HitFix

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe (2011) Alan Sepinwall Campbell's got the charisma and self-deprecating sense of humor to carry a whole film. We know that. But the Sam presented here isn't nearly as much fun as Campbell gets to be on the show. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
The Loved Ones (2009) Drew McWeeny If you like horror that pulls no punches, this one's worth the effort to track it down and check it out. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2018
Zootopia (2016) Drew McWeeny Zootopia is a reminder of just how beautiful animated films can be. Holy cow, this thing is almost hallucinatory. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2016
A- The Birth of a Nation (2016) Drew McWeeny The Birth of a Nation is a vibrant, furious piece of work, and the fact that it seems extra-relevant right now should be seen as a failure of our culture, not as a calculated move by Nate Parker or his collaborators. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2016
B+ Snowden (2016) Drew McWeeny Snowden has a secret weapon, and it's one that I wasn't expecting: a fully-engaged and on-his-game Oliver Stone. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2016
B+ Blair Witch (2016) Drew McWeeny It feels like a real test of Wingard and Barrett's ability to cross over into a bigger commercial world, and the movie is as good a Blair Witch film as anyone could have faithfully delivered. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2016
C Sully (2016) Drew McWeeny I can imagine all of the good impulses that went into the decision to make Sully, but none of that matters when the film is as resolutely limp as this one. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2016
B+ Southside With You (2016) Drew McWeeny Southside With You is quietly romantic, but more than that, it burns with a deep sense of optimism. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2016
A Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Drew McWeeny It may be a little melancholy for younger viewers, but that could simply be an opportunity to talk to kids about how life does not always give us what we expect, especially when it comes to the people in our lives. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2016
Strange Brew (1983) Drew McWeeny Overall, I'm not sure anyone picking up Strange Brew cold right now without any prior exposure to the characters would even be able to tell what they're looking at. I still find it entertaining, and I love Rick Moranis in the film in particular. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2016
A Pete's Dragon (2016) Drew McWeeny Our best fables and fairy tales are the ones that speak truth, and this version of Pete's Dragon easily takes its place on any short list of the great films for young audiences as a result. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2016
C The Sea of Trees (2015) Gregory Ellwood [Matthew McConaughey] recent work has demonstrated that he's a man of many talents but even he can't transform a beat that feels so tedious, unnecessary and, sadly, clichéd into a moment that should be powerful and heartbreaking. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2016
The Trust (2016) Drew McWeeny It's a smart, well-observed piece, and it has a jet black sense of humor that makes it feel like something special. It's very small, and because of that, it feels very focused. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2016
A- Sausage Party (2016) Drew McWeeny Sausage Party is obviously the product of diseased minds, and I love it. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2016
B- The Mind's Eye (2015) Drew McWeeny "The Mind's Eye" isn't trying to redefine a genre or stand outside it; this is mean-and-potatoes genre filmmaking, and the more straightforward, the more fun it is. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2016
B+ Suicide Squad (2016) Drew McWeeny It is gleefully nihilistic, and it takes a different approach to what has become a fairly familiar story form at this point, right at the moment when it feels like superhero movies either have to evolve or die. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2016
C Jason Bourne (2016) Drew McWeeny I'm always happy to see Gregg Henry show up in a film, but his appearance doesn't negate what a missed opportunity this feels like in the end. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2016
B- The Secret Life of Pets (2016) Drew McWeeny This one won't stick to you the way the great movies do, but it was a genuinely enjoyable sit, and it further pushes the idea that Illumination is one of the rare start-up animation houses that has actually cemented a future for themselves. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
B+ The Legend of Tarzan (2016) Drew McWeeny David Yates and company have made something that is often lovely, eventually thrilling, and even occasionally kind of arousing, and this pulp adventure should be seen in as big a theater as possible to fully enjoy what they've done. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
C+ The Purge: Election Year (2016) Drew McWeeny For audiences who want mindless mayhem, the films never really tip over into that, and for anyone who wants to see this idea fully explored, you may leave frustrated. At least this time, it feels like the dart is on the dartboard instead of in the wall. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
B+ The Neon Demon (2016) Drew McWeeny This is a ride, a carefully crafted experience, and it is precisely because it is so immersive and controlled that I would recommend it. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
A Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) Drew McWeeny When this film earns your tears... and it will... it does it honestly, and I suspect this is a film that people are going to share by word of mouth for years, one of those rare gems that will play equally well for viewers of any age. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
C Raiders! (2015) Drew McWeeny Whatever it was that drove them as kids to work on this project summer after summer is long gone, and their attempt to create a new triumphant coda for the story feels false and craven. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
B- Central Intelligence (2016) Drew McWeeny In the case of Central Intelligence, several things work better than I would have suspected, and as a result, I genuinely enjoyed the movie. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
B+ Finding Dory (2016) Drew McWeeny Finding Dory may be familiar magic, but there's magic in it all the same. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2016
A Star Trek Beyond (2016) Drew McWeeny If you're even remotely interested in a new Star Trek film, this feels like everything you could have asked for. Here's hoping the great adventure continues for another 50 years from here. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2016
A- Ghostbusters (2016) Drew McWeeny It's not easy to make a good comedy, but it's really not easy to make one this beautiful on a visual level that also still feels loose and funny enough for improvisation and random left turns into lunacy. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2016
A O.J.: Made in America (2016) Alan Sepinwall Though Simpson himself only speaks through archival news footage and occasional audio recordings, Edelman paints a rich, three-dimensional, tragic portrait of the man. EDIT
Posted Jun 9, 2016
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) Drew McWeeny This is a film for fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it feels like an affectionate, energetic effort, clearly coming from a place of real appreciation for why these characters have endured. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2016
A Keanu (2016) Roth Cornet A gut-busting, endearing, salty-sweet, and highly re-watchable comedy. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2016
B- Maryland (2015) Gregory Ellwood It's good stuff and, in a perfect world, will prompt Hollywood execs to take Winocour's directing skills very seriously. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2016
B+ Deadpool (2016) Drew McWeeny I'll just marvel at the fact that Fox finally grew the jooblies to let this film happen. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2016
B- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) Drew McWeeny Pride and Prejudice and Zombies turns out to be entirely agreeable, if not spectacular, and considering the alternatives when you're dealing with something as borderline preposterous as this, that's fairly impressive. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2016
Grease: Live! (2016) Louis Virtel It had all the infectiousness and emoji-big smiles you need from three hours of live musical entertainment. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2016
B+ Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015) Dan Fienberg Montage of Heck is about the representation and self-representation of Kurt Cobain, a fascinating process for any figure whose entire fame was based on modes of self-representation. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2016
A The Hateful Eight (2015) Drew McWeeny It's a terrific piece of entertainment, first and foremost, mean and ugly and did I mention mean? EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2015
A- Finders Keepers (2015) Dan Fienberg Finders Keepers has the sort of plot that no screenwriter in his or her right mind would ever dream up. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2015
A+ Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Drew McWeeny From the very first line of the film's opening crawl, it is apparent that JJ Abrams, Michael Arndt, and Lawrence Kasdan have pushed the series back onto the right track... EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2015
A+ Inside Out (2015) Drew McWeeny There's a great sense of invention to the way they've laid out the landscape of the mind here, and there are some sequences that are pure animation in a way that Pixar rarely gets to indulge in their features. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2015
B+ 7 Days in Hell (2015) Alan Sepinwall Quick, easy, filthy, stupid, funny. You don't need to know anything more. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2015
A- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (2015) Drew McWeeny "The Hunger Games" knows that it's wrong to sell war and death as entertainment, and that tension between message and form is part of what has made this a welcome if uncomfortable addition to the pop culture landscape. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2015
B+ The Night Before (2015) Drew McWeeny I suspect this will be a film that people return to in future holidays, taking its rightful place on the list of films that become part of the annual tradition. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2015
B By the Sea (2015) Drew McWeeny While I didn't love everything about "By The Sea," there is much to like if you're in the right mood. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2015
Rosewater (2014) Gregory Ellwood It's a somewhat bumpy road for the first time filmmaker, but it's surprisingly effective when it needs to be. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2015
B+ The Peanuts Movie (2015) Drew McWeeny What surprised me was the way they took a quiet approach to finding something else to say about Charlie Brown. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2015
C- The Assassin (2015) Gregory Ellwood Hou should be congratulated for making the most boring martial arts movie ever. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2015
The Leisure Class (2015) Alan Sepinwall It's insubstantial, clumsy, and ineffective as either comedy or drama. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2015
B- The Summer of Sangaile (2015) Gregory Ellwood Director Alanté Kavaïté has a unique and talented eye, but she can only do so much to make this compelling material beyond its aesthetic charms. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2015
B+ Wild (2014) Gregory Ellwood Thanks to a powerhouse performance by Reese Witherspoon, Vallée succeeds in avoiding those potential cliches again and again and again. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2015
B- Goosebumps (2015) Drew McWeeny There's not an ounce of fat on the film. It feels like it moves forward in every single scene, and while it's a little mechanical about how it follows three-act structure, it's almost charmingly old-fashioned about it. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2015