Observer

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/4 13 Minutes (2021) Rex Reed Written and directed with an overload of talent by Lindsay Gossling, it rarely falters and leaves a viewer grateful for a whirlwind of character-driven suspense and humanity instead of the usual Hollywood cliches. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2021
3.5/4 Eternals (2021) Oliver Jones This is a film that asks on a grand scale questions we grapple with every day. How do we navigate and understand difference? Why do we value humanity so much when humans often do not seem to value each other? EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2021
0.5/4 Halloween Kills (2021) Oliver Jones A film that so completely sucks the vitality out of John Carpenter's and Debra Hill's original vision that one would be tempted to call it a desecration if that didn't make it sound like more fun than it actually is. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2021
3/4 The Harder They Fall (2021) Rafael Motamayor The entire cast brings their A-game to the film, which helps make The Harder They Fall feel like a major event that the genre has been waiting decades for. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2021
1/4 No Time to Die (2021) Rex Reed The film's sole distinction is the fact that it's the James Bond epic that finally manages to make 007 a crashing bore. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2021
2.5/4 Dune (2021) Siddhant Adlakha The film itself is mostly fine, with breathtaking visuals broken up by a less captivating story that often drags its feet. But its place within Western traditions-both real and imagined-is strange, unsavory, and fascinating. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2021
3.5/4 Petite Maman (2021) Siddhant Adlakha A poignant and moving coming-of-age story, and an example of the way cinema can make real both memories, without losing their bitter honesty, and dreams, without compromising on their glowing promise. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2021
3/4 Mass (2021) Rex Reed A film of rare ideas and smashing performances. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2021
3.5/4 Mass (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Driven by four challenging, nuanced and completely distinct performances, Mass is an emotional razor-wire. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2021
3.5/4 The Power of the Dog (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Campion's modern Western presses against a razor-thin membrane between gentleness and cruelty, acting both as a searing exploration and a gorgeous tapestry of the little, secret moments that make up a person EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2021
3/4 Red Rocket (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Bolstered by a hilarious, self-reflexive performance by Simon Rex of Scary Movie fame, who plays a manipulative, washed-up porn star trying to get his life together and failing to get out of his own way. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2021
1/4 Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Rex Reed Let's face it, Evan Hansen is actually a hateful, self-serving character who becomes a phony symbol of peace, tolerance and compassion by using others for his own gain. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2021
4/4 Titane (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Strange, frequently haunting, occasionally hilarious and ultimately masterful, Titane is a journey whose head-spinning complications are a vital part of its emotional impact. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2021
4/4 Flee (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Documentary realism rarely goes hand-in-hand with animated un-reality, but in Jonas Poher Rasmussen's Flee, those two aesthetic worlds collide and create a feeling of being unmoored. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2021
3/4 The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) Rex Reed Jessica Chastain delivers an Oscar-worthy performance in the title role, and Andrew Garfield is nothing less than sensational as her soft-spoken, indifferent, and cloyingly ambitious preacher husband Jim. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2021
4/4 Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster (2021) Rex Reed This movie honors both requirements of any documentary you can call memorable. It educates and entertains at the same time. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2021
2/4 Best Sellers (2021) Rex Reed If there's a central message we should take home and think about, it eludes me. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2021
2/4 Cry Macho (2021) Brandon Katz A dramatically turgid and thematically thin rumination on [Eastwood's] own iconography in its twilight. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2021
3/4 Lakewood (2021) Siddhant Adlakha The filmmaking works in and of itself, but that Lakewood feels so emotionally in tune with its lead actress is a feat all on its own. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2021
3.5/4 The Card Counter (2020) Oliver Jones It's not for everybody, and it's far from perfect, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a more thrillingly necessary use of the filmmaking form this year. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2021
3/4 Violet (2020) Siddhant Adlakha [Olivia] Munn's performance, and the film's eventual narrative trajectory, are incisive enough to get around its visual shortcomings. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2021
3.5/4 Mogul Mowgli (2020) Emily Zemler This is an intimate story, sometimes uncomfortably so, but it's also an expansive one, about whether our societies allow people to live outside prescribed boxes and whether it accepts them when they do. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2021
2.5/4 Vacation Friends (2021) Brandon Katz Sure, it's a silly R-rated raunchy comedy in which we get both testicle and poop jokes (classic). But it's proudly open hearted and a funny, if absurd, champion of friendship. I can't wait to take my next vacation. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2021
3.5/4 Together (2021) Rex Reed The writing is strong and the two actors have a surfeit of both chemistry and charisma. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2021
1/4 Reminiscence (2021) Rex Reed The corny script and the static direction are both by Lisa Joy from the TV show Westworld. This is her first feature film. It probably won't be her last, but hope springs eternal. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
2/4 The Night House (2020) Rex Reed Rarely have I seen a movie in which simply everything demands clarification. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
3.5/4 Candyman (2021) Brandon Katz Candyman feels like a reclamation project of sorts. One that will scare the pants off of you, yes, but also one that adds depth and resonance to the once-static slasher format. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2021
2.5/4 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) Oliver Jones Shang-Chi certainly deserves credit as a groundbreaking step of representation in mega-budget filmmaking. You just desperately wish that the terrain it treads upon didn't feel so safe. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2021
3.5/4 CODA (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Each performance breathes life and nuance into what could easily have been a misfire. Instead, the result is tremendously sweet, uproariously funny and one of the best crowd-pleasers this year. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2021
2.5/4 Don't Breathe 2 (2021) Oliver Jones There's a healthy variety of scares, though the film gets most of its mileage out of Lang's shadow-cloaked scarred visage, a menacing physical presence that contrasts nicely with his choked whisper of a voice. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2021
3/4 Respect (2021) Rex Reed Jennifer Hudson as Aretha is the whole deal. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2021
0/4 Free Guy (2021) Rex Reed An occasionally tolerable way to waste two hours in the middle of a summer heat wave. That is not a recommendation. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2021
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) Rebecca Long Angela Lansbury's zany feature is just as enchanting as it was in 1971 and more radical than some may remember. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2021
2.5/4 The Suicide Squad (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Gunn is much better suited to the material, though while the end result is gorier, funnier and occasionally more heartfelt [than its predecessor], it doesn't quite coalesce into something totally fun, or totally meaningful. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2021
2.5/4 Stillwater (2021) Rex Reed To be fair, it has moments of keenly observed honesty, and the actors are fully believable. But its attempts to engage the viewer's emotions are forced and ineffectual. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2021
2/4 Jungle Cruise (2021) Rex Reed If you don't fall asleep, there's plenty to look at... EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
1/4 Old (2021) Rex Reed When the best thing about a movie is the makeup, you know something is missing that can never be recaptured. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2021
3/4 The Green Knight (2021) Brandon Katz Those expecting an Arthurian sword-and-sandals battle epic will be sorely disappointed. Instead, Lowery has delivered a dense, sensual, almost dream-like tale of chivalry, magic, temptation and transformation. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2021
4/4 The Velvet Underground (2021) Stephen Garrett This is Haynes' first time as a feature-length documentarian, and his approach is just as surprisingly conventional as it is predictably outré. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2021
3/4 Benedetta (2021) Stephen Garrett [A] gleefully lurid period-piece look at sapphic lust and religious rot. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2021
3/4 Val (2021) Stephen Garrett Val is the portrait of a striving artist, endlessly searching. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2021
2/4 Joe Bell (2020) Rex Reed A flawed but noble failure about the tragic effects of bullying on gay teenagers that, for many reasons, sadly delivers much less than it promises. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2021
1/4 Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021) Brandon Katz The fight choreography is often impressive. But the script is pockmarked with cliches, tropes and never-ending predictability. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2021
3/4 Annette (2021) Rafael Motamayor So unrestrained and unapologetic about what it's trying to do, you can't help but sing along. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2021
3/4 Holler (2020) Siddhant Adlakha Holler is a gorgeously-textured exploration of the way ruthless corporatism trickles down through each layer of a country, and a system, until it falls on the shoulders of a young girl and obscures her future. Jessica Barden pens sonnets with her silence. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2021
1.5/4 Infinite (2021) Siddhant Adlakha Fuqua does what he can to sprinkle garnishing on cold leftovers, but the script barely holds together, and seems to emanate from an alternate reality where no other sci-fi films or games were released in the last 25 years. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2021
3.5/4 In the Heights (2021) Rafael Motamayor In the Heights is a party, and we are just lucky to be invited. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2021
3/4 Cruella (2021) Brandon Katz It's the first time in the last decade that one of Disney's reimaginings feels fresh and exciting. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2021
3/4 A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Rex Reed The film depends on harrowing moments of unpredictable close calls punctuated at the kind of hair-raising special effects Mr. Krasinski stages very well. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2021
1.5/4 The Woman in the Window (2021) Oliver Jones An unshaken cocktail of other much better movies, this dramatically turgid, prestige-tinged murder thriller isn't terribly good, sadly. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2021