Los Angeles Times

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time (2021) Justin Chang As its delightfully loquacious title suggests, "Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time" is both methodical and enigmatic. It's a movie that sees no real contradiction between the rational and irrational, only degrees of difference. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
The White Tiger (2021) Justin Chang Balram has become a hell of an entrepreneur, but the movie itself can't quite close the deal. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
Atlantis (2019) Robert Abele What exists in this visualized afterward may not look like anything, but that's why we're fortunate to have artists like Vasyanovych to show us what's dazzling, strange, tragic, comic, touching and eventually optimistic about the way forward. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
Identifying Features (2020) Robert Abele Equal parts odyssey, investigation and descent, this eerily shattering dispatch from the heart of a grief-beset country... has the power to expand our notions of what a border story is. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
You Will Die at Twenty (2019) Carlos Aguilar A vibrant and transfixing revelation, "You Will Die at 20" is as novel a vision as we may see this year. From its meaningful ideas on the here and the hereafter, its lesson for Muzamil is that after perishing a rebirth may follow. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
Breaking Fast (2020) Gary Goldstein As in most rom-coms, it's not if the couple will get together but how. Still, Mosallam's incisive and heartfelt, if occasionally on-the-nose, approach to matters of love, religion, family and culture sets the film apart. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
Our Friend (2019) Gary Goldstein Yet it's the strength of its cast, in the capable hands of director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, that truly makes the film such a poignant and profound experience. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
Malcolm & Marie (2021) Justin Chang Words turn out to be the undoing of "Malcolm & Marie," not just because there are so many of them, but because they feel like the building blocks of a meta-movie parlor trick... EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2021
4/4 Spoor (2017) Katie Walsh A wildly entertaining eco-feminist crime caper, anchored by a winning lead performance from Agnieszka Mandat EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
No Man's Land (2021) Michael Ordoña "No Man's Land" comes out of the blue to comment memorably on the immigration crisis by simply giving human life its due. It's wise and empathetic and worth a watch. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
1982 (2019) Carlos Aguilar Imperfect as it is, this often-intuitive piece with a strong observational eye personifies the notion of the calm before the storm. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2021
Some Kind of Heaven (2020) Gary Goldstein [D]espite its merits, this wry look at several beleaguered senior citizens living in the world's largest retirement community - Central Florida's the Villages - is often undercut by this telescoped approach. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
Acasa, My Home (2020) Robert Abele Needless to say, the point of Ciorniciuc's immersive, lively, warm and heartbreaking film is not to see the Enaches in the park as total paradise and their stab at urban living as some terrible detour into restrictiveness. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
MLK/FBI (2020) Justin Chang By suggesting the enormous strain King endured while he was being taunted and blackmailed by his own government, "MLK/FBI" provides another lens through which to appreciate his commitment. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
Film About a Father Who (2020) Robert Abele The result is a sharply assembled multiformat collage of memory and investigation that starts like a trip any of us might make into a what-made-him-tick past, but ends in the present with scattered feelings and tenuous bonds. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
My Little Sister (2020) Carlos Aguilar With a distinctive angle and the rawness of the cast's first-rate performances, Chuat and Reymond elevate a premise that could have, in other hands, veered into the realm of the uninspired. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
Bloody Hell (2020) Noel Murray Everyone involved with "Bloody Hell" is doing their jobs with creativity and gusto, even if it's hard to discern any larger point. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
Locked Down (2021) Justin Chang Can a movie about the everyday realities of our crushing new normal also be a breezy piece of Hollywood escapism? At its infrequent best, "Locked Down" suggests that it can. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2021
The Marksman (2021) Michael Ordoña It's a simplistic, closed-loop moral universe in which the major plot thread is tied up too neatly and others are pretty much forgotten. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
2.5/4 If Not Now, When? (2021) Katie Walsh Bass' script is overly ambitious (perhaps because we're so starved for these kinds of stories), biting off more than one indie debut can, or should, chew. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
Pieces of a Woman (2020) Justin Chang Kirby's authority is commanding, even unassailable... EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
My Rembrandt (2019) Christopher Knight [A]n acute, often fascinating and occasionally puzzling rumination on aspects of the other titular word - "my." EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
Beautiful Something Left Behind (2020) Michael Ordoña There are moments of terrible sadness in the film, of course, but also some uplift; if only the experience had more form to it. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
One Night in Miami (2020) Justin Chang It moves, with light-fingered assurance, through sequences that transform from soulful arias into sustained duets, built around performances that are collaborative rather than imitative in nature. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
The Reason I Jump (2020) Kevin Crust Especially poignant for any parent who worries about the future of a challenging child, "The Reason I Jump" beautifully blends the insights of Higashida's writing with the external-world realities of these families. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927) Edwin Schallert Personally, I found The Private Life of Helen cf Troy as a whole very enjoyable, sometimes brilliantly humorous, and for a space in the middle of the production rather dull. The dull part doesn't seem to affect the interesting results of novelty, however. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2021
Convention City (1933) Philip K. Scheuer In the numerous assemblage, all the actors perform in characteristic style, Miss Astor perhaps impressing exceptionally by her brisk delineation of a saleswoman. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2021
Shadow in the Cloud (2020) Noel Murray It's frustratingly slow, with a lot of starts and stops, and all the while the people in charge are talking to you through the speakers, telling you things you'll likely forget. But soon? You're flying. EDIT
Posted Dec 31, 2020
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (2020) Robert Lloyd Whether it is a pop band or the cast of a television show, these things shine a little light in a dark times, giving hope that our own atomized gangs may unite once more. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
The Mystery of D.B. Cooper (2020) Lorraine Ali HBO's treatment of the evergreen saga remains fresh, fun, and all-consuming. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
Herself (2020) Robert Abele For the most part, "Herself," with its easygoing bonhomie and coterie of solid performances, allows one to look past the narrative's guardrail dents until a regrettable late swerve toward jarring punishment. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
Cat People (1942) Edwin Schallert Cat People, per all advance heraldings, is supposed to be some punkins as a thriller. But for my money, whatever that may amount to, it isn't a breeze let alone a shiver. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
Flaming Youth (1923) Edwin Schallert Lots of pep! Lots of spice! That's Flaming Youth, the first really clever sketch of jazzitis, bob-ities, pet-itis and all the other affections and affectations of the flapper that has gotten on tho screen this season, or perhaps during any other season. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
Detour (1945) LA Times Staff One of the most poignant and disturbing stories to reach the screen in any year is this one. You're not just looking at a picture; you're right in it and suffering along with the man whose troubles are being told. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
Promising Young Woman (2020) Justin Chang It doesn't all come together, though there's an undeniable thrill in seeing it come apart. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
Sylvie's Love (2020) Carlos Aguilar The classically conceived romantic saga, spanning several years in late 1950s and early 1960s Harlem, offers a comforting and velvety cinematic texture even if it is not extraordinary from a narrative standpoint. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
The Midnight Sky (2020) Kevin Crust The film's themes of extinction and survival are worthy of thoughtful treatment, something that eludes the ambitious movie as it succumbs to a schematic and sentimental telling that overreaches for a grand gesture and obscures the more meaningful ideas. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2020
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) Philip K. Scheuer Preminger gives you the feeling of claustrophobia, to be sure, but that's not the only reason you'd like to get out. Along with in there is a growing sense of monotony and, in my case at least, an increasing disassociation with the whole shabby affair. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2020
Soul (2020) Justin Chang Like an ethereal cousin to his triumphant "Inside Out," "Soul" is another playful exercise in metaphysical world building, a door-slamming farce staged between the portals of consciousness. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2020
A Clockwork Orange (1971) Charles Champlin I'm afraid I found A Clockwork Orange brilliant but disappointing, its moments of power offset by an overwrought stridency and its message overbalanced by the medium. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
The Blues Brothers (1980) Charles Champlin Despite the temporary lift that the old pros give the picture, it is difficult for the non-cultist to feel anything but dismay, again, that so much has been squandered to produce so little that is truly artful or genuinely entertaining. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
Nasrin (2020) Kevin Crust Allowed surprising access to Sotudeh's life, the film achieves stirring results if not an always fluid narrative. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
To the Ends of the Earth (2019) Justin Chang It's a history lesson, yes, but it's also a lesson in basic humanity. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
2.5/4 Greenland (2020) Katie Walsh Not just plausible but recognizable. There's very little otherworldly about this cinematic apocalypse. These are the people, places and, yes, behaviors we know all too well. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Museum Town (2019) Carolina A. Miranda The film is a congenial 101 on MASS MoCA. Too bad it doesn't go deeper than that. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Fatale (2020) Michael Ordoña Suffice to say, one can see why Swank chose the role and produced the film. It's a different part for her, and it's fun to see her in it. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Wattstax (1973) Dennis Hunt This is a fragmented, skittery film that does not have enough moments of interest and hilarity to offset the stretches of boredom. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
Hunter Hunter (2020) Noel Murray But even as it goes way over the top, "Hunter Hunter" stays focused on the fragility of the Mersaults, who want to live by their own rules but discover that nature has its own agenda. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
The Joy Luck Club (1993) Kenneth Turan If The Joy Luck Club doesn't make you cry, nothing will. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) Kevin Thomas Van Peebles emerges with an emphatic style, one that captures the restless tempo of ghetto life in a jagged flood of vivid, often surreal images. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020