The Muse/Jezebel

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Jasper Mall (2020) Rich Juzwiak A meditative, sensitive, and bemused portrait of a dying mall in Alabama that was filmed in 2018. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
Promising Young Woman (2020) Cate Young Fennell's story is precisely the kind of grand, distorted examination of trauma and love that I'd like to see more of. I just wish she'd gone back and patched up all the holes. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Hazel Cills All the potential -- for her character and for this sequel, her fighting abilities, the kinds of villains she could face, the action scenes -- feels dulled here. In the end somehow I wanted more of Wonder Woman. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2020
Let Them All Talk (2020) Joan Summers Let Them All Talk is perfectly delightful, but it's Bergen's performance that binds the whole thing together. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical! (2020) Megan Reynolds What was most striking about the experience is that watching the show felt like the familiar slog of watching an awards show -- frequent commercial breaks that were a relief instead of a nuisance, time moving both faster and slower than it should. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
Sound of Metal (2019) Maria Sherman While this film, on paper, may appear to exude the sentimentality of a sports film defined by its protagonist injuring themselves, Sound of Metal avoids schmaltz and instead, cuts straight to the heart. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2020
Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special (2020) Rich Juzwiak This trifling excuse for a soundstage concert is hardly Carey's definitive statement on her beloved holiday. It's just another ode to it in Carey's increasingly heaving songbook of such odes. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
Freaky (2020) Rich Juzwiak Freaky's blood bath flows with the best of classic slashers, but it also wears its heart on its sleeve -- no dismemberment necessary. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
Bend It Like Beckham (2002) Shannon Melero For any film to be a great sports film it must have staying power, beyond ample training montages and a great comeback game, and Bend It Like Beckham has all of that in spades and more. EDIT
Posted Nov 10, 2020
Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine (2020) Hazel Cills Like many funny people who get a few minutes of viral fame on platforms like TikTok, or Youtube, or Twitter, Cooper doesn't move beyond her shtick in Everything's Fine, a shtick that feels tiresome the third time you see it in the special. EDIT
Posted Oct 27, 2020
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Rich Juzwiak Much of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm exists to shoot fish in a barrel and is fueled by confirmation bias. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky (2020) Maria Sherman While there's not a lot of new information here, it is a nuanced and exciting introduction to an exciting new girl group, and that is all it needs to be. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Hazel Cills An honest, anxious movie about the perils of selling out and recalibrating what success actually feels like, especially in an industry that says it values your voice but only to a point. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020) Rich Juzwiak American Murder is the stillest, most bone-chilling found footage horror movie I've ever seen. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2020
This Is Paris (2020) Rich Juzwiak I'll give her this: The utter audacity of releasing something so invested in reexamining Paris Hilton's legacy in 2020 is utterly astonishing. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2020
Love, Guaranteed (2020) Maria Sherman Some pleasures can be temporary, disposable, a Friday night watch disregarded on Saturday morning. Love, Guaranteed is a perfect film to turn on and tune out. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
Class Action Park (2020) Hazel Cills The moment the documentary strays from its campfire tale quality and confronts the elephant in the room -- the deaths that occurred at this supposedly fun waterpark -- Class Action Park misses an opportunity to tell a bigger story. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (2019) Maria Sherman Distractions can be therapeutic and asking questions about the unknown an exercise in critical thinking. The Netflix documentary short John Was Trying to Contact Aliens makes that case in a surprising and evocative way. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020) Rich Juzwiak The problem with keeping such material breezy is that it runs the risk of perpetuating the very exploitation it suggests. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
Yes, God, Yes (2019) Cate Young Yes, God, Yes does an excellent job of relaying how all-consuming the shame of Catholic guilt can be. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2020
Black Is King (2020) Tarisai Ngangura In Black Is King, Black faces are a constellation in the frame, winking at the camera, flirting with spectators while refusing to be on display. They are not being watched in as much as they are letting you see. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2020
The Kissing Booth 2 (2020) Maria Sherman Think American Pie-meets-A Cinderella Story. The combination works because it respects the in-betweenness of adolescence -- and because the chemistry between actors is detectable, even when scenes onscreen feel improbable. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
Temple Grandin (2010) Anna North Temple Grandin won't make audiences understand autism -- the condition is too complex to be fully captured in a two-hour TV movie, if it can be captured at all. But the film may help us understand her, to all of our benefit. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) Emily Alford By subverting expectations of familiar rom-com tropes, the film manages to offer something slightly different while remaining wholly comforting. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2020
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Maria Sherman A silly, sincere romp that is mostly a fun celebration of the six-decades long competition, if not a perfect satire. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2020
You Should Have Left (2020) Emily Alford It's standard creepy-house murder mystery movie fare that never quite comes together. But while the film is clumsily executed and heavy-handed, the idea is fascinating. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2020
365 Days (2020) Tracy Clark-Flory Like a big-budget porn film with dramatically thinned out narrative and character development, a bunch of unambiguously abusive "foreplay" added in, and all of the hardcore elements taken out. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
Infamous (2020) Maria Sherman I recommend watching Infamous and thinking about it as Bella Thorne fan fiction: over the top, absurd, and a welcomed distraction divorced from any materiality. I also recommend watching it drunk. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (2019) Rich Juzwiak The documentary is at its best when it contrasts how Stokes's recording was received at the time versus how the value of her work has appreciated. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) Megan Reynolds It's as if Davidson is merely playing another version of himself, incapable of stretching beyond the bounds of his own personality and his own life-not necessarily his fault, but definitely the fault of the material. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2020
The High Note (2020) Rich Juzwiak This is Ganata's second film in a row that operates as an industry fantasy, sanding down edges when it should be poking holes. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2020
The Lovebirds (2020) Megan Reynolds It's a fun, light-hearted romp that dispenses with much of the romance in favor of a larger, more pressing event. EDIT
Posted May 27, 2020
AKA Jane Roe (2020) Emily Alford The country's failure to do right by McCorvey is similar to its failure to protect access to abortion; the documentary, however, remains too chickens--- to interrogate that relationship. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2020
Seberg (2019) Hazel Cills Seberg drops the ball, approaching the actress's story and harassment at the hands of the government with surprising cowardice, taking an unfounded "both sides" stance in portraying the FBI investigation. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2020
Tigertail (2020) Megan Reynolds Truthfully, Tigertail is Pin-Jui's story through and through, and the film would've benefitted from tightening its focus... EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
Swallow (2019) Cate Young With little more than a worried expression or a raised eyebrow, she (Bennett) conveys how much Hunter is trying in earnest to be the '50s-style housewife that her husband's family expects. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
Pete Davidson: Alive From New York (2020) Megan Reynolds A tight 49-minute show that lacks the tick-tock rhythm of a comedy special and feels more like a therapeutic happy hour. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Cate Young In the end, Birds of Prey feels very much like Oceans 8-it's a sincerely enjoyable film that largely operates at an above-average level of entertainment with a few sparks of genuine brilliance in between EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2020
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Joan Summers Sonic the Hedgehog is a failure of the imagination so catastrophic, so unfathomably antipathetic to the very idea of itself, that sitting down to write this review felt like sawing a hole in my own skull. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) Megan Reynolds The sequel fails to capture the giddy magic of the first, in part because the success of the first was so astronomical. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Zola (2020) Cate Young From the writing and directing to the costuming and production design, Bravo and her team transform the famed series of tweets into an of-the-moment film that captures the same frenetic energy of the story. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Cate Young For those outside media or film who may not have followed the many tendrils of Weinstein's various abuses, The Assistant feels like a strange rendering of a broken system that should simply be left to continue on unchanged. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Rich Juzwiak This movie. This movie. I'm going to write more about it shortly, but now two days after watching it, I cannot believe how good it is. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Atlantics (2019) Rich Juzwiak In a rather self-possessed way, this movie is wild and never really runs out of ways to surprise as a pan-genre exercise. It's weird and depressing and spooky but also ravishingly romantic. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Freedom (2019) Rich Juzwiak Liberté is a brilliant portrait, but one that's more appealing to think about than to sit through. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Parasite (2019) Rich Juzwiak Parasite was too on the nose too often for me to give it my full heart. However, I loved an ambiguity at its core... EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show (2019) Dylan Rupert You ever watch a Sonny & Cher Christmas Special just to soak up that holiday wistfulness?... Kacey's trying to access this mood, no doubt, but nostalgia's mysterious algorithm of aesthetic and age is elusive to a production so shiny and new. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
The Knight Before Christmas (2019) Kelly Faircloth None of it makes any sense, and it's fine. In fact, I love it! EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Cate Young Despite its commercial framing as a classic outlaw narrative, Queen & Slim is simply a gorgeous reflection of the hope that can emerge amid the darkness of futility. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Charlie's Angels (2019) Hazel Cills There's the sense that Charlie's Angels is skimming the surface of its comedic potential, especially with Banks directing. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019