The Week

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Brendan Morrow Mixing these movies does a disservice to both of them, leaving Godzilla vs. Kong without time to do enough with either. Combining franchises can be a joy when done right, but sometimes two monster movies aren't better than one. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2021
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Jeva Lange Raya and the Last Dragon isn't great because it's a glittery story of female empowerment that shows young girls that they can grow up to be heroes, too. It's great simply because it never expected them to be anything else. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2021
Cherry (2021) Jeva Lange Frenzied edits don't convey the characters' drug-addled agitation so much as they seem to expose directors who are never quite sure what they're doing with a shot. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Jesse Hassenger Barb and Star [is] a little bittersweet; the movie itself is funny, and prompts speculation about what other comedies Wiig might have made if she and Mumolo had been working together for the past decade. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2021
The Mauritanian (2021) Jeva Lange It would have been one thing for The Mauritanian to be a movie about legal rights, but the surreal torture sequence makes it something closer to protest art. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2021
Summertime (1955) Jeva Lange Anchored by Katharine Hepburn giving one of her all-time great performances as a lonely American yearning for a "wonderful, mystical, magical miracle" in Venice, it is a surprisingly perfect celebration of the seasons of love. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2021
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Jeva Lange Wonder Woman 1984 doesn't pander or condescend to its female audience members, and for that I applaud it. But it does something that, upon reflection, is perhaps even more unforgivable: it shows little interest in them at all. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Jeva Lange Watching Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is extraordinary, not just because it feels like a gift -- one last performance from Boseman, and his best yet -- but because it feels like a eulogy, too. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Mank (2020) Jeva Lange Mank, more than it has any loyalty to accuracy, functions as Fincher's reminder of the responsibility of the movies, and the funny way moving images have of superseding the truth. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Jesse Hassenger Both Close and Adams have already assured their respective legacies. Unfortunately, no one seems to have told Hillbilly Elegy this. It seems custom-designed to win one or both of them an Oscar, and makes everyone involved look worse in the process. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2020
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020) Jeva Lange Even when Parton is playing a character whose one-dimensional goodness would make you groan and roll your eyes if another actress were playing the part, she seems to actually believe her own words. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2020
Rebecca (2020) Jeva Lange It is so utterly an "airplane movie" in every respect that I almost recommend against watching it if you're on the ground... Wheatley's Rebecca is trashy and fun to look at, even if it might not stick with you beyond the tarmac. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Jeva Lange While The Trial of Chicago 7 got lucky with its release date, the film's relevance is owed to the endurance of the belief it's trying to tear down. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) Jeva Lange As upsetting as the topic might be, there is profound joy, humor, and humanity in the exercise of Dick Johnson Is Dead. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2020
Nomadland (2020) Jeva Lange Nomadland is a deeply internal and even mournful film in this regard, and asks its viewers to pause and reflect, like the listeners of a eulogy. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2020
She Dies Tomorrow (2020) Jeva Lange Most of us are well acquainted with anxiety... If I had to explain to an enviably pacific alien what precisely this feels like, I'd show them Amy Seimetz's sophomore feature, She Dies Tomorrow. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2020
The Rental (2020) Brendan Morrow It's a decent horror-thriller, but one that's a little undercooked and unfocused. It turns out to be more forgettable than anticipated, leading us to wonder about the truly great, more consistent film that could have been. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2020
Greyhound (2020) Jeva Lange Just the latest example of a script that finds the sort of thrills in a near-past that were previously found in the near-future, confirming that it is the absence of technology that now scares us the most -- not what it might evolve into. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
Relic (2020) Brendan Morrow James' debut... is a creepy, emotional haunted house feature that often takes a less-is-more approach. For the most part, it really pays off, and her confidence suggests audiences can expect more great work to come. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) Jeva Lange You may have heard a version of this story before, but in this setting it becomes newly fresh, bizarre, and delightfully worthwhile. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2020
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Jeva Lange It almost seems a stretch to call Fire Saga much of a spoof at all; it is more of an affectionate pastiche of Europop, made not from a place of cynicism or ridicule but winking good fun. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2020
Irresistible (2020) Jacob Lambert Irresistible isn't so much a story as a collection of tired observations about the ills of election funding. It's about as fun as it sounds. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2020
Athlete A (2020) Jeva Lange Athlete A effectively describes the culture of submission and gaslighting in U.S. gymnastics, in which child athletes are not uncommonly verbally and physically abused by coaches in the all-important pursuit of winning medals for Team USA. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
Babyteeth (2019) Jeva Lange It is the rare sickness story that doesn't succumb to the genre's worst and most schmaltzy tendencies. Using an outstanding cast, inspired direction, and unexpected soundtrack, it revitalizes an otherwise stale genre. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2020
Dave Chappelle: 8:46 (2020) Matthew Walther The monologue Chappelle delivers is remarkable, both as a performance and as a text in its own right. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Jeva Lange Da 5 Bloods underscores how egregious it is that Lee has been perennially overlooked for the Academy's top prizes; even as one of this year's most radically inventive films, it merely exemplifies Lee's immense and under-appreciated talent. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) Jacob Lambert It's yet another two hour-plus trudge that mistakes forsaking laughter with speaking some vital truth. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
Extraction (2020) Jacob Lambert There's not much invention here. But the movie knows we've seen enough such films to fill in the blanks ourselves. Extraction is nothing but chassis, but it's sturdy enough to run. EDIT
Posted May 19, 2020
The Hunt (2020) Brendan Morrow A misguided satire that sloppily gestures toward Our Divided Times before arriving at a muddled thesis about misinformation and partisanship that lands with a thud. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020
The Way Back (2020) Jesse Hassenger Affleck does fine, sensitive work in this role, seemingly attuned to the routines and comforts of alcoholism. The movie is both enhanced and limited by his star power. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
First Cow (2019) Andy Crump First Cow feels like a valuable lesson in male intimacy, a movie about the ease with which men can maintain close attachments to one another sans shame. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
The Invisible Man (2020) Brendan Morrow Boasting a killer Elisabeth Moss performance, Leigh Whannell's reboot is a clever, suspenseful horror-thriller that suggests the future of the Universal monsters isn't so dark after all. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
Wendy (2020) Jeva Lange Zeitlin gets a little too precious when it comes to emphasizing the bliss and freedom of childhood, with far too much of the movie focused on the kids running around and screaming, or treading water. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Andy Crump Witnessing the act of artistic creation lets the film's audience appreciate the connection between love, desire, and especially memory. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
Downhill (2020) Jesse Hassenger For all of its unwillingness to go blackly comic, Downhill is a well-observed character dramedy, and Louis-Dreyfus makes a lot of its observations. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Jeva Lange The only time I've not felt talked down to by a comic book movie that purports to be feminist. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
Gretel & Hansel (2020) Jeva Lange While Gretel and Hansel is another contribution to this year's better-than-average crop of January horror films, it is also a movie that you could -- and maybe even should --- show your kids. Really. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Jesse Hassenger The Assistant is a detailed day-in-the-life portrait of office drudgery, but it has the tension of a thriller... And does a powerful job immersing the audience in a toxic workplace. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
Color Out of Space (2019) Jeva Lange Color Out of Space harkens back to horror's more trashy, gonzo, B-movie roots -- and is ultimately all the more bold and brilliant for it. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Weathering With You (2019) Maya Phillips Despite the beauty the film finds in destruction, it never fully answers the question of what happens to love in a world that's sinking. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
Little Women (2019) Jeva Lange In this case, the change fits, elevating Alcott's original story from being one about unfulfilled artistic ambition, into one, uniquely, about craft. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Cats (2019) Jesse Hassenger That this material seems incapable of articulating any reason for its existence may be its greatest fealty to the cruel and unknowable animal kingdom. Cats is stubbornly meaningless. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Daniel Isn't Real (2019) Andy Crump 2019 hasn't been an especially strong year for horror, but with Daniel Isn't Real, at least it's ended on a high note. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Jesse Hassenger There's something both contradictory and admirable about the way Eastwood dashes off these versions of real events, making them quick but not exactly conclusive, with none of the social-media certainty of a declarative tweet. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Jesse Hassenger At its best, the movie extends a sense of generosity and humanity toward a variety of characters the sorta-couple encounters on their journey. At the same time, Queen & Slim doesn't feel fully equipped to grapple with the issues it raises. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Noel Murray What makes it such a crowd-pleaser is that [Rian] Johnson also expresses a reassuring optimism that human decency will prevail, and that justice will favor the hard-working and good-hearted over the pernicious and self-serving. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Frozen II (2019) Brendan Morrow Frozen 2 is no soulless retread but rather a much more narratively complex, visually inventive, and thematically interesting follow-up than anticipated. Its reach at times exceeds its grasp, but the effort is consistently admirable. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Lady and the Tramp (2019) Jeva Lange What might have been a paint-by-numbers remake is given sparkle and charm by a cast that seems actually invested in bringing their characters to life. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Noel Murray Dolemite Is My Name features [Eddie] Murphy's best performance in 20 years. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Brendan Morrow All in all though, bogged down by familiar plot beats and comedy cliches, Double Tap seems destined to become one of those highly-anticipated but mediocre follow-ups that fails to leave a lasting impression. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019