The Film Stage

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
B- I Trapped the Devil (2019) Jared Mobarak That the events on-screen exist [as delusion and supernatural] only shows how the more horrific explanation is often the one where demons and ghouls are erased. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
B+ Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018) Dan Mecca An essential watch for cinephiles and beyond, letBe Natural bethe first step in your discovery of a talented artist EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
B+ Little Woods (2018) Jared Mobarak Rather than pass judgment, Little Woods merely allows life to occur in its oft-depressive state of seeming futility. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2019
B+ Rafiki (2018) Jared Mobarak What makes Kahiu's film essential beyond [a] moral and artistic victory is its ability to instill hope within a hopeless situation. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2019
C+ Hellboy (2019) Jared Mobarak There's a cake and eat it too attitude wherein this new iteration of Hellboy wants to simultaneously be trashy and dramatic. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
D+ After (2019) John Fink An uninspired picture that lives at the intersection of E.L. James, Nicholas Sparks, and the Freeform network. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
C Mary Magdalene (2018) Christopher Schobert Mary Magdalene is not a film that will delight fans of faith-based cinema, nor is it likely to please everyone else. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
B- Stockholm (2018) Jared Mobarak If you take its plot at face value and accept Lars as an antihero worthy of empathy, the cartoonish nature Budreau injects will give it purpose as pure entertainment divorced from its seeming failure as a historical account. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
B- Pet Sematary (2019) Conor O'Donnell A sincere examination of grief, coupled with enough knowing, ghoulish fun to not only justify its existence, but also serve as a delightful terror-delivery system. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
B Missing Link (2019) Jordan Raup The sweet-natured, grand adventure contained within Missing Link is worth going on, even if the accompanying dialogue from those leading the way is too simple-minded to make a memorable mark. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
B- The Public (2018) Jared Mobarak Estevez never forgets the humanity he's striving to spotlight. That's what makes The Public a success despite the convenient characters and [parallels]. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
B The Wind (2018) Jared Mobarak Sutherland's script is working on multiple levels while Tammi's formal aesthetics reveal an artist in complete control of her vision. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
B Diamantino (2018) Rory O'Connor The directors' provocative humor finds a softer edge during the hero's lonelier moments. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
B+ MacGruber (2010) Jack Giroux It's hilarious. And most likely one of the funniest movies you'll see this season. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
B- () John Fink The film progresses predictably with an easy charm even if it's dragged down by occasionally clunky pacing and sitcom tropes while exploring the complexity and flaws of its characters. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
D Dumbo (2019) Brian Roan Dumbo is a movie about circuses produced by Disney that seems to hate both circuses and Disney. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
B- () John Fink The Day Shall Come is at its best when doling outrapid-fire dialogue that recalls the works of Armando Iannucci. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
B Shazam! (2019) Jared Mobarak Horror director David F. Sandberg is the perfect choice to bring this character to fruition because of these nightmarish themes. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2019
B+ () John Fink Despite a few over the top moments, Pig Hag is a nuanced and mature although not restrained portrait of someone who we all have met. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
B- Us (2019) Brian Roan Among many the questions that Us may raise in an audience, the foremost might be this: is being no more than the sum of its parts a bad thing if so many of those parts are really, really fun? EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
B+ Vision Portraits (2019) John Fink An evocative meditation on sight, cinema, and the tools of filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
B () John Fink While this is by no means the most comprehensive way to convey the story of Ford, it is one way to tell it with a straight face and real stakes. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2019
B+ The Art of Self-Defense (2019) John Fink Stearns embraces droll humor and violence creating a subversive universe that works within its own established logic. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2019
B- The Beach Bum (2019) John Fink The Beach Bum is a skillfully crafted and often hilariously entertaining, but like an evening with Moondog, it might leave you with a hangover. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2019
C- Captive State (2019) Jordan Raup Wyatt peppers intriguing details throughout but gets too tripped up in a deluge of timely messages that he loses sight of his characters in this jumbled, peculiarly-structured narrative. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
C- Good Boys (2019) John Fink Despite some endearing passages, Gene Stupnitsky's uninspired crude tween comedy Good Boys is a cringe-inducing affair. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
A Black Mother (2018) Jason Ooi One of the most memorable, intense experiences in recent memory. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
C+ Finding Steve McQueen (2018) Jared Mobarak You probably won't love Finding Steve McQueen, but [its] unyielding wholesomeness ensures you won't be able to hate it either. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
B Long Shot (2019) John Fink With a healthy dose of the occasional crude joke and casual drug use that's become the hallmark of Seth Rogen's brand of humor, Long Shot is Notting Hill with geopolitics. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2019
B- The Kid (2019) Jared Mobarak We're allowed a peek behind the scenes to witness the emotional toll this lifestyle wrought and realize that what we do is sometimes secondary to what we learn. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
C- Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (2019) John Fink As entertaining as A Madea Family Funeral is in passages it feels like a retread of his previous works. As a filmmaker, Perry has evolved very little, reverting back to what's worked for him in the past. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
C Captain Marvel (2019) Brian Roan Captain Marvel seems to hold itself to no higher standard than the absolute minimum that people tend to expect from an entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
A Climax (2018) Giovanni Marchini Camia A compact, expertly crafted horror flick that transcends its puerility to achieve something altogether sublime. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
A Combat Obscura (2018) Dan Schindel War is not fought but lived, and this is as close to first-person as one can get without being there. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
C+ Mapplethorpe (2018) John Fink As a biopic,Mapplethorpe comes up short, falling into the kind of tropes artist pictures tend toplunge into, full of grandiose speeches foreshadowing what's to come, perhaps a victim of low-budget indie filmmaking forcing compromises. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
B- Sorry Angel (2018) Rory O'Connor Shot in gorgeous turquoise and cerulean blues by that fine cinematographer, it is often a remarkably beautiful film and, with that suggestion of real experience, an inevitably sad one. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
B The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) Dan Mecca If stories like this can continue to be told with the confidence of fresh filmmaking voices likeChiwetel Ejiofor, we will all be better for it. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
C- The Wedding Guest (2018) Christopher Schobert An aimless, mostly uninvolving, and hugely frustrating thriller. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2019
B+ Le concours (2016) Ryan Swen A look into a world where a genuine cinephilia, obsessed with the possibilities and pasts of film and not just whatever "content" Netflix uploaded in the past week, acts as a motivator and guiding force, which so often leads to rejection. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
B Distant Constellation (2017) Daniel Schindel Distant Constellation captures life for people whom life has left behind. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
B How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Jared Mobarak This trilogy secures our respect as a crowning achievement in animated cinema that should stand the test of time. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
C Isn't It Romantic (2019) John Fink Unfortunately, a one-note romantic comedy with all the tropes isn't exactly the best way to parody the genre, even if it's wrapped in an empowering story that tackles the gender problems at the core of heteronormative rom-coms. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
C+ Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Vikram Murthi James Cameron's absence itself almost becomes a specter that haunts Alita, a gnawing sense that his undoubtedly longer, and more technically complicated version would have sewn up the seams in the design. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2019
C+ The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Vikram Murthi It unfortunately slips into most of the common sequel pitfalls. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
B High Flying Bird (2019) Nick Newman A typically distanced and dense Steven Soderbergh study of institutional malfeasance​. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
C+ The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018) Mike Mazzanti In each and every frame, Elliott captivates us as Calvin Barr with subtlety and ease, physicalizing the sensations of regret and age and sheer goddamn exhaustion without ever letting you see him try. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
B- Lords of Chaos (2018) Jared Mobarak [It] could ultimately care less about the music when the psychology of this scene's progenitors is what intrigues. This is about aesthetic, notoriety, and paranoia. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action (2019) Jared Mobarak Review: The 2019 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Live Action EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2019
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation (2019) Jared Mobarak Review: The 2019 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animation EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2019
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2019) Jared Mobarak Review: The 2019 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Documentary EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2019