Battleship Pretension

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Bad Boys for Life (2020) Scott Nye For all that Bad Boys for Life does, it only does it halfway EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Weathering With You (2019) David Bax ...the bits about age-old prophecies and rituals, gods and mortals, feels copied and pasted from various other hoary fantasy stories. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
VHYes (2020) Alexander Miller There's a sincerity to the silliness. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
Like a Boss (2020) David Bax This is less a movie than it is an extended reel made to cut trailers from. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
Les misérables (2019) David Bax Where Les Misérables falls apart is in trying to cram a full season of The Wire into 102 minutes. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
Just Mercy (2019) David Bax Dialogue as unwieldy with information and insistent in pathos as Just Mercy's goes down easier when spoken by this caliber of actors. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Tunes of Glory (1960) David Bax The persistent and lovely sound of bagpipes is almost enough to drown out the sound of men's inner demons clawing at each other's psyches. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
Cats (2019) Tyler Smith A surreal circus of man-animals whose insane musical ramblings frequently cross the line into the realm of madness, but somehow still manages to ensnare us, against all odds and our own best efforts. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Bombshell (2019) David Bax Bombshell reminds us that, against Ailes, the forces of good may have won a battle but we lost the war. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
The Europeans (1979) David Bax With everything so tamped down, the tiniest resemblance of an emotional response can be overwhelming. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Invisible Life (2019) David Bax Invisible Life, like regular life, is often unpleasant but too full of feeling and experience to be discounted. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) David Bax It's always been easy to make fun of and poke holes in a Star Wars movie. This one in particular, though, is just as easy to lean back and enjoy. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) David Bax Howard is nothing but drive and, for 134 adrenalized, unflinching, emotionally and physically thrilling minutes, we get to ride along with him. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) David Bax Richard Jewell may never quicken its pace but it's as insistent and as angry as anything Eastwood has ever made. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Cunningham (2019) David Bax Kovgan does Cunningham a disservice by crowding his story and the power of his own creations with gratuitous whizbangery. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Olivia (1951) David Bax ...just like the school itself, Olivia thrums with the rhythm of life, pain and joy just beneath its pretty trappings. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
All About Eve (1950) David Bax n a movie in which everyone is preoccupied with learning all about her character, she remains alluringly, dangerously unknowable. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
Eegah! (1962) David Bax The first draft nature of the screenplay is betrayed by its repetition. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
Midnight Family (2019) David Bax Midnight Family shows us a world in which health care and food are just more commodities; in other words, our world. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
The Disappearance of My Mother (2019) David Bax The Barrese we hear (and occasionally see) on camera may be frustrated by his subject's resistance to him but, to its benefit, the final product of The Disappearance of My Mother embraces her prickliness. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
In Fabric (2018) David Bax In Fabric is a satire of totalitarian capitalism, the kind of world in which Sheila's bosses ... are free to concern themselves not just with her job performance but with her eating and bathroom habits and the content of her dreams. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
The Aeronauts (2019) David Bax Everything that goes wrong on Wren and Glaisher's flight is a manufactured obstacle, a video game puzzle we know is going to be solved. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) Tyler Smith Malick tells a story that is emotionally epic, employing a wide angle lens and long shots that capture the scope of these obscure lives and the extraordinary and horrific events that changed them forever. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2019
1917 (2019) Tyler Smith Less a fully-realized story and more a beautifully-executed experiment, leaving me astonished at the spectacle, but ultimately feeling empty. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
The Two Popes (2019) David Bax ...if you look past The Two Popes' reductive outer shell, you'll find that what's inside can be a treat for the mind and the senses. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) David Bax Their predicament may be more pronounced and obvious but it's a metaphor for how it must feel to live in a country where being black means your life always hangs in the balance. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Hala (2019) David Bax Director Minhal Baig's attempts at cinematic lyricism, all slow motion and pensive strings on the soundtrack, make the movie do nothing so much as lie there on the page. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2019
() David Bax The movie features almost no score; in its place is the roar of the wind whipping the dry, cold countryside. Your lips may chap just watching it. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2019
Dark Waters (2019) Dave Platt Even in its more formulaic moments, Dark Waters is a lucid and deeply humane film, and an indictment of a system in which corporations are treated like people, but human beings are not. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) Scott Nye Terrence Malick, among many other notable things about his career, has to be one of the few artists who's become more radical, introspective, and confrontational the more he's embraced Christianity. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Clemency (2019) David Bax Bernadine's hell lies in the way even the most innocuous part of her day is infused with dread and guilt. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Beanpole (2019) Scott Nye Balagov has many of the makings of a very fine director, drawing affecting, lively performances from his lead actresses, and a number of well-realized scenes that exhibit a distinct point of view. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Deerskin (2019) David Bax By the end, Georges' head-to-toe deerskin look is ridiculous, surprisingly flattering and, most importantly, iconographic. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
The Friend (2019) David Bax The Friend's power lies in the commitment of Cowperthwaite and her cast to making real human beings a bigger part of the story than the disease itself. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
() Scott Nye There's an inherent risk in this type of storytelling, but it follows so naturally the act of walking in an unfamiliar place, all the thoughts that consume us and the potential wonder at what we might encounter. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
The Truth (2019) Scott Nye The Truth is overwhelmingly concerned with familial issues of legacy, of lingering but not debilitating trauma, of seeking contentment despite whatever has happened in the past, recognizing that whatever time we have together is limited and precious. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Citizen K (2019) David Bax Despite his occasional dashes of razzle-dazzle, Gibney has, I note with relief, never been disingenuous, unlike some of the other big names in modern, mainstream documentary. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Tyler Smith The film invites us into Rogers' outlook, ultimately allowing us to know him in a way that no by-the-numbers biopic ever could. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2019
() David Bax Scandalous is not content to just be a breezy look at trashy journalism but it must also be a statement about the true nature of Americana. And that statement is made with about as much depth and nuance as your average National Enquirer article. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
The Hottest August (2019) David Bax Story's eye for visual metaphors is so sharp that you'd almost suspect some of these shots were staged. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019) Scott Nye Perhaps it is endemic to the American capitalistic sickness that we are so enamored of people who do their jobs well; so long as we're tunneled in that, may we always be blessed to have directors who express it as well as James Mangold. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
The Report (2019) Scott Nye We may not have learned the lessons from the torture program, but twelve years on from Rendition, we should at least have learned the lessons from making bad movies about it. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) David Bax ...the experience of watching The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is like someone else telling you what happened in Braveheart. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Happy Christmas (2014) David Bax A personal, hilarious and well-made work of art piped straight to me on my couch; if that's the form that the rescue of the modern film comedy is going to take, I refuse to complain. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
Night of the Creeps (1986) Tyler Smith If the film falls well short of greatness, it is due to the director's inability to step outside himself as a horror fan and deliver a film that is effective on its own terms, rather than simply trading on the past greatness of the classics. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
The Irishman (2019) David Bax In its devotion to drudgery both in subject and in method, it's a lot like Sheeran himself, persevering through principles it doesn't have to understand to follow. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Harriet (2019) David Bax With its orthodox aesthetics (balanced frames) and structure (voiceovers and flashbacks) and its sentimental score (by the usually reliable Terence Blanchard), it might as well be a TV movie of the week from 30 years ago. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
The Kingmaker (2019) David Bax The Kingmaker's sickly enchantment comes in letting us into the life of the sweet old matron of our descent into nationalistic hell. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Frankie (2019) David Bax Amidst the travelogue and the heavy conversations about love and death, Frankie is also, finally, an empathetic distillation of what it means to go on vacation with your family. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019) Dave Platt What becomes clear early on is that rather than searching for stable truth or rational explanation, The Lighthouse is a film in which the only option is to give oneself over fully to its haunting, mesmeric dream-logic. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019