San Francisco Chronicle

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
1/4 Fantasy Island (2020) Zaki Hasan The scares aren't particularly scary, the lessons aren't particularly compelling, and the ultimate resolution takes far too long to arrive at a conclusion that's far too pat. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
2.5/4 The Photograph (2020) Mick LaSalle The characters are still likable, even if you've stopped being all that crazy about "The Photograph." EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
3/4 Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) Peter Hartlaub Fowler and screenwriters Pat Casey and Josh Miller establish pleasing and slightly offbeat characters, while skewing the world into video game terms, so no one ever seems as if they're in true peril. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3/4 Come as You Are (2019) G. Allen Johnson Crass and confrontational at the outset, "Come As You Are" achieves a winning sense of vulnerability. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
2.5/4 Downhill (2020) Mick LaSalle It's just too bad that the directors allowed Ferrell to settle for such an edgeless performance. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
3/4 What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (2018) G. Allen Johnson Not only explores the special talent of Kael and what made her famous, but is also a snapshot of a volatile and exciting era of film history... EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2020
2/4 To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) Mick LaSalle It takes place in an altogether nice world, and I think I would have really appreciated this movie when I was 12. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2020
1/4 The Traitor (2019) G. Allen Johnson The biggest betrayal of "The Traitor" is its crime against the usually compelling mafia movie genre. This is an offer you can refuse. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
0/4 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Mick LaSalle "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn" is more than horrible. It should not exist. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
3/4 The Assistant (2019) Mick LaSalle "The Assistant" isn't a particularly enjoyable film, but its message and quiet power linger for days. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2020
1/4 () G. Allen Johnson "Chinese Portrait" is a great art installation, but a thoroughly unsatisfying film. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
4/4 The Rhythm Section (2020) Mick LaSalle It's Lively's movie, and it's she who kicks this superior thriller up an extra notch, to the point that it's not only worth seeing for the excitement and thrills, but for her. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
1/4 The Gentlemen (2020) Mick LaSalle "The Gentleman" isn't offensive, and it's not even good enough to qualify as coarse. If it weren't mildly annoying, it would be as close to nothing as an experience can be. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
3/4 Clemency (2019) Mick LaSalle The real question isn't whether this person or that person will be executed, but whether Bernardine will go to pieces, and yet with a performance like Woodard's at the center, that's all a movie needs. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
2.5/4 The Last Full Measure (2020) Mick LaSalle A so-so movie with a lot of good parts. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
3.5/4 Citizen K (2019) G. Allen Johnson Essential viewing for anyone needing a history lesson about Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, and who wants a frontline report on the current geopolitical landscape in Europe, including Ukraine. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
3/4 Color Out of Space (2019) G. Allen Johnson "Color Out of Space" is a trashy, ridiculous science fiction-horror film. It is so silly, poorly written, and, well, I liked it. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
Salem's Lot (2004) Tim Goodman The first five minutes of "Salem's Lot" are great. Well, four minutes. And then Lowe's voice-over kicks in, which essentially starts the poison drip. It's a lot of King-speak, which is annoying and so formulaic it ought to be patented (and might be). EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
3/4 Troop Zero (2019) Zaki Hasan It's not trying to reinvent the wheel with the story it's telling, but it's made memorable by all the ways it adds stardust to the formula. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
Carrie (2002) Edward Guthmann In the time it takes you to watch the remake, you could drive to the nearest video/DVD outlet, watch the original "Carrie" at home and return it -- and still have an hour to spare. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
0.5/4 Dolittle (2020) G. Allen Johnson If the idea was to make the film some kind of delightfully bizarre, loopy trip, perhaps Gaghan, the screenwriter of "Traffic" and "Syriana," was not the best choice. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
3/4 Bad Boys for Life (2020) Mick LaSalle "Bad Boys for Life" runs just over two hours, which is about the limit for a movie like this, but it packs so much story and character interest into that time that it all flies by. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
3/4 Les misérables (2019) Mick LaSalle As a slice of life, "Les Misérables" is satisfying enough, but as the film wears on, the movie goes beyond the slice of life. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
Stephen King's 'The Langoliers' (1995) John Carman You spend hours in the company of cardboard characters, under the doughy direction of Tom Holland, waiting for something scary to happen, and at long last your payoff is a couple of minutes of cheesy special effects. Anyone's idea of a good time? EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
The Godfather, Part III (1990) Zaki Hasan Allows us to take in the full scope of Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) tragic journey - from optimistic military veteran to cruel crime boss to emotionally shattered old man. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
3/4 Underwater (2020) Mick LaSalle "Underwater" was directed by William Eubank, whose previous film was "The Signal," which had a similar mood, but was weak in terms of story. "Underwater," by contrast, is the best of both worlds. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
1/4 Like a Boss (2020) Mick LaSalle If you make a movie with Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish, and they're not funny in it, it's your fault, not theirs. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
1/4 Three Christs (2017) G. Allen Johnson Just an odd mess of a movie. That you feel anything at all is a tribute to the acting talent of Dinklage and Goggins, who occasionally make us care. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
3/4 Just Mercy (2019) Mick LaSalle "Just Mercy" isn't the best movie that could have been made from its subject, but it's good enough. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
1/4 The Grudge (2020) Mick LaSalle I saw this movie in the middle of the day, having had a great night's sleep, and I had to slap myself awake a few times. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
Shogun (1980) Zaki Hasan While its depiction of Japanese history is oftentimes dodgy, it nonetheless remains an affecting portrait of Japanese life for American audiences at a time when such a thing just wasn't that common. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
Centennial (1978) Zaki Hasan Even this many decades past the "present" of the story, the narrative and themes of Centennial - about respecting the land so that it respects us - are still as timely as ever. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2020
3/4 Cunningham (2019) Rachel Howard In all the intellectual reflection "Cunningham" provokes about the lasting fascination of Merce Cunningham's ideas, we shouldn't forget the factor of Cunningham's beauty. Every archival clip here attests to it. EDIT
Posted Jan 1, 2020
2/4 The Song of Names (2019) Mick LaSalle There's a mystery at the heart of "The Song of Names," but it isn't much of a mystery, and once it's solved, the movie loses what little interest it has. EDIT
Posted Dec 31, 2019
3/4 Invisible Life (2019) Mick LaSalle By the end, you will feel like you've been somewhere, and you know these people. Guida and Euridice just might stay with you for a long time. EDIT
Posted Dec 31, 2019
3/4 1917 (2019) Mick LaSalle By the time it ends, Mendes has built within the audience an intense desire to see the men's message successfully delivered, and like a true dramatist, Mendes milks it for every drop of tension. He does not blow his big finish. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
2.5/4 Spies in Disguise (2019) G. Allen Johnson There's a level of craftsmanship that's to be admired, even as you tick off every predictable sequence and plot point as it advances steadily to its obvious conclusion. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
2.5/4 Little Women (2019) Mick LaSalle Despite a misguided conception and a cast directed to act like disgruntled graduate students at Vassar, there's much here that's indestructible. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Avatar (2009) Zaki Hasan Rewatching it with fresh eyes 10 years later, the movie's pluses and minuses both rise into much starker relief. The verdict: It's...fine. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
2/4 Cats (2019) G. Allen Johnson I found "Cats" pretty bland, but it has its moments of catnip, and as a holiday movie option that anyone could see, it might be just the ticket. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
2.5/4 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Mick LaSalle "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" does the most important thing, the one thing it absolutely had to do. It ends well. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
3/4 Uncut Gems (2019) Mick LaSalle By the time it's all over, nothing is exactly what you might feel. But Sandler and Fox give it the humanity the Safdies wanted there. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
3.5/4 Richard Jewell (2019) Mick LaSalle Paul Walter Hauser gives us the soul of a man that deserved respect even before he did something heroic, but one that people might never have noticed. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
3/4 High Flying Bird (2019) Carlos Valladares The director and cinematographer is Steven Soderbergh, who has recently returned after a blessedly brief 2012 retirement with manic energy. High Flying Bird continues his stream of crafting the tightest, snappiest pieces of movie work in recent memory. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
3/4 Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Zaki Hasan It all rests it on a sturdy foundation of character development that's a worthy and natural progression from where we last left the main characters. That's what makes the game worth playing. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
3.5/4 Bombshell (2019) Mick LaSalle One of the many strong points of "Bombshell" is that its pioneering truthfulness doesn't devolve into polemics, and it's not didactic. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
2/4 American Dharma (2018) G. Allen Johnson Bannon has trafficked in racism, far-right conspiracy theories and other controversies during his career. Morris brings up some of it... but rarely nails Bannon with a tough follow-up question. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
1/4 Little Joe (2019) Mick LaSalle It's one thing for a movie to be quiet in its approach. It's quite another for it to have ideas that really deserve less than a murmur, that never scale the heights of mild interest on the way to drama. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
3/4 The Aeronauts (2019) Mick LaSalle The result is one of Jones' best showcases, and she's had lots of good ones... EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
4/4 The Two Popes (2019) Mick LaSalle For anyone interested in Catholic church doctrine, "The Two Popes" is movie nirvana, but anyone watching could appreciate the clash between these opposing dispositions and world views. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019