ABC Radio (Australia)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/5 Woman at War (2018) CJ Johnson [Protagonist] Halla rides the edge of strident activism and dangerous extremism, and our support of her choices is never taken for granted, let alone assured. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
4/5 Burning (2018) CJ Johnson Mesmerising, threatening and beautiful ... You'll feel a strong sense of neo-noir at work, tugging against, or alongside, a neorealist examination of class divide. There's a lot going on, and the film takes its time, but it's exceptionally satisfying. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
3.5/5 Shazam! (2019) Matt Neal Compared to the rest of the DCEU, Shazam feels Marvel-esque, almost like a kiddie-friendly, less-overtly-meta version of Deadpool. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2019
2/5 Pet Sematary (2019) CJ Johnson Whereas Lambert's film felt dirty (and arty), this one feels polished and clean: a commercial product, which it is, and an unnecessary one. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
4/5 Transit (2018) CJ Johnson The reverberations with today - particularly with Trump's America and his "border emergency" - are powerful but never emphatic; the greater effect is of a continuum, and that is where the film really is ecstatically original. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
3.5/5 Wonder Park (2019) Matt Neal Wonder Park boasts a refreshing level of thematic depth that helps overcome many of the movie's shortcomings. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 Free Solo (2018) CJ Johnson Like Alex Honnold himself, Free Solo is straightforward, honest, humble and confident, with a grip of steel. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
3.5/5 Us (2019) CJ Johnson Where the film packs its punches are in its truly fascinating third act and in your brain afterwards (or in spirited discussion with others). It is, perhaps, more enjoyable to think about than watch. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
3/5 Dumbo (2019) Matt Neal The script is bloated and contrived in places (but) it still contains many of the beautiful things and themes that made the original so magical. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
4/5 Destroyer (2018) CJ Johnson It's all very stylish, very deliberate, very purposeful, and very enjoyable, if you like this kind of thing. I do and I did. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/5 Sometimes Always Never (2018) CJ Johnson The result is extremely stylized, melancholy and rippled with extremely dry humour (don't believe the quote on the poster proclaiming it "Hilarious!"); play "WHIMSICAL" for twenty points. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/5 The Price of Everything (2018) CJ Johnson Like its subject matter, bright, bold, loud and attractive. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
4.5/5 Minding the Gap (2018) CJ Johnson It's a work of some genius. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3.5/5 Captain Marvel (2019) Matt Neal A funny and fun introduction to a mighty Avenger. It has flaws, but they only stand out because other MCU films have done these things better. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
4/5 Everybody Knows (2018) CJ Johnson Everything is surprising in a Farhadi film, and this one twists and turns like a frightened snake; there are secrets, lies, revelations and reveals ... performed, by brilliant actors, with total integrity. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
4/5 Green Book (2018) Matt Neal Did Green Book deserve the best film Oscar? The short answer is "no", the longer answer is "no, but it's still a great movie". EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2019
4 / 5 The Guilty (2018) CJ Johnson A must-see: an hour and twenty-five minutes of lean gripping cinematic heaven ... razor-tight, superbly plotted, intricate and surprising. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2019
3.5 / 5 King of Thieves (2018) CJ Johnson Come for the cast and you won't be disappointed. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2019
3.5/5 Stan & Ollie (2018) Matt Neal In lieu of some emotional extremities, Stan & Ollie suffices as an okay-enough look into the later lives of two legends. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
3/5 Stan & Ollie (2018) CJ Johnson Coogan as Laurel, Reilly as Hardy, and Henderson and Arianda as their wives ... [are] all splendid ... Shame about the musical score, which is overbearing and makes the otherwise tastefully wrought and lovingly crafted Stan and Ollie seem schmaltzy. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
4.5/5 Vox Lux (2018) CJ Johnson Quite brilliant and unbelievably entertaining, while being thoroughly uncompromising ... It all pays off, riotously, wonderfully, exuberantly, brilliantly, with integrity, grace and skill ... This is the first great film of 2019. Exceptional. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
4/5 If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) CJ Johnson This is a deeply felt, lovingly made movie that will stand the test of time. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2019
3/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Matt Neal Alita: Battle Angel is like a wounded magpie - it's close to flying but is distracted too often by shiny, fast-moving things. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2019
3.5/5 On the Basis of Sex (2018) Matt Neal Buoyed by a strong latter half and solid performances from Jones and Hammer, but let down by a patchy start and an inability to be as groundbreaking as its subject. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
2/5 Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Matt Neal There is a void at the centre of this film where there needed to be some heart. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
4.5/5 Roma (2018) Matt Neal Could a Netflix movie win the best film Oscar come February 24? You better believe it. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
4/5 Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Matt Neal Emily Blunt (is) the perfect Poppins for this whimsy-filled throwback to a bygone Disney era. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2019
2.5/5 Aquaman (2018) Matt Neal If there was one film to sum up the hit-and-mostly-miss nature of the DCEU, it's Aquaman. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2018
4/5 Eighth Grade (2018) CJ Johnson There's no schmaltz, no faux tragedy, no bullshit in Burnham's movie. It's got integrity, compassion and respect for its subjects and audience. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
4/5 Vice (2018) CJ Johnson Vice suffers in comparison to The Big Short - such is the problem when one follows a masterwork - but it is still vital and urgent and demands to be seen. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
3/5 Bumblebee (2018) Matt Neal The film is like a cool car with a charismatic driver at the wheel ... (that regularly) turns into a robot that's not as interesting. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
4.5/5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Matt Neal Its hyperactive style and cartoonish plot will put some off, but this utterly enjoyable slice of superhero hyperbole is a sugar rush that's actually good for you. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
4/5 Cold War (2018) CJ Johnson It's a lot of movie, and represents tremendous value if your time is tight. The love story ... is such a good one ... that it verges on the preposterous. It's not. It's based on Pawlikowski's own parents, and that tips it over into the miraculous. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) CJ Johnson Melancholic, indeed dour, with a colour palette of (too much) brown and grey ... Luckily, the film has a few joltingly interesting twists and turns, and Richard E. Grant, who is, has been and always will be joltingly interesting. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/5 Widows (2018) CJ Johnson Very much in the style of Lumet and Pollack, with a dash of Michael Mann's Heat, the film swings big and mainly connects; it excels in characterizations, and only stumbles when confronted with straight-up genre elements. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
4/5 Climax (2018) CJ Johnson Most of the population will not see Climax, and most would hate it. But if you've read this far, you probably should try it. It's the safest way you can feel this terrible. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
5/5 Roma (2018) CJ Johnson A milestone of a movie, an epic, an event ... It is a film of constant compassion and absolute humanity. It is totally, essentially personal to Cuarón, but it is also fundamentally universal. It is filmmaking of the highest order. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
3/5 Mortal Engines (2018) Matt Neal A blend of diamonds and dirt that makes the whole thing a middling experience. There's never a spark to light the film, or rather when there is, a damp squib puts it out. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
3.5/5 Creed II (2018) Matt Neal If this is indeed Rocky's last time ringside, it's a solid if predictable farewell to one of American cinema's most enduring characters. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
4.5/5 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) CJ Johnson The Coen Brothers' supreme mastery of all elements of cinematic storytelling are on full display ... Frequently hilarious, occasionally moving and always stunningly beautiful. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2018
3/5 Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) CJ Johnson There's no denying it: this is the best Scottish Christmas zombie high school musical comedy I've ever seen. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2018
3.5/5 Sorry to Bother You (2018) CJ Johnson Riley's trippy, frequently hilarious and extremely original Oakland-set fantasia is an urgent, cohesive and accessible statement on race in America masquerading as the best episode of The Twilight Zone you've never seen. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2018
4.5/5 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Matt Neal It's near-impossible to guess what the Coens will do next. One can only hope that it's as good as The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2018
3/5 Spitfire (2018) CJ Johnson Refined, elegant and classy ... this lovingly crafted work, deserving a big screen thanks to its splendid aerial photography, is not really about war, but about Britain and its people. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2018
2/5 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Matt Neal It's a hot mess. The Crimes Of Grindelwald suffers from an excess of ideas but no solid narrative to hold them together. Easily the worst film of the franchise. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2018
3.5/5 Suspiria (2018) CJ Johnson Weirdly entertaining, supremely stylish, and somewhat surprisingly superbly acted, even as it baffles at every turn ... deliberately disorienting and perhaps deliberately obtuse; it's never very scary, but it's often beautiful and always fun. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
3.5/5 The Old Man & the Gun (2018) CJ Johnson Filled with thematic callbacks and visual references to Redford's incredible career, most notably to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the film, like the man, is classy, intelligent, witty, handsome and delightfully old-fashioned. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
2/5 The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Matt Neal Foy's Salander is a good one, certainly on par with Rapace's and Rooney Mara's, but she's stuck in a film that is sadly lacking heart and soul. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2018
3.5/5 Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Matt Neal We can bitch and whine about what's not here ... or we can sit back and enjoy the way it honours Mercury and Queen. I would much prefer to do the latter. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018) CJ Johnson Extraordinarily entertaining. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2018