Austin Chronicle

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Just Mercy (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Cretton's filmmaking technique is straightforward, but his lack of frills allows the viewer to soak in the emotions of every situation. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/5 Midnight Family (2019) Richard Whittaker There's something vaguely outlandish about the way they speed through the streets... Yet there's also a strong moral core, like Juan yelling at a junkie whose glue-sniffing antics leave his kid in a coma. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
4/5 1917 (2019) Richard Whittaker When it was being shot only a year ago, 1917 was a phenomenal tribute to a generation almost wiped out in the trenches of World War I. At the moment of release, it has become more timely. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
0.5/5 Reality Queen! (2019) Josh Kupecki While Reality Queen! seeks to parody contemporary culture, the irony here is that it is the very vapid thing it mocks. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/5 The Grudge (2020) Richard Whittaker Some fans of the franchise may be aggrieved that he does little with the original Japanese ghosts, but in his version, the curse is what's important. It is rage against dying, against an unfair universe, and so it is self-propagating. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
4.5/5 63 Up (2019) Kimberley Jones Kim Horton skillfully weaves together clips from past films - the participants' lives inside a fishbowl literally flashing before our eyes - and both Apted's narration and his gently needling, off-camera interrogations give you all the context you need. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
3.5/5 Invisible Life (2019) Josh Kupecki Hélène Louvart's beautiful and evocative cinematography adds much to the melodrama. The colors are vibrant and the frame shifts are seamless. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
1.5/5 Like a Boss (2020) Steve Davis Aside from the committee-written script with no coherent perspective, the trouble with Like a Boss is that it never crudely outrages. It's a bust in so many ways. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
3.5/5 Cunningham (2019) Josh Kupecki Cunningham adheres to a distinctly romantic approach to the artist: irascible and railing against the hypocrisy of humanity through these wonderful and complicated movements that soar above and beyond. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2020
3/5 Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019) Richard Whittaker It's also fascinating to see the always nakedly political franchise turn its lens on American racism, and it adds a new spark that was oddly lacking from the more workmanlike Ip Man 3. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2020
2/5 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Richard Whittaker Sigh. Well, at least [J.J. Abrams.] put the proper round antenna back on the Falcon. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
1.5/5 Cats (2019) Beth Sullivan This ain't no cat's meow, my Jellicles. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
3/5 Black Christmas (2019) Matthew Monagle For all its political positioning and explorations of institutional violence, the thing that makes Black Christmas most endearing is the strength of its sisterhood. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
4/5 Uncut Gems (2019) Richard Whittaker Uncut Gems is a triumph of building a world and a character that are so infused with each other that they are impossible to separate. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
2/5 Spies in Disguise (2019) Marc Savlov Spies in Disguise is a fair-to-middling example of a movie that knows its core demographic and rarely bothers to aim higher than, oh, 4 foot, 4 inches. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
3.5/5 Little Women (2019) Kimberley Jones I liked this one's sense of play, and also how generous [Greta] Gerwig is with her spotlight. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
4/5 A Hidden Life (2019) Marc Savlov [August] Diehl's performance is a model of restraint; he more often imparts information by a look, a glance, the slump of his shoulders, than he does with a spoken word. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
3/5 Bombshell (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Bombshell's ultimate punch lands more like a spectacular bottle rocket than a scorching Molotov cocktail. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Lake Michigan Monster (2018) Richard Whittaker It's a woozy, briny daydream. a gleefully idiotic antidote to everything. Lake Michigan Monster literally makes no sense, and that's why you need to just hold your breath and dive in. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2019
() Richard Whittaker Brutally honest, startlingly insightful, and poignant when it could have been bizarre, Dead Dicks earns its tragic, purposefully misleading title and reframes it with dire meaning. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2019
0/5 Playmobil: The Movie (2019) Kimberley Jones This is a vastly inferior toy-to-film IP expansion, with duller songs, dumber jokes, and forgettable voice work. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/45 The Two Popes (2019) Josh Kupecki A meditation on humility and the role of faith in the modern era of secularism, The Two Popes showcases two heavyweight actors perfectly cast and nimbly spending the best parts of the film in debate with each other as a friendship blossoms. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
2/5 6 Underground (2019) Matthew Monagle 6 Underground feels twice as disappointing for its early success. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
2.5/5 Richard Jewell (2019) Steve Davis [Paul Walter Hause] has the chance here to play a fuller, more rounded character for a change, and he's unexpectedly up to the task. The performance is an eye-opener. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3/5 Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Richard Whittaker True, the level designs are fun this time around, especially a sequence involving swinging bridges and giant mandrills, but Jumanji: The Next Level feels like a BioShock 2 when we were hoping for BioShock Infinite. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
3.5/5 Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019) Richard Whittaker Where Rolling Thunder Revue works best is when it's clear in its ambiguity. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) Kimberley Jones McCraney understands rhythm and melody. His dialogue has real musicality, and these actors -- this cast is so good -- deliver their lines accordingly; they know when to lean into the beat, when to sotto voce, when to sound the timpani. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
3.5/5 In Fabric (2018) Richard Whittaker [Peter] Strickland's films, while profoundly cerebral, are always meant to processes playfully and instinctually. Like a breathy Serge Gainsbourg song caught on celluloid, it's evocative as the feel of silk sliding over skin. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
3.5/5 Fantastic Fungi (2019) Josh Kupecki But visual affectations aside, Fantastic Fungi is an engaging look at the scope of an organism that is so much more than a pizza topping or an ingredient in beef stroganoff. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
2.5/5 The Aeronauts (2019) Richard Whittaker If only the story had cast off the ballast of the predictable meet-cute plot and trusted the truth more, maybe The Aeronauts would be a more thrilling flight. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
3.5/5 () Marc Savlov Even at its most dire, Mickey and the Bear is tinged with an almost holy hope for all involved, a rare and remarkable feat to pull off so well for a first-time director indeed. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
3.5/5 Queen & Slim (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Queen & Slim artfully weaves together a lovers-on-the-lam crime story with very trenchant Black Lives Matter thematic content. It is a perfect movie for our times. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/5 Knives Out (2019) Steve Davis Greed is definitely good when it's this funny. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/5 Dark Waters (2019) Richard Whittaker Yet Dark Waters really makes absolute sense. [Todd] Haynes looks for the poison in the heartland, whether it be homophobia, racism, or domestic violence. In this case... it's literal poison. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
4.5/5 Marriage Story (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten [T]he keen observations and sharp wit of Marriage Story are likely to wed the audience to the film until death do us part. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/5 21 Bridges (2019) Matthew Monagle Wrap those performances in a few half-decent plot points... and the film offers enough depth to justify the set-pieces and narrative twists and turns. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Sellebrity (2012) Anne S. Lewis It's a fun, slick, glossy, and fast-moving snapshot of the myriad conflicting and converging interests, bottom lines, and cellulite shots that conspire to ensure that the big-ticket product the paparazzi sell to outlets... ain't going away anytime soon. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
4/5 Waves (2019) Marc Savlov Waves is both incrementally unnerving and eventually exultant, a pitch-perfect portrait of post-millennial teenage life, with all of its ultra-adrenalized emotions, fraught expectations, and fateful, rash decisions. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3.5/5 Honey Boy (2019) Richard Whittaker [Shia LaBeouf] delivers a captivating, haunting, and brutally honest exploration of a life we think we know makes it unmissable. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/5 Frozen II (2019) Kimberley Jones Frozen II revives and doubles down on the good and the bad of its 2013 monster hit predecessor. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
4/5 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Richard Whittaker A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood brings that essential essence of Fred Rogers to life. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/5 The Good Liar (2019) Marc Savlov The Good Liar is a pleasantly playful thriller hiding a seriously shady history close to its benighted heart. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3.5/5 Better Days (2019) Richard Whittaker Dark as Better Days gets, there's still a hopeful story about how honesty and courage and fix even the most broken systems. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
3.5/5 Ford v Ferrari (2019) Steve Davis While the movie has its share of racetrack thrills in keeping with a cinematic tradition that began with the silent classic Ben Hur, it's the personal and professional friendship between [Carroll] Shelby and [Ken] Miles that gives the movie traction. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
3/5 Charlie's Angels (2019) Beth Sullivan Charlie's Angels isn't revolutionary by any means, but for today's Gen Z, it's a jumping-off point. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
2/5 The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) Richard Whittaker It's a fascinating story that deserves a less superficial and more accurate treatment. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
4/5 American Dharma (2018) Richard Whittaker American Dharma is a vivisection, and [ Errol] Morris gives Bannon the tools to do it himself. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
3/5 The Report (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten [Scott Z.] Burns seems better positioned than most to straddle this intrinsic paradox concerning fact-based, politically charged dramas. However, in favoring datelines and details over personalities and concision, Burns does his film few favors. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
2/5 Frankie (2019) Marc Savlov The ensemble cast is uniformly first-rate, but Sachs' moribund movie is a slog. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
() Richard Whittaker The Dark Red isn't afraid to get a little bloody, and it's all the more entertaining for it. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019