The Pop Break

The Pop Break is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Marisa Carpico, Murjani Rawls
Rating Title/Year Author
The Vigil (2019) Marisa Carpico Though some horror fans will likely find the film's emphasis on emotional stakes over scares disappointing, it's Yakov's journey that ultimately makes the film linger. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
Little Fish (2020) Marisa Carpico Despite its high-concept and eerily familiar premise, Little Fish is, at its heart, a meditation on love and memory. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
The Dig (2021) Marisa Carpico Its success isn't necessarily in dramatizing this single story, but collapsing thousands of years of human experience upon each other to remind us of life's inherent beauty. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
Promising Young Woman (2020) Marisa Carpico And while [the film] is still provocative enough to surprise viewers streaming it at home, it does feel like the kind of thriller that works best experienced with a crowd. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Marisa Carpico Still, as frustrating as the filmmaking may be, a lot viewers probably won't even notice because the performances are uniformly incredible. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Queer Japan (2019) Marisa Carpico Each interviewee is fascinating and while the constant onslaught of new faces can become tiring by the film's end, it's mostly a thrill to meet them at all. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Songbird (2020) Marisa Carpico ...feels like a first draft, made too much in a vacuum of production restrictions and a need to finish it quickly for anyone involved to notice that it's a little weightless. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
I Hate New Year's (2020) Marisa Carpico Indeed, what allows I Hate New Year's to rise above some of the other queer holiday romances this year is that it actually gives the viewer a romance worth rooting for. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
Happiest Season (2020) Marisa Carpico In the end, Happiest Season is to holiday movies what the Pillsbury crescent roll is to holiday meals: comfortingly familiar, unsurprising and irrevocably commercial. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2020
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020) Marisa Carpico ...those hoping Dolly Parton will save this weird Christmas season will likely be disappointed. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2020
The Princess Switch: Switched Again (2020) Marisa Carpico ...if this sequel proves anything, it's that we should learn to appreciate the Vanessa Hudgens we already have. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
() Marisa Carpico Rovner's film is stimulating on musical, visual and intellectual levels as well as being a necessary corrective to an art form that wrote women out of its history. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Marisa Carpico Still, regardless of how aware Kaufman is of his film's failings, it doesn't make them any less disappointing for a viewer. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
Akilla's Escape (2020) Marisa Carpico Its relaxed, contemplative take on noir may not excite every viewer, but it certainly captivates. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
The War With Grandpa (2020) Marisa Carpico Sure, it's not going to blow anyone's mind, but it's fun family entertainment and, really, in 2020, isn't it enough to just have some meaningless fun? EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
Fire Will Come (2019) Marisa Carpico It's a fairly simple plot and one that goes exactly where you expect given the title, but Fire Will Come creates meaning through its mood and sense of place rather than its plot. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) Marisa Carpico It may not have been made for a theater experience, but it's big and bright enough that it almost manages to recreate the magic of seeing big screen spectacle. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
Residue (2020) Marisa Carpico ...Residue is fiction, but the truth driving it is captivating. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
DTF (2020) Marisa Carpico ...like watching a slow-motion train wreck: horrible to look at, but impossible to tear your eyes away. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
Epicentro (2020) Marisa Carpico ...regardless of [Sauper's] self-awareness, Epicentro is a really thought-provoking study of modern day Cuba and its history. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020
The Prey (2018) Marisa Carpico By trying to walk the line between serious and silly, Henderson's film fundamentally fails on both accounts. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2020
Project Power (2020) Marisa Carpico ...Project Power feels like the best CW superhero show ever produced. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
River City Drumbeat (2019) Marisa Carpico ...it's precisely the sincerity of River City Drumbeat and the people in it that make it so profoundly moving. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2020
The Secret Garden (2020) Marisa Carpico Though The Secret Garden is filled with literal magic, it lacks the figurative magic needed to make it great. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2020
She Dies Tomorrow (2020) Marisa Carpico Seimetz certainly presents a complex existential quandary in her latest feature, but she unfortunately chooses the wrong people to explore it. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
Jigsaw (2017) Murjani Rawls Even though there are some chances taken, it just feels like another Saw movie and not something that is going to warrant a new generation of films. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Red Sparrow (2018) Murjani Rawls The main pieces of Red Sparrow, but the lack of developing secondary parts keep the movie from being a complete spy movie. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Murjani Rawls Crazy Rich Asians is a triumph on two fronts; both in it's diverse cast and it's beautiful storytelling. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
The Nun (2018) Murjani Rawls The Nun runs into a lot of the same problems that 2014's Annabelle did. The build up to these characters seemed more terrifying than what they were given in their actual movies. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Mandy (2018) Murjani Rawls Mandy is a love letter to a time where horror movies had a combination of otherworldly visuals and contemporary special effects to show the sheer brutality of either revenge or evil. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (2018) Murjani Rawls The purpose of the 2018 iteration of The Grinch is to bring the story to children who haven't gotten a chance to see the original. There's enough charm and freshness to keep it's spirit alive. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Wonder Park (2019) Murjani Rawls Is Wonder Park Is it a little too heavy-handed emotionally for kids? Perhaps. However, the movie is enjoyable, straightforward jaunt showing how to keep imagination alive. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Brightburn (2019) Murjani Rawls Brightburn is more of a horror film that may appeal to those who are looking for something different than the conventional superhero box despite the issues that pop up. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
Dirt Music (2019) Marisa Carpico ...despite everything going for it, Dirt Music just doesn't deliver. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2020
Relic (2020) Marisa Carpico But what James gains by deflating the film's terror in [its] final scenes is to make its central metaphor about the characters' primal terrors even more potent. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
Disclosure (2020) Marisa Carpico ...though Disclosure is extremely complex and occasionally didactic, it is also a comprehensive and necessary history of trans representation in film. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2020
Scare Package (2019) Marisa Carpico Scare Package is meant for horror fans, but even the most tolerant among them won't find much to enjoy here. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Marisa Carpico ...a profound and deeply satisfying act of catharsis. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
P.S. Burn This Letter Please (2020) Marisa Carpico P.S. Burn This Letter Please's strength lies in allowing its subjects to use their personal experiences to give the audience a deeper understanding of the time. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2020
Valley Girl (2020) Marisa Carpico ...an '80s pastiche that not only goes full musical, but adds surprising depth to the story. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
The Half of It (2020) Marisa Carpico Wu's script grapples with race, gender, sexuality, even family obligation with such gentle honesty that the small notes that ring false just don't matter in the long run. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2020
Selah and the Spades (2019) Marisa Carpico If the CW's Riverdale were good, it might look a little something like writer-director Tayarisha Poe's début film, Selah and the Spades. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2020
Sorry We Missed You (2019) Marisa Carpico The Turners may be inordinately unlucky, but what happens to them only serves to emphasizes how tenuous the gig economy leaves its workers' finances. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2020
The Booksellers (2019) Marisa Carpico The world The Booksellers explores is niche, but it seems vibrant, fascinating and maybe even vital here. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020
All the Bright Places (2020) Marisa Carpico Though the plot could easily feel overwrought, Fanning and Smith keep the material grounded even when their...characters can feel too sophisticated for real teenagers. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2020
Softness of Bodies (2018) Marisa Carpico And while it would be easy to read the film as an indictment of image-obsessed, selfish millennials, it's also equally possible that in this case, a cigar really is just a cigar. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2020
EMMA. (2020) Marisa Carpico In the end, all of Emma.'s flaws feel somehow summed up by the extraneous punctuation at the title's end. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2020
Film About a Father Who (2020) Marisa Carpico Both Lynne and we are perhaps no closer to understanding Ira Sr. by film's end, but we at least know him as his children do and...that's nothing short of miraculous. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
Quezon's Game (2018) Marisa Carpico ...by examining World War II through the lens of a country that America colonized, the film reframes and questions America's self-mythologizing. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) Marisa Carpico ...perhaps Ritchie's most cogent display yet that for him, style is substance. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020