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- The Gentlemen (2020) Preston Barta 'The Gentlemen' may slip your mind as the year goes on, but for a January movie, there aren't as many wrinkles in its pressing as you'd think. It's just a secondhand store-bought product. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2020
C+ Bad Boys for Life (2020) James Clay This trilogy of films has been plastered in a tacky brand of masculinity that was always self-aware at how unabashedly detached it was from any sense of reality. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Like a Boss (2020) Courtney Howard Despite its sweet sentiments about female friendship, its connect-the-dots formula, mixed messages and stale characters and conflicts overwhelm, making this a messterpiece. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
4/5 Bombshell (2019) Preston Barta Witness some of the year's best performances, sharpest writing and tasteful direction. Even the film's musical score, which uses women's voices, is innovative and intriguing. Let it amaze you. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Cats (2019) Courtney Howard Its wild, wacky spirit and crazy creative choices make it an equal parts awful and audacious spectacle to behold. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Courtney Howard With lazy conventions and convolution, puddle-deep platitudes and cheap nods to nostalgia, this saga concludes on a wildly unsatisfactory note. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
C 6 Underground (2019) Courtney Howard It delivers on its promise to be the most Michael Bay movie yet. Make of that what you will. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
B Dark Waters (2019) James Clay The movie lands somewhere between progress being possible and realizing that maybe the damage has been done. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
A- Little Women (2019) Courtney Howard Greta Gerwig offers a perfect, passionate portrait of a timeless classic reinvented for a new generation. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
A 1917 (2019) Courtney Howard This immersive, visceral experience transcends the continuous-shot concept to augment the narrative's unrelenting nature and the propulsive character-driven scenarios. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Courtney Howard This biopic delivers heartrending resonance and modern relevance. Most importantly, it exonerates a hero. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
5/5 Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) Preston Barta 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' has the ingredients of a high-dollar buddy comedy, but it also steers toward quieter, more mature territory that ultimately gives it greater cinematic electricity. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2019
C- Frozen II (2019) Courtney Howard With thoughtful ingredients in the mix, the filmmakers can't manage to coax out some semblance of a cogent, coherent, compelling fairy tale for the ages. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
B The Report (2019) James Clay Republican, Democrat, or Independent, the only side THE REPORT chooses is the fight for human rights. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
A Doctor Sleep (2019) Courtney Howard Flanagan's hallucinogenic horrorscape artfully channels Stephen King's waking nightmares and familial trauma. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
C- Last Christmas (2019) Courtney Howard The concept, weaving George Michael's music throughout, plays close cousin to a jukebox musical. Yet it would've fared better had it immersed itself in that innovative idea. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
B The King (2019) James Clay Cobbling together Shakespeare's prose into a story of epic proportions would be challenging for any filmmaker to undertake, and in light of many narrative conflicts, Michod's work handles it with grace. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
B Motherless Brooklyn (2019) James Clay MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN is an audacious film noir that breaks the conventions while celebrating the tropes. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
A The Current War (2017) Preston Barta What so easily could have been a standard account, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon uses all components of filmmaking to work in tandem. It's fall's first bolt of cinematic electricity. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
C- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Courtney Howard It feels like a cheap grab at commodifying the property's nostalgia & its fans' fondness for feminist features. These iterations of "Strong Female Characters" prove weak. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
A- Dolor y gloria (2019) James Clay There's no shortage of films about struggling artists, and Almodovar's film beautifully epitomizes the concept. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
B Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) James Clay It's a sequel that moves things forward without pandering towards its audience, even if it is a bit of a pointless trip. With that being said, let's just bite the bullet and stop here. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Courtney Howard It delivers a dull story that hinges on two women fighting and, worse, it fails to individually give very capable actresses anything resembling Memorable Movie Moments. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
B+ Greener Grass (2019) Courtney Howard With its kitschy saturated pop palette and wired, wacky surrealist bent, Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe's Greener Grass is like Lilly Pulitzer on MDMA. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
B Addams Family Values (1993) James Clay Sonnenfeld expands the world and makes the film a bit more palatable with a sketch comedy feel that lets the Addams' twisted sense of humor take center stage. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2019
C Annabelle Comes Home (2019) James Clay While the filmmaking displayed on a technical level allows the film to achieve heightened production values, this one can't help but play exclusively in the realm of cheap thrills. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2019
C Judy (2019) Courtney Howard This end-of-the-road portrait of the eponymous superstar doesn't stand out in a crowd, ironically unlike the heroine herself who assuredly did. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B- Homewrecker (2019) James Clay Many will remember the film for its third act reveals and Chong's unforgettable turn that elevates the material into a captivating state of affairs. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
C Gemini Man (2019) James Clay It's just a bit ironic that for films that are attempting to break ground on a visual level, feel so narratively antiquated. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
B Wrinkles the Clown (2019) Preston Barta What unfolds is a twisted experience that is unlike any other documentary. The journey of being wowed, confused and shocked is something that will never leave your memory. It's a new kind of nightmare. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
B The Pool (2018) James Clay It's like crossing over into another dimension of filmmaking that's earnest as it is ridiculous. To say this piece of Thai cinema is hyperbolic would be an understatement. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2019
C+ Sea Fever (2019) James Clay Hardiman's film isn't searching for the big explosive thrills that you see in more sensationalized tales of the high sea. Her movie is in search of mediation on actualizing the impending doom of its characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2019
D+ Lucy in the Sky (2019) Courtney Howard In trying to understand what drove this woman to have a psychological breakdown, the filmmakers turn her into an embarrassing parody. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
B+ Wyrm (2019) James Clay WYRM is a unique movie that has the spirit of youth coursing through every fiber of its being. It's a treat seeing a filmmaker coming out of the left field to make a touching film that feels like it has always existed. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
B- In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) James Clay While results may vary, there's a fascinating center to Mickle's film that sells the material. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
A- The Death of Dick Long (2019) James Clay Coming to terms with the ending may be a tough pill to swallow, but Scheinert's endearing sensibilities make the journey smooth. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
B The Wave (2019) James Clay The Wave is never too eager to impress its audience. It creates a more inviting atmosphere that elaborates on some heady topics, while still never losing sight of being a goofy comedy. Overall, this a daring, sharp, and satisfying jolt to the system. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
B- Color Out of Space (2019) Preston Barta Richard Stanley's 'Color Out of Space' is a tasty bowl of WTF soup. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
B+ First Love (2019) Preston Barta Takashi Miike consistently keeps you on your toes and finds amusing ways to reconfigure familiar plotlines. 'First Love' is a toned down Miike film, but the fun of his story will cause your heart to beat for it. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
C+ In the Tall Grass (2019) Preston Barta 'In the Tall Grass' has many of the elements needed to shape into a fine creep show. But after a while, the wheels begin to spin, and you can't escape the feeling that it should have been mowed down to a short. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
C+ Ad Astra (2019) Courtney Howard James Gray's space odyssey through a protagonist's purgatory is aesthetically appealing, yet emotionally stunted. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
B+ Waves (2019) James Clay Shults is looking for how to mend the decisions we make and reckon with a life that has changed so drastically. Life is all about peaks and valleys, and WAVES is about what we do after the crash. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
C Satanic Panic (2019) James Clay SATANIC PANIC, doesn't fully reckon with its own potential, it's filled with love for the genre and an aesthetic that feels like a self-assured post modern take on horror. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
A Uncut Gems (2019) James Clay It's an absolute train wreck watch, and it's a career-best for Sandler. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
B- The Laundromat (2019) James Clay Soderbergh, please, never stop being you. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
A- Joker (2019) James Clay JOKER looks for human decency rather than anarchic wish fulfillment. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
C Ford v Ferrari (2019) James Clay This pompous piece of filmmaking is surprising coming from Mangold, who has found a groove as a director making very entertaining, yet reserved films. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
C+ Bad Education (2019) James Clay Overall, BAD EDUCATION is serviceable, but it could have been given a boost with more substance from its side plots. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
A Knives Out (2019) James Clay This film is a total bullseye from Johnson who made one of the absolute most fulfilling films of the year. Run, don't walk - KNIVES OUT flat-out rules! EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
B+ Jojo Rabbit (2019) James Clay Waititi has an uncanny ability to find strange interpretations of dire war-torn situations. He's not just making this film for the sheer shock value; Waititi is far too clever for that. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019