My Champlain Valley

My Champlain Valley is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Julia Swift
Rating Title/Year Author
4/10 Judy (2019) Julia Swift Renee Zellweger's performance was more caricature than acting throughout most of this slight film. The script and director rarely dig below the surface and Zellweger's few subtle moments were not enough to save this film. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
10/10 Abominable (2019) Julia Swift Writer/ Director Jill Culton, has crafted a magical, awe inspiring experience. The warm, touching film will fill your heart, soul and mind with inspiration as you, along with characters, rediscover your own power and the power of family and friendship. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
8 Hustlers (2019) Julia Swift Based on a true story, this film follows strippers entirely from the women's point of view. The sparkling cast along with director Scafaria deliver a world where women with few options and no power struggle to take some of the money and power back. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
5 The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Julia Swift This story of a man with Downs Syndrome going after his dream of being a wrestler was inspired by the main actor's dream to star in a film. The mess of a script failed to maintain momentum but the actors managed to deliver some feel good moments. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
3 Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Julia Swift The main character was completely inauthentic which made it hard to care about her. It's never a good sign when every time a side character comes on screen you wish you could follow them into a different film. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
5 Angel Has Fallen (2019) Julia Swift It's a wild, fun ride with a great cast. Even the weak script can't stop this old fashioned popcorn action film from sparking with energy. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
9 Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Julia Swift In Richard Linklater's latest film Cate Blanchett gives one of the most honest and vulnerable portrayals of motherhood recently seen on screen. It's funny, crazy, emotional -- but finally and most importantly, inspiring. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3 The Kitchen (2019) Julia Swift The film felt like studio executives decided to make a stereotypical mob film just replacing the men with women. The characters' motivations and actions were unearned and unreal. And each scene had a different tone. The actors seemed lost. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
9 The Farewell (2019) Julia Swift Lulu Wang is a new force in filmmaking and I can't wait to see what she does next. She knows how to elicit laughter and tears through revealing human truths and is not afraid to dig into controversial issues. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2019
6 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Julia Swift Less violence than usual for Tarantino, but the same tendency for the camera to creepily sexualize all the women. Brad Pitt gave a layered, funny, heartfelt performance that saved the scattered script and directorial self-indulgent style. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
4 The Lion King (2019) Julia Swift Beautiful but disappointing. The images feel very real at times, but they lack the character and heart of both truly real animals and traditional animation. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
2 Stuber (2019) Julia Swift The actors who star in this film are lost in a poorly written, lazily directed film which is being sold as a comedy when it is actually an extremely violent film. Not worth the price of admission or even your precious time later on streaming. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
7 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Julia Swift Just like the first one, this teen love story/ super hero mashup was sweet and fun. It was a bit too repetitive in relation to the first one, but Zendaya is so charming and the fight scenes so creative, it's still worth the price of admission. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
7 Toy Story 4 (2019) Julia Swift Although it lacks the humor of earlier Toy Story films, this sequel is chock full of heart and emotion. Great for younger audiences. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
7 Rocketman (2019) Julia Swift Elton's classic hits are used in a traditional musical way where the characters sing the words to tell the emotional story of how he got to rehab. I was singing but not jumping out of my seat since the actor doesn't have the vocal charisma of Elton. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
6 Booksmart (2019) Julia Swift Fun ride from first time director Olivia Wilde -- but why do comedy movies about women so often fall into the gross out humor mode? Newsflash -- many women don't respond as much to gross out humor as to character based and situation based humor. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
7 Tolkien (2019) Julia Swift Beautiful, dreamlike vision of how writers find their voices told through the early life of Tolkein. Very inspirational for young artists to see how to take their pain and turn it into art. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
6 Little (2019) Julia Swift The strong casting and smart writing sweep you into a world of laughter and heart that mirror real life. The pacing was wonky at times but director Tina Gordon is definitely one to watch. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
3 After (2019) Julia Swift Where are the real teen romances? This gives us a hint, but the script is so flawed that it's hard to buy anything the characters do. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
4 Long Shot (2019) Julia Swift Does Seth Rogan ever read over what he writes? This feels like a quick first draft of a comedy film that needed a second read to make the story work, add some layers and stronger jokes. All the voices sound the same, and all like a tired Rogan. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
8 Family (2018) Julia Swift I laughed real, deep, unable to stop myself laughs. This sweet script is funny, fresh and moving. But... it's set in the oddly dark world of Juggalos which it made it struggle with marketing. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2019
6 Transit (2018) Julia Swift A tale about power and immigration told in a timeless era, mixing European present and Nazi past. Acting first class -- but every female character feels squeezed through an intensely sexual male gaze and comes out soulless and riddled with cliches. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
3 Gloria Bell (2018) Julia Swift This remake doesn't fit it's place or time, and even Julianne Moore can't save it. Older women in America now have an independence and inner strength that didn't jibe with this portrayal -- the character looked 50 but played a sad, desperate 85. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2019
8 Shazam! (2019) Julia Swift Sweet, fun, heartfelt experience. Not the dark depths of evil we are used to in superhero films lately. But why does the pretty teenage girl need to be so useless in a fight and why did a family film have to have a strip club? EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2019
5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Julia Swift A young robot girl discovers the power in her body, mind and spirit. Awesome special effects, but Cameron and Rodriguez failed when it came to the female characters. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2019
10 Kelebekler (2018) Julia Swift Moving, funny and so real it will make you want to reach out to your own family, Butterflies is a film that makes you feel, think and laugh until you cry. Go see this movie. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2019
7 Five Feet Apart (2019) Julia Swift Sprouse proves he's more than a child star while Baldoni, the novice director, rushed the emotional scenes but still displayed a rare ability to be sweet without being syrupy. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2019
6 Isn't It Romantic (2019) Julia Swift Rebel Wilson is so likable onscreen that it was fun to watch her trip over all of the romantic comedy cliches thrown her way in this parody. Unfortunately, the director didn't seem to be in on the jokes, as the timing was often way off. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
10 Roma (2018) Julia Swift The director, Alfonso Cuaron, brings the audience into the world of his childhood in Mexico City's Roma neighborhood through masterful blending of the intricacies of power dynamics in class, ethnicity, politics, family and gender. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2019
4 Cold War (2018) Julia Swift A mesmerizing performance from Joanna Kulig and beautiful cinematography by Lukasz Zal could not overcome the repugnant nature of a love story centered on a young girl, abused by her father, then controlled and sexualized by her teacher. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2019
7 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) Julia Swift You don't need to see the original in order to enjoy this fun mash up of 80's teen movie and video games. Light laughs and non-stressful action make for a crowd pleasing few hours of entertainment. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
9 Insyriated (2017) Julia Swift As we peek into the day to day existence of a family stuck in an apartment in the middle of war torn Syria, we see how communities come together, fall apart and witness the resilience of the human spirit. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
10 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Julia Swift This intense drama is tough to watch but the masterful script and soulful performances make this dark film into an ultimately uplifting experience. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
9 I, Tonya (2017) Julia Swift Allison Janney and Margot Robbie shine in this kinetic retelling of the Tonya Harding story that comments on the media's biases when it comes to gender, class and ultimately, ratings. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
6 On the Basis of Sex (2018) Julia Swift The spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsburg shines through and overpowers the passionless script and weak performance of the lead actress. Justin Theroux owns the screen working again with director Mimi Leder - a groundbreaking force in her own right. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
3 The Mule (2018) Julia Swift Although it's wonderful to see Clint Eastwood, now 88, on screen, as the director, he fell short. Each character was acting in a different tone/genre and there was no unifying directorial vision. The script's thinly sketched characters didn't help. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
10 Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Julia Swift Try to see this amazingly visual and immersive film on the largest screen possible. And yes, it will help to see the original first. The world is beautiful, layered and fascinating and the characters keep you caring every one of its 164 minutes. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2019
6 Game Night (2018) Julia Swift This thriller/comedy combination is no masterpiece, especially given it's weak script and off the rails third act, but it is a light fun movie. Jason Bateman's charismatic performance carries the film over the rough spots. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2019
3 Vice (2018) Julia Swift What a waste of talented actors and makeup artists. Yes, Bale physically transformed himself, but his Cheney had no passion and could not glue the various bits and pieces of the script together. A definite fail for writer/director Adam McKay. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2019
10 The Rider (2017) Julia Swift This true story hauntingly explores masculinity in the American Western tradition. A real family plays themselves in this fictionalized version of their lives. I suspect we will see many brilliant films from the director, Chloe Zhao. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2019
6 Everything, Everything (2017) Julia Swift This plays more like theater than film as the story is mostly contained in one room, but the actors bring such vulnerability and hopefulness that is hard not to get swept away by their romance. I can't wait to see what director Meghie does next. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
6 Love, Simon (2018) Julia Swift The first studio wide release gay coming of age film tries so hard to get audiences to identify with the main character that he ends up being too ordinary. However, the characters around him are fully developed and help us grow to care about him. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
8 The Nile Hilton Incident (2017) Julia Swift This film noir, set in Cairo as the Arab Spring erupts, is a fabulous example of how have different layers of storytelling that will appeal to a variety of audiences. There is a murder mystery, a political statement and social allegory all in one. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
7 Detroit (2017) Julia Swift A gut wrenching film by a masterful director set in Detroit's 1967 Riot/Uprising. The script follows too many characters, sacrificing emotional connection, but Bigelow pulls deep performances from her cast with breathtakingly powerful results. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
9 Arrival (2016) Julia Swift A startlingly original film. This alien meets professor film is more layered character drama than thriller. Look out for the use of sound and color to express Amy Adams' character's growth and change. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
7 A Star Is Born (2018) Julia Swift Another remake of one of my favorite films. Bradley Cooper doesn't quite pull it off, but everyone around him shines, especially Lady Gaga. The script faltered as did all of the songs -- except The Shallows, which will stick in your head for weeks. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
3 Operation Finale (2018) Julia Swift The director struggled with the tone, sliding into comedy and breaking the emotional thread. The film was packed with potential as the script delves into a period of Nazi resurgence in post WW2 Argentina that has largely been ignored in media. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
4 The Post (2017) Julia Swift Too focused on plot -- the film looses the character threads. But every scene Meryl Streep is in comes to life, leaving a hole every time she's not on screen. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2018
8 Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Julia Swift McCarthy throws herself into this true story taking us for a ride, even as the character pushes away everyone in her life and makes many questionable choices. The script is wonderful, but the director and DP didn't match the level of artistry. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2018
4 First Man (2018) Julia Swift The cool special effects can't overcome the flat script and ultra-restrained acting. Neil Armstrong may not have been brimming with charisma, but the director and actor needed to reach deeper and find something human for the audience to connect to. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2018