L.A. Weekly

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
L.A. Confidential (1997) Ella Taylor A masterfully smart and soulful film that bows low before genre even as it betrays it. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2021
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) Erin Maxwell It will no doubt appeal to Venom and Spidey fans, and maybe people who park in theaters that only validate for two hours. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2021
Paris, Texas (1984) F.X. Feeney Paris, Texas is a landmark work in every sense: understated, powerful, sublime. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2021
No Time to Die (2021) Asher Luberto Daniel Craig goes out with a bang... EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2021
Birds of Paradise (2021) Asher Luberto Birds of Paradise is far less effective than [Black Swan or The Red Shoes], never fully committing to the heightened madness. But it's still spry, sexy, visually hypnotic and perfectly in rhythm with the ever-changing ballet. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2021
Saint-Narcisse (2021) Chuck Wilson In the end, the master of queer punk transgression leaves us wondering: who's in love with whom exactly? And why do we need to know? EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2021
Cry Macho (2021) Nathaniel Bell Each new film could plausibly be his last, so it's good to see the star ease up on the self-critiquing torment of his earlier pictures, electing to end not in a gun battle but in a slow dance. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2021
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) Chad Byrnes Chastain's Tammy Faye might be consistently sipping Diet Cokes and snickering nervously, but her performance is grounded in a deep-seated loneliness. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2021
Small Engine Repair (2021) Chad Byrnes Pollono's movie has enough verve and arresting moments to keep it lingering in your head after it ends, but it's disappointing second half leaves you feeling a little empty and bereft of any strong point of view. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2021
The Card Counter (2020) Nathaniel Bell The spiritually arid universe that cinema currently inhabits is likely to receive The Card Counter as something fresh: an intellectually serious work by a seriously intellectual filmmaker. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2021
Malignant (2021) Chuck Wilson As always with Wan, Malignant's sets are dense with detail and texture, but for all his experience with the genre, falls prey to its more obvious traps: awkward exposition and a fadeout scene that falls flat, as if the director left the room early. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) Erin Maxwell Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn't just a great addition to the MCU, it is one of its tentpoles, offering a solid foundation in which to build new stories and create new heroes that fit perfectly within the ever-expanding Marvel universe. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2021
Last Embrace (1979) Michael Ventura I can't remember another film that recreates so completely the physical rhythms and visual perceptions of someone capable of murder. Virtually every shot is worthy of comment. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2021
El Mariachi (1992) John Powers [A] funny, hyperkinetic action movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2021
The Presidio (1988) John Powers It would take a brash, original director to scrape the mold off Larry Ferguson's "original screenplay." Hyams is scarcely the man... EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2021
No Man of God (2021) Chad Byrnes The movie's reticence to answer its own tough questions will probably leave its audience feeling a little cold, and not in an interesting way. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2021
Cinderella (2021) Lina Lecaro It's extremely entertaining: from the gorgeous costuming and sets to the musical numbers, and chart-topping hits from the '80s-present that work so well into the narrative, you'd think they were actually written for the movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2021
Teen Wolf Too (1987) Jonathan Gold We've seen it all before, and I warn you: This movie is a dog in wolf's clothing. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2021
My Family/Mi Familia (1995) Kristal Brent Zook Were this superb drama nothing more than a rich exploration of family, it would have been more than enough. But Nava and his cowriter, wife Anna Thomas, offer up layers and nuances. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2021
Respect (2021) Lina Lecaro Respect transcends the typical music icon trajectory for something more intimate, conveying creativity, complexity and (super)-natural talent of the woman who made us all feel so good inside. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
The Suicide Squad (2021) Lina Lecaro The social commentary might be blatant, but the over the top action and CGI-candy still leaves a bigger impression as a superhero movie is expected to these days. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Val (2021) Chad Byrnes The new documentary on the inscrutable Val Kilmer is an exercise in distilled subjectivity. There isn't much in the way of breathing room or impartiality since Val exists within its own cocoon - the point of view of Val Kilmer. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021) Chad Byrnes The movie's emotional currency and unabashed passion helps it transcend its somewhat basic architecture. It's a messy affair, but then again so was Bourdain. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Searching for Mr. Rugoff (2019) Chad Byrnes It's impossible to measure his influence on contemporary cinema, but at least this wonderful documentary gives him the same spotlight he placed on so many others throughout his life. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Go Fish (1994) Elizabeth Pincus Combining the urban smarts of Spike Lee with the ang-sty intimacy of a Sadie Benning video, Troche and Turner zero in on the streets of Chicago and a circle of friends who call the city home. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
Garbo Talks (1984) Michael Wilmington Garbo Talks is a comedy, and Lumet, as he's shown before, is a good comedy director; the movie keeps its slightly tart comic objectivity even in the warmest, runniest moments. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2021
CODA (2021) Asher Luberto It lives up to its title, all right, with an ending that takes all the the little details, moments, memories and needle drops from the first two acts, and brings them back for a rousing, uplifting, wipe-the-tears-from-your-face encore. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2021
John and the Hole (2020) Nathaniel Bell John and the Hole, a restrained but unsettling coming-of-age tale, that it takes the high road and stops a hair's breadth short of full-blown horror. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2021
Free Guy (2021) Asher Luberto You could do a whole lot worse than a few glitches. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2021
Hangin' With the Homeboys (1991) Arion Berger Vasquez doesn't push his characters anywhere they're not already going; he follows them -- to a party, a peepshow, a brick wall (they wreck the car), a nightclub -- and lets their racial and sexual insecurities flare up and recede very naturally. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2021
Tango Bar (1988) Ruben Martinez The wealth of tango history -- cultural, social, political -- from Latin America as well as the U.S. is impressive in its breadth. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
The Rescue (1988) Ruben Martinez The Rescue is so lacking in every human aspect (cardboard cutouts and voice-overs would have achieved similar results) that it will probably come and go rather unnoticed, and justifiably so. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
Split Decisions (1988) Ruben Martinez [Split Decisions] degenerates into Hollywood formula caricature way before the credits roll. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
Salsa (1988) Ruben Martinez Nada story, nada and laughable dialogue, and whatever salsa there may have been (in the bailes, in the musica) is wasted by a distant camera, as distant as a turista' s gaze upon our exotic raza. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
The Night of the Pencils (1986) Ruben Martinez Problems with camera work (stiff, linear scenes), scripting (dialogue mostly reduced to slogans and cliches) and acting robs us of any opportunity to truly feel for the protagonists there's little attempt to define original personalities. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
Stand and Deliver (1988) Ruben Martinez Director Menendez has skillfully captured both the school and the kids' home environments. Nothing is prettified we are given barrio life in its beautiful-ugly rawness. Casting choices for the kids are generally brilliant. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
A Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (2020) Lina Lecaro This novel, choose-as-you-go Kimmy Schmidt special is fun, but it also makes for some pressure, especially for hardcore fans who know that Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) doesn't always make the best choices on her own. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2021
El Norte (1983) Michael Ventura Its images are so forceful, and so beautiful, that they transcend the story's simplicity and reach into a realm that can be justly called poetic. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2021
The Holcroft Covenant (1985) John Powers The Holcroft Covenant delivers exactly what it promises, good old-fashioned thrills and spills by filmmakers who know exactly what they're doing. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2021
A Touch of Zen (1971) Michael Wilmington Meticulously detailed, and suffused, at times, with a real (if totally screwball) sense of wonder... [though] the grandeur of the film is inseparable from its silliness. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2021
Enemies, a Love Story (1989) Ella Taylor For all his sincerity, Mazursky has ironed out Singer's wicked delight in the ambiguities and frailties of the human psyche, and turned the story into mere burlesque. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2021
Stillwater (2021) Chad Byrnes Even with its minor flaws, Stillwater is a welcome change from the status quo because it has something to say besides, "I'm going to entertain you." The studios don't make movies like this very often. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2021
Old (2021) Asher Luberto Shyamalan's script also has wrinkles, and you can't help but notice a glaring number of plot holes: How come some kids age faster than others? Why does one corpse rot while another doesn't?...In Shyamalan's hands, we're all lost at sea. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
Joe Bell (2020) Chuck Wilson Joe Bell the film is well-acted and surely well-intentioned, but Jadin and his dad deserved better. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2021
Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) Asher Luberto Gunpowder Milkshake is one of those films where the director (Navot Papushado) thinks casting women in generic action roles makes the action less generic. EDIT
Posted Jul 21, 2021
Friends: The Reunion (2021) Lina Lecaro If anyone from the show is reading this, the reunion was nice, but no one needs a reboot, remake, revamp, re-imagining or regurgitative next-generation Friends project, at least not for a while. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2021
In The Earth (2021) Michael Atkinson This palate-cleanser revisits hallucinatory Brit paganism as an obsession, and with the odd sense of terrifying amplitude emanating from what must be by now a pretty modest hunk of wilderness. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2021
Pig (2021) Michael Atkinson The bedeviling and rather lovely thing about Sarnoski's film is that it seems to think it is a thriller, with its brooding self-significance, criminal-underworld ambience, ominous score, and nothing-left-to-lose hero. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2021
Mortal Kombat Annihilation (1997) Hazel-Dawn Dumpert The makers of the thoroughly terrible Mortal Kombat: Annihilation haven't even attempted to move beyond their source material -- the super-popular video game -- and actually make a movie. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2021
Wrath of Man (2021) Chad Byrnes If Ritchie maybe slowed things down and developed a character or two, we could lose ourselves more in the story, instead of merely following directions on a meticulously constructed map. EDIT
Posted Jul 14, 2021