San Jose Mercury News

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/4 A Star Is Born (2018) Randy Myers Somehow, though, the bloat is almost appropriate in a story about excesses, and the devastating pitfalls of fame. "A Star is Born" portrays both poignantly, movingly, well. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
Rodents of Unusual Size (2017) Randy Myers A bizarre and fascinating documentary that'll make your jaw drop. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2018
3.5/4 Searching (2018) Randy Myers There's a clear understanding of and respect for the essentials of good storytelling: fully developed characters, a strong narrative and a sense of purpose. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2018
3.5/4 Blindspotting (2018) Randy Myers Estrada has made a vibrant film, one popping with ideas and ideals as it presents a vivid and complicated Oakland. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2018
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) Chuck Barney A poignant and moving reminder of the personal toll that too often accompanies such success. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2018
3/4 Ocean's 8 (2018) Randy Myers Ocean's 8 has a few coy tricks tucked up its sleeve, and each delivers an ace. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2018
3/4 Ready Player One (2018) Randy Myers The special effects team create technical marvels, which are as thrilling as going on a theme-park ride. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2018
4/4 Black Panther (2018) Karen D'Souza The richness of the visual palette here is dazzling. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2018
3.5/4 Hostiles (2017) Randy Myers It offers shreds of hope, something we can cling to even now. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2018
4/4 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Randy Myers Sound too bleak? For some, perhaps. But in McDonagh's careful hands, it's a Cirque du Soleil-like tightrope walk, gracefully balancing the harrowing with the humorous. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2018
2.5/4 CHIPS (2017) Randy Myers It is really no plot at all, merely a vehicle to allow Shepard and Pena to riff about kinky bedroom habits, homophobia and so on. Those flippant exchanges fluctuate from funny to flat. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2018
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Karen D'Souza "The Last Jedi" has as much heart as it has guts and that's a stirring combination. You walk out of the cinema reminded why it's sometimes worth fighting a battle you may well lose. EDIT
Posted Dec 12, 2017
3.5/4 Coco (2017) Randy Myers The best moments in Coco are the less splendiferous, more solemn segments, especially the loving exchanges between Miguel and his great-grandmother Mama Coco, when the Pixar magic truly unfolds and our tear ducts get a good workout. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2017
The Last Laugh (2016) Randy Myers An eye opener in every sense EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2017
3/4 It (2017) Karen D'Souza As a child of the '80s, this reviewer had high expectations for this classic horror fable and director Andy Muschietti mostly manages to live up to them. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2017
3/4 Wonder Woman (2017) Karen D'Souza Jenkins doesn't need to bludgeon us with pyrotechnics. The real fireworks of the "Wonder Woman" narrative are its powerful emotions. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2017
3/4 Beauty and the Beast (2017) Tony Hicks If you're looking for any great departure from or updating of the animated version, don't bother. This Beauty and the Beast doesn't have that. But it does have Emma Watson, and that's enough. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2017
4/4 Get Out (2017) Karen D'Souza The deliciously sinister nature of the race dynamics will make you cringe, right up until it gives you the chills. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2017
3.5/4 The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) Tony Hicks Will Arnett is the greatest Batman ever, and The LEGO Batman Movie may be the greatest Batman movie ever. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2017
3/4 La La Land (2016) Karen D'Souza If you haven't already fallen for this gauzy romp through the city of Angels at this point, you surely will during the last scene, with its bittersweet homage to the way times goes by. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2016
3/4 Fences (2016) Karen D'Souza The intensity of the bonds between the actors here, forged when many of them starred together on Broadway, deepens the ache of this tragic tale and makes this Fences so formidable. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2016
3.5/4 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Tony Hicks Rogue One is a more-than-worthy prequel. Which is a first in the Star Wars universe. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2016
3/4 Miss Sloane (2016) Tony Hicks Chastain's performance is brilliant... Had the movie around her lived up to that, she might very well be walking off with a gold statue in a couple of months. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2016
3.5/4 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Tony Hicks The next four movies will likely only get better from here, and that might be the most fantastic thing of all. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2016
3.5/4 Arrival (2016) Tony Hicks Arrival arrives at a good time, as something of a salve for the ugly discourse going on and a reminder to us that thinking big is really worthwhile. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2016
2.5/4 The Light Between Oceans (2016) Tony Hicks "The Light Between Oceans" is easily one of the year's most visually stunning films. Ironically, it's also one of the most difficult to watch. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2016
3/4 Southside With You (2016) Tony Hicks In the end, Tanne has given us a movie that is warm and watchable without overdoing it. EDIT
Posted Aug 24, 2016
2/4 War Dogs (2016) Tony Hicks I'd like to see someone make a documentary about Packouz and Diveroli, because there's a really interesting story here somewhere. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2016
2.5/4 Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) Karen D'Souza Despite lively performances, handsome costumes and a lavish sense of 1940s high society, "Florence Foster Jenkins" just doesn't hit all the right notes. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2016
2.5/4 Suicide Squad (2016) Tony Hicks It will be interesting to see where DC takes these characters after the semi-delightful mess that is "Suicide Squad." But, for now, just enjoy the sloppy and wild ride. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2016
2.5/4 Jason Bourne (2016) Tony Hicks Until its final act, "Jason Bourne" is just another Jason Bourne movie. Producers seemingly couldn't even think up another title. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2016
2/4 Ghostbusters (2016) Tony Hicks If you're a real "Ghostbusters" fan, your time would be better spent watching the original. Because this reboot doesn't deserve its name. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
2.5/4 The BFG (2016) Karen D'Souza Once the wonder of this world has sunk in, there's nowhere to go in this film, which can lull you straight into torpor. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2016
3.5/4 Finding Dory (2016) Tony Hicks Of course, "Dory" has plot similarities to "Nemo," but there is enough love and care devoted to everything from the characters on down that it works beautifully, even without element of surprise. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2016
2.5/4 Me Before You (2016) Tony Hicks Moyes and director Thea Sharrock kept the love story too shallow to be really intriguing. They seem to have forgotten that great romantic films don't have to be pretty, and have skimmed the story of any real human ugliness ... EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2016
2.5/4 Love & Friendship (2016) Karen D'Souza An intelligent actress too often wasted in butt-numbing action movies, Beckinsale is endlessly captivating as a formidable woman low on funds but high on manipulative genius. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2016
3/4 Captain America: Civil War (2016) Tony Hicks In the race with DC Comics, Marvel still comes out on top when it comes to fun. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2016
2.5/4 Papa: Hemingway in Cuba (2015) Karen D'Souza Yari's earnest but plodding biopic lacks a sense of sweep and truth, trading tropical landscapes for narrative depth in a way that diminishes the power of the Hemingway mystique. EDIT
Posted Apr 27, 2016
3/4 Dough (2015) Randy Myers Dough is fun, a sweet-natured confection with a hopeful message about unity that is well-suited for our socially complex, divided times. EDIT
Posted Apr 27, 2016
2.5/4 A Hologram for the King (2016) Tony Hicks "A Hologram for the King" is disappointing mostly in that it could have been been better. But that doesn't make it bad. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2016
Confirmation (2016) Chuck Barney As Confirmation winds down, the frustrated Hill camp is a picture of weary resignation, looking as if their efforts were all for naught. But somewhere out there, an angry feminist storm was gathering, and you can feel the changes coming in Confirmation. EDIT
Posted Apr 14, 2016
2.5/4 Sold (2014) Randy Myers All of this is uncomfortable to watch. Then again, given the subject matter, it should be. EDIT
Posted Apr 14, 2016
3/4 The Jungle Book (2016) Tony Hicks Disney did pretty much everything right here. Favreau and screenwriter Justin Marks created a winning foundation, and Disney certainly cast the right voice actors. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2016
3/4 Demolition (2015) Randy Myers It demands a lot to make a complicated character like Davis sympathetic, especially as we watch him take a sledgehammer to his life. But Gyllenhaal is up to the task. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2016
3/4 Take Me to the River (2015) Randy Myers At a time when many films can be viewed and summarily forgotten, "River" unsettles and lingers long afterwards -- just like the ghosts that haunt this family. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2016
3/4 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Tony Hicks DC and Snyder jammed a lot into "Batman v Superman" to get back into the game. And it often works. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2016
2/4 The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) Randy Myers The second to last entry in what is a so-so franchise, "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" is squirrelly, chasing from one big concept to another without satisfactorily executing most of them. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2016
3/4 Knight of Cups (2015) Randy Myers An intriguing meander through one man's existential crisis. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2016
4/4 Embrace of the Serpent (2015) Randy Myers Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra assumes the role of an ever-aware river guide, navigating us through the sweeping beauty of the Amazon while pointing to the toll on humanity and culture wrought by colonialism. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2016
3/4 Zootopia (2016) Tony Hicks "Zootopia" dishes its messages the best way possible: colorfully, cleverly, warmly and with humor, all packaged in a strong storyline. It's not among the animated greats, but close enough to certainly be worth a couple hours of a parent's time. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2016