AARP Movies for Grownups

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Relic (2020) Tim Appelo Director Natalie Erika James was inspired by her own grandma's Alzheimer's experience, which she has translated into a film of uncanny power. Disturbing and not for everybody, but art-film fans will love it. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2020
4/5 Greyhound (2020) Tim Appelo Though Hanks' self-doubting, prayerful hero is masterfully rendered, the movie is mostly a big battle scene... The human drama is muted, but the movie makes you feel like a World War II veteran. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2020
5/5 Palm Springs (2020) Tim Appelo This is a fresh, funny, and original take on a time-honored trope. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2020
4/5 The Truth (2019) Tim Appelo French screen goddess Catherine Deneuve, 76, has a big comeback role as a movie star whose memoir upsets her daughter and son-in-law. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
5/5 () Tim Appelo Orlando Bloom soars as the commander, and Clint Eastwood's son Scott, Mel Gibson's son Milo, Mick Jagger's son James, Richard Attenborough's grandson Will and Alan Alda's grandson Scott Alda Coffey excel as soldiers EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
4/5 John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) Tim Appelo Director Dawn Porter (Bobby Kennedy for President) captures the civil rights giant in verite footage and archival clips plus interviews with the late Elijah Cummings, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
5/5 Hamilton (2020) Tim Appelo The whirligig staging is cinematic, and this movie makes you feel like you're in the room where it happened. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
4/5 Mr. Jones (2019) Tim Appelo The Ukraine scenes pack a punch. But Andrea Chalupa's uneven script juggles subplots ineptly. Worth watching, but not as rewarding as Holland's fact-based 2018 World War II epic In Darkness. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2020
3/5 Irresistible (2020) Tim Appelo The comedy isn't often laugh-out-loud funny, but it's intelligent in a way that fans of Stewart's The Daily Show will enjoy. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2020
4/5 Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (2019) Tim Appelo America's greatest popular singer gets her due in a swingin' documentary featuring Ella herself and a parade of smart witnesses to her talent. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2020
5/5 Miss Juneteenth (2020) Tim Appelo Peoples is from Fort Worth, and her movie makes you feel like you're from there, too, in the way that Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird made you feel like you were from Sacramento. It's a comparably touching mother-daughter coming-of-age film. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2020
3/5 Sometimes Always Never (2018) Tim Appelo Sometimes it plays like "Many Subplots in Search of a Plot," but Nighy holds your interest. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
5/5 Fokofpolisiekar: Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do (2009) Robin Katzman It takes us inside the reality of what it means to be "different." It may leave you in tears. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Tim Appelo It's long and messy, and the dialogue is often stilted, but Lindo is stellar as a PTSD-afflicted vet, and it's one of the year's best movies about older folks looking back on life. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
4/5 Tommaso (2019) Tim Appelo A dreamy, semiautobiographical answer to Fellini's 8 1/2 -- Drifty and trippy, weaving in reality, fantasy and real films like Dafoe's Martin Scorsese classic The Last Temptation of Christ. Dafoe anchors the fantasy, making this a micro-budget must-see. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2020
4/5 Shirley (2020) Tim Appelo The ensuing mind games play out like an even fiercer version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Shirley is as unsettling as one of the writer's own stories. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2020
5/5 The Vast of Night (2019) Tim Appelo The film remembers the '50s brilliantly, and it's a gem -- original, with crackling dialogue and orchestrated tension. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2020
4/5 Military Wives (2019) Bruce Fretts Director Peter Cattaneo, a veteran of The Full Monty, hits the right notes, finding laughs in the familiar yet satisfying story while never losing sight of the situation's underlying seriousness. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2020
5/5 Lucky Grandma (2019) Tim Appelo It's got some of the snap of Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but it's sweet and funny too. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2020
4/5 True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) Chris Nashawaty [George] McKay plays fast and loose with the facts, but he has delivered a deeply unsettling tale drenched in gloom, doom, and Old Testament vengeance. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2020
4/5 Seven Days in Utopia (2011) Bill Newcott [Robert] Duvall's performance is almost serene, a master class in screen acting, and his costars are clearly drinking from Duvall's well of inspiration. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2020
4/5 Blood Father (2016) Tim Appelo It's not complicated, but it's a satisfying 88-minute drama driven by [Mel] Gibson's undimmed star power. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2020
3/5 Resistance (2020) Tim Appelo It's one riveting true story, and [Jesse] Eisenberg is good as an awkward man who's only comfortable while silently performing, like his idol Charlie Chaplin. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2020
4/5 Human Capital (2019) Tim Appelo It's just good enough as a mystery to hold your interest, as you see events replayed from each character's point of view, and ponder their moral dilemmas. But the real draw is the astounding acting talent in every role. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2020
4/5 First Cow (2019) Tim Appelo The film makes it feel as if history were slowly unfolding before your eyes. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020
4/5 Hope Gap (2019) Tim Appelo Some will call it boring, and it is stagy, talky and understated to a fault. Yet Hope Gap is also smart, soulful, wise, marvelously acted and set in a stunning coastal village where you can almost see France - and maybe even glimpse a glimmer of hope. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020
3/5 The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019) Tim Appelo Dazzlingly acted and ingeniously penned by the Oscar-nominated writer of Billy Bob Thornton's must-see noir A Simple Plan, it's like a cross between Hitchcock and The Talented Mr. Ripley. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
4/5 The Way Back (2020) Bruce Fretts It's cinematic comfort food solidly crafted by skilled professionals... that [Ben] Affleck can elevate this material to genuine poignance - well, that's a more impressively superheroic feat than anything he ever pulled off with the Justice League. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
3/5 The Invisible Man (2020) Thelma Adams Director Leigh Whannell slickly moves the predictable plot along and revels in the cat-and-mouse tricks that can be played by an amoral, invisible aggressor. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
4/5 Burden (2018) Tim Appelo It's an astounding, deeply moving, fact-based case of reconciliation between a KKK leader and a black activist and boasts a fantastic grownup cast. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
5/5 EMMA. (2020) Susan King It's akin to a delicious crumpet smothered in lemon curd with the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2020
4/5 Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019) Tim Appelo It's a thrilling film, but also as heartbreaking as the lyrics of the title song: "Once were brothers, brothers no more." EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2020
5/5 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Thelma Adams With minimal dialogue from the Cannes Film Festival award-winning screenwriter Céline Sciamma and the gilded, perfectly composed imagery from cinematographer Claire Mathon, the movie presents a feast for the eye and a salve for the heart. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
5/5 Ordinary Love (2019) Tim Appelo Sad as the film is, it leaves you feeling uplifted - even strengthened. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
4/5 Cane River (1982) Tim Appelo It's a deep dive into a fascinating, little-known chapter of American history. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
3/5 Waiting for Anya (2020) Tim Appelo he tense tedium of hiding from Nazis in rural France inspired Samuel Beckett, a Resistance fighter, to write Waiting for Godot, and this film has similar longueurs. But it also has an enchanting, sweet innocence, and an inspiring truth at its heart. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
4/5 The Traitor (2019) Tim Appelo Pierfrancesco Favino is great as the morally ambiguous hero of a tale that's strange but true. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
4/5 The Assistant (2019) Thelma Adams The graceful [Julia] Garner glues the movie together, nailing the intelligence and ambition of this naïve professional bargaining with the devil for career advancement. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
4/5 The Gentlemen (2020) Thelma Adams The Gentlemen is a snappy action movie for grownups. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
4/5 Bad Boys for Life (2020) Tim Appelo It's good to see Smith in a satisfying film again, and his chemistry with Lawrence still clicks. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2020
3/5 Dolittle (2020) Thelma Adams Sure, there were too many passing gas gags, and a certain amount of lazy, rude jokes expected to fly over the kids' heads and entertain their folks, but the Iron Man megastar captures the zaniness of talking to animals as nutty as he is. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2020
4/5 Clemency (2019) Tim Appelo The story may leave you traumatized or unsatisfied, but the characters and the acting achievement you'll never forget. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
5/5 1917 (2019) Tim Appelo It's as overwhelming as Dunkirk, and infinitely more personal. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
4/5 Little Women (2019) Thelma Adams Gerwig has delivered an ambitious, energetic and sweeping Little Women for our time. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
5/5 Richard Jewell (2019) Tim Appelo Hauser and Rockwell create the cinematic bromance of the year. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
5/5 Bombshell (2019) Tim Appelo Charlize Theron looks and sounds amazingly like Ailes' victim, anchor Megyn Kelly, only infinitely more personally engaging. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
5/5 Uncut Gems (2019) Tim Appelo He's [Sandler] never been as impressive as he is as the New York jeweler, gambler, dreamer and self-defeating buffoon Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2019
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019) Edna Gundersen It's as unpredictable, wily, sharp and cryptic as its slippery subject. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019) Gayle Jo Carter A deeply personal family story...this fascinating documentary is also a 300-year history of deafness. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
4/5 63 Up (2019) Thelma Adams The tone has become melancholy and wise. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019