Dayton CityPaper

Dayton CityPaper is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): tt stern-enzi
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ Juliet, Naked (2018) tt stern-enzi Byrne and O'Dowd prove to be reliable as ever, managing the delicate balance between the laughs-both at and with their characters-and the dramatic elements that have a sneakily relatable power. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2018
A Searching (2018) tt stern-enzi David is achingly human, eager and desperate, then driven to explosiveness, before bottoming out in his guilt. It is through David that we understand just how little we know the people we are supposedly close to. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2018
A Leave No Trace (2018) tt stern-enzi The film captures the universal dynamic between teens and their parents, but the stakes are unfamiliar. Yet, Foster and McKenzie present a level of humanity that is timelessly authentic. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2018
A BlacKkKlansman (2018) tt stern-enzi Lee refuses to let us close our eyes or fake blindness. Even more so, he's using the period setting as an obvious reflection on the current state of race relations, which is not all that different today than it was in the 1970s. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2018
A Three Identical Strangers (2018) tt stern-enzi The easy cliché states that bad things happen to good people, but usually those bad things occur, as if from the unseen hands of fate. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2018
A- Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018) tt stern-enzi I would argue that as this current version of Ethan Hunt, Cruise maintains that strong sense of right and wrong, but his aging fallibility matters far more. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2018
A Sorry to Bother You (2018) tt stern-enzi We find ourselves wanting to call out the outlandish bullshit, but the more crazy and frazzled the story becomes, the more it feels like a sad and all-too accurate reflection of our current reality. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2018
A Hearts Beat Loud (2018) tt stern-enzi As parents, our souls live in those moments, and what a wonderful thing it is that Haley, Offerman, and Clemons have been able to bring that to life onscreen. That's real magic. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2018
B+ Whitney (2018) tt stern-enzi Here, in this revelation, is a possible explanation for a lifetime of confusion and drug use that shaped this great voice and led to the untimely snuffing out of an eternal flame. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2018
A Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) tt stern-enzi A look at what lies ahead for a killer like Alejandro who hasn't completely renounced his affiliation with the human race. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
A- American Animals (2018) tt stern-enzi More than mere truth or fiction, fact or fakery; American Animals is a repackaging of modern cultural mythology. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2018
A First Reformed (2017) tt stern-enzi "First Reformed," is the face of Hawke, which miraculously never gets consumed by the hellfire all around. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2018
B Incredibles 2 (2018) tt stern-enzi Despite essentially being a carbon copy, the sequel cranks out more than a few surprises involving the Parrs. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2018
B Ocean's 8 (2018) tt stern-enzi It's funny watching the elements come together in this complicated scam. On one hand, the set-up isn't quite as complex as it seems, but there's an easy sense of fun in every exchange. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2018
C+ Adrift (2018) tt stern-enzi Woodley held my sympathy during much of the aimlessness. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2018
Pope Francis -- A Man of His Word (2018) tt stern-enzi By refusing to judge, Pope Francis takes us all by the hand and leads us towards a vision of humanity that earns and deserves our pride. This could be the first meaningful step towards what we might dream we could be. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2018
Isle of Dogs (2018) tt stern-enzi Anderson presents the primal animal pack as a project management team of sorts. We see the unity of purpose, but also understand that it is not always cohesive from the onset. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2018
C Breaking In (2018) tt stern-enzi Union proves that she's a fighter and a survivor above all else, and that she can look damned good while doing it. She can save the motherly stuff for another time. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2018
B Life of the Party (2018) tt stern-enzi No matter how outrageous the circumstances get, McCarthy always works best when her natural love and goodwill leads the way. She's a comedic mama bear at heart. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2018
C Tully (2018) tt stern-enzi The real twist would have been if we had been able to watch and appreciate how Marlo had to actually earn her ever-after the old-fashioned way. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2018
B- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) tt stern-enzi Almost 20 movies in, maybe someone should have realized that it wasn't going to be possible to continue topping the previous installments. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2018
B+ I Feel Pretty (2018) tt stern-enzi Thankfully, Kohn and Silverstein know that they've got Williams as an ace in the hole here, guaranteeing that I Feel Pretty has a real shot at winding up a winning hand. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2018
A- A Quiet Place (2018) tt stern-enzi What happens on the screen isn't as important as what goes on in the hearts, minds, and ears of those of us who surrender to the powerful allure of this not so quiet place. Listen to the lesson. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2018
F Acrimony (2018) tt stern-enzi A little less Acrimony and a lot more time away from Perry might do us all a world of good. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2018
A The Death of Stalin (2017) tt stern-enzi The Death of Stalin manages to capture and contain a multitude of perspectives and players, both large and small, in its frames, while never losing sight of the very serious historic notes. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2018
B Tomb Raider (2018) tt stern-enzi Vikander holds the center quite nicely, maintaining an even flow between the outrageous action sequences and the personal interplay Lara has with a host of characters. And every performer displays just the right lived-in quality when paired with her. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2018
A A Fantastic Woman (2017) tt stern-enzi All of us deal with this very existential crisis, but in Marina's case, it is obviously compounded by social mores, which varying degrees of privilege allow most of us to ignore. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2018
B The Party (2017) tt stern-enzi Potter lets her talented cast cut loose in this chamber affair where wine and whining (in equal measure) spotlights every single microscopic fissure in the delicate façade these characters believe they have constructed. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2018
A Argo (2012) tt stern-enzi Affleck...takes on what amounts to a historic period thriller with humorous elements and a hero in Mendez, and he does so like he's the second coming of Robert Redford and George Clooney. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2018
A Black Panther (2018) tt stern-enzi This version of Black Panther weaves a seemingly disparate set of strands together rather seamlessly, presenting more than enough comic book acrobatics and mayhem to satisfy the core fan base while also speaking a necessary degree of truth to power. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2018
D Fifty Shades Freed (2018) tt stern-enzi Just know your rules and their limits and stick to them. That's better than any half-hearted compromise or tepid sex play. Now that's what it means to be "Freed." EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2018
B Hostiles (2017) tt stern-enzi What truly results, in a meaningful way, is an understanding that neither side can claim to be morally absolute. There is no right or wrong, no sense of things being purely black or white. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2018
B- Den of Thieves (2018) tt stern-enzi I suppose Gudegast seeks to give credence to the notion that there's no honor among thieves, but if that's truly the case and point he wants to make, he could have done so with a bit more efficiency. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2018
A Call Me by Your Name (2017) tt stern-enzi You purchase the ticket for the sensual slow-burn love story that develops between Elio and Oliver, captured against the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy, but you might find yourself moved to tears by the genuine appeal Stuhlbarg makes to his son. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2018
B+ Insidious: The Last Key (2018) tt stern-enzi The Last Key is not actively seeking to venture into political territory. The movie simply functions this way due to the accident of its release during this particular moment, but this reading affords the film a strong second life for curious audiences. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2018
B+ Molly's Game (2017) tt stern-enzi You've got Chastain, Elba, and Sorkin betting on themselves and each other. A big win is always a game changer. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2018
B My Cousin Rachel (2017) tt stern-enzi As long as the focus is on Weisz, "My Cousin Rachel" is real and satisfying curiosity on today's film landscape, a performance-fueled work anchored by a strong female lead who knows and remains true to herself. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
D- Everything, Everything (2017) tt stern-enzi "Everything, Everything" doesn't even set up a bar for Maddy and Olly to overcome, instead insisting on the idea that we should just make believe like mindless children. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
Gold (2016) tt stern-enzi But "Gold" proves that you need more than a thinning hairline and a bulging waistline. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
The Founder (2016) tt stern-enzi Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as Dick and Mac McDonald never stood a chance, and it could be argued that, despite Keaton's cunning performance, neither did the movie. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
A Jackie (2016) tt stern-enzi "Jackie" shows us how Kennedy gave birth to the legend of the modern-day Camelot, but it also captures the ongoing evolution of a star, right before our eyes. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) tt stern-enzi Rather than merely retreading the well-worn and bloody path of the first film, "Chapter 2" opens with a mythos, showcasing an international realm of intrigue. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
D+ Before I Fall (2017) tt stern-enzi There's much to ponder in the premise, but films rise and fall on the rapport we have with either the characters or the performers, and with "Before I Fall," try as I might, I never fell under the sway of Samantha or Deutch. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
A Kedi (2016) tt stern-enzi Focusing on the seemingly unknowable perspectives of the cats, [Ceyda Torun] makes a case for the innate goodness of the human spirit. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
B+ The Belko Experiment (2016) tt stern-enzi Whenever choices become binary-black or white, kill or be killed-that's the sign of the apocalypse, and "The Belko Experiment" captures just one instance in what probably feels like a worldwide tournament of murderous madness. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
B- The Last Word (2017) tt stern-enzi Rather than spend undue attention on these elements, Pellington works his magic by tapping into the talents of his leads. Both MacLaine and Seyfried use their eyes and the act of watching to reveal who these women truly are. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
B Colossal (2016) tt stern-enzi But "Colossal" succeeds because [Anne] Hathaway provides a solid and engaging emotional anchor. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
B Their Finest (2016) tt stern-enzi It is a simple tale of war and love, with teasing strands of feminism and sexual orientation woven into the mix, writ in small human terms. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
B The Dinner (2017) tt stern-enzi "The Dinner" sets up a long and winding road that, at times, twists unnecessarily back on itself, seeking to create complexity while forcing us to question our own moral compasses. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2017
C- Downsizing (2017) tt stern-enzi Downsizing becomes yet another story about a white male protagonist who gets redeemed through his interactions with a person of color who guides him along the way, opening his eyes to the real world. Oh, please. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2017