Butler's Cinema Scene

Butler's Cinema Scene is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Robert W. Butler
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ Moxie (2021) Robert W. Butler The highest praise I can bestow on Moxie is that for two hours it made me once again feel like a teenager... and left me with a much-needed sense of optimism. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
B- Palmer (2021) Robert W. Butler As directed by Fisher Stevens and performed by a first-rate cast the film is low-keyed, sincere, humanistic and occasionally shockingly tough. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
B- Land (2021) Robert W. Butler At its most poignant the Land is about the need for human contact, even among those of us who fiercely deny that impulse. But even if the message gets muddled, there's always something gorgeous to look at. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
B Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Robert W. Butler From a purely historic point of view, [Judas and the Black Messiah] does a terrific job of recreating a seminal moment of the Civil Rights movement. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
B- The Dig (2021) Robert W. Butler The Dig may be little more than motion picture comfort food... but right now comfort food is what we want. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
B+ The Dissident (2020) Robert W. Butler This documentary is still capable of setting us back on our heels with gut-clutching revelations. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
C The Little Things (2021) Robert W. Butler Were there an Oscar for frustrated expectations, John Lee Hancock's agonizingly moody "The Little Things" would clearly take home a statuette. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
B Pieces of a Woman (2020) Robert W. Butler Pieces of a Woman, then, is a mixed bag. Go for the good stuff; try to overlook the iffy. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
C Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Robert W. Butler Here's my bottom line: I had to force myself to watch Wonder Woman 1984 to its conclusion. There just wasn't much of interest unfolding on the screen. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
B The Midnight Sky (2020) Robert W. Butler In the end, there is less to Midnight Sky than meets the eye. But what's there is still pretty compelling. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
B+ Promising Young Woman (2020) Robert W. Butler A heady mashup of female revenge melodrama, black comedy and ruthless personality study, Promising Young Woman will leave audiences laughing, wincing and infuriated. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
B+ News of the World (2020) Robert W. Butler While sporting many of the elements of classical oaters, Paul Greengrass' effort is more about loss than a triumphant taming of the wilderness. It is far more concerned with the ache of human suffering and a society in turmoil than in gunplay. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
B Minari (2020) Robert W. Butler Minari is specific, yes. But it's also universal. Jacob's quest for economic self improvement resonates across years and cultures; the comforting (and exasperating) ties of family and marriage mold all of us. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
B Another Round (2020) Robert W. Butler It falls to the the excellent cast to bring the story to life. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
B Miss Juneteenth (2020) Robert W. Butler It is fueled by a subtle and unforced script by director Channing Godfrey Peoples, utterly believable supporting performances and a riveting lead turn from actress Nicole Beharie. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
B+ The Prom (2020) Robert W. Butler Sabre-toothed cynicism and squishy-hearted sentiment are unusual bedfellows, but they get it on quite swimmingly in The Prom. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
B- Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Robert W. Butler Blunt is one of my personal faves; here she wows as the girl next door with a thing for fixing tractors and, in her "me" time, doing a bit of ballet in the barnyard. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
B Sound of Metal (2019) Robert W. Butler This film is often painful to watch; it's also deeply moving, thanks to a couple of killer performances. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
B Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan (2020) Robert W. Butler In addition to the archival material Temple has shot all sorts of gorgeous new footage in the Irish countryside. And to help tell the tale he's commissioned animated sequences in the visual styles of William Blake, R. Crumb and Ralph Steadman. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
A- Mank (2020) Robert W. Butler For this viewer, at least, it is two hours of cinematic heaven. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
A- Nomadland (2020) Robert W. Butler Zhao's direction is so matter-of-fact that we sometimes fail to realize the marvelous moments she has put before us, especially Joshua James Richards' cinematography and Ludovico Einaudi's piano-heavy musical score. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
C+ Ammonite (2020) Robert W. Butler Despite the presences of these two acting giants, Ammonite is a bore. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
B- Run (2020) Robert W. Butler A couple of things elevate Run above the average. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
B Zappa (2020) Robert W. Butler Fans of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (present company included) will have plenty to drool over here. But Zappa left me only partially satisfied. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
B- The Last Vermeer (2019) Robert W. Butler Oozing hedonistic hubris, intellectual arrogance and casual amorality through his Einstein-level frizzy gray hair and mustache, Pearce's van Meergren is the center of attention whenever he appears on screen. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
B- The Life Ahead (2020) Robert W. Butler The pleasure of watching Sophia Loren's return to the screen (still charismatic at 86) is somewhat tempered by the so-so execution of The Life Ahead. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
A- The Climb (2019) Robert W. Butler You'll laugh. You'll wince. But you will not quickly forget The Climb. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
B+ I Am Greta (2020) Robert W. Butler Despite the occasional "down" day and nagging doubts that the human-fueled destruction of our planet can be reversed in time, Greta plugs away at her message. It's equal parts inspirational and heartbreaking. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
B- Fisherman's Friends (2019) Robert W. Butler When you're stuck at home during a pandemic, this little movie might be just the spirit lifter required. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
C Let Him Go (2020) Robert W. Butler Before it's all over Let Him Go will have descended into a quagmire of cult film wackiness and action/revenge melodrama, wasting a promising cast along the way. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
C+ Kindred (2020) Robert W. Butler [Kindred] has been well made and nicely acted but never sucks us in the way we want. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
B On the Rocks (2020) Robert W. Butler The result is an amusing film that ultimately delivers a few deep lessons. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
B- Martin Eden (2019) Robert W. Butler Martin Eden is a glass-half-full enterprise. The young Martin is a compelling figure; by film's end he's an off-putting heap of hubris and arrogance. Whatever message Marcello is sending gets muddled. Still, the film looks great. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
C+ I Am Lisa (2020) Robert W. Butler There are moments, in fact, when "I Am Lisa" flirts with camp, though in the end it cannot commit. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
B The Boys in the Band (2020) Robert W. Butler The performances are effortless...as they should be. These actors all played the same roles in last year's successful revival of the play, and they know their characters inside out. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2020
B- A Call to Spy (2019) Robert W. Butler The historic facts make this yarn more compelling than you'd expect. There's a irony in seeing these women risking particularly nasty deaths while simultaneously coping with the affronted male egoes of their fellow agents. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2020
B The Glorias (2020) Robert W. Butler The results are hugely informative (and required viewing for all young women) but, for most of the film's long running time, emotionally remote. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2020
B- Misbehaviour (2020) Robert W. Butler It's got a killer cast and a stirring inspired-by-headlines story to tell. Yet Philippa Lowthorpe's Misbehaviour only really kicks in during the closing credits. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2020
B The Nest (2020) Robert W. Butler This is dark, disturbing stuff, yet it's hard to tear your eyes away from The Nest. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
A- My Octopus Teacher (2020) Robert W. Butler No nature documentary you've ever seen will quite prepare you for My Octopus Teacher, a heart-gripping tale of a friendship (one might even call it a romance) between a human and a mollusk. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
B Enola Holmes (2020) Robert W. Butler Enola Holmes would be a welcome diversion at any time. That it also confirms young Millie Bobby Brown as a major star is but frosting on the scone. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
B- The Devil All the Time (2020) Robert W. Butler Imagine a partnership of Flannery O'Conner and Jim Thompson. It's pretty unpleasant...but has been acted and produced with enough brio to keep us hanging on. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
B Alone (2020) Robert W. Butler I'm happy to have seen Alone, John Hyams' superior thriller that with a minimum of fuss leaves the nerves tingling. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
B- Driven to Abstraction (2019) Robert W. Butler It slowly comes together, but in a painfully methodical and emotionally remote sort of way. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
B+ House of Cardin (2019) Robert W. Butler House of Cardin will prove a real eye-opener for those of us (this writer included), who pretty much assumed he was a Parisian fashion designer, period. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
B+ The Mole Agent (2020) Robert W. Butler The Mole Agent is a humanistic document of the highest order. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
B Mulan (2020) Robert W. Butler The film is simple enough (and inoffensive enough) for children, yet possesses ample thematic depth and technical imagination to engage adults. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
B Desert One (2019) Robert W. Butler A demoralizing bit of recent American history comes vividly to life in Desert One. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
B+ The 24th (2020) Robert W. Butler Throughout, The 24th accepts the humanity of all its participants -- even the villains. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
C+ Tesla (2020) Robert W. Butler Tesla often plays more like a series of tableaus than a coherent narrative. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020