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 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Brent Hankins Wielding comedy like a weapon, Cohen's latest effort once again uses satire to bring us face-to-face with some painful truths about ourselves and the people around us, all the while managing to make us laugh until it hurts. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
8/10 Pink Skies Ahead (2020) Brent Hankins Pink Skies Ahead makes some major strides toward destigmatizing mental health disorders and therapeutic treatment, thanks to Oxford's empathetic approach and the way she normalizes these experiences through the eyes of her protagonist. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
8/10 I'm Your Woman (2020) Brent Hankins From neon-lit nightclubs to crumbling hotels to rundown roadside diners, Hart crafts this underworld journey into an anxiety-laced odyssey, accentuated by bursts of bloody violence. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
6/10 Rebecca (2020) Brent Hankins Twists and turns are stacked up like dominoes and toppled in rapid succession... Thankfully, the work by James and Thomas is strong enough to carry Rebecca through a finale that's surprisingly clunky for a film that is otherwise quite competent. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
8/10 Totally Under Control (2020) Brent Hankins Gibney's film is all but guaranteed to infuriate viewers, and rightfully so -- but its revelations are also unquestionably terrifying to behold, especially when the end is still nowhere in sight. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2020
9/10 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Brent Hankins The Trial of the Chicago 7 is Sorkin's second time working behind the camera, and his direction feels remarkably more assured than his debut effort, but where the film truly shines are in its superb ensemble cast, and its dialogue. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2020
7/10 Enola Holmes (2020) Brent Hankins Brown is delightful in the leading role, Claflin is magnificently aggravating as a secondary villain of sorts, and the devilishly handsome Cavill is effortlessly charming as the world's most famous detective. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2020
5/10 Antebellum (2020) Brent Hankins There are some striking visuals to be consumed, and Monáe has an undeniably commanding screen presence, but nothing seems to fit together quite right. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
8/10 The Devil All the Time (2020) Brent Hankins Holland's performance isn't the flashiest -- that honor belongs to Pattinson's rapacious reverend -- but it's certainly the most interesting, and miles removed from his best-known work as Marvel's resident webslinger. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
8/10 Mulan (2020) Brent Hankins Epic in scope and extravagant in its production design, Mulan would clearly have been a joy to experience in the theater, and it's a shame the world has changed so much over the last few months that audiences won't have that opportunity. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
7/10 Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Brent Hankins The film was clearly a passion project for Winter and Reeves, and there's something joyous about watching them reprise the roles that helped jumpstart their careers -- especially when it feels more like a labor of love than a disingenuous cash grab. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
8/10 You Cannot Kill David Arquette (2020) Brent Hankins A captivating chronicle of a man's desire for acceptance, for which he seems willing to pay any cost. The filmmakers do a wonderful job of capturing the pageantry and absurdity of the wrestling world, as well as its darker side. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2020
4/10 Crazy Samurai Musashi (2020) Brent Hankins The notion of an epic-length samurai battle filmed in a single take is intriguing, but the novelty quickly wears thin, mostly thanks to bare-bones camera work and overly simplistic fight choreography. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2020
6/10 The Columnist (2020) Brent Hankins There's something satisfying about watching smug, smarmy racists and misogynists get their comeuppance, and The Columnist presents a revenge fantasy likely to be shared by anyone who's ever been mercilessly fucked with online. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2020
7/10 Sheep Without a Shepherd (2019) Brent Hankins With a carefully constructed, multi-layered screenplay, great performances and some inspired directorial flourishes, Sheep Without a Shepherd is a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse with a wicked sense of humor and a genuinely surprising conclusion. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2020
8/10 Boys State (2020) Brent Hankins A fascinating and sometimes frightening microcosm of our current political system, and how anyone looking to affect significant change within that system should prepare for a bumpy ride. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
10/10 Hamilton (2020) Brent Hankins Hamilton was conceived as a piece of theatre, and truly deserves to be experienced as such... but this film of the original Broadway production is a fine substitute, and just like its onstage counterpart, well worth experiencing over and over again. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2020
5/10 () Brent Hankins Stewart throws jabs at the absurdity of cable news punditry and its obsession with scandal, disingenuous photo ops and misleading attack ads -- nothing is safe from scrutiny here, but that scrutiny rarely goes beyond the lowest-hanging fruit. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2020
2.5/5 The King of Staten Island (2020) Kyle Wilson Buries the best parts until the end after a long, mediocre road to reach it. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2020
6/10 Extraction (2020) Brent Hankins Hemsworth holds his own as a different sort of superhuman entity, the kind of ultra-macho, near-invincible hero that populated the action films of yesteryear... if you need a quick action fix while quarantining, Extraction will do the job nicely. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2020
4/5 Blow the Man Down (2019) Kyle Wilson This Fargo of the New England coast is a moody, stylistic winner that demands more stories be told in this swarthy fisherman's town setting. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2020
7/10 The Hunt (2020) Brent Hankins There's an argument that The Hunt is trying to say something deeper about the dangers of clinging to ideology... Or maybe it's trying to illustrate that being a closed-minded, self-righteous asshole is not a trait unique to one particular side. EDIT
Posted Mar 11, 2020
7/10 The Way Back (2020) Brent Hankins Affleck's own well-documented struggles with alcohol lend some extra weight to his performance, which happens to be some of his best work in front of the camera in years. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
6/10 Onward (2020) Brent Hankins Onward doesn't quite pack the emotional gut-punch of recent Pixar efforts like Inside Out and Coco. It's a fun and mostly lighthearted romp, with a great sense of humor, just don't expect it to rank among the studio's upper echelon. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2020
2/10 Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Brent Hankins The thought of spending more time with Sonic or his arch-nemesis makes me want to roll into a ball and fly off a cliff at several hundred miles per hour. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3.5/5 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Kyle Wilson Not everything in the film works, but in a post-Justice League cinema environment for the DCEU, Birds of Prey is yet another example that Warner Bros and DC are making interesting choices and expanding their brand in the right way EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2020
7/10 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Brent Hankins With its pop-infused soundtrack, brightly colored visuals and open-armed embrace of its R-rated sensibilities -- F-bombs and bloodshed are dispensed in sizable portions throughout -- Birds of Prey is another step in the right direction. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
3/10 The Last Thing He Wanted (2020) Brent Hankins Narratively The Last Thing He Wanted is a failure at every level. Perhaps a longer running time and a more measured pace might have resulted in something a bit closer to coherence, but as it stands, it couldn't possibly be more aptly titled. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
6/10 Downhill (2020) Brent Hankins Ferrell is quite funny in an understated role devoid of his typical over-the-top antics, and Louis-Dreyfus turns in a multi-layered performance as the malcontent matriarch of the family, full of rage, lust, fear, sadness and countless other emotions. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
9/10 Promising Young Woman (2020) Brent Hankins Anchored by a dynamite turn from Mulligan, it's a fierce, fiery battle cry of a film, one that seeks to hold accountable everyone whose actions -- or inaction -- contributed to the destruction of a woman's life. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
7/10 Zola (2020) Brent Hankins Zola is much more focused on the journey than the destination, and thanks to a darkly funny script and some dynamite work from the cast, it's one hell of a crazy ride. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
7/10 The Gentlemen (2020) Brent Hankins The Gentlemen is cut from such particular cloth that its mainstream appeal is questionable ... On the other hand, longtime fans of Ritchie's work will rightfully hail this as a return to his roots, and will no doubt clamor for more. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
2.5/5 Dolittle (2020) Kyle Wilson The humor is beyond juvenile from start to finish with corny puns, slapstick pratfalls, and low level potty humor full of farts and shots to the genitals. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2020
2/10 Dolittle (2020) Brent Hankins Dolittle is the sort of film that believes a vicious tiger named Barry getting kicked in the groin by a gorilla and exclaiming "Oh, my Barry berries!" is the height of humor. Moviegoers under the age of 10 might agree with this sentiment. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
3.5/5 Troop Zero (2019) Kyle Wilson The underdog tale is sure to warm hearts with its quirky humor and wonderful performances, despite occasionally dipping into formulaic territory. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
6/10 Bad Boys for Life (2020) Brent Hankins One would think the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence might have diminished in the 17 years since the duo last teamed up, but it's every bit as fun to watch these Bad Boys onscreen together in 2020 as it was when we first met them back in 1995. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
3.5/5 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Kyle Wilson While the film is certainly messy and manic, fans should take a breath and see it for themselves -- there's a lot to like (and even love) in The Rise of Skywalker. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
6/10 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Brent Hankins The action sequences are among the best of the series. Particularly stunning is a pitched battle at sea, with Rey and Kylo Ren trading blows atop floating bits of wreckage as towering waves crash all around -- this entire sequence is instantly iconic. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
6/10 Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Brent Hankins While Jumanji: The Next Level mostly adheres to the same elements that turned the previous film into such a hit, it also remixes a few of those components to freshen things up a bit. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
9/10 Knives Out (2019) Brent Hankins With a huge ensemble of A-list talent, a razor-sharp screenplay and a head-spinning number of shocks and surprises, Johnson adheres to genre conventions while simultaneously spinning them into something more complex, more devious, and more hilarious. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
10/10 The Irishman (2019) Brent Hankins The Irishman will no doubt be revered as one of the greatest films ever produced about organized crime, and might very well be the definitive statement on the genre, because it's difficult to imagine anyone eclipsing what Scorsese has done here. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
8/10 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Brent Hankins Having already portrayed Walt Disney, another figure instrumental in the shaping of so many childhoods, it only makes sense that Hanks would be tapped for this role, and let's be honest: who else could have pulled it off with such aplomb? EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
8/10 Frozen II (2019) Brent Hankins Returning directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have done an outstanding job with this follow-up, giving fans more of the things they loved in the original film while expanding the world and exploring the characters in spellbinding new ways. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
8/10 Ford v Ferrari (2019) Brent Hankins Although Ford v Ferrari slots neatly into the biopic formula, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as Mangold wisely chooses to focus not on the titular rivalry, but on legendary racing personalities Carroll Shelby (Damon) and Ken Miles (Bale). EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
10/10 The Report (2019) Brent Hankins That Burns was able to distill 6700 pages of information into a two-hour film is an impressive feat on its own, but it's the dynamite ensemble cast that elevates The Report from rote investigative drama to nail-biting political thriller. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
8/10 Doctor Sleep (2019) Brent Hankins The film shouldn't work nearly as well as it does, and it's almost baffling how neatly it all comes together. It's a cinematic magic trick of sorts, and Flanagan pulls it off with the confidence of someone performing an illusion for the thousandth time. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
7/10 Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Brent Hankins As the de factor third chapter in the story of Sarah Connor, this is a very worthy continuation of her journey. Thanks to its surprisingly smart script and a captivating turn from Hamilton, Dark Fate puts the series on the road to redemption. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
8/10 Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Brent Hankins Dolemite is My Name provides Murphy with his best material in years, and the actor rises to the occasion, embracing his R-rated roots with aplomb and firing off jokes with a ferocity we haven't seen in far too long. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
9/10 The Lighthouse (2019) Brent Hankins Even with a finale as rocky as the shoreline on which Thomas and Ephraim are stranded, the film is an absolute must-see, a brilliant shining beacon in a sea of stagnant cinema, guiding viewers through the storm toward salvation. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
9/10 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Brent Hankins The film's ambition is admirable, and it's hard to imagine anyone more capable of wringing so many laughs from such a peculiar premise. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019