San Francisco Examiner

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/4 Transit (2018) Anita Katz Petzold's adaptation shifts narration duties to a minor character. He's not all that omniscient, but like the rest of this movie, he's got lots to say. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 Gloria Bell (2018) Anita Katz Moore creates a fresh and sparkling Gloria, whose face can shift from ebullience to disappointment in a flash. Gloria's scenes with the excellent Turturro's Arnold contain exciting chemistry. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/4 Captain Marvel (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson In the end, it has a girl-power zing that lifts and exhilarates. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/4 Styx (2018) Anita Katz As an indictment of indifference, the movie is neither preachy nor heavy-handed. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/4 Greta (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson In Jordan's skillful hands, "Greta," despite silliness, works fairly well. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
2.5/4 To Dust (2018) Anita Katz Likable but uneven, this seriocomedy benefits from a uniquely quirky premise and winning protagonists. But it can't overcome tonal problems and bumpy storytelling. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/4 Pájaros de verano (2018) Anita Katz Absorbingly told through the eyes of its indigenous characters, the movie, isn't just a subtitled narco picture. It's a remarkable portrait of a little-known culture. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/4 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Stays aloft at mostly the same level as its predecessors. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
3/4 Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Not only good, it also manages to deepen the characters that were so silly and lovable in the first film. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
3/4 Everybody Knows (2018) Anita Katz As the crime counts less than the human realities it exposes, the domestic drama - despite being thickly soapy and lacking the textural richness of Farhadi's other movies - outshines the kidnap plot. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/4 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson While "The Lego Movie 2" doesn't tower over its predecessor, it adds to the franchise's bricky structure with a satisfying click. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/4 Cold Pursuit (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson In so many action movies, death is arbitrary, but here it counts and is accepted, as are the myriad ways humans respond to death. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
Arctic (2018) Anita Katz As survival thrillers go, the movie is compelling. It's also a poignant story of decency and hope. It also demonstrates the power of minimalist storytelling. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
4/4 They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) Anita Katz This is a war picture like none we've ever seen and the latest example of the grand, gripping, humane potential of the big screen. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
2/4 An Acceptable Loss (2018) Anita Katz The coda, more brightly, isn't bad; but Curtis is the only reason to see this film. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
2.5/4 Adult Life Skills (2016) Anita Katz Tunnard lays on the quirks so excessively that the constant eccentricity - goofy attire, silly toys, wacky anatomical gags - upstages the more richly human and satisfying material. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
2/4 The Aspern Papers (2018) Anita Katz The psychological suspense and romantic intrigue barely register. The movie's a frustrating missed opportunity. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
3/4 Escape Room (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Succeeds in unlocking raw, primal human fear and adrenaline. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/4 Vice (2018) Anita Katz McKay delivers so much creative energy and Bale is so scarily Cheney-like that the film prompts enough laughs and contains enough sizzling truths to overcome its flaws. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2018
2.5/4 Aquaman (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson The screenplay must have had the line "suddenly, they are interrupted by an explosion" copied and pasted randomly several times throughout. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 Capernaum (2018) Anita Katz Despite an occasional bit of heavy-handedness, the film credibly and grippingly looks at poverty, child neglect, refugees and ID-card insanity. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
4/4 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Not quite like anything you've seen before. It's amazing, astonishing and spectacular. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
3/4 Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) Jeffrey M. Anderson "Anna and the Apocalypse" is out to thwart expectations. It will knock you sideways, but the more you think about it (and the more it's viewed during the holidays), the more you'll like it. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018) Anita Katz Though it may leave you with some ridiculous ditties resounding in your head, "Bathtubs Over Broadway" is a completely enjoyable documentary. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
2.5/4 Vox Lux (2018) Anita Katz A consideration of pop music and terrorism by rising filmmaker Brady Corbet, "Vox Lux" is a tonally shaky wild ride too uneven to qualify as an indie dazzler but too ambitious and original to ignore. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2018
3.5/4 Manbiki kazoku (2018) Anita Katz Skilled, nuanced storytelling and realistic pacing produce a graceful, textured, compelling portrait of a people with problematic behavior, shortchanged by circumstance, who interact lovingly. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2018
3.5/4 At Eternity's Gate (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Dafoe's deeply committed performance unquestionably drives the movie, and possibly ranks above all other cinematic portrayals of the great painter. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2018
3.5/4 Burning (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson The mysterious, entrancing "Burning"... is like a weird dream you'll want to try and remember after waking up. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
Widows (2018) Anita Katz Spiking the story with issues of class, race, gender divides, corruption, police brutality and old-guard exclusivity, McQueen creates relevant social texture. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
Dead Man (1995) Barbara Shulgasser I don't mean to dismiss Dead Man as worthless, or meaningless. Jarmusch just happens to express himself in a deadpan manner that just happens to have no appeal for me whatsoever. Of course, I only say this because he is an "artist." EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/4 Maria by Callas: In Her Own Words (2017) Anita Katz Volf aims to share, with current audiences, the incredible voice of the revered 20th-century soprano. He succeeds, resoundingly. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
Don Juan DeMarco (1995) Barbara Shulgasser Clearly, director-writer Jeremy Leven was too intimidated by the great Brando to insist that he enunciate. Too bad. But then, Leven didn't do his job well either. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2018
3/4 Boy Erased (2018) Anita Katz Hedges, again shining as a sensitive troubled teen, carries the drama, convincingly conveying Jared's confusion, fear and courage. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
The Portrait of a Lady (1996) Barbara Shulgasser As much as director Jane Campion claims to love Henry James' 1881 novel Portrait of a Lady, her movie of it is Jane Eyre all over again, a romantic horror story. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2018
3/4 Beautiful Boy (2018) Anita Katz The director gets enough right to make the movie an honest, involving portrayal of the toll of addiction on individuals and families. He refuses to tie up the story in a feel-good bow or soften Nic's behavior to elicit viewer sympathy. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
2.5/4 Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson Despite many strong attributes, it lacks the tightly-coiled surprise of Christie and the violent crackle of Tarantino. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2018
3/4 First Man (2018) Anita Katz Director Damien Chazelle, who took the mentor-pupil drama and the romantic musical to new places in "Whiplash" and "La La Land," here offers a striking, intimate and visceral astronaut story. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2018
3.5/4 The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson One couldn't ask for a lovelier final film than 'The Old Man & the Gun.' And though it may sound like hyperbole, after such an esteemed career, it's one of [Redford's] very best. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2018
3/4 A Star Is Born (2018) Anita Katz Lady Gaga, remarkable in her first leading movie role, charms as the pre-fame Ally and deftly portrays her transformation. Her mighty pipes leave no question regarding Ally's talent. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2018
3.5/4 Smallfoot (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson The film is surprisingly smart; the characters quickly grow to be quite lovable. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2018
3.5/4 The Sisters Brothers (2018) Anita Katz While Phoenix delivers the reckless and playful goods as Charlie, the movie is Reilly's. His lead character is terrifically dangerous, forlorn and funny. The two actors sizzle together. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2018
3/4 The House With a Clock in Its Walls (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It takes a few magical moments to savor the wonder and magic of the title house before all heck breaks loose. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2018
3/4 Blaze (2018) Anita Katz The Blaze-Townes relationship, a partnership in substance abuse as well as musical collaboration, needs more development. But Hawke's unconventional methods result in a vital, multidimensional, moving consideration of an artist. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2018
3/4 The Predator (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's very fast, very funny, and, as with all Black works, gleefully embraces genre cliches and turns them sideways. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
3/4 Kusama: Infinity (2018) Anita Katz Lenz presents Kusama's art pieces copiously and admiringly, revealing them as serious works that reflect both dark experiences and a hope for peace. The movie's an optical treat. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
3/4 Pick of the Litter (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's the "Hoop Dreams" of dog documentaries. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2018
2.5/4 The Apparition (2018) Anita Katz Filled with more characters and events than Giannoli can efficiently manage, the story isn't sharp, original or penetrating enough to justify the movie's 144-miute running time. Its resolution is a letdown. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2018
2.5/4 The Little Stranger (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson It remains trapped, lost between opulence and ruin, between humans and ghosts. It might have made the blood run cold, but instead, the movie itself is cold-blooded. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2018
2.5/4 The Bookshop (2017) Anita Katz Neither a dud nor a cinematic page-turner, the movie ultimately proves too mild and ordinary to satisfy beyond the level of a passable rainy-day matinee. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2018
3.5/4 Madeline's Madeline (2018) Anita Katz Through her emotionally complex depiction of the Madeline-Evangeline dynamics, Decker makes her critical assessment of the collaborative process rather fascinating. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2018