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
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
8 Border (2018) Julia Swift This Swedish film pulls on the tradition of trolls and drops them into contemporary society. The lead actress' deep soulfulness helps the audience suspend disbelief and immerse themselves in this tale of immigration, parenthood and sexuality. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2018
9 A Simple Favor (2018) Julia Swift Anna Kendrick shines as a young mom coming into her own sense of self and power in this quirky mashup of film noir and comedy. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2018
10 The Rest I Make Up (2018) Julia Swift An inspiring documentary on Maria Irene Fornes, the groundbreaking playwright, director and teacher. Filmed over years, the filmmaker/subject relationship transforms to true friendship. The film is a celebration of the undying artistic spirit. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
8 Green Book (2018) Julia Swift Filled with intimate moments from a son's memories of his father's tales, this feel good drama takes us on a road trip as opposites find common ground. Prepare for the best kind of tension as we hope/fear for the characters. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
6 Aquaman (2018) Julia Swift See it on the big screen for a fun, beautiful, underwater ride. Just don't expect too much in terms of story and acting. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
8 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Julia Swift An awesome movie for pre-teens that uses hip humor to comment on our world while being unafraid to make us feel real emotions. Add Disney princesses freed from their corsets, and you've got the feel good Disney ethos updated for our electronic age. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018