Bright Lights Film Journal

Bright Lights Film Journal is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Dan Callahan, Matthew Sorrento, Tony Macklin
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Sunset (1988) Barry Wurst Fascinating, revealing, playful, and nasty curiosity worthy of rediscovery. Sunset is certainly flawed, but, as arguably the most unexpected work in Edwards' oeuvre, it is as essential as it is unusual. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2014
9/10 Meek's Cutoff (2010) Matthew Sorrento Of Time and Place: An Interview with John Raymond on Meek's Cutoff EDIT
Posted May 8, 2011
A Woman Under the Influence (1974) Woman is the perfect movie for Cassavetes' methods. The fog of madness is well served by mean realism. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2011
8.5/10 Cronos (1993) Matthew Sorrento The truly child-bound perspectives of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth are still to come, though Aurora has flights of del Torian wonder. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2010
9/10 Modus Operandi (2009) Matthew Sorrento "Loving the Bad: An Interview with Frankie Latina and Sasha Grey on Modus Operandi" EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2010
9/10 Kawasaki's Rose (2009) Matthew Sorrento Rose cleverly uses its contemporary fictional narrative to depict documentary filmmaking's process of revealing truth. EDIT
Posted Nov 24, 2010
6.5/10 Machine Gun McCain (1969) Matthew Sorrento [A] minor, worthy entry [...] Cassavetes, like Gene Hackman, had access to a reserve of energy. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2010
7/10 For Colored Girls (2010) Matthew Sorrento [Perry] pulls off disturbing moments by finding conviction and vulnerability in his performers. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2010
8.5/10 The Social Network (2010) Matthew Sorrento [Network's rise and fall] relates to the classic gangster film narrative ... More directly, [the film] positions itself as a new Citizen Kane, with its protagonist reaching the heights of a communication empire. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2010
7/10 Catfish (2010) Matthew Sorrento The final narrative movement ... lets the early part of the film rest as the weaker premise that it is. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2010
8/10 A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2009) Matthew Sorrento The Coens' Loren Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) is cold blooded, but to see the new hitman's method of silent murder will unveil the real noirish heart of darkness. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2010
6/10 Eat Pray Love (2010) Matthew Sorrento Rodney [Dangerfield] may have cracked about "praying after you eat," but this film reflects the need to surfeit before finding balance. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2010
2/10 Inception (2010) Matthew Sorrento (S)tories should show, not tell, and Nolan keeps telling us that he can't tell this story. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2010
6/10 The Last Airbender (2010) Matthew Sorrento Fantasy works best off linear narrative clarity, while many scene transitions whirl like air in the hands of Aang. Yet, Night ignites the separate moments with visual magic worthy of his mythology. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2010
9/10 Mystery Train (1989) Matthew Sorrento (O)nce it plants itself within, it remains a vivid cultural memory. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2010
2/10 Jonah Hex (2010) Matthew Sorrento The filmmakers try to squeeze action from their trampling of a genre. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2010
10/10 Metropolis (1927) Matthew Sorrento The new release of Metropolis, fully restored to just shy of Fritz Lang's original vision, is an example of the grandest telepathy: what was thought to be lost forever. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2010
8/10 Bluebeard (2009) Matthew Sorrento [S]omething very different and, as usual for the filmmaker, very fresh. EDIT
Posted Jun 2, 2010
7/10 Two in the Wave (2009) Matthew Sorrento A tribute that also serves as an introduction ... For those of us already in the know, the film plays like a passionate return to a great conversation. EDIT
Posted May 20, 2010
7/10 Babies (2010) Matthew Sorrento Babies is one of the most human fly-on-the-wall docs I've ever come across. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2010
9/10 Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) Matthew Sorrento Here comes a rich smell drawn from a load of bullsh-t. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2010
3/5 Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) Matthew Sorrento Cusack seem(s) like a casting error [in this hilarious comedy], a cameo miscast into a lead. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2010
5/10 The Runaways (2010) Matthew Sorrento After all this, we can't help but ask, why Cherie, anyway? ... Shine on, Joan. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2010
9/10 Revanche (2008) Matthew Sorrento The film's first half uses a restrained style to build interest, while the latter, as clever in its construction as it is human, elevates the characters of this potential potboiler. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2010
10/10 I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932) Matthew Sorrento The film suggests the denial of the common worker, whose service to industry is only as worthy as his social status. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2010
2.0/5 (500) Days of Summer (2009) Tony Macklin The independent film 500 Days of Summer is as refreshing as hot air. It's as formulaic and calculating as the Hallmark greeting cards to which it feigns superiority. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2009
3.0/5 Avanti! (1972) Tony Macklin There is a lot of Billy Wilder in [Avanti!], including the idea that age is a state of mind. The film doesn't all work, [but] when the rigid Armbruster warms up on a sunny rock,... Wilder is telling us something that is more than just fun. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2009
5.0/5 Sunset Blvd. (1950) Tony Macklin Sunset Boulevard's entire point of view is based on a gimmick. Whether one considers it an "artistic cheat" or a valid and audacious device depends up his ability and desire to suspend his disbelief. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2009
2.0/5 About Schmidt (2002) Tony Macklin About Schmidt drives another nail in the coffin of irony. It is as lacking in irony as its blatant crayon drawing ending. It's a synthetic antidote to an ironic world, a superficial contrivance that is getting voluminous applause from those who sho EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2009
2.0/5 Friday Night Lights (2004) Tony Macklin Friday Night Lights is a feel-good movie, but it's not real. It's a hard-hitting Hallmark greeting card. It's no wonder it appealed to Larry King %u2014 it's safe, easy, conventional, and feigns incisiveness. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2009
4.0/5 Million Dollar Baby (2004) Tony Macklin Million Dollar Baby adds to Clint Eastwood's legacy in ways we might not have expected. It explores emotional terrain as he hasn't done before, and it gives him a kind of role that he has never had before. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2009
2.0/5 Glory Road (2006) Tony Macklin Glory Road doesn't have any of the individual moments that humanized Hoosiers, The Rookie, and Miracle. It's a feel-good sports movie by the numbers. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2009
A Prairie Home Companion (2006) Dan Callahan It is obviously the film of a master and certainly feels like a swan song. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2008
4/10 Hairspray (2007) Matthew Sorrento Even if the new Hairspray seems a welcome return to camp for Travolta, his mock seriousness is as frozen as ever. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2008
4.0/5 Zodiac (2007) Tony Macklin It's a deceptively rich film. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2007
Blast of Silence (1961) Tom Sutpen A model thriller and character study, it takes us step by step through Frankie Bono's process in setting up his prey for the eventual kill. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2005
A Damsel in Distress (1937) Alan Vanneman George and Ira Gershwin probably turned out more first-rate popular songs than any of their competitors, including Irving Berlin. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2002
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Robert Castle Fantasy as escape and entertainment is one thing, but one wonders whether Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is just fantasy-as-denial. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2001
Supercop (1992) Exhilarating. EDIT
Posted Jan 1, 2000
The Saragossa Manuscript (1965) Gary Mark Morris Enthralling good company. EDIT
Posted Jan 1, 2000