The Straits Times (Singapore)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) Alison de Souza The six episodes this is stretched to are full of holes. Yet the silliness is rather enjoyable to watch... EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 The Hummingbird Project (2018) John Lui Eisenberg plays the cocky one here and Skarsgard is the bespectacled boffin. They are not terrible, but that sort of jape does not help the suspension of disbelief..it is better to use unknown actors - they bring attention to the story, not to themselves. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/5 Border (2018) John Lui Tine and Vore's unusual love story, and Abbasi's slow unfolding of it, will stick in the mind long after the movie ends. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/5 Us (2019) John Lui Peele once more shows that he is a better writer than director. This work spills over with themes and symbols, just not coherently arranged, nor presented in a visually stylish way. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
4/5 The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) John Lui A unironic embrace of the Arthurian legend, one the illustrates and amplifies the timeless quality of the story, is what's needed. This film provides plenty of that. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2019
4/5 () John Lui Yes, the images lean towards romanticised squalor, but the craft is undeniable and arresting. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/5 The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (2019) Boon Chan By the apocalyptic final act, the ensemble cast has made you care about the fates of their characters... EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
2/5 The Aftermath (2019) John Lui At its heart, the story has a soft-porn premise - there is healing to be found in literally sleeping with the enemy - but it is too handicapped by its serious-movie status to sell that idea with any enthusiasm. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3.5/5 Arctic (2018) John Lui While the film is not quite a nail-biter, there is enough of an engine driving interest in the story... EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2019
3/5 Captain Marvel (2019) John Lui The Marvel Cinematic Universe's first woman-driven movie has taken much too long to arrive. That it is here at all is cause for celebration. A pity then that it sticks to the tried and tested. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
3.5/5 At Eternity's Gate (2018) John Lui In a stylistic choice that is both the film's best feature, as well as its greatest weakness, its makers have opted to put visuals first and coherent story second. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
2/5 Vox Lux (2018) John Lui It aims, it fires, it misses every target. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
3.5/5 Ben Is Back (2018) John Lui The climax is a well-crafted cat-and-mouse game and is perfectly enjoyable on its own. But one wishes it had not been triggered by so silly a premise. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
3/5 Hit-and-Run Squad (2019) John Lui If Hit-And-Run Squad was a 90-minute movie, it would have been great. Unfortunately, the South Korean action flick runs about 40 minutes longer. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
2/5 Mary Queen of Scots (2018) John Lui A busy-looking catalogue of events that never adds up to a story. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
3/5 Happy Death Day 2U (2019) John Lui Tree's stay-or-go dilemma is emotionally astute and poignant, saving this story from sinking into its own convolutions. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
1/5 Serenity (2019) John Lui This is a tragic example of a film that stinks in the first half, then spends the second half explaining that the first half was bad on purpose. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
3.5/5 Cold Pursuit (2019) John Lui The makers made a commercially bold decision to Americanise the story without sanding away its sharp edges. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
3.5/5 A Land Imagined (2018) John Lui A tonal shift is jarring, but it is a small flaw in a bold work that seeks to unsettle - figuratively and literally - the ground beneath our feet. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
5/5 The Favourite (2018) John Lui Wonderfully arranged and wickedly funny film. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
3.5/5 Destroyer (2018) John Lui This combination of tense cop thriller and revenge flick does work. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
4.5/5 Cold War (2018) John Lui This is a rare film in which everything gels so perfectly, the whole would collapse if one element were missing. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
4/5 Gully Boy (2019) Anjali Raguraman But even with all the catchy music, and the presence of real-life Mumbai rappers in the film like Kaam Bhari and MC Altaf lending it credibility, the slickness of the Bollywood production dulls the rough edges of this story of struggle. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) John Lui This movie lacks a spine and, very nearly, a brain. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
2/5 () John Lui If nothing else, serves as a nostalgic echo of the big, broad ensemble comedies, high in the goofiness factor, that the Hong Kong film factories used to make during the Chinese New Year period. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 Colette (2018) John Lui Respectful and tasteful? Yes, but it would have been better if this biopic's storytelling style matched the boldness of the woman it seeks to portray. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang (2019) Benson Ang Unfortunately, the movie goes off the rails at the introduction of a secondary plot...A tacky melodrama which serves more as a distraction than a major plotline. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Jan Lee The film does its job of satisfying its audience base with exuberant, colourful graphics as well as fun and over-the-top pop songs. But the story comes off as rather trite. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 () John Lui This is a solid work of family anthropology, one that captures the complicated currents of guilt, respect, responsibility and love that runs through many Asian families. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) John Lui Underneath it all is a thin but serviceable adventure about Hiccup and his tribe forced to become migrants to protect themselves and the dragons. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
3.5/5 A Private War (2018) John Lui A portrait that does not seek to flatter its subject. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 Green Book (2018) John Lui The odd-couple comic setups feel easy and unforced. There is genuine chemistry between the brash Vallelonga and the stuffy Shirley. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
3.5/5 Capernaum (2018) John Lui This emotionally gripping but flawed work ticks all the checkboxes for a work that festival fans love: a tough social-realist drama centered around a child's point of view. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
4.5/5 One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) (2017) Yip Wai Yee It is an ultra low-budget Japanese film featuring a zombie apocalypse and it is often very, very funny. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
2.5/5 Glass (2019) John Lui All that foreshadowing sets up expectations for a massive climax - one that, because of the story reminding the viewer of how epic it is, sabotages itself and becomes distinctly underwhelming. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2019
3.5/5 The Old Man & the Gun (2018) John Lui Makes a fitting postscript to one of Redford's best-loved films, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969). EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2019
3/5 The Mule (2018) John Lui This is Eastwood smack dab in his comfort zone, playing a man who squints at the world and sees only slack-jawed morons looking back at him. EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
2.5/5 On the Basis of Sex (2018) John Lui The timing makes good marketing sense, but did the movie have to be such a bore? EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
3/5 Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019) Alison de Souza Brexit: The Uncivil War , feels like a postmortem performed while the patient is still alive, and is just as painful. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2019
4/5 Sorry to Bother You (2018) John Lui This comedic dig at capitalism and broken race relations mixes the sweet with the sour, the silly with the serious. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 More Than Blue (2018) Yip Wai Yee Given how unlikable K is, this reviewer only finds such dialogue puke-worthy. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
2/5 Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) John Lui Sadly, much like the gait of the undead, the anodyne quality of the music gives the film a lurching, lifeless quality. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 Mortal Engines (2018) John Lui The steampunk aesthetic has never looked so good on screen, but it is a shame that one notices it so much because the people in the foreground are so bland. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 Climax (2018) John Lui Like his dancers, Noe has locked the viewer in, and there is no way out. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) John Lui The result, given a voiceover by witnesses to the carnage, is the most striking reminder to date of the scale of the conflict and the lives lost to it. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
5/5 Roma (2018) John Lui Small in scale but enormous in its emotional impact, this drama from one of Mexico's top film-makers is a masterclass in how everyday events, shot in a natural, unforced way, can make for gripping cinema. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018) Yip Wai Yee The movie may be titled The Ip Man Legacy, but it really should have given Tin Chi the chance to shine on his own. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 Bumblebee (2018) John Lui The sixth instalment in the Transformers movie series is the best yet, but that is not saying very much because of the low bar set by the other five. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) John Lui Who knew the work that would come closest to capturing the first film's clarity and playfulness would be one that goes all the way back to the hero's first format - comic books? EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/5 Mary Poppins Returns (2018) John Lui Good on Disney for not caving in to the current fear of leaving anything under-explained in family films. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019