Austin Chronicle

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Gloria Bell (2018) Kimberley Jones You can see the work, how much effort goes into trying - and, in Gloria Bell's ultimately optimistic framing, that the work is still worth it. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 Captive State (2019) Matthew Monagle At its best, Captive State blends imaginative science-fiction with the caliber of detail-oriented espionage you might find in an Alan J. Pakula film. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 Level 16 (2018) Danielle White There's a building toward the inevitable, but it's not boring/predictable. It's more like a presentiment that has you saying, "No, no, no, no" under your breath with each new awful thing. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 The Mustang (2019) Marc Savlov The Mustang, Clermont-Tonnerre's impressive debut feature, is a slow-burning, tightly coiled character study of felony offender Roman Coleman (Bullhead's Schoenaerts). EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 Five Feet Apart (2019) Steve Davis Perhaps the fault lies not in our stars, but in our shameless need for a sappy ending. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 Wonder Park (2019) Richard Whittaker Wonder Park has a splendiferous story to tell. If only all the pages were there. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 Ash Is Purest White (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten Jia's minimalist visual style and sprawling narrative style allows him to observe changes in the present and over periods of time. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 Dragged Across Concrete (2018) Richard Whittaker The tension is in the buildup... and the payoff is in the ugliness, both physical and emotional. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018) Marc Savlov Ruben Brandt, Collector is an intricately plotted, hyper-stylized piece of eye candy with art - the love of, the need for, the inability to escape from - at its wildly beating heart. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 The Wedding Guest (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten The film skirts classification as nimbly as it does pursuers, and in the process creates something that simmers on its own timetable. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
() Richard Whittaker [Director Thom] Zimny's chorus of unseen voices - Cash's family, peers, friends, and acolytes like Bruce Springsteen - meld so seamlessly... that the man comes alive, in all his rough-hewn, self-destructive, humble, loving brilliance. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2019
The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Jenny Nulf It's pathetic, and both horror fans and the Latinx community deserve more respect than this lazy attempt at a cash grab. EDIT
Posted Mar 16, 2019
() Marc Savlov Echoes of... Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant-era Polanski run throughout the film but Daniel Isn't Real is very much its own distinct fever dream of chimerical unease. Highly recommended. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
3.5/5 Pájaros de verano (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten For all our Tony Montanas and Pablo Escobars, both imagined and real, I guarantee you have never seen a drug-trafficking movie like Birds of Passage. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3.5/5 Apollo 11 (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Apollo 11 is free of extraneous narration, which helps lend it a present-tense feel. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3/5 () Richard Whittaker The animation is a delightful mix of epic and kawaii, and if it wasn't for Riko's constant chirpiness, Journey's Dawn would be overbearingly bleak. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
2.5/5 Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (2019) Steve Davis While most of the acting here is unexceptional and the direction/editing often reflects odd choices,... the movie's intended demographic of adolescent and teenage girls will likely not care. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
() Matthew Monagle Funny, energetic, and acted to perfection, this is the kind of off-the-radar standout you hope to find at any major festival. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
Pahokee (2019) Josh Kupecki It is the quiet moments of genuine humanity and poignancy that the filmmakers capture that linger long after the credits. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2019
Yes, God, Yes (2017) Shalavé Cawley Maine captures this struggle with the good-natured humor of someone who has realized the ridiculousness of this logic yet harbors no hard feelings. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2019
Body at Brighton Rock (2019) Matthew Monagle Benjamin's star as a filmmaker may be solidly on the rise, but this is more a stepping stone than a finished product. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2019
Us (2019) Richard Whittaker "Not quite matching a masterpiece" is still high praise, but Us is a step forward for Peele the filmmaker, and a step back for Peele the storyteller. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2019
1.5/5 Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (2019) Steve Davis The tempo of the numerous dramatic scenes is on par with drying paint; characters lack consistency from scene to scene; the dialogue sounds like a first draft that needs major editing; its occasional technical sloppiness; and so forth. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3.5/5 The Image Book (2018) Richard Whittaker Is The Image Book really a film? Godard himself has re-engineered it as an art installation, to be shown on a TV. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3.5/5 The Gospel of Eureka (2018) Marc Savlov The filmmakers amusingly cross-cut between The Great Passion Play and drag queens... and a minor tangent involving infamous homophobe and citrus fanatic Anita Bryant is downright heartwarming. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/5 The Hole in the Ground (2019) Richard Whittaker The Hole in the Ground is filled with all the tropes of the "sinister child" subgenre, but first-time feature director Cronin... deftly weds it with the same rural Gothic sensibilities that have made Irish horror such a vibrant and unsettling scene. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Richard Whittaker She's the hero for anyone who has ever been told they couldn't, and who works out they could, and should have a long time ago. Higher, further, faster? Damn straight. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
2/5 Climax (2018) Richard Whittaker It's just testing the audience's patience. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/5 Greta (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten Despite the buildup of these horror expectations, there is no predicting how deliciously enjoyable it is to witness the macabre dance performed by Moretz and Huppert, two of the best actresses working in today's movies. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 The Iron Orchard (2018) Matthew Monagle What it lacks is a distinct perspective; for all its period details and solid acting, the underlying message about this time in Texas oil history - that it was right, that it was wrong, that it was necessary - is lacking. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/5 Hotel by the River (2018) Josh Kupecki Be they lover, family, or friend, Hong composes his films as a series of moments between the characters that while not often reaching a finality, linger in the mind days later. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 Fighting With My Family (2019) Richard Whittaker Fighting With My Family may cut a lot of corners, but it's honest and earnest and heartfelt. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/5 To Dust (2018) Steve Davis Broderick's spot-on performance replete with familiar mannerisms and line deliveries in To Dust is a bittersweet thing, reminding you how much you've missed seeing him on the big screen. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
4/5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Kimberley Jones These dragons are rendered so expressively, and they have become so dear. We may not deserve them, but that doesn't stop the heart from wanting. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 Everybody Knows (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten Everybody Knows is not Farhadi's best work, but he does deliver an affair to remember. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
2.5/5 FP2: Beats of Rage (2018) Richard Whittaker Because FP2 is all stupid surface, held together by Trost's surly charm. It may be filled with dumb "beat off" puns, but it's just smart enough to be all heart. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 Never Look Away (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten Pardon my disgruntlement, but after three hours, my tendency is to desire a more resounding ending and something less solipsistic. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 Cold Pursuit (2019) Marc Savlov It's far more entertaining and downright crafty than expected. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
2/5 What Men Want (2019) Steve Davis The movie is really all about what she wants, consequences be damned. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
2.5/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Matthew Monagle Alita: Battle Angel wants to frame its futuristic Pinocchio narrative around a story of teenage romance, but the end result is a bunch of pixels falling in love with the first boy they meet. Next time, stick to the parts where you punch. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 Arctic (2018) Richard Whittaker Arctic, a chilly and straightforward story of survival. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
2/5 Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Danielle White Yet for all its ambition with loopy timelines and dubious scientific explanations, convenient logic only justified in pushing the plot along, the actual world-building falls flat. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
2.5/5 Isn't It Romantic (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Isn't It Romantic, the film, is "a dream that can be heard," but only as a counter melody to the main theme. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
Donnybrook (2018) Matthew Monagle A unique, twisted, and not altogether unwelcome thriller. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
3.5/5 Tito and the Birds (2018) Danielle White This Brazilian animated feature is an incredibly timely film. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/5 Lords of Chaos (2018) Richard Whittaker What starts as a typical tale of a hard-partying band soon collapses into a chaotic horror show. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
2.5/5 The Prodigy (2019) Matthew Monagle So while it may not reinvent the wheel, it will give you a nice jump or two for the price of a Sunday matinee. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
4/5 They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) Marc Savlov Ultimately, it's a you-are-there time capsule of enormous emotional and historical importance. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
3/5 Piercing (2018) Richard Whittaker Pushing the concepts of consensual BDSM to their very furthest extremes, Pesce's curious, stylized, and perversely erotic romance will inevitably make the audience flinch. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
3.5/5 Capernaum (2018) Richard Whittaker Labaki makes you want to squeeze into Zain's shoes, if just for a couple of hours. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019