Willamette Week

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/4 A Girl Missing (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer For the most part, A Girl Missing is a writing achievement. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
3/4 Days of the Whale (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Days of the Whale is an artist's manifesto: It believes in the transformative value of creation. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2020
4/4 Welcome to Chechnya (2020) Asher Luberto The queer people of Chechnya live in fear day and night, at home and in public. Chechnya the movie blends this terrifying message with glimmers of hope and resistance. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2020
Greyhound (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer There's value in fixating a war movie so fully on process that the glory is sapped out of violence. But Greyhound veers too sternly toward lifelessness. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2020
John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) Mia Vicino [John Lewis: Good Trouble] serves as a welcome and timely reminder that causing a stir is exactly what creates societal and political change. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2020
Carmilla (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer That kind of social commentary requires an insightful dramatic core, and Carmilla too often shoehorns in horror elements for convenience. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2020
3/4 Manchild (2020) Asher Luberto A rewarding reminder of how basketball players who are considered "failures" can still rebound off the court. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
2/4 My First and Last Film (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Peeking at an unfamiliar life can be a very worthwhile empathy exercise. Anything longer than a peek, though, is why documentarians exist. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
3/4 The King of Staten Island (2020) Asher Luberto The movie is memorable because of Davidson, who with his boyish smile, buggy eyes and comic timing brings an honesty to the role that stuck with me like a permanent tatoo. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
3/4 Shirley (2020) Asher Luberto Director Josephine Decker proves she's a specialist when it comes to shifting genres, as Shirley jumps from horror to domestic drama to gothic fairy tale with ease, giving Moss the chance to do a bit of everything. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
3/4 The Vast of Night (2019) Jay Horton For a feature effectively premiering via the Amazon age of ubiquity, The Vast of Night thrusts suspicions squarely upon our supposed mastery of instantaneous communication and wrings fear from a moment of static. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2020
3/4 Blood Quantum (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer You won't know whether to pump your fist or dry your eyes. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2020
3/4 Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020) Asher Luberto Passes the acid test with flying colors. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2020
4/4 Driveways (2019) Asher Luberto "I wish I took the time to take a good look at stuff," Del explains... He's talking about relishing what's in front of you before it's gone, a kernel of wisdom for those watching Dennehy's final, deeply moving performance. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2020
2/4 The Sound of the Wind (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer It's just...committed to what? A vessel for unambiguous pain, not a character... EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2020
3/4 Deerskin (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Dujardin keeps Georges innocent, almost paternally daffy, as he shuffles toward madness... EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2020
4/4 Bad Education (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer There hasn't been a smarter streaming original this quarantine season. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2020
2/4 Butt Boy (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer The execution of Butt Boy is a little like holding court with a one-of-a-kind dirty joke but pausing constantly to insist it's not a joke. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
4/4 Crip Camp (2020) Asher Luberto The ultimate message is revolution can start with the young, which aligns perfectly with the opening song's theme of liberation. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
3/4 Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Asher Luberto In this harsh and heartwarming portrait of yet another female fighting for control of her life and body...we are confronted with a bleak style of filmmaking that recalls another feminist triumph, Barbara Loden's first and only feature from 1970, Wanda. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
3/4 El hoyo (2019) Asher Luberto A dash of Camus, a sprinkle of Kafka and helpings of Lovecraft, The Platform will leave you both sick and satisfied. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
3/4 Blow the Man Down (2019) Asher Luberto Don't go fishing for meaning as to why this neo-noir flips gender roles, with two girls pulling the strings...but it's a refreshing twist. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2020
3/4 The Hunt (2020) Asher Luberto Critics panned it. The president hated it. But I found myself elated by The Hunt, a social satire that uses provocation as ammunition, with both sides of the political divide in its crosshairs. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2020
The Way Back (2020) Jay Horton Sold as a sports movie, The Way Back wishes instead to render a harrowing portrait of addiction but only manages to evoke the bleariest stages of a midweek hangover. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
Onward (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson The film's elvish antics are mildly amusing, but when a studio known for daring both kids and adults to face the terror and beauty of intense feelings settles for making a mechanically cheery movie like Onward, it isn't just a comedown. It's cowardice. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
2/4 Burden (2018) Donovan Farley While certainly not without its charms, the heavy-handed Burden suffers from a presentation that relies too heavily on the true story at its core and loses focus on presenting that narrative artfully. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
The Invisible Man (2020) Donovan Farley The brilliant Elizabeth Moss embodies the invisibility of abused women everywhere whose reports are often disbelieved with a typical top-shelf performance as Cecilia. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
Greed (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Beyond certain outlandish gags, the satire doesn't reveal much, especially in over-obvious rock-'n'-roll flashbacks and a deposition-framing device. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
3/4 The Call of the Wild (2020) Jay Horton With Ford's gnarled presence grounding the narrative, animation vet Chris Sanders takes full advantage of his photo-realistic CGI lead...[it] sustains the whiff of nature while actually learning a few new tricks. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
3/4 EMMA. (2020) Asher Luberto Jane Austen fans, rejoice! EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
4/4 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Asher Luberto Using light, framing and texture the same way a Rococo painter would in 1770, Sciamma has crafted a world that demands to be seen and felt. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
63 Up (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer With 63 Up, the quiet wonder of simply executing such a project reigns -- the potentially mundane resonates profoundly when watching a human life arc or veer before your eyes. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
Gretel & Hansel (2020) Asher Luberto Atmosphere is to horror what ingredients are to stew. Without it, audiences would have nothing to chew on, so it's a good thing Gretel & Hansel, the latest adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, is a feast for the eyes. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
1/4 The Turning (2020) Asher Luberto The atmosphere really is incredible. But the rest of this horror flick is as hollow as a mannequin. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
3/4 The Gentlemen (2020) Donovan Farley The English filmmaker has managed to breathe new and entertaining life into his favorite genre. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
3/4 Midnight Family (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer [An] 80-minute gut punch. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
3/4 Color Out of Space (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Matching and then topping Stanley's weirdness, Cage continues his late-career momentum in hyper-violent indie horror... EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
1/4 Underwater (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer While Stewart plays her role of traumatized engineering expert with tact and sobriety, the rest of the movie is a dour game of "pick off the supporting cast". EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/4 Troop Zero (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer The movie's best feature... is a vastly overqualified Viola Davis playing troop leader Miss Rayleen. Davis carries the movie by treating the children (both as characters and actors) like adults, cherishing them as sounding boards for self-reflection. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
2/4 Just Mercy (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Really, the only problem with this real-life death penalty drama from Destin Daniel Cretton (The Glass Castle, Short Term 12) is that it's quietly average. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/4 1917 (2019) Donovan Farley Creatively conceived and beautifully executed, 1917 is an affecting and tense entry in the pantheon of war movies. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
A Hidden Life (2019) Asher Luberto If you have faith in writer-director Terrence Malick's vision, you'll eventually be rewarded with imagery that has the power to move mountains, and experience a spiritual grandiosity that pours over you like a waterfall. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
Cats (2019) Jay Horton For all of the star power on display, this is an indoor Cats: spayed, defanged and thoroughly domesticated. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Little Women (2019) Donovan Farley Sweet without being saccharine, Gerwig's Little Women, is, simply put, a lovely experience. It's also one that propels Gerwig to the fore of any discussion of modern cinema's best young directors. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) Matthew Singer [Sandler gives] a terrific performance in a movie often too noisy for its own good. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
2/4 Richard Jewell (2019) Asher Luberto Without an honest script, this historical drama can't help but feel artificial. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Asher Luberto ...by the time the movie is over, and Time's Up for Ailes, it's clear Bombshell is more concerned with entertaining the masses than inspiring them. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/4 Queen & Slim (2019) Asher Luberto Dreamy colors create a soulful mood enhanced by a New Orleans hip-hop soundtrack and memorable pit stops. When the two ride ponies or slow dance in a bar, their feeling of freedom will sweep you off your feet. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
4/4 Marriage Story (2019) Asher Luberto ...the film also benefits from two of the best performances this decade from its leads as well as a minimalist style that makes it seem as if the events were unfolding in real time. The result is timeless. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
2/4 Waves (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Perhaps the back half of Waves should simply be the whole... EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019