The Atlantic

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Locked Down (2021) David Sims While Locked Down is an undoubtedly fascinating pop-culture curio, it's also sloppy and cringe-inducing, and feels like it was made in a hurry. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2021
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) David Sims It's a refreshingly silly and airy adventure focused on the emotions of one character, Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot), and a charming end to a tiring year of cinema. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Soul (2020) David Sims The ambition of Docter's world building is laudable. And the smaller, human narrative he tries to tell within that universe is sweet and charming. But given its vast canvas, Soul sometimes struggles to focus on that more intimate story. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
A Recipe for Seduction (2020) Megan Garber This rom-comic ad-movie is campy, but not camp in the strict Sontagian sense. It's silly, but deeply aware of its silliness. It's escapist in a moment when distraction from the world's realities can be a rare commodity. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
Hillbilly Elegy (2020) David Sims Hillbilly Elegy is an Oscar-friendly narrative of personal triumph in the face of great hardship, a movie designed to end with an uplifting epigraph; it is also one of the worst movies of the year. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Mank (2020) David Sims Mank is a tale of triumph, the kind that's been told countless times on the silver screen, but never quite with this moving blend of realism and regret. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) David Sims Cohen seems to understand that the film's shock value is automatically lower because of how deadened audiences have grown to political satire, so he relies more heavily on sitcom jokes to compensate and largely succeeds. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
On the Rocks (2020) David Sims This film is the slightest story Coppola has ever produced; it only brushes up against deeper insights during its brief running time. But the movie offers such a rush of unintentional catharsis and pure diversion that its flaws are easy to forgive. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) David Sims By the end, I had given myself over to the Hollywood veneer. Chicago 7 is a particularly shiny rendering of history, but Sorkin wisely places the focus on America's failings, even as he celebrates the people striving to fix them. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) David Sims This movie doesn't follow the Hollywood-friendly narrative of suddenly experiencing great success against all odds. It is more interested in the little details and is all the better for it. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) David Sims For a moment, Kirsten Johnson has conquered death. That makes Dick Johnson Is Dead a strangely satisfying, yet bittersweet watch in this dark time, when fears of mortality are closer to the surface for most people. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Possessor: Uncut (2020) David Sims Cronenberg isn't just looking to provoke with blood and guts -- like all good dystopian fiction, Possessor offers disturbing and timely observations about the world we already live in. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
The Nest (2020) David Sims Not a lot of storytellers working in movies today take the time to lay the emotional foundation of each character. Durkin does, and when his characters crack, the destruction feels all the more pronounced. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine (2020) Shirley Li The comedian may have gone viral for "playing Trump," but here, with her biggest platform yet, she demonstrates what her comedic taste really is -- and it's somewhat surprising to learn that it's deeply weird. It's also invigorating to watch. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2020
Totally Under Control (2020) Shirley Li Totally Under Control refuses to look away, and being reminded of how many warnings went unheeded is unnerving. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
76 Days (2020) David Sims 76 Days is unvarnished and raw, a first draft of a history that's still being written. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2020
Antebellum (2020) David Sims It loads up on visceral scares and disturbing imagery in service of a shallow film that feels like a gory theme-park ride showcasing the horrors of slavery. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2020
Coastal Elites (2020) Hannah Giorgis Coastal Elites' flaws begin with its uninspired screenplay and blandly written ensemble. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) David Sims There's a weird thrill to getting lost inside this movie, only so you can study every odd detail from new angles, over and over again. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
Mulan (2020) David Sims Mulan delivers a straightforwardly heroic narrative of a capable woman battling her way to respect. It just doesn't have much else to add. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
Tenet (2020) David Sims Nolan has finally zoomed out so far with a story that fundamentals of physics have themselves become character motivations. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
An American Pickle (2020) David Sims The comedy that follows is appropriately both salty and sweet, with plenty of acerbic jabs at our modern condition balanced by the characters' poignant sense of loneliness. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2020
Temple Grandin (2010) Alyssa Rosenberg HBO's fine biopic serves as an important reminder that people with autism spectrum disorders are individuals rather than collections of tics. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Hamilton (2020) David Sims The time-capsule quality of Hamilton can serve as a bracing throwback, both for new viewers and returning fans. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) David Sims Palm Springs is about how reality can feel endless, and how being an adult involves cherishing the truth that a lot of things will never change. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) David Sims Made in cooperation with Eurovision, it's the rare work of movie branding that manages to both mock and honor its subject. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2020
Metropolitan (1990) Christopher Orr Stillman sketches his characters with gentle humor, capturing not only their foibles and foolishnesses but the earnest intentions behind them. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) David Sims In the latter half of the film, Apatow finally starts to home in on the point of his tale, and that's when The King of Staten Island becomes compelling and moving. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) David Sims Lee, in his inimitable way, is prodding his audience to pay attention and realize that, even as history marches on, the same battles are still being fought. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
Shirley (2020) David Sims Decker's filmmaking is often dreamlike, but her storytelling has a cruel bite of reality to it-just as Jackson's writing did decades before. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2020
The Vast of Night (2019) David Sims Impressively, the quietest moments in The Vast of Night are as creepy and effective as the loudest. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2020
Be Like Others (2008) Christopher Orr Unpacks a fascinating peculiarity of Iran's sexual culture wars... EDIT
Posted May 18, 2020
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (2020) David Sims So much of 23 Hours to Kill could be pulled right out of the interstitial comedy-club scenes on his 30-year-old sitcom, and there's joy in seeing an older pro still earning big laughs. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2020
Marc Maron: End Times Fun (2020) Sophie Gilbert It's consoling to watch Maron dismantle this particular moment in history so ruthlessly -- refusing to allow for the possibility of absolution, but still crankily taking the turmeric anyway. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
Wendy (2020) David Sims The effort it must have taken to create this movie is apparent in every frame, but that doesn't mean it's watchable. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
The Invisible Man (2020) David Sims The small scale of Whannell's film makes its bloodiest flourishes and nastiest jumps hit harder. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
Onward (2020) David Sims A warm, gentle film that doesn't try to merely dazzle the audience with wild fantasy visuals. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2020
EMMA. (2020) David Sims A rather routine translation of Austen's work, told with just enough flair and attention to detail to make it stand out. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
The Lodge (2019) David Sims When all its ominous frights flame out in narrative chaos, The Lodge becomes a bore, more invested in the ghoulishness of its final reveal. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Downhill (2020) David Sims I cannot in good conscience recommend buying a ticket to see it when Force Majeure is easily available to rent. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) David Sims It's not the cavalcade of horror promised by that first trailer, but rather the kind of bad movie one forgets instantly upon leaving the theater. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) David Sims For all its energy and vulgarity, The Gentlemen is a slog, a tedious and unnecessarily unpleasant tour of ground that Ritchie's already covered. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) David Sims A mostly satisfactory amusement-park ride. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
The Assistant (2019) David Sims The Assistant is like a horror movie with a dose of Kafkaesque surrealism: A series of menial chores in service of a person so monstrous the camera literally cannot face him. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2020
Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020) Spencer Kornhaber Here is the engine of Swift's narrative: Swift's desire to be liked colliding with people not liking her. It's the ultimate celebrity problem, but the doc is smart about injecting it with social meaning by making the case that it stems from gender. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
Weathering With You (2019) David Sims Vividly contemporary-not an archetypal fable, but rather a compelling yarn about young people trying to live and love in an often hostile world of grown-ups EDIT
Posted Jan 20, 2020
Dolittle (2020) David Sims One of the worst cinematic fiascos I've seen in years. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Just Mercy (2019) David Sims The film's power lies in the brutality of its true story, and yet that narrative stays within fairly conventional bounds precisely because of Cretton's commitment to telling it. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
Underwater (2020) David Sims If not for the unusual setting and Stewart's unique star presence, Underwater might feel completely anonymous. Fortunately, all that H2O suffices to give this goofy trifle a memorable sense of atmosphere. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
Cats (2019) David Sims Whether you think the imagery is beautiful or nightmarish, this is a film that demands to be looked at. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2019