Brooklyn Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Michael Sragow DeBlois's confident, extravagant animation combines muscular force with doodling whimsicality. He conjures intoxicating tableaux out of roaring seas, Northern lights and mists, and ruddy, green-specked mountain isles. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
The Edge of Seventeen (2016) Abbey Bender The Edge of Seventeen is the kind of modest, funny teen movie that we don't see enough of these days. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Une vie (2016) Ela Bittencourt The narrative is suffused with subtle yet piquant moral commentary. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2018
All These Sleepless Nights (2016) Ela Bittencourt Throughout, what makes All These Sleepless Nights distinct, beyond the three protagonists philosophical, artistic musings and their charisma, is the camera's ability to convey the state of intoxication and the dreaminess of the nocturnal juvenilia. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2018
Always Shine (2016) Abbey Bender While female friendship can be a source of joy, it can also be uniquely cruel, and Always Shine understands this truth well. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Amateur (1994) Abbey Bender As its characters run through downtown New York it feels like the platonic ideal of a playful 90s indie film. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Nocturnal Animals (2016) Abbey Bender Nocturnal Animals wants to be provocative but its scattered parts all add up to something a bit silly. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Manchester by the Sea (2016) Abbey Bender Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea is a poignant, evocative portrait of grief. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
The Love Witch (2016) Abbey Bender Elaine speaks of love magic and seduction, and Biller's film has the same enchanting effect on the audience. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Elle (2016) Abbey Bender Elle makes a strong case for the actress as auteur. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Off the Rails (2016) Abbey Bender Off the Rails succeeds in giving us a glimpse into a mind too easily labeled as "troubled" or "different" and paints Darius as a sympathetic figure following a passion. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Certain Women (2016) Abbey Bender The film is admirable in how it presents rural lives without any sort of condescension or melodrama. There's a kind of Zen quality to the leisurely pace with which Reichardt lets her onscreen lives unfold. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
Toni Erdmann (2016) Abbey Bender In less capable hands, it could easily become a saccharine family fable or a gross-out comedy, but Ade manages to find her own strange niche, bolstered by some memorable set pieces. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2018
The Kindergarten Teacher (2014) Steve Erickson Refreshingly, The Kindergarten Teacher offers a view of Israeli society that sidesteps the usual clichés. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2018
The Iron Ministry (2014) Steve Erickson It's curious about people in a way that's frankly old-fashioned. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2018
The New Girlfriend (2014) Steve Erickson In life and cinema, trans women's lives are often extremely difficult. Ozon is generous enough to imagine a path around their usual obstacle courses. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2018
Wonderstruck (2017) Jesse Hassenger Despite all of the eventfulness, there's little dramatic tension, and lots of footage of kids walking around a museum. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Thelma (2017) Jesse Hassenger What keeps it humming is Harboe's performance, and Trier's patience, evident from the very beginning when he takes his sweet time locating Harboe in a vast overhead shot. He hasn't exactly made a horror movie here, but Thelma suggests he could. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Call Me by Your Name (2017) Jesse Hassenger Though much of Call Me By Your Name is lovely and well-crafted, it's never quite as subtle as the filmmakers seem to assume. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Last Flag Flying (2017) Jesse Hassenger This road picture's many detours, the stuff that should be right in Linklater's wheelhouse, mostly feel, well, like vexing delays. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Lady Bird (2017) Jesse Hassenger Metcalf gives a prickly and heartbreaking performance, and she's not the only one supplied with grace notes: Almost every character gets one or another. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) Jesse Hassenger If it's a little softer than some of his darkest or most hilarious movies, it's made with just as much confidence, even wisdom of a sort. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Wonder Wheel (2017) Jesse Hassenger Ginny once dreamed of becoming an actress, one of many on-the-nose details that marks Wonder Wheel as self-consciously theatrical. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
The Big Sick (2017) Evan Romano What The Big Sick ends up accomplishing, is -- in my mind -- perfect romantic comedy. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Patti Cake$ (2017) Jesse Hassenger Making music is not inherently cinematic, especially in the downtime between fully-formed performances. Patti Cake$, like so many struggling-musician movies before it, fills that space with a lot of melodrama. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Hermia & Helena (2016) Eric Barroso Hermia and Helena...to me represents the most exciting thread that current independent arthouse cinema has to offer, films made by those preternaturally aware of their surroundings in both life and art, and in creating works that contribute to both. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2017
Paint It Black (2016) Jesse Hassenger Tamblyn has talent. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2017
Alien: Covenant (2017) Justin Stewart None of the scenery, plot turns, bit players or "themes" add anything new to the recipe. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2017
Manifesto (2015) Elina Alter Spliced and layered, stripped of their contexts, gathered just because they are available, the manifestos lose whatever meaning they once held. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2017
The Drowning (2016) Jonathan Stevenson tackles the weighty themes of voyeurism, altruism, and self-preservation artfully and inventively, subverting clichés and taking the genre in a refreshing direction EDIT
Posted May 10, 2017
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) Jesse Hassenger It's the /Snatch mash-up you probably didn't want but might not mind watching. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2017
Risk (2016) Forrest Cardamenis A living, breathing portrait of a filmmaker and journalist struggling to compartmentalize-a self-portrait by necessity. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Jesse Hassenger Already damned with faint raves (lots of fun, so likable, but not quite as fresh as the original), Guardians Vol. 2 is a better, more satisfying movie. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2017
The Circle (2017) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim I'm still wrapping my head around this film, but I'm not so sure if director James Ponsoldt himself knows what a comedy this is. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2017
Yi Yi (2000) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim I felt like I had lived it, and not just because of its nearly three-hour runtime. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2017
A Quiet Passion (2016) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim Davies chooses to mark Dickinson's life story not so much by specific events, but by her character, and Nixon captures the many facets of it with bite and empathy. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2017
The Lost City of Z (2016) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim At times filled with mist and awe, and at other times thrillingly heart-racing (arrows-they shoot right at you!), The Lost City of Z feels like a gem dug out from a time capsule. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2017
Ma Loute (2016) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim A French absurdist comedy that feels wholly original, whether it's your cup of tea or not. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2017
Your Name (2016) Kristen Yoonsoo Kim Beautifully animated (we're talking Studio Ghibli standards here), Your Name captures that sensation of waking up from a dream you wish lasted longer, or misplacing a name that's still warm on your tongue, but has just departed. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2017
Ma Loute (2016) Eli Goldfarb Like M. Hulot's Holiday being interrupted by Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," it's a riotous farce with tragic dimensions, at once both strenuously ridiculous and deeply felt. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2017
Free Fire (2016) Jesse Hassenger Nothing about Free Fire is narratively elusive-it takes place more or less in real time. Yet it remains mysterious, in its goofball way. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2017
The Martian (2015) Benjamin Mercer As pure numbers-game suspense, the movie passes inspection, but the relative absence of soul searching... makes it seem a specious vehicle for the trumpeting of such human values as cooperation, perseverance, and self-sacrifice. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2017
Colossal (2016) Jesse Hassenger Hathaway is at her best digging into characters who know that they might have or could have been sweethearts-and who often feel that anger, guilt, or loss eating away at them. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2017
Ghost in the Shell (2017) Jesse Hassenger There are few young actors more interesting to watch quietly grappling with what the hell it means to be human. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
All This Panic (2016) Mark Asch All This Panic feels very short at 79 minutes, but that's quite appropriate for a film which takes seriously the way 17-year-olds can feel nostalgia for their youth. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
Wilson (2017) Jesse Hassenger Amazing, the way the right pair of glasses can bring a comic-strip character to life. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2017
Little Men (2016) Kenji Fujishima As was the case with Love is Strange, Sachs observes these interpersonal dynamics with an evenhanded gaze, refusing to fully condemn any of his characters even when they act in selfish and untoward ways. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2017
The Alchemist Cookbook (2016) Justin Stewart Hickson's largely silent performance is superb (in the kind of complex role not typically given to black actors in modern horror movies), never overselling his creeping madness. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2017
Little Sister (2016) Kenji Fujishima Clark closely observes all these character dynamics with an empathetic eye, a skewed sense of humor, and a freewheeling inventiveness that keeps things refreshingly off-balance without losing its emotional heart. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2017
Kate Plays Christine (2016) Justin Stewart Sometimes over-infatuated with its own meta stratagems though it may be, Kate Plays Christine's machinery of wheels is always cranking vigorously. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2017