The Armchair Auteur

The Armchair Auteur is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Dominic Griffin
Rating Title/Year Author
4.5/10 The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Dominic Griffin When is the last time a lead performance this good wound up in a movie this awful? EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
4/10 Breaking News in Yuba County (2021) Dominic Griffin An incredible cast, the makings of a decent dark comedy and the inkling of some social commentary about the unhealthy obsession with media attention. But, uh, this one is a real mess. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2021
4.5/10 I Care a Lot (2020) Dominic Griffin A premise with a lot of potential and a lead performance from an actress we all love can't save this film from a muddled screenplay and its starring role feeling like a pale imitation of Pike's last great part. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
6.5/10 PVT Chat (2021) Dominic Griffin Further proof that Julia Fox is an absolute star, even if writer/director Ben Hozie's genuinely fascinating exploration of the transactional nature of modern interpersonal relationships winds up undone by a messy third act. EDIT
Posted Feb 17, 2021
5/10 Me You Madness (2021) Dominic Griffin One of the stranger vanity projects in quite awhile, but is excessive enough in its indulgence to push it out of the red into "so bad it's almost really good" territory. It's NOT good, but you should probably watch it anyway. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2021
7/10 To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021) Dominic Griffin The gold standard trilogy for YA novel adaptations and sweet rom-coms for Gen-Z and jaded millenials with a penchant for wholesome content comes to a close. It's about a good a send-off as one can ask for. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2021
8.5/10 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Dominic Griffin A brutal, incendiary and devastating pop snapshot of a film. Sure, it's not an exhaustive biopic, nor a lengthy dissertation on the intricacies of Hampton's politics, but it's an incredible and focused look at the systems that took him from us. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
8/10 The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Dominic Griffin A sharp, honest, moving debut that heralds the arrival of a welcome new voice. More importantly than all of that, though, is that it's a smart comedy actually has the nerve to be funny. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
7/10 Malcolm & Marie (2021) Dominic Griffin While it's metatextual trolling detracts from the core of the film, it's still a blast to see writer/director Sam Levinson wriggle away some from his try hard tendencies and go for something a little more formal. Zendaya shines. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2021
7/10 Palmer (2021) Dominic Griffin A broad, sentimental drama that seems too straightforward to be genuinely affecting, but succeeds in exceeding expectations thanks to a strong cast, a great child actor and some smart direction. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2021
5/10 The Little Things (2021) Dominic Griffin Kept afloat by sterling, reliable work from Denzel Washington and some solid direction from John Lee Hancock, The Little Things is nevertheless marred by a crummy score, some lackluster screenwriting. The lightest possible recommendation. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
3/10 Run Hide Fight (2020) Dominic Griffin While I found this film considerably less distasteful than I imagined I might going in, it's still being released by some despicable people, and the film's underlying themes are gross. That said, more entertaining than one might assume. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2021
8/10 The Wanting Mare (2020) Dominic Griffin ...in Nicholas Ashe Bateman's directorial debut The Wanting Mare, we see just how much more nuance and realism is possible with the advances in technology, so long as those tools are in the hands of patient and resourceful artists. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2021
1/10 American Skin (2019) Dominic Griffin Nate Parker's directorial debut was mired by controversy surrounding a crime he was acquitted of in his youth, but his latest film will require no such consternation in deliberating its success. It's awful enough on its own merits. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2021
5/10 One Night in Miami (2020) Dominic Griffin A charming enough effort with an occasionally inspired ensemble, but can't shake its TV movie vibe. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
6.5/10 We Can Be Heroes (2020) Dominic Griffin To call this low hanging fruit would sound like an insult, but really, Robert Rodriguez making a goofy superhero movie for kids feels like a welcome respite in this hellish year. EDIT
Posted Dec 31, 2020
8/10 Soul (2020) Dominic Griffin One of the best Pixar flicks in years, but still marred by positioning as yet another black animated movie where the protagonist spends a significant amount of the film's running time as something other than a black human being. EDIT
Posted Dec 31, 2020
5.5/10 News of the World (2020) Dominic Griffin One of the least interesting or engrossing of this awards season's offerings, but Tom Hanks and his chemistry with newcomer Helena Zengel are worth the price of admission alone. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
6/10 Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Dominic Griffin A fun and entertaining ride that builds upon the original film, but is unfortunately bogged down by a lengthy runtime and muddled themes in its inconsistent script. EDIT
Posted Dec 25, 2020
6/10 Sylvie's Love (2020) Dominic Griffin Charming and largely fun to watch, but it could have been more special than it really is. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
4.5/10 Greenland (2020) Dominic Griffin For Gerard Butler completists, this movie is far from a slog, but for anyone who doesn't harbor an unhealthy obsession with the scruffy star, there's little else here to chew on. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
7/10 I'm Your Woman (2020) Dominic Griffin Easily the best film Julia Hart has made thus far. A smart and moving twist on the crime genre told from the perspective of a character who would otherwise be relegated to background status. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
6.5/10 Promising Young Woman (2020) Dominic Griffin A sharp, shrewd look at rape culture and toxic masculinity, wrapped in an appropriately stylized, exploitation package. Unfortunately, undone by a questionable and problematic final act. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020
3/10 Songbird (2020) Dominic Griffin An awful movie that unfortunately contains just enough traces of earnest ambition to make its failure a tragedy. The Covid movie no one asked for. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
7.5/10 Let Them All Talk (2020) Dominic Griffin Soderbergh returns with a low-key affair, as breezy as the best of his more understated work, from a smart script annd fine work from it's trio of leads. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
7.5/10 Minari (2020) Dominic Griffin One of the most beautifully acted and most gorgeously photographed films of the year to be sure, but above all else, it truly feels like a real coming out party for Steven Yeun, an actor who's been underrated for far too long. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
7/10 The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (1990) Dominic Griffin Coppola's new editing decisions fail to materially change the film in drastic ways, but the repositioning of the title alone allows for this to feel more like an actual epilogue, which it works as, rather than a Part III, which it doesn't. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
9/10 Mank (2020) Dominic Griffin Rather than a thesis on auteur theory and the contentious authorship of Citizen Kane, Fincher turns this biopic into a film that both skewers and uplifts the golden age of Hollywood while warning about the power of weaponized imagination. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2020
7.5/10 Nomadland (2020) Dominic Griffin A patient and touching portrait of life lived on the fringes, of luxuriating in fleeting moments of connection in the face of enduring struggle, all from a woman about to waste her time making a Marvel movie. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
4/10 Superintelligence (2020) Dominic Griffin As talented and welcome a screen presence as Melissa McCarthy is, it continues to confound why she keeps making these aggressively mediocre anti-comedies. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2020
7/10 The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020) Dominic Griffin You really cannot go wrong with a movie that stars Kurt Russell as Santa Claus... EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2020
4/10 Hillbilly Elegy (2020) Dominic Griffin While Ron Howard should certainly be ashamed of the finished product, the core rot at the heart of this project traces all the way to the source material. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
5/10 Fatman (2020) Dominic Griffin This ridiculous premise works, when it works at all, off the unique presence that is Walton Goggins, but it's a genuine surprise that Mel Gibson is still able to transcend how tarnished his screen persons has been by his real life antics. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
6/10 Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) Dominic Griffin Impossible to overstate how much more enjoyable this movie would be if it wasn't conceived of as a musical. Some fine songcraft to be sure, but it doesn't enhance the narrative. Instead, it holds the film back. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2020
5/10 The New Mutants (2020) Dominic Griffin Neither a particularly exciting outing to close the Fox X-Men franchise on, nor an egregious and offensive failure. It's just sort of...there. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2020
4/10 The Craft: Legacy (2020) Dominic Griffin Clearly pales in comparison to the original film, but its deviations are admirable and come from a genuine place. Unfortunately, the poor characterization of the leads handicaps this from being something special. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
7/10 Bad Hair (2020) Dominic Griffin The first black horror film in the wake of 'Get Out' to match that film's ambition with style. A worthy effort from 'Dear White People' helmer Justin Simien, even if it doesn't quite stick the landing. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2020
4/10 Roald Dahl's The Witches (2020) Dominic Griffin As laborious and uninspired a remake of a beloved classic as one can expect from late period Robert Zemeckis, a director who ought to retire before he further degrades his own legacy. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
8/10 Kajillionaire (2020) Dominic Griffin A quirky and peculiar film whose aesthetic surface masks a deeply moving emotional core. Anxiety ridden, but a ride worth the ensuing catharsis. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2020
7/10 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Dominic Griffin One of the year's most watchable and well acted releases, tragically marred by Aaron Sorkin's failings as a director, not to mention his frustratingly middle of the road politics. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2020
3.75/10 Tales From the Hood 3 (2020) Dominic Griffin A marked improvement over the second film in the series, but remains too boring and too repetitive to come close to the original. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
6/10 Vampires vs. The Bronx (2019) Dominic Griffin In pro wrestling match rating terms, this is the "gentleman's three stars," the kind of rating you give to something that is serviceable but could have been something really special. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2020
3/10 Antebellum (2020) Dominic Griffin A movie that wants so desperately to be as good as 'Get Out' but offers nothing more than gesturing broadly at Black pain to illicit a trauma response. A truly embarrassing film to release in 2020. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2020
5.5/10 The Devil All the Time (2020) Dominic Griffin A Faulknerian pastiche of a noir [that is too] tragic and depressing, so much so it becomes almost comedic. A movie that should be full of unique looking character actors but instead features a bevy of really pretty people plagued by horrific events. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2020
7.75/10 Tenet (2020) Dominic Griffin It's not the cinematic savior some have made it out to be, but that doesn't mean it's not a total blast. Once you accept how dumb its central concept is, the real fun can begin. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
6.5/10 Project Power (2020) Dominic Griffin ...looks more like an actual $80 million movie than The Old Guard did a $70 million one. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2020
8/10 Palm Springs (2020) Dominic Griffin ...but its particular approach to the time-loop genre also has the added benefit of being a profoundly moving recreation of what quarantine has felt like for so many of us, especially those quarantined as a couple. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2020
7/10 The Old Guard (2020) Dominic Griffin Overall, it's a fun and well made film, but it's undercut by the flattened, cheaper same-ness most Netflix original productions suffer from. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2020
4/10 Irresistible (2020) Dominic Griffin Irresistible is little more than a cinematic monument to how much the current movement has passed Jon Stewart and his obsession with media failings by. He is still focusing on the symptoms of society's ills instead of the disease itself. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2020
4/10 The King of Staten Island (2020) Dominic Griffin Unfortunately, this is easily the worst movie Judd Apatow has ever made. Even worse, the writing has been on the wall for this kind of failure for some time. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2020