3AW

3AW is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jim Schembri
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 The Highwaymen (2019) Jim Schembri The story behind the demise of legendary Bonnie & Clyde at the well-armed hands of two ageing Texas Rangers gets a solid, unhurried treatment here...Director John Lee Hancock directs the drama with a hard nose and with no love for the celebrity criminals. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2020
3.5/5 Extraction (2020) Jim Schembri The jewel in the crown of all the masterfully orchestrated mayhem is a brilliantly conceived set piece that combines fire fights, fist fights, car chases, foot chases and even falls from buildings into a continuous 12-minute sequence. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2020
3/5 Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2017) Jim Schembri Spurlock seems aware that his antics won't change much. His purpose here is simply to inform people, knowing full well the irony at the heart of his enterprise. Still, it's terrific viewing, often funny, sometimes scary. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2020
3/5 Vivarium (2020) Jim Schembri A tight, whip-smart slice of slick Twilight Zonesque surrealism designed to unsettle and intrigue. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2020
3/5 The Hunt (2020) Jim Schembri The film's snarky humour is just a ruse to conjure the illusion of controversy. You could say the film offers a cheeky backhander to self-righteousness [but] it would strain any brain to see it as anything but a mischievous piece of splatter cinema. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2020
2.5/5 The Mindfulness Movement (2020) Jim Schembri Those who are into mindfulness will no doubt find this film an informative prep kit of uplifting anecdotes and inspirational interviews. Still, it plays like an extended commercial. It could have done with more rigourous inquiry and a dose of skepticism. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
3/5 3100: Run and Become (2018) Jim Schembri As a non-athletic look at long-distance running the film delves into the realm of self-help and personal transformation, with a side-message about the importance of knowing your limits, both physical and mental...well-paced and very well-photographed. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
3/5 Astronaut (2019) Jim Schembri A typically charismatic central performance from Richard Dreyfuss adds zest to a modest, sweet-natured family film about old age and responsible civil engineering. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2020
3/5 The Irishman (2019) Jim Schembri Though it was somewhat overrated as a masterpiece of mobster cinema, Martin Scorsese's epic, occasionally funny, word-driven drama about the fate of union master Jimmy Hoffa is still a venerable, highly entertaining work EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
4/5 Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018) Jim Schembri Fully aware of his status as a mini-god to the anti-PC crowd, Gervais clocks up his best stand-up special yet as he rubs against the grain on a wide variety of hot-button topics. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
3/5 Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020) Jim Schembri Those who ever doubted Swift's talent, smarts or conviction will find this chronicle eye-opening and extremely entertaining, especially when she's not singing or talking about music. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
2.5/5 Spenser Confidential (2020) Jim Schembri A nifty action crime drama, Mark Wahlberg puts in a sturdy, head-strong performance as an ex-cop who has just been released from prison. Lots of tough talk and gunplay, set in Boston, a must for Wahlberg fans. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
4/5 Marriage Story (2019) Jim Schembri One particularly symbolic scene involving Driver and a small key-chain blade says more about the nature of bad divorces than most films on the subject. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
3.5/5 Uncut Gems (2019) Jim Schembri Adam Sandler, who also did an impressive non-comedy turn in Punch-Drunk Love (2002), puts in a very strong performance as a hard-bitten businessman determined to survive in a world set out to destroy him. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
2.5/5 Undertow (2018) Jim Schembri There are a lot of terrific genre elements in Undertow, particularly the themes about obsession and men behaving badly, so it's a pity these weren't dialled up to deliver a more satisfying third act. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2020
1/5 Queen & Slim (2019) Jim Schembri Contrived to the point of caricature and arguably guilty of the sins it supposedly condemns, the film is one unholy mess of a message movie, sounding like a shrill appeal to white guilt and unspooling like a blaxploitation version of Natural Born Killers. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2020
3/5 Military Wives (2019) Jim Schembri In a film unapologetically dedicated to the celebration of good old British pluck there's not a cliche or easy appeal for emotion that isn't tapped by a story that is so predictable you could set your watch by it. But you know what? It all works. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2020
1.5/5 Escape and Evasion (2019) Jim Schembri You can't argue with the film's good intentions [but] good intentions do not automatically make a good movie. Scatty direction, implausible action scenes and thin production values keep it from hitting the marks it is so obviously aiming for. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
1/5 Downhill (2020) Jim Schembri A witless, pointless remake. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
4/5 Honeyland (2019) Jim Schembri The art of observational documentary is in full flourish in Honeyland, an outstanding example of anthropological cinema...There is no narration and much of the dialogue isn't subtitled, allowing the visuals to tell the stories with impressionistic flair. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
3.5/5 Dark Waters (2019) Jim Schembri There is, admittedly, a dark fascination in seeing how flagrantly giant companies mess with people's lives. As an expose about corporate malfeasance, Dark Waters is especially topical and timely given the findings of the recent banking inquiry. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
3.5/5 The Way Back (2020) Jim Schembri There is a degree of predictability to the film [though] it doesn't detract from the honest quality of the film or from the veracity of the things it has to say about self-control, self-awareness and self-respect - those three things alcohol robs you of. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
3/5 The Wishmas Tree (2020) Jim Schembri While the animation isn't quite Dreamworks or Pixar, it certainly beams with character and style. Given its flaws and cliches the film is as proficiently mounted and as technically accomplished as most of the family fare we get force-fed from the US. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
3/5 Honey Boy (2019) Jim Schembri Shia LaBeouf shines as a flawed father to a child actor in this intimate, thematically rich, small-scale father-son drama EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
2/5 Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Jim Schembri Tedious and way too long, this patchy period crime drama directed by and starring the usually impressive Edward Norton unspools like a by-the-numbers tele-movie. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
1/5 Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020) Jim Schembri A shabby, sub-standard affair...Diehard fans of Miss Fisher might very well shed a crypt of tears after seeing it...The first 20 minutes of this film are simply painful to watch, suggesting a hastily made low-budget effort. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
3.5/5 The Invisible Man (2020) Jim Schembri A thoroughly modern makeover of HG Wells' idea, with everything geared to generate armrest-clutching moments of suspense and to deliver a fistful of high-voltage shocks designed to jolt you in your seat - and possibly out of it. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
3/5 The Professor and the Madman (2019) Jim Schembri The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary might not instantly sound like the basis for much of a movie, yet the combination of Mel Gibson and Sean Penn with a pretty compelling historical backstory ends up delivering a solid historical drama. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
3/5 Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Jim Schembri Jim Carrey manages to steal much of the film with his heightened mannerisms and scenery-chewing over-acting. It is a treat seeing him back in the zany mode that made Ace Ventura so funny. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
4/5 The Call of the Wild (2020) Jim Schembri What a lovely, superbly made family film this is. It's the full dog movie package... a deeply enjoyable, eventful, spirited adventure that easily clocks in as one of the finest dog films we've seen since Marley & Me. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
1/5 2nd Date Sex (2019) Jim Schembri [An] absolutely dire relationship comedy...However generous one's frame of mind might be while watching a film, there is a point where violations of common sense render a movie to be a waste of time. That happens about 15 minutes into this mess. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3/5 EMMA. (2020) Jim Schembri A fine, lush-looking, very well-directed remake starring a cast of relative unknowns and a lot of splendidly upholstered heritage-listed houses. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3.5/5 Richard Jewell (2019) Jim Schembri Eastwood directs with great efficiency and dramatic snap; he wastes no time setting up his characters and situations, eliciting top-shelf performances from his cast, some of whom have embraced the opportunity to portray real slimeballs with zeal. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3/5 The Lighthouse (2019) Jim Schembri Shot in stark black & white in academy ratio, director Robert Eggers has an absolute ball creating havoc for these two souls, mixing surrealism into a playfully bleak horror scenario...its claustrophobic intensity and portrayal of madness are compelling. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
1.5/5 H Is for Happiness (2019) Jim Schembri What starts out as a colourful, bitter-sweet tale about a tween girl's attempts to bring her broken family together soon becomes a stumblebum affair. It's discordant, choppy, riddled with scattershot storytelling and no real drive. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
4/5 For Sama (2019) Jim Schembri Be in no doubt, what you'll witness is devastating and heart-breaking. The sight of a mother processing the shock of finding her son who had just been killed by a bomb blast shows the barbarism of targeting civilians in all its casual cruelty. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
3.5/5 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Jim Schembri The film features some pretty nifty stunt-heavy engagements and vehicular chases, the best being Harley's climactic bit of business on roller skates. It's really one for the books. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
3/5 A Hidden Life (2019) Jim Schembri One of the joys of the latest film from Terrence Malick is that it features something many of his previous films have sorely lacked; namely, coherence. Yes, the film actually has a story that people from this planet can follow without getting a headache. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3.5/5 Seberg (2019) Jim Schembri As well as looking every inch the part, Stewart does a solid job charting the slow, painful descent of a popular actress who is hounded to deeper and deeper levels of desperation and paranoia. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3.5/5 The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Jim Schembri The rough-edged charm of this redneck reworking of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn radiates from the beautiful, warm performance by Zack Gottsagen...The unforced, uplifting vibe of the film makes it easy to understand its status as a sleeper hit. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3.5/5 Midway (2019) Jim Schembri Those pining for the bitter-sweet taste of an old-style Hollywood war movie will get their fill with Midway, a sprawling old-school spectacle that captures the scale, strategies, heroism and blunders of one of the most important battles of World War II. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/5 Underwater (2020) Jim Schembri Praise be to the Goddess of Good Timing who has smiled down upon Kristen Stewart by delivering unto us Underwater, a nifty, tense little underwater action thriller that will erase at least some of the memory of Charlie's Angels. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
2.5/5 Like a Boss (2020) Jim Schembri There is a pretty decent fistful of laughs in the film, mostly from Rose Byrne, who has been stealing scenes in comedy films since Bridesmaids...Ironically, the film was intended as a vehicle for Tiffany Haddish, though she can't quite match her co-star. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
3.5/5 Just Mercy (2019) Jim Schembri There's not much you won't see coming in Just Mercy, though its predictability is more than offset by a suite of compelling performances. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
3.5/5 Bad Boys for Life (2020) Jim Schembri What? A Bad Boys film with actual substance in its story, along with mega-tonnes of action? Who'd have thought? EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
4/5 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Jim Schembri A treasure of a film...Delicate direction by Marielle Heller allows for memorable moments of lyricism and surrealism, including one where Rogers appears to hold an entire cafe in a trance. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
1/5 Go! (2020) Jim Schembri There's not much point beating around the bush: this film is terrible. The acting is painfully stilted, the story sluggish...The narrative contains a minefield of plotholes...the film unspools like the kind of charmless mess we sat through in the 1980s. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
2/5 Dolittle (2020) Jim Schembri It's an odd, expensive misfire, this. Though he produced it, the wiseacre humour and infectious energy we normally associate with performances from Robert Downey Jr are strangely absent. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
3.5/5 Bombshell (2019) Jim Schembri There are so many places where the film could have gone deeper, but overall it paints an effective and disturbing portrait of the entitlement culture that comes with extraordinary power. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
2.5/5 Spies in Disguise (2019) Jim Schembri This is a perfectly enjoyable popcorn entertainment, a family-friendly time killer that will engage you while it's in front of you, then slip out of your mind completely until, three months later, you recognize the title on your streaming index. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020