Christian Science Monitor

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
1/4 Lake Placid (1999) CSM Staff Stay away unless you enjoy gross- out violence, and stay even farther away if you're an animal lover, since some of the most grisly attacks are aimed at cows who just want to chew their cuds in peace. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
C Yesterday (2019) Peter Rainer I can't imagine this blandness was intentional. Why set up a great premise only to flatten it out? EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
Jurassic Park III (2001) David Sterritt If velociraptors are so smart, why didn't they chomp up the camera before this cinematic clone got loose and sullied their good name? EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
2.5/4 Scream 3 (2000) Lisa Leigh Connors The final chapter in the Scream franchise ends on a highly entertaining and hilarious note. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
A- Toy Story 4 (2019) Peter Rainer It doesn't put you through the emotional wringer the way its predecessor did, but it's consistently inventive, funny, witty, and heartfelt. In other words, it's a lot better than it has any right to be. It's more than good enough to justify its existence. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
2.5/4 The Way of the Gun (2000) Katherine Dillin Packaged with solid acting, an edgy western setting, and a complex yet intriguing weave of stories, this movie ends up being pretty entertaining. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2019
B+ The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) Peter Rainer Seeing the story played out with reams of interviews and archival footage is so much better. It makes the unbelievable believable. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
B+ American Woman (2018) Peter Rainer The role of Deb is not written with any great depth, but Miller gets into the character's psychological complications in a way that almost compensates for the lack EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) David Sterritt This sequel has lots of color and Christmas warmth to recommend it. Its portrait of urban American is ridiculously romanticized, though, and the climatic fight with two silly-sinister bad guys is as nasty as it is cartoonish. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
B- Late Night (2019) Peter Rainer It's a good thing that Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson are the stars of the mediocre Late Night, written by Kaling and directed by Nisha Ganatra, because without them, it would resemble nothing much more than a Devil Wears Prada knockoff. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
4/5 Pavarotti (2019) Peter Rainer Although Howard doesn't go in for a lot of musicological analysis of Pavarotti's genius, which would have enriched the presentation, he compensates by giving us an ample dose of the singing. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
B+ Echo in the Canyon (2018) Peter Rainer What makes this more than just a movie for fans of that music -- and what music! -- is that it delves into what made that era such a creative cauldron, comparable in some ways, as the film points out, to Paris in the 1920s and '30s. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
C+ Rocketman (2019) Peter Rainer Starring the overly strenuous Taron Egerton, Rocketman is a campy, overblown, self-glorifying fantasia. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
4/4 The Phantom of Liberty (1974) David Sterritt Made near the end of Buñuel's career, it's not his greatest movie, but it contains some of his most memorable moments. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
() Alan Bunce Its deeply satisfying effect had crept up on me bit by convincing bit... The little things in this documentary make you want to understand the big things. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
B+ Walking on Water (2018) Peter Rainer It's still possible to gasp at what is shown us in Walking on Water, if only from a logistical standpoint. The massive planning required for such a project is revealed in mind-numbing detail. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
2/5 Aladdin (2019) Peter Rainer Smith understandably didn't want to compete with Williams, but as the big, blue, top-knotted Genie, he's uncharacteristically bland. Even the magic carpet in this movie looks bummed out. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
Immortal Beloved (1994) David Sterritt The results are always excessive and sometimes quite aggravating, but they're weirdly appropriate to the subject of the story, an over-the-top artiste who seemed excessive and aggravating to many of his 19th-century cronies. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
B+ Photograph (2019) Peter Rainer It's a movie that takes its own sweet time getting to a conclusion that will surprise no one, but it has a stillness, an evocativeness, that expresses far more than its rather paltry plot. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
B+ All Is True (2018) Peter Rainer Given the impossibility of crafting William Shakespeare into a believable human being, the film is an honorable try. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2019
C- Long Shot (2019) Peter Rainer There's something obnoxious about the way director Jonathan Levine and his screenwriters, Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, play these two polar opposites against each other. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
A- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) Stephen Humphries Ejiofor leavens the scenes of conflict between father and son, family and neighbors, voters and politicians with plentiful moments of gentle humor and grace. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2019
B The White Crow (2018) Peter Rainer The White Crow fitfully does justice to Nureyev's overwhelming desire to be an artist, and that's not a negligible achievement. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2019
Poetic Justice (1993) David Sterritt Its ambitious aims are commendable in themselves, but regrettable since they overinflate what might have been a simpler and better film. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
B Satan & Adam (2018) Peter Rainer What it lacks in coherence is remedied by its verve. Ultimately it's an upbeat movie about life's downbeats. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
B Avengers: Endgame (2019) Peter Rainer Despite all the whiz-bang CGI effects, some more special than others, the moments I most appreciated in Endgame were the small-scale comic touches... Best of all is Robert Downey Jr. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
B+ Isha Ovedet (2018) Peter Rainer This is one of the few films about sexual harassment in the workplace that has the feel of authenticity. With quiet, incremental force, it brings home the helplessness and terrors of being trapped. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
A- Diane (2018) Peter Rainer It's a rarity, and a real pleasure, to find a movie that presents without condescension rural working-class people, especially women. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
A () Peter Rainer Amazing Grace, featuring Aretha Franklin at the height of her powers, is one of the greatest concert documentaries ever made. It reaches so far into transcendence that watching it becomes an almost ecstatic experience. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
1.5/4 The Cell (2000) Katherine Dillin The story's not clever or scary so much as it is unpleasant and grisly with scenes of stabbings, an evisceration, and other such lovely excesses. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2019
2/4 Reign of Fire (2002) Stephen Humphries McConaughey's soldier chews more scenery than even the toothiest of the dragons. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2019
3/5 Jeffrey (1995) David Sterritt The play's impressionistic tableaux of homosexual life doesn't translate with complete success to the screen, but there are many hilarious lines. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 The Indian in the Cupboard (1995) David Sterritt The story is sensitively told, reminding young moviegoers that history is made of real people, not the caricatures who inhabit Hollywood myths. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/4 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995) David Sterritt Little of the yarn is very adventurous, despite its title, but the watery scenes are prettily photographed by the great Laszlo Kovacs. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 First Knight (1995) David Sterritt Excali-BORE. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 Double Happiness (1994) David Sterritt Mina Shum's debut film is consistently warm and amusing, although its energy flags a bit as the story unfolds. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Lisa Leigh Parney Samuel L. Jackson costars as McClane's sidekick, Zeus, and the pair's chemistry provides the film's entertainment. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 Clueless (1995) David Sterritt For a while, it's like really cool, with lots of energy and stuff, but then it gets like major repetitious, and you wish it was like over, y'know? EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/5 Bushwhacked (1995) David Sterritt This is basically an outdoor edition of Home Alone. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 Burnt by the Sun (1994) David Sterritt Deep, historically revealing, unforgettable. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 Belle de Jour (1967) David Sterritt Radiant cinematography. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 Batman Forever (1995) David Sterritt Directed by Joel Schumacher with occasional gestures toward social commentary, and enough spectacle to mask the movie's deep-down emptiness. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 Art for Teachers of Children (1995) David Sterritt Deliberately rough-hewn, commendably serious-minded docudrama. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 An Awfully Big Adventure (1995) David Sterritt The filmmakers appear to be aiming for laughs much of the time, and on this level their efforts fall completely flat. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 A Walk in the Clouds (1995) David Sterritt The tale is far from original, but director Alfonso Arau bathes it in a golden glow that goes beyond nostalgia to sheer dreaminess. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/4 River of Grass (1994) David Sterritt Evocatively directed in Florida locations by gifted newcomer Kelly Reichardt. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 I Can't Sleep (1994) David Sterritt Directed by Claire Denis with so much tact and circumspection that the story runs short of dramatic and emotional power. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
1/4 Dangerous Minds (1995) David Sterritt Movie stars have tamed sassy kids in movies from The Blackboard Jungle to Stand and Deliver, but it's hard to remember an example more patronizing or sentimentalized than this one. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 The Brothers McMullen (1995) David Sterritt The acting and scripting are too uneven for either the drama or the comedy to gather much steam. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
B+ The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018) Peter Rainer A digressive, idiosyncratic, and altogether fascinating documentary by Mark Cousins... EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019