East Bay Express

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) Kelly Vance Rob Garver's reverential yet incisive documentary tribute to the late film critic, is worth still one more excursion in the Wayback Machine, a device that's seeing a lot of use at the art house these days. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Kelly Vance It's a truly mean-spirited piece of work, a nasty ordeal for anyone who cares about characters and why they do what they do. But that doesn't mean it's completely worthless. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Kelly Vance [A] provocative character study. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
The Last Full Measure (2020) Kelly Vance The Last Full Measure shoots itself in the foot. It may deserve a Purple Heart for that, but nothing much more. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) Kelly Vance Good luck with The Gentlemen, you'll need it. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Color Out of Space (2019) Kelly Vance Yet there's a restrained helter-skelter to his Lovecraft tribute that ingratiates it as we watch Nathan's farm fall to pieces. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
Citizen K (2019) Kelly Vance Veteran documentarian [Alex] Gibney's sure touch with his sources gives the doc an occasional welcome whiff of humor. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
Les misérables (2019) Kelly Vance See Les Misèrables and face the facts. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
Clemency (2019) Kelly Vance Clemency doubles down on the moral and emotional implications in the persons of Bernadine Williams, a prison warden (Alfre Woodard, in a remarkable role), and a death-row inmate named Anthony Woods (Aldis Hodge). EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
Just Mercy (2019) Kelly Vance It's a pleasure, after all the high-profile, much-ballyhooed holiday releases, to get wrapped up in such a thoughtfully conceived, well written, stirringly presented display of character acting as Just Mercy. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
Varda by Agnès (2019) Kelly Vance Like the woman herself, Varda par Agnès is practically irresistible. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
1917 (2019) Kelly Vance Awe-inspiring, terrifying, yet utterly gorgeous. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
Invisible Life (2019) Kelly Vance Emotionally vivid, ultra-colorful. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Kelly Vance Sandler is terrific in this role, a flop-sweat-soaked comedy of brutality punctuated by punches to the face. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Little Women (2019) Kelly Vance Gerwig's Little Women disarms with charm, from Saoirse Ronan's performance as Jo, most headstrong of the four March sisters of Concord, Mass., all the way down to the cozy New England settings. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Kelly Vance Funny and exhilarating as it is, the film is a placebo for an ache that seems as if it's never going to go away. We can laugh for two hours at Bombshell, but the joke is ultimately on us. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) Kelly Vance Thanks to Malick for using such an emotionally powerful dramatic premise as the basis of his comeback. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Kelly Vance Food for thought from a filmmaker often derided as a rightwing cheerleader, but more accurately a champion of outsiders and underdogs. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
The Kingmaker (2019) Kelly Vance The Kingmaker, a film guaranteed to nauseate fans of democracy, is nevertheless a must-see. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Kelly Vance A refreshingly witty and suitably busy piece of holiday popcorn-flick entertainment. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
Shooting the Mafia (2019) Kelly Vance Director Kim Longinotto's portrait of the red-haired, chain-smoking photographer [Letizia] Battaglia... is a vivid documentary description of a very specific time and place. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Dark Waters (2019) Kelly Vance Makes for a dreary, warmed-over-Erin-Brockovich drama. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Kelly Vance Baumbach is the anti-Ozu, and Marriage Story is something we can look at any time we feel too happy about ourselves. Enjoy. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Kelly Vance Queen & Slim, one of the year's most provocative films, is powerful stuff, neatly wrapped in realistic yet mythological terms by the players and their director, Melina Matsoukas. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Ága (2018) Kelly Vance Ága is a subtle yet unmistakable reminder that there are thousands, even millions of stories in the world that have almost nothing to do with anything electronic. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
() Kelly Vance As Scandalous suggests in its fascinating dirty-laundry exposé of the once-powerful nameplate, the Enquirer has hardly been missed - except perhaps when it comes to details of the crimes of Tori Spelling. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019) Kelly Vance Ford v Ferrari is so much fun it's almost indecent. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Doctor Sleep (2019) Kelly Vance The event of the season for horror enthusiasts and one of this year's most imaginative films of any genre. The deeper into it we go, the more unsettling it becomes. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Kelly Vance In concert with the nostalgia evoked by its three stars, the film's rear-view mirror finds no exhilaration whatsoever in its mayhem, only a gray, aching disappointment. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
Synonyms (2018) Kelly Vance Combined with filmmaker Lapid's breezy visual style, Yoav's bewilderment with his new home deposits us in a rare zone of uncertainty that few films manage with such absolute assurance EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
Frankie (2019) Kelly Vance Isabelle Huppert stars... in a remarkably subdued performance. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
Parasite (2019) Kelly Vance Parasite is an appropriately enigmatic title for a satire that cuts both ways. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019) Kelly Vance Picturesque but tiresome. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Kelly Vance Autobiographical? Apparently. Stay with it, it's worth it. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Kelly Vance It's enough to make you physically ill. But it's better that we know the facts, isn't it? See Where's My Roy Cohn? and connect the dots, if you dare. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Kelly Vance In his funniest movie since Boomerang, Murphy is once again at the top of his game. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
Joker (2019) Kelly Vance Joker will grab you and hold you. Listen to it. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Midnight Traveler (2019) Kelly Vance The doc puts into the shade every indie drama and horror flick ever made on a phone. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Judy (2019) Kelly Vance The movie is merely okay but Renée Zellweger is sensational. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Chulas Fronteras (1976) Kelly Vance It's a romantic portrait of the border, and despite the farm labor issues, a place better defined by barbacoa, large families, and some of the most rousing acoustic dance music on the planet. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
Ms. Purple (2019) Kelly Vance Ms. Purple's cloudy romanticism is something that it, and we in the audience, need to work for. But it's worth it. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Kelly Vance In the despairing Ad Astra the characters imitate machines with their batteries running down, and their adventures leave us cold. Was this trip really necessary? EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Kelly Vance Immensely entertaining. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Vita & Virginia (2018) Kelly Vance An especially simple-minded, pandering piece of art-house entertainment. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Kelly Vance Brittany Runs a Marathon earns its warm-all-over feeling honestly, with solid gold writing and winning characterizations. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
Official Secrets (2019) Kelly Vance Nothing especially objectionable about Knightley's typically urgent portrayal of this brave, righteous soul... But the grim mechanics of Kat's ordeal coat the putatively thrilling, perilous tale in dull bureaucratic shades of gray. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
American Factory (2019) Kelly Vance These cross-cultural skirmishes may be amusing, but in the end we can see there's almost no difference between the objectives of businesspeople in China and those of their North American counterparts. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Esto no es Berlín (2019) Kelly Vance Before our eyes, the incisive comedy of manners we'd been hoping for devolves into somewhat of a telenovela. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Luce (2019) Kelly Vance There are more than enough problems to go around in real life, but this film doesn't seem to know when to stop adding on, and the result is calamity overload. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Piranhas (2019) Kelly Vance Despite Giovannesi's fine eye for detail and Di Napoli's impressive screen debut, Piranhas never quite reaches the heights of Gomorrah, Dogman, or Reality, to name three outstanding examples of the current wave of Naples crime pics. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019