Baltimore Sun

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Great Hack (2019) David Zurawik Not a great documentary... That said, The Great Hack is still the most important documentary I've seen so far this summer -- and there have been plenty of good ones. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
8/10 The Blood Is at the Doorstep (2017) Dominic Griffin To those unable to process the exponential proliferation of police shootings ending unarmed black men's live in recent years, each new case begins to blur into one unending nightmare. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
7.5/10 Fraud (2016) Dominic Griffin At 52-minutes, it's not long enough to feel particularly substantive, and seeing it on the big screen can be a little disorienting, but Fraud possesses a hypnotic pull that's hard to deny. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
7/10 Hunter Gatherer (2016) Dominic Griffin The cycle of the blind self-delusion is its own prison, but the beauty here is the time these two men share as cell mates. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
6.5/10 Trumbo (2015) Dominic Griffin It overextends itself by trying to say something profound about personal integrity, privacy, and politics, but even that toxic ambition is so characteristically Hollywood that it's hard to be disappointed. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
9.5/10 John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Dominic Griffin If John Wick: Chapter 2 follows a man trying to work within a corrupted system by following the corrugated rules of that establishment, the finale leaves the door open for an even more fascinating follow-up. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
9/10 Moonlight (2016) Dominic Griffin The film doesn't possess one of those purposefully frustrating indie movie endings where the credits roll the moment the filmmakers ran out of ideas. Moonlight finishes not on a period or an exclamation point, but an ellipsis. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
7.5/10 Selma (2014) Dominic Griffin Selma tells a great story about a triumphant moment in civil rights history and the losses it took to get that win, but it doesn't nostalgically let us forget that this moment is just a chapter break in a longer war that still rages on today. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
4/10 Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) Dominic Griffin That the film's only exuberant display of cinematic prowess is reserved for an extended 30-minute sequence of God raining His wrath down on the ruling class won't be lost on viewers in the year 2014, which has seen so much racial injustice... EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
2.5/4 Jurassic Park III (2001) Michael Sragow Despite all its talk of genetic engineering and its deliberately stupid characters, the unintended message of Jurassic Park III is that when it comes to art and entertainment, you can't beat human DNA. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
2.5/4 The Cutting Edge (1992) Stephen Hunter The Cutting Edge is an enjoyable piffle, completely divorced from any recognizable reality. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
1/4 The Way of the Gun (2000) Ann Hornaday Far more troubling than technical deficiencies is the cynicism of The Way of the Gun, which trots out the cliches of gratuitous violence and nihilism without considering them in a fresh or critical way. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2019
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Stephen Hunter Culkin, an angel-faced Terminator more potent than any assault rifle-armed Schwarzenegger, swells with empowerment and lashes out, symbolically, at the indifferent parents, the ignorant teachers, the irritable authority figures, the brutal older sibling. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
2/4 Immortal Beloved (1994) Stephen Hunter Da-da-da-DUMB! EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
2/4 Poetic Justice (1993) Stephen Hunter In short, the movie's pretty much of a mess, as it struggles with big themes but hasn't figured out what to do with them. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
1/4 Street Fighter (1994) Desmond Ryan The film is based on the popular video game and plays as a pathetically incoherent attempt to accommodate all the characters kids want to see come to life on the big screen. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
Charm City (2018) David Zurawik Charm City is not only a superb and moving work of non-fiction filmmaking, it is also one of those socially conscious and totally righteous documentaries with the power to help spur reform. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) Stephen Hunter Ace Ventura, Pet Detective is probably the Citizen Kane of pet detective movies and 30 seconds after walking out, you won't remember anyone except Carrey. But in its relentlessly stupid way, it's very funny. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/4 Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Chris Kridler Die Hard With a Vengeance is an explosive thrill ride. That is its sole purpose, and it succeeds, loudly and breathlessly. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
2.5/4 The Cell (2000) Chris Kaltenbach "The Cell" looks spectacular. If only it never opened its mouth. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
Marie Antoinette (2006) Michael Sragow It's high-caloric art-house moviemaking, full of pastry-coated, sugar-swirled ideas and historical moments dipped in candy. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
3/4 Stepmom (1998) Ann Hornaday Much of Stepmom's success is due to its three appealing lead players, all of whom lend class and intelligence to the enterprise. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
1.5/4 Practical Magic (1998) Chris Kaltenbach Bullock and Kidman are both wonderful actresses, and watching them for two hours could never be called a chore. But even they seem to have trouble pinning the movie down. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
2.5/4 Bad Boys (1995) Stephen Hunter Smith and Lawrence have great comic energy and for at least half an hour are sublimely enjoyable -- until the movie's spirit of bloated gargantuanism takes over. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 I Come in Peace (1990) Lou Cedrone The gore doesn't do irreparable damage, but the film would have been so much more palatable without it. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
2.5/4 Hook (1991) Stephen Hunter P.P., phone home. Or at least, get a new agent. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
2/4 Space Jam (1996) Chris Kridler "Jam" gets two stars for amiability and sporadic humor, with the proviso that it's worth at least three stars for 5-year-olds, who will love it. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
3/4 Cruel Intentions (1999) Chris Kridler Despite the last 10 minutes, there's much to like in Cruel Intentions. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) David Zurawik I promise it will affect you in ways few documentaries do. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
Never Been Kissed (1999) Chris Kaltenbach Too bad the film, about a budding journalist assigned to do an expose on the degradations of high school life, simply isn't worthy of [Barrymore]. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2019
2.5/4 Deep Blue Sea (1999) Chris Kaltenbach The film is full of the sort of knee-jerk shockers that leave audiences bursting into nervous laughter. It's a wild ride, and the less one thinks about it, the better. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
The First Wives Club (1996) Stephen Hunter Smart and sassy, "The First Wives Club" is funny enough to amuse even the second wives. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2019
Volcano (1997) Michael Ollove You leave "Volcano" feeling a bit singed. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2019
2.5/4 Death Becomes Her (1992) Stephen Hunter But it's not enough to be merely bad; you have to be interesting as well. As the movie wears along, they become death. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2019
1.5/4 Event Horizon (1997) Chris Kridler With high production values and low aspirations, Event Horizon begins as a mildly intriguing science-fiction movie and degenerates into yet another slasher flick about evil from another dimension. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
2/4 The Cable Guy (1996) Chris Kaltenbach More than anything, The Cable Guy is simply uncomfortable. It's Ace Ventura as the evil bad guy. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
1.5/4 Mars Attacks! (1996) Chris Kaltenbach The best thing about Mars Attacks! is that you'll come away believing you could have done the movie better. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/4 Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) Stephen Hunter But generally, Brooks' humor is extremely limited. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/4 Dr. Giggles (1992) Stephen Hunter In all, quite depressing. Two aspirin just won't get it done. Take three. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
2/4 Species (1995) Stephen Hunter As cheesy exploitation, Species offers a few cheap thrills for the teen-age boys who are too young to see it but will get in anyway. For the rest of us, its untidy mixture of misogyny and gore seems to represent the DNA of sleaze. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2018
RBG (2018) David Zurawik RBG does something that only the very best biographies do: It gives viewers a deep and multi-layered sense of the times in which the subject lived and the cultural forces that she had to struggle against to achieve what she did. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2018
Too Big to Fail (2011) Michael Sragow You feel all the anguish, desperation, humor, and, yes, gallantry of the moment. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2018
Recount (2008) David Zurawik Democracy relies on citizens having access to verified information about their lives, while such docudramas as Recount often provide the opposite - innuendo, rumor and outright fabrications. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2018
3.5/4 Sollers Point (2017) Chris Kaltenbach The journey is everything in Sollers Point... By film's end, you understand that life, and hopefully growth, goes on. There's real beauty in coming to grips with that. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2018
Jason's Lyric (1994) Stephen Hunter Quite convincing and gripping. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Baltimore Rising (2017) David Zurawik That kind of finely honed opening, introducing and previewing what's to come in the full production like an overture in a Broadway musical, is documentary filmmaking at its best. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2017
2.5/4 Stone Cold (1991) Stephen Hunter The movie really topples over into absolute nonsense in its last few minutes, offering a gun battle in a courthouse more violent than any engagement fought in the Persian Gulf and producing a larger body count. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
The Five Heartbeats (1991) Lou Cedrone Robert Townsend co-wrote, directed and stars in the film, one whose sincerity does a lot to cover the amateurishness with which the film was made. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
0/4 Dice Rules (1991) Stephen Hunter . . . the Andrew Dice Clay concert film, is unlikely to compel its repulsive star to further heights. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017
Defending Your Life (1991) Albert Brooks doesn't make many films, but those he does make are always welcome. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2017