is smart and funny and wholly entertaining. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
B- The Report (2019) Laura DeMarco A heavy handed, one-dimensional docudrama that may have worthy goals, but is mediocre moviemaking... This is not to say The Report isn't a worthy effort, but it would have worked better as a straight documentary. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
C+ The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) Julie Washington The Warrior Queen of Jhansi squandered a chance to make a rousing period drama about a little-known female ruler who deserves to be remembered. Let's hope the next movie about her gets it right. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
A The Irishman (2019) John Petkovic As the credits scrolled across the screen, I couldn't help but think that The Irishman is it. The crew is old in the tooth. The world is a different place. And you might as well end it with The Irishman -- a triumph filled will splendor and sorrow. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
B- Midway (2019) Chuck Yarborough Harrelson continues to prove his range as an actor, giving an understated performance -- almost to the point of somnambulance. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
A Pain and Glory (2019) Laura DeMarco Moving, beautiful and, ultimately, an ode to the power of art. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
A- Harriet (2019) Melodie Smith The movie's ace in the hole is Cynthia Erivo as Tubman, in a pitch-perfect lead performance. The Tony Award-winning actress gives Tubman the warmth, intelligence and fearlessness the true-life American heroine deserves. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
B Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Melodie Smith Expectations are largely met thanks to Schwarzenegger, whose arrival well into the movie's second half adds a spark that even Hamilton's presence somehow doesn't ignite. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
A Jojo Rabbit (2019) Chuck Yarborough After seeing a screening of director-screenwriter Taika Waititi's film I fear my brain put it in the context of today's hate-fueled climate here in America, and I woke up terrified. Again and again and again. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
B- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Laura DeMarco Director Joachim Ronning imbues the complex story with a fittingly frenetic pace and energy, and despite its fairy tale structure, Jolie and Pfeiffer endow their characters with believable human emotions and frailties. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
B+ Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's just fun. Pure, bloody, gory, silly, laugh-provoking fun. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
A Dolemite Is My Name (2019) John Petkovic Moore was hardly the Kung Fu master, but he managed to kick down a lot of doors on the road to becoming a somebody. Dolemite Is My Name is a valentine to that man, but also the dream and spirit he embodied. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
A- The Addams Family (2019) Julie Washington The Addams Family will appeal to mature folks who grew up with John Astin and Carolyn Jones as Gomez and Morticia in the 1960s TV show, and kids who are just discovering this kooky bunch. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B+ Gemini Man (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's the lesson of the "Gemini Man" that makes it more than a fun piece of fluff entertainment. And that lesson is pretty simple: War should not be painless. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
B+ Joker (2019) John Petkovic Phoenix is brilliant at exploring the depths of his demise to his ascent to avenging angel gone horribly wrong. He punctuates every step with sneering laughter. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
B Aquarela (2018) Chuck Yarborough It's a frightening, galvanizing, awe-inspiring 90 minutes in which water and water alone is the main character. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
B Abominable (2019) Chuck Yarborough The picky eaters in the audience won't even realize they were chowing down on broccoli... and loving it. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
A- Ad Astra (2019) John Petkovic It's an intimate voyage into memory and existence -- one that Pitt is stellar in conveying. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
B+ Downton Abbey (2019) Julie Washington While it's delightful to think of Mrs. Patmore and Daisy forever bustling in their kitchen, and Cora and Robert forever waltzing across a parquet floor, I hope this movie closes the door on Downton Abbey for good. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
B- David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Chuck Yarborough Crosby is making amends the only way he knows how, really... To his credit, that wonderful voice has remained pure and strong, and he's using it to get out all he has to say, as quickly as he can. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
C+ Don't Let Go (2019) Chuck Yarborough The best twist, though, is that the story never really slips into the realm of totally implausible, even though by definition, it sort of is anyway. Credit for that goes in part to the Shakespearean-trained Oyelowo. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019