Sojourners is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Abby Olcese
Rating Title/Year Author
The Mole Agent (2020) Abby Olcese One of the most important things art -- especially narrative art -- can do is inspire us to show empathy for others... Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi's documentary The Mole Agent is a heartwarming testament to this type of kindness. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
The Farewell (2019) Abby Olcese Rogert Ebert once described the movies as "a machine that generates empathy." The Farewell lovingly lives into that metaphor. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
The Hate U Give (2018) Abby Olcese The drama in The Hate U Give is always necessarily heightened, but with the film at over two hours long, it can sometimes feel exhausting. But it's hard to criticize the film for this, because that exhaustion is part of the point. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
The Front Runner (2018) Abby Olcese The Front Runner remains something of an enigma. In the quest to retain the humanity of the characters on all sides of the conflict, Reitman ends up with a film that's not just dramatically inert, but is unclear about what it wants to say. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2018
Monsters and Men (2018) Abby Olcese The ideas the film explores are worthy, but the execution is disappointing. Monsters and Men feels unfinished... The film contains the start of an important conversation, but the credits roll on an incomplete thought. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
Eighth Grade (2018) Abby Olcese Crucially, Kayla's emotions are never treated as a joke. Burnham has immense respect for his character's fragility and earnestness, as does Fisher, who brings an uncanny naturalism to her performance. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (2018) Abby Olcese Sorry to Bother You is wild and over-the-top. But like all good satire, the paths it takes are still recognizable. Boots Riley is always pointing the finger right back at us. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Abby Olcese Refreshing in its affirmation that Rogers really was the compassionate man we grew up watching. It also proves to be a necessary film in its presentation of love as a practice, one requiring intentionality and constant growth. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2018
Tully (2018) Abby Olcese An offbeat ode to motherhood. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Abby Olcese Infinity War is a sobering reminder that even the biggest, strongest communities sometimes face adversity that results in sacrifice, uncertainty, and loss. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2018
I Feel Pretty (2018) Abby Olcese I Feel Pretty, is such a letdown. It's an idea with plenty of opportunities to go to interesting places. Instead, it stays in a spot that feels clichéd, dated, and even narrow-minded. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2018
Come Sunday (2018) Abby Olcese Sometimes, the film tells us, there are no good answers. All we can do is sit with our thoughts and do our best to love each other well. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2018
Ready Player One (2018) Abby Olcese But more often than not, it falls into the same trap, preferring to throw reference after reference at the screen without exploring why the sources of those references resonate with the characters, or the audience. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2018
Love, Simon (2018) Abby Olcese This is a film that believes everyone deserves a sweet, sappy movie love story, especially people who are often denied them. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Abby Olcese A Wrinkle in Time may not be as strong as it could be, but it is well-intentioned, admirably earnest, and gloriously weird in ways that can still connect with audiences. I EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2018
Black Panther (2018) Abby Olcese Director Ryan Coogler's addition to the Marvel stable is a gorgeously realized experience. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2018
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Abby Olcese Rian Johnson's wildly fun and thoughtful entry into the Star Wars canon finds its heroes at a precarious turning point. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2017
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Abby Olcese It's worth noting that McDormand's performance in the role is one of the best this year; she's raw, grounded, and wickedly funny. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2017
Coco (2017) Abby Olcese Coco is a fun, touching movie, one that takes joy in the culture it depicts and invites viewers from other cultures along for the party, in ways both respectful and educational. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2017
The Square (2017) Abby Olcese [Director Ruben] Östlund's skewering of passive modern culture and our instinct for self-preservation is both relentless and instantly relatable. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2017
Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Abby Olcese Kenneth Branagh's new big-screen adaptation of Christie's novel is a diverting, gorgeous-looking film that struggles a little at showing the humbling effect that dilemma has on the great detective. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Abby Olcese Director Taika Waititi's Marvel debut bursts at the seams with creative pleasure that communicates the same sense of fun that was clearly present on set. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2017
Suburbicon (2017) Abby Olcese It's a setup ripe with allegorical potential, but while Suburbicon is built on good bones, it's an unfocused mess that wastes its opportunity. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2017
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Abby Olcese Liberation doesn't have quite the same effect when it's done by white people, for other white people. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2017
mother! (2017) Abby Olcese The way to respond to a challenging movie like this, and to those who share its worldview, isn't to dismiss them - mother! is far too ambitious and interesting a film for that. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2017
Whose Streets? (2017) Abby Olcese Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis' film is an unflinching account of the ordinary people who found themselves caught up in the fight for justice following [Michael] Brown's death. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2017
Step (2017) Abby Olcese However, there is much about director Amanda Lipitz's movie that feels surface level, a trait that feels particularly troubling when her subjects represent issues (namely poverty and systemic racism) that deserve a much deeper dive than they get here. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2017
The Big Sick (2017) Abby Olcese The Big Sick is a comedy with real meat and meaning, something that's been lacking from the genre in recent years. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2017
The Journey (2016) Abby Olcese Despite occasional plodding, The Journey's overall message is more important now than ever. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2017
Baby Driver (2017) Abby Olcese It's less a movie than a feature-length exercise in editing and sound design. While that makes for a thrilling picture, the overall result is a movie that feels empty. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2017
La La Land (2016) Abby Olcese While (the film has) an optimistic, positive message, it loses potency by showing just how little room there is for real life - with all its compromises and challenges - in the dreams of its main characters. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2017
Hacksaw Ridge (2016) Abby Olcese The effect of seeing that character's (Doss) unwavering, steadfast faith instead of the inner struggles it must have taken to get to that point misses a big opportunity for teaching and discussion. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2017
The Invitation (2015) Abby Olcese The Invitation presents audiences with characters trying to move on from terrible experiences. It also presents two different ways of approaching the healing process, and the failing of a community to support those in pain. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2017
A United Kingdom (2016) Abby Olcese Unfortunately, the film does its subjects little credit, suffering from directing and writing choices that keep it from achieving its potential. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
I Am Not Your Negro (2016) Abby Olcese I Am Not Your Negro is a fitting tribute and introduction to James Baldwin - stylish, to-the-point, and full of truths as timely now as they were when Baldwin first put them into writing. It is not to be missed. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Hidden Figures (2016) Abby Olcese It's mostly fine but largely forgettable, with a script that suffers from flat characters and which treats its story less like the powerful drama it is and more like a straight line evenly peppered with plot points. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Abby Olcese There's a certain weight here that hasn't necessarily been present in most of the other films. And that, plus the film's talented, diverse cast, makes Rogue One a truly unique twist on the familiar format. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Moana (2016) Abby Olcese The film's qualities go beyond mere positive, escapist fun. Moana's emphatically non-traditional, non-whitewashed take on Disney's princess films make it one of the most important movies of 2016. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Arrival (2016) Abby Olcese The level of intelligence and respect the film has for its audience is refreshing. Its moments of emotion (and there are whoppers) feel earned, not forced. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
The Birth of a Nation (2016) Abby Olcese As art, its message is timely, its harsh images necessary, and its emotion undeniable. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Queen of Katwe (2016) Abby Olcese Queen of Katwe is a movie committed to the real people whose story it tells, showing their struggles, strength, love and faith. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
The Magnificent Seven (2016) Abby Olcese Though it's an unremarkable action movie in many respects, the film has an interesting eye for symbolism that elevates it above whatever lack of freshness it may suffer from (including a lackluster script). EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
War Dogs (2016) Abby Olcese It had the potential be a subversive commentary on the international arms industry... Instead it's a dull slog that feels longer than it is, and essentially accomplishes nothing but a few cheap laughs. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Suicide Squad (2016) Abby Olcese The film fails its characters by not leaving room for them to stand out individually, and it fails women by attempting to sell an overtly abusive relationship as romantic. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Ghostbusters (2016) Abby Olcese Unfortunately, the film squanders the talents of its cast on a poor script that's bogged down with poor jokes, underdeveloped characters, and a juvenile approach to feminism that doesn't advance the conversation. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Free State of Jones (2016) Abby Olcese Free State of Jones contains so much story that it might have been better served in a longer format. But as it is, the film is a mess. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Finding Dory (2016) Abby Olcese Finding Dory is also a movie with surprising emotional depth, one that's just as much about the power of active hope as it is about sight gags and cute critters. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
The Lobster (2015) Abby Olcese The film is a pitch-black satire about relationships and the unrealistic expectations modern society imposes about how they should work. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Captain America: Civil War (2016) Abby Olcese It's the balance of conflict at its core, and the film's willingness to expose and explore the deep-rooted feelings of its characters that makes Captain America: Civil War such a success. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017
Keanu (2016) Abby Olcese The plot can seem a little thin in places, and the driving conceit is pretty silly. Fortunately, Key and Peele play off of each other so well that the film never totally goes flat, even when the plot seems forced. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2017