Fresh Fiction

Fresh Fiction is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Courtney Howard, James Clay, Preston Barta
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) James Clay At its core WHERE'D, YOU GO, BERNADETTE isn't a film about mental illness it's about creating and finding meaning in that pursuit while balancing a family. The year is 2019; we can and will have it all. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
B+ Blinded by the Light (2019) Courtney Howard Gurinder Chadha brings the connection between music, the listener, and the artist to life masterfully. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
B The Kitchen (2019) Courtney Howard Its Scorsese-adjacent anti-heroes are placed in a Cassevetes-style playground, capturing feminine frustrations, fearlessness and ferocity. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
B Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Courtney Howard Captures the Latinx character's plucky spirit and soulful heart with an adult sense of irreverence and humanity. We don't have to look hard to find the real treasure here. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
C Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) James Clay SCARY STORIES rests somewhere inside the popularity of Stephen King and STRANGER THINGS to a frustrating degree. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
B+ Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) James Clay There's a slice of heightened realism that the director indulges in to create a vision where fact, fiction, and farce can live happily together. This film is his most celebratory outing yet - a youthful film about growing old. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
C Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Courtney Howard Tarantino walks a fine line between sincere and self-indulgent. Fittingly, the characters and the titular town itself echo those same qualities. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
B- Stuber (2019) James Clay The action and comedy are supposed to work in tandem with a film like STUBER, and they each feel like they belong in different movies here. There's very little cohesiveness in terms of its tone. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
B Crawl (2019) Courtney Howard Aja and company teach us the skills to endure in the face of death, but also that living in Florida isn't for the faint of heart. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2019
B- The Lion King (2019) Courtney Howard Magic and majesty are recaptured to varying degrees of success, but, more importantly, this provides an awe-inducing showcase for visual effects and technology. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
B Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) James Clay The most important aspect is one the film never forgets: At one point or another, we are all still that awkward kid from high school. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
B+ Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Courtney Howard Gary Dauberman cleverly crafts a disarmingly fun fireworks festival of frights. Simply put, it's a kaleidoscope of nightmare fuel. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2019
A- Midsommar (2019) Preston Barta 'Midsommar' feels as if a satanic eye sits at Aster's shoulder, nudging him further into the dark. It's a devilish horror feast about codependency. Florence Pugh gives a performance that absolutely slays. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
D+ Child's Play (2019) Courtney Howard This splatterrific slasher can't figure out how to blend all its heady ideas into a cohesive, intelligent and terrifying narrative. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
D Shaft (2019) Courtney Howard What should be an irreverent send-up turns into a glorification of the good old days of toxic masculinity. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
A The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) James Clay They take a self-aggrandizing journey that's epic in their minds, yet so small as far as the big picture is concerned. However, Fails' writing and Talbot's direction puts every piece of love in those details to give the story gravitas. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
C- Men in Black: International (2019) James Clay MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL is a film that refuses to take any risks with its' story, tone, or humor. Instead director F. Gary Gray alters the approach with a film void of charisma despite its' two irresistible stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
B Dark Phoenix (2019) James Clay DARK PHOENIX is going to be one of the more divisive blockbusters this summer. It has many problems but finds success by diving deeper into the intimate relationships of its characters. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
C The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) James Clay This is a film that promises life lessons from the voice of our pets. What we get in return is just another spastic trip down the kiddie aisle. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
C The Dead Don't Die (2019) James Clay Jim Jarmusch is an introspective filmmaker that slyly gets to the point he is making as an artist. With an effortlessly cool bravado, THE DEAD DON'T DIE limps around until finally crawling back six feet under. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
C Starfish (2016) James Clay It's a film that morphs into (and between) different genres that boast talent behind the camera. But it's a bit too inaccessible. EDIT
Posted Jun 3, 2019
B- Rocketman (2019) Preston Barta 'Rocketman' is about the most ambitious and lavish musical biopic you'll find. While its reach far exceeds its grasp, for a Saturday night kind of movie, it's all right. EDIT
Posted Jun 2, 2019
B The Souvenir (2019) James Clay [ Joanna] Hogg directs from an academic standpoint; one that comments on intellectual aspects of the film, while being a piece of art in and of itself. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
B Ma (2019) James Clay MA is a movie that finds its own brand of cheap thrills from keeping the plot predictable. It swerves from expectations and drives head-on into the deranged. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Courtney Howard Despite taking a few cues from the 2014 regenerated jump-off, it delivers satisfying thrills & terrific spectacle when it comes to what fans expect from these kinds of films. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2019
C Aladdin (2019) Courtney Howard This live-action remake doesn't come close to equaling the splendor of the original, but it certainly offers a fun musical spectacular in the process. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2019
B- The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Courtney Howard Director Ry Russo-Young gives audiences a sweet, swoon-worthy romance in which to escape. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
B The Biggest Little Farm (2018) James Clay THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM can become a hodgepodge of scrapbooking, but it's impossible to deny that these people have worked so hard to bring their vision to life. It shows what just a few people can accomplish if you just stay the course. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
D The Hustle (2019) James Clay THE HUSTLE may be one of the quietest audience-going experiences that has graced the genre in quite some time. This is a film with no identity, no grace and walks around aimlessly for 90 minutes. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
A- John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Courtney Howard An eye-popping, jaw-dropping, show-stopping next chapter that extends the world-building beautifully, whilst assigning meaningful resonance to the character-driven action. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
D+ I'll Take Your Dead (2018) Preston Barta I'LL TAKE YOUR DEAD fills its storyline with too much nonsense. The scenes of horror never ring true, and the film buries its potential to be unique. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
B- Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Courtney Howard Like staring into a neon-lit vortex of cuteness, the film delivers a blissful sense of spirit with a hero who captivates with his charm, outrageous wit, and squishy body. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
B Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Preston Barta EXTREMELY WICKED may dabble in some cliché drama territory every now and then, but it doesn't detract from delivering the truth of the story, which is: The truth is scary. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
B- Body at Brighton Rock (2019) James Clay The most pleasing part about Benjamin's film debut is the material isn't treated as a hallowed story; this a horror film that's looking to have fun with minimalism. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
C+ The Intruder (2019) Courtney Howard Deon Taylor leans into hairpin turns with bravura and swagger, all whilst delivering genre-certified winks and nods to its unabashed insanity. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
A- Avengers: Endgame (2019) James Clay These films are essentially a bottle and a warm blanket in the thunderstorm of life. AVENGERS: ENDGAME pays complete fan service to our favorite moments. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Preston Barta ENDGAME is not what you're expecting, yet it's also exactly the impressive epic you're chasing. It takes our central heroes to new places and wraps up Marvel's decade-long journey so beautifully. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
C Stockholm (2018) James Clay Overall this caper is a disappointment that leaves you captured by its promise and held hostage by the results. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Courtney Howard This induces gasps, giggles and goosebumps a' plenty. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
B- The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) James Clay THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING suffers, at times, from losing the magic in service of the plot, but Joe Cornish makes a film so delightful that it's difficult to deny. Welcome to every 12 years old's new favorite movie. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
B Little Woods (2018) James Clay While the film simmers with depression, there's hope after discovering [Nia] DaCosta's cinematic voice. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
C- Teen Spirit (2018) James Clay Bottom line, TEEN SPIRIT is a phony piece of filmmaking that wants a seat at the table. Rather than making a film that feels organic, its fight against its more empathic instincts and falls prey to its shortcomings. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2019
A- High Life (2018) Preston Barta HIGH LIFE is a high concept space thriller that pulls from the darkest, most uncomfortable, and perverted corners of the human mind. If you can stomach it, it's a religious experience to absorb. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
D Hellboy (2019) Preston Barta While David Harbour does his best as our new beefy, red hero, he can't save HELLBOY from collapsing on screen. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
C+ Missing Link (2019) Courtney Howard While the film is a tad slight when it comes to narrative gravitas and character pathos, it's ultimately entertaining, humorous, light-hearted revelry. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
B- The Silence (2019) Preston Barta THE SILENCE may have lost the race to the screen to make a profound impact with its originality, but there are enough whispers of creative intensity and tender performances sprinkled throughout to give it flight. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
C- Little (2019) Courtney Howard With all this talent assembled in one spot, and good anti-bullying messages and sentiments on female empowerment, it's a shame Little doesn't have a bigger impact. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
B The Wind (2018) James Clay The best horror turns the mirror on ourselves. This outing has flashes of fright, but it falters a bit on the editing front. Either way, I can't wait to see what [Emma] Tammi has up her sleeve next. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
C+ The Unicorn Store (2017) Preston Barta UNICORN STORE has a stable of ideas that scatter like glitter. It can occasionally be a delightful and charming story of self-discovery, but all too often it'll lose the reins and buck wild. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
C+ The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Preston Barta The Curse of La Llorona is another film in the Conjuring universe that suffers from idiotic characters and a lack of genre innovation. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019