Vanity Fair

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) K. Austin Collins Fowler's Sonic is what it is: family fun, which in the U.S.-Pixar and Into the Spiderverse notwithstanding-still tends to mean only-sort-of fun and adamantly not-smart. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) Richard Lawson A sturdy continuation of this sentimental filmic universe, one in which people are for the most part nice, the boys are for the most part cute, and there's even a sassy, Bloody Mary-swilling older lady mentor played by the great Holland Taylor. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
The Lodge (2019) K. Austin Collins The Lodge, to its credit, knows that this tension is valuable. It knows all the moves. It nevertheless falls far short of living up to them. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Richard Lawson [Has] a contemporary verve that offers a glimpse of something heartening: a future in which all kinds of people get to tell these stories, and we're all the better off for it. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
Beanpole (2019) K. Austin Collins The choices in themselves are not the problem; the difficulties arise from writing that has fewer good ideas about these people than it does about their circumstances. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
The Father (2020) Richard Lawson The Father is an act of understanding, radical in its toughness and its generous artistry. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
Promising Young Woman (2020) Richard Lawson Written and directed by Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman is not always surefooted in its style or substance, but Mulligan is consistently riveting throughout. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
Shirley (2020) Richard Lawson It's breakneck, exciting stuff. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
() Joanna Robinson There is, unfortunately, no Hollywood ending to this story. But what the film does have is a lot of clear and thorough discussion. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
To Be or Not to Be (1983) Stephen Schiff It's the best Brooks movie since Young Frankenstein. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
The Eyes, The Mouth (1982) Stephen Schiff The movie is at once feverish and majestic; its characters keep scooting between damnation and transcendence. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Terms of Endearment (1983) Stephen Schiff It's bad enough when a movie uses terminal cancer as a premise; it's even worse when it uses terminal cancer as a payoff. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020) Richard Lawson Swift makes for a fascinating documentary subject, both generous and withholding, frank and elusive... as a standalone illustration, Miss Americana has too much blank space, voids in its portraiture that are all too quickly filled in with doubt. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
The Turning (2020) K. Austin Collins The Turning, with its conspicuous lens flares, awkward digital zooms, and slipshod editing, creeps a little too frequently into screensaver territory and suffers for it. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Zombi Child (2019) K. Austin Collins Zombi Child amounts to a curiously fragmented display of [filmmaker Bertrand Bonello's] talent. But much of the good stuff is here. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Downhill (2020) Richard Lawson As American comedies go, Downhill traffics in a welcome subtlety and wit. It's a worthy enough film when one doesn't compare it to its sterling predecessor, which I suppose most Americans won't do. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Worth (2019) Richard Lawson Worth finds its ultimate value in accepting what the film, and we, cannot ever determine for certain. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2020
Zola (2020) Richard Lawson Though premised on the slight pretenses of Twitter, the world of Bravo's film is no fictionalized, seedily appealing underbelly. It's simply America: often frightful, sometimes grimly amusing, and ever rattling along in its entropy. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) Richard Lawson I can at least appreciate the sprawl of the movie, the way it binds together disparate character threads into a story that manages to satisfy. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
Dolittle (2020) Richard Lawson Dolittle is a film made for children. So we should probably mostly view it through that lens. In that regard, the movie is perfectly okay. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
A Hidden Life (2019) K. Austin Collins It's about faith, pure and simple - though, in the end, A Hidden Life is anything but. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Cats (2019) Richard Lawson The Cats movie is about cats, yes. But it also should have been about, well, Cats. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Richard Lawson There doesn't seem to be any real organic idea animating Rise of Skywalker; instead it feels cobbled together from notes stuffed in the suggestion boxes of Reddit and Twitter. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) K. Austin Collins Jewell, to its credit, is anchored by one of the more complex heroes in Eastwood's canon. But I'm still not certain it finds the most cutting or convincing path through this story. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Richard Lawson Bombshell doesn't really try to explore the moral complexity it sets up. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) K. Austin Collins The actors here, particularly Holland, speak with a relish Soderbergh usually saves for his heist capers. And though much lighter on the action, High Flying Bird still has the pace and feel of one. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
Atlantics (2019) K. Austin Collins Atlantics stuns and surprises. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
In Fabric (2018) K. Austin Collins If In Fabric is initially hindered by the literalism of Strickland's vision, it still manages to prove irritatingly suspenseful, at times even pleasurably shocking. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
1917 (2019) Richard Lawson It's a staggering piece of filmmaking, admirable both for its complexity and its control. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Little Women (2019) Richard Lawson It's often a lovely experience, to sit with Gerwig's ardor, to feel the warming beam of her cast radiating off the screen. I left the theater with eyes brimming. I only wish that the film's spell was cast a bit less briskly... EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Dark Waters (2019) Richard Lawson A movie with a story as urgent as this needn't look lovely, and yet Dark Waters often does, finding beautiful patterns and motifs in the quotidian stuff of folders and desk lamps and stacks of paper. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Frozen II (2019) Richard Lawson Unnecessary isn't always a bad thing; plenty of fun or otherwise enriching stuff doesn't need to exist. But a dire case of cynical sequelitis plagues Frozen 2. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
Charlie's Angels (2019) Richard Lawson Banks's film has an offbeat sense of humor; its rhythms are weird, the volume surprisingly muted for a movie from the director behind two Pitch Perfect films. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Doctor Sleep (2019) K. Austin Collins A body of work that benefits from hindsight and reflection - unexpected pleasures for a horror movie, which must be why they feel so welcome. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
Last Christmas (2019) Richard Lawson It's a very nice movie, chipper and sweet and homey while still pitched with a modern sensibility. But that's not enough-none of those qualities resonate without a richer sense of soul or purpose, of which Last Christmas is direly devoid. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Richard Lawson Lying underneath the emotional context is a perfectly serviceable action movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Richard Lawson In its earnest evocation of so many horrors - and of so many hard-won triumphs against poisoned power structures - the movie does have a salient weight to it. I just don't know if this is the right vessel for all that heaviness. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Sonia Saraiya Gilligan has proven, again and again, that he is a skilled storyteller in this universe, and if a post-finale finale had to exist, El Camino is a lovely coda that puts Jesse's tortured soul to rest, in a way. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Yohana Desta It's as torturous and nerve-racking as any Breaking Bad episode, with bursts of nostalgia that will catch any fan off guard and remind them of what made the show so good. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Gemini Man (2019) Richard Lawson Its old action-movie trappings, the quaintness of it, cannot be reconciled with its ultra contemporary execution. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) K. Austin Collins Almodovar's given us a film that's got a soft surface but a hard, distinguished core at its center. He hasn't changed; he's adjusted. He's mellowed out - and he's more than earned it. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
Lucy in the Sky (2019) Richard Lawson Lucy presents Portman with another juicy assignment. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Richard Lawson I found myself reluctantly taken by the movie, and the way Scorsese uses it to maybe, just a little bit, atone for some of his own past blitheness about violence. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2019
Chained for Life (2018) K. Austin Collins Chained for Life's genius is in its playfulness, and in [director Aarpm] Schimberg's vision, lucid but disorienting, insistent that there be no boundary between the movie we're watching and the movie - movies? - his characters are making. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
Baby, It's You (1983) Carol Flake With its dark realism, rock 'n' roll delirium, and gutsy humor, Baby, It's You builds up to the mythic resonance of the finest American coming-of-age films. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The Flight of the Eagle (1982) Carol Flake As in Troell's earlier films The Emigrants and The New Land, we experience the new world along with the travelers. Despite the aeronauts' failings, we never lose our sense of connection with them. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) Carol Flake [A] sad, exquisite film. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Tender Mercies (1983) Carol Flake He's found no miracles in the good country life, in the Bible, or even in the love of a good woman. But the astonishing purity of Duvall's performance, itself a kind of marvel, allows us to believe that Sledge has found a home. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The King of Comedy (1983) Carol Flake As we see how Rupert's pursuit of success is going to turn out, The King of Comedy becomes an easy little fable of our terrible romance with fame. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Lianna (1983) Carol Flake Lianna is limited by its predictability, and one soon begins to wonder about the film's aura of authenticity. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019