Battleship Pretension

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) David Bax Remember My Name is less about the grand life of a rock star than about a man stubbornly refusing to change, even in the face of death. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
The Man Who Laughs (1928) David Bax Leni's mastery of framing, depth, lighting and blocking are rivaled only by Veidt's performance, a thing of flawless beauty. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
The Lion King (2019) Tyler Smith The filmmakers take the most memorable moments and characters from the original movie and drain them of everything that gave them life in the first place. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2019
The Farewell (2019) David Bax The Farewell is not designed to send you back out into the world feeling that you've learned or accomplished something but rather that you've only just begun a new relationship with life and death. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
The Art of Self-Defense (2019) David Bax ...arch affectation ... gets in the way of Stearns' most potent and pertinent ambitions. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
Complete Unknown (2016) Tyler Smith The film becomes an effective exploration of the transformative nature of art and creation. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Operation Avalanche (2016) Tyler Smith Engagement with the audience is relegated mostly to nods and winks, with a chuckle here and there, rather than crafting a thought-provoking story with compelling characters. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Night Train to Munich (1940) Tyler Smith A thoroughly engrossing movie that welcomes its audience to thrill at the ever-shifting character loyalties and small victories of its heroes. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
The Thing (1982) Tyler Smith In the midst of all the special effects, it is ultimately about the psychological impact of a high stress situation. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
The Squid and the Whale (2005) Tyler Smith Baumbach has created an unforgettable film about horrifyingly human people. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Split (2016) Tyler Smith So silly, so trashy, so unabashedly schlocky that one really can't resist being remarkably entertained while watching it. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Logan (2017) David Bax It often comes close to superhero greatness but ultimately falls just short, working much better as a character study. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Black Panther (2018) Tyler Smith Coogler's ability to direct action elevates what would seem like standard set pieces into virtuosic showcases. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
A Trip to the Moon (1902) Tyler Smith It has not lost much of its original power, to dazzle and entertain. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Blumhouse's Truth or Dare (2018) Tyler Smith Serves up one convention after another, without ever bringing anything particularly exciting to the table. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Incredibles 2 (2018) Tyler Smith The film feels like an entertaining riff on The Incredibles more than a fully-developed sequel. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Chris Claremont's X-Men (2018) Tyler Smith The content of the film is so effective that it's a shame the filmmaking isn't better. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Liquid Sky (1982) Tyler Smith Those that are willing to engage with the film on its own strange level will be rewarded with a memorable film experience. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
The Case for Christ (2017) Tyler Smith It manages to present a more accurate and relatable Gospel than we've really ever seen before in the Christian film world. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Batman and Harley Quinn (2017) Tyler Smith We get half-assed nods to sexuality and brutal violence; things that won't be found in any kids movie, but here is so poorly utilized that it most certainly isn't for adults. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Tyler Smith A good film that in many ways was sabotaged by its director's complacency, until it eventually became the amorphous mess that it is. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
In the Deep (2017) Tyler Smith The film takes a decent premise and, appropriately, drowns it in clumsy exposition and truly horrendous dialogue. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Churchill (2017) Tyler Smith They have failed miserably, squandering Cox's committed performance in the process. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Tyler Smith A film that, while not always the most narratively satisfying, contains tremendous action set pieces and a deep understanding of the sad implications of living in this technologically advanced world. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Tyler Smith It could have been good or it could have been bad, but the one thing these films should never be is ordinary. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
The Meg (2018) Tyler Smith There is nothing particularly exceptional about the film, but it is often tremendously fun. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Eighth Grade (2018) Tyler Smith It lures the audience in with the promise of nostalgia and present-day security, then challenges it to take a long look at itself in the mirror. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Us (2019) Tyler Smith The film plods along, repeating the same beats over and over, until Peele decides somewhat arbitrarily to just get it over with. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Paris Is Burning (1990) David Bax Paris Is Burning is a masterpiece that works as well as it does because its point of view is not that of someone instructing the audience like a tenured professor. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) David Bax In its final passages, Marianne & Leonard gives justice to a woman who has too often been reduced to Cohen's "muse." EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) David Bax It's fitting that there are so many good performances here since, in the subtext, The Return of Martin Guerre is a film about acting. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
The Queen (1968) David Bax Frank Simon's The Queen (newly restored and being released theatrically by Kino Lorber) is a shockingly vibrant document of the often forgotten early days of a scene that has grown in cultural visibility in recent years. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Diamantino (2018) David Bax Diamantino may toss too many balls in the air to satisfyingly retrieve all of them but that can't rob the experience of its strange, wacky fun. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
The Chambermaid (2018) David Bax As formally sound and rich as The Chambermaid is, Eve's precariousness is the real, political heart of the movie. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
Maiden (2018) David Bax Fortunately, the story of Maiden and of Maiden is too powerful and engrossing to be overcome by occasionally banal storytelling methods. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
Child's Play (2019) Tyler Smith I was invested in the characters but never fearful for them. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) David Bax The film resists analysis in its essayistic plainness. Though Morrison's writing is alive-jumping, soaring and diving deep-Greenfield-Sanders' film lays flat on the surface. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019) Tyler Smith Despite some good work by Hanks, it lacks the heart of the first three films. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
Hampstead (2017) Alexander Miller After so many predictable segues, tiresome quips and familiar narrative beats, the film's cumulative effect devolves from tolerable to grating. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2019
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Scott Nye If you expect from your movies a vision, a throughline, a carefully-built argument, you will not find it here. But with a cast billed as "The Greatest Zombie Cast Ever Disassembled," there isn't a moment that goes by that isn't utterly inspired. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Wild Rose (2018) David Bax Harper and Buckley know the feeling of having but one small, powerful, anchor to hold onto in your life and, together, they've managed to make us know it too. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Boom! (1968) David Bax Boom! comes by its reputation as camp and as a flop honestly. But it's also remarkably self-assured, marching confidently down whatever weird paths it brings itself to. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977) David Bax One Sings, the Other Doesn't is at times very funny and at other times very angry and covers a long list of other emotions in between. At its core, though, it's a love story. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
Late Night (2019) David Bax For a film crafted by its star, it's all disappointingly impersonal. It could have used less feel-good and more feeling. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
Tarde para morir joven (2018) David Bax That friction between the beauty of the moment and the crush of the future is a dull, grinding conflict every human being knows and Sotomayor's uncanny ability to tap into it is what elevates Too Late to Die Young to the level of the sublime. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
La chute de l'empire Américain (2018) David Bax Arcand, in the midst of all the lies, theft, murder and torture, insists that there is reason to hope and even maybe room for God in our callous, calamitous present and future. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Domino (2019) Scott Nye That we are so short on new De Palma is a shame; even within this awkward affair, there are moments of absolute grace and beauty, moments that make clear he is still in the game and playing for keeps. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Parasite (2019) Luiz Oliveira Bong is very happy to indulge in farcical satire and by the midpoint of his movie, it seems that we're settling in for a modern take on the contrasts between two players in the class struggle. EDIT
Posted May 27, 2019
Farinelli (1994) David Bax Farinelli is lush and theatrical in the way you'd expect a movie about an opera singer to be but, somehow, it's also dry and dull. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (2019) Luiz Oliveira By the time The Mamas & the Papas hit the soundtrack, however, it's about time the California dream became a nightmare and this is where Tarantino steps into a minefield. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019