L.A. Weekly

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Shithouse (2020) Asher Luberto You buy into the film because you buy into Alex, his failures and triumphs, and you can't help but cheer when he hits the whole romance thing out of the park. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez (2007) Scott Foundas It offers an urgent contribution to the raging debate over the physical and psychological divides separating the U.S. from its neighbor to the south. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Asher Luberto The Trial of Chicago 7 is less a chapter in history than a first draft still being written today, and Sorkin asks us all to take a stand for civil rights, even if it means taking THE stand. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2020
On the Rocks (2017) Nick Schager Comedies of misery don't get much more uncomfortably hilarious than On the Rocks. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2020
Kajillionaire (2020) Asher Luberto It's endlessly imaginative and eternally wistful, alive with characters you might run into at a hipster coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard and bustling with women rarely seen on screen. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2020
I Am Woman (2019) Asher Luberto Those unfamiliar with Reddy's life will find plenty to chew on here, while fans will continue to wonder why this strong, invincible, roaring woman isn't in the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2020
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe (2020) Asher Luberto Amid its sharp jokes about Siri, Star Trek and animated shows, it reveals emotional truths on why all of us are special, even a tattletale like Candace. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2020
Tenet (2020) Asher Luberto A bit like solving a Rubix Cube while running a marathon, backwards. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2020
() Asher Luberto The result is a brainy, imaginative, magnificently bonkers update of Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, another horror movie about someone who, given the chance, would trade reality to live in the lonely, deserted land of their dreams. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2020
Get Duked! (2019) Asher Luberto Mimicking the aesthetics of music videos, Snapchat filters and hallucinogenic rabbit poop (don't ask), the film bursts with energy... EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (2020) Asher Luberto Once the beer starts to flow and the dialogue spills over, the fake bar becomes a real one; actors drop their guard (and a few even drop their trousers). The result is a funny and rowdy movie about companionship... EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2020
The Banana Splits Movie (2019) Erin Maxwell There are not enough laughs to be scary and the scares are too feeble to be effective, but a few gory kills save the pic from landing in Dullsville, USA. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2020
Untouchable (2019) Erin Maxwell A sharp look at a monster who had access to the most beautiful women in the world and took advantage of his position time and again to control them. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
Heaven (2019) Erin Maxwell Characters become caricatures, as lead Annalise Basso as Heaven never finds her emotional center, turning on a dime from sobbing mess to sexpot. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
V.C. Andrews' Dark Angel (2019) Erin Maxwell The pacing is so fast it misses key beats and crucial characters as it skims over the story. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Lina Lecaro Annabelle may be the most evil doll in horror right now, but so far anyways she still plays and slays old school style, and for this homecoming it works. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Yesterday (2019) Lina Lecaro Yesterday still succeeds thanks to the zestful pacing of director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) and effective performances by pretty much all the actors involved. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Phil (2019) Chad Byrnes Although Phil has moments as derivative as a Lifetime Christmas movie, I respect its unabashed spirit. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Good Boys (2019) Chad Byrnes Good Boys takes chances that you don't see too often on film, which ultimately makes it a really good time. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2020
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) Chuck Wilson Footage of Tevye and his wife Golda singing "Do You Love Me?" in a recent Tokyo staging is so moving one wishes to see the entire production. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2020
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Chuck Wilson It's heart-clutching and makes one understand what Ronstadt's Penzance co-star, Kevin Kline, says earlier in the film about her voice: "Celestial yet earthy. So absolutely pure. It made me cry." EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2020
It: Chapter Two (2019) Michael Cooper Kids may be a bit smarter in 2016 and their demons, both internal and external, may be a bit more complex, but a good creepy clown clearly still evokes frights. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2020
The Painted Bird (2019) Asher Luberto Director Vaclec Marhoul drops us into a hellscape reminiscent of Elem Klimov's Come and See and Andrei Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood... a reminder of art-house cinema's ability to transport us to murky and mysterious worlds. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) Asher Luberto As refreshing as a pool on a hot summer day. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
A LA Originals (2020) Lina Lecaro Beyond the lowrider and street art scenes, it is the images of the barrio and gang hangs in L.A. that resonate and provide a reflection of real life in LA Originals. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B Trolls World Tour (2020) Lina Lecaro Even more than the original, Trolls World Tour, is a rainbow-swathed, glitter-drenched escape from reality, and it provides the full-on fantastical at-home experience that many families are probably craving right now. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B Big Time Adolescence (2019) Chad Byrnes The film's narrative is pretty familiar, especially if you've sluiced through a ton of Sundance coming-of-age tales in the past 20 years. But sometimes genuine storytelling is more consequential and interesting than the tenuous struggle to be original. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B+ The Wrong Missy (2020) Lina Lecaro Lauren Lapkus steals the show here as a woman whose lack of boundaries, filters and self-restraint make for a full and shockingly funny take on life that's so "wrong," it's right. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B+ The Wrong Missy (2020) Robert Abele Lauren Lapkus steals the show here as a woman whose lack of boundaries, filters and self-restraint make for a full and shockingly funny take on life that's so "wrong," it's right EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
A- Mystify: Michael Hutchence (2019) Chad Byrnes Although it's a bit of a mishmash of grainy videos and media footage, the journey is always engaging. Unlike a lot of music biographies that tell you how to feel, Mystify gives its audience the space and wherewithal to put the pieces together. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B- Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time Volume 1: Midnight Madness (2020) Chad Byrnes Although Time Warp's subject matter is endlessly intriguing, intermittently the series stalls and sputters due to "talking-head" syndrome. Frankly, it would've benefited from digging a little deeper into the cult film ouvre. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
C+ You Should Have Left (2020) Chad Byrnes You Should Have Left is enjoyable, especially since we're stuck inside our own homes much like the characters in the movie, but it has a tough time deciding if it's a cerebral exploration of a man's stifled rage or a brash and jolting horror film. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B- Shirley (2020) Lina Lecaro This slow-burning psychological thriller is meant to reflect its subject's work so if you're not familiar with the writer (Shirley Jackson), it might come off as needlessly predacious and ugly. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
B- The High Note (2020) Lina Lecaro During quarantine you could do worse than streaming this movie, and that's mostly thanks to Tracy Ross, who brings her usual warmth and likability to the proceedings. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
A Da 5 Bloods (2020) Lina Lecaro This tale of former Vietnam vets who return to the land where they battled years ago to retrieve a fallen soldier's body (and some stashed gold) is visually enticing and full of riveting performances. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
You Don't Nomi (2019) Lina Lecaro If you're a hardcore Showgirls nerd and want to hear like-minded dissect the heck out of it, this one's a must-see, but if you're not, maybe pass and just watch the fleshy flick itself one more time. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
Wasp Network (2019) Asher Luberto Combining extensive research with fictionalized action, the film presents an ideologically muddled look at what are essentially acts of terrorism. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
The Vast of Night (2019) Chuck Wilson An oft-told alien invasion story that's really a movie about being exuberantly young, and boundlessly curious - as alien trackers and first time directors alike must be - The Vast of Night is a nervy delight. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
Lucky Grandma (2019) Chuck Wilson The range of emotions that play across her face when she realizes she's gambled away all her money is a master class in the art of acting. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
Fourteen (2019) Chuck Wilson Figuring out if we can be can continue to be someone's person in a steady continuum of such moments is the question Fourteen asks, artfully, and on its own terms. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
On the Record (2020) Chuck Wilson ...it's as if the filmmakers are attempting to create a safe space for Dixon to tell her story, and when she finally does, it's wrenching. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
B AKA Jane Roe (2020) Lina Lecaro [It] probably won't change minds on either side of the abortion issue, but as the case continues to be in danger of getting overturned, AKA Jane Roe's unflinching look at the complexities of the issue should resonate regardless. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
Artemis Fowl (2020) Asher Luberto You have to see it to believe it... but I wouldn't recommend doing so. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2020
The Vast of Night (2019) Asher Luberto By forgoing close-ups, [Patterson's] distant shots invite audiences to investigate every frame and image; bracing for jolts that may never come. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2020
The Queen (1968) Nathaniel Bell A remarkable piece of cinéma vérité journalism. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2020
The Lovebirds (2020) Asher Luberto Issa Rae and Kumail Nunjiani crack, snapple and pop with comedic chemistry, evoking chuckles that almost distract us from the lifeless movie around them. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2020
James Dean (2001) Robert Lloyd James Dean is an unusually intelligent job that benefits from the relative modesty of its production and straightforward direction. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2020
Committed (2000) Hazel-Dawn Dumpert The best thing about Committed is [Lisa] Krueger, a filmmaker who's not only willing to lead us into the well-traveled terrain of romantic comedy, but able to show us something new there. All she asks is that we have a little faith. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2020
The Last House on the Left (2009) Nick Pinkerton This new House tries to sustain a grave, heavy sense of threat. It fails, through its villainy. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2020
Sergio (2020) Asher Luberto For a film of such scale--countless years, endless locations--it's remarkably thin, with no insights as to why Sergio put his life on the line to create a better world. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2020