Willamette Week

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2/4 La Dosis (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Despite its impressively dark premise, La Dosis doesn't end with a shock. It ends with a shrug. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2021
2/4 Wrath of Man (2021) Jay Horton Separated into four chapters, Wrath of Man shoehorns a heist flick into the traditional revenge yarn, but a shotgun marriage of the genre's hackneyed plotlines further dims investment in the succession of charmless dolts. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2021
2/4 The Woman in the Window (2021) Bennett Campbell Ferguson The Woman in the Window is modeled on Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, but Wright doesn't have Hitchcock's patience -- frantic pacing and a pounding score by Danny Elfman combine to create a film that is exhausting instead of exciting. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2021
2/4 Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) Mia Vicino Spiral seems to have a noble goal of exposing the force's corruption and brutality, and in the first half, it even succeeds. But as the plot unravels, so does the movie's political statement, leading to a disaster of an ending. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2021
2/4 A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Chance Solem-Pfeifer It's a testament to the quality of actors like Blunt and a new survivor played by Cillian Murphy that anyone would care, what with their emotional range trapped somewhere between determined and very determined. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2021
3/4 Profile (2018) Jay Horton Profile uses the trappings of a ripped-from-the-headlines story and elevates it into an effective little thriller steeped in modern social media and a catfishing pas de deux. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2021
3/4 Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) Bennett Campbell Ferguson It's a bracing adaptation of the novel by Michael Koryta -- and a reminder that Jolie is an indomitable action star. She is the fire. EDIT
Posted May 27, 2021
3/4 The Killing of Two Lovers (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Even so, The Killing of Two Lovers slips into an inquisitive mode, deeper than pure tension. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2021
4/4 RK/RKAY (2021) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Mahboob is a fictional character, but that doesn't stop him from making real-life mayhem in this cheeky comedy from Indian filmmaker Rajat Kapoor. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2021
2/4 Clapboard Jungle (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Clapboard Jungle is saddled by the sheer, narrow tedium of McConnell's projects' constant fits and starts, amid a repetitive if enlightening deluge of filmmakers testifying to industry pitfalls. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
3/4 Queen Marie (2019) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Whether you're obsessed or repulsed by royalty, [Roxana Lupu's] performance will leave you in awe of the power of the crown when it is wielded by the right woman. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
1/4 Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Excluding dadcore classic The Hunt for Red October, the history of films based on Tom Clancy's doorstop military tomes is as long, flat and drab as an aircraft carrier. The Michael B. Jordan-led Without Remorse only further squashes that reputation. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
3/4 Limbo (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer El-Masry transforming Omar's calm dignity into unshoulderable doubt is one of 2021′s best performances thus far. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
3/4 Our Towns (2021) Chance Solem-Pfeifer The most useful takeaway from Our Towns is a psychological prophecy. The Fallowses note that although Americans are routinely intransigent when it comes to their national politics, they often believe their communities' outlooks to be different. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2021
3/4 Nina Wu (2019) Mia Vicino Written by and starring Wu Ke-Xi in the titular role, this darkly surrealist character study... is a mesmerizing exploration of the myriad ways in which trauma completely alters one's mental health, one's identity, one's entire world. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2021
3/4 F.T.A. (1972) Chance Solem-Pfeifer F.T.A. is a convincing testament to the theater kid's particular tools of discord. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2021
3/4 French Exit (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Its more serious elements tend to drag, but there's a curiosity and empathy toward the Prices' ridiculous position. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2021
2/4 Boogie (2021) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Ultimately, if most every other variation on these hoop dreams has been told, Boogie at least deserves the court time. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
2/4 The Courier (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Greville Wynne risked his life to prevent nuclear war. The least The Courier could have done was risk being honest. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
2/4 Nobody (2021) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Nobody can't get over the fact that it cast Bob Odenkirk instead of letting the incredibly versatile actor tangle with the meaning of all this carnage. If only it took its own premise more seriously. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
1/4 Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) Bennett Campbell Ferguson The Justice League's more charismatic recruits provide spark and spunk, but not enough to elevate the interminable action scenes, which are clogged with sluggish slow motion. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
The Father (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Robbed of truth but not his showy, sparring personality, Anthony isn't an unexpected character from Hopkins, but the performance is a gauntlet and his best in 10 years. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/4 Supernova (2020) Mia Vicino Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci playing a loving couple on an RV trip in the English countryside is exactly as tender and intimate as it sounds. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2021
3/4 The Mauritanian (2021) Chance Solem-Pfeifer French Algerian actor Tahar Rahim imbues Salahi with intelligent, casual, almost finicky humanity, refusing to play the Mauritanian as a figurehead. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
4/4 Minari (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Fully deserving of its nearly full year of acclaim since Sundance 2020, Minari is the rare immigrant story to seek meaning almost entirely beyond immigration itself. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
3/4 Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Mia Vicino Though Barb & Star hits some overly familiar beats, it maintains enough originality for several laugh-out-loud moments. It's about time we got more risk-taking studio comedies like this one. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/4 Nomadland (2020) Mia Vicino It feels human. It is human. And it's the best film of the year. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
3/4 Malcolm & Marie (2021) Bennett Campbell Ferguson The pleasure of watching godly thespians play characters who make war over everything from film to cigarettes to mac 'n' cheese is too savory to ignore. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
4/4 The White Tiger (2021) Bennett Campbell Ferguson The White Tiger is a reminder that the world is filled with men like Balram -- brilliant, exploited and ripe to be seduced by the gospel of greed. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
3/4 True Mothers (2020) Mia Vicino True Mothers is a wistful ode to the infinite forms that family can take, a cogent assertion that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of motherhood. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
2/4 My Little Sister (2020) Mia Vicino Despite some genuinely tear-jerking moments, My Little Sister ultimately boils down to a navel-gazing, surface-level study of an insufferable privileged family. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
3/4 You Will Die at Twenty (2019) Mia Vicino Considering the parameters...Alala's groundbreaking feature-length debut is even more impressive. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
3.5/4 Jasper Mall (2020) Jay Horton Jasper Mall's showcases all that is valiantly ridiculous about the fight to keep the shopping center open in a tone that is both warm and dignified. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
3/4 Promising Young Woman (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Distracting though the leaps from gonzo thriller to credible rom-com to edgy character study may be, the ambition of Promising Young Woman is impressive. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
2/4 Pieces of a Woman (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Pieces of a great film don't necessarily make a great film. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
3/4 Soul (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson After plunging into the human mind in Inside Out and then the afterlife in Coco, Pixar Animation Studios takes us into both in Soul. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
2/4 The Midnight Sky (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson A climactic conversation between Clooney and Felicity Jones... may not be enough to salvage this stale slog of a movie, but it gives us a reason to root for Clooney to succeed the next time he sits in the director's chair. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
1/4 Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Romantic, idealistic and ebullient, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman is one of the most beautiful superhero films ever made. It should have been a springboard for a brilliant series, but that hope dims in Wonder Woman 1984. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
4/4 The Last Hot Lick (2017) Bennett Campbell Ferguson The Last Hot Lick may have been the first and last film that Leopold acted in, but it's a swan song with the weight and beauty of an entire career. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
2/4 Greenland (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer The latest Gerard Butler vehicle doesn't add much to the global disaster genre. Hell, it doesn't add much to this year. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
4/4 Mank (2020) Bennett Campbell Ferguson Mank may not be cheery, but no one goes to Fincher for good vibes. Gleeful pessimism is his drug of choice, and for us, it can be an improbable and exhilarating high. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
3/4 Wander Darkly (2020) Mia Vicino This confident directorial debut from Tara Miele is a psychological probe into the ways we reckon with trauma, effectively blurring the malleable lines between reality and memory. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
3/4 Light Years (2019) Chance Solem-Pfeifer The result is a bit like if Charlie Kaufman directed (and interrogated) a Mike White comedy for less than $100,000. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
2/4 Zappa (2020) Jay Horton So much of his life story feels sufficiently compelling if only the nonstop miasma of footage would get out of its own way. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
2/4 Sound of Metal (2019) Jay Horton At the end of the day, this is an expertly crafted labor of love championing the abandonment of dreams. What's the sound of one hand clapping? EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
4/4 Collective (2019) Bennett Campbell Ferguson A masterpiece that is both cinematic and journalistic. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
2/4 American Dharma (2018) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Unfortunately, Morris keeps his rebuttals to a career minimum in American Dharma -- bad timing, considering his subject is an active fire-starter, not a regretful, dried-out war hawk. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
3/4 City Hall (2020) Asher Luberto City Hall is sort of like watching a puzzle being put together in real time, only the pieces are people, meetings, ideas and industries, and the final picture is of a stable democracy. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2020
3/4 Higher Love (2020) Chance Solem-Pfeifer Higher Love reveals utter extremity becoming dismally banal. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
2/4 Let Him Go (2020) Mia Vicino Though both of these portrayals and the pastoral visuals of the Midwest mountains are breathtaking, the story itself is lethargic, never fully getting off the ground nor matching the strength of the source material, Larry Watson's eponymous novel. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020