Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) Liam Maguren Chris Rock can command the screen if given the right material. This is not the right material. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2021
Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) Daniel Rutledge I'd be totally fine with predictability and silliness if the action was good enough, but it's not. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2021
Wrath of Man (2021) Daniel Rutledge Don't get me wrong, this is a generic crime tale with some truly awful dialogue, but the unorthodox way it unfolds makes it much more interesting than it deserves to be. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2021
First Cow (2019) Aaron Yap A kind vision of a frontier dream that elegantly addresses class imbalance and the corrupting influence of colonialism and greed with wry, subtle humour and genuine empathy for its characters. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2021
Mortal Kombat (2021) Liam Maguren An entertaining load of violent nonsense. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2021
The Power (2021) Tony Stamp While I'm sure the filmmakers had nothing but good intentions, they didn't manage to translate them into anything that compelling on the screen. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2021
Violation (2021) Katie Parker A remarkable film and a gamechanger for a genre that has long struggled to reinvent its formula. See it if you dare-just don't go in on a full stomach. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2021
Bad Trip (2021) Katie Parker Howery, Haddish and André crash through the world in spectacular fashion, causing confusion and dismay wherever they go. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Tony Stamp It's basically incomprehensible. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
Collective (2019) Matt Glasby f you ever wondered what speaking truth to power really looks like, look no further. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2021
Nobody (2021) Daniel Rutledge This is a gleefully violent action-comedy that strikes a masterful tone and consistently delivers thrills for its lean 92-minute running time. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2021
Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) Dominic Corry As the film progressed, I found myself enjoying it. Quite a bit. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry (2021) Tony Stamp It helps that this particular teen is so eccentric, and quite fascinating. For fans and skeptics alike, this a thoroughly engrossing watch. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2021
Nomadland (2020) Amanda Jane Robinson Zhao's craft here is unparalleled, and Joshua James Richards' cinematography utterly astonishing. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2021
Cousins (2021) Steve Newall Cousins is a deeply moving dramatic triumph, one that stayed with me for some time after the cinema lights came back on. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2021
Supernova (2020) Matt Glasby Here as ever, Tucci is the most charming of performers. But something about the use of celestial metaphors and, more generally, the treatment of dementia seems heavy-handed. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2021
Ammonite (2020) Amanda Jane Robinson In comparison to other recent sapphic period dramas such as Portrait of a Lady on Fire and The Favourite, there is a distinct lack of spark between Ammonite's leads. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2021
Synchronic (2019) Liam Maguren Moorhead and Benson deliver enough to put this film above more forgettable fare. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
Baby Done (2020) Katie Parker A fantastic showcase for Matafeo's dramatic talent as well her famous comedy chops. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
Another Round (2020) Steve Newall "This entire country drinks like maniacs!" a character exclaims at one point-to which Kiwis may opt to shrug "hold my beer". EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2021
Pieces of a Woman (2020) Amanda Jane Robinson The film is at its best in its quiet spaces, all too often drowned out by melodramatic monologues and heavy-handed score. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2021
One Night in Miami (2020) Matt Glasby Never quite overcomes its stage origins. But nor does it betray the seriousness of its intent in favour of easy answers. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2021
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Steve Newall It just doesn't quite add up to the end of 2020 knockout we might have wished for. But should we be surprised? After all... "monkey's paw". EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2021
Promising Young Woman (2020) Katie Parker With stunning performances from Mulligan and her supporting cast, and a truly searing vision from Fennell, rarely is a film as decisive, deliberate or devastating. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2021
The Croods: A New Age (2020) Liam Maguren While the story of confinement feels weirdly relevant in a world where lockdowns are the norm, its kindhearted attitude towards nature feels more timely than ever in the wake of a climate emergency. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
Mank (2020) Matt Glasby despite much talk about the emotive power of the movies, it's a film that only seeks to engage the brain. But perhaps for an unsentimental SOB like Mank-not to mention Fincher-that's the whole point. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out (2020) Daniel Rutledge The grassroots, DIY way they found success, even the very fact that they're still considered uncool by many, it all adds up to a mostly convincing underdog story about some everyman Kiwi musos who have done astonishingly well. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
Ip Man: Kung Fu Master (2019) Aaron Yap Perhaps this is just another shameless cash-in, rarely hitting the stunning highs of its predecessors. But sometimes I'm just thirsty for 83 minutes of thumping Wing Chun fistwork. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) Katie Parker Uses an excellent cast and a surprisingly thoughtful story to elevate the formula to another level-making it not only a welcome addition to the genre, but one of the best comedies to come out this year. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2020
Freaky (2020) Tony Stamp Landon has made the jump to an R rating, which means the gore has gone up several notches from the more family-friendly Death Days. The first few kills, in particular, are real doozies. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
3/5 Dead (2020) Steve Newall A satisfying watch that might not trigger a ton of belly laughs, but turns out to be more assured and entertaining than some other recent local comedy efforts. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
3/5 The Devil All the Time (2020) Paul Scantlebury The Devil All the Time is bloody dark, a litany of punishing misfortune and tragedy, but the psychological acuity Campos excelled at in his early character studies is rendered diffuse here due to the quilt-like storytelling. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
4/5 Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Steve Newall Better than it perhaps any right to be, recapturing the spirit of its predecessors, and might be the most fun you'll have watching a movie this whole awful goddamn year. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2020
3/5 Mulan (2020) Aaron Yap It's exactly what you'd imagine a Mouse House wu xia pic might be: turning up to the party as handsomely crafted as money can buy, but lacking the innate poetic grace and artistry of a King Hu or Zhang Yimou epic. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2020
4/5 Savage (2019) Daniel Rutledge A moving period drama about one man's journey through the early days of gangs in New Zealand, this is a dark, compelling, and strangely beautiful film. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2020
3/5 Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020) Steve Newall By the time the strings are back in full force at the film's ho-hum end, Peninsula hasn't lived up to either its pretty decent opening half-hour, or Train to Busan expectations. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2020
3/5 Unhinged (2020) Aaron Yap Here's us thirsting for the escapist, high-concept wonders of Tenet, but being handed a sweaty, beefy Russell Crowe going apeshit in a ninety-minute hissy fit of murder and mayhem. This will never not be funny to me. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
3/5 The Old Guard (2020) Daniel Rutledge The Old Guard might have been a lot better if it let itself have a bit more fun. It's served with too much angst, melancholy, and self-seriousness for how silly it all actually is. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2020
2/5 The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019) Aaron Yap A bit of a middle-of-the-road fizzer, neither compelling as a cynical critique of the modern art world nor the twisty, seductive neo-noir it's striving to be. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2020
3/5 Begin Again (2013) Dominic Corry If you go in viewing this as a kind-of cinematic open mic night, you may just have a rockin' time. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2020
2/5 The Wretched (2019) Steve Newall While there could have been plenty more meat on its bones, its a reason to at least keep an eye on its debuting director team to see what they come up with on a sophomore outing. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
4/5 7500 (2019) Liam Maguren It's up to Gordon-Levitt to maintain that authenticity when the suspense elevates, and he does a damn fine job in a career-high performance. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
2/5 The Trip to Greece (2020) Adam Fresco Sad to say, it seems less really is more when it comes to comedians making tired old quips on exotic trips. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
3/5 The Vast of Night (2019) Liam Maguren Powered by mystery and intrigue, Patterson applies small-scale flashes of filmmaking brilliance to a story that can't quite keep up with him. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2020
4/5 The Willoughbys (2020) Liam Maguren It's the same dark whimsy that made Roald Dahl a household name, that perfect entry point for growing kids to understand and relate to the more unfortunate aspects of life-albeit, with a kind heart and a bunch of belly laughs. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2020
4/5 Extraction (2020) Daniel Rutledge Director Sam Hargrave is obviously an admirer of contemporary genre titans Chad Stahelski and Gareth Evans, but with his feature debut he proves he's not just a fan but a similarly skilled peer. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2020
4/5 Bait (2019) Aaron Yap Bait can be disorienting, disjointed, and deliberately alien in the moment. But its homespun imperfections do stay with you after it's all over. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2020
4/5 The Platform (2019) Aaron Yap Casts a stark light on all those socio-political triggers we're processing on a daily basis now more than ever: panic-driven consumption, individualism-versus-collectivism, the wealth divide. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2020
3/5 Lost Girls (2020) Steve Newall Ryan's powerful performance has more facets than her just snapping "suck my dick" at recalcitrant cops. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2020
3/5 The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) Matt Glasby Featuring split-screen sections à la Brian De Palma, and sped-up bits à la Benny Hill, it all passes in too much of a blur for the drama or any of Dickens' politic points to properly land. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2020