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Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
B-plus Grâce à Dieu (2018) Liam Lacey Resolution hardly seems possible: Ozon's film is about how the children he harmed remain stuck in adult Limbo, both legally and psychologically. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
B Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Jim Slotek Plenty of sequels are made for no good reason. Zombieland: Double Tap may be the first I've seen to implicitly (and hilariously) admit it. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
C Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Liam Lacey The script hits the familiar notes - a beautiful princess, a handsome prince, meddling old folks, anthropomorphized creatures. But they're essentially here for another Marvel-style apocalypse. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
B-minus The King (2019) Karen Gordon Overlong, but what redeems The King, beyond the excellent performances, is the way the film asks questions about why we go to war and who benefits. And it leaves us in an interesting place. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
A Parasite (2019) Jim Slotek Gloriously amoral tale of an unscrupulous poor family that connives its way into the mansion of a rich, gullible clan is very funny and very dark. Sure-handed and sly, with a moral compass that wavers as the tables turn EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Harpoon (2019) Thom Ernst Excellent by almost any metric but especially as a clever indie horror, Harpoon lives up to its festival-fueled hyped, and should be seen. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
C-plus The Addams Family (2019) Jim Slotek There are some chuckles for parents (and grandparents) and the animated visual take is interesting. But it can't overcome the central flaw, which is that it infantilizes something that, at heart, is whimsically grim comedy for adults. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Gemini Man (2019) Liam Lacey Despite being helmed by a major filmmaker, Gemini Man feels dated, sluggish, and visually stilted, like a video game without the fun of pushing the buttons. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Lucy in the Sky (2019) Kim Hughes Portman is enormously watchable as the sassy Southern astronaut who slowly comes unglued but her spiral strains credulity, and posits some uncomfortably sexist ideas. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
A First Love (2019) Thom Ernst Miike's films have managed to shock, offend, amuse and entertain. He has been lauded and banned. And yet never, has he created a film that is as much as a crowd-pleasure. The movie is just plain good fun. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
B-minus The Laundromat (2019) Liam Lacey Consistently feels as if it's intended to be funnier or more poignant than it actually is. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
A Joker (2019) Karen Gordon Joker has what may be the best lead performance of the year, but it is not for the faint of heart. Director Todd Phillips digs deep into the shadow side of society for one of the darkest movies in recent memory. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Roger Waters: Us + Them (2019) Liam Lacey Equal parts concert film and anti-establishment rally, this documentary about the Pink Floyd frontman shot in Amsterdam in 2018 is a must for fans... but a definitely maybe for the merely curious. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
Sometimes Always Never (2018) Liam Lacey Bill Nighy is reliably great in this supremely British and occasionally winning dramedy about a man trying to connect with his family. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Thom Ernst This scathing documentary from the director of Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood positions Cohn as evil early and often, for better or worse. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
B-plus Abominable (2019) Karen Gordon Finds the right balance for dealing with Yi's sadness and loss respectfully, without dominating the tone and adventurousness of the movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
B-plus Judy (2019) Jim Slotek Does the fact that a performance burns so brightly as to reduce the rest of the cast to bystanders, reduce the end result? Judy is as good as it needs to be to stand as a framework for Zellweger's acting. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
B-plus Monos (2019) Jim Slotek A kind of Lord of the Flies set amid a Latin American guerilla war with child soldiers, Monos is an immersive, sweaty, almost hallucinatory experience of hormone-driven anarchy. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
A Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Jim Slotek It occurs at a certain point that Ronstadt was kind of the Meryl Streep of pop music, capable of taking on any vocal role and making it sound like she was born to it. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
C Zeroville (2019) Thom Ernst Yes, Zeroville fulfills its promise to be a weird movie, it's just not all that original. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
C-plus Ad Astra (2019) Karen Gordon "Well intentioned, but sets itself up for something big and then ends up being somewhat shallow." EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
A+ Freaks (2018) Thom Ernst Freaks is a mind-bending thriller that is subversive enough to be rebellious, and in this era of CGI superhero cinema, the revolution is welcomed. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
B-plus Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Jim Slotek Norton checks all the genre-boxes with style and flair and makes a solid statement about things that haven't changed in our society. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
A A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Jim Slotek Tom Hanks' often comic, soulful performance as Fred Rogers is the foundation. But the narrative belongs to Matthew Rhys as the pseudonymous cynical journalist with an angry hole in his heart where his estranged father should be. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
C-plus It: Chapter Two (2019) Jim Slotek If it teaches no other lesson, It Chapter 2 does suggest that children in peril are more affecting and scary than are adults plotting at (extreme) length to take down a monster. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Kim Hughes Jillian Bell soars in American playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo's mordant yet inspiring comedy about one woman's goal to change her body (and her life) by completing the New York City Marathon. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) Liam Lacey Director Max Lewkowicz's lively and well-researched documentary puts the enduring Fiddler on the Roof phenomenon in clear perspective. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
C The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018) Karen Gordon Even for someone like me who admires Dolan, the finished film is a bit of a mess. But it's kind of a beautiful mess, one that still has the power to be affecting. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
B-plus Touch Me Not (2018) Liam Lacey Though it probably takes on more issues than it can handle, Touch Me Not is an intriguing oddity in a world saturated with sexual imagery, but where the subtleties of intimacy remain largely mysterious. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
B-plus Aquarela (2018) Liam Lacey Has a you-are-there clarity to unnerving effect. While Kossakovsky has said his plan was to show every emotion created by water, the emphasis is on the beautiful and the terrifying EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
B-plus Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Jim Slotek The child actors are all exceptional in this emotionally moving thriller that smoothly negotiates the supernatural and real world evil. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Angel Has Fallen (2019) Kim Hughes The preposterously stupid third installment in the Gerard Butler-led franchise about an indestructible U.S. Secret Service agent sticks with the formula, blowing stuff up and killing everyone. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
B-plus Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Karen Gordon For a long stretch, it feels like a pretty typical off-beat, or screwball comedy. And yet Linklater's films are always more than the sum of their parts, ultimately about community and connecting ourselves to others. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
Good Boys (2019) Thom Ernst A good (not great) and decidedly bawdy look at the awkwardness of tweendom. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Blinded by the Light (2019) Liam Lacey This coming of age tale from the director of Bend It Like Beckham (and it shows) props up an so-so story with a Bollywood-ized take on the Boss. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) Liam Lacey This oddball documentary, equal parts John LeCarre and Morgan Spurlock, chases a genuinely intriguing mystery but with meh results. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) Liam Lacey An ultra-lame sequel presumably hoping to capitalize on the surprise success of the 2017 film. Um yeah... no. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
C After the Wedding (2019) Karen Gordon The cast represents some of the finest actors working in film today. And for the most part they're doing thoughtful work. Unfortunately, there's only so much they can do. The film doesn't go emotionally deep enough to pay off. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
B Mine 9 (2019) Jim Slotek An indie film about a team of Appalachian coal miners trapped two miles down, trying to crawl their way up with an hour of oxygen, Mine 9 makes maximum use of the dark in all its frightening implications. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
C The Kitchen (2019) Karen Gordon The biggest problem is the script. The plot brings in a series of secondary characters, allies or antagonists, awkwardly introduced. It's like reading a book and skipping a few pages in every chapter. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2019
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Liam Lacey This adaptation of stories from Alvin Schwartz's early eighties book series (co-produced by Guillermo del Toro and bearing his cinematic thumbprint) is thin plot-wise but with some great visuals and jump scares. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
Light of My Life (2019) Liam Lacey Writer /director Casey Affleck's chilling dystopian tale raises resonant questions about parental love, and about the vagaries of fiction. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Liam Lacey Belkin's documentary on the legendary TV investigative journalist doesn't break new ground but offers a trove of watchable archival footage with marquee names from Eleanor Roosevelt to Malcolm X. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
B-plus Luce (2019) Karen Gordon A layered drama that aims high and deep, and achieves all of that. It touches on class and race issues. But it also manages to be a personal drama that evokes questions about who we are EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
C-plus The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Jim Slotek Comparisons to the book aside, The Art of Racing in the Rain won't disappoint anyone with basic expectations of a dog movie. It's full of aww, if not wonder. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
B-plus David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Karen Gordon A life lived hard, sometimes horribly and sometimes well. Eaton has a journalist's sense of story-telling, neither softening nor romanticizing Crosby's story, staying just far enough away from his subject to avoid judgement. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
A Honeyland (2019) Liam Lacey While the characters and events are real, the artful design of this film and its allegorical resonances seem to put Honeyland in its own genre - that of a real-life fable... a theme worthy of a Biblical parable. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
B-minus Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Jim Slotek As empty of purpose and overlong as it is, Hobbs & Shaw is at least a more entertaining machine than the last F&F film. Director David Leitch brings a comic book sensibility to the violence, and endless crude insult humour (that eventually does wear thin) EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
B Tel Aviv on Fire (2018) Liam Lacey To find comedy against the backdrop of the Palestine-Israeli conflict takes chutzpah... or alwaqaha, as they say in Arabic. It somehow maintains a genial tone, despite references to terrorism and daily humiliations of the occupation. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
B-minus Free Trip to Egypt (2018) Liam Lacey There's something of a "nice Borat" quality to this sweet-but-slight documentary. It confirms its premise that exposure vanquishes bigotry (though its sample size is small). EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019