The Lamplight Review

The Lamplight Review is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Brent Hankins, Kyle Wilson
Rating Title/Year Author
9/10 The Last Duel (2021) Brent Hankins Despite the thrilling climax, the Rashomon-inspired storytelling and a career-best performance from Comer prove to be far more enthralling than the events that play out on the battlefield. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2021
2.5/5 Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) Kyle Wilson Not much has been fixed since the original film and this sequel continues to make mostly the same mistakes and successes. Forgettable fun can certainly be had, but this one stings a bit more with so much misused talent and lost potential. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2021
7/10 The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) Brent Hankins Thankfully, Chastain's performance isn't nearly as showy as her flamboyant appearance, decked out in fur coats and opulent jewelry. Here, she reads as an actual human being rather than just a personality, although there's admittedly not much difference. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2021
6/10 The Mad Women's Ball (2021) Brent Hankins Laurent is most adept during the quieter, more intimate moments, and her direction feels less confident as the film flirts with thriller territory during the third act, although the climax is well-staged and wonderfully nerve-wracking. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2021
4/10 Lakewood (2021) Brent Hankins Watts is a capable performer, but her performance is continually undermined by the ludicrous contrivances of Chris Sparling's script, which range from the obvious... to the patently absurd. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2021
7/10 The Guilty (2021) Brent Hankins Gyllenhaal delivers the goods while Fuqua keeps the camera moving, creating a sense of kinetic energy even while Joe remains tethered to his desk. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2021
6/10 All My Puny Sorrows (2021) Brent Hankins Sarah Gadon's work here is commendable, highlighted in several emotionally charged moments with Alison Pill that mix tenderness with the uglier side of heartache, but such delicate subject matter feels deserving of a more fully realized approach. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2021
6/10 Kicking Blood (2021) Brent Hankins Horror fans may find it lacking in the thrills and chills department - it's more of a character piece than a straight-up vampire flick, and there's curiously little bloodshed - but Thurier's spin on a tried and true formula is worthy of a second look. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2021
8/10 Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Brent Hankins Certain elements, such as Platt's age or the problematic subject matter, will be a bridge too far for some audiences, but Chbosky is ultimately successful at honoring the original production, capturing the emotion and ensuring its message rings through. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2021
5/10 Queenpins (2021) Brent Hankins The primary issue plaguing Queenpins is that Gaudet and Pullapilly seem undecided on a number of key points, like who the audience should root for or what message the film hopes to convey, [and this] becomes the albatross around the film's neck. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2021
8/10 Small Engine Repair (2021) Brent Hankins Behind the camera for the first time, Pollono proves himself adept at milking every last drop of tension from a scene and bringing out some truly exceptional work from his performers, himself included. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2021
5/10 Kate (2021) Brent Hankins Winstead is a believable badass, dispatching wave after wave of interchangeable bad guys with ease... but the characters and narrative are as thin as the paper walls Kate paints with the blood of Yakuza henchmen. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2021
2.5/5 Candyman (2021) Kyle Wilson While it's not saying much, this update is clearly better than the original. Unfortunately, 2021's Candyman still returns as an unsuccessful hybrid of Peele and DaCosta's previous, more cerebral work and a traditional slasher horror film EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2021
6/10 The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021) Brent Hankins Vitaletti's decision to stage [the climax] during a period where the family has taken a vow of silence is one of the more compelling directorial choices in recent memory [and offsets] the underdevelopment of its central romance. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2021
8/10 Candyman (2021) Brent Hankins Candyman is supremely bold work from DaCosta, a delicate blend of style and substance whose themes are every bit as haunting as its fearsome antagonist. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
6/10 Catch the Fair One (2021) Brent Hankins The film soars whenever Kaylee is shown in full-on vengeance mode, and Reis brings incredible intensity to these moments, including a sequence where Kaylee escapes from her captor and... extracts information in the most violent manner imaginable. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2021
7/10 The Night House (2020) Brent Hankins Ever a terrific actress, Hall is superb as she embodies the sort of anger that is so often synonymous with feelings of loss, while also epitomizing the crushing loneliness that threatens to smother her character. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2021
4/5 CODA (2021) Kyle Wilson The biggest heart of any film released in 2021 and the mix of outstanding performances for these multi-dimensional characters and an unexpected amount of humor raise the normally generic coming-of-age framing device into something special. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2021
10/10 The Green Knight (2021) Brent Hankins A bona fide masterpiece, wrapping dreams of heroism and chivalry in a cloak of otherworldly horror that slowly tightens around your throat until you can scarcely breathe. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2021
8/10 Stillwater (2021) Brent Hankins Stillwaterquestions whether some truths are best left unsaid, but doesn't shy away from the pain those truths can inflict. It's difficult to classify the ending as "happy," but feels like McCarthy delivered precisely the conclusion it deserved. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
7/10 Jungle Cruise (2021) Brent Hankins It may fall well short of the lightning-in-a-bottle success enjoyed by the original Pirates, but it's an enjoyable escape into the wilds of the Amazon -- even if the CG animals are less convincing than their decades-old theme park counterparts. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2021
3/5 Old (2021) Kyle Wilson The story is more impressively restrained than most of his recent work, but to the film's detriment, [Shyamalan's] weakness is also still on display, leaving the audience with a more thoughtful, but middle-of-the-road return. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2021
8/10 Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021) Brent Hankins Janiak has fashioned a rock-solid modern horror franchise that seems destined to amass a legion of dedicated fans, and if there are more tales to be told... I'll be more than happy to return to Fear Street again in the future. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2021
8/10 Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021) Brent Hankins It celebrates Bourdain's passion for food and travel, which he tried to use as a means to become a better version of himself, but doesn't shy away from confronting some of the more unpleasant truths about the pain and destruction left in his wake. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2021
4/5 Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) Kyle Wilson Netflix's female-driven shoot 'em up Gunpowder Milkshake is a neon-soaked, stylish riot that mixes humor and bloody violence with wicked glee. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2021
4/5 Black Widow (2021) Kyle Wilson Natasha Romanoff is given the backstory and send-off she deserves, while introducing fans to terrific new characters that can now play in the sandbox of the MCU. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2021
7/10 Black Widow (2021) Brent Hankins Director Cate Shortland adopts a strategy not unlike that of Captain America: The Winter Soldier... mostly eschewing the massive stakes of other Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, at least until the gratuitous goofiness of the third act. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2021
7/10 Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021) Brent Hankins Director Leigh Janiak once again cribs lovingly from genre classics, this time evoking the likes of Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th in all their counselor-murdering glory while fleshing out the sinister, violent history of Shadyside. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2021
7/10 Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021) Brent Hankins Feels like a love letter to the slashers of the mid-90s, complete with copious amounts of blood and all the requisite character archetypes... Rest assured that [director Leigh] Janiak doesn't skimp on the gore, particularly during the third act. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2021
3/5 Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021) Kyle Wilson Looks terrific and has a refreshingly new voice cast in place that helps offset the parts of the film that feel overdone and too familiar. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2021
8/10 Luca (2021) Brent Hankins As with any Pixar film, the visuals in Luca are stunning, awash in vibrant colors and the warm sunlit tones of summer. There's charm and humor for days, and the supporting characters are delightful. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2021
6/10 My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To (2020) Brent Hankins Some horror aficionados may find it lacking in scares, but pathos and poignancy are in ample supply, and it's a solid debut feature for writer-direct Jonathan Cuartas. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2021
6/10 See for Me (2021) Brent Hankins See For Me plays fast and loose with genre conventions, eschewing them at key points and embracing them elsewhere. [It] injects fresh life into a shopworn formula, and that's enough reason to give it a chance. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2021
7/10 Poser (2021) Brent Hankins The leads are quite well-matched, with Sylvie Mix zeroing in on the sinister undercurrent lurking behind Lennon's timidity... and Bobbi Kitten giving off some serious Jena Malone vibes as she channels her onstage charisma into a bewitching performance. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2021
6/10 Cruella (2021) Brent Hankins Chaos, mayhem, and wickedness have always been at the core of Cruella de Vil's appeal, and when those elements take center stage, the film is quite fun - I just wish it had spent less time focusing on wearisome backstory and more time reviling in devilry. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2021
7/10 Army Of The Dead (2021) Brent Hankins The narrative would've been better served by a bit more humanity, and a bit less of the splattered heads, but Army of the Dead is still a ton of fun, showcasing a playfulness that was sorely missing from Snyder's grim approach to superhero films. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2021
4/10 The Woman in the Window (2021) Brent Hankins Regrettably, this clumsy homage to Hitchcock's classic thriller Rear Window amounts to little more than an undercooked casserole of ill-conceived ideas whose environment and atmosphere are far more interesting than any of its human characters. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2021
4/10 Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) Brent Hankins Plotted and paced like a typical police procedural... the film's sole interesting and fresh idea is little more than window dressing, and the "twist" ending is nowhere near as clever or shocking as Spiral believes it to be. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2021
2/5 Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) Kyle Wilson Instead of taking the once-groundbreaking horror series in a fresh and exciting new direction, Spiral wastes its terrific cast with a watered down, copy and paste of every other Saw film. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2021
4/10 Wrath of Man (2021) Brent Hankins The bloody, carnage-laden finale is well-constructed -- one of the only segments of the film deserving of that accolade -- but the climax alone doesn't offset two hours of stilted dialogue, grim subject matter and unpleasant personalities. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2021
6/10 Things Heard & Seen (2021) Brent Hankins The paranormal trappings provide some nice set dressing, but the personal conflict at the center of Things Heard & Seen proves to be its most compelling feature. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2021
5/10 Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) Brent Hankins On the page, it sounds like everything you might expect from a Tom Clancy story, but... Clancy's work is often revered for its more cerebral qualities, [and] those are conspicuously absent here. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2021
7/10 Mortal Kombat (2021) Brent Hankins Fight choreography is solid... setpieces are compelling... throw in some impressive effects work and it all comes together in a visually arresting package, gifting fans of the video games with the blood-soaked, R-rated adaptation they've always wanted. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2021
8/10 Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Brent Hankins We want the enormous, cacophonous, frivolous fun of two immense creatures beating the hell out of each other, and Godzilla vs. Kong is more than happy to serve up a monstrous smackdown of seismic proportions. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2021
3/5 Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Kyle Wilson Even more dumb than you probably could have even imagined, but that doesn't mean the spectacle it provides isn't a sugar high of pure, childish excitement. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2021
4.5/5 Nobody (2021) Kyle Wilson Rocketing by at a lean hour and thirty minutes and packing a terrific soundtrack, tons of wickedly dry wit, and a tone that knows when to go over the top and when to pull back EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
7/10 Nobody (2021) Brent Hankins Despite having just dispatched an entire warehouse full of criminals in gruesome fashion, Nobody wants to remind us that Hutch is still a decent guy, and I'll be damned if the innately charming Odenkirk doesn't make us believe it. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2021
3.5/5 Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) Kyle Wilson As long as expectations are tempered and you've got four hours to kill, this curious experiment is worth your time and finally puts a decent live-action Justice League movie into the Warner Bros. catalog. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
7/10 The Feast (2021) Brent Hankins This debut feature from Lee Haven Jones is a wonderfully staged slow-burn thriller, steeped in Welsh folklore, whose gory thrills are carefully doled out for maximum effect. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2021
6/10 Offseason (2021) Brent Hankins The moody, ethereal visuals heighten the tension as Keating plunges [his heroine] into a nightmarish scenario full of creepy dead-eyed townsfolk, violent weather patterns and a sinister presence lurking just below the water's surface. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2021