South China Morning Post

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 The Vault (2021) James Marsh The movie aims high and inevitably falls short, working better as a chronicle of Spain's sporting success than the caper at hand. Still, modest rewards can be gleaned from its ballsy enthusiasm. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2021
3/5 Run (2020) James Marsh Chaganty fully commits to delivering breathless thrills and outrageous revelations, rather than lecturing us about the real-world implications. EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2021
3/5 Introduction (2021) James Mottram A character study and sly family portrait, the film doesn't really reveal its intentions until late on, with Hong deliberately sidestepping audience expectations. EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2021
3.5/5 Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) James Mottram Awkwafina's rat-a-tat-tat patter (something of an equivalent to Robin Williams' Genie in Aladdin) brings the story alive, adding another memorable character to the Disney canon. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2021
1.5/5 Tom & Jerry (2021) Richard James Havis This live action/animated update of the famed television cartoon series Tom & Jerry fails on all levels, featuring nothing to interest kids, their guardians, or animation buffs. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2021
3.5/5 The Rescue (2020) Edmund Lee This mega-budget production is certainly worth the price of a ticket if nail-biting rescue missions, realistically presented, are your thing. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
3/5 Detective Chinatown 3 (2020) James Marsh While a relatively low bar, artistically speaking, Detective Chinatown 3 may be considered the best entry in the series to-date. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2021
2.5/5 Monster Hunter (2020) James Marsh The film's overall visual aesthetic is a confused and derivative hodgepodge, and audience enjoyment will depend upon their affection for the over-saturated genre. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2021
3.5/5 Shock Wave 2 (2020) Edmund Lee There is so much here for genre fans to savour, it's easy to look beyond the overwrought story. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/5 Earwig and the Witch (2020) Richard James Havis Like other Ghibli films, Earwig and the Witch treats childhood in a more adult way than most children's animations, with the emphasis being on gentle manipulation rather than innocence. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
2.5/5 Space Sweepers (2021) James Marsh Space Sweepers feels more like an exhaustive box-ticking exercise designed by committee than the bold realisation of a coherent cinematic vision. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
2/5 The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity (2021) Edmund Lee The film plays like a live-action take on historical martial arts comics; characters bicker and pout, make impassioned vows of love, loyalty or revenge, but not much actually happens. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
4/5 The Dig (2021) James Marsh A visually striking and impressively layered meditation on the fleeting nature of human life and the profound longevity of our accomplishments. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
4/5 A Family Tour (2018) Edmund Lee A Family Tour is at its most powerful when it explores the family separation, enforced by state censure, at its core. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2021
2.5/5 Outside the Wire (2021) James Marsh Outside the Wire repeatedly pushes the central irony of pairing an emotionally detached human with a compassionate killing machine without drawing any meaningful conclusions from their contrasting personalities. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
4.5/5 The Mauritanian (2021) James Mottram A long, exhausting but ultimately exhilarating watch, fleshed out with excellent performances and a director who offers a measured and absorbing account of Slahi's fate. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
4/5 News of the World (2020) James Mottram What results is not a film that offers up too many surprises, but one that reveres and respects the western genre. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2021
3/5 Pieces of a Woman (2020) James Marsh Mundruczó delivers a bravura 22-minute home birth sequence, shot in a single unbroken take of breathless intensity. ... It is an exceptional technical achievement. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2021
3.5/5 The White Tiger (2021) James Marsh In his first lead role, Adarsh Gourav proves a magnetic screen presence as Balram, dancing a fine line between diligent servant and scheming opportunist. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021
3/5 Be Water (2020) Richard James Havis Certainly a valid take, but Hongkongers may find it strange that only three members of the Hong Kong film industry, including film critic Sam Ho and the late producer Raymond Chow, are among its long list of interviewees. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
4/5 Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) James Mottram Wonder Woman 1984 again showcases just why Wonder Woman is the brightest spark in the recent DC movies. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
3/5 The Midnight Sky (2020) James Mottram There are thrilling moments ... but the ensemble cast are all left a little underfed by the script. What results is something more solidly entertaining than spectacular. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
4/5 The Croods: A New Age (2020) James Mottram Here's a good example of a sequel you probably didn't know you wanted, but now it's here you'll be rather pleased that it is. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2020
4/5 The Prom (2020) James Mottram What The Prom does very well is lampoon actors for vanity and willingness to bandwagon-hop - albeit in an affectionate way that never feels spiteful. EDIT
Posted Dec 1, 2020
3.5/5 The Call (2020) James Marsh Putting logic and realism firmly on hold, The Call spins its audacious premise into a hugely effective and entertaining game of time-displaced cat and mouse. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2020
3/5 Okay Madam (2020) Ben Sin A light and mostly empty affair, OK! Madam nonetheless succeeds in its efforts to entertain and generate laughs thanks to charming performances and fast-paced action. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2020
4/5 Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) James Mottram It's a combustible performance, full of anger and rage; even without his death, it would be right up there with the best of Boseman's career. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
3/5 Freaky (2020) James Marsh When Freaky plays to its strengths and embraces its best self it does prove consistently provocative, hilarious, and outrageously grotesque. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2020
3/5 Military Wives (2019) James Mottram You won't be surprised one jot by the entirely predictable plotting or outcome ... But the mix of realism, song, humour and warmth still make this a touching experience. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2020
3.5/5 Hillbilly Elegy (2020) James Mottram It's a terrifically captivating performance from Close, and one that - awards bait or not - more than merits her winning that long overdue Oscar. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2020
4.5/5 Mank (2020) James Mottram For Fincher, Mank is a triumph - right alongside Fight Club and Zodiac as the best of his career. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2020
3/5 No.7 Cherry Lane (2019) Edmund Lee A sensual portrait of longing which frequently loses its narrative momentum to a litany of cinematic and literary references. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2020
3/5 The Craft: Legacy (2020) James Mottram The audience the new film is aimed at - teenage girls - should be spellbound. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
2/5 Come Play (2020) James Marsh At every turn, Come Play feels wildly derivative, repeatedly evoking the past successes of more accomplished horror films. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
3.5/5 The Eight Hundred (2020) James Marsh As bombastic and melodramatic as one might expect it to be, The Eight Hundred is also relentlessly thrilling, and exquisitely photographed on huge, practical sets. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2020
1.5/5 The Doorman (2020) James Marsh From the ground floor up, The Doorman feels flimsy and cheap, and one can't imagine the lone action heroine subgenre dying much harder. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
3.5/5 Roald Dahl's The Witches (2020) James Mottram Dahl's own dark sensibilities are kept intact. Additionally, it's pleasing to see an unhinged Hathaway reunite with Tucci, all those years after The Devil Wears Prada. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
1/5 The War With Grandpa (2020) James Marsh One suspects that everyone involved in this humourless husk of family entertainment might have preferred the film itself be quietly banished to the attic. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
1.5/5 Vanguard (2020) Edmund Lee Equipped with a cheesy Z-grade plot, forgettable villains, and some jaw-droppingly clunky lines of dialogue, Vanguard is that unashamedly old-fashioned Chan vehicle which makes one ponder why he's still going at it. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2020
4/5 Misbehaviour (2020) Richard James Havis Politics and humour rarely make an entertaining mix outside of satire, but Misbehaviour manages cleverly to weld observations about sexism and racism to a lightly comedic storyline. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2020
4.5/5 Soul (2020) James Mottram A hugely inventive tale about living life to the full that never, ever feels saccharine. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2020
3/5 Honest Thief (2020) James Marsh A tight, coherent and efficient thriller, peppered with enough moments of pithy dialogue and ancillary character quirks to elevate it above Neeson's more humdrum offerings. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
3/5 Go Back to China (2019) James Marsh This well-meaning, if somewhat clumsy drama is bolstered by a charming central turn from YouTuber Anna Akana, and Richard Ng Yiu-hon as her deeply conflicted father. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2020
2/5 Rogue (2020) James Marsh Rogue is an animal attack movie - think Predator on the plains, or Alien with a lion - but without the budget, shrewd characterisation, or proficient effects work to get the job done right. EDIT
Posted Sep 29, 2020
4.5/5 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) James Mottram This is a powerful broadside from one of Hollywood's most talented writers that you won't want to miss. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
3.5/5 True Mothers (2020) Edmund Lee The film could have been better scripted, but viewers can hardly fault the natural performances that Kawase has extracted from the cast. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
3.5/5 I'm Livin' It (2019) Edmund Lee The plight of Hong Kong's McRefugees receives unabashedly melodramatic treatment in this humane yet relentlessly bleak movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
2/5 Get the Hell Out (2020) James Marsh First-time director Wang I-fan ... approaches the material with all the subtlety of a coked-up paparazzo. What emerges is 90 exhausting minutes of hysteria, yielding little insight and only occasional laughs. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
5/5 Nomadland (2020) James Mottram Nomadland is every bit as powerful [as The Rider]: an ode to pioneer spirit and a lament for the communities and lives that were decimated after the financial recession of 2008. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2020
4/5 Under the Open Sky (2020) Edmund Lee Anchored by a mesmerising performance by Koji Yakusho, [Under the Open Sky] offers an alternately heart-warming and poignant portrait of a former yakuza gangster. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2020