TAKE ONE Magazine

TAKE ONE 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): Cathy Brennan, Jim Ross, Katie Duggan
Rating Title/Year Author
The Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet (2021) Jim Ross A beautifully shot film, THE DOG WHO WOULDN'T BE QUIET is a cinematic ballad to how humans are tested (often unfairly), how we adapt to even absurd circumstances and how we develop connections - or, indeed, do not - with those around us. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2021
Synchronic (2019) Jim Ross The film's tight running time leaves [the emotional angle] comparatively starved for attention, and empathy levels generated by the film suffer for it. Still, there are enough intelligently-approached ideas to keep SYNCHRONIC engaging and smart. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2021
Black Bear (2020) Jim Ross In the end, BLACK BEAR is a bit of a Penrose triangle of a film. Viewed from certain angles, it may make little sense, but when considered from a new vantage point or spun around, it paradoxically comes together elegantly and beautifully. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2021
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Jim Ross ...the film's most captivating aspects are the central performances and Kaluuya's as Hampton in particular. If the film has any shortcoming, it is that it loses energy when Kaluuya is not in the frame. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
Luzzu (2021) Jim Ross The conclusion of LUZZU is profoundly sad but caps off a story told with skill, beauty, and resonance far beyond the shores of Malta. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2021
John and the Hole (2020) Jim Ross There is plenty to commend the technical and performance aspects of JOHN AND THE HOLE. Still, the storytelling choices and structure fill in the intriguing gaps with narrative quicksand, into which the film's potential slowly sinks. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2021
Stardust (2020) Jim Ross STARDUST isn't entirely without merit, but it lacks the cryptic charisma of its subject; something that might distract from a disjointed and inconsequential narrative. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
Tenet (2020) Jim Ross TENET ends up something of a Rube Goldberg machine of a film: a wondrously complex set of mechanics that is fascinating, but also an incredibly convoluted way of masking what is, in essence, a thin and poorly executed story. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2020
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Jim Ross Much like FENCES, this new film (adapted from the only Pittsburgh Cycle play not set in Pennsylvania's second city) also showcases exceptional acting in dialogue-heavy scenes, perhaps at the expense of visual storytelling. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2020
Mank (2020) Jim Ross [The] attention to look and feel may, over time, position MANK as more of a cinematic curio in Fincher's filmography. However, there is enough bite and edge here to give the film some insight beyond the origin of one of cinema's most significant works. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2020
The Nest (2020) Jim Ross As well constructed as Durkin's space and tone is - the flat, desaturated, and sunless locales conveying the increasing bleakness of the characters' moods - the most engaging aspect of the film are the lead performances. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2020
African Apocalypse (2020) Jim Ross Although mostly straightforward in visual presentation, Lemkin isn't above the odd flourish, which adds to the themes and connections the film looks to address. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
Lingua Franca (2019) Cathy Brennan LINGUA FRANCA is an important film, not just in the sense of representation, but also in the way it portrays the relationship between xenophobic and transphobic logics EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
Mogul Mowgli (2020) Jim Ross Bassam Tariq's feature fiction debut is a wonderful showcase for Riz Ahmed's versatility as a performer and an engaging explosion of energy about heritage, identity, and the clashing cultural expression of both. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
Concrete Cowboy (2020) Jim Ross The overarching plot of this drama seems very paint-by-numbers, but the setting and underlying themes keep the film feeling fresh, and the central performance from Caleb McLaughlin keeps it engaging. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2020
New Order (2020) Jim Ross ...although Franco is an intelligent observer of the chaos he scripts, the balance of the film tips away from insight and commentary towards narrative brutality. He loses some of the grander points in a nihilistic spray of blood and green paint. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2020
Wildfire (2020) Jim Ross ...character-driven, the film never loses sight of that with the focus on the late McGuigan, in particular. Although the broader-scale backdrop doesn't coalesce fully with that story, it still provides a pointed and bold addition to the film. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2020
Another Round (2020) Jim Ross The concept of ANOTHER ROUND reads like a bawdy comedy, but the cocktail Vinterberg and Mikkelsen shake up is altogether sharper and more complex than that. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2020
One Night in Miami (2020) Jim Ross King shakes off a slightly mechanical opening to set up a fascinating interplay, allowing each character to take on symbolic significance and metaphorically represent the clash and overlap of ideas without diminishing their real-life achievements. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Apples (2020) Jim Ross In divorcing [...] from any modern touchstone - smartphones, laptops, internet - APPLES smartly suggests the absurdity of [modern social] trends and their purpose. The sad emptiness pierces through if you take away the modernity. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
Cuties (2020) Jim Ross Adolescent struggles on film are a well-trodden path, but CUTIES (MIGNONNES) from Maïmouna Doucouré feels fresh and modern. That modernity often manifests in uncomfortable ways, but the authenticity of this portrait is evident. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
Nomadland (2020) Jim Ross ...embodied with heart and strength by Frances McDormand. Zhao's film scatters the shattered remains of the American Dream amongst the breathtaking vistas of the 'land of the free'; a romantic sonnet dedicated to a broken place. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2020
Les misérables (2019) Jim Ross The final shots of the film [...] have no easy conclusions for viewers. [A] critical standpoint is clear and present, [but] moral and ethical certainties are not. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
Pinocchio (2019) Jim Ross PINOCCHIO stands apart from previous adaptations, and most definitely from versions of the story familiar to English-language audiences. [In] doing so, it has an authentic 'fascino' that is unlikely to be bettered by a Hollywood-led live-action version. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2020
Clemency (2019) Jim Ross The usual cliché with films of the nature of CLEMENCY is they are 'difficult to watch', but to say that would overlook the reality that Chukwu's film is engaging and thoughtfully constructed. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
Seventh Heaven (1927) Katie Duggan Frank Borzage's 1927 silent classic 7th Heaven begins in the gutters. ... it is impossible to not be carried up with it from the grimy depths towards the stars. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2020
Walking on Water (2018) Katie Duggan Fitting with Christo's proclamation, the documentary is not just an account of the creation of one work, but a glimpse into the creative madness of living a life that is entirely devoted to art. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2020
Caméra d'Afrique: 20 Years of African Cinema (1983) Katie Duggan Perhaps the documentary's greatest strength is the way that it opens up the archive of African cinema and lets many films that have rarely been screened outside their home countries speak for themselves. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2020
Spookies (1987) Katie Duggan It delivers on exactly what its title promises: it overflows with spooky spirits and creepy creatures filling a decrepit haunted mansion to the brim. What more could you ask for? EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2020
White on White (2019) Katie Duggan There is something perversely beautiful about the stark scene he orchestrates, and in the film that Court creates. But with that beauty comes the reminder of profound ugliness and horrors that cannot be contained within the frame. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2020
Vivarium (2020) Jim Ross A single giant metaphor wrapped in more than one enigma and many influences, Lorcan Finnegan's film is a wonderfully executed pastel-hued nightmare. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2020
Proxima (2019) Jim Ross In the end, PROXIMA isn't quite next to the stars, but there are enough unique elements, including a beautiful central performance, to forgive its more thudding metaphors. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2020
True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) Jim Ross Justin Kurzel's new film has some striking imagery and engaging performances but seems to lack the coherent storytelling required to drive home their impact. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
Dark Waters (2019) Jim Ross Not only does the film act as another damning indictment of corporate America's indifference, but it also highlights the cost of shooting the proverbial messenger. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2020
Identifying Features (2020) Jim Ross As a first feature, Valadez's film is remarkably accomplished and - contrary to the slightly duller English translation of the title would imply - has many 'identifying features' that mark out the director as one to pay attention to. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2020
Vai (2019) Jim Ross The film manages to communicate the essence of common experiences whilst retaining cultural specificity. That the collection achieves this with a visual vibrancy and tonal coherence makes it all the more remarkable. EDIT
Posted Feb 17, 2020
Jackpot (2011) Jim Ross As Nordic imports go, it's hardly as offensive as lutefisk. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Queen & Slim (2019) Jim Ross For all the missteps Waithe's script seems to take, it still contains engaging, well-conceived characters (major and minor) and the narrative foundations upon which Matsoukas has built a beautiful and varied set of visuals. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Jim Ross Outside the USA, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood seems quaint and even twee. Heller's film, however, provides a nostalgic window on how to process emotion, the power of forgiveness, and the complicated interior lives of those we share emotional space with. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Waves (2019) Jim Ross Although frequently visually stunning, a failure to portray a meaningful source of the drama means the film's impact doesn't last, and what does persist feels increasingly hollow. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
1917 (2019) Jim Ross Although the story's engagement levels can dip between set pieces, the skill of Mendes' collaborators elevates 1917 to something a little more than the marketing hooks would imply, even if technical prowess still dominates the emotions of the characters. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Jim Ross The Safdies have not conferred mystical powers onto their film, but like the black opal at its heart, UNCUT GEMS will transfix the viewer by reflecting something a little different back at you depending on what angle you consider it from. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Little Women (2019) Jim Ross After a slightly rough start, LITTLE WOMEN blends the technical and narrative elements of the film to move and amuse. Much like the life of the sisters, it is a multi-faceted story ripped from the pages of a real and complicated set of experiences. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Jim Ross JOJO RABBIT is not an unqualified success, but it manages to get more right than it does wrong. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Honey Boy (2019) Jim Ross ...the fact each of Hedges and Jupe flow into each other neatly - with attention to detail in tone and body language - speaks to the quality of both the performances and Har'el's direction. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Knives Out (2019) Jim Ross ...it could be seen as a big-budget Jonathan Creek special - and is probably Johnson's least interesting film - the quality of the performances combine with the richness of the production design & Rian Johnson's style to deliver something more memorable. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Jim Ross The film would be an achievement in terms of character and theme alone, but Talbot shows an awareness for imagery that elevates the script even further (co-written with Rob Richert and co-conceived with Fails). EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Joker (2019) Jim Ross JOKER is a beautiful but simplistically shallow tale of one man's downward spiral, tacked on to a recognisable cinematic icon. Todd Phillips's film is a Batmobile with the engine of a clown car. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Schemers (2019) Jim Ross A madcap caper, with something to say as well, Dave Mclean's film captures the best of Scottish humour without softening the edges of a tale based on achievement against all odds. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
The Day Shall Come (2019) Jim Ross THE DAY SHALL COME presents a character that longs for change. Although the issues are prodded rather than skewered, the film develops a sadness at the absurdity and lack of empathy that perpetuates a status quo with an expensive human cost. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020