Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Booksmart (2019) George Elkind Booksmart goes down awfully easy for a first feature. Olivia Wilde's long-form directorial debut feels as breezily modern as it does effortlessly made. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Long Shot (2019) George Elkind Long Shot succeeds far more by dodging sharp suggestion or troubling resonance than by expressing a point of view - even as one proves perceptible within it. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998) Serena Donadoni Why Do Fools Fall in Love, in its own glossy, entertaining way, is a deeper examination of how an individual can use numerous masks to conceal himself, even from the ones he loves. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
Her Smell (2018) George Elkind [Perry] knows these characters and believes in them, too, but their experience is fleshed out by performance and presence, ultimately and intimately theirs. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
High Life (2018) George Elkind By interrogating the infinite through the harshly, painfully intimate, Denis gets at the stuff of life itself while proving there's no real difference. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
Amazing Grace (2018) George Elkind Shot largely from the shoulders up after her swiftly gliding, all-business entrance, Franklin - without showboating - quickly overtakes the show's other hands and voices. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Parentés sauvages (2017) George Elkind Wild Relatives is motivated, plainly, by both a desire to question, by a sense of concern, by an attention to the mysteries that arise in the film's thematic intersections. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
The Beach Bum (2019) George Elkind Where Spring turned left, Beach veers right - strangers passing on the boardwalk... EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
Us (2019) George Elkind It's a messy, genuinely frightening work of art. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
Capernaum (2018) George Elkind A good child actor is hard to find, but in Capernaum director Nadine Labaki has improbably found a troupe of them. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
Burning (2018) George Elkind What's exceptional about Burning is clear right from the start. A kind of meandering, daylit noir that is as invested as any of the best of the genre in the most buried parts of our psychology... EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
The Feeling of Being Watched (2018) George Elkind In addressing our concerns via not just feeling but action too, [director Assia Boundaoui] takes into her own hands the very notion of being watched - and with a level of boldness we'd all do well to emulate. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
Halloween (2018) George Elkind The filmmakers' investment seems less in the conflict between two opposing forces than in the power trip of Michael's position, in seeing other people as sport. But they don't know how to make it more complicated or tactile, or any more real than that... EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
B+ Selma (2014) Jeff Meyers Nevertheless, the performances are uniformly excellent with Oyelowo conveying both the iconic magnetism and human-sized modesty of King's personality. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2018
In the Last Days of the City (2016) George Elkind Functioning better as a stream of images than a character-driven narrative, El Said's two-hour time capsule captures the streets and alleyways of Cairo with an intimately familiar hand. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (2018) George Elkind And here is a movie that condescends to no one, and which pretends to almost nothing - looking at our world and rendering a just-slightly distorted vision that illuminates it keenly. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2018
Ocean's 8 (2018) George Elkind This is a movie with faith in little, least of all its leading women, who come off by the end looking absolutely robbed. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2018
First Reformed (2017) George Elkind It's worth noting that no scene in First Reformed ever leaves its protagonist, and through his spiraling journal entries and increasingly rash Schrader undermines the old-school Protestantism at its center. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2018
I, Tonya (2017) Jerilyn Jordan ... Steven Rogers' (Hope Floats, P.S. I Love You) screenplay is masterful... EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2018
The Disaster Artist (2017) Jerilyn Jordan The success of The Disaster Artist is less a thoughtful almost-adaptation and more a testament to one man and his quest for greatness - even if it means being the worst of the best. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2017
B- Detroit (2017) Serena Donadoni The filmmakers are better at presenting the events of July 1967 than explaining them. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2017
Aristide and the Endless Revolution (2005) Jeff Meyers As a window into our country's right-wing attitudes about emerging democracies, the film is particularly timely. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2015
Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace (1999) Serena Donadoni As each magnificently choreographed set piece unfolds in The Phantom Menace, there's little doubt that George Lucas knows how to create populist entertainment at its best. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2015
Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (2005) Jeff Meyers Revenge of the Sith is far from a great film but it easily trumps its two predecessors. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2015
Casino Royale (2006) Michael Hastings The ace up the film's sleeve is Craig's foil, Eva Green, playing Vesper Lynd, the British accountant assigned to bankroll Bond's escapades. Calling her a Bond Girl would be an oversimplification. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2015
B+ Everest (2015) Jeff Meyers Let's face it: This is what 3-D IMAX theaters are for. If ever you wanted to know just how small and insignificant you are when facing the full force of the natural world then this is your film. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2015
C+ Black Mass (2015) Jeff Meyers It cribs from just about everything Martin Scorsese has ever done in the genre - but without any of the complicated morality, stylistic artistry, or seductive panache.. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2015
C+ The Visit (2015) Jeff Meyers ..certainly better directed than many low-budget scare flicks, but it inevitably comes off as secondhand, a mildly entertaining, if clumsy, mix of eeriness and chuckles that arrests Shyamalan's cinematic decline but certainly doesn't reverse it. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2015
C- Chloe & Theo (2015) Jeff Meyers Good intentions do not a good movie make. And it's sad to say, but Johnson was far more convincing in 50 Shades of Grey. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2015
D+ The Transporter Refueled (2015) Jeff Meyers Stupid. But not in a good way. Just plain, insufferably stupid. The movie objectifies the women in exactly the same way the villains do. In a summer that saw the rise of Imperator Furiosa, I'm sorry, this just won't do. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2015
B- American Ultra (2015) Jeff Meyers It doesn't work, but I'm impressed with how hard it tries. There's an infectious sincerity to both the writing and the acting that elevates what is otherwise a messy mashup of tone, style, and storytelling. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2015
B+ The End of the Tour (2015) Jeff Meyers A heartfelt portrait of self-questioning genius and a thinking man's version of bromance. It asks provocative questions about the nature of conversation while engaging in equally provocative conversations. Wallace probably would have hated it. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2015
C+ Mr. Holmes (2015) Jeff Meyers Essentially a senior-citizen version of Holmes fan fiction, McKellen makes the movie worth watching. Too bad the final caper doesn't match his dedication to character. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2015
C- Fantastic Four (2015) Jeff Meyers If your superhero movie is 101 minutes long and it takes 75 minutes before the bad guy shows up, something is seriously wrong with your script. Just sayin'. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2015
B+ Love & Mercy (2014) Norene Cashen The parallel narratives offer an interesting contrast in persona but ultimately don't really work. Every cut to the '80s is accompanied by a desire to return to the '60s, where we are immersed in Wilson's fevered mental state. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
B- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) Jeff Meyers On one hand, it's energetically directed, well-acted, and reasonably smart. On the other, it's infected by a kind of hipster racism, where the black and female co-stars exist to make a young white male with no actual problems feel better about himself. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
B The Wolfpack (2015) Jeff Meyers The Wolfpack is what happens when a filmmaker of limited talent gets the scoop of a lifetime. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
B The Overnight (2015) Jeff Meyers Despite the best prosthetic penis joke probably ever, Patrick Brice's fitfully funny indie still doesn't deliver the awkward sex comedy Gen-Xers deserve. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
B- Southpaw (2015) Jeff Meyers It's first-rate filmmaking in service of subtlety-free, second-rate storytelling. You never for a moment doubt where Southpaw is heading, but, ultimately, it's Gyllenhaal that makes you care. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
C+ That Sugar Film (2014) Jeff Meyers That Sugar Film's message is one well worth hearing, there are better, more informed messengers out there. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2015
B+ X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Corey Hall A film loaded with snappy dialogue, winking in-jokes, and a fistful of terrific performances that add a layer of emotional resonance and moral complexity, grounding the material even as it threatens to fly away in a blizzard of flying shrapnel. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2015
B- Tomorrowland (2015) Jeff Meyers Shouldn't a magical destination be, well, magical? Instead of leaving our jaws agape in wonder, Tomorrowland's architecture looks like a cross between Disney's Epcot Center and a high-end shopping mall. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2015
C+ The D Train (2015) Jeff Meyers ...isn't funny enough to play as a straight comedy nor dark enough to resonate as a black comedy, but should be commended for sticking with its ballsy plot twist. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2015
A- Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Jeff Meyers The practical effects and stunts give it the kind of bone-jarring, visceral impact that most Hollywood and Marvel superhero movies have largely abandoned. By comparison, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, seems unconvincingly cartoonish. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2015
B Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Jeff Meyers The mayhem is clever but, functionally, Whedon is serving Disney's branding schemes first and his story and characters second. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2015
B Wild Tales (2014) Jeff Meyers There's a fine line between clever and smug, and Szifrón rides that line hard, reveling in the brutality and explosive emotions on display. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2015
B+ Merchants of Doubt (2014) Jeff Meyers The message here is convincingly clear: corporate America is involved in an elaborate and extravagantly funded game of three-card monty, playing the public for the suckers they are all-too willing to be. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2015
Children of Men (2006) Corey Hall Fortunately, the film rarely slows down long enough to proselytize, especially in the hellish refugee-camp climax, a horrid polyglot of ceaseless conflict that could be any war zone on the planet. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2015
Wendy and Lucy (2008) Jeff Meyers None of this would work without Williams' painfully authentic performance. She plays Wendy as a gentle but self-possessed young woman who combats despair and fear with solemn defiance. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2015
B+ It Follows (2014) Jeff Meyers Mitchell reshapes tried-and-true scare conventions - teens in peril, a relentless malevolent force, jarring soundtrack - into an unexpectedly unique creepfest. And his riffs on sex and adulthood are refreshing in their allegorical complexity. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2015