Movies and Shakers

Movies and Shakers is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Linda and Al Lerner
Rating Title/Year Author
Coming 2 America (2021) Linda and Al Lerner It's all predictable, choppy and the comedy is not challenging enough on any level. We expected more snappy repartee from the 7 writers involved in creating this script, including from Murphy, himself. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2021
Boogie (2021) Linda and Al Lerner This is often a painful movie to watch, between the strained and abusive relationships in his family and the problems at school. Boogie just wants and needs to be loved. He's got a chip on his shoulder a mile wide. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2021
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Linda and Al Lerner The animation in this film is exquisite, using light and vivid colors to create an almost photo-like quality. Plus, it delivers a message of trust and cooperation that resonates today. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2021
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry (2021) Linda and Al Lerner Cutler shows her body of work is already impressive. We hope the director follows up in a few years to see where Billie goes from here. But we also hope the next film is a bit shorter. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2021
The World to Come (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Despite the great cast, director Mona Fastvold (The Mustang) creates less than picturesque settings for the uncomfortable lives of these people and for us as an audience. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
Flora and Ulysses (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This Disney film surprises and mostly delights veering off the well-worn path of simple kid flicks into a furry, funny, squirrelly superhero quest. Flora Buckman, played by Matilda Lawler is at turns cute, yet cynical. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
Rock Camp: The Movie (2021) Linda and Al Lerner Even though the film is a hodgepodge interspersing music with sage advice and realism about being a rock star, you get to go behind the scenes, seeing the famous at your level as if you went to camp yourself. Play on! EDIT
Posted Feb 17, 2021
Land (2021) Linda and Al Lerner Despite a tendency to overuse dramatic closeups, Wright has taken on an enormous challenge and, for the most part this succeeds in showing the importance of human connection. This film couldn't come at a better time. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Linda and Al Lerner Director Shaka King reaps riveting performances from Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield in this film about racial persecution and tension in 1969 that resonates today. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
The Mauritanian (2021) Linda and Al Lerner Director Kevin MacDonald, well known for documentaries (Life in a Day 2020, Marley), employs that same authentic style as another set of eyes in the room almost dispassionately watching Slahi's Guantanamo Inquisition unfold. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
Palmer (2021) Linda and Al Lerner Justin Timberlake is a welcome presence on screen and not a bad actor, but he doesn't have the chops to completely pull this off as we think a Tom Hardy or Christian Bale might. This role calls for more emotional depth. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2021
The Dissident (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Following in Khashoggi's footsteps, Director Bryan Fogel uses a method of reporting that the journalist might have himself used to methodically present facts & evidence to make the case. He presents the chilling facts without taking a grizzly approach. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2021
One Night in Miami (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Kemp Powers' script, good casting & performances & King's directing keep your interest in a film that doesn't feel like a period piece at all. King shines a bright light on these super luminaries who struggled with the same issues in 1964 present today. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
Herself (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Dunne and Lloyd make this a movie with a message of empowerment for women like Sandra who may think they have no way out. Dunne's performance is desperate, believable and sincere. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
Pieces of a Woman (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This film is heavy, depressing, drama that bares a tragic situation and its emotional consequences. It is Vanessa Kirby's movie all the way, and a star turn showing significant intensity. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2021
The Father (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Hopkins and Colman are sure to garner accolades for their performances exposing dementia in detail from Writer/Director Florian Zeller's mind-bending, personal, point of view. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2021
Minari (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Chung creates a film that draws us into this family's drama. They face big challenges, but the biggest one of all is to face the truth regarding their familial roles and relationships directed and performed magnificently by this talented ensemble. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2021
Soul (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This film may contain the heftiest life lesson in a Disney/Pixar film that targets adults more than children. Even though this doesn't rank among the best of the studios' work, this still meets Pixar's high standards for storytelling. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Linda and Al Lerner As much needed escapism, Gal Gadot cements her Super Hero status with a stunning and earnest performance. But Patty Jenkins' second turn directing this DC franchise devolves into a confusing jumble with a simplistic moral message. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2020
Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Linda and Al Lerner If you've ever wanted to frolic on the Irish countryside, this film is as frothy as the head on a Guinness, but as a romantic travelogue, will just do. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Davis imbues her Ma Rainey with a fierce resolve that takes command of every space she inhabits. And Chadwick Boseman gives his all in, sadly, his final stunning performance, going head to head with Davis in this film. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Promising Young Woman (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Carey Mulligan keeps you guessing from start to finish in this role playing revenge film about misogyny and male privilege. Every woman can appreciate this tantalizingly clever thriller from actress (The Crown) now Writer/Director, Emerald Fennell. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
Wander Darkly (2020) Linda and Al Lerner On camera, Luna and Miller have sizzling moments of both ecstasy, joy and misery to remind us that relationships are organic. Miele shows that the memories we make live on, and so will this film. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
I'm Your Woman (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Hart knows how to create suspense with unsavory characters in this gritty 70's film noir shot in color in Pennsylvania. It's slow and dramatic, not containing a whole lot of dialogue nor explanation, with lots of twists and a high body count. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Nomadland (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Frances McDormand proves, once again, that she is the master of stoic characters whose study of life's challenges is subtle, but evident, on her face. This film is a treatise on the economy, aging, family, friendship, health care, and self identity. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
Ammonite (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Credit goes to Winslet and Ronan who gave their all going through this slow, muddy slog that ends ambiguously. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
Echo Boomers (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This film is a misguided generational treatise on class, wealth and status. From the very first scene, you know where this is going to lead. Writer/ Director Seth Savoy peaks your interest introducing a group of bitter millennial malcontents. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Come Away (2020) Linda and Al Lerner The stunning cinematography and production design is rich in detail, but the story is very dark and confusing. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story (2019) Linda and Al Lerner Sokolow uses his own words, videos, writings and drawings to make us aware of his dedication to the importance of combatting climate change. With so many hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires, the reasons for Mark's walk is more relevant than ever. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2020
On the Rocks (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Sofia Coppola whips up a cocktail not as potent as we hoped it would be, but it has some enjoyable moments. Always fun to watch, Bill Murray is a hoot, even when he plays a likable cad. Rashida Jones, as his daughter, is a good foil for his antics. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Like a good book, this is a real page turner. Aaron Sorkin is the master of fast-paced, cutting dialogue making it suit each character in this recreation of a turbulent time, not unlike the contentious climate we live in now. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
Siempre, Luis (2020) Linda and Al Lerner The structure of the film jumps around a lot, kind of like Luis himself, whose energy is infectious. Director James shows Luis Miranda as always engaged, articulate, animated, exciting and, as the director will likely admit, exhausting. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2020
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Radha Blank is a versatile actress, and truly talented writer and director. Blank's examination of a woman with raw, unfiltered attitude about to turn 40, is hard not to relate to on so many levels. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2020
The War With Grandpa (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This could be a family film to see at a time when we all need any kind of silly distraction. But we found this to be a sad misuse all of these amazing actors drawing more groans than laughs. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
All In: The Fight for Democracy (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Stacey Abrams is producer, narrator and activist in this significant film depicting the history of voter suppression and her own personal story. You'll understand how and why Abrams has become a driving force to make sure elections are fair. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2020
Kajillionaire (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This theater of the absurd with lessons how not to be a family is hard not to like. Writer Director July Miranda creates a dramedy that is alternately infuriating, befuddling and unnerving, but uniquely creative. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2020
Antebellum (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This movie doesn't work on multiple levels. Instead of paying homage to the Black Lives Matter Movement the plot devolves into a disjointed, cartoonish, blood-lust revenge story. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2020
The Social Dilemma (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Orlowski presents a detailed, creatively crafted, frightening look at the future. It's here now! We got the message loud and clear. This docudrama is so effective, we changed settings on several of our own devices. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2020
Mulan (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Director, Niki Caro, has created an epic film, with meticulously choreographed stunts and battle scenes shot with precision on both geometrically defined and lush locations. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
Tenet (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Like the palindrome title of the movie, it goes back & forth the same way. You might want to wait until Tenet is streaming so you can play it forward & in reverse to figure out what Nolan was really going for. And you'll be able to control the volume. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
() Linda and Al Lerner Dafoe, Dillon and Taylor bring life to Gifford's writing backed by a mesmerizing collection of quick clips and animation for the writer's love letter to Roy's World. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
Mr. Soul! (2018) Linda and Al Lerner After watching this film, both Black and White audiences should be embarrassed that this courageous and challenging show from 50 years ago created by super producer, Ellis Haizlip was relegated to the dustbin, until now. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2020
#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Director Partland dives deep into Trump's psyche with first-hand knowledge and testimonials. This would be a fascinating character study, if only the stakes weren't so high. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2020
() Linda and Al Lerner Music helps tell Aham's semi-autobiographical story of broken family and it's journey out of emotional depths. Ahamefule's story about a family struggling to keep it together is creative, chaotic and cathartic, as he keeps the music flowing. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2020
Tesla (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Director Michael Almereyda turns this film on its head. It's kind of theater of the absurd on film. Modern devices show up in odd places, Ethan Hawke sings, and there's an ice cream fight between Tesla and Edison in this unique Period Piece. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2020
Boys State (2020) Linda and Al Lerner McBain and Moss are incredibly adept filmmakers and this is one monumental project well-crafted and extremely informative while entertainingly intense. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2020
I Used to Go Here (2020) Linda and Al Lerner This plot is supposed to be awkward, and it is. Rey is an accomplished writer and director and includes some good punch lines. But some of the scenes seem unfinished and disconnected. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
Rebuilding Paradise (2020) Linda and Al Lerner Howard, drawn by the emotional stories of the residents who lost it all, shows their "cycle of grief" in great detail. With the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world now, this film is an odd parallel. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
Radioactive (2019) Linda and Al Lerner The best take away is that Marie Curie was a woman who didn't let gender stand in the way of her passion for science. But in spite of Rosamund Pike's excellent performance, this film does not light up the screen. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2020
Animation Outlaws (2019) Linda and Al Lerner Obvious from the tributes in this film that Spike & Mike inspired an incredible amount of experimentation by young animators expanding the world of animation. Think about it, Rick and Morty's brazen, gross comedy might never exist without Spike & Mike. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2020