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 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Robert W. Butler ...a love story of aching delicacy... EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
C Downhill (2020) Robert W. Butler The result is a squirm worthy film that mostly fails to deliver either laughs or drama. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
B+ Les misérables (2019) Robert W. Butler Les Miserables has been extremely well acted, but top honors go to Manentix... EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
C- Three Christs (2017) Robert W. Butler The three Christs themselves remain ciphers. We should be feeling for these seemingly hopeless cases, but while the players are occasionally amusing, they never really engage our emotions. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
C- Disturbing the Peace (2020) Robert W. Butler Laughably inept. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
A- 63 Up (2019) Robert W. Butler The 7 Up series is uplifting, devastating, profound...and it will leave viewers filled with admiration and awe for these creatures we call human beings. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
B Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) Robert W. Butler ...a little bit of everything: history, aesthetic exploration, technological geek out. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
C+ Just Mercy (2019) Robert W. Butler In Just Mercy an A-list cast does its best with movie-of-the-week execution; the results are simultaneously inspiring and off-putting. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
B+ 1917 (2019) Robert W. Butler Both epically sprawling and remarkably intimate, 1917 instantly establishes itself as one of the great war films. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
C+ Uncut Gems (2019) Robert W. Butler [Sandler is] really, really effective as a Diamond District hustler...That said, the latest from the writing/directing Safdie Brothers (Benny and Josh) is like having an irate New Yawk cabbie screaming nonstop in your ear for two-plus hours. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
B+ Little Women (2019) Robert W. Butler Each generation, apparently, gets its own cinematic Little Women. Count Greta Gerwig's new version among the best. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
B+ The Two Popes (2019) Robert W. Butler At its best The Two Popes is a monumental acting duel that'll leave viewers in open-mouthed amazement. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
B+ A Hidden Life (2019) Robert W. Butler Quietly heartbreaking and matter-of-factly subversive (how many of us today have what it takes to stand up to evil?), A Hidden Life submerses us in one man's life, death, and personal triumph. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
C+ Cats (2019) Robert W. Butler It's taken the musical Cats nearly 40 years to make its way from the stage to the big screen. Now we know why. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
B Bombshell (2019) Robert W. Butler Yeah, it tells an important story. Just wish it told it in a more gripping fashion. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
B The Aeronauts (2019) Robert W. Butler An aerial thriller packed with gobsmacking visual splendors, The Aeronauts is also historically based... though not so much as to let facts muck up our enjoyment. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
B Richard Jewell (2019) Robert W. Butler Eastwood's direction is impersonal but hugely effective; he rarely wastes a moment and is a master at building suspense. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
B+ Marriage Story (2019) Robert W. Butler Despite the flashes of mordant humor, Marriage Story is essentially realistic. The performances, particularly by Driver and Johanssen, are not flashy or overtly comic... EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
B+ Waves (2019) Robert W. Butler Waves is almost unclassifiable; nevertheless, it delivers an emotional gut punch that aches -- in a good way -- for days after viewing. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
B+ Dark Waters (2019) Robert W. Butler Keeping audience interest in a knotty legal matter that stretches out over many years is no easy matter; Haynes pulls it off by establishing a growing sense of dread which comes to a head in a chilling postscript. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
B Honey Boy (2019) Robert W. Butler Honey Boy is the feature debut of director Alma Har'el, a veteran of music videos and documentaries. She brings to the proceedings an ultra-realistic, pseudo-documentary look graced with moments of surreal beauty. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
B Queen & Slim (2019) Robert W. Butler Given the dire predicament of Queen and Slim, there's a surprising amount of humor on display. Not everything here works, but mostly it does. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
B The Professor and the Madman (2019) Robert W. Butler Penn is extraordinary in his depiction of insanity interrupted by spells of rational thought that lead only to crushing guilt. The film's underlying theme is the search for redemption, and Penn fearlessly plumbs those depths. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
B+ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Robert W. Butler Sidesteps virtually all the landmines in its path and delivers a funny, touching and uplifting story about a man who was too good to be true. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
B Knives Out (2019) Robert W. Butler Knives Out is too long and some of the characters get lost along the way, but overall it's good nasty fun, clever enough that you cannot call it mindless but so accessible that just about everyone can enjoy the ride. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
C 21 Bridges (2019) Robert W. Butler 21 Bridges has been well made. The acting is OK. The shots of NYC at night are sometimes eerily atmospheric. On the whole, though, the film is more blah than bad. Instantly forgettable. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
C+ Jojo Rabbit (2019) Robert W. Butler Jojo Rabbit is one of those movies more satisfying in principle than in practice. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
B The Irishman (2019) Robert W. Butler Martin Scorsese's much-anticipated The Irishman is a good movie. Not a great one. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
B+ Dolor y gloria (2019) Robert W. Butler As an emotional narrative it is a spectacularly engaging work, an evocation of one man's life so rich and moving that it burrows deep and will not be dislodged. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
C- Last Christmas (2019) Robert W. Butler [Last Christmas] is an unbearable mess, too dour to be truly funny and too silly to work dramatically. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
A- Western Stars (2019) Robert W. Butler Boss, I never should have doubted you. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
C+ Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Robert W. Butler These are a lot a characters, ideas and plot points to keep effortlessly in the air; small wonder the film only intermittently comes to life. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
B- Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Robert W. Butler Dolemite Is My Name reminds us of why Eddie Murphy remains one of our comedy treasures. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
B Loro (2018) Robert W. Butler Loro is one of the most devastatingly beautiful films of recent years. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B- Villains (2019) Robert W. Butler The runaway stars here are Sedgwick and Donovan, who chew scenery, spit out big pieces, and encourage us to feed them more. Their demented parody of domestic bliss is reason enough to see Villains. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B+ Joker (2019) Robert W. Butler Forget escapism. Joker rubs our faces in angst, yet it is brilliant in its ugliness. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
B- Before You Know It (2019) Robert W. Butler The end results aren't earth-shaking, but there's a good deal of talent on display. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
B Ad Astra (2019) Robert W. Butler The film is drop-dead beautiful and features a contemplative performance from Brad Pitt which is among his finest; best of all, one leaves it feeling we've truly been on an intergalactic journey. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
B+ Downton Abbey (2019) Robert W. Butler The new Downton Abbey movie is an astonishingly effective piece of work, one that hits all the notes that made the TV show so successful and then adds a couple of new ones. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
B Judy (2019) Robert W. Butler Zellweger's recreation of Judy's act sends us off with admiration for a unique talent and a trouper who at her best left daily misery behind and took her audience over the rainbow. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
B+ Love, Antosha (2019) Robert W. Butler One leaves Love, Antosha with both a profound sense of loss and boundless admiration for a young man determined to cram as much life as possible into however many years he was granted. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Aquarela (2018) Robert W. Butler Some of this is spectacular, some beautiful. But isn't this lazy documentary-making? How about some insight, some perspective? EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
C+ The Sound of Silence (2019) Robert W. Butler For two thirds of its running time The Sound of Silence tracks pretty well. But then the whole thing goes haywire, dipping into material that makes no sense thematically, emotionally or intellectually. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Robert W. Butler Her voice has lost its soul-clanging power, but she can still deliver some pretty solid harmony...this is the story of an immensely talented woman who often doubted her own abilities. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B- Official Secrets (2019) Robert W. Butler [Sometimes] the dialogue sounds more like speechifying than regular conversation.Still, there's something so vital about the material it covers that Gavin Hood's fact-based docudrama demands to be seen. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
C+ Hustlers (2019) Robert W. Butler Despite its welcome depiction of mutually supportive sisterhood, Scafaria's film becomes bogged down in sticky moral entanglements. Even more problematic, this is an emotionally chilly yarn exhibiting little warmth or open compassion for its characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Robert W. Butler [It] is not only dark thematically, it's dark visually, thanks to Juan Jose Saravia's evocative handheld cinematography. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Robert W. Butler The film has a solid first hour, then loses focus and sort of drifts off in its final 30 minutes. Still, there is much to admire here, for this is no warm dip into fuzzy nostalgia. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Robert W. Butler All this may sound like a tall order, but despite a few missteps Brittany Runs a Marathon delivers the uplifting goods. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
B+ One Child Nation (2019) Robert W. Butler Amazingly, given the incendiary subject matter, One Child Nation avoids sensationalism. The overall tone is less outrage than one of sober melancholy. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019