The Patriot Ledger

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
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
A One Child Nation (2019) Al Alexander The level of depravity Wang reveals in China's ruthless attempts at population control is as barbaric as it is gruesome in revealing a government program placing zero value on human life. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2019
B+ Blinded by the Light (2019) Dana Barbuto The Springsteen fan in me LOVED the movie and all its genuflecting to The Boss as poet and prophet. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
B- Brian Banks (2018) Al Alexander A well-made, anger-inducing lambasting of a corrupt legal system that's more about scoring convictions than seeking the truth, particularly when the accused is a young black male. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2019
A- Luce (2019) Al Alexander Onah and Lee may well be biting off way too many social problems; certainly far too many for one two-hour movie. But these are issues, especially black identity in the age of Trump, that deserve our attention. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2019
C- The Kitchen (2019) Dana Barbuto Someone get me out of this Hell. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
C- The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Dana Barbuto It's a ruff ride. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
A- David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Al Alexander Crosby is a raconteur of the finest order. He opens up and Eaton wisely lets him sing. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2019
A- Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Al Alexander The one constant is a powerful, charismatic guy who forever changed the way we watch the news; and how he unwittingly lent a hand in diminishing something near and dear to every journalist: Your trust. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2019
C Drei Zinnen (2017) Al Alexander It's said that good things come in threes, a theory German filmmaker Jan Zabiel unwittingly disproves in "Three Peaks," his thin-aired family drama in which three quickly becomes tri-ing -- or, tiring, if you wish to flip those six letters around. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2019
B+ Sea of Shadows (2019) Al Alexander Like all the best documentaries, "Sea of Shadows" makes us fume with anger. But what are we going to do about it? Ladkani defiantly leaves the next move up to us. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2019
A Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Dana Barbuto The greatest compliment I can give is that after sitting for two hours, 45 minutes, I was immediately ready to do it again. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
B+ Sword of Trust (2019) Al Alexander It's deep, but it's also funny, enlightening and giddy, as we laugh while fighting an unignorable urge to cry. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2019
A- The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Al Alexander You either go with the rampant eclectics or you walk. Me, I ate up every word of an economically written screenplay that verbally lacerates current American culture, especially its insane love for guns. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2019
B The Lion King (2019) Dana Barbuto "The Lion King" is likely to offer elements of revelation and disappointment. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2019
B+ Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Al Alexander What emerges is an intensely personal film from the cynic who brought us "Kurt & Courtney" and "Biggie and Tupac." It's also Bloomfield's most emotional work. EDIT
Posted Jul 14, 2019
B+ The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018) Al Alexander By the end, you're breathless and spent, but newly attune to the depth of divisions in a biblical city that is anything but holy. EDIT
Posted Jul 14, 2019
C Stuber (2019) Dana Barbuto At first glance, "Stuber" seems to be one of those dumb summer action comedies. Guess what? It is. Proving yet again you should always trust your instincts. EDIT
Posted Jul 14, 2019
A- Wild Rose (2018) Al Alexander Buckley brings to the fore the plight of many invisible, impoverished women overwhelmed by the seemingly constant clash of single-motherhood and a longing to be true to yourself. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2019
A- Maiden (2018) Al Alexander The true joy of this story is in listening to the women looking back fondly from the present at the greatest adventure of their lives. Often, they choke up; and so do you. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2019
B Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Dana Barbuto Peter and MJ are the story's emotional anchor and they are just plain adorable. Swoon! EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
C The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) Al Alexander Kempner and his gaggle of commentators consisting of Berg's relatives, teammates and admirers keep telling us how great Moe was, but there's nothing to support it beyond the guy being versatile and brilliant. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2019
A- Yesterday (2019) Dana Barbuto If you want to feel joy, head straight to "Yesterday." EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2019
B- Echo in the Canyon (2018) Al Alexander The tunes are great, the stories are great, but Jakob Dylan keeps getting in the way, stealing the spotlight to the point of frustration. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2019
B The Quiet One (2019) Al Alexander While watching "The Quiet One," you get the feeling Wyman has seen it all from the perspective of both a participant and an observer. And he has the photos and home movies to prove it. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2019
B+ Late Night (2019) Dana Barbuto Katherine's nightly sign-off is "I hope I earned the privilege of your time." This movie certainly does. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2019
B- La chute de l'empire Américain (2018) Al Alexander The roteness is often cringe-worthy and tone shifts jarring. But darned if I wasn't wrapped up in the altruism Arcand is selling in taking broad swipes at Trump, Trudeau and the loathsome one-percenters who worship at the altar of illegal tax shelters. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2019
C Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) Al Alexander Coming as it does so close on the heels of Netflix's awesome "Fyre" doc, this chronicle of a music festival boondoggle ain't so groovy, man. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2019
A- Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018) Al Alexander A fascinating journey into the subconscious, where our broken dreams restlessly lurk on the periphery of reality. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2019
C+ Dark Phoenix (2019) Dana Barbuto So much for the joys of "X." EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
B+ Halston (2019) Al Alexander It's an ideal epithet for an icon sure to be remembered as one of history's most devout men of the cloth. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2019
B- The Tomorrow Man (2019) Al Alexander "The Tomorrow Man" will either leave you giddy with its unmitigated devotion to quirk, or have your eyeballs on a continuous roll in reaction to a seemingly endless string of ridiculous contrivances. Oh, and did I mention there are nuclear bombs? EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2019
c- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Dana Barbuto Yankees fans will find something to cheer about. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
B+ Rocketman (2019) Dana Barbuto One character advises an up-and-coming John to "kill the person you were born to be." John does, but lucky for us, he's reborn. In the end, he's "Still Standing," and thanks to "Rocketman," Egerton's career is about to last a long, long time. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
B Meeting Gorbachev (2018) Al Alexander "Meeting Gorbachev" fills you with a renewed appreciation for what the man did to advance world peace, even if it also fortifies the notion that no good deed goes unpunished. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2019
B All Is True (2018) Al Alexander Instead of dramatizing another of the Bard's masterworks, Branagh this time takes a different tack by stepping into his hero's pantofles to portray history's finest writer caught at a final-curtain crossroads. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2019
A- Booksmart (2019) Dana Barbuto The script is just a gem, so packed with hysterical dialogue that I willed myself not to laugh out loud because I didn't want to miss a word . EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
B Aladdin (2019) Dana Barbuto Smartly, Ritchie, working from a script he co-wrote with John August ("Dark Shadows," "Big Fish"), does not stray far from the original material. Their script adds some girl power, which is fine by me. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
B- Trial by Fire (2018) Al Alexander You can't help wishing Zwick's lockstep depiction of capital punishment felt a lot less like a death sentence. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2019
C The White Crow (2018) Al Alexander What should have been thrilling is rendered clumsily flat-footed by a filmmaker flailing to make sense of a tortured screenplay from playwright David Hare that's felled by an inability to stay on pointe. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2019