Kansas City Star

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2.5/4 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) David Frese The Last Jedi, however, opens up some new possibilities. It doesn't provide a ton of satisfying answers, but it creates some interesting questions. And it manages to make "Star Wars" feel new again. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2017
Spielberg (2017) Greg Braxton The filmography traces the evolution of the artist who first fell in love with movies as a young boy and later blossomed into a master craftsman and storyteller whose phenomenal financial and commercial success changed the face of the film industry. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2017
3/4 Wind River (2017) Robert W. Butler Sheridan's screenplay provides plenty of thumbnail portraits of colorful characters. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2017
2.5/4 The Glass Castle (2017) Robert W. Butler There are a few moments when "The Glass Castle" threatens to come to emotional life. But they pass. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2017
2/4 Annabelle: Creation (2017) Jon Niccum "Annabelle: Creation" carries no forward momentum. There's no ticking clock. No kidnapped victim to save. No mystery to solve. The characters snoop around and then wait for something bad to happen. Then they do it again. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2017
3/4 Detroit (2017) Robert W. Butler "Detroit" is a crushingly visceral experience, one filled with indignation not only for what went on in 1967 but for today's troubling displays of shoot-first law enforcement. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2017
2.5/4 Atomic Blonde (2017) Robert W. Butler Whether soaking away her pain in an ice cube-filled bath or savagely kicking Commie butt, this "Atomic Blonde" grabs our attention and won't let go. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2017
3.5/4 A Ghost Story (2017) Robert W. Butler Stick with it and you will be treated to what very well may be the year's most unique cinematic vision. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2017
2.5/4 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) Loey Lockerby Besson creates wondrous creatures and settings, dropping viewers into a far-future adventure teeming with alien life. If only he'd left out the humans. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2017
3/4 Dunkirk (2017) Jon Niccum The finest war movies examine the personal struggles within the larger framework of a battle: the eye-level conflict. That's the strategy of "Dunkirk," an ambitious, evocative (but at times too aloof) World War II epic. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2017
1.5/4 Wish Upon (2017) Loey Lockerby Leonetti offers no suspense or surprises and can't get a decent performance out of anyone. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2017
2.5/4 War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) Jon Niccum "War" functions as both a payback Western and a road movie before settling into an "Avatar"-style death match pitting nature versus technology. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2017
3/4 The Big Sick (2017) Robert W. Butler It's hard to overstate just how effectively "The Big Sick" balances its romantic inclinations against life-or-death drama, or how its comedy co-exists with potential heartbreak. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2017
3/4 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) David Frese Ultimately, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" manages to be surprising, uplifting and heroic - all without letting our hero emerge too triumphant. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2017
2.5/4 The Beguiled (2017) Robert W. Butler Ultimately "The Beguiled" is clinical when it should be compelling. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2017
2/4 Despicable Me 3 (2017) Jon Niccum A restless movie that gets distracted as easily as the Minions themselves. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2017
3/4 Baby Driver (2017) Robert W. Butler The results are both familiar and fresh. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2017
Lion (2016) Abby Olcese The movie's messages are thoughtfully and honestly communicated -- particularly the idea that "home" can mean more than any one place, person or even culture. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2017
2.5/4 Rough Night (2017) Jon Niccum Instead of merely being a noisy showcase for the cast's improv comedy background, the story sticks to a linear plot that often finds room for more personal moments. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2017
3/4 Cars 3 (2017) Loey Lockerby By returning to its roots, the series rediscovers its sense of purpose - and its heart. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2017
2.5/4 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Jon Niccum With animation and superheroes overcrowding the multiplex, the burnout factor looms large for an animated superhero. Fortunately, "Captain Underpants" flies to the rescue of both genres. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2017
2.5/4 Wonder Woman (2017) Jon Niccum ... the lone DC Comics project this century not directed by Christopher Nolan that delivers on its advance expectations. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2017
2/4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) Robert W. Butler Early reports on "Dead Men" suggested it was a step up from the last couple of "Pirates" pictures. That's like saying Grandma showed impressive speed in outrunning Great-Grandma. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2017
1.5/4 Baywatch (2017) Jon Niccum Too bad Johnson's formidable powers don't extend to resuscitating the rest of "Baywatch," a film soon revealed to be dead on arrival. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2017
2/4 Everything, Everything (2017) Jon Niccum They're interesting as a romantic couple when a glass barrier separates them. Without it, these teens are just as dull as any others. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2017
3/4 Alien: Covenant (2017) David Frese It's scary and fun and leaves us looking forward to the next chapter. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2017
2.5/4 Snatched (2017) Jon Niccum Schumer may dispense the raunchier punchlines, but Hawn grounds the movie, preventing an exaggerated situation from succumbing to its own silliness. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2017
1.5/4 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) Robert W. Butler Hunnam looks good but can't do much with the material, for there is not one genuine moment of emotion in the whole laborious mess. Even the action scenes are more confusing than stimulating. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2017
3/4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Jon Niccum Like the classic rock soundtrack powering this picture, the hits outweigh the misses, yet there are times when one is tempted to press the fast-forward button. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2017
2.5/4 Free Fire (2016) Robert W. Butler "Free Fire" is a no-subtext zone. What you see is what you get. But concentrate on the action and the smart-ass insults and you'll be OK. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2017
2.5/4 The Lost City of Z (2016) Loey Lockerby For a film about risk and death, "The Lost City of Z" is remarkably safe. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2017
2.5/4 The Fate of the Furious (2017) Jon Niccum It hardly matters anymore that nothing of actual substance can be found under the hood of "The Fate of the Furious." Despite themes of brotherhood and redemption, this souped-up vehicle is built for speed, not comfort. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2017
2.5/4 Colossal (2016) Jon Niccum Vigalondo ... keeps this wacky premise from self-destructing by virtue of his patience. Each new plot beat gets doled out slowly so that the viewer can savor the mystery en route to what exactly is going on. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2017
2/4 Going in Style (2017) Robert W. Butler Light, glib and easy to forget. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2017
2.5/4 The Boss Baby (2017) Jon Niccum As the title character, Baldwin capitalizes on delivering harsh truths with a kind of matter-of-fact detachment, which helps carry this imaginative animated comedy beyond its wobbly premise. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
2/4 Wilson (2017) Jon Niccum an uneven, often aggressively unlikable tale of awkward folks making rotten decisions. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2017
3/4 Beauty and the Beast (2017) Robert W. Butler Bottom line: This Beauty is big, well-designed, tuneful and -- finally -- romantic. But here's the odd thing: It made me want to revisit the original. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2017
2.5/4 Kong: Skull Island (2017) Jon Niccum A metaphor for America's involvement in foreign wars? A contrast between the majesty of nature and the limitations of man? An argument that big is indeed better? Sort of. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2017
Logan (2017) David Frese Logan is the violent, brutal and gory R-rated Wolverine movie 40-something fanboys have always wanted. It's most definitely for grown-ups. It's also very, very good. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2017
3.5/4 La tortue rouge (2016) Robert W. Butler A one-of-a-kind film that lingers long in the memory, "The Red Turtle" suggests that when it comes to animation, there are still whole new worlds to explore. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2017
3.5/4 Get Out (2017) Jon Niccum ... layered with racial subtext regarding slavery, master-race ideology and liberal guilt that weaves throughout the movie in unexpected callbacks. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2017
2/4 Fist Fight (2017) Jon Niccum One more vehicle in which filmmakers rely on the improvisational skills of their cast to fill out a one-note idea. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2017
2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Documentary Program B (0000) Robert W. Butler Like the nominees in the feature-length best documentary category, the five films in this group demonstrate a commitment to both relevance and experimentation. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2017
2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action (0000) Robert W. Butler That said, the overall quality of these short efforts is spectacular, particularly with the live-action and documentary slates. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2017
3/4 () Robert W. Butler Usually this category is good for at least one gut-bustingly funny entry. This year's nominees, though, are overwhelmingly somber. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2017
() Robert W. Butler The overall quality of these short efforts is spectacular, particularly with the live-action and documentary slates. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2017
2.5/4 John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Jon Niccum The fringe details save the project from degenerating into homicidal overkill. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2017
3/4 The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) David Frese Even though it's squarely targeting kids and the parents who accompany them, Lego Batman serves as a refreshing palate-cleanser after the dour Batman v Superman and the often inchoate Suicide Squad. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2017
3/4 Julieta (2016) Robert W. Butler There is perhaps less here than meets the eye - this is second-drawer Almodovar - but in Suarez's performance as the mature Julieta, the director has an ideal vessel for expressing parental pain and loss. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2017
2.5/4 A Dog's Purpose (2017) Jon Niccum Hallström and screenwriter Cathryn Michon's adaptation may not contain the subtext of the best-selling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, yet it does capture the sentiment. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2017