Vanity Fair

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Richard Lawson This is big, infuriating subject matter, and a writer as sharp and fiery as Parks is a good fit to cover it. But somewhere in the process of this film, she and Daniels get lost. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
Cherry (2021) Richard Lawson It's fascinating, as it often is, to watch populist filmmakers go for prestige glory - but that curiosity only carries us so far into Cherry's 141-minute run. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
Minari (2020) Richard Lawson It's straightforward and accessible, yet still somehow profound. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2021
I Care a Lot (2020) Richard Lawson t's a heck of a performance, setting Pike's star to highest burn. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez (2021) Cassie da Costa Collaborating with their daughter, Nora, to reveal the complexities of her late husband's life and work, [Susan] Stern makes another compelling argument: Differing perspectives can do more than coexist; they can encourage each other. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2021
EMMA. (2020) Zoë Gahan It's a flighty, fast-paced, vibrant romp across fields, through stately homes and around ballrooms. Each scene is like a beautifully constructed Old Master painting. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2021
Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Richard Lawson Though not everything sticks, it is still a pleasure to watch Wiig and Mumolo tossing stuff around, making a happy mess that's all their own. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021) Richard Lawson The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is adjacent to the recent glut of weepy YA films, but manages enough crucial shading and difference to stand apart. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2021
Music (2021) Richard Lawson It often feels like a movie made decades ago, one of those smarmily well-intentioned Hollywood exercises in issue-peddling that demands the gratitude of an entire community of people. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2021
Strawberry Mansion (2021) Cassie da Costa The directors' reverence for the past nevertheless lends itself to complex ideas about the future. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2021
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Richard Lawson Judas and the Black Messiah is missing that deeper personal aspect, some sense of the emotional force yoking O'Neal and Hampton together, dragging them toward ruin. The film is resonant regardless. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
CODA (2021) Katey Rich Writer/director Sian Heder, with her exceptional cast, remains in full control of the tone even as the story follows every predictable beat. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
Palmer (2021) Richard Lawson Palmer is a sneaky kind of vanity project... It works to shrink and reshape Timberlake into a serious actor with a political heart, imbued with a mission toward social justice. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
Supernova (2020) Richard Lawson It's abstractly tragic, about a vague idea of something rather than anything or anyone specific. Dementia is scary and sad. That's about as particular as Supernova gets. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2021
The Little Things (2021) Richard Lawson Three Oscar-winning actors walk into a movie and, well, nothing much happens. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2021
The White Tiger (2021) Richard Lawson It's an old form, the arc of a young protagonist scrappily building a life for themselves, episode by episode. But Bahrani gives it a vivid refresh, avoiding the cheap sentiment and blinkered uplift that often plagues modern tales like this. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
One Night in Miami (2020) Cassie da Costa One Night in Miami is often transfixing-brimming with rigorous and contentious thought about the terms and conditions of Black life in America - and always well-crafted. Yet, throughout, King takes few risks. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
Locked Down (2021) Richard Lawson A grating yank into a nasty headspace, a pompous sort of fury. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2021
The Midnight Sky (2020) Richard Lawson The film's conclusions are simple, but worthy of the drama: life carries on if it can, and thus ideally so does some sense of ourselves, whatever meager or profound contribution we made to the world - or beyond. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Richard Lawson It's one of the most finely acted films of the season, and a fitting send-off for an artist snatched away far too soon. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
Soul (2020) Sonia Saraiya Despite some distraction and not quite enough music, Soul manages to tap into deep emotion as its characters explore the limits of mortality and what it means to be passionate about life. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Richard Lawson Jenkins... doesn't totally fail her own premise. She does let it get awfully messy, though, on her way to a climax that tries for an emotional resonance it hasn't quite earned. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
News of the World (2020) Sonia Saraiya If the emotional arc of the movie seems a little predictable... that doesn't make the film unenjoyable. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Let Them All Talk (2020) Richard Lawson It's a fun movie. It may also be profound. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
The Prom (2020) Richard Lawson There's little good elsewhere in The Prom, save for newcomers Jo Ellen Pellman and Ariana DeBose... Otherwise, The Prom is staged in confusing, frustrating ways. EDIT
Posted Dec 1, 2020
Happiest Season (2020) Richard Lawson DuVall employs a deft, subtle hand to tease out these conundrums, building to an everyone-blurts-out-the-truth climax that has earned its teary speechifying. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
Freaky (2020) Richard Lawson A riotously funny, odd, and curiously sweet burst of cinematic verve... Freaky is a charming testament to how a basic good idea can be smartly developed. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Richard Lawson This is prestige bait that uses an awfully rusty lure, tossed with careless pride from its ship of Hollywood fools. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2020
Mank (2020) Richard Lawson But in turning our gaze toward an unexpected direction, Fincher makes more salient, more interesting arguments-about film, and about a kind of moral fortitude. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
Let Him Go (2020) Richard Lawson Let Him Go is a swift entertainment, claustrophobic and anxious in its depiction of an impossible, frustrating situation, and satisfying in its gnarly climax. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2020
His House (2020) Richard Lawson His House is as scary as any fright-in-the-night movie, full of jump scares and ominous skittering in the walls. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
The Craft: Legacy (2020) Richard Lawson It is a noble effort, if an ultimately doomed one. EDIT
Posted Oct 27, 2020
Roald Dahl's The Witches (2020) Richard Lawson The film, at its best, is gross and silly and amiably unsettling, which may be all that counts. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Sonia Saraiya As the world gets dumber and dumber, there seems to be a greater need for Cohen's sneaky way of finding the funny-which has itself gotten more pointedly political over the last few years. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
Rebecca (2020) Richard Lawson The garish new telling, starring Lily James and Armie Hammer, is barely worth a look at all - unless you're a student trying to learn, remotely in all senses, how not to wrestle fiction into film. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
What the Constitution Means to Me (2020) Sonia Saraiya With skilled comedic delivery and an exceptionally detailed legal history, [Heidi] Schreck takes us through how the Constitution has both protected and failed us. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (2020) Sonia Saraiya Compared to corny recent reunions offered up by other NBC properties... The West Wing's is surprisingly gorgeous. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
The Kid Detective (2020) Richard Lawson The Kid Detective is interestingly balanced, between comedy and a menace that creeps around Abe, threatening to swallow him up. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
Shithouse (2020) Richard Lawson It's a warming, energizing film, measured in its technical approach... and deeply compassionate toward its likable characters. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Richard Lawson For the most part, Sorkin's solid - if squarely made and visually uninteresting - film is a valuable contribution to the discourse of this election season. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2020
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Richard Lawson I can't wait to see what [Radha Blank] does next, as long she gets to do it just as she wants. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2020
Time (2020) Richard Lawson A collage of experience, lovingly assembled by [Garrett] Bradley with [Fox] Rich's invaluable help... Time appeals to heart and mind. It also, hopefully, convinces us of their capacity for action. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Akilla's Escape (2020) Beandrea July Critic's Notebook: One Night in Miami, The Way I See It, Akilla's Escape, MLK/FBI at TIFF 2020 EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2020
The Boys in the Band (2020) Richard Lawson What Mantello has done with the film is, unfortunately, just as opaque and frustrating as what was on stage. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2020
On the Rocks (2020) Richard Lawson [Sofia Coppola] probably wouldn't spring immediately to mind as a natural director for a talky New York relationship comedy... The results are, sadly, about as discordant, just as off, as one would might suspect. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
The Nest (2020) Richard Lawson The film is a pleasure to look at even as it envelops its characters in gloom. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
The Devil All the Time (2020) Richard Lawson Most of The Devil All the Time is classist cruelty... Intricately crafted as it is, Campos's film is downright simple. It's sloppy pulp packaged as prestige, which makes the meanness of its condescending gaze that much meaner. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
Joe Bell (2020) Richard Lawson Good Joe Bell could have been schmaltzy, simplistic, too hungry for uplift. Green, though-and McMurtry and Ossana and, gulp, Wahlberg-keep the film in check. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
Concrete Cowboy (2020) Katey Rich A loving tribute to the very real Black horse culture that exists in North Philadelphia. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
Nomadland (2020) Richard Lawson Nomadland is a near seamless pairing of filmmaker and actor, the two working in delicate harmony as they trace Fern's loose, bittersweet trajectory. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020