Epoch Times

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4.5/5 Green Book (2018) Mark Jackson Sometimes life is stranger than art, sometimes art imitates life, and sometimes life imitates art. If life starts imitating hopeful art-that's uplifting. That's the goal of art, as I see it. "Green Book" uplifts. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
2.5/5 Run the Race (2018) Mark Jackson "Run the Race" won't convert any nonbelievers, or even spark a "Hmmm!" type of fleeting insight into the nature of faith, but for Christian faith-based families, it'll be quite satisfying. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 Fighting With My Family (2019) Mark Jackson The true tale of a British family of headbangers, for whom wrestling is the family business. Their little girl has a wrestler's Hero's Journey: She goes to America and meets "The Rock." Inspiring! EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
4/5 Wrestle (2018) Mark Jackson A thoroughly engrossing tale of one young coach's attempt to grow boys into men via the discipline of competition grappling, and a blistering depiction of failing public high schools in America. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Mark Jackson This Tame-your-dragon installment is not quite as awesome for kids as its two predecessors. Still quite good, though! EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 To Dust (2018) Mark Jackson A Hasidic cantor's wife dies, and he's driven batty by the fact that his faith provides no explanation of the decomposition process. He seeks out Ferris Bueller for some answers. Pretty funny. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/5 Teen Spirit (2018) Mark Jackson Elle Fanning might not be at Hailee Steinfeld's level and start a parallel career as a pop star, but as an actress nailing the part of up-and-coming pop star-nail it, she most certainly does. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
4.5/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Mark Jackson Cute as a sugar glider with cooler moves than Bruce Lee, "Alita" is a heroine tweens can look up to, because her cyborg heart is pure. Fabulous world-building, and fists of fury-a wild ride! EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
4/5 Rodents of Unusual Size (2017) Joe Bendel At a whisker under 70 minutes, "Rodents" totally hits it and quits it, without any wasted time. Yet, it is an important and informative film, especially given the spread of the nutria population. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2019
3.5/5 The Invisibles (2017) Joe Bendel The strongest performance is that of Alice Dwyer as the desperate Lévy, but the late Schönhaus's recollections are the most fascinating. Nevertheless, the entire ensemble is quite strong. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 The Guilty (2018) Joe Bendel A lethally effective procedural thriller. Very highly recommended. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2018
3.5/5 Creed II (2018) Mark Jackson This episode in this extended tale of fighting men and the warrior creed demos father-son dynamics, and especially between Ivan and Viktor Drago -- forgiveness and compassion. These are the building blocks of nontoxic masculinity. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2018
3/5 Widows (2018) Mark Jackson Like Carmela Soprano, these widows were happy to live in bourgeois comfort on dirty money. When the easy living ends, they demonstrate they've got enough moxie and resourcefulness to get out of trouble. So what? It's quite watchable though. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
3/5 Outlaw King (2018) Mark Jackson "Outlaw King's" battle scenes might out-do "Braveheart's" in terms of ferocity. Ultimately, it's a reminder of why we should thank our lucky stars daily for central heating, volunteer military, Deet, and four-wheel-drive pickups with mudflaps. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2018
4/5 Instant Family (2018) Mark Jackson "Instant Family" could start a stampede towards re-branding foster kids as "rescue kids." Imagine if folks looking for a rescue dog took on a rescue kid into the bargain? This movie could make the world a better place... EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/5 A Private War (2018) Mark Jackson Colvin was a force of nature, and it's no surprise that she's now lauded cinematically. Hers is a story that begged to be told, because to witness this level of courage, integrity, passion, authenticity, and dedication is to empower yourself. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
2/5 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Mark Jackson Overblown Hollywood enhancing, embellishing, riffing, and too-much-ing on a known classic, with every imaginable thing plus the kitchen sink, and CGI on top of CGI. Like too much Christmas candy, it'll make your teeth hurt. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/5 Indivisible (2018) Mark Jackson Indivisible is a powerful reminder of what our armed forces and their families do for us. We stand in their debt. It will bless your days with the recognition, humility, and gratitude that our freedoms are not to be taken for granted. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/5 Wildlife (2018) Mark Jackson Ed Oxenbould starred in the kid movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. So it makes sense that he's now co-starring in what should be titled - - Paul Dano and his Terrible, (etc), Very Bad First Movie. Just kidding. Sort of. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
2/5 London Fields (2015) Mark Jackson Amber Heard has a particularly goddess-like face; it apparently syncs perfectly with the Golden Ratio. That's the only reason men will go see this movie, and probably love it. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/5 People's Republic of Desire (2018) Joe Bendel As director and editor, Wu shows a keen eye for human drama, but still gives viewers a good summary of the bigger picture. He vividly illustrates the disparity between migrant workers and the oligarchical patron class, without belaboring the point. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2018
2.5/5 Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Mark Jackson Is it worth wading through 2.5 hours of hyper-violence to arrive at the mildly hopeful suggestion that America's current leadership might unify the country? No. The best thing about Bad Times is Cynthia Erivo's singing. Get the soundtrack, skip the movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
3.5/5 Mid90s (2018) Mark Jackson A third star is born. In a matter of weeks, Hill, like Bradley Cooper in directing and Lady Gaga in acting -- has also aced his directorial debut. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
3.5/5 First Man (2018) Mark Jackson First Man is the first you-are-there, shaky-cam-doesn't-do-the-term-justice, pitch/yaw/gyrate-till-you-puke presentation of the NASA space program to say: Here's how tough astronauts are. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
4/5 A Star Is Born (2018) Mark Jackson Lady Gaga long ago out-Madonna'd Madonna; always had more talent as a singer-dancer, with just as much biz chops. However, notoriously, Madonna could never act. Gaga blows Madonna's doors off acting-wise. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
4/5 Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Mark Jackson It's a triumph of theater, film, and writing to take an incredibly annoying character and reveal the humanity and sadness in her to the point where it triggers our rapt attention, curiosity, and ultimately, compassion. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
1.5/5 The Predator (2018) Mark Jackson It kicks off with egregiously bad CGI: A plastic-toy spaceship rends a fake-looking hole in the space-time continuum. The score is egregious. The acting is egregious. The egregious storyline is egregiously hard to explain. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
4/5 Nothing Like a Dame (2018) Mark Jackson This is not really a film about friendship; it's a true and rare sisterhood of British theater royalty, and it's a privilege to be allowed to sit in on it and share their tea. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
3/5 A Simple Favor (2018) Mark Jackson Anna Kendrick plays sweet duckling to Blake Lively's devious snake; evolving from people-pleasing codependent to whip-smart snake-catcher -- very, very watchable. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
4/5 Free Solo (2018) Mark Jackson Free Solo showcases the most death-defying athletic feat the world has ever seen, the classic tale of a pretty girl chasing an alpha male, and the ensuing battle of the sexes: to nest or not to nest. Director Chin knocks it out of Yosemite Park. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
4/5 Letter From Masanjia (2018) Mark Jackson The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hates the peaceful qigong practice of Falun Gong; it's spiritual, and millions of people practice, so they torture and organ-murder adherents. One guy snuck an SOS letter out of prison. A deeply moving tribute to faith. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
4/5 The Dawn Wall (2017) Mark Jackson Hanging off fingertips so high pines on the valley floor look like green washing-machine lint -- that's Caldwell's safe place. The Dawn Wall is the best example of living vicariously. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
4/5 Operation Finale (2018) Mark Jackson Adolf Eichmann had no Nazi nickname like Josef Mengele's "Angel of Death," but I'm liking "Chained to Six Million Souls." Not Schindler's List but Kingsley's presence in both makes it reminiscent. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
3.5/5 Christopher Robin (2018) Mark Jackson The toy animals are well-conceived-very simple and stuffed toy-ish, and yet they convey the innocence of that age where a child's powerful imagination can easily create worlds populated by heffalumps, and such. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
1.5/5 The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) Mark Jackson Somebody, please get a seasoned director who knows comedy, and a better script (the idea, admittedly, was good), and give the two female leads a second chance. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
3.5/5 Support the Girls (2018) Mark Jackson It's got America dead to rights in a way that's funny and doesn't preach. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
2.5/5 The Meg (2018) Mark Jackson "The Meg" basically copies a lot of "Jaws" scenes, but with only one hundredth of the tension of the classic. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
2.5/5 Mile 22 (2018) Mark Jackson "Mile 22" is a miss. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
0/5 The Happytime Murders (2018) Mark Jackson Zero out of five stars for unparalleled, iconic perversity and destroying a legacy. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
3.5/5 Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) Mark Jackson Mission movies provide endless amounts of foolish fun... Put that together with Energizer-Bunny Tom Cruise, who enjoys doing insane stunts to keep life interesting, and you've got quite a satisfying summer blockbuster. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2018
3.5/5 A Prayer Before Dawn (2017) Mark Jackson A Prayer Before Dawn is a demon-infested, feverish nightmare of a martial arts/survival film that makes Rocky look exceedingly lightweight. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2018
3.5/5 Hot Summer Nights (2017) Mark Jackson It's largely director Elijah Bynum's casting that makes this movie. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
2.5/5 The Equalizer 2 (2018) Mark Jackson Unless Fuqua settles the vibranium question and tones the violence down, I'd prefer they don't team up for a third one. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
4/5 Eighth Grade (2018) Mark Jackson Here's what Eighth Grade is good for: practicing compassion. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
2.5/5 Skyscraper (2018) Mark Jackson This is Dwayne getting dangerously close to wanting to be taken seriously as an actor. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
2.5/5 Shock and Awe (2017) Mark Jackson There's just not enough quality time invested in getting to know the characters for any of this to feel compelling. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
4/5 Yellow Submarine (1968) Mark Jackson Yellow Submarine has serendipitously been brought back because people are seeking meaning more than ever. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
2.5/5 The Catcher Was a Spy (2018) Mark Jackson Moe Berg was a Boston Red Sox, Princeton grad, fluent in seven languages, and a patriot who spied for the U.S. military as a hobby. He was many things. But was he gay? You decide. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2018
3/5 Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) Mark Jackson Here's how professor-level particle physics filters down to the general public: via "Ant-Man." Much more fun this way. Definitely worth the price of a movie ticket. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2018
3.5/5 Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) Mark Jackson President Trump put the border wall on the map, so to speak, and now this new "Sicario" movie feels like news. Maybe fake news. Maybe truthful speculation. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2018