Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
2.5/4 Beyond the Lights (2014) Cathy Jakicic The basic elements are very much like "The Bodyguard" and countless dangerous-rise-to-fame movies. The originality lies in the details, up-to-date themes and the strong performances of the relatively young lead actors. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2014
1/4 Dumb and Dumber To (2014) Graham Killeen Fans of catheters, snot, menstruation, cat anuses and a hearse filled with farts won't be disappointed. All others need not - and should not - apply. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2014
2.5/4 Rosewater (2014) Duane Dudek The real-world events being portrayed were powerful and important. "Rosewater" is less so. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2014
3/4 Interstellar (2014) Duane Dudek A thought experiment writ large. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2014
2.5/4 Laggies (2014) Duane Dudek The characters are not the only "Laggies" involved. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2014
3/4 Big Hero 6 (2014) Duane Dudek The artistry of state-of-the-art commercial digital animation has become a foregone conclusion. Then again, it's a kids' film, and that audience will enjoy it. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2014
3.5/4 Citizenfour (2014) Duane Dudek Whatever the meaning of "the greater good" in a post-Sept. 11 world, "Citizenfour" posits - and it's hard to argue otherwise - that the right to privacy is an essential component of it. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2014
Sign Painters (2014) Mary Louise Schumacher It's a dive into the toolboxes and tricks of the sign painter, and a lift to the rooftops they lower themselves off of to work, too. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2014
1.5/4 Horns (2013) Graham Killeen The movie's hormone-level anger reeks of brimstone, Axe-body-spray and mid-1990s trenchcoat-mafia egocentricity. Mess with this much bull, you get "Horns." EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2014
2/4 Before I Go to Sleep (2014) Sue Pierman As long as viewers don't get a close-up look at the puzzle pieces, the film offers a giddy tension, but eventually the teasing becomes tiresome and you just wish Joffe would cut to the chase. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2014
3/4 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) Duane Dudek The ambiguous line it walks between them may prove frustrating to some. But anyone who prefers their film fare to be anything but off the rack should prepare to be dazzled. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2014
2.5/4 The Surface (2014) Graham Killeen Here's a four-word review of "The Surface": Go see "The Surface." EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2014
3.5/4 Nightcrawler (2014) Duane Dudek Both main performances are hand-in-glove terrific, with Russo id to Gyllenhaal's ego. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2014
3.5/4 Whiplash (2014) Duane Dudek There is a "Raging Bull" physicality to Teller's performance, along with a touch of Asperger syndrome, and Simmons brings a "The Great Santini" psychological intensity unlike anything in his nice-guy insurance commercials. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2014
3/4 La chambre bleue (2014) Duane Dudek Part Alfred Hitchcock razor's edge and part Douglas Sirk sadness. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2014
2.5/4 St. Vincent (2014) Duane Dudek There is little real sense of risk, reward or redemption. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2014
3.5/4 John Wick (2014) Graham Killeen Meet John Wick. If the name doesn't ring a bell, his fists will. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2014
3/4 Dear White People (2014) Duane Dudek It holds a comic lens up to the love-hate relationship between the races in all its contradictions. And it is a portrait of post-racial America as the symbiotic clashing of opposite polarities. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2014
Hamlet A.D.D. (2014) Duane Dudek It is the hybrid episode of Dr. Who and Star Trek Shakespeare never wrote. EDIT
Posted Oct 20, 2014
3.5/4 Fury (2014) Duane Dudek The stirring, grim and brutally realistic "Fury" portrays not the folly of war, but its cost. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2014
2.5/4 Men, Women & Children (2014) Cathy Jakicic Maybe if Reitman was making this point with a single, layered story, my heart could have been engaged even as my head was saying, "No kidding." EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2014
3/4 The Book of Life (2014) Cathy Jakicic Saying that the visuals outshine the story in an animated feature is not usually good news, but when the animation is as original and stunning as that in "The Book of Life," the result is well worth seeing. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2014
1/4 The Best of Me (2014) Sue Pierman Whether it's worth the price of a ticket is measured by your tolerance for treacly romance. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2014
3/4 We Are the Best! (2013) Duane Dudek "We Are the Best!" captures the chaos of youth with a funny and profane energy. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2014
2.5/4 Dracula Untold (2014) Graham Killeen "Dracula Untold" tries to be the "Lord of the Rings" of horror movies. Surprisingly, it mostly succeeds. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2014
2/4 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) Paul Doro Full of bodily function humor and slapstick comedy, "Alexander" feels outside of director Miguel Arteta's comfort zone. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2014
2.5/4 My Old Lady (2014) Chris Foran Kline's prickly character is hard to warm to, but his bumbling hides a spirit broken by life, and it's a credit to Kline's performance that you string along hoping he'll find a way to mend. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2014
3/4 Kill the Messenger (2014) Duane Dudek While leaving room for doubt, the filmmakers clearly take his side and are persuasive in their reporting. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2014
2.5/4 The Judge (2014) Duane Dudek There are reasons that films like these keep getting made. One is that, when they work, they are broadly entertaining. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2014
3/4 Jimi: All Is by My Side (2013) A texturally rich and sonically dense cultural sampler of the era that may or may not be literally true but feels and sounds like what happened. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2014
3.5/4 Gone Girl (2014) Duane Dudek However readers may have seen the story in their minds - the unshaven and rumpled Affleck is about a decade older than I imagined, but effectively seedy - Fincher crafts its scenes of a broken marriage into a convincing mosaic. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2014
3/4 The Notebook (2013) Chris Foran Don't let its Nicholas Sparks-like title fool you. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2014
2/4 The Song (2014) Chris Foran Normally, you can't lose with good material. Although "The Song" has plenty of sincerity and decent tunes going for it, it slips away from its message when it strays too far from its source: the Old Testament's Song of Solomon. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2014
3/4 The Zero Theorem (2013) Duane Dudek It is another flawed and meandering mini-masterpiece from a visionary filmmaker whose febrile and fertile imagination never met a narrative it can't mangle into incoherence. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2014
2/4 The Equalizer (2014) Graham Killeen [Fuqua] has not only seemingly lost his eye for arty action set pieces, he apparently can't draw characters in more than one dimension. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2014
2.5/4 The Boxtrolls (2014) Duane Dudek Technically stunning but aesthetically ill-conceived ... EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2014
2.5/4 The Skeleton Twins (2014) Duane Dudek Fails to find or strike many original notes. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2014
2.5/4 Tusk (2014) Duane Dudek It's great that Smith is still in the game, but here's hoping for more the next time he steps to the plate. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2014
2.5/4 This Is Where I Leave You (2014) Cathy Jakicic While the relatively leisurely pace of a novel offers readers the time to appreciate each character's story, the film is so rushed that only Bateman's character comes close to being satisfyingly explored. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2014
3/4 The Drop (2006) Cathy Jakicic The movie belongs to Tom Hardy. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2014
3/4 Love Is Strange (2014) Duane Dudek From the first scene, where the pair spoon in a crowded double bed and go about their morning ablutions, the actors convincingly communicate the familiarity of longtime companions. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2014
2.5/4 Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) Graham Killeen Once Bethany Hamilton of "Soul Surfer" fame shows up for stunning group-swim cameos, the shallower story is instantly forgiven. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2014
3.5/4 The Trip to Italy (2014) Duane Dudek Some second courses are delicious, others an acquired taste. This pasta-filled follow-up to "The Trip" is a little of both. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2014
2/4 The November Man (2014) Cathy Jakicic For someone who once played James Bond, you'd think Pierce Brosnan would have better instincts when choosing another spy thriller. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2014
2/4 When the Game Stands Tall (2014) Graham Killeen Treats football like this summer's "Godzilla" reboot treated radioactive dinosaurs, eking out game-day and practice footage before piling it on so thick that the last minutes become an instantly forgettable blur of clashing helmets and torn-up turf. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2014
2.5/4 If I Stay (2014) Sue Pierman For those who enjoy tear-jerkers, "If I Stay" will provide a satisfying three-hanky experience. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2014
3/4 Land Ho! (2014) Duane Dudek What the result lacks in polish, it makes up for in charm and originality. It breaks no new ground, but the ground it travels looks and feels freshly tilled. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2014
2.5/4 The Giver (2014) Mack Bates The filmmakers definitely get the visuals right across the board. Things go wrong elsewhere, however. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2014
2/4 What If (2013) Graham Killeen Radcliffe and Kazan's crucible becomes trying to fully inhabit characters who talk past each other, never amounting to more than the sum of their snark. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2014
3/4 Calvary (2014) Duane Dudek "Calvary" [is] a parable and gives Gleeson's earthly journey the ring of spiritual truth. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2014