The Patriot Ledger

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
C Underwater (2020) Dana Barbuto Where's Aquaman when you need him? EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
B Just Mercy (2019) Dana Barbuto Cretton never becomes too procedural or too preachy. He simply shows a fractured system that so rarely expouses tender mercy. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
A- 1917 (2019) Al Alexander Spellbinding in both its compact storytelling and its significant technical contributions making "1917" perhaps the most immersive war picture you've ever seen. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2020
B Invisible Life (2019) Al Alexander It's 99-and-nine-tenths pure soap, but the performances by Duarte and Stockler, who really do look like sisters, never fail to save Aïnhouz from his worst instincts. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2020
A- Uncut Gems (2019) Al Alexander It's a full-bodied role born by the Brothers Safdie (Josh and Benny), capitalizing on both Sandler's manic obnoxiousness and tender underbelly. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2019
A Little Women (2019) Dana Barbuto ... it just might make you long to have a sister of your own. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2019
C+ A Hidden Life (2019) Al Alexander Malick doesn't want to cheapen Franz's story by sentimentalizing it as most Hollywood productions would surely do. But in going to the opposite extreme, he risks reactions of indifference, which is tragic. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2019
B Bombshell (2019) Al Alexander It's basically a candy-colored, go-girl shout-out to the #MeToo movement -- and a pandering one at that. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2019
C+ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Dana Barbuto Somehow we're back to exactly where it all ended after "Return of the Jedi." Those were the days. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
A- Richard Jewell (2019) Al Alexander Beyond all the underlying politics and rightful criticisms of the FBI and the media, it should be noted that "Richard Jewell" is also one helluva terrific entertainment. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2019
B Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Dana Barbuto "Jumanji: The Next Level" is more of the same - and that's a good thing. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
C+ Little Joe (2019) Al Alexander If not for the fine performances from Beecham and Ben Whishaw ... you'd be dousing the screen with Roundup. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2019
B+ The Two Popes (2019) Al Alexander The goal is to humanize two religious icons, not by sowing hosannas but addressing their mortal foibles and the resulting desire for repentance. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2019
C+ The Aeronauts (2019) Dana Barbuto Weighed down by melodrama and clichés, and devoid of tension, the ballooning drama "The Aeronauts" fails to take flight. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2019
B+ Knives Out (2019) Al Alexander Throat-slashing, backstabbing and all kinds of pointed jabs are thrust to the hilt in "Knives Out," but it's the whodunit's lacerating comedy that slices to the bone. Bloody good, I'd say. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2019
C+ The Good Liar (2019) Dana Barbuto In an early scene, Roy describes online dating as "anticipation followed by a letdown." I know the truth hurts, but that's "The Good Liar" in a nutshell. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2019
A- Ford v Ferrari (2019) Dana Barbuto The race-car drama, "Ford v. Ferrari," has more under the hood than hot rods and hunky men. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2019
B+ Frozen II (2019) Dana Barbuto A friendly troll remarks to Anna and Elsa: "it's never a dull moment with you two." He's right. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2019
A- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Dana Barbuto "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is an achievement, one that feels like one big group hug. Embrace it. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2019
B+ () Al Alexander The final scene is one of righteously claimed female empowerment, but it's also one we've seen many times before. It's a bit of a copout ... but you go with it because Attanasio has more than earned your investment. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2019
A Marriage Story (2019) Al Alexander Baumbach is speaking from experience, and it's that underlying truthiness that enables "Marriage Story" to pack a wallop. So, no pulling punches, no hiding insecurities -- or affairs. Baumbach, through Driver, puts himself out there, foibles and all. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2019
B+ Honey Boy (2019) Al Alexander LeBeouf is the patient, the film is his couch and we are his shrinks, absorbing what's pouring from his tattered heart, trying to make sense of it and how so many traumas have informed the man -- and the actor -- he's become. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2019
B+ () Al Alexander The Enquirer, Trump? It's impossible to separate the two. They are symbiotic, attached at the hip, as Landsman sets out to prove. And his evidence is pretty convincing. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2019
A The Irishman (2019) Al Alexander Yes, it's huge, sprawling and sometimes sloppy, but "The Irishman" is a treasure to be cherished. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2019
C- Midway (2019) Al Alexander More Atari than kamikaze, "Midway" looks all the world like a relic of a video game best left accumulating dust on a shelf. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2019
B+ Grâce à Dieu (2018) Al Alexander Ozon's film is very much like "Spotlight"; what's different is his willingness to dig deep into the never-ending traumas these childhood rapes have visited upon the victims. EDIT
Posted Oct 27, 2019
B- The Current War (2017) Al Alexander Fortunately, I didn't see the original cut, so I can't judge how much of an improvement has been made, but I can attest that what's here isn't all that bad. In fact, I'd say it's almost a "cut" above average. EDIT
Posted Oct 27, 2019
A- Jim Allison: Breakthrough (2019) Al Alexander The Nobel speaks for Allison's extraordinary success. The movie speaks for the extraordinary man behind it. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2019
B+ Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Al Alexander It's not an exaggeration to say it's the finest work of Murphy's career, and a lot of that, I think, is because Brewer has presented the Golden Child with a golden opportunity to return to his raunchy origins. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2019
A Dolor y gloria (2019) Al Alexander "Pain & Glory" is so awash in magnificence it's hard to decide who to praise more: its filmmaker, Pedro Almódovar; or its mesmerizing star, Antonio Banderas. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2019
B Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Dana Barbuto Back for zany seconds, director Ruben Fleischer's "Zombieland 2" is as mindless and irreverent as his surprise 2009 zom-com. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
C+ Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Dana Barbuto The best part of "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" is watching Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer chew scenery with equal amounts of vamp and camp as feuding villainesses. Who glowers better? EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
B- The Lighthouse (2019) Dana Barbuto ...mood and brood and it is not enough to prevent The Lighthouse from disappearing in the fog. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
C Lucy in the Sky (2019) Dana Barbuto ... aspires to explore an existential crisis that comes off as nothing but rote ... EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B+ First Love (2019) Al Alexander Yes, it's zany and overstuffed, so much so, you never know what trick Miike will resort to next. Yet he never fails to pleasantly surprise along a corpse-strewn path toward a marvelously happy ending. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2019
B+ Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Al Alexander An absorbing documentary tracing the direct line from the architect of McCarthyism to Vladimir Putin's Charlie McCarthy. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2019
B Joker (2019) Dana Barbuto Whether it's worth seeing depends on your tolerance for glorifying a dangerous mentally ill man breaking bad and becoming a menace to the society that abandoned him. Yup, the joke's on us - all of us. And it's a message pounded home with a sledgehammer. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
B- Judy (2019) Al Alexander You want to be stirred, but neither the movie nor Zellweger's otherwise all-in performance will allow it. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2019
C Ms. Purple (2019) Al Alexander Mercifully, it only wastes a mere 85 minutes of your life, but that's 85 minutes you could have spent doing more interesting things like copying recipes or paying bills. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
B+ Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Al Alexander As much of a card as Ivins was, Engel's film hints at the darkness beneath the clown's jovial exterior, most notably her struggle with alcohol. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
A- Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Al Alexander Amid a parade of music documentaries, "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice" just might be the sweetest, most wrenching of the bunch. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
A- Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Al Alexander Lopez deftly mixes realism and fantasy to create a story of horror that shocks as indelibly as it inspires. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
B- Official Secrets (2019) Al Alexander Overwrought, overacted and utterly devoid of subtlety, Gavin Hood's account of Britain's version of Daniel Ellsberg is at once anger-inducing and somnambulant. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
B- It: Chapter Two (2019) Dana Barbuto "It Chapter Two" is a funny, gross and indulgently long slog through nearly three hours of convoluted clown carnage adapted from the second half of King's 1,138-page best-seller from 1986. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
C Aquarela (2018) Al Alexander For a movie about global warming, "Aquarela" leaves you awfully cold. Not just because of the mountains of glaciers captured deconstructing, but because director Victor Kossakovsky's approach is so chillingly distant and aloof. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2019
A- Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Al Alexander An existential crisis would seem an odd thing to dump on one of Hollywood's funniest women, but Bell accepts the challenge and literally runs with it. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2019
A- Love, Antosha (2019) Al Alexander Normally, I don't go in for hagiographies, but the effusive "Love, Antosha" is a rare exception, probably because a shooting star like the late actor Anton Yelchin actually deserves such glowing praise. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2019
B The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Al Alexander Endlessly charming thanks to the terrific chemistry between LaBeouf and Gottsagen, a bonafide find by the writing-directing team of Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2019
B- Angel Has Fallen (2019) Dana Barbuto Nolte saves the movie from collapsing under its overwrought weight. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
B+ Tel Aviv on Fire (2018) Al Alexander If Jared Kushner wants to achieve his assigned goal of bringing peace to the Middle East, he could learn a lot from "Tel Aviv on Fire." So could you. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2019