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
7/10 Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Brent Hankins The brisk 99-minute runtime is a welcome respite from comedies that overstay their welcome, and offers more than enough laughs to delight fans of the original. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/10 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Brent Hankins Maleficent: Mistress of Evil may have the dubious honor of becoming the Disney film with the highest body count, but that's about the only distinction worth bestowing upon it. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
5/10 Gemini Man (2019) Brent Hankins Ultimately, the film makes for an impressive coming-out party for an exciting piece of tech, one that could have fascinating applications in the coming years, but offers precious little else. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 Joker (2019) Kyle Wilson Joker is an impressive achievement on many levels, but the sloppy mixed message of the film and the near torturous dread of the entire outing leave very little entertainment to be had. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
6/10 Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) Brent Hankins Here's hoping the inevitable third installment brings Emily Blunt back into the fold, so we can at least look forward to a character whose moral compass is still in working order. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
5/10 Joker (2019) Brent Hankins It's as if Phillips had a burning desire to create his own version of Taxi Driver, but wasn't sure audiences would show up, so he slapped a coat of green hair dye and greasepaint onto the screenplay to guarantee plenty of asses in seats. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
7/10 Villains (2019) Brent Hankins Directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen have crafted a ferociously funny comedy-thriller, thumbing their nose at convention and frequently pulling the rug out from under the characters and the audience in equal measure. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
8/10 Hustlers (2019) Brent Hankins Hustlers may be a sexy crime thriller, but it's also a film about women banding together to take on a system that frequently treats them as "less than," turning the tables on those who hold all the cards, and having a damn good time doing it. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
7/10 It: Chapter Two (2019) Brent Hankins Less engaging and less scary than its predecessor, with a daunting runtime that nevertheless remains a must-see for any horror fan. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
6/10 Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Brent Hankins A goofy, light-hearted riff on the Indiana Jones films that never shies away from poking fun at cinematic cliches -- or itself. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
8/10 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Brent Hankins Hobbs and Shaw is so irrational and illogical that it's basically a cartoon, a machismo-laden thrill ride that borders on parody and is, at times, unspeakably dumb, but in the best possible way. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
8/10 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Brent Hankins Despite being inspired by and connected to a particular event, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is less about telling a specific story of the era, and more about capturing its emotion and spirit. In that regard, Tarantino knocks it out of the park. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
8/10 Sons of Denmark (Danmarks sønner) (2019) Brent Hankins In many respects, the film serves as a cautionary tale -- not of a dark future, but of a time that's already upon us, which makes Salim's debut feature all the more terrifying and affecting. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
7/10 The Lion King (2019) Brent Hankins There's no denying that Favreau and his team have crafted a brilliant technological achievement, but whether The Lion King is a great film on its own merits is a subject that will likely inspire a fair amount of debate. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
6/10 Stuber (2019) Brent Hankins It's a bit slow out of the gate, but once Bautista and Nanjiani finally connect, it makes up for lost time with an overload of laughs and a healthy dose of bloody, cartoonish violence. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019
8/10 Midsommar (2019) Brent Hankins For decades, horror films have conditioned us to believe that bad things only happen in the shadows, but that's not the case here, and the knowledge that daylight is no longer a safe space makes Midsommar even more disturbing. EDIT
Posted Jul 4, 2019
4/5 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Kyle Wilson Both a great bookend to the first era of the MCU and another immensely pure and satisfying installment of everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood wallcrawler. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
8/10 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Brent Hankins While the action in Spider-Man: Far From Home is much larger in scope than its predecessor, the film nevertheless feels considerably smaller and more self-contained than most MCU entries, especially in the wake of Endgame's enormous finale. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
7/10 5B (2018) Brent Hankins Directors Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss deserve commendations of their own for ensuring this tale of unprecedented kindness in the face of unspeakable tragedy doesn't fade away into history. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2019
8/10 Toy Story 4 (2019) Brent Hankins Like its predecessors, Toy Story 4 understands the significance of the bond between a child and their favorite toy, and more importantly, the undeniable magic of childhood. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
4/10 Men in Black: International (2019) Brent Hankins Overlong and mostly unfunny, Men in Black International offers precious little of the recipe which made the previous films -- particularly the original -- so endearing. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
7/10 Late Night (2019) Brent Hankins Late Night is at its best when Thompson leans into Katherine's caustic and abrasive personality, which plays well against Kaling's earnestness, and the film's best moments arrive whenever these two comedic powerhouses share the screen. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
5/10 Dark Phoenix (2019) Brent Hankins Dark Phoenix sends the X-Men out not with a bang, but with a roll of the eyes and a somewhat exasperated sigh. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
8/10 Rocketman (2019) Brent Hankins Thanks to imaginative musical numbers that aren't always bound by the limits of reality and the irrefutable charisma of its leading man, Rocketman manages to break the mold just enough to stand tall above many of the genre's other offerings. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
5/10 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Brent Hankins On the rare occasion the camera pans out enough to showcase its creatures, they're truly awe-inspiring. But these moments of gratification are unable to counterbalance the film's laundry list of defects and misfires. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
9/10 Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Brent Hankins While it may not be a perfect substitute for the fourth season that Milch had originally envisioned, Deadwood: The Movie nevertheless feels like a natural evolution for the characters that we fell in love with more than a decade ago. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
7/10 Aladdin (2019) Brent Hankins Massoud's carefree demeanor and world-class grin are a perfect match for the "street rat" who dreams of bigger things, and the fierce determination Scott brings to the role of Jasmine is a welcome change from the usual damsel in distress archetype. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
9/10 Booksmart (2019) Brent Hankins With its razor sharp script and electric lead performances, it could very well unseat the likes of Superbad and Mean Girls as the funniest high school comedy of the 21st century. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
8/10 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Brent Hankins The marriage of brutal hand-to-hand combat and impossibly precise gunplay have been franchise staples, and John Wick: Chapter 3 takes these elements to incredible heights with some of the most flat-out insane action choreography ever seen. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
7/10 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Brent Hankins It's family-friendly, for the most part, but there are a few cases of double entrende that will sail right over the heads of the little ones, while giving mom and dad an extra chuckle or two. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
5/10 Tolkien (2019) Brent Hankins If you're looking for subtlety in David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford's screenplay, expect to come up short. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2019
4/10 Red Joan (2018) Brent Hankins Dench is criminally underutilized here, resigned to a handful of scenes. Most of her limited screen time is spent feigning bewilderment at questions from MI5, as if the mountain of evidence piled on the table before her doesn't exist. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Kyle Wilson I won't go so far as to say it's a perfect film, but still quite mind-blowing that it's able to pull together such a fun, satisfying close. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
10/10 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Brent Hankins If Avengers Endgame -- with its carefully crafted emotional beats, thrilling action sequences and heartbreaking farewells to some of our most beloved heroes -- isn't the perfect final chapter, I can't imagine what perfection might look like. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
6/10 We Believe In Dinosaurs (2019) Brent Hankins Some stones are left unturned, and it would have made for a compelling addition to explore the conflict between the teachings of Answers in Genesis and their actions, but the existing material is certainly captivating and disquieting enough. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2019
3/10 Stuck (2017) Brent Hankins As for the music, it's mostly fine, but catchy tunes can't distract from Stuck's narrative failures, nor its inability to craft a single moment that doesn't feel contrived. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
5/10 The Chaperone (2018) Brent Hankins Norma's journey of self-fulfillment might have been more enjoyable as its own tale, but when married to the early days of Louise's career we can't escape the feeling that something more interesting is happening offscreen while we're stuck with Norma. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2019
6/10 Little Woods (2018) Brent Hankins Thompson has been a fascinating actress to watch over the past few years as her filmography has become more and more diverse, and she once again proves herself adept at disappearing almost completely into a role. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
3/5 Hellboy (2019) Kyle Wilson If audiences can let go of the beloved previous films and watch this new version with an open mind, this new Hellboy has a fair amount of messy over-the-top fun to offer. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
6/10 All Is True (2018) Brent Hankins Whether thundering at his family in a grief-fueled outburst or conversing quietly with the Earl of Southampton in a fireside chat, Branagh's performance carries exactly the sort of weight you would expect when a lifelong devotee embodies his idol. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
3.5/5 Penguins (2019) Kyle Wilson Disneynature: Penguins is full of stunning imagery and mind-blowing nature facts framed in a heartwarming yet predictably constructed narrative. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 Black Panther (2018) Brent Hankins Already a visionary director, Coogler has outdone himself with a film that fits into the larger Marvel universe while retaining a sense of confidence and identity all its own. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
4/10 Mute (2017) Brent Hankins Skarsgård is a fine actor, but between his lack of spoken dialogue and a character written with as much personality as the bedpost he wields in combat, he's seldom engaging. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
3/10 Sidney Hall (2017) Brent Hankins Directed by Shawn Christensen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jason Dolan, The Vanishing of Sidney Hall meanders its way through an excruciating two hours, and seeing the film through to completion is like an exercise in self-flaggelation. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 A Band Called Impaled Rektum (2018) Brent Hankins For anyone that's ever played in a garage band and remembers things like pre-show jitters, schlepping equipment to and from the venue, and the importance of a good promotional photo, Heavy Trip should resonate particularly well. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
2/10 Wobble Palace (2018) Brent Hankins Wobble Palace is billed as a satire of millennial romance, but nothing about it feels particularly satirical - it just feels like we're spinning our wheels, watching two awful people do awful things in an effort to out-asshole each other. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
7/10 The New Romantic (2018) Brent Hankins Written and directed by Carly Stone, The New Romantic is both hilarious and heartbreaking in its authenticity, with Barden showcasing tremendous vulnerability and painting a genuinely convincing portrait of an ambitious girl with a story to tell. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 Ready Player One (2018) Brent Hankins Flawed though it may be, Ready Player One still has quite a bit to offer, especially for those with even the most rudimentary knowledge of pop culture. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 Blockers (2018) Brent Hankins Cannon also revels in putting the trio of adults through a series of increasingly cartoonish trials, such as a scene where Kayla's dad (John Cena) agrees to a butt-chugging contest in order to prove that he's not a cop trying to bust up the party. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 Rampage (2018) Brent Hankins Make no mistake: Rampage is an incredibly stupid film, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019