USA Today

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/4 The Lion King (2019) Brian Truitt Director Jon Favreau's visually wowing update stuns the senses with photorealistic animals and an immersive African landscape, all courtesy of game-changing, incredible visual effects. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
3/4 Midsommar (2019) Brian Truitt While not as unpredictable or unforgettable an effort as "Hereditary," Aster's follow-up is similarly hard to shake as you ponder its metaphors and meanings. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2019
3/4 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Brian Truitt [D]irector Jon Watts' sequel isn't as tightly focused or effortlessly charming as 2017's "Homecoming," yet it continues Holland's amazing Spidey run and introduces Jake Gyllenhaal in his top-notch first comic-book role. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/4 Toy Story 4 (2019) Brian Truitt Just like Pixar's previous animated hits, "Toy Story 4" aims to leave you a weeping mess. This chapter at least piles on the emotional deluge at the end after plenty of adventures, laughs and one nutty road trip. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/4 Late Night (2019) Brian Truitt "Late Night" doesn't go for cheap laughs, but instead wields incisive barbs to successfully make its point. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
2/4 Dark Phoenix (2019) Brian Truitt The movie feels small for something with such humongous, universe-shattering stakes - and not in a good way. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
2/4 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Brian Truitt While it delivers on the sheer brutal beauty of a beast-on-beast tussle, it's a colossal misstep in several ways, from ludicrous dialogue to thin characters to ridiculous plot turns. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
3/4 Rocketman (2019) Brian Truitt As much as "Rocketman" reminds of just how many outstanding songs Elton John has recorded, it also digs into the pain and emotion that lie within those toe-tapping treasures. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2019
() Bill Keveney Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear and a great cast and director aced a daunting high-wire act. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
3/4 Aladdin (2019) Brian Truitt While there's a certain charm missing from the revamp, Smith goes way over the top to make up for it. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3.5/4 Booksmart (2019) Brian Truitt The worst thing you can say about the brilliantly zany teen comedy "Booksmart" is you only get an hour and 45 minutes with its quirky student body. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2019
3/4 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Brian Truitt It's almost a karmic answer to everything else in the action-movie genre, where there's usually a distinct lack of responsibility in the wanton violence: In the "Wick"-verse, a bloody action usually leads to much more trouble later. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
2/4 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Brian Truitt Your feelings about "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu" probably hinge on if you can tell a Squirtle from a Bulbasaur. No? Then you might not care one Jigglypuff. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
3.5/4 Long Shot (2019) Brian Truitt Forget about those real-life presidential types: Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen are a winning ticket that'll actually make you feel good about politics, at least for two romantic and occasionally raunchy hours. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
3.5/4 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Brian Truitt If the Marvel superhero movies on the whole are your favorite band's individual albums, "Avengers: Endgame" is the triple-disc greatest-hits package with the really awesome cover and a slew of familiar, comforting gems inside. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
2/4 Hellboy (2019) Brian Truitt "Hellboy" is kind of all over the place, with two hours' worth of adventures (and misadventures) that never gel cohesively and momentum-killing flashback origin stories for pretty much every main character. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/4 Dumbo (2019) Brian Truitt When [Dumbo] soars, so does the movie, and letting Burton be Burton lends needed freshness to a tale that could use it. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
2/4 The Beach Bum (2019) Brian Truitt It isn't good and it isn't bad - it is, to borrow a fitting adjective, alright. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
3/4 Shazam! (2019) Brian Truitt Supes and Bats will never die, but in Shazam, a character who's been around for seven decades and is only now breaking through into the mainstream, youngsters have a new family-friendly hero to call their own. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2019
() Carly Mallenbaum Schumer's openness on the topic of autism, like her candor discussing menstruation and settling down in her 30s, is new territory for her and disarming for her fans. These aren't sex jokes; they're better. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/4 Us (2019) Brian Truitt Peele is this generation's Hitchcock, for sure, but also a true American original with introspective themes in hand and suspense to spare. EDIT
Posted Mar 18, 2019
Triple Frontier (2019) Brian Truitt If you dig shoot-'em-up sequences, "Triple Frontier" has plenty and they're often the default. Yet what it does well - though not enough - is introduce the complicated motivations of characters and what's led them to this somewhat impossible mission. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3/4 Gloria Bell (2018) Brian Truitt Minds a fine line between in-depth character study and offbeat romantic comedy. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
3/4 Captain Marvel (2019) Brian Truitt Although Larson's heroine is still a work in progress, "Captain Marvel" lays a solid foundation to follow her wherever she flies next. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
3/4 Climax (2018) Brian Truitt "Climax" strives (and mostly succeeds) to be the nuttiest, trippiest dance party you'll ever attend. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
2.5/4 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Brian Truitt The results are what one might expect from two nerd gods of filmmaking: a visually stunning computer-generated heroine, impressive futuristic world-building, and some seriously neat action scenes. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2019
3/4 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Brian Truitt Equals the zaniness of the fantastic first "Lego Movie" by giving most of its overflowing cast something to do, adding extra emotional layers with a live-action familial component, and doubling and tripling down on catchy songs. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2019
2/4 Miss Bala (2019) Brian Truitt With the perfect cinematic vehicle, Gina Rodriguez could be Hollywood's next A-list action heroine. "Miss Bala," unfortunately, is not it. EDIT
Posted Jan 31, 2019
Rent Live (2019) Kelly Lawler Worse, it failed to create the deep, affecting emotion the musical is known for. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2019
3/4 The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Brian Truitt "The Kid Who Would Be King" revitalizes the Arthurian legend for a new generation of film fans, with a family-friendly story as sharp as Excalibur's blade. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
2/4 Glass (2019) Brian Truitt It's a letdown, despite a good amount of emotional richness and occasional glimpses of greatness. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2019
Ricky Gervais Live: Animals (2003) Erin Jensen It's likely some will interpret what the British comedian intends as wit to be wrongdoing instead. EDIT
Posted Dec 28, 2018
3/4 Destroyer (2018) Brian Truitt Kidman is the main draw here. In a modern noir about people unable to escape the darkness of their past, she's scary good as a tortured woman desperate for redemption yet too often finding herself on a path of destruction. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2018
3.5/4 Vice (2018) Brian Truitt It's a strange little amalgamation that totally works. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
3/4 If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Brian Truitt The scenes come alive even more thanks to Nicholas Britell's gorgeous score, laden with sweeping strings and brass melodies. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/4 Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Brian Truitt While narratively no match for the classic Disney musical, the new "Mary" adds new songs and multitalented charisma machine Lin-Manuel Miranda to the mix for one undoubtedly comforting nostalgia-fest. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2018
2.5/4 Aquaman (2018) Brian Truitt Even with its flaws and struggles with originality, Aquaman is reminiscent of the early Marvel movies in its storytelling, best when taking wild swings instead of being an earnest superhero jam. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2018
2.5/4 Mortal Engines (2018) Brian Truitt The storytelling execution is just not totally there, a flat tire on the highway to being the next big thing. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
3/4 Ben Is Back (2018) Brian Truitt Starts like emotional gangbusters, loses its way a bit, yet finds a way home balancing gut-wrenching episodes and hopeful feelings. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
3/4 Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Brian Truitt Two crazy-good actresses and a modern political resonance rule in the 16th-century period drama "Mary Queen of Scots," even if the film doesn't go all in on historical accuracy. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve (2018) Kelly Lawler If Freeform is looking for more late 90s/early 2000s millennial fare to revive, may I suggest Disney Channel classics "Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century" or "Smart House"? Just no more dolls. I shudder to think what "Life-Size 3" might bring. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2018
The Other Side of the Wind (2018) Bill Keveney Overall, Wind magnificently displays Welles' filmmaking brilliance while baring the aging auteur's frailties and frustrations. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 Roma (2018) Brian Truitt An intriguing study in human dynamics and an exploration of how important certain people are who come into our lives during a formative time. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2018
3.5/4 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Brian Truitt It's a slightly insane, hilariously daring and often touching mashup of everything that makes super-flicks so darn popular with the introduction of a Spider-Man who's ready-made for today's generation of kids. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2018
3/4 Creed II (2018) Brian Truitt Although "Creed 2" doesn't have the same rousing magic as the last chapter, it offers intriguing parallel plots of fathers and sons trying to find redemption after loss. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
3.5/4 The Favourite (2018) Brian Truitt The film gamely tackles class and gender themes, as well as partisan politics, in its tale of women behaving badly and men being nitwits. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
Overlord (2018) Brian Truitt It helps to be in the mood for a period Nazi zombie shoot-'em-up but it's very successful at being a bit of fun and bloody counterprogramming. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/4 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Brian Truitt You'll LOL, you'll cry-emoji, you'll never look at a pop-up ad the same way again. And while the new "Ralph" falls short of the original's brilliance, any adventure with the big oaf and his glitchy BFF is #winning. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2018
3.5/4 Green Book (2018) Brian Truitt It's the master class put on by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali that powers this moving and often hilarious work and gives it mass appeal. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2018
3.5/4 Widows (2018) Brian Truitt After watching what filmmaker Steve McQueen does with the heist drama in "Widows," give him free rein to take on whatever other tried-and-true (and somewhat rote) Hollywood genre he wants to transform into a piece of high art. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2018