Cincinnati CityBeat

Cincinnati CityBeat is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jac Kern, tt stern-enzi
Rating Title/Year Author
An American Pickle (2020) Mackenzie Manley The strongest moments in the film were those that explored the dichotomy between Ben, Herschel and the century of history standing between them. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2020
A- Palm Springs (2020) Mackenzie Manley Palm Springs reminds us that, even if we are drifting through a dark place, the search for a way out the cave - for a new tomorrow - is worth the cost of overcoming apathy. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2020
B+ Ordinary Love (2019) tt stern-enzi Ordinary Love is an honest reflection of what it takes to live through sickness and health, once the passionate bells and whistles have faded, and hold steady for whatever lies ahead. EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2020
B The Assistant (2019) tt stern-enzi The story is raw and as nakedly observed as the assistant herself. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
B Just Mercy (2019) tt stern-enzi Without a doubt, this is a film full of conviction. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
A Knives Out (2019) tt stern-enzi He's not actively breaking the fourth wall, but he recognizes what's going on and just goes along for the ride, which isn't quite genre-breaking, although Johnson bends and reshapes things in an impressively sharp image. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
A The Irishman (2019) tt stern-enzi In the way Scorsese handles Sheeran's story, he would likely be satisfied with this fate. It seems the same applies to the director. He's living by his own filmmaking code with honor and devotion to his craft. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
A The Report (2019) tt stern-enzi As a writer-director working hand-in-hand with [Adam] Driver, [Scott Z.] Burns shows us how to remove the unnecessary in order to allow the narrative to speak its truth. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
A- Motherless Brooklyn (2019) tt stern-enzi [I]n Motherless Brooklyn [Edward] Norton captures the sense of acceptance that those on the "lower frequencies" live with every day, something they've done for generations. It transcends place and time. It is just life. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
B+ Jojo Rabbit (2019) tt stern-enzi Jojo [is] such an adorable creation, perfectly embodied by Davis, who exudes so much child-actor charm. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
B Joker (2019) tt stern-enzi Phoenix's Joker fashions everything, all the pain and frustration, into a weapon, the tip of a spear that can rally others who are feeling the same. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
A Hustlers (2019) tt stern-enzi When we watch Lopez saunter through the frames in Hustlers, we're cataloguing a career, a life in the public sphere that is a whole and living thing. She, like every one of her characters, is the result of hard work, beauty and a never-say-die spirit. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) tt stern-enzi There is a subtlety to Malick's writing and execution that lets these arguments, largely spoken as direct dialogue rather than in voiceover, address our current political environment without capturing the sentiments and the parallels in bold highlights. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
A David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) tt stern-enzi [Crosby] is a difficult man to like, but there is a blunt honesty in his telling of his story that is both bracing and heartfelt. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
A The Farewell (2019) tt stern-enzi It is truly hard to say goodbye, especially when you know the end is not some far-off point along the horizon, but close enough to cross in a step or two. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2019
B+ The Art of Self-Defense (2019) tt stern-enzi [Jesse] Eisenberg has learned the rules of acting... He appreciates the darkness in this art form and has been able to weaponize it, employing it to steal power. Casey, in The Art of Self-Defense, proves to be a quick study as well. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2019
A- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) tt stern-enzi What I enjoy about Holland, as both Peter and Spider-Man, is his youthful naïveté and the sometimes little-boy-lost look that crosses his face in moments of crisis. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
B The Souvenir (2019) tt stern-enzi The Souvenir is a starkly frank portrait of a film student as a quiet young woman who doesn't know if she has what it takes to be an artist. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2019
A Toy Story 4 (2019) tt stern-enzi At the heart of the movie is a lesson for Woody. In him, I see hints of myself as I prepare for my youngest daughter's current transition as a high school graduate heading off to college. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
A- Booksmart (2019) tt stern-enzi The writing from Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman and Wilde's hyper-attentive direction reveals the hopeful promise awaiting these two protagonists. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
B+ High Life (2018) tt stern-enzi Pattinson is capable of pulling in all attention and light, which makes High Life, his latest film from director Claire Denis, yet another stellar addition to his filmography. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2019
A- The Public (2018) tt stern-enzi Maybe there's truth to the idea that we need to understand and appreciate the past if we're ever going to be able to move forward together. I'm ready and willing to follow Estevez, every step of the way. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
D Jennifer's Body (2009) tt stern-enzi Unfortunately, Jennifer's Body is a horror movie, and the inevitable girlfright devolves into senseless bloodbath, which doesn't suit the talents of either Cody or Kusama. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
American Factory (2019) tt stern-enzi With epic intimacy, the movie walks among American workers eager for a second chance at gainful employment and the enrichment that comes from sustained livelihood. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
B+ The Wedding Guest (2018) tt stern-enzi I keep coming back to Patel, whose performance I enjoyed more than anything so far in this very new year. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Mackenzie Manley Honestly, audiences flock to superhero fare because they need a comforting escape. Captain Marvel delivers that. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
A How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) tt stern-enzi But with The Hidden World, How to Train Your Dragon turns the neat trick of telling a story for adults in a way that kids can enjoy too. That is what a coming-of-age story looks like. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) tt stern-enzi Is this what Soderbergh has been practicing? His own version of the Prince retreat? If so, he's showing us how retirement might actually be a creative second coming. Hallelujah! EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
A Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) tt stern-enzi From the animation style they're rendered in to the subtle yet key twists of their backstories, what emerges is the realization that Spider-Man is the quintessential everyday person; every universe needs an example of what the best of us looks like. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2018
D Green Book (2018) tt stern-enzi It seems this old-timey salve remains effective with audiences and among the critical set, despite talk of an assumed progressive cultural shift. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
A Widows (2018) tt stern-enzi A jagged-edged thriller with sharp cuts on politics, class, glass ceilings and race. In these layers, everyone recognizes just how rigged the system is, so there's no use in fighting fair. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2018
A Wildlife (2018) tt stern-enzi It is fair to say that audiences will know early on where this story is headed, but Dano's expert execution makes the journey a diverting (and at times disturbing) experience. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2018
B+ Mid90s (2018) Mackenzie Manley It's evident that director Hill was chasing authenticity. As each scene slides into the other, the glossy L.A. sun permatrating the vibes, Hill is felt wholly. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
B+ The Hate U Give (2018) Jac Kern The Hate U Give incorporates gangster elements, social media controversy, and heavy-handed takes on identity politics, but at its core is the story of a young woman seizing control over her narrative. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2018
A Blaze (2018) tt stern-enzi Foley tells us early on that he has no interest in being a star, because they shine brightly and burn out. He wants to be a legend and live on forever. That may be true, but Hawke's film shines anyway, like a big beautiful crazy diamond in the sky. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2018
Donnybrook (2018) Steven Rosen Tim Sutton captures an America ignored by many Americans. His is not a country of tree-lined streets, white picket fences, and family barbeques, but one of clandestine drug deals, shady motel rooms, alcohol-fuelled brawls, and abandoned dreams. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2018
A John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (2018) tt stern-enzi Thankfully, In the Realm of Perfection provides greater insight into the mind and motivation of an athlete engaged in a larger struggle. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2018
B+ Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2017) tt stern-enzi There's a clear objectivity in his moral code, the kind of openness that society preaches, but rarely lives up to, in everyday life. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2018
A Eighth Grade (2018) tt stern-enzi Eighth Grade captures the palpable fears of kids like Kayla in the face of the oppressive indifference from her peers and her failing attempts to achieve the recognition she earnestly strives for. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2018
A- American Animals (2018) tt stern-enzi Storytellers, at the end of the day, are the greatest con artists, because the best of them know which strings to pull to make us believe. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) tt stern-enzi Rogers was a man of great faith, yes. But truth be told, his faith was rooted in the inherent humanity of his audience. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2018
A Hereditary (2018) tt stern-enzi Hereditary turns up the heat incrementally, but even when the frames erupt in flames, the hellfire cools as if waiting for an additional opportunity to scorch yet another layer of flesh. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2018
An Outrage (2016) tt stern-enzi Only by directly confronting our own terrible past can we, as a nation, truly fight the ongoing acts of terrorism in the world today. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2018
B+ Isle of Dogs (2018) tt stern-enzi Isle of Dogs is earthy and elemental in its depiction of human qualities, and it's a blueprint that hopefully the writer-director will learn to apply to his future live-action films. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2018
B Love, Simon (2018) tt stern-enzi Fortunately, characters like Simon have "the character" to make the right choices. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2018
A The Artist (2011) tt stern-enzi The Artist makes a strong argument for film as an escape from the modern escapist fantasies. It doesn't mean anything - that's what some critics are crying now - but since when did we decide that movies always have to have meaning? EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2018
A Annihilation (2018) tt stern-enzi Annihilation titillates the eyes of adrenaline junkies while also appealing to the flawed hearts of lovers. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2018
A Call Me by Your Name (2017) tt stern-enzi This Best Picture nominee is a beautifully filmed coming-of-age and coming-out story. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2018
A 12 Years a Slave (2013) tt stern-enzi McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, a rich and distinctly faithful adaptation of Northup's experiences, begs us to continue this conversation by offering an artful and critical reflection on our past, present and future as a nation. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2018
B- The Post (2017) tt stern-enzi Despite it all, Streep and Hanks soldier on, as only they can, and they do convince us that this fight matters. But The Post feels like old news. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2018