PopMatters

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
() Chris Barsanti Anxiety about institutions' ability to provide security is at the root of a strong crop of nonfiction short subjects, which range from South Korea to Sweden, the suburbs of California to the city of St. Louis. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2020
7/10 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Sarah Boslaugh ...has a great sense of time and place, and, most appropriately for a film about art, the cinematography is exquisitely painterly. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
6/10 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Paul Risker The Rise of Skywalker never feels like a film that knows the answer to the question raised in its predecessors; what is the overarching story of the trilogy? Instead, it simply frames episodes VII-IX as an act of indulgence. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) J.R. Kinnard Dolemite Is My Name celebrates his independent (and vulgar) spirit with a fittingly entertaining and breezy tribute. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) J.R. Kinnard It's the kind of movie that burrows deep into your brain and demands that you watch it again. Sure, you feel dirty after placing your bet, but it's a small price to pay for such a wild ride. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
9/10 Uncut Gems (2019) Chris Barsanti The Safdie Brothers' nervy ball of tension sends a hustler (Adam Sandler) blasting recklessly through a city where everybody is on the make. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019) James Baxter The film surpasses its predecessors as a work of supreme visual splendour: rendering the minutiae of a rainstorm, or (in a slightly more foreboding manner) the membranous layers of dust in an antique store with hyperreal precision. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
8/10 The Irishman (2019) J.R. Kinnard This is a gritty, pitiless exposé that offers no absolution for its foot soldiers. Scorsese alerts you in the film's opening scene that things are going to be different this time around. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
9/10 Hamlet (2009) Christel Loar The principal performances are nothing short of phenomenal and the entire company should be praised for a momentous accomplishment in bringing it from stage to screen. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
7/10 The Great Mouse Detective (1986) Bill Gibron The Great Mouse Detective is Disney's definitive revitalization starting point. While incomplete, it was this vision that would make them viable again. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) Jeremiah Massengale This is packed with enough charm and whimsy to make you feel like a child again. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
This Christmas (2007) Cynthia Fuchs You've seen the scene before, in a movie like this one, and you've heard the much-covered song before, but Brown makes it feel new again. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
6/10 Harriet (2019) Chris Barsanti Cynthia Erivo's transcendent turn as Union spy, escaped slave, and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman shines through Kasi Lemmons' heroic but oversimplified biopic. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
7/10 Judy (2019) Guy Webster Judy is by no means a perfect film... but it does attempt, and achieves with some success, to colour the increasing output of biopics with a different shade of the queer rainbow. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
8/10 Joker (2019) Shaun McMichael In its depiction of Fleck's quixotic descent, Joker is as much about the spectators as it is about its tragic spectacle. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
5/10 () Chris Barsanti Oren Jacoby's richly illustrated documentary on the ups and downs of modern Broadway is all celebrations and no questions. Whether that's a problem depends on your level of theater mania. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
8/10 The Lighthouse (2019) Chris Barsanti ...a brutal but lyrical 19th century horror show EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
9/10 The Lighthouse (2019) J.R. Kinnard Director Robert Eggers' emotional powerhouse, The Lighthouse, is a profound allegorical reminder that no man is an island. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
8/10 The Last Seduction (1994) Imran Khan Linda Fiorentino pulls out all the stops and delivers a tour-de-force performance in John Dahl's gripping neo-noir, The Last Seduction, a film full of blue moods, dark humour, and hairpin turns. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
8/10 Dolor y gloria (2019) Alex Leininger Pain and Glory is a celebration of art, not just as a form of entertainment or provocation, but as lifeblood. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Prospect (2018) Shaun McMichael Prospect offers a riveting survival story in space. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
7/10 Dominique (1978) Imran Khan Dominique won't raise the hackles of anyone looking for deep scares, but it is an absorbing suspense-drama that will at least keep you in your seat, if not the edge of it. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Prayers for Bobby (2009) Michael Abernethy Weaver gives what is undeniably one of her best performances. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
6/10 Bacurau (2019) Chris Barsanti Loony anti-colonialist Brazilian satire 'Bacurau' doesn't always balance its humor with its bite, but its communitarian soul, oddball wit, and dark vision of the future still hits home EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Let It Shine (2012) Lesley M. Smith Let It Shine sometimes zings, thanks to excellent acting by Tyler James Williams in the Cyrano role (here, Cyrus DeBarge) and a starry soundtrack melding hip-hop, gospel, and rap. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
7/10 Candyman (1992) Imran Khan Bernard Rose's Candyman offers a moody "elegance", if you will, that's sorely lacking in other horror films of the era. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
6/10 Ad Astra (2019) J.R. Kinnard Ad Astra succeeds as mildly entertaining 'soft sci-fi', even if it fails to land a substantial existential punch. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
7/10 Tesis (1996) Imran Khan Tesis won't exactly knock the socks off of viewers; However, it is exceptionally acted, with all actors delivering solid performances and fully submitting to the demands of some of the more arduous action sequences. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
Death of a Cyclist (1955) Marco Lanzagorta The result is a dramatic story that deeply resonates with the cultural anxieties that Spanish society endured under the regime of General Francisco Franco. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
6/10 Official Secrets (2019) Chris Barsanti ...nothing special artistically, but its intense relevance burns the screen. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
8/10 The Wind (2018) Paul Risker To anyone skeptical of the merits of genre cinema that is prone to immature bloodletting and superficial themes, The Wind, while quietly impressive, shows the mature side of genre storytelling. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2019
7/10 Quatermass and the Pit (Five Million Years to Earth)(The Mind Benders) (1967) Brian Holcomb Kier grounds the film with his sober and serious presence. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
7/10 The Fate of Lee Khan (1974) Michael Barrett If King Hu is no longer around, the legacy of his films remain, and we continue to be glad that they're no longer neglected. Here's hoping the remainder are on their way. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
Dennis Miller: The Raw Feed (2003) Sean Murphy He retains some spin on his curveball and it is obvious he still belongs in the big leagues. But then he starts in on the Middle East, and things begin to derail as the stand-up turns into an occasionally ugly right-wing rant. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
El increíble finde menguante (2019) Paul Risker The unexplainable events in this story allows us not only to revisit the infinite imagination we possessed as children, but casts cinema as a transformative and time-travelling experience. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
() Sean Murphy It's not terrible; Miller is simply too intelligent, too witty and too observant to flop onstage. But one might think he would feel obliged (for the sake of his comedy, for the sake of his integrity) to reign in the rhetoric. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
8/10 One Child Nation (2019) Chris Barsanti Starting as a personal look at the damages wrought by decades of China's one-child policy, 'One Child Nation' exposes a deeper, baser level of national corruption. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
6/10 Russell Brand In New York City (2009) Evan Sawdey [Showcases] Brand as someone capable of making some remarkably insightful comments amidst his clownish, schoolboy antics. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
() Daniel Carlson It's taken Oswalt a while, but he's finally developed a voice based on his own nerdy neuroses. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
7/10 John Oliver: Terrifying Times (2008) Andrew Winistorfer Terrifying Times isn't likely to end up as anyone's favorite stand-up film of all time, but it offers a smart take on some of the major topics facing the civilized world in the 21st Century. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America - A Final Night with George W Bush (2009) Evan Sawdey Once Ferrell launches into Bush's biography, we get what we'd expect from a 90-minute, Ferrell-lead Bush-bashing Broadway show -- and for the most part, it's good. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
7/10 Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Chris Barsanti Tarantino's surprisingly warm fantasy mash-up of California dreamin' and arthouse B-movie revenge fantasy is dreamy but sacrifices coherence for the indulgence of changing history. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
5/10 Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Alex Leininger Not only is this one of Tarantino's least risky films, it's also one of his most forgettable. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2019
8/10 Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) J.R. Kinnard If for three hours, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood forestalls cynicism and irony to indulge a simpler time in the world of make-believe. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Jim Gaffigan - King Baby (2008) Andrew Winistorfer It is a tighter performance DVD than Beyond the Pale but it lacks the truly memorable riffs that the latter had. If anything, King Baby confirms Gaffigan's comedic chops, and further cements his position as one of the better working comedians today. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
8/10 The Art of Self-Defense (2019) J.R. Kinnard Still, it's a successful provocation and a damn funny one at that. This movie has 'cult classic' written all over it. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
4/10 Vita & Virginia (2018) Paul Risker Looking upon Virginia Woolf with an immature and childish creative lust, writer/director Chanya Button and co-writer Eileen Atkins reduce her to a bland literary figure in Vita & Virginia, leaving us to remember the contrarian truth. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
4/10 Rocketship X-M (1950) David Maine Mars segments make this worthwhile, but the rest is pretty slow. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
7/10 Missile to the Moon (1959) David Maine Rock monsters, moon girls and spiders, oh my! Unexpected twists enliven this truly fantastic voyage: settle in for a hilarious good time. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
8/10 Sword of Trust (2019) Chris Barsanti Lynn Shelton's lo-fi Southern satire yokes historical artifacts, the quest for meaning, Civil War Truthers, and the devastation of addiction to a pleasingly ramshackle comic quest. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2019