Film Mafia

Film Mafia is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): CJ Johnson
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Only the Animals (2019) CJ Johnson Very pretty to look at, pretty fun and pretty ridiculous. If you approach it with the right attitude, it will deliver a solid couple of hours of entertainment ... It works if you allow it in as a black comedy, a joke, or at least a shaggy-dog story. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2021
3.5/5 The Dry (2021) CJ Johnson The plotting is tight and, of course, the town is full of dodgy dirtbags played by good actors with interesting faces ... fans of the genre will find this very solid film way more than acceptable. EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
4/5 Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan (2020) CJ Johnson As energetic and meticulous as all of Temple's work, astonishingly full of expertly curated archival material and found footage, narrated, stirringly and slurringly, by MacGowan, who may be slow and sloppy, but is still somewhat witty and somewhat wise. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
4/5 Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (2019) CJ Johnson This is a movie made about a dying man as he knows he is dying, yet rather than being mournful, it is joyous. Another amazing feat from the life of a truly astonishing individual. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2020
4/5 The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (1990) CJ Johnson It's a leaner, cleaner, more comprehensible and watchable version of itself. Like Michael, it seeks redemption. Unlike Michael, it gets some. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2020
3.5/5 Below (2019) CJ Johnson Lahooti's nihilistic, anti-heroic and at times ferociously angry film is visually energetic and excitingly paced, creating a vibrantly dangerous world ... the work of someone with a lot to say ... not for everyone, and all the better for it. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2020
4/5 Mank (2020) CJ Johnson It's surprisingly gentle, loving, calm and graceful. It takes you to another world. Five hours after leaving the cinema, I'm still kind of there. It's my happy place, and Mank is, for me, a feel-good movie, made like they used to. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
4.5/5 David Byrne's American Utopia (2020) CJ Johnson Once again, Byrne demonstrates his profound ability to turn a theatre full of strangers into a community. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
4/5 The Trouble with Being Born (2020) CJ Johnson This is one brave movie. Intelligent and thoughtful, legitimately subversive and transgressive, conceptually ambitious, but most of all, devastatingly sad, it is a provocation only in that it dares to deal with possibilities we'd rather not think about. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2020
3/5 The Comeback Trail (2020) CJ Johnson De Niro plays his grubby Hollywood also-ran, Max Barber, as though cast in the 'Woody' role in a Woody Allen movie, and performing the role as Woody would. It's quite a spectacle, but it's strangely watchable, and the engine of the film. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2020
4/5 Corpus Christi (2019) CJ Johnson A near-perfectly structured screenplay, sublime formal cinematography, and pitch-perfect naturalistic performances, including from lead actorBartosz Bielenia, whose portrayal of a young man who impersonates a priest in a town in Poland is truly superb. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2020
4/5 The Climb (2019) CJ Johnson In every chapter, there is something stylistically exciting going on; likewise, the storytelling is giddily exuberant, revelling in dramatic ellipses, strange twists and well-shaped supporting characters. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2020
3/5 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) CJ Johnson It's a wiggy movie - that is, there are a lot of wigs, a lot of beards, a lot of late-60s gear - and not a very subtle one. But it is a spectacular history lesson. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2020
3/5 Kajillionaire (2020) CJ Johnson Reaches quite moving levels of resonance as it engages with the idea of a young adult dealing with a lifetime of parental neglect (and worse). EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
3.5/5 On the Rocks (2020) CJ Johnson It's a charming, old-fashioned, innocent film, deliberately untethered from America's problems ... The film's timelessness, ease and modesty are most of its charms, but its greatest, irrefutably, is Murray, who is also its raison d'être. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2020
3/5 The Translators (2019) CJ Johnson The first act is great fun, but the film gets more ludicrous as it goes on ... always watchable - especially given the excellent global cast of familiar faces - but you can't help wishing it adhered a little closer to credibility. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2020
3.5/5 I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) CJ Johnson There is a great deal of rigour and substance here, but you've got to be willing to dig for it; otherwise you may scratch your head until you're bleeding. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2020
3.5/5 Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) CJ Johnson Delightful, warm, upbeat and joyous ... This is a movie where every single one of the 'bad guys' turns out to be absolutely lovely after all, and everyone is constantly getting along ... It's silly but never stupid, absurd but never ridiculous. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
3.5 Tenet (2020) CJ Johnson May be the loudest movie I've ever seen. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2020
3.5/5 Les misérables (2019) CJ Johnson Ly grew up here and he knows the turf, the tensions, the terroir. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2020
3.5/5 The Speed Cubers (2020) CJ Johnson Heartwarming, uplifting and surprising. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
3/5 David Foster: Off the Record (2019) CJ Johnson He's a self-confessed problematic individual, which the film somewhat embraces, but it's best enjoyed as a testament to an astonishing career. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
3.5/5 La belle époque (2019) CJ Johnson It's all very charming and delightful and will bring a smile to your dial. That makes it top entertainment for the current era. Auteuil is typically winning. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
3.5/5 Deerskin (2019) CJ Johnson The two of them develop an engaging, twisted chemistry. To say more would be to spoil, except that the film is gorgeous to look at, and not actually about a jacket. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2020
4/5 Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) CJ Johnson It makes a thousand points well without any made didactically; it is simultaneously one of the angriest films I've seen this year while also being one of the quietest. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
3.5/5 Echo in the Canyon (2018) CJ Johnson [The subjects are] cheerily and delightfully frank ... [letting] their hair down with the grace of those who know their impact is for the ages and have nothing left to prove nor hide. They've got great stories, and collectively, they're just a great hang. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2020
3/5 House of Cardin (2019) CJ Johnson He's simply a superb subject, paradoxically able to come across as humble but in no way modest: a master who knows he's a master, and knows we know it. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2020
3/5 The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019) CJ Johnson Beautiful people scheming about art in Milan and Lake Como for a tight ninety minutes: what's not to like? Jagger, by the way, is fabulous. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2020
3/5 Relic (2020) CJ Johnson It recognises that we're afraid of age, of aged bodies, of responsibility, that looking after old people can give us the creeps. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2020
4.5/5 A White, White Day (2019) CJ Johnson Some of the technical attributes of the film are mind-blowing, and Pálmason is unafraid to stick his neck out with some extremely bold directorial choices. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2020
3/5 Waves (2019) CJ Johnson After the gem-like perfection of Krisha and the lean precision of It Comes At Night, Waves is beautiful but messy. It is fantastically ambitious, and in being so, often rides a dangerous line between audacity and indulgence. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2020
2.5/5 Shirley (2020) CJ Johnson Jackson's work was far weirder and darker than Decker's film. It's not without its own dark, weird charm though, and Young's performance is compelling enough to see you through. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2020
4/5 The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) CJ Johnson This is a warm, very funny, very fast and extremely energetic adaptation, faithful (as far as I can tell) in spirit and tone to its source, but clearly unshackled by obsequiousness. Often, it soars. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
3/5 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) CJ Johnson It goes out of its way to not be American, and ends up, to its great credit, as a film for the Eurovision community, possibly to the exclusion of everyone else. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2020
4/5 Da 5 Bloods (2020) CJ Johnson It's plainly the work of a middle-aged master, confident and bold, completely unafraid to take risks, answering to no-one. It's a Spike Lee Joint, and it matters. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2020
3.5/5 The Vast of Night (2019) CJ Johnson One Oklahoman's magnum opus, a pure work of passionate personal art made entirely outside the system, entirely to its creator's tune, and entirely to their credit. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
4.5/5 Proxima (2019) CJ Johnson I can't remember the last time I was as moved - nay, emotionally wrecked - by a film as I was by Alice Wincour's Proxima ... Non-parents may not get it; parents may find Proxima their film of the year. Astronauts too. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2020
4/5 Bad Education (2019) CJ Johnson I've never enjoyed a Hugh Jackman performance like the one he gives in Bad Education ... both performance and film are hugely entertaining. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2020
4.5/5 The Assistant (2019) CJ Johnson Remarkably assured, bold and precise ... gut-wrenching and evocative and atmospherically rich ... It all adds up to a stunning package, which also has something truly serious to say, and says it with breathtaking audacity. Brilliant. EDIT
Posted May 13, 2020
3.5/5 Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (2020) CJ Johnson Filmmaking at its most personal, and its most agenda-driven ... I rather loved it, even as I saw through it. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2020
3.5/5 Color Out of Space (2019) CJ Johnson I've never read [the short story], so can't comment on how valid Stanley's film is as an adaptation, but as a freaky movie about cosmic infection, it's frighteningly effective. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2020
3.5/5 Whitney (2018) CJ Johnson I felt a lot of big emotions watching Whitney. It's the documentary she deserved: hardly hagiographic, indeed warts and all, but with a massive heart. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2020
4/5 Australian Dream (1987) CJ Johnson A clear-eyed screed, a dignified rebuke, and a vital document. EDIT
Posted Apr 14, 2020
3/5 Vivarium (2020) CJ Johnson A touch more Twilight Zone than Black Mirror, and if that distinction makes perfect sense to you, you're the intended demographic for this film. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2020
3/5 Come to Daddy (2019) CJ Johnson Timpson's clearly into weird cinema, and with Come to Daddy, he's effectively made exactly the kind of film he likes to program at his own festival ... [he also] has a lot of surprises up his sleeve; one of them is very, very clever. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2020
3.5/5 Monos (2019) CJ Johnson Despite all the references, it's bracingly original. That duality is also present as a travelogue: here are some of the most beautiful locations in the world, exquisitely shot, along with reason to never visit them. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2020
3/5 Blow the Man Down (2019) CJ Johnson The milieu definitely offers its own rewards, as does the supporting cast of exemplary female character actors led by June Squibb and Margo Martindale. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2020
3.5/5 Happy New Year (2017) CJ Johnson Just because a film like this appears so modest, that doesn't make it any easier. Indeed, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead has to hold our attention with no tricks, gimmicks or flim -flam; it's all about storytelling, and Wheatley is terrific at that. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2020
4/5 Dark Waters (2019) CJ Johnson Todd Haynes brings his virtuosic levels of craftsmanship to a lawyer-versus-corporation true story, with magnificent results ... ruthlessly compelling and compulsively watchable ... Every beat of this movie is told with integrity. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2020
3.5/5 In Fabric (2018) CJ Johnson It's not the funniest comedy nor the scariest horror film, but is absolutely the most committed haunted-dress movie of the year. It's Peter Strickland, it's full of artistic integrity, and it's fabulous. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2020