A Reel of One's Own

A Reel of One's Own is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Andrea Thompson
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Andrea Thompson Such sorrowful yearning dominates, even obscuring the colorful, dangerous, and always stunningly beautiful world. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2021
D- Mother Schmuckers (2021) Andrea Thompson There's just nothing that could save "Mother Schmuckers" once it decides that shock value and offensiveness should take precedence over genuine laughs. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
A- Sabaya (2021) Andrea Thompson According to the film, the volunteers have rescued a total of 206 women and girls. It seems like a triumph until we're informed that 2,000 are still missing. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
B+ Passing (2021) Andrea Thompson Rebecca Hall fully and boldly commits to a dreamy black and white aesthetic in her directorial debut, which has all the quiet forcefulness of a storm about to break. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
B+ Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Andrea Thompson What unfolds is a modern American tragedy, all the more so because nearly everyone in it believes they're doing the right thing. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2021
A- Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021) Andrea Thompson Any danger of the documentary defining Moreno by her worst periods is offset by Moreno herself, whose movie star charisma is enhanced by the warmth and confidence of a woman who's faced the worst periods of her life and not only survived, but thrived. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
C+ Mass (2021) Andrea Thompson "Mass" is at least intelligent enough to know that sometimes there are no answers. But more is needed, such as the simple recognition that not everyone is given not only the benefit of the doubt. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
A- Rebel Hearts (2021) Andrea Thompson "Rebel Hearts" is still determined to not only uplift, but do justice to the women it's profiling and just what gave them a communal backbone of such stuff that they eventually chose to defy the Vatican itself. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
B- Mayday (2021) Andrea Thompson "Mayday" is the kind of film with some damn good ideas, which the film can't seem to see through. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
C- Land (2021) Andrea Thompson "Land" could've easily devolved into a simplistic story where Miguel instructed Edee in life and love, but the film is smart enough to at least avoid some cliches... But everyone is ultimately betrayed by the film's ending. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
A- Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021) Andrea Thompson Thankfully, Questlove widens our gaze to a period of seismic changes, when America was in turbulence and many leaders advocating for progress had been assassinated. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
D Violation (2020) Andrea Thompson "Violation" has other, more effective ways to disturb, and disturb it does. What it fails to realize is true empathy is still often the most radical choice we can make. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
B+ Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Andrea Thompson This is no uplifting tale meant to reassure us of a better world. It's an ode to a woman and her music, which spoke for those who were mostly robbed of a voice and so much more. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
A- I'm Your Woman (2020) Andrea Thompson It's still a radical prospect to build an entire film about a character who would normally spend it quivering in fear in the most ineffective way possible. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
C+ Soul (2020) Andrea Thompson "Soul" may fail to fully follow through on its characters or its premise, but even a duller Pixar film will leave an impression. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
A+ Minari (2020) Andrea Thompson "Minari" just might be the most intensely gentle roller coaster you'll ever be lucky enough to partake in. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
D Sylvie's Love (2020) Andrea Thompson It tends to get cringey when such ill-defined characters try and make a go of it together, and it doesn't take long for "Sylvie's Love" to comply. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
B+ Nomadland (2020) Andrea Thompson Even if this is how Chloé Zhao misses the mark, "Nomadland" could never be mistaken for a film that's unworthy of time or attention. When this kind of skill and vision is so beautifully, compassionately blended, it deserves both. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
D Promising Young Woman (2020) Andrea Thompson Everything "Promising Young Woman" is trying to do has been done better. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
D Rebecca (2020) Andrea Thompson Certainly the source material deserved to at least be a spectacular failure rather than another example of modern mediocrity, but at least we'll always have the 1940 version, which does a better job of implying what this movie refuses to even consider. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
B- The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Andrea Thompson Thank goodness for Sorkin's gift for dialogue, since what could be overwrought becomes righteous anger, and the liberties he took go down smoother than they should. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
D Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Andrea Thompson Sometimes you should just stay home rather than going big, and the more the movie tries to tap into rather than adapt to every global phenomenon, the more its humor, which is rooted in personal interaction, falls flat. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
B- On the Rocks (2020) Andrea Thompson It is a safer, lighter concoction than what we've come to expect from Coppola, but it goes down easily. A bit too easy, actually, much like a cocktail whose lack of an aftertaste isn't due to a bartender's skill, but an absence of character. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
D.E.B.S. (2004) Andrea Thompson The action sequences tend to lack urgency and suspense, and they're actually rather boring. The love story is the interesting part, and it's both a product of its time and ahead of it EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
Bright Star (2009) Andrea Thompson Jane Campion's "Bright Star" manages to accomplish quite a bit, not the least of which is a love story where the lovers not only rarely get any time alone together, but fall in love in front of the whole family. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
Point Break (1991) Andrea Thompson Bigelow makes all this fun, tragic, and yes, deeply sexy without lingering too much on the bodies of the various surfers, male or female. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
Born in Flames (1983) Andrea Thompson Sisterhood becomes powerful, as does their anger, which practically leaps from every frame as "Born in Flames" as it gives a rousing call to action for all women to unite. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
D Antebellum (2020) Andrea Thompson If there is any redemptive quality in "Antebellum," it's due to Monáe's awe-inspiring skills as an actress, which are on full display as the camera lingers on her endlessly expressive face. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
B+ Eternal Beauty (2019) Andrea Thompson Roberts keeps easy conclusions to a minimum, refusing to box Jane into territory verging on uplifting or inspirational. His approach to her mental state is a complex one, with medications easing Jane's pain but not ending it. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
B+ Misfit Heights (2012) Andrea Thompson If you occasionally see strings, and some of the puppets have human hands for more complex tasks, it's easily forgivable, even enjoyable, when such budgetary restrictions are apparent. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
A- Residue (2020) Andrea Thompson Be it a person or a city, "Residue" is a kind of poetic depiction of what essentially constitutes a literal erasure of an identity to fit the desires of the affluent. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
A H0us3 (2019) Andrea Thompson [Manolo Munguia] packs more scares just from putting a group of people in a single location and letting us watch them talk and go on their electronics than most filmmakers do with every effect in the world at their disposal. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
C+ Sputnik (2020) Andrea Thompson The movie's major disappointment is ironically Tatyana herself, who spends much of the first half as a complex personality bent on discovery, only to deteriorate into a one-dimensional heroine who becomes practically angelic by the end. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
B- John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) Andrea Thompson Even if the result is a stirring call to action in a time when younger activists can and are taking inspiration from a beloved figure, it's also a rather simplistic one. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
A- Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (2020) Andrea Thompson "Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets" is one of those films that contains a multitude of stories, not just from the bar flies who flock to the dive bar that's become a warm, welcoming place for them in contrast to the harsh, sepia toned Vegas outside. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
The Old Guard (2020) Andrea Thompson Skill like this also goes a long way towards excusing plot holes, and this is one area where "The Old Guard" is by no means an exception... Good thing there's the incredible action scenes to distract. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
B- Judy & Punch (2019) Andrea Thompson If Wasikowska's and Herriman's performance elevate the material, Foulkes likewise incorporates modern touches that incorporate the present into a past that feels like something more sinister than a safe distance away. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2020
Shirley (2020) Andrea Thompson If writer Sarah Gubbins nimbly navigates the slow psychological terror of women on verge of a nervous breakdown, director Josephine Decker is her partner in crime, bringing the same splintered manic energy that was so spellbinding in "Madeline's Madeline" EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2020
A- The State of Texas vs. Melissa (2020) Andrea Thompson That Sabrina Van Tassel is able to convey the bafflingly wide array of information available in a fairly calm and reasonable manner is an accomplishment in itself. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2020
B+ Cowboys (2020) Andrea Thompson Writer-director Anna Kerrigan doesn't just have a deep knowledge of the state she's portraying (and a commitment to cast a child actor who was non-binary or trans), she has a deep affection for it. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2020
C+ P.S. Burn This Letter Please (2020) Andrea Thompson There's also little acknowledgment of any other decade besides the 80s, when AIDS tore into the community with the force of a destructive tornado. Such neglect of the some the rich characters who go underexplored in the film feels like a crime itself. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2020
A- Through the Night (2020) Andrea Thompson "Through the Night" won me over though, not because director Loira Limbal has any illusions about objectivity, but because she prefers to step back and show the toll inequality takes on the very people our culture supposedly reveres most - families. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2020
Lady Bird (2017) Andrea Thompson Marion and Lady Bird's bond is very real, strong, and complicated like many mother-daughter bonds tend to be. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2020
Wild Nights With Emily (2018) Andrea Thompson It's one of those rare films where a director's perspective also feels like an insider's view of an invisible, almost parallel history as seen via a great love story, one that happened to be between two women. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2020
B+ Come as You Are (2019) Andrea Thompson Watching these four is hilarious as genuine friendships form and vulnerabilities are revealed with compassion, wit, a fair amount of insight, and no small amount of skill.The film also skillfully avoids cheap sentiment, no small feat here. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2020
A+ Goldie (2020) Andrea Thompson With another director, this might be the stuff of shallow melodrama, but Sam de Jong keeps the retro flourishes coming, along with the vibrant humor. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2020
B+ Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Andrea Thompson Eliza Hittman has written and directed a film with compassion bursting from every frame, despite its quietly simmering tone. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2020
C+ Swallow (2019) Andrea Thompson Calling your movie feminist, or even giving a woman the lead role, does not make a movie so if it mostly reduces that lead to the men in her life, or in this case, in her past. "Swallow" comes closer than most, but as the song goes, almost doesn't count. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
B- Tomboy (2020) Andrea Thompson Audiences also have needs beyond basic nutrition, and Lindenbaum's desire to show rather than tell at all costs means that what could have been a far richer feast comes off as rather flavorless at times. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2020
The Dilemma of Desire (2020) Andrea Thompson Director Maria Finitzo's presence is continual as she guides "The Dilemma of Desire" through the myriad complexities of its own topics, with a respect for her diverse subjects other filmmakers mostly dream of achieving. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2020