Phoenix Magazine

Phoenix Magazine is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): M.V. Moorhead
Rating Title/Year Author
The Brother From Another Planet (1984) M.V. Moorhead [A] charmingly low-tech sci-fi indie. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
Spartacus (1960) M.V. Moorhead The movie is full of wonderful character players who have fun with Trumbo's ripe dialogue. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
Gretel & Hansel (2020) M.V. Moorhead Stretching the Grimm tale out to feature length required both some padding and a deliberate pace, but there's lots of macabre imagination on display in the picture, and a bit of heart to balance the darkness. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
The Traitor (2019) M.V. Moorhead We're asked to enter into sympathy with people we find morally horrendous, and perhaps to see in them a reflection on our own moral blind spots. [Pierfrancesco] Favino is so quietly commanding that he makes this happen. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) M.V. Moorhead I enjoyed this wacky, blackly slapstick girls' night out. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2020
Quezon's Game (2020) M.V. Moorhead Quezon's Game is a compelling labor of love, in part because it's a thrilling story, but also because of the leading man. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) M.V. Moorhead In the end, of course, this is just another spin on the story of the veteran criminal who wants to make one last big score before he retires. But Ritchie's flashy style and discursive humor keep it lively. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Bad Boys for Life (2020) M.V. Moorhead The two stars are still amusing with each other - [Martin] Lawrence's aggrieved kvetching bounces off of [Will] Smith's facile suavity. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2020
Dolittle (2020) M.V. Moorhead At its center is the authentically great actor Downey, bringing his one-of-a-kind persona of nervy nattering mixed with sad-eyed gravitas. Dolittle is a mess, but the star is always worth watching. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2020
Reality Queen! (2019) M.V. Moorhead I can't deny it made me laugh, but nothing in it seemed more imbecilic than "real" reality TV. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
Midnight Family (2019) M.V. Moorhead [An] astounding film. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
1917 (2019) M.V. Moorhead 1917, shot by the great Roger Deakins, rambles around from open countryside to narrow trenches and tunnels with supple effortlessness. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent (2016) M.V. Moorhead Other than in the broadest possible terms, I'm not sure we're given a clear sense of what makes Tower tick... But the movie is still watchable and amusing. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Tyrus (2015) M.V. Moorhead As cinema, Tyrus is a polished, straightforward biography in the American Masters style, but two factors render it fascinating. First, there's the highly likable title character... Second, there's the chance to see his paintings. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Saturday Church (2017) M.V. Moorhead The two styles -- naturalistic drama and extravagant musical -- coexist a little awkwardly in the same movie, but the result is heartfelt and original. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Hippie Family Values (2018) M.V. Moorhead Running just over an hour, Hippie Family Values is a sweet, somewhat melancholy portrait of a community. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
The Bookshop (2017) M.V. Moorhead The Spanish director, Isabel Coixet, doesn't let the movie go cutesy; she gives it a lowering, sober atmosphere. And the actors give it bite. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Operation Finale (2018) M.V. Moorhead Operation Finale, skillfully directed by Chris Weitz, and driven forward by another superb score by Alexander Desplat, is crisp and absorbing and satisfying, both as a thriller and as a moral drama. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
The Nun (2018) M.V. Moorhead The pleasant surprise about this very silly movie: how old-school hokey those chills are. The scare scenes and even the style of the acting wouldn't seem at all out of place in a Mario Bava Italian horror picture of the '60s. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
We the Animals (2018) M.V. Moorhead Without a trace of luridness, We the Animals manages to be heartbreaking and harrowing. What saves it from being depressing is the exhilaration of Zagar's direction, and the unbridled energy and unstudied authenticity of the cast. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
To Dust (2018) M.V. Moorhead Genuinely original and unpredictable. And while it's a meditation, eccentric but warm and often moving, on mortality and grief, the movie is also, once you adjust to its quiet, unforced rhythm, deeply funny. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Bullitt County (2017) M.V. Moorhead McCracken's direction is expert, down to some flashy split-screen razzle-dazzle, and the performances... are volatile yet engaging. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Impulso (2017) M.V. Moorhead Impulso is highly enjoyable in its own right. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The Wedding Guest (2018) M.V. Moorhead The story feels realistic in a way that this sort of noir material doesn't, always... They're human, and I rooted for them. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Ruben Brandt, Collector (2018) M.V. Moorhead Ruben Brandt, Collector is weird and cool and witty and seductive; I can't remember when an animated feature had this level of visual appeal for me. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Wonder Park (2019) M.V. Moorhead It's a sweet story for a kiddie matinee on a slow afternoon; there are many funny moments, but it's maybe a little on the corny side. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The Wind (2018) M.V. Moorhead For me, at least, this period shocker was spooky as crap. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Storm Boy (2019) M.V. Moorhead It has the visual wonder and strangeness of a Carroll Ballard movie like The Black Stallion or Fly Away Home. And the skeptical-looking pelicans are surprisingly endearing. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The Public (2018) M.V. Moorhead The canvas is broad, with lots of supporting characters and subplots, and while the writing is heavy-handed at times in the Golden Age of Television style, Estevez imbues the movie with a large and generous heart. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Shazam! (2019) M.V. Moorhead [Shazam] was the hero of a movie serial back in the '40s, and a silly Saturday-morning show in the '70s, but this is his first full-on feature treatment, and it's a lot of fun. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Little (2019) M.V. Moorhead The script, by Tracy Oliver and director Tina Golden, is episodic and scattershot, but the movie works anyway, as a showcase for Marsai Martin of TV's Black-ish, who gives a spectacular turn as the little version of our heroine. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Napszállta (2018) M.V. Moorhead It's doubtful that any actress has had this many close-up shots since Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc. But [Juli Jakab] makes the most of them, creating a deeply admirable heroine. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
High Life (2018) M.V. Moorhead It has the moody flavor of some "existential" '70s-era sci-fi dramas like Tarkovsky's Solaris or Douglas Trumbull's Silent Running, but with a more overtly sexual tone and with lovely, old-school special effects. I just wish it was more fun. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Wild Nights With Emily (2018) M.V. Moorhead Even with the revelations about Dickinson's affairs, of course, it's hard to say whether her private life was truly this jolly. But the movie makes you hope it was. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Stuck (2017) M.V. Moorhead The performers attack the tunes with vigor and bounce off of each other agreeably. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Family (2018) M.V. Moorhead The revelation, however, is Taylor Schilling... She's hilarious, infuriating and likable all at once. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Avengers: Endgame (2019) M.V. Moorhead I'm not naïve enough to suppose that anything I can say here is likely to change anyone's plans about going or not going, so I'll simply say that I enjoyed this silly but thrilling superhero free-for-all. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The White Crow (2018) M.V. Moorhead In the last half-hour, at just about the point that you're as sick of Nureyev as his KGB chaperones must have been, the movie takes off irresistibly as a thriller. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Shadow (2018) M.V. Moorhead There's a certain traditional type of ink finger-painting in China that director Zhang Yimou's new movie evokes to seductive perfection. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
All Is True (2018) M.V. Moorhead Branagh's pacing, intended as idyllic I guess, is glacial... That said, the acting is magnificent, from Dench and McKellan and the other supporting players, but above all from the star. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Ramen Shop (2018) M.V. Moorhead The analogy is obvious, but this domestic drama from Japan and Singapore is like a good bowl of soup; it's warm and nourishing, simple in its appeal yet maybe a more complex piece of craftsmanship than it seems on the surface. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) M.V. Moorhead What matters is if this sequel to the disappointing 2014 American Godzilla gets the monsters right. And for me, it does. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Katie Says Goodbye (2016) M.V. Moorhead Cooke gives the character such an indomitable spirit that she single-handedly lifts Katie Says Goodbye above its own miseries. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Pavarotti (2019) M.V. Moorhead Cinematically, there's nothing terribly distinctive about the film; just the usual clear, capable, well-managed Ron Howard narrative craftsmanship. No more was necessary here. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Echo in the Canyon (2018) M.V. Moorhead Here's one more documentary that's worth a look... The movie still includes extensive chats with [many artists], along with generous doses of their music. How wrong can you go? EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) M.V. Moorhead It's an amazing tale; Berg seems like the lovingly-crafted hero of a Michael Chabon novel. Kempner spins it straightforwardly and briskly, with enthusiastic talking heads and deftly-edited archival footage. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
Shaft (2019) M.V. Moorhead There's not much else to this routine and sometimes retrograde actioner. Jackson deserves better material, but even so it's impressive how far he can carry it. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The Dead Don't Die (2019) M.V. Moorhead Alas, maybe the dead don't die, but this time, too many of Jarmusch's jokes do. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) M.V. Moorhead The Last Black Man in San Francisco has an ecstatic, almost hallucinatory beauty reminiscent of Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi-style visions. But really, this isn't all that comparable to anything you've seen before. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020
This One's for the Ladies (2018) M.V. Moorhead This movie is graphic, make no mistake, but its warm, loving side is what you're most likely to take away from it. EDIT
Posted Jan 6, 2020