VitalThrills.com

VitalThrills.com is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Alan Cerny, Jenna Busch, Joshua Starnes, Sarah Musnicky
Rating Title/Year Author
6.5/10 Wrath of Man (2021) Alan Cerny Wrath of Man bursts out of the gate with a strength and a ferocity that we have not seen from Guy Ritchie in a while. But the wrath runs out. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2021
6/10 Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) Joshua Starnes Without Remorse is what studio action films always were - it's no wonder when superhero films came along audiences gravitated to them, whatever their faults. If studios want to get those viewers back, they're going to have to start offering more. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2021
7/10 Mortal Kombat (2021) Jenna Busch If you're willing to suspend disbelief...just enjoy it for the fun popcorn movie it is, you're going to have a blast. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2021
7/10 This Is Not a War Story (2021) Joshua Starnes At its best, This Is Not a War Story is a quietly-enthralling character study in pain that dives into the heart of the unspeakable and comes out the other side. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2021
6.5/10 Nobody (2021) Joshua Starnes If ten years ago I had made a list of sentences I would never write in a review, surely "enjoying a Bob Odenkirk action movie" would have to have been one of them. And yet that reality has come to pass and mostly successfully. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2021
7/10 Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Joshua Starnes Raya and the Last Dragon is a gorgeous piece of modern animation from the studio that still does it better than anyone. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2021
6.5/10 Land (2021) Joshua Starnes Beautiful, sad and distant, Land is like the mountainous horizon would-be woodswoman Edee (Robin Wright) spends much of her time gazing at: a picture-perfect artifice which may be full of significance but is just as likely a mere empty view. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
7/10 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Joshua Starnes Judas and the Black Messia is a riveting, infuriating look at part of Hampton's life which also tries to contain all the context surrounding his life and death with the Black Panthers. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
5/10 The Marksman (2021) Joshua Starnes A low-key chase film built on the personal salvation of a child in trouble, it plays with stereotypes in a way that's less 'messing around with archetypes' and more 'lazily indulging in cliché as a shorthand for actual character work.' EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
9.5/10 Soul (2020) Alan Cerny Soul is going to be living inside me for a long time. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
8.5/10 Promising Young Woman (2020) Joshua Starnes Promising Young Woman is a yell, a cry, a scream into the dark about the awfulness of humanity and why do we let it go on. That's not what makes it so difficult to take. It's the mute silence we get in response that's the real poison. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
6.5/10 Greenland (2020) Joshua Starnes Unexpectedly more dramatic than action packed with strong, subtle performances from its leads Greenland doesn't offer enough new to really sustain its concept but there are worse ways to spend a few hours. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2020
7.5/10 News of the World (2020) Joshua Starnes News of the World is a Western, sure, but it's also a meditation on the quest for civilization. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2020
7.5/10 The Croods: A New Age (2020) Joshua Starnes It may not be artful, or original, but it's fun with some strong characters and strong performances and it's easy to forget how difficult that is to achieve. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2020
5/10 Honest Thief (2020) Joshua Starnes Liam Neeson may be doing God's work dragging Honest Thief to something like interesting, but even he can't work miracles. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2020
8/10 Night People (1954) Joshua Starnes Night People reflects the men who made it; quiet, knowledgeable professionals who eschew melodrama and personality dysfunction in favor of just doing their jobs to the best of their ability. It's that very simplicity which makes it great. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
4/10 Unhinged (2020) Joshua Starnes The bones of an enjoyable thriller are here. But there's no meat on them. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
7.5/10 Rebecca (2020) Joshua Starnes Rebecca is polished, poised, period perfection made with care and exactitude with performers giving exactly what the script calls for. But it's never more. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
6.5/10 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Joshua Starnes It's probably impossible for Borat to return to the zeitgeist, it changes too much to quickly and this is too much unchanged from its previous incarnation. That doesn't make it bad. It just makes it (mostly) ordinary. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
8.5/10 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Joshua Starnes The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the ultimate Sorkin film, filled with intelligent, over-the-top characters battling within a civil structure over the ideals of America. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
9.5/10 Mulan (2020) Jenna Busch You can feel the heart of it in every moment, even during the action scenes, which were handled with stunning precision. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
8/10 Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Alan Cerny Bill and Ted Face the Music takes a sledgehammer to the despair of 2020, while also informing us that only we can make it possible to see ourselves through, and yes, that a magical guitar riff can save the world. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
6/10 Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020) Alan Cerny Peninsula is too busy to get to the intimacy that makes Train to Busan so effective. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2020
9/10 The Secret Garden (2020) Jenna Busch It's one of the most soothing, comforting, and more importantly, relatable things I've seen in some time. It's like a giant bowl of chicken soup. You know that first sip, when you feel your body relax? I felt like that watching the film. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2020
6/10 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Joshua Starnes Somehow Indiana Jones has forgotten all of the lessons of its forebears, both film and character. It's one thing to make each film similar, it's another to give them amnesia. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
7/10 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Joshua Starnes Speaks to a bravery to experiment which Temple of Doom embraced one last time. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
10/10 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Joshua Starnes A rose of a film - a dusty, blood splattered, face melting rose. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
4/10 SCOOB! (2020) Joshua Starnes A lot of skilled professionals have been hired to do a professional job, and they have, but at no point does it feel alive or give anyone reason to spend time on it. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
5/10 The High Note (2020) Joshua Starnes Even the supposed surprise twist is both overly telegraphed and so easy to figure out it removes any depth from the actual dramatic reveal. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
5/10 Irresistible (2020) Joshua Starnes A terrific miss felled by an overreliance on worn out tropes and such bottomless cynicism about the American political process it becomes difficult to even laugh at it. EDIT
Posted Jun 24, 2020
8/10 The King of Staten Island (2020) Alan Cerny THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND, given time, may be Judd Apatow's best film. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2020
7/10 South Mountain (2019) Joshua Starnes South Mountain is both a hauntingly unique story of heart break and heart mending, and a classic staple of the character drama form. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2020
7.5/10 True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) Joshua Starnes Maybe one day someone will actually make a film about the real Ned Kelly and not what he can represent for today - but until then, this iteration will do. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2020
10/10 Beastie Boys Story (2020) Alan Cerny Beastie Boys Story is a great film; often hilarious but doesn't shy away from the emotion either. It feels alive, unpredictable, and cathartic. EDIT
Posted Apr 28, 2020
8/10 Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Joshua Starnes It's not pretty and it's not comfortable, but it needs to be embraced in all its complexity. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
7/10 Onward (2020) Alan Cerny Onward is funny, sweet, and endearing. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2020
9/10 The Invisible Man (2020) Alan Cerny The Invisible Man is as thoughtful as it is entertaining, as disturbing as it is frightening, and stays with you after you leave the theater. This is a great film. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
7/10 The Call of the Wild (2020) Alan Cerny It might be the dog that brings audiences in, but they will stay to see Harrison Ford do what he does best. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2020
7/10 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Alan Cerny Birds of Prey serves as a rallying cry for those who feel like their voices have not been heard, even if comes in a candy-coated package. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
6/10 The Rhythm Section (2020) Jenna Busch "Perhaps in the book, there was more time given to this, but the film feels like shorthand...[though] it is nice to see someone actually affected by injuries, as it makes the decision to continue to fight far more compelling." EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/10 Dolittle (2020) Jenna Busch The story is unnecessarily complicated for a movie that significantly less than two hours...Why is the squirrel that is clearly from England and shot by an English boy, American? EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
8/10 Bad Boys for Life (2020) Alan Cerny Bad Boys For Life isn't only good; it may be the best of the series. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
6/10 Gemini Man (2019) Joshua Starnes It's a bold and exciting experiment largely wasted on a boring, generic action movie unwilling to go as far narratively as it is with its technology. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
5/10 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Joshua Starnes Mistress of Evil is simultaneously overdone and undercooked, with a lot of the customary mistakes of giant studio entertainment. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
5/10 Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Joshua Starnes As well done as the set pieces are... they can't hide how little the characters have been developed. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
8/10 The Irishman (2019) Joshua Starnes Does it give us a clearer insight into Scorsese's view of these films and the individuals in them? Most definitely, and for that if nothing else, it's worth its weight in gold. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
6/10 Last Christmas (2019) Joshua Starnes Still, it's frequently funny and rarely annoying - just sort of genteelly charming. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
5/10 Frozen II (2019) Joshua Starnes The result is just a discombobulated mess. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
9/10 1917 (2019) Joshua Starnes As a war film, 1917 doesn't have much in the way of new ideas to offer - and maybe there aren't any for the genre now - but it's so elegantly crafted it takes the breath away. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
10/10 Star Wars (1977) Joshua Starnes It speaks to how timeless A New Hope has become that we take in so much of its art direction as it tends to whiz by so fast it requires multiple views to form an opinion of. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019