Fort Worth Star-Telegram/

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Maleficent (2014) Maricar Estrella Undoubtedly, Jolie's performance will be touted as elegantly evil, but it's Elle Fanning's effervescence as Aurora that really makes this film glow. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
4/5 One Night Only (2016) Cary Darling But what really makes One Night Only work is the chemistry between Kwok and Yang, because, despite the gangsters and guns and the prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold cliche, it's a surprisingly effective and moving love story. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
3.5/5 Hostiles (2017) Maricar Estrella The true standout is the achingly riveting Rosamund Pike. As Rosalie Quaid, Pike becomes a force greater than the script at hand. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2018
3/5 Ferdinand (2017) Maricar Estrella But what really stands out are the themes of friendship, problem solving and learning to be true to yourself. Ferdinand does not back down to his bullies and stands firm in his beliefs. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2017
Star Wars (1977) Perry Stewart A boy's adventure yarn in the most traditional, unabashedly entertaining sense. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2017
The Price (2017) Cary Darling Sure, it's an ages-old dilemma and there are moments that feel very much like a first film. But the strong lead performance by Aml Ameen ("Sense8") lends shading and depth to Onah's story. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2017
Meth Storm: Arkansas USA (2017) Cary Darling It's impossible not to feel and identify with various members of the family, especially mom Veronica, who seem mired in a quicksand of poverty, hopelessness and poor decisions. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2017
Hot Summer Nights (2017) Cary Darling [Elijah Bynum] solicits strong performances from his young cast - especially Timothée Chalamet as the teenage fish out of water - and blends humor and increasingly dark sensibility to good effect. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2017
3/5 The LEGO NINJAGO Movie (2017) Maricar Estrella The storytelling is uneven and may be difficult to understand for the younger demographic. However, that target audience will still connect to the frenetic battle scenes, sophomoric humor (butt jokes, anyone?) and engaging characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2017
4.5/5 City of Ghosts (2017) Cary Darling Heineman powerfully captures the agonizing sense of displacement these men must feel. Gaunt, lanky, chain-smoking RBSS founder Aziz is an emotionally wounded, haunted figure. The "ghosts" in the title doesn't just apply to those killed in Raqqa. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2017
4/5 A Ghost Story (2017) Cary Darling A hypnotic, melancholic low-budget meditation on love, heartbreak and memory. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2017
4.5/5 Dunkirk (2017) Cary Darling This is a movie that deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible and, no, whatever you have in your home doesn't count unless you reside inside an IMAX theater. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2017
4/5 War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) Cary Darling With its allusions to Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, the Bible, American slavery and the civil-rights movement, "War" may not be subtle but it's ultimate proof that summer sequels and blockbusters don't have to be brain-dead bottom-feeders either. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2017
4.5/5 The Big Sick (2017) Cary Darling You don't have to hole up at home praying to the Netflix, Amazon and Hulu gods for cinematic salvation until the fall. Case in point: "The Big Sick," a small movie that makes a big impact. EDIT
Posted Jun 29, 2017
2.5/5 The Bad Batch (2016) Cary Darling Ana Lily Amirpour's first feature, "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night," was such an original vision that it set the bar impossibly high for what she decided to do next. Sadly, her latest, "The Bad Batch" doesn't come close to clearing that hurdle. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2017
1/5 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) Cary Darling A movie that is at once loud yet incoherent, complex yet idiotic, and expensive yet worthless. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2017
3.5/5 In the Deep (2017) Cary Darling We're going to need a bigger cage. The "Jaws" jokes write themselves with "47 Meters Down," a surprisingly effective shark-in-the-dark thriller that makes for frighteningly fun summer escapism. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2017
2/5 The Mummy (2017) Cary Darling Universal is counting on "The Mummy" and its successors to make it a competitor with Disney/Marvel and Warner Bros./DC and their ever-expanding world of comic-book-based characters. Guys, you might want to have a backup plan. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2017
4.5/5 It Comes at Night (2017) Cary Darling As in [his first film] "Krisha," the most fraught and dangerous relationships are those of family and those who purport to be friends. For all of their flesh-eating ferocity, zombies won't lie to you or play games. Only the living do that. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2017
3.5/5 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Maricar Estrella The film also inventively incorporates CG animation, live-action sock puppets and a flipbook to bring to life the pages of Pilkey's sentimental ode to boyhood. EDIT
Posted Jun 2, 2017
3/5 Berlin Syndrome (2017) Cary Darling [Shortland] is expert and building a sense of dread and suspense while Palmer delivers a persuasive performance as a woman who has to summon the strength that she didn't know she had in order to escape. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2017
3/5 Baywatch (2017) Cary Darling [Baywatch] won't make anyone think about anything, except maybe about where to plan their next vacation where they, too, can run in slo-mo on the sand. But, with everything else going on in the world these days, that may not be such a bad thing. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2017
4/5 Wonder Woman (2017) Cary Darling 'Wonder Woman' falls victim to over reliance on computer graphics and it's too long. But that's counterbalanced by a story grounded in real emotions and characters who inhabit a three-dimensional world, albeit a comic-book-inspired, fantastical one. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2017
Becoming Bond (2017) David Martindale We get to know a man who relished almost every minute of what he experienced. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2017
3.5/5 Alien: Covenant (2017) Cary Darling A film that mostly delivers the goods, even if it doesn't quite possess the nerve-racking suspense of the first film nor the electric Earth mom-vs.-alien mom catharsis of James Cameron's "Aliens." EDIT
Posted May 17, 2017
3.5/5 The Wall (2017) Cary Darling An exceptional showcase for Taylor-Johnson, who carries the film completely on his shoulders. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2017
4/5 Hounds of Love (2016) Cary Darling [A] terrific exercise in close-quarters, psychological tension. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2017
2/5 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) Cary Darling There's little here but the naked desire to forcibly will a new fantasy franchise into being. EDIT
Posted May 11, 2017
3.5/5 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Cary Darling [In the end credits] you get to hear "Flashlight" by that original group of interstellar misfits, Parliament. "GotG 2" may not have its predecessor's shock of the new, but any film that introduces the current generation to P-Funk can't be all bad. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2017
3/5 The Fate of the Furious (2017) Cary Darling "The Fate of the Furious" is a comedown from the gas-fume highs of the last three films, easily the best in the series. While it's far too soon to say that the franchise is running on empty, it looks like someone has been putting water in the fuel tank. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2017
3/5 Mine (2016) Cary Darling "Mine" shimmers with a dusty authenticity...But as more of Mike's clichéd back story becomes clear over the course of a long 106 minutes, the film becomes almost as much of an endurance test for the audience as it is for Mike. EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2017
4/5 The Ticket (2016) Cary Darling A slow-moving but haunting life lesson anchored by an exceptional performance from Dan Stevens of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Downton Abbey." EDIT
Posted Apr 6, 2017
3.5/5 For Here or to Go? (2015) Cary Darling [It] bites off more than it can is sometimes clunky and heavy-handed as it switches tones...The acting is all over the map and there's even a Bollywood-style dance number...Still...the subject matter is topical and the focus is fresh. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
4/5 The Prison (2017) Cary Darling "The Prison"...feels like the kind of movie Hollywood will remake in its own image. But adding star power and the English language won't necessarily improve things, as "The Prison" is brutally entertaining just the way it is. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
2.5/5 The Boss Baby (2017) Maricar Estrella In the end, the only statement being made is that this is an adequate family film. Oh, and love conquers all. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
2.5/5 Ghost in the Shell (2017) Cary Darling Often visually stunning and with intriguing questions about where humanity ends and robotics begins at its heart, it nevertheless devolves into a generic action movie. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2017
3/5 Life (2017) Cary Darling Hey, "Life." 1979 called. It wants its alien-invasion movie back...But taken on its own terms, "Life" has enough taut moments - especially in its first half - to make it tensely diverting, though not particularly memorable in the long run. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2017
3.5/5 T2 Trainspotting (2017) Cary Darling It's easy to knock "T2," especially if you're a die-hard fan of the original...Still, "T2" - with its brash sense of brotherly bonhomie that hasn't mellowed with age - is a lot of dark fun. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2017
3/5 Brimstone (2016) Cary Darling Fanning is in fine form as a woman who can't vocalize her emotions, though it's Pearce here who steals the show. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2017
3.5/5 Beauty and the Beast (2017) Maricar Estrella The attention to detail in this film is exquisite, from the gold flakes on Belle's ballroom gown to the Fantasia-like theatrics of the Be Our Guest feast. All of the acting heavy hitters truly bring those inanimate objects to life. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2017
2.5/5 Table 19 (2017) Cary Darling The wedding-themed romantic comedy "Table 19" is like that big, beautifully wrapped gift you've had your eye on since the reception. But then, when you open it, you realize it's just a blender. EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2017
3.5/5 Headshot (2016) Cary Darling This lethally brutal exercise in Indonesian martial-arts mayhem - featuring the charismatic Iko Uwais ("The Raid" franchise), a living, breathing action figure - is definitely not for the squeamish nor anyone who has just eaten lunch. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2017
4.5/5 Logan (2017) Cary Darling Let's cut straight to the chase and not mope around the point. "Logan" - the final chapter in the saga of the X-Men's Wolverine - is the best superhero-related movie since "The Dark Knight" nearly a decade ago. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2017
2.5/5 Bitter Harvest (2017) Cary Darling This horrific episode in history that killed millions is not widely known. "Bitter Harvest" could have borne substantial fruit but instead just whets the appetite for something more substantial on the topic. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2017
2/5 The Great Wall (2016) Cary Darling "The Great Wall" has its crowd-pleasing pleasures. Yet as a team effort between the planet's two largest movie markets, "The Great Wall" feels shoddily constructed. Surely, the hive mind of 1.3 billion Chinese and 320 million Americans can do better. EDIT
Posted Feb 16, 2017
2.5/5 A Cure for Wellness (2016) Cary Darling A crafty setup without a compelling story is like a beautiful kitchen without any food. You leave both hungry. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2017
4/5 Forushande (2016) Cary Darling "The Salesman" isn't as impressive as "A Separation," but it's still a powerful expression of lives, and dreams, interrupted. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2017
4.5/5 The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) Cary Darling Almost exactly a year [after Batman v Superman] comes "The Lego Batman Movie," set in a universe where everyone and everything is made of Legos. Guess which movie has more humanity, heart and entertainment value? Clue: It's not the one with an Affleck. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2017
2/5 The Space Between Us (2017) Cary Darling Call it The Unspectacular Now...We're supposed to applaud as these crazy kids flout authority and escape across the country, but since the movie has so easily squandered its intriguing premise, there's little reason to cheer. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2017
2.5/5 The Comedian (2016) Cary Darling There have been several striking films about the world of comedy. Robert De Niro was even in one of them...and Mike Birbiglia's sharply observed Don't Think Twice from last year is well worth seeking out. Unfortunately, The Comedian is not one of them. EDIT
Posted Feb 2, 2017