Good Times Santa Cruz

Good Times Santa Cruz is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Lisa Jensen
Rating Title/Year Author
3/4 The Song of Names (2019) Lisa Jensen An often-moving meditation on the purpose and privilege of artistic expression. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/4 63 Up (2019) Lisa Jensen With so many backstories to fill in, the movie runs to nearly three hours, yet it's an invaluable portrait of humanity in transition. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
3/4 Little Women (2019) Lisa Jensen The movie exudes so much exuberant and heartfelt goodwill that it's impossible to dislike. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
2.5/4 Cats (2019) Lisa Jensen There is fun to be had at this adaptation of the blockbuster stage production, and it's the holidays, so you might as well have it. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
2/4 Frankie (2019) Lisa Jensen There are moments when we understand that deeply felt emotions are being conveyed, but Sachs keeps everything so subdued, at such a stubbornly low-key register, that we don't feel them as deeply as we should. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
3/4 Waves (2019) Lisa Jensen The gripping domestic drama Waves is an often-fascinating piece of filmmaking that encompasses euphoria, tragedy and every conceivable emotion in between in depicting a solid American family unit sliding in and out of crisis. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
2.5/4 The Good Liar (2019) Lisa Jensen Even in its least persuasive moments -- and there are a few -- the fun of watching Mirren and McKellan prowling around the screen, leading each other a merry dance is mostly its own reward. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Richard von Busack This movie about the ashes of crime is Scorsese at his sharpest and most feeling. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/4 Harriet (2019) Lisa Jensen Lemmons' melodramatic flourishes can be overdone... But Harriet's story is so important, it rises in triumph over all obstacles -- like the woman herself. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
3/4 The Current War (2017) Lisa Jensen Gomez-Rejon and scriptwriter Michael Mitnick rely on effective storytelling, interesting characterizations and period opulence to give the movie its charge. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Richard von Busack Nihilism and the movie's referential mania wear you out. There wasn't enough energy in the first Zombieland to channel into a sequel, and there was little left undone. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
2/4 Lucy in the Sky (2019) Lisa Jensen Despite its lofty, quasi-spiritual ambitions, the movie can't escape the gravitational pull of its own mundane, disappointing plotting and chaotic execution to get into orbit. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
4/4 Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Lisa Jensen Along with the pleasures of watching Ivins in action, answering fans and critics alike with irreverent aplomb, Engel's movie serves up an affectionate portrait of Ivins' longtime friendship with another strong, salty Texas woman, Ann Richards. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
2.5/4 Judy (2019) Lisa Jensen Zellweger shines in Judy's dramatic mannerisms, vibrant emotionalism, and sly, self-deprecating sense of humor. She deserves a movie as complicated as her performance. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
3/4 Downton Abbey (2019) Lisa Jensen The darker complexities of all their relationships can only be hinted at here, but at least Fellowes and company provide two hours of easy entertainment, with plenty to look at along the way. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
3/4 Official Secrets (2019) Lisa Jensen There's nothing slick or flashy about Gavin Hood's tightly constructed and efficient suspense drama. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Lisa Jensen While the woman-empowering message is not subtle, it's worth pondering. And the movie offers up some truly awe-inspiring visuals. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
2.5/4 Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Lisa Jensen The movie never establishes its own viewpoint. It remains a random collection of clips, many fascinating in their own right, that are never quite shaped into a larger picture or more cohesive theme. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/4 Sword of Trust (2019) Lisa Jensen Maron is up to the task; funny on a dime, yet just as persuasive in the character's more serious and revealing moments. He provides the grounding for the rest of the excellent cast to build on. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
Lost & Found (2017) Lisa Jensen What a pleasure it is to discover a quiet, quirky little comedy like Lost and Found. In this Irish anthology of seven interconnected stories, the characters are refreshingly life-sized. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/4 The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Lisa Jensen In a twisted narrative full of surprises -- never assume you know where this movie is going -- the finale packs the most explosive punch. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
2.5/4 Wild Rose (2018) Lisa Jensen Rose-Lynn's oblivious self-absorption is wearying at times. Still, the movie often entertains with cheeky attitude, occasional flights of musical fantasy and droll dialogue EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
Midsommar (2019) Steve Palopoli There's a pitch-black earnestness to the whole thing that suggests Aster is interested not in creating pointless shocks, but in revealing some unpleasant truths about life, the universe and everything. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
4/4 Yesterday (2019) Lisa Jensen Yesterday is a sly, persuasive morality play about the wages and nature of success dressed up as a pop-cultural comedy. It's also entertaining as hell, especially for those of us who do remember The Beatles, thank you very much. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
3.5/4 The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Lisa Jensen It may seem a bit thin, plot-wise, but the storytelling is everything in this splendidly atmospheric mood piece. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
2.5/4 The Dead Don't Die (2019) Lisa Jensen We're forced to endure long stretches of ennui between unsubtle moments that drive home the message, and name-that-zombie celebrity-spotting. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
3.5/4 All Is True (2018) Lisa Jensen These guys know their Bard, and they've come up with a wonderful homage -- witty, atmospheric, at times heartbreaking -- to both the towering genius of myth and the oh-so-fallible man within. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
2/4 The Souvenir (2019) Lisa Jensen The Souvenir may be an act of creative exorcism for [director Joanna Hogg], but it doesn't translate so well to viewers living outside the rarefied atmosphere of her personal life and memory. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
3/4 The White Crow (2018) Lisa Jensen As inherently powerful as the story is, the storytelling is sometimes a little flabby... Still, the movie effectively presents the struggle of artistic integrity against political control. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
2.5/4 Photograph (2019) Lisa Jensen Writer-director Ritesh Batra, who made the charming middle-aged romance The Lunchbox... is not as sure-footed in his storytelling this time. Still, Photograph is an unassuming, life-sized antidote to the grand-scale blockbuster mentality. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3/4 Tolkien (2019) Lisa Jensen Tolkien's journey through the hell of the Somme gives the movie its action, but his inner journey through the landscape of his imagination makes the trip worthwhile. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
3/4 Wild Nights With Emily (2018) Lisa Jensen The movie's comic tone is odd at times. But it's smart in exploring the depth of the bond Emily shared with the woman basically excised from history for 180 years. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
3/5 The Chaperone (2018) Lisa Jensen It's an entertaining look at a culture in transition. And it captures some of the reckless spirit that Louise Brooks would hone onscreen during the next decade of her brief but memorable career. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
3/4 Ash Is Purest White (2018) Lisa Jensen It's stylish and admirable, often surprising in interesting ways, but rarely engaging. Tao Zhao's performance, however, is totemic. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
3/4 The Mustang (2019) Lisa Jensen The analogy between wild-spirited mustangs and incarcerated men who have lost their freedom is pretty standard stuff, yet the nuances of character, story and subtle, yet profoundly felt emotion keep viewers involved. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
2.5/4 Hotel Mumbai (2018) Lisa Jensen There's nothing especially transcendent in Maras' storytelling -- some epiphany that would make wading through all the bloodshed more meaningful. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
Us (2019) Steve Palopoli Peele's social commentary is as potent as ever, and it works on a lot more levels here than in Get Out. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
2.5/4 The Wedding Guest (2018) Lisa Jensen Patel's uncompromising presence gives the movie its backbone. It's too bad he wasn't given more of a part to play. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
3/4 Never Look Away (2018) Lisa Jensen Its three-hour-plus running time gives Von Donnersmarck plenty of room to tell his story in meticulous detail, but the storytelling loses tension in the midsection. Still, the journey of its protagonist... remains compelling. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
3/4 Todos lo saben (2018) Lisa Jensen It's interesting to see how Fahardi's grasp of intricate human interaction translates to a more open, expressive culture. Everybody Knows teems with life lived in the moment, even if the destination is less compelling than the journey. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
Late Afternoon (2017) Lisa Jensen Louise Bagnall's lyrical, emotionally stirring Irish entry Late Afternoon, beautifully rendered in fluid pastel watercolors, features an older woman diving deep into the well of memory to piece together fragments of a life she's forgotten. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Skin (2018) Lisa Jensen Explores deeply ingrained racism and its consequences in a manner better suited to The Twilight Zone. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
() Lisa Jensen The filmmaking is crisp and intense, but Sorogoyen has no exit strategy; the story just stops. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Detainment (2018) Lisa Jensen Marvelously well-acted (especially by its young stars) and discreet about how much of the crime it chooses to show onscreen, it nevertheless drags viewers along in an atmosphere of non-stop dread. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Marguerite (2017) Lisa Jensen A beautifully acted tale of the bond between an elderly woman and the younger woman who is her visiting caregiver. It's an oasis of tenderness and compassion. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Animal Behaviour (2018) Lisa Jensen The gag wears a little thin, but crisp dialogue keeps it amusing. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
3/4 Capernaum (2018) Lisa Jensen In young Al Rafeea, a real-life Syrian transplant and first-time actor found on the streets of Beirut, Labaki has found the perfect vessel to express her views on the refugee experience. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2019
3.5/4 Roma (2018) Lisa Jensen Roma builds to a celebration of simple virtues that are so undervalued in the current socio-political climate... And Cuarón observes these values in practice, with artistry and perception. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2019
2/4 The Favourite (2018) Lisa Jensen The characters as written never achieve the resonance that would keep viewers engaged and invested in them. They remain pawns in an exercise of mannered absurdity. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2018
2.5/4 At Eternity's Gate (2018) Lisa Jensen For all of Schnabel's determined technique, nothing in his movie ever quite achieves the emotional clarity of a single Van Gogh painting. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018