San Francisco Examiner

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/4 Awaken (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson As with others in this genre, "Awaken" is a gorgeous, mesmerizing work of cinematic poetry, but also sometimes boring and frustrating. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
3/4 Slalom (2020) Anita Katz Renier brilliantly makes Fred's behavior despicable while giving Fred just enough humanity to make him a credible character instead of a one-note monster. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
3/4 The Man Who Sold His Skin (2020) Anita Katz The Syrian refugee crisis meets the western art market in The Man Who Sold His Skin, writer-director Kaouther Ben Hania's uneven but compelling (and Oscar-nominated) social satire, refugee-condition tragicomedy and love story, EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2021
On the Waterfront (1954) Hortense Morton (Screen Scout) There isn't a weak spot in this film. Photography is excellent aided by typical backgrounds. And, certainly the story, almost documentary, is honest, if too familiar. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2021
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Lloyd S. Thompson It is not merely the story of Paul Braumer and his young companions; it is the story of all youth caught in the machine of war. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2021
The Godfather, Part II (1974) Stanley Eichelbaum It's a whale of a movie, more ambitious, bigger scaled and more richly textured than the first. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2021
3/4 Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) Jeffrey M. Anderson Wingard adopts just the right tone, avoiding the heaviness of the first "Godzilla" with some whiffs of humor, and also sidestepping the crushing stupidity of the second "Godzilla" by simply embracing the silliness. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2021
Mrs. Miniver (1942) Kevin Wallace It's a pretty wonderful bit of cinema invention. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2021
All About Eve (1950) Hortense Morton (Screen Scout) Here Is witty dialogue and an honest story that not only the actors can sink their teeth into but so can the audience. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2021
It Happened One Night (1934) Lloyd S. Thompson The audience gets tired of waiting for what it knows to be inevitable. The redeeming features, however, are the bright and breezy performances by Gable and Miss Colbert. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2021
The Godfather (1972) Stanley Eichelbaum In the large and near-perfect cast, Robert Duvall stands out for his fine portrayal of the Corleones' attorney. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2021
3/4 The Father (2020) Anita Katz In the potentially dreary role of a devoted daughter dealing with a parent experiencing one of human physiology's saddest realities, Colman helps make the movie an unsentimental heartbreaker. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
3/4 The Truffle Hunters (2020) Anita Katz Dweck and Kershaw have put some contagiously positive spirit on the screen. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
3/4 Nobody (2021) Jeffrey M. Anderson A much-needed shot of adrenaline in a slate of pandemic-year movies, a gripping, gleefully brutal, and yet emotionally affecting thriller. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2021
3/4 Near Dark (1987) Craig Seligman "Near Dark" has a ghoulish, amiable charm, and it's full of little beauties. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
4/4 The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) Philip Elwood It is among the most powerful awesome, frightening, fascinating, astonishing films I have ever seen and ranks as an unsurpassed social and musical documentary. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2021
2/4 Daughters of the Dust (1991) Barbara Shulgasser [Dash] looks to have a promising future, but this film may not rivet viewers who do not also have an interest in the subject. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2021
3/4 The Courier (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Narrowing its focus on Greville and Alex, though, "The Courier" gains power, both in the men's friendship and shared beliefs, but also in the heroic reality of what they accomplished, how they might have saved the world. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2021
3/4 Groomed (2021) Anita Katz Van de Pas structures her film efficiently, creating, despite the dark topics, a highly watchable mix of facts and figures and trauma and healing. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/4 Martha: A Picture Story (2019) Anita Katz Upbeat, zippy and thoroughly enjoyable. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
3/4 Bhaji on the Beach (1993) Scott Rosenberg Meera Syal's screenplay treads lightly through such potential melodramas, finding surprises and contradictions that add depth to' their colorful surfaces. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2021
2.5/4 The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) Scott Rosenberg Little Jo is resolutely unsensationalistic about its material... Yet the movie's earnestness is also its biggest flaw: Writer-director Maggie Greenwald's manner is more that of a bright sociologist than that of a creative storyteller. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2021
2/4 Cherry (2021) Jeffrey M. Anderson The movie seems based on movies, not on life. And given that it comes from Walker's real-life, painful, challenging experiences, it seems disingenuous. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2021
3.5/4 Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020) Anita Katz For the movie's merits as a thriller and a drama, credit goes to Jaroslaw Kaminski's taut editing and to Djuricic's sensational lead performance. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2021
3/4 The Inheritance (2020) Anita Katz Asili has made an excitingly alive and innovative cinematic collage that remembers the past and embraces identity, community and equality. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2021
2.5/4 Wayne's World (1992) David Armstrong The movie is good-natured and fun, riding successfully on the talents of its three principals, Myers, Carvey and Lowe. It is also packed with witty throw-away lines and heavy-metal signifiers that raise a smile. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2021
Cleopatra (1917) SF Examiner Staff Chief interest, however, naturally centers in Theda Bara for her vivid portrayal of the most notable siren in all history. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2021
() Lloyd S. Thompson Let us hope Barrymore's directors will from now on give him plenty of sparkling nonsense to work with before the camera. In my opinion he is at his best in comedy. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2021
Queen of the Nightclubs (1929) Edgar Waite It's no great shakes as a work of art, but its story twists rather ingeniously in spots, it has good conversationalists in it. and it provides a vicarious peep at what passes for naughty night club life. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2021
Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 (1929) Edgar Waite Good cast, good music, good scenic effects. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2021
3/4 Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Jeffrey M. Anderson Gorgeous, and enormously refreshing. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2021
3/4 The World to Come (2020) Anita Katz A moving, engrossing period drama about the plight of two farming women trapped in unhappy marriages. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
3/4 Stray (2021) Anita Katz The film solidifies into a moving rumination on what it means to be an outcast, and on our tendency to equate worthiness with social acceptance and validity with documentation. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
The Skywayman (1920) SF Examiner Staff As the story was written for thrills, so it was filmed, in five noteworthy reels. It shows Locklear's death-defying feats; his last flight, and a "close-up" of his burning plane in its spectacular crash to earth. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2021
3.5/4 The Vigil (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Most of the reason "The Vigil" works as well as it does rests on the performance by Davis, who has had small roles on TV's "The Walking Dead" and "True Detective," but makes his breakout here. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2021
3/4 Test Pattern (2021) Anita Katz Hall and Brill deliver essential, terrific chemistry, and Ford addresses numerous underlying topical concerns -- consent, boundaries, self-blame, patriarchal attitudes, relationship power dynamics -- perceptively and affectingly. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
2.5/4 The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Anita Katz In the end, Day, Billie's activism, and the song Billie champions are worthy of attention. But this vastly uneven movie doesn't do them justice. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
The Jazz Singer (1927) Edgar Waite The Jazz Singer is unlike any picture seen here in the past... instead of contenting itself to be a mere motion picture, it introduces the Vitaphone in the role to which it surely must be destined that of giving life to the silent drama. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
The Hitch-Hiker (1953) Hortense Morton (Screen Scout) That a woman directed this picture is something to consider. Not that I underestimate the potentiality of any woman director. But, this is so definitely a man's story that the results are amazing. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2021
Death of a Salesman (1985) Michael Dougan Miller has taken a small, intimate tale and expanded it into a treatise on larger themes, primarily the abuse of the American Dream. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2021
3/4 Jumbo (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Wittock, who makes her feature debut, brings a wonderfully naïve, awestruck mood to the movie. It's probably no mistake that Jeanne's hairstyle resembles Amelie's; they're both wide-eyed observers of life's small mysteries and wonders. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
2.5/4 Flora and Ulysses (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Fairly typical second-tier Disney, complete with most of the annoyances attributed to such a thing, but it also demonstrates a decent amount of charm and spirit. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
Babes in Arms (1939) Ada Hanifin Babes in Arms is more than "box office" entertainment. It is the triumphant cry or youth that will carry on when today's stars pale into memories. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
3/4 A First Farewell (2018) Anita Katz Wang's down-to-earth tone, familiarity with the subject matter, and success in inspiring natural and sometimes delightful performances from the nonprofessional young cast result in a thoroughly engaging, believable, and quietly moving story. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/4 Nomadland (2020) Anita Katz The movie also contains scenic grandeur -- deserts, plains, forests -- and Zhao derives superb human-connection moments from her cast. These can be profoundly moving. McDormand helps bring about the magic. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
3.5/4 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Jeffrey M. Anderson King has a sure handle on his characters and performances, but the flow of "Judas and the Black Messiah" is like a riot, a simmering pot of tension that sears our emotions and rarely offers a breather. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
3/4 The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021) Anita Katz Terrific together, Allen and Newton breeze through even the weakest material with a winning rapport and provide essential chemistry and spirit. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
3/4 Sator (2019) Anita Katz Acting as writer, director, cinematographer editor, and composer, Graham has made a deeply personal and thoughtfully conceived movie that fictionalizes his family's struggles with mental illness into an unusual horror narrative. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2021
3/4 Bliss (2021) Jeffrey M. Anderson With its scattershot array of sub-themes, "Bliss" is too chunky to be really philosophical, but its fantasy aspect is most appealing, as are its two leads. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2021
3/4 Two of Us (2019) Anita Katz The movie sometimes borders on overblown melodrama as the characters machinate, but fortunately, Meneghetti doesn't lose touch with what's at its heart: Madeleine and Nina's bond. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021