Denver Post

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Prayers for Bobby (2009) Joanne Ostrow It doesn't mean to feel maniacally manipulative. It just happened that way... Sigourney Weaver is the film's strength; the neat Lifetime tie-a- ribbon ending is its biggest weakness. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
2.5/4 Joker (2019) John Wenzel Perhaps the bleakest assertion of "Joker" is the one that's hardest to disprove: That the ghastly world Fleck inhabits, and by extension ours, is the one we deserve. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
High School Musical 2 (2007) Joanne Ostrow Like the original, the sequel is about the tricky social order as established in high school, the renewable energy source that is the musical, and the power of a certain American entertainment empire. Not fabulous, but fun. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
2/4 It: Chapter Two (2019) John Wenzel Chapter Two goes deeper than its predecessor, and yet never loses a feeling of shallowness. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Amy Schumer: Live From the Apollo (2015) Joanne Ostrow By turns coy, insecure, dramatic and challenging, Schumer has the flexibility to make her conversation both intimate and grandstanding. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive (2013) Denver Post Staff It's an entertaining hour and 20 minutes. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
2/4 The Lion King (2019) John Wenzel It hangs together better than the horrid, live-action Aladdin remake that came out in May. But that's not saying much. Most viewers will find this Lion King to be either eye-candy or uncanny valley. There's so little in between. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
1/4 Aladdin (2019) John Wenzel It aims low and consistently misses its targets, wasting a breathtaking amount of money, talent and goodwill along the way. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
2/4 Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland (2006) John Wenzel What would we ever do without a touring comedy show from the star of Fred Claus and Swingers? Somehow, I'm sure we would survive. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/4 Avengers: Endgame (2019) John Wenzel The MCU sticks this landing, allowing us to let go of years of baggage and get ready for the next flight. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/4 Captain Marvel (2019) John Wenzel Larson can turn a moment as slight as walking into frame and blowing a strand of hair out of her face into an uproarious, powerful visual beat. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
The Little Drummer Boy (1968) Michael Booth I thought "Rudolph" was the worst animation I had seen, until seeing Drummer Boy again. Aaron the misanthropic drummer, formerly with Metallica, and his animal friends skitter across the Sinai like cockroaches on Red Bull. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2018
3/4 Face (2002) Michael Booth By the end of Face, we've been drawn deep into the battle for both communal support and individual freedom that marks the progress of so many ethnic groups in America. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2018
Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) Michael Booth By the end, you've taken a fastball in the gut without even knowing how it got there. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2018
2/4 Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) John Wenzel Solo is pretty, but it's a desolate place to be. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2018
3/4 Avengers: Infinity War (2018) John Wenzel "Infinity War" isn't just a proper sequel to that film; it's also the towering peak all these Marvel movies have been building to. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2018
Moonlight (2016) Lisa Kennedy "Moonlight" arrives as a gift, one worth keeping - and regifting. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2018
4/4 Black Panther (2018) John Wenzel It's uniquely satisfying popcorn entertainment, a triumphant trifecta of subject matter, talent and timing. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2018
3.5/4 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) John Wenzel When everything pulls in the same direction, as it does consistently in "The Last Jedi," it's like watching a mind-boggling clockwork click into a deft ballet. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2017
3.5/4 Blade Runner 2049 (2017) John Wenzel The script contains enough core truths and grand philosophical concepts that no spoiler could touch them, such as the co-dependence of slavery and freedom, or the paradoxical way the future echoes and restates the past. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2017
3/4 Wind River (2017) John Wenzel Sheridan has professed admiration for Clint Eastwood's towering anti-Western "Unforgiven" and dark-night-of-the-soul dramas from Michael Mann. Both are reference points for his adept mix of masculine posturing and wounded soul-searching. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2017
2.5/4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) John Wenzel Here's hoping the inevitable Vol. 3 rebuilds some of the first film's heart, because Vol. 2 feels like hollow spectacle, however gorgeously rendered. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2017
3/4 T2 Trainspotting (2017) John Wenzel Improbably, the film vaults over most pitfalls of long-threatened sequels while evolving the delicately crafted world in the original. It's a more sober, mature film, but no less entertaining or provocative. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2017
2.5/4 Dark Night (2017) Lisa Kennedy Dark Night is an atmospheric, anxiety-tweaking outing. But cinematic elegance is not enough when the stakes are so very high. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2017
3/4 The Secrets (2007) Lisa Kennedy The Secrets belongs in a mini-tradition of involving films that limn the border where spiritual and sexual awakenings collide and entwine. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2017
3/4 Patriots Day (2016) John Wenzel It's not exploitative or overtly political, and the violence is both sickening and sad. That's what makes it effective, but also impressive as a still-fresh take on a recent tragedy, messy as it is. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2017
1.5/4 Passengers (2016) John Wenzel At best, Passengers is glib and cutesy in the face of otherwise serious themes. At worst, it's an argument that men can do whatever they want with the knowledge that things will always work out for them. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2016
2/4 The Magnificent Seven (2016) John Wenzel As things build toward the long, bloody and by-the-numbers (if ably staged) showdown, it's hard not to mourn for the film this could have been, considering the assemblage of talent. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2016
3/4 Hell or High Water (2016) John Wenzel This neo-Western works splendidly as a self-contained tale of loyalty, loss and redemption, with polished turns from a smoldering Chris Pine and spunky Ben Foster. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2016
2.5/4 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) John Wenzel Rogue One is better than [the prequels] by a long shot, but after the high bar set by last year's Episode VII - The Force Awakens, simply being better than the prequels isn't good enough anymore. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2016
Confirmation (2016) Joanne Ostrow Confirmation is not nearly as nuanced as the recent O.J. Simpson trial docudrama on FX. It's also much shorter and more reliant on news footage. But it similarly revives memories of a wild media/cultural/political flashpoint. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2016
Everything Is Copy (2015) Joanne Ostrow A wonderfully insightful chronicle of a woman, her family, the influence of a writer-mother, and her approach to essays, film and life. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2016
Becoming Mike Nichols (2016) Joanne Ostrow It's not meant to be a complete catalog or chronology. It's a beautiful interview piece with archival photographs and clips that will inform any viewer's appreciation of the performing arts. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2016
Rolling Papers (2015) Marty Mapes Rolling Papers doesn't draw too many conclusions, but instead offers insight and experience, without judgment, like a good piece of reporting. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2016
3/4 The Hateful Eight (2015) John Wenzel Like Tarantino's best work, the film forces you to see and feel something on its own terms -- in this case, loyalty and identity unraveling under extremes. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2015
3.5/4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) John Wenzel From the iconic opening crawl through the wordless last frames of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams steers pop-culture's most beloved sci-fi saga in an exhilarating new direction. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2015
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Rena Andrews The Empire Strikes Back is the ultimate in fantasies, a visual wonder and a movie that should be recommended highly if only because it makes you feel good. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2015
Star Wars (1977) Rena Andrews George Lucas, who brought us those memorable kids in American Graffiti, is back with Star Wars -- a film that would captivate the Mel's Drive-In crowd as well as enchant the kid in all of us. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2015
4/4 Return of the Jedi (1983) Rena Andrews It's everything it ought to be -- glorious, exhilarating, exciting, absorbing, technically wondrous. But there also is something bittersweet in the knowledge that, with Jedi, we are bidding a fond farewell to all of the characters we got to know so well. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2015
The Wiz Live! (2015) Joanne Ostrow Queen Latifah blew away memories of Wizards past. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2015
Bessie (2015) Joanne Ostrow A beautifully affecting biopic. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2015
3/4 Creed (2015) John Wenzel Creed stirs emotions with a strong yet artful hand. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2015
2/4 Pixels (2015) Lisa Kennedy Nostalgia is a wonder and a cheat. The right touchstone can make the most discerning movie-goer forgive a film as lazy as Pixels. Almost. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
Southpaw (2015) Lisa Kennedy As for the in-the-ring bob, weave, clash, clutch? Well, those disappointed by May's impossibly hyped Mayweather-Pacquiao bout should enjoy the care director Fuqua takes in delivering the sweet science to the big screen. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2015
3.5/4 Ant-Man (2015) Lisa Kennedy The cast is better than solid. Directed by Peyton Reed, the action is a zippy pleasure. The more Scott shrinks, the bigger the fun. The visual effects are witty, especially when he begins making allies of various ant colonies. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2015
3/4 Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World (2015) Lisa Kennedy Batkid Begins has the feel of a barn-raising gone global. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2015
3/4 Amy (2015) Lisa Kennedy One thing is for certain: It will be much harder to hear that handful of powerful, lush, carnal songs on Back to Black without the wallop of melancholy. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2015
3.5/4 Inside Out (2015) Lisa Kennedy Not since Up, has the studio taken on the gnarliness of being human and made it so visually delightful and emotionally resonant. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2015
2/4 Jurassic World (2015) Lisa Kennedy Jurassic World is ersatz Spielberg. It's a knock-off that, even with the brand tag of the filmmaking titan as executive producer, makes the credit feel faux. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2015
Love & Mercy (2014) Lisa Kennedy Unnerving as it is thrilling, as visually and aurally vivid as it is emotionally harrowing. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2015