Bitch Flicks

Bitch Flicks is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Deborah Krieger, Ren Jender
Rating Title/Year Author
Pina (2011) Ren Jender [Pina] capture, in original and striking ways, the beauty and mystery of [Pina] Bausch's work by bringing us right inside of it. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
How to Survive a Plague (2012) Ren Jender One of the most moving scenes in the film is close to the end when we see the survivors in a series of long, silent close-ups, as they are now... jowls, grey hair and aging itself becomes a triumph, as it rarely is on American movie screens. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) Ren Jender Sitting through three hours in a movie theater and focusing on one woman's life (especially a queer woman's) was a relief and something I could use a lot more of. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
The Punk Singer (2013) Ren Jender Sini Anderson's The Punk Singer is all about music and politics: feminism and women, while focusing on one person, Kathleen Hanna, formerly of the bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and current front-woman of The Julie Ruin. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) Ren Jender Perhaps the most infuriating thing about Inside Llewyn Davis is how rabidly (and anachronistically) apolitical it is. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
The Great Beauty (2013) Ren Jender The Great Beauty is about a bored, jaded man but doesn't leave its audience bored or jaded which is itself an achievement. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Philomena (2013) Ren Jender Philomena is another Oscar-nominated film which features an older woman, and it left me frustrated... EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Nebraska (2013) Ren Jender I went into Nebraska, hopeful but cautious. But in this film [Alexander] Payne seems to be going not sideways, but backwards. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
20 Feet From Stardom (2013) Ren Jender The Oscar-nominated documentary 20 Feet From Stardom attempts to right this injustice by focusing on [Merry] Clayton and a number of other backup singers whose voices we know, but whose names we often do not. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Stranger by the Lake (2013) Ren Jender Distributors seem not to realize that an explicit film about male cruising has the potential to attract an audience beyond just gay men: many women, straight and queer, are curious about the type of anonymous, repercussion-free sex shown in the film. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You (2013) Ren Jender The reason to see the film is not for the interviews with bleary-eyed Famous People Who Saw Mabley Perform Live or even the interviews with comedians whose work she influenced, but to see Mabley's work itself. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Anita (2013) Ren Jender In spite of politicians and courts still explicitly or implicitly labeling women as liars when they seek justice against powerful men, we need to see at least one happy ending to give the rest of us the fortitude to continue fighting. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
In a World ... (2013) Ren Jender Many of the contrivances seem like placeholders in the script, meant to be replaced with better thought out action later on, but the movie still contains some truths that don't make their way into films directed and written by men. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Short Term 12 (2013) Ren Jender Short Term 12 gets right for much of the film, what so many other films about human services get wrong. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013) Ren Jender In the same way that disabled and older people shouldn't be called "inspiring" just for living their lives... the film shows us that the effects of aging for [Elaine] Stritch aren't tragic but just inconveniences and obstacles for her to work around. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
The Long Goodbye (1973) Ren Jender [Leigh] Brackett's script and particularly [Elliott] Gould's performance are like a mashup of the best parts of 1930s and 40s screwball comedies and detective movies from the same era with 70s realism thrown in. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Under the Skin (2013) Ren Jender The problem is: Johansson's character knows, from the start of the film how to be, by all appearances, a human woman, and the filmmakers never seem curious how she learned to do so. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Freeway (1996) Ren Jender Freeway is far from a perfect film but well worth seeing, even for those who don't count themselves as fans of Witherspoon. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Belle (2013) Ren Jender Belle has a great lead performance from a Black actress in a Black woman director's film of a Black woman's script about a Black woman in European history (who wasn't a slave): an opportunity that doesn't come very often for audiences. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
I Believe in Unicorns (2014) Ren Jender [Leah] Meyerhoff explained how difficult casting Davina was and how the filmmaking team went through hundreds of actresses before they found Dyer. I wish this writer-director had put that same effort into writing a coherent script for her talented actors. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Palo Alto (2013) Ren Jender Disaffected, wealthy young people aren't new subjects for a film, but perhaps because [Gia] Coppola is not far from the age (and background) of her characters some of the details resonate. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
We Are the Best! (2013) Ren Jender We Are The Best isn't quite as sharp or funny as [Lukas Moodysson's] two previous films. Still, the film is delightful and, like Moodysson's other films, has special insight into the lives of adolescent girls. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Wish You Were Here (1987) Ren Jender The script by director David Leland was the perfect vehicle for his young star [Emily Lloyd] who is alternately hilariously rude and vulnerable, an unusual mixture for a woman or girl character in films, TV or literature even today. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Obvious Child (2014) Ren Jender Where Obvious Child succeeds is in letting women be funny, not in the faux-humor of humiliation that too many comedic actresses in movies are subjected to these days, but in actual laugh-out-loud funny lines and situations. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Uncertain Terms (2014) Ren Jender I'm pretty tired of seeing, especially in indie films, "nice guys" with reasonable explanations for doing abusive, criminal things to women. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Anne of Green Gables (1934) Ren Jender Most of us, even those of us who don't have children, can recognize excellent children's programming when we see it, like the 80s made-for-television Anne of Green Gables. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Kate Bornstein Is a Queer & Pleasant Danger (2013) Ren Jender Seeing [Kate] Bornstein portrayed in a vacuum in the film is frustrating... we don't really see or hear prominent trans activists and public figures talk in any depth about her influence on their own work and lives. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Lift (2001) Ren Jender [The script] has a muddled and clichéd it's-all-Mom's-fault subplot about Niecy's relationship with her mother, but the scenes of Niecy trying to navigate between her criminal, personal, and family lives present questions that don't have easy answers. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne (2013) Ren Jender The filmmakers, with their clumsy reenactments, don't seem quite up to dissecting the complexities that Doris's life presents, but we still think about them, even after the movie is over. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Whale Rider (2002) Ren Jender [Lisa] Gerrard's ethereal vocal style combined with electronic flourishes make for an unusual soundtrack, but one that meshes with the film's bracing mixture of mysticism and realism set against the strange and beautiful New Zealand landscape. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Violette (2013) Ren Jender [Violette] is a nice change in that it focuses on not one, but two women writers who work hard over a period of years to become successful artists (both critically and financially) in their own right. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Our Song (2000) Ren Jender The film is a treasure trove of thoughtful characters who are women of color. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) Ren Jender A film that does seem eerily relevant right now is The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
High Art (1998) Ren Jender The film's treatment of women's sexuality is a nice contrast to the lesbian-bed-death clichés (and anti-chemistry) of Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in [Lisa] Cholodenko's more recent The Kids Are All Right. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Kelly & Cal (2014) Ren Jender A film with real distribution, directed by a woman as well as written by one is a rare enough occurrence that I wish I didn't have to point out all that's wrong with Kelly & Cal. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Pride (2014) Ren Jender In many ways Pride is a very conventional film. But the mix of real-life characters and events keeps Pride from becoming saccharine. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Walking and Talking (1996) Ren Jender Laura and Amelia are allowed to behave imperfectly the way male characters are allowed to be in many films, but women hardly ever are. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
The Skeleton Twins (2014) Ren Jender [The Skeleton Twins] piles on the tragedy, so it becomes ridiculous. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Dear White People (2014) Ren Jender Perhaps the best thing Dear White People will do, like Go Fish before it, is to become a gateway for films and television in the same vein. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Laggies (2014) Ren Jender As I sat through [Lynn] Shelton's latest movie, Laggies, I couldn't help feeling deflated. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
The Innocents (1961) Ren Jender In horror movies women are often a sobbing mess for much of the film, but [Deborah] Kerr soldiers through the scares, clear-eyed, until the end when her tears are truly earned. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
War Zone (1998) Ren Jender [Maggie Hadleigh-West] expertly edits together 53 of these men on camera and doesn't just show the harassment but also shows the interviews Hadleigh-West conducts with these men right after they catcall her. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Beyond the Lights (2014) Ren Jender Beyond The Lights gives the audience many other simple pleasures and, at least for its duration, makes us wonder what else we could ever want from the movies. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1989) Ren Jender Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, is one of the few films in theaters or on TV which contains both a coming-out story and another parallel, equally compelling story. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Get On Up (2014) Ren Jender Whenever producers weakly say they couldn't find good Black actresses for roles that usually end up going to white women, I can't help thinking of all the talented Black women going to waste in films like this one. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
She's Beautiful When She's Angry (2014) Ren Jender She's Beautiful When She's Angry's portrait of "This is what feminism looked like," seems lacking. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Rocks in My Pockets (2014) Ren Jender We have had few if any first-person accounts from "crazy" women filmmakers about how they see their own lives and minds. Animator and artist Signe Baumane's first feature, Rocks in My Pockets, seeks to change that situation. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
Inherent Vice (2014) Ren Jender I can count on one hand the times I've fallen asleep in a theater; at [Inherent] Vice I suspect my body was telling me this film was never going to get better, so why not do something more worthwhile with my time? EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
Killer of Sheep (1977) Ren Jender The differences between the '70s and now are deeper than just a matter of hairstyles, fashion, and phones. We can see that difference clearly, and beautifully, in Black writer-director Charles Burnett's haunting first film, Killer of Sheep. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019
Citizenfour (2014) Ren Jender Citizenfour, I had to keep reminding myself, shows us history in the making. I had to keep telling myself what I was seeing was important because most of it is otherwise pretty dull. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2019