Vanyaland

Vanyaland is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Nick Johnston
Rating Title/Year Author
Freaky (2020) Nick Johnston Freaky is a lot of fun, and it really proves Landon's strategy of reappropriating comedy premises into horror films works as intended. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Rebecca (2020) Nick Johnston This Rebecca is a particularly dull two hours, one that will probably alienate classic viewers, familiar with du Maurier's work or Hitchcock's adaptation, while boring new ones to tears. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
Roald Dahl's The Witches (2020) Nick Johnston Zemeckis's The Witches might entice audiences with just how different is in appearance [from the 1990 version] but have them reaching for the remote by the half-hour marker. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Nick Johnston What's novel is the film's surprising feminist slant, which is, of course, elevated by the incredible work from Balakova, who is just as committed to the bit and wide-eyed and earnest in her execution of these jokes. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
The Lie (2018) Nick Johnston It's endowed with a compelling premise and a decent cast, all of whom it fails in its weirdly toothless execution. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
Black Box (2020) Nick Johnston Osei-Koeffer's visual imagination is limited by his budget and the stereotypical trappings of this particular moment in the horror genre... but his work with his actors is skilled and top-notch. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
The Phenomenon (2020) Nick Johnston A surprisingly compelling watch that takes full advantage of the new and fascinating revelations about true Unidentified Flying Objects. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
The Devil All the Time (2020) Nick Johnston I was oddly moved by the film, and I think it's one of the more interesting stories about American faith that has emerged in the last couple of years. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
Joe Bell (2020) Nick Johnston Around 30 minutes into Reinaldo Marcus Green's Good Joe Bell, I very nearly turned the movie off out of sheer frustration with a narrative choice so mind-numbingly misguided that my brain nearly dripped out of my ears as it unspooled in front of me. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Concrete Cowboy (2020) Nick Johnston It's safe to say that the reason I enjoyed this so much is because of how delightful the film looks. Concrete Cowboy's urban Philadelphia setting is fantastically captured. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Shadow in the Cloud (2020) Nick Johnston It's a hell of a premise, right? Well, it didn't really flow well or work for me in practice. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Nick Johnston I'm Thinking of Ending Things gives [Kaufman] the chance to embrace his worst impulses, and he grips it in a bear-hug, squeezing all of the life and color out of it in the process. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
The New Mutants (2020) Nick Johnston It's the kind of crushingly mediocre spin-off superhero movie that came to define the latter half of the pre-Disney Fox slate. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Nick Johnston Most people will be glad to rock out with Wyld Stallions one last time, even if, like most reunion tours, it can't beat the first time you saw them when they were in their prime. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
Tenet (2020) Nick Johnston Tenet is the kind of thrilling blockbuster that we so desperately need in any summer. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
Unhinged (2020) Nick Johnston A moderately effective and bleakly funny thriller with a full-on Nicolas Cage-style Russell Crowe performance at its core. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
Project Power (2020) Nick Johnston As an action spectacle, Project Power is remarkably interesting and stylish, even if the coherence of the moment-to-moment choreography is occasionally sacrificed at the altar. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2020
An American Pickle (2020) Nick Johnston It's not anywhere close to a perfect film, or even a "great" one, but An American Pickle is a pretty good way to spend an afternoon reminding yourself what it looked like when star-driven comedy vehicles existed in the multiplex. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2020
A Vigilante (2018) Nick Johnston A Vigilante is an incredibly tough watch, but it may be a necessary one for many. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2020
Greyhound (2020) Nick Johnston A really interesting watch, even if it's stripped of the traditional creature comforts of the genre. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2020
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Nick Johnston Eurovision provided me with enough joy and good humor to easily excuse a number of its flaws, and it works like gangbusters as a piece of advertising for the cultural institution it's meant to represent... EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2020
Irresistible (2020) Nick Johnston [Irresistible] begins as a dull and uninspired political satire and winds up being an unmitigated disaster. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Nick Johnston Spike Lee really is one of the greatest American filmmakers currently working, and that Da 5 Bloods is one of the best films to hit screens [this] year. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2020
Infamous (2020) Nick Johnston If you want to watch attractive people rob banks and romance one another, there are better options, but Infamous is a passable substitution in a pitch. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
Judy & Punch (2019) Nick Johnston ...there's very little room for nuance or anything once she becomes a mouthpiece for her director, rather than a character. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) Nick Johnston Davidson is very strong here, and it's weird how much I prefer him as a dramatic performer than as a comedian. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2020
The Lovebirds (2020) Nick Johnston It's a real bummer to see Rae and Nanjiani, who established their careers coasting on the border between comedy and drama, diminish their wattage in something so bland and false-feeling. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2020
Capone (2020) Nick Johnston Capone is a fascinating and intensely personal film, a reboot of Trank's career in all the best ways, and it provides the director with a solid foundation upon which he can rebuild. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2020
Gladiator (2000) Nick Johnston Gladiator... is popcorn entertainment at its most polished and exciting; the film is responsible for a renewed interest in antiquity and was, somewhat unsurprisingly, incredibly influential. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2020
Village of the Damned (1995) Nick Johnston The film feels somewhat dead. It's not tapping into a cultural vein, or expressing some sort of parental nightmare, it's just echoing those prior ones in a totally unsatisfying way. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2020
The Willoughbys (2020) Nick Johnston It's also funny, unlike many of its counterparts, gleefully indulging the anarchic tastes of its younger audiences in both its writing and its staging... without being loud enough to annoy their parents. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2020
Extraction (2020) Nick Johnston Hargrave's action direction is solid and clean, and there's one absolutely superlative moment... where the director attempts to outdo Atomic Blonde's insane single-shot fight/chase and manages to come reasonably close to doing so. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2020
True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) Nick Johnston The gender-bending politics of something like Nicholas Roeg's Performance...mesh-up quite nicely with the Alex Cox-style ferocity that manifests itself in the sets and in MacKay's astonishing performance. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2020
The Basketball Diaries (1995) Nick Johnston For as much as The Basketball Diaries wants to claim that it's a realistic portrayal of addiction, it might have done better to root it in its honest time-and-place and play Carroll's story as straight-forward and as honest as they could. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2020
Butt Boy (2019) Nick Johnston I've never been happier for a filmmaker to just finally be so firmly up his own ass. Butt Boy can't really live up to the wildness of its premise, but it makes for entertaining viewing in its own right. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2020
Why Don't You Just Die! (Papa, sdokhni) (2018) Nick Johnston It's a very amusing little film, one smart enough to know you've seen something like it before and to try and do something reasonably formally innovative to keep you entertained. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2020
Blumhouse's Fantasy Island (2020) Nick Johnston Look, this remake of the '70s TV show about - you guessed it - a Fantasy Island, where your dreams come back to haunt you, is horrible. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2020
The Rhythm Section (2020) Nick Johnston We saw this Blake Lively-led spy thriller back when it came out, and, to say the very least, we were disappointed. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2020
We Summon the Darkness (2019) Nick Johnston We Summon the Darkness is the kind of heavy metal horror we've been longing for these last couple of months. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2020
28 Days (2000) Nick Johnston Thomas does a few interesting things here, including shooting the flashbacks and heavy-drinking scenes on video, which has a weird and wild grain to it when contrasted with the rest of the film. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2020
Keeping the Faith (2000) Nick Johnston It's light and affable, for the most part; it has a relatively novel premise, even if it's not really explored in depth; and it features three charming leads at a strong point in their careers. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2020
Where the Money Is (2000) Nick Johnston It's not a great film, and Road to Perdition will probably be remembered as Newman's best work from this period, but it just goes to show you how essential actors like him really were. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2020
Love. Wedding. Repeat (2020) Nick Johnston It's light and cheerful, bitter and goofy, awkward and heartfelt, and will probably act as a salve for those in desperate need of a new thing to chuckle at. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2020
The Straight Story (1999) Nick Johnston It's unlike anything else in Lynch's filmography, and it's genuinely brilliant. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Onward (2020) Nick Johnston Onward's a solid little movie, even if it doesn't really clear the super-high standards that have been set for the CGI animation studio. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Coffee & Kareem (2020) Nick Johnston This is another movie which Betty Gilpin totally steals. It's not great, but it'll do. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
The Other Lamb (2019) Nick Johnston The Other Lamb's tone is genuinely creepy and icky in a way that really gets under your skin. It's executed with a great deal of smart style and polish, and well worth a look. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2020
My Darling Vivian (2020) Nick Johnston An affectionate and deeply empathetic look at a life forsaken and forgotten by a culture desperate to believe in a myth of a Great Man and a Great Romance... EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2020
The Way Back (2020) Nick Johnston We really admired the way that Gavin O'Connor's script doesn't let Affleck's character off the hook for his behavior, even as it delves deep into the reasons why he's a sad and broken man, and Affleck's performance is something to behold. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2020
Bloodshot (2020) Nick Johnston It is a Good Movie. It's a Vin Diesel vehicle, which means it's dumb as hell, but it's also a Vin Diesel vehicle, so it's also fun as hell. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2020