The MacGuffin

The MacGuffin is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Allen Almachar, Brooke Corso, Sarah Ksiazek
Rating Title/Year Author
C+ Pieces of a Woman (2020) Allen Almachar Kirby's performance is a highlight, but sadly everything else comes up short. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
C Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Allen Almachar Gal Gadot continues to showcase her dynamic screen presence as the Amazonian warrior-princess, but she is burdened with shouldering a story that doesn't keep up with her. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
B+ Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Allen Almachar These are people who have suffered tremendously and use music as their only outlet - to not only fill their pockets with money but to feed their very souls. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
A- Another Round (2020) Allen Almachar We see [the characters] at their highest moments as well as when they hit rock bottom. They are the makers of their own destinies, and Vinterberg forces them to confront the consequences of their actions. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
C Mank (2020) Allen Almachar In desperate need of its own Rosebud. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
A Nomadland (2020) Allen Almachar Plays like a great American novel - one full of heart, compassion and empathy. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2020
D Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Allen Almachar There is too much talent in front and behind the camera to make something this overly dramatic, sappy, and emotionally empty. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2020
A- Sound of Metal (2019) Sarah Ksiazek Sound of Metal perfectly depicts a health crisis, one so severe (except for death) that life has to change in every imaginable sense. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
B Run (2020) Allen Almachar It's quick and clean - it comes in, does what it needs to do, and gets out before it overstays its welcome. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
A- Wolfwalkers (2020) Allen Almachar Wolfwalkers isn't just a great animated film, it's a great film. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
B+ Jungleland (2019) Allen Almachar While we may know the notes to this song, the rhythm is something new. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
A His House (2020) Allen Almachar This was terrifying, heartbreaking, and utterly captivating - it's one of the best movies of the year. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2020
Psycho (1960) Allen Almachar It is the ultimate example of how the medium can sway our thought process ... It is the art form operating at its highest capability. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
C Roald Dahl's The Witches (2020) Allen Almachar [The Witches] has a fast pace energy and is willing to dive into more thematically treacherous waters. But it buckles under a poorly defined world, a cartoonish villain, and a mind-numbingly stupid ending. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2020
B- The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Allen Almachar The Trial of the Chicago 7 is an engaging enough watch, but it feels mechanical. There are plenty of political and courtroom fireworks, but it lacks a beating heart. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
B Nocturne (2020) Allen Almachar This is a good - if uneven - psychological thriller. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
C- Evil Eye (2020) Allen Almachar This is the kind of material made for daytime soap operas. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
D The Lie (2018) Allen Almachar There was plenty of potential here, but whatever promise there was is bogged down by a narrative that just doesn't work. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2020
B+ Black Box (2020) Allen Almachar It can stand up to any big budget counterpart because it knows exactly what it wants to do and accomplishes it well. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2020
B On the Rocks (2020) Allen Almachar When Jones and Murray are onscreen sharing their thoughts and feelings through conversation, that's when the movie truly shines. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2020
C 12 Hour Shift (2020) Sarah Ksiazek While it waivers with what kind of film it wants to be, 12 Hour Shift also struggles with how scenes flowed. The acting sometimes felt stifled and stunted, possibly due to problems with the script or how the actors fed off or interacted with each other. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
B Possessor: Uncut (2020) Allen Almachar This is one of those times where I can tell you a movie is good, but I'm not so sure I'd ever want to watch it again. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
D+ Ava (2020) Allen Almachar This plays the same old song with such a lack of inventiveness that it almost feels intentional. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2020
D- Unhinged (2020) Sarah Ksiazek Had I not been reviewing it, I would have turned it off or walked out of the theatre. There is a time and a place for films like Unhinged, but this isn't it. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
B Most Wanted (2020) Sarah Ksiazek Most Wanted pulls off a surprise that elicited a gasp from me about halfway through the film. It grabs your attention and makes the viewer more invested in how the rest of the story will play out. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
B Relic (2020) Sarah Ksiazek There is always the thought at the back of my head if I am seeing or interpreting Relic as others have. Let me at least say that the last third of the film gets weird and claustrophobic, maybe not the best combination in a pandemic. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
A Alone (2020) Sarah Ksiazek Alone is a solid thriller, and I would put it up there with The Invisible Man in terms of being one of the best of the year. It brings the audience to the edge of your seat, biting your nails, wondering what is going to happen next. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
C The Devil All the Time (2020) Allen Almachar To simply point out the reality of evil isn't enough. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2020
C- Antebellum (2020) Allen Almachar Antebellum may have started with earnest motivations but betrayed itself by opting for shock and awe instead of significant, thought-provoking drama. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2020
B- #Alive (2020) Allen Almachar There are moments where the potential for something new peeks out from behind the curtain but is quickly pulled back. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
C- The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) Allen Almachar This is a classic case of trying to capture lightning in a bottle twice, with the thought that going bigger and louder will somehow equate to repeated success. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
A I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Allen Almachar If you're willing to meet it on its own weird terms, you'll end up finding one of the most exciting cinematic experiences of the year. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2020
C- Mulan (2020) Allen Almachar This is a bland retelling of the Chinese folktale, wavering between wanting to set its own identity and capturing the nostalgia for the 1998 animated version. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2020
B Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Allen Almachar One of Bill & Ted's trademark lines is 'Be Excellent to Each Other.' Lord knows we need more of that. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2020
A- Sputnik (2020) Allen Almachar This is just as much of a cultural statement as it is edge of your seat sci-fi horror. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2020
C+ An American Pickle (2020) Allen Almachar There is a strong character-driven tale to be told here, but it's bogged down by the muck of a ridiculous comedy. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2020
B- Project Power (2020) Allen Almachar There's an earnest, maybe even desperate, drive to hold our attention. Is it completely successful doing that? No, but I appreciate the effort. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2020
Taxi Driver (1976) Allen Almachar One of the all-time great movies. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
In the Mood for Love (2000) Allen Almachar Wong Kar-Wai has made a masterpiece ... perfectly capturing two boats passing each other in the night. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Election (2005) Allen Almachar An ok movie, made for those who simply want to be entertained with slick visuals, paper-thin characters, and a story where comprehension is not a requirement. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) Allen Almachar There's lots of 'booms' and 'pows' ... it simply does not end ... exactly like the first ... but they did it all again. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Toy Story 3 (2010) Allen Almachar Not in the same league as Pixar's previous efforts ... it still solidifies the notion that this production company is at the forefront of modern animation. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Manhattan (1979) Allen Almachar Woody Allen establishes all the life, beauty, and romance that come with living in New York City. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Lost in La Mancha (2002) Allen Almachar A gem ... for all those that love the movies, even the ones that don't get made. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
A Inception (2010) Allen Almachar One of the best movies of 2010. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001) Allen Almachar One heck of a good time. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Following (1998) Allen Almachar Following is a strong debut by a filmmaker who would go on to be one of the best in his field. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Salt (2010) Allen Almachar It's not smart enough to be satire, it's not goofy enough to be a guilty pleasure, it's not funny enough to be a comedy, it's not enough of anything to be anything. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
Step Up 3 (2010) Allen Almachar For those that go into it only for the dancing, they will get more than enough to fill their appetites. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
May (2002) Allen Almachar A quiet and unsettling character study. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020