WTOP (Washington, D.C.)

WTOP (Washington, D.C.) is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jason Fraley
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 No Sudden Move (2021) Jason Fraley A neo-noir gem packed with star power, snappy dialogue and a complex plot that keeps us guessing. The gun shots are shocking because they are sparse. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2021
3/5 The Forever Purge (2021) Jason Fraley "The Forever Purge" feels less like a horror movie than it does a "Sicario" action crime thriller set on the Southern border, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2021
2.5/5 The Ice Road (2021) Jason Fraley The film's believability thaws the further we get down this predictable road. If you can get past the logic, though, director Jonathan Hensleigh mines suspense from the cracking ice. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2021
3.5/5 12 Mighty Orphans (2021) Jason Fraley "12 Mighty Orphans" embraces old-fashioned storytelling to overcome its hokey moments with underdog inspiration. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2021
4/5 Luca (2021) Jason Fraley Sure, it doesn't rival Pixar's best, but I silence any doubters by quoting Luca's mantra: "Silencio, Bruno!" EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2021
3/5 Awake (2021) Jason Fraley It's all pretty heavy handed with a resolution you'll see coming from miles away, so watch it as frivolous genre comfort food, no more no less. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2021
5/5 In the Heights (2021) Jason Fraley After a tough pandemic year, it's the feel-good movie we need right now for a joyous return to the movie theater. As Chu recently said, it's a "vaccine shot of hope and joy." EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2021
1/5 Under the Stadium Lights (2021) Jason Fraley The action relies on actual game footage. The film doesn't even try to reenact the scenes with the actors, creating a tangible disconnect with the audience. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2021
3/5 Army Of The Dead (2021) Jason Fraley Snyder builds up the Alpha Zombies to ride horses and hold hostages like an elevated species, suggesting there's more than meets the eye. Then he settles for a finale we've seen a million times. At 2 1/2 hours, the film eats itself. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2021
4.5/5 Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (2021) Jason Fraley "Sesame Street" is the most iconic children's television show ever created. This new documentary proves that it's also one of the most important. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
3.5/5 Wrath of Man (2021) Jason Fraley A riveting action-crime flick that is simultaneously perfect for Statham's persona and against type for Ritchie, which might displease his most ardent supporters but which non-fans will find refreshing. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
4/5 The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021) Jason Fraley A real genre standout, combining a heartwarming family journey with energetic animation and relevant social themes. EDIT
Posted Apr 30, 2021
3/5 Mortal Kombat (2021) Jason Fraley A bloody action movie that will make fans of the video game squeal with glee, even if non-fans can skip it. Will Baby Boomers lack the nostalgia? Probably, but those of us who grew up with it will shout, "Finish him!" EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2021
2.5/5 Thunder Force (2021) Jason Fraley The movie languishes for 48 minutes before the superhero team gets out into the world to start fighting crime, which is when it finally picks up. It's no coincidence that this is also the same time we meet Jason Bateman. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2021
3/5 City of Lies (2018) Jason Fraley While the third act lacks oomph, the film lands its message of a corrupt police force where political self-preservation sadly overshadows the actual lives lost. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2021
3.5/4 Rocketman (2019) Jason Fraley A giddy yet sobering film that is part chronological biopic and part musical fantasy that's bound to have fans tapping their feet. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2021
4/5 Concrete Cowboy (2020) Jason Fraley Just as 2Pac spoke of a rose growing through the concrete, this film cements a hoof print like Roy Rogers's Trigger on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2021
3/5 Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Jason Fraley A monster movie spectacle better for the big screen where epic CGI battles thankfully mask cliche human characters. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2021
3/5 Bad Trip (2021) Jason Fraley "Bad Trip" mixes scripted comedy and reality pranks to mixed effect, providing laugh-out-loud gags between lackluster plot points. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
2/5 Cherry (2021) Jason Fraley Ultimately, the film can't figure out what it wants to be. Is it a romance? A war film? A drug movie? A bank robbery flick? It tries to be all of these, but winds up falling short of all of them. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2021
4/5 Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Jason Fraley The only way out of this plague is for brave folks to cross partisan lines and establish trust in their perceived enemies. Plenty of decent Americans share the dream of Raya's father, bringing harmony back to our warring factions to reunite as Kumandra. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2021
2.5/4 The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Jason Fraley The problem is we've seen better versions of the same themes this year in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, "MLK/FBI," "Judas and the Black Messiah" and "One Night in Miami." EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2021
4/4 Minari (2020) Jason Fraley "One of the most powerful films ever made about the American Dream." EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
4/4 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Jason Fraley We know it's going to end tragically, but the journey there is intensely directed by Shaka King, capturing the suspicions, paranoia and stolen potential of a movement. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2021
2.5/4 Malcolm & Marie (2021) Jason Fraley Bold. Risky. Electric. Combustible. Self-Aware. Indulgent. Frustrating. Exhausting. All apply to "Malcolm & Marie." EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
2.5/4 The Little Things (2021) Jason Fraley It feels like a script that's collected dust since the '90s, recalling crime thrillers of its era such as "The Silence of the Lambs." It's a shame it wasn't made back then, as we've since seen much better versions in "Se7en," "Zodiac" and "Prisoners." EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
3.5/4 News of the World (2020) Jason Fraley In an era of "fake news" and "alternative facts," "News of the World" shines like a North star over a Western landscape, saddled with newsprint, hooves galloping toward the truth. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
3.5/4 The Dissident (2020) Jason Fraley Where's the justice? The final "where are they now" text will infuriate you, as it should, cementing "The Dissident" as one of the Top 10 Documentaries of 2020. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
4/4 First Cow (2019) Jason Fraley Kelly Reichardt's pacing is blissfully patient as her camera holds for painterly compositions where the natural world exists before and after the humans enter and exit the frame. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2020
4/4 One Night in Miami (2020) Jason Fraley As Malcolm X closes his eyes to Sam Cooke singing "A Change is Gonna Come" in the same soaring voice from "Hamilton," it's thrilling to be in the (Miami hotel) room where it happened. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2020
4/4 Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Jason Fraley Boseman steals the show as Levee, who carries a chip on his emaciated shoulders, lending a transcendent power to monologues challenging God as if shouting, "Why me?" EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2020
4/4 Nomadland (2020) Jason Fraley Frances McDormand's performance in "Nomadland" is the closest thing I've seen to Harry Dean Stanton in "Paris, Texas." EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
2.5/4 The New Mutants (2020) Jason Fraley While its horror tone is a bit jumbled and its superpowers are inconsistent, I admire the filmmaker taking a different approach with the institutional concept. At least it's not cookie cutter. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
3.5/4 Mank (2020) Jason Fraley To be clear, "Mank" is not a film for casual moviegoers. Rather, it's a black-and-white love note to cinephiles who appreciate the significance of "Citizen Kane," both to cinema history and its enduring political commentary on egomaniacal media moguls. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
3/4 The Mystery of D.B. Cooper (2020) Jason Fraley Dower isn't so much concerned with proving that they're all lying but rather that they all might be telling their own personal truth. He argues that the mystery of D.B. Cooper means so much to their psyche, their family history, their own sense of self. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2020
3.5/4 Sound of Metal (2019) Jason Fraley Marder employs masterful sound design, lacing the soundtrack with distorted sounds and ringing ears to fully immerse us in the deaf drummer's shoes. Few films make better use of silence. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2020
2.5/4 Fatman (2020) Jason Fraley "Fatman" is definitely not a Christmas movie for the family. In fact, we're not really sure of the target audience for this one. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2020
3.5/4 Alone (2020) Jason Fraley "Alone" is admirably straightforward, exploring tried-and-true archetypes with suspenseful execution. Director John Hyams demonstrates a minimalistic knack for showing and not telling, tapping into our most guttural fears and survival instincts. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
3/4 Host (2020) Jason Fraley Savage delivers well-timed jumpscares that are legitimately scary, knowing how to build tension from what lurks outside the frame and in the background. The stacked Zoom windows mine suspense like Hitchcock's "Rear Window," albeit more lowbrow. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2020
Faith Based (2020) Jason Fraley Luke Barnett and Tanner Thomason's spoof of a lucrative niche film industry is consistently amusing, admirably respectful, surprisingly heartfelt and occasionally laugh-out-loud. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2020
2/4 Rebecca (2020) Jason Fraley Comparison is the enemy of joy -- both in life and in cinema. Just as Mr. de Winter can't forget the memory of his original wife, we can't forget the memory of the original Hitchcock masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
3.5/4 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Jason Fraley We appreciate the stand that Cohen takes when he takes the stand. "Do you have contempt for your government?""I think the institutions of our democracy are wonderful things that are right now populated by some terrible people." EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
3/4 Save Yourselves! (2020) Jason Fraley A delightfully quirky ride that's as authentically human as it is bizarrely campy until its ambiguous finale. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2020
3.5/4 The Social Dilemma (2020) Jason Fraley A straight documentary may have worked better than a fiction hybrid, but "The Social Dilemma" is nonetheless a terrifying plea for us to delete our social media accounts. Will you do it? EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2020
2.5/4 Antebellum (2020) Jason Fraley Critics can argue that the gimmick has been done before, but it still could have worked in a new social context if the pacing was right. Can we get a tightened director's cut for Halloween? EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2020
3/4 Mulan (2020) Jason Fraley Nostalgia is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways: it makes us excited to see the newest version, while carrying the albatross of constant comparison. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
3.5/4 Darkest Hour (2017) Jason Fraley Gary Oldman delivers what could be his finest hour, becoming Winston Churchill to declare, "You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth!" EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
3.5/4 Dunkirk (2017) Jason Fraley Christopher Nolan recreates the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk by fracturing the narrative across three overlapping timelines: an hour in the air with Tom Hardy, a day at sea with Mark Rylance, and a week on shore with Kenneth Branagh. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
3.5/4 Wind River (2017) Jason Fraley After penning "Hell or High Water," Taylor Sheridan makes his directorial debut, blending murder mystery, western ruggedness, comedic interludes and crime meditations in a unique setting. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020
4/4 The Big Sick (2017) Jason Fraley Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Ramano and Holly Hunter are so funny that they yank the rom-com genre right out of a coma. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2020