Austin American-Statesman

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
B+ 1917 (2019) Joe Gross Both a snapshot and a meditation, "1917" is a well-executed glimpse of humanity's ultimate futility. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
B- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Joe Gross So "Rise" will work for lots of folks. But what once felt expansive now feels hermetic, referring only to itself. That happens sometimes, even to families that once seemed so vital and fascinating to outsiders. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
A Amazing Grace (2018) Matt Shiverdecker This is a portrait of an artist at her peak and her most vulnerable, singing praise to the heavens. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2019
A- Waves (2019) Eric Webb Waves is an exquisite machine. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
A- Ford v Ferrari (2019) Joe Gross Even beautifully paced, "Ford v Ferrari" is a little too much movie... But most of those 152 minutes are a ton of fun, a splashy look at the way obsession, skill and having each other's backs can produce little miracles. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
B Last Christmas (2019) Eric Webb Christmas movies speak their own language. It's a feature, not a bug. For the yuletide comfort food lovers among us, it's felt like forever since we had a genuinely sweet, star-studded wonderland in the theaters. You love to see it. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
B A Hidden Life (2019) Joe Gross What one gets out of it is, to a rather extreme degree, what one puts into it. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
C+ Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Eric Webb For a passion project, though, it won't inspire much fervor in those who watch it. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
A- Marriage Story (2019) Eric Webb Life's not clean on either side of the screen in "Marriage Story." But even when it's messy, Baumbach's found a way to make all sad tears and funny tears equally welcome. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
A Dolor y gloria (2019) Joe Gross Hardcore Almodóvar fans will swoon at the metatextural layers herein, but more casual cineastes, fans of excellent cinema wherever it can be found, will also marvel at the control over tone, pacing, palette and emotion... EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Harriet (2019) Deborah Sengupta Stith The story of Tubman, an American hero who escaped slavery, then risked her life again and again, leading roughly 70 enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad, still feels like essential viewing. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
C- Lucy in the Sky (2019) Joe Gross There is definitely something there, perhaps a small-bore film about professional pressure, sex and mental illness. Unfortunately, that something is not in "Lucy in the Sky." EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
B Knives Out (2019) Joe Gross "Knives Out" is a blast, a mystery confection of good-not-great breeding. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
A Parasite (2019) Eric Webb [A] stylish, exquisite knife to the heart of capitalism's cruelties. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
A- Judy (2019) Eric Webb Zellweger's Judy Garland is certainly one of the best performances you'll see. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Happy Face (2018) Matt Shiverdecker The humanity and raw power from the therapeutic dialogue in some of their scenes was unexpected for Fantastic Fest, an event not exactly known for booking emotionally resonant dramas. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
A- The Death of Dick Long (2019) Matt Shiverdecker "The Death Of Dick Long" is laugh-out-loud funny and, at times, jaw-droppingly offensive. Simply put, it's a guaranteed future cult classic. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
A- The Lighthouse (2019) Matt Shiverdecker "The Lighthouse" is not easy viewing in any capacity, but it is one of the most wild, distinctive movie-going experiences I've had all year. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
B The Lodge (2019) Matt Shiverdecker Overall, this is probably too slow and slightly overlong to really connect with general audiences, but fans of recent genre hits like "The Witch" and "Hereditary" should feel right at home in the cold and quiet. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
B+ Koko-di Koko-da (2019) Eric Webb It's a jolt of bizarre scares that's never overly gory or hackneyed. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
The Vast of Night (2019) Matt Shiverdecker Ultimately, the story feels a little too vague, and the movie ends up obsessing more about getting the period details and visuals correct over offering a satisfying conclusion. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
In the Tall Grass (2019) Matt Shiverdecker The closest recent parallel I can draw is between this and "A Quiet Place." Both movies prove that what we don't see (or hear) can conjure up an entirely different form of dread than you might expect. EDIT
Posted Sep 22, 2019
B+ Jojo Rabbit (2019) Eric Webb "Jojo Rabbit" is uncomfortable in ways that work and ways that don't, but its heart is assured. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
A- Hustlers (2019) Eric Webb It's an anti-1 percent catharsis heralding a gleeful "they had it coming" exhalation. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B+ Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Gabrielle Munoz [Bell's] star power more than makes up for where the film falls short vis-à-vis predictable plot lines. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts (2019) Matt Shiverdecker "Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts" filters the drag queen's occasionally twisted comedy through a lens of pure honesty and melancholy. It will satisfy existing Trixie Mattel fans while also serving as a solid introduction for any latecomers. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
B- Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Joe Gross Perhaps "Bernadette" will find its natural audience. But as the kids say, the struggle is real. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Joe Gross It is a small, lovely work with excellent, all-in performances from Gottsagen and especially LaBeouf, who is becoming a more interesting and nuanced actor as he gets older. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
C+ The Kitchen (2019) Eric Webb The longer it goes, the less it's the cutting indictment of gender inequity it could have been, and the more it's caught with a fistful of ham instead of dollars. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
C- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Joe Gross Don't be surprised if you go to a screening and have to sign a waiver indemnifying the studio if this thing makes you forget how to fry an egg. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
B- Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Joe Gross Scene to scene, moment to moment, it's captivating and fun and incredible to listen to. Taken in toto, it's as dumb and insular as any movie you will see this year. Again, peak Tarantino. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
B The Lion King (2019) Eric Webb This is a classic tale told beautifully - as long as the toddler in my row felt like roaring whenever Simba did, all must be well in the Pride Lands. Hakunah freakin' matata. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal (2019) Matt Shiverdecker Make no mistake, this is not easy viewing. [Erin Lee] Carr thankfully avoids giving Dr. Larry Nassar much screen time and instead lets the women and their families tell their own stories with the help of some investigative journalists. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2019
B- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Joe Gross While fun, "Far From Home" feels vaguely unnecessary, a bit of connective tissue between Really Big Marvel Event Movies. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2019
B- Men in Black: International (2019) Eric Webb Before you know it, the movie's over, and you've got an empty smile on your face, like someone who just chugged a Pepsi before you knew the store sold Coke. "Couldn't that have been much better?" you think. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
D Dark Phoenix (2019) Joe Gross As one character puts it about a crucial plot development, "Nobody cares anymore." No kidding. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
C Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Joe Gross Heck, maybe it was appropriate to show us so many monsters, what with the next hurricane, flood and tornado right around the corner, ready to remind us we are all at nature's mercy. But that doesn't make it good storytelling. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
() Joe Gross "The Gift" is like a lavishly illustrated Bible -- you know the story, but this is a gorgeous version. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2019
B- Aladdin (2019) Eric Webb The moon glows. The starcrossed lovers sail over, sideways and under through an endless diamond sky.... Is the whole movie splendid? No. But it does prove the enduring magic of this story, even in a whole new world. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
Her Smell (2018) Matt Shiverdecker This has an awful name, but it's a phenomenal movie. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2019
Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy (2018) Matt Shiverdecker Both Dern and Stewart are terrific and do a lot of heavy lifting for a script that fumbles. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2019
A- Avengers: Endgame (2019) Joe Gross Which is to say, if you think you need to see "Avengers: Endgame," you absolutely, positively need to see "Avengers: Endgame." EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
Thriller (2018) Matt Shiverdecker Jackson isn't reinventing the genre here (in fact, the story wears its influences like "Halloween" and "Prom Night" directly on its sleeve), but he provides a talented young cast and some genuine scares to make this a fun watch. EDIT
Posted Apr 21, 2019
C The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Natalie Mokry The story hits all of the beats expected from a horror film, with nothing particularly inventive along the way, but Chaves has an astute sense of how to continuously amplify the scares. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
Pet Sematary (2019) Joe Gross Kolsch and Widmyer either find new takes on old tropes or run into cliche. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2019
Adopt a Highway (2019) Matthew Odam We are forced to intuit backstory, motivation, fears and hopes in Hawkes' eyes. Fortunately, his eyes have it. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2019
Teen Spirit (2018) Eric Webb Like Robyn's heroine in that song, Violet is giving it her all. You'll feel the spirit. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story (2019) Matt Shiverdecker In this case, the truth is definitely stranger than fiction. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
Run This Town (2019) Natalie Mokry The film asks relevant questions and introduces many timely themes, which is an admirable feat. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
Booksmart (2019) Matt Shiverdecker It's almost unfathomable that this is anybody's first feature. "Booksmart" is a perfectly constructed and confident debut that already has me excited to see what Wilde does next. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019