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 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 () 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
7/10 Super Troopers 2 (2018) Brent Hankins Comedy sequels are often a risky proposition - particularly ones that arrive a decade or more after the first installment - but Super Troopers 2 bucks the trend by dishing out just enough of the same formula to satisfy fans. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 Sicario (2015) 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 Apr 9, 2019
4/10 The Equalizer 2 (2018) Brent Hankins If you're a fan of Washington as a general rule, you shouldn't be dissatisfied with his portrayal - instead, you can reserve your disappointment for the film's slow pacing and uninspired action beats. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 A Simple Favor (2018) Brent Hankins The sheer number of twists and turns in the narrative - especially during the third act - is mind-boggling, and some viewers may find themselves jumping off this speeding train long before it crashes into the station. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 Lizzie (2018) Brent Hankins Lizzie is heavily influenced by old-school horror flicks, with the soundtrack emphasizing the creaks and groans of the ancient house and the soft glow of a candle turning a hallway into a mass of imposing shadows. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 Assassination Nation (2018) Brent Hankins There's an undeniable satisfaction that comes from watching our heroines fight back, marching down the street in glossy red PVC jackets and armed to the teeth will swords, knives, and automatic weapons. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
9/10 First Man (2018) Brent Hankins From the opening moments of First Man, it's clear that director Damien Chazelle has set out to depict space travel in a way heretofore unseen on the big screen. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
6/10 Mid90s (2018) Brent Hankins Mid-90s seems more interested in providing a slice of life, fly on the wall perspective of the culture, rather than forcing the audience to truly examine the effects - both negative and positive - these experiences might have on an impressionable youth. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
8/10 Stieg Larsson: The Man Who Played With Fire (2018) Brent Hankins Stieg Larsson: The Man Who Played With Fire is particularly unnerving due to its timeliness, as there are clear parallels between the events portrayed here and our current political climate in the United States. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 Fighting With My Family (2019) Brent Hankins Fighting With My Family hews closely to the tried-and-true "underdog sports drama" blueprint, but director Stephen Merchant (working from his own screenplay) elevates the material by infusing it with plenty of wit and humor. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 Suspiria (2018) Brent Hankins If Guadagnino had set out to craft a horror film that adhered to genre tropes, then it would be easy to peg Suspiria as a misfire, as there's almost nothing conventional on display here. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/10 The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Brent Hankins It's clear that Alvarez really wanted to make a spy thriller, and that sort of template is a very poor fit for this girl and her dragon tattoo, misfiring in spite of a spirited performance by Foy. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
9/10 Widows (2018) Brent Hankins Never afraid to sink her teeth into a role, Davis crafts a tough-as-nails exterior for Veronica, snarling insults at the other women while trying to mask the creeping sense of dread that continues to mount as the deadline draws near. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/10 Glass (2019) Brent Hankins Never one to shy away from a paycheck, as evidenced by the steady string of roles in low-budget non-theatrical releases, Willis is clearly putting in the absolute minimum effort required to continue growing his bank account. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
8/10 Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Brent Hankins Despite early accusations that Berlinger's film seeks to glorify Bundy, the truth is that he's actually shining a light on our seemingly endless fascination with serial killers. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 Little Monsters (2019) Brent Hankins Miss Caroline has no qualms about resorting to violence, and there's something undeniably awesome about watching Nyong'o, clad in a bright yellow sundress, decapitating zombies with a shovel. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 Them That Follow (2019) Brent Hankins Making their feature-length debut with this Sundance entry, directors Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage paint a vivid picture of devotion and how it permeates every aspect of their characters' lives. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
9/10 The Nightingale (2018) Brent Hankins Beneath all the violence of The Nightingale lurks a somber and beautiful tale about two people from disparate worlds finding commonality, and using it as a foundation to stand up against their oppressors. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
8/10 Big Time Adolescence (2018) Brent Hankins Big Time Adolescence follows a fairly typical coming-of-age template, but is strengthened by a pair of very strong lead performances from Gluck and Davidson. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 Captain Marvel (2019) Brent Hankins [Captain Marvel] gives young ladies another strong role model to look up, a confident and capable woman who rails against the patriarchy and the cries of "you don't belong here" and emerges triumphant. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 () Brent Hankins At times both inspiring and melancholy, and consistently fascinating, Mr. Jimmy is a compelling look at fandom taken to a degree that most would never even consider. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
8/10 The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) Brent Hankins Gibney stops short of exploring the what-ifs, preferring to examine Holmes as she is, and not as she might have been, but asking some of these questions might have made his latest effort even more compelling. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
5/10 The Hummingbird Project (2018) Brent Hankins One of the biggest issues facing The Hummingbird Project is that its core premise is neither cinematic nor particularly interesting. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
8/10 Us (2019) Brent Hankins Performances in genre pieces are often dismissed and disregarded, but make no mistake: Nyongo's work in Us is some of the very best of her career. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/10 Dumbo (2019) Brent Hankins The titular elephant may soar through the skies, but Burton's film never manages to take off. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
7/10 Pet Sematary (2019) Brent Hankins Pet Sematary contains a few of the requisite jump scares the genre demands, but the cheap thrills pale in comparison to the overwhelming sense of dread the film creates. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019