Esquire Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Great Expectations (1946) Jack Moffitt The British director, David Lean, is the real star of this offering. Formerly an imitator of stage techniques, he proves himself a real movie virtuoso. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Down to Earth (1947) Jack Moffitt A silly story with lavish Technicolor extravaganza contrives to make a fairly entertaining musical. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Desert Fury (1947) Jack Moffitt It's as modern as the casino at Las Vegas and as rugged as the Battle of the Little Big Horn. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) Jack Moffitt It's one of the happiest of the season's comedies and as appropriate to August relaxation as a mint julep and a porch swing. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Possessed (1947) Jack Moffitt It required great courage for Joan Crawford to play it and for Warner Brothers to produce it. The screen's never exhibited so ruthless a study of an undisciplined mind at work. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
The Green Years (1946) Jack Moffitt If you love the theatre and actors, it does your heart good to see a performer of Mr. Coburn's talents get a break in a stellar role. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
The Perfect Marriage (1946) Jack Moffitt You'd better see The Perfect Marriage. It comes pretty close to being the perfect comedy. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
Caesar and Cleopatra (1946) Jack Moffitt Claude Rains in the role of Caesar, and Vivien Leigh, as Cleopatra, manage to present themselves at the same time as the embodiment of age-old intellectual forces and as fascinating individuals. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
What the Constitution Means to Me (2020) Adrienne Westenfeld Rarely has a play been so miraculously timed as this one, yet the timing goes beyond mere happenstance. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
Shock (1946) Jack Moffitt A vast studio like Twentieth Century-Fox... seldom can afford to experiment. But, when the budget is held down and young blood is called in, it is interesting to note that even so unwieldy an organization can achieve a rather dull imitation of Gaslight. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Blue Skies (1946) Jack Moffitt Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Joan Caulfield are the inhabitants of this fictional vacuum, and do their best to blow into it a breath of life. Fortunately, their best is pretty good. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Jolson Story (1946) Jack Moffitt The Jolson Story says that most show people have the same struggles, the same desire for a home, and the same love of family that motivate other Americans. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Fiesta (1947) Jack Moffitt You'll find much to like in this tuneful and relaxing Technicolor musical. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) Jack Moffitt The play kept experienced theatergoers on the edge of their seats. The picture will keep them on the edge of a nervous breakdown. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Dear Ruth (1947) Jack Moffitt The hit play becomes a mediocre picture. You can't blame the script. Arthur Sheekman's screenplay retains almost all of Krasna's good dialogue. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Perils of Pauline (1947) Jack Moffitt The picture is a triller as well as a thriller, with a bang-up score written by Frank "Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammunition" Loesser. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
My Favorite Brunette (1947) Jack Moffitt It's full of gags and it doesn't try to sabotage anything -- except gloom. In fact it's just the sort of "escapist" entertainment that the Communists find "subversive." Let those who will enjoy it. I did. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Farmer's Daughter (1947) Jack Moffitt The Farmer's Daughter is an honestly liberal movie with no concealed jokes. It is thoroughly democratic and thoroughly entertaining. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Boomerang! (1947) Jack Moffitt The picture is a masterpiece of suspense. Dana Andrews gives another fine performance as the ethical prosecutor. Arthur Kennedy is excellent as the prisoner. Lee J. Cobb is splendid as an honest cop, and Sam Levene does outstanding work as a reporter. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Welcome Stranger (1947) Jack Moffitt Arthur Sheekman's screenplay is full of funny situations and dialogue. Unlike the screen version of The Late George Apley, Sheekman's screenplay gets its regional laughs not by burlesque and character, but by shrewd interpretive humor. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) Jack Moffitt There's nothing very original about either the theme or the plot. The idea of a poor man being rich in all-that-matters is as old as is the notion that rich men can be spiritually poor. Yet Del Ruth blends these clichés into a minor masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Stallion Road (1947) Jack Moffitt Anyone can finally make a good picture if he's allowed to make enough bad pictures. Already in Stallion Road Jimmy has made half a good picture. He is on his way. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Other Love (1947) Jack Moffitt A chic sadness pervades The Other Love. With the aid of Barbara Stanwyck, David Niven, and a smoothly tailored script, the producer makes death seem fashionable, if not popular. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Humoresque (1946) Jack Moffitt An artistic triumph that transcends class bias and looks with a compassionate eye upon people of all social groups. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Jack Moffitt It makes no attempt to oversimplify these millions of individuals into One Composite Veteran. This strong picture presents them as men, matured by combat, who face the problems of readjustment with dignity, courage and patience. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Sea of Grass (1947) Jack Moffitt Spencer Tracy, as the rugged individualist, does his best to look monumental and inspired. But the inspiration seldom gets off the ground. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Jack Moffitt Capra enriches his picture with sharp social satire and Dickensesque comments on human behavior. Those who are wearying of Scrooge and Bob Cratchit may find it a I closer-to-home version of A Christmas Carol. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Breakfast in Hollywood (1946) Jack Moffitt From a dramatic standpoint, there isn't a mediocre scene in Breakfast in Hollywood. But, God -- how the audience would welcome one! EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Sentimental Journey (1946) Jack Moffitt The tear jerker Walter Morosco has produced for Fox is a bath of bathos. It stars Maureen O'Hara -- though it is unfair to blame her for what happened, since she neither wrote, directed nor acted in the picture. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Jack Moffitt You sympathize with this unfortunate couple -- although they're murderers. That's why The Postman is a greater picture than Mr. Cain's previous hit, Double Indemnity. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Chris Nashawaty The message of the movie seems to be that it's never too late to realize those dreams, even the silliest ones. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020
John and Mary (1969) Jacob Brackman Perhaps this is smashing stuff for a Second City satire, but Peter Yates (the director) has ignored its satirical promise. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2020
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) Jacob Brackman Bob & Carol satirizes a culture in which the tyranny of social fashion has grown so rampant that the self is altogether lost. Rediscovering the self becomes a fulltime, futile avocation. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
Futz (1969) Jacob Brackman It dismantles old notions of construction, not like a ball-and-crane wrecking operation, but with logic and discipline, like an expert crew breaking down a set of two-dimensional flats. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
Alice's Restaurant (1969) Jacob Brackman At one end, I suppose, to judge Alice's a brilliantly inventive auteur vision: personal, topical, hilarious, deeply pessimistic... At the other, to judge Alice's a dog; a messy porridge. In the middle: reservations, fourteen-point check-list ratings. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
Coming Apart (1969) Jacob Brackman The performers appear to believe that they are participating in something sexy, as if their destructiveness were itself arousing, or as if they could interrupt it and get on with the sexy part, without its sickness seeping over in time. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
Easy Rider (1969) Jacob Brackman Easy Rider's honesty, its beautiful, honest simplemindedness, could make it one of the surprise hits of the year. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2020
King, Murray (1969) Jacob Brackman It offers a far more accurate and painful tableau vivant of life in this country than we are accustomed to from movies, startling us into fresh consideration of what Ivan called the eternal questions. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2020
Changes (1969) Jacob Brackman Color cinematography that captures beauty so facilely and uses it so cheaply is disgusting, in a way. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2020
Goodbye, Columbus (1969) Jacob Brackman Does it seem picayune to require that moves make sense on their own terms? EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2020
Salesman (1969) Jacob Brackman Salesman is an important kind of film experience; it is also, you've gathered by now, a profoundly depressing one. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2020
Touch of Evil (1958) David Thomson Enough to prove the innate genius of Orson Welles and the way a man who had been living in Europe could come home and suddenly pick up on American truths hardly grasped by most Americans. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
The Woodlanders (1997) David Thomson This is not a great film or a large film... But this is a beautifully rendered film, shot in the places Hardy knew (and little changed no years later) and rich in feeling for people so close to the edge EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
The Truman Show (1998) David Thomson The Truman Show is one of the most startlingly original American movies in years, enough to give one faith in the salutary and inspiring nearness of the new millennium. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
The Ice Storm (1997) David Thomson Family life -- the real focus of The Ice Storm -- is rendered as having something like the alienating density of prison; each solitary feels enclosed in his or her own sentence and injustice. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
L.A. Confidential (1997) David Thomson L.A. Confidential could yet prove too demanding for big audiences, but there are huge narrative pleasures and swoony surprises that lift the picture off in new, darker directions. This may be the best noir storytelling since Chinatown. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
Nashville (1975) John Simon In Nashville, the sum of the parts is, unfortunately, greater than the whole, but, bit by bit, they are mostly well worth attending to. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
Tommy (1975) John Simon The most stupid, arrogant, and tasteless movie since Russell's Mahler. To debate such a film seems impossible: anyone who can find merit in this deluge of noise and nausea has nothing to say to me, nor I to him. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
The Passenger (1975) John Simon If vacuity had any weight, you could kill an ox by dropping on it Michelangelo Antonioni's latest film, The Passenger. Emptiness is everywhere: in landscapes and townscapes, churches and hotel rooms, and most of all in the script. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
Black Thursday (1973) John Simon An honest and harrowing film. It makes horror not a glamorous adventure, merely horrible and, worse yet, banal. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020