CultureMap

CultureMap is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Alex Bentley, Craig D. Lindsey
Rating Title/Year Author
Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Alex Bentley Mary Queen of Scots earns points for its compelling story and actors who know how to play their parts to the utmost. EDIT
Posted Apr 14, 2021
Thunder Force (2021) Alex Bentley The idea for Thunder Force is objectively a solid one, but the execution of it leaves a lot to be desired. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) Alex Bentley By itself, the footage shown in They Shall Not Grow Old is not all that grand, but Jackson has made it so with 21st century technology, bringing to life a time that should not be forgotten. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Alex Bentley Mary Poppins Returns is a film designed to make tons of money, but you won't regret paying to see it for one second. Your childhood memories will remain intact and be enhanced by this mesmerizing movie. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
Ben Is Back (2018) Alex Bentley Quite simply, Ben is Back is spectacular. That's a word I never thought I'd use for a film such as this, but the nuanced storytelling, subtle directing, and uniformly great performances make it a film that should not be missed. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
Bumblebee (2018) Alex Bentley Bumblebee may very well represent a vast improvement in quality for the Transformers series. But that means the previous five films must be even worse than you think, as Bumblebee is pretty dang awful. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
Vice (2018) Alex Bentley There's no doubt that Vice will play best to those who regard Cheney as a political manipulator of the highest order, but even if you don't, do your best to appreciate the level of skill it takes to accomplish everything seen in this fantastic film. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Alex Bentley While the film certainly does not shy away from social commentary, especially when Barry Jenkins inserts pointed real-life examples of racism at work, it is highly effective when it comes to the romance side of things. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
On the Basis of Sex (2018) Alex Bentley On the Basis of Sex makes a good case for why Ginsburg is as revered as she is, but it could've been even better had it not taken the easy way out at times. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
Voyagers (2021) Alex Bentley Instead of trying to address ethical and philosophical questions in any meaningful way, Voyagers instead throws a bunch of hormonal teenagers together merely to see what happens. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
French Exit (2020) Alex Bentley Eccentric movies like French Exit can work, but only if the filmmakers maintain some sort of connection to reality. There's very little, if anything, for moviegoers to hold on to in this story, as it's just a lot of weirdness for weirdness' sake. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2021
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Alex Bentley Godzilla vs. Kong is far from a good movie, but it's actually an improvement over the abominable King of the Monsters. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2021
Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018) Alex Bentley Bathtubs Over Broadway is a must-see experience that proves that being open to a human connection can lead to some amazing discoveries. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2021
The Upside (2017) Alex Bentley The Upside won't blow your socks off, but it's a pleasant experience thanks to the talents of a bunch of fine actors and a story that never tries to overreach. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2021
Destroyer (2018) Alex Bentley On paper, Destroyer is your standard cop drama, but it's elevated by a superb performance by Kidman and storytelling that remains focused on the human cost of police work instead of any particular case. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2021
Glass (2019) Alex Bentley It's time to face the facts that, by and large, Shyamalan is not a good filmmaker. He certainly has some interesting ideas, but his impulse to keep things secretive instead of playing a story straight does not serve those ideas well. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2021
The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Alex Bentley The Kid Who Would Be King is a welcome break from the movies that take the King Arthur legend too seriously. Through wit, emotion, and imagination, the film makes the story fun again. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
Stan & Ollie (2018) Alex Bentley Stan & Ollie is a sweet, well-done tribute to a comedy duo that influenced way more performers than you might think. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Alex Bentley Velvet Buzzsaw is a film that will likely not satisfy fans of the art world or horror movies, but the combination of talented actors and striking art at least keep it watchable for most of its running time. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Alex Bentley You can't really fault Lord & Miller and their team for going all out in an attempt to entertain us, but The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is more of an exhausting experience than a truly enjoyable one. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
High Flying Bird (2019) Alex Bentley You may not be smart enough to grasp everything the film is trying to say, but Steven Soderbergh and Tarell Alvin McCraney get points just for putting them out into the world. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
Nobody (2021) Alex Bentley Nobody is not going to win any Oscars, unless they add in a stunt category sometime in the next year, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
The Courier (2020) Alex Bentley The Courier does a great job at illuminating a piece of history that most people likely know little about. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
Cherry (2021) Alex Bentley Virtually nothing about Cherry works, from the jumbled tones to overuse of voiceover to the poor storytelling to the miscast actors. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2021
The Father (2020) Alex Bentley The Father hits home in multiple ways due to its creative filmmaking and two compelling performances by seasoned actors. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2021
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Alex Bentley Raya and the Last Dragon has the type of story to make it fit right in with other Disney classics, but it will be interesting to see what the reception is from members of the Asian community at large. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
Moxie (2021) Alex Bentley Moxie is a blast of pure energy that proves that stories centered on and made by women need to continue being highlighted. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2021
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry (2021) Alex Bentley Time will tell if Eilish is a musician whose fame will endure, but The World's a Little Blurry demonstrates that she's carved a singular niche into the music industry by doing things her own way. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Alex Bentley Movie fans can only dream what it would have been like had James Cameron decided to fully devote himself to the creation of Alita: Battle Angel. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Alex Bentley The United States vs. Billie Holiday is the latest example where an attempt to venerate a major Black figure was undone by poor filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
Arctic (2018) Alex Bentley The best movies transport their audiences to places they may never experience or even want to go. The makers of Arctic go to flabbergasting lengths to tell their harrowing story, giving its audience a massive reward in the process. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Fighting With My Family (2019) Alex Bentley Fighting with My Family is a fun and surprising emotional story about a quirky, ambitious clan. Wrestling fans may be most drawn to it, but it still has a lot to offer even if you've never watched a match in your life. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Greta (2018) Alex Bentley It's difficult to tell why Greta was made in the first place, as it offers nothing new for the genre and does little to showcase the fine actors who were convinced to be in it. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Triple Frontier (2019) Alex Bentley Triple Frontier is as good a crime thriller as any movie fan could want, and one that demonstrates that Netflix is staking its claim as one of the premier movie studios. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Captain Marvel (2019) Alex Bentley A Marvel staple is to keep the story light and entertaining, and Captain Marvel is on par with Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man in that respect. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Wonder Park (2019) Alex Bentley Wonder Park doesn't come close to holding a candle to the better animated fare of recent years. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Us (2019) Alex Bentley While imperfect, Peele and his team get enough right with Us to make it a worthy follow-up to Get Out. Combining popcorn thrills with thoughtful commentary is Peele's calling card, something that should make him a director to watch for years to come. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Gloria Bell (2018) Alex Bentley Gloria Bell could have played as a glorious showcase of a woman being true to herself in spite of the world trying to hold her back. Instead, it's a slog that wastes the talents of Julianne Moore and her many recognizable co-stars. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Dumbo (2019) Alex Bentley The new Dumbo is not blatantly bad; rather, it's a mostly bland affair that doesn't justify the effort it took to remake the film. The story moves away from being solely Dumbo's journey, and the emotions that removes can't be replaced. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Shazam! (2019) Alex Bentley Shazam! is as fun as they get and could be an indication of great things to come for the DC Comics universe. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Missing Link (2019) Alex Bentley Missing Link is beautiful to look at, something for which Laika should be rightfully proud. It's just a shame that the story attached to it doesn't live up that standard. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Penguins (2019) Alex Bentley The adorable nature of penguins is all over DisneyNature's Penguins, but it would have been nice if the filmmakers had trusted the material they had instead of trying to force the issue with some out-of-place anthropomorphizing of their subjects. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Alex Bentley Avengers: Endgame is everything Marvel fans could want and more. It will be interesting to see how the MCU moves into the future after the events in the film, but woe be upon anyone who doubts their ability to adapt and succeed mightily. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Long Shot (2019) Alex Bentley The filmmakers of Long Shot know their way around comedy and romance, but they bit off more than they could chew politics-wise. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Wine Country (2019) Alex Bentley Wine Country offers the expected laughs from seasoned comedians but could've used a boost in the storytelling department. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Alex Bentley Pokémon Detective Pikachu has a purpose - to indulge fans - and it does so with gusto. Anyone else would be better served by choosing almost any other movie. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Alex Bentley The third chapter in the John Wick series shows the toll a story can take once filmmakers have to stretch it out beyond its natural ending. A series that was once praised for its simplicity is now too convoluted for its own good. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Alex Bentley By the end of the film, the story of the Chesters and their farm has brought forth a bevy of smiles and tears, and a strong desire to book a trip to visit their small slice of heaven. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Aladdin (2019) Alex Bentley It's unlikely that the new Aladdin will be the cultural touchstone that the original was, but it has plenty of memorable moments that complement well the iconic ones many of us hold near and dear. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
Booksmart (2019) Alex Bentley Booksmart is a mostly sweet film that works hard to show the full depth of a female friendship. Showcasing two up-and-coming highly-talented actors, it's a movie that holds up well against other recent notable comedies. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021