New Zealand Herald

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/5 Pavarotti (2019) Tom Augustine An enthusiastic and kind-hearted profile. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
4/5 Never Look Away (2018) Toby Woollaston If you check your cynicism at the door and stick with it, you will be rewarded by a film that is ultimately a sublime experience. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
() Calum Henderson Feels like it could be a stand-up routine, only there are hard-won pearls of wisdom where the punchlines should be. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
3.5/5 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Tom Augustine Boasting some truly astonishing action sequences, including a jaw-dropping sequence involving a whole lot of knives, Parabellum is a fairly shallow but wonderfully executed slice of action that only outstays its welcome a little. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
4/5 Rocketman (2019) Tom Augustine A splash of colour and inspiration and a great central performance elevate Rocketman just beyond its stodgy, well-worn biopic structure. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
3/5 The Hummingbird Project (2018) Francesca Rudkin The result is mixed. To the good, this a story told with great attention to detail, and it's worth noting that the documentary style may lead you to think it's based on a real story... On the downside, it's underwhelming. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
2.5/5 The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) Toby Woollaston Quixote's grand visual style is undoubtedly mesmerising, but unfortunately the writing bloats a production already struggling to support the weight of its troubled past, unduly hampering it with swathes of incoherence too bothersome to wade through. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
3/5 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Tom Augustine There is undeniable joy when the film just gets out of its own way and allows us to simply spend time in the world... It's a shame, then, that Pokémon Detective Pikachu is shackled to such a rote story. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
4/5 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Dominic Corry It's a more brutal and violent affair than the often elegant Chapter 2, but that doesn't feel accidental, and the set pieces are nothing less than transcendent. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
3.5/5 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Karl Puschmann Pokémon Detective Pikachu is accessible and entertaining and delivers a solid, well-executed, family friendly adventure that honors its decades of beloved lore without being beholden to it. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
3/5 All Is True (2018) Dominic Corry The hefty talent on display doesn't overwhelm Branagh's clear desire to tell a grounded, human story informed both by how its subject sees himself, and in the context of his loved ones. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
3/5 Poms (2019) Toby Woollaston On the whole, one can't deny Poms has a life-affirming quality and an emotionally charged finish that'll have you leaving the theatre on a high. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
4/5 Long Shot (2019) Dominic Corry Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron prove a winning pair in this gut-busting comedy with a surprising amount of political content... There is tangible, highly cinematic chemistry between the actors. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
3/5 The Chaperone (2018) Francesca Rudkin The film might be set in a different period, but its themes resonate today, with Louise and Norma showing the transformation of two quite different women living through a period of cultural change. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
4/5 () Francesca Rudkin This is a story of a musical genius, honest and insightful and beautifully told, and rounded off with stunning images of the local landscape. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
2.5/5 The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (2018) Toby Woollaston Dhanush adds a sense of restorative sincerity to a production that often feels too overstuffed for its own good... A movie that does eventually deliver its parcel by the final act -- even if it is tenuously wrapped. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
2.5/5 Wonder Park (2019) Francesca Rudkin While Wonder Park does the darker moments well, it pales in comparison to Inside Out; lacking depth and memorable characters as it races through action pieces to a predictable ending. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
3/5 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Dominic Corry Even though the sequel has plenty of new characters and meta-fun, the irreverent tone simply doesn't feel as special. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Siena Yates It was always a bit touch and go just how Marvel would recover from the events of Infinity War and wrap up the stories of beloved heroes which we've been following for years, but they've done an impressive job which will leave fans entirely satisfied. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
2.5/4 Red Joan (2018) Francesca Rudkin A story that could have been thrilling but is instead a nice, repetitive and slightly dull period costume drama. Thank goodness for Dame Judi Dench. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
2/5 Where Hands Touch (2018) Toby Woollaston Patchy acting, questionable accents and a clunky screenplay that tamely wends its way down a lazy river of fawning predictability, further hamper a film that screams for the authenticity and inventiveness of Asante's previous directorial outings. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
4/5 Missing Link (2019) Dominic Corry Mr Link, as the sasquatch comes to be known, is a hugely appealing comic creation... He's the physical embodiment of the film's big-hearted attitude. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
Pet Sematary (2019) Tom Augustine Largely devoid of inventive cinematography or scares that stray beyond the increasingly tired "jump-scare" format, the film fails to fall back on the strength of its performances. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
4/5 Woman at War (2018) Francesca Rudkin Everything about this film is mesmerising; incredible landscapes, the performance of its lead character, the hipster band, a relevant topic and the idea one person's single-minded pursuit of what they believe in can make a difference. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
3/5 Shazam! (2019) Toby Woollaston Again, not the most original idea, but here it is presented with the unbridled joy of two teens who have just found the keys to their parent's liquor cabinet. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
3.5/5 Us (2019) Dominic Corry Jordan Peele returns with this eagerly anticipated follow-up. The superlative entertainment value proves that his first film wasn't a fluke, but Us is definitely much more of a head-scratcher than Get Out. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
4/5 Dumbo (2019) Toby Woollaston Burton effortlessly ushers us across the digital divide and turns a synthetic soul into something real, thanks in part to an effects team who have done a stunning job at creating Dumbo's complex array of expressions. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/5 Five Feet Apart (2019) Francesca Rudkin Richardson and Sprouse are delightful and go a long way to holding together this slightly drawn out romantic drama; their chemistry covering much of the clichés and predictability. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/5 Thunder Road (2018) Dominic Corry Although often funny, there's an honesty to Cummings' emoting that induces empathy for the character. It's an empathy that carries the film throughout its sparse plot. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
3.5/5 Daffodils (2019) Francesca Rudkin Musicals aren't my thing, but I left this celebration of our music and Kiwi-ness with a smile; it's a delightful romp through the decades and it's easy to get caught up in this bittersweet love story. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 Fighting With My Family (2019) Toby Woollaston Fighting with My Family is simply an entertaining, lightweight affair of humorously choreographed muscle. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 Paddleton (2019) Dominic Corry The story being told may not sound especially exciting on paper, but the chemistry between Duplass and Romano ensures the film is never less than engaging throughout. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 High Flying Bird (2019) Dominic Corry Holland is fantastic in the lead, and there are engaging supporting performances from Sonja Sohn and the great Bill Duke. Keep an eye out for Kiwi actress Michelle Ang in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
2/5 Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho (2019) Karl Puschmann Ken Jeong doesn't really seize the opportunity to deliver an excruciatingly funny set or to push stand-up into bold new places here. Instead, he leans into the lazy "star recounts becoming a star" format... EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 Captain Marvel (2019) Dominic Corry Nicely balancing the Earth-bound elements with epic cosmic action, Captain Marvel is yet another winner from the house of M. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
4/5 Destroyer (2018) Toby Woollaston Although Kidman may not be the first name you'd think of to play a vengeful hard-ass, her immense scope has repaid Kusama's gamble, delivering the film its driving force. EDIT
Posted Mar 7, 2019
2.5/5 Swimming With Men (2018) Francesca Rudkin While predictable and a bit flat, it's still an underdog sporting flick, which is the very best kind, so while hardly memorable Swimming with Men manages to be pleasant viewing. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
4/5 Todos lo saben (2018) Toby Woollaston Everybody Knows is a slow burn that some might find frustrating, but I found the impeccable pace of this intriguing mystery immensely satisfying. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2019
2/5 Escape Room (2019) Toby Woollaston There are some solid flashpoints of tension early on, but as the ever-dwindling team shift from room to room it all becomes rather episodic and dull. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Dominic Corry The closest thing to a live-action anime ever made, Alita: Batttle Angel is a dazzling assertion of cinematic ambition. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Greg Fleming A light-as-a-feather ride that plays best as a homage to one of the screen's great stars... There's no question this is Redford's movie. Lowery allows him room to put that wry charm to full effect; only Sissy Spacek can keep up. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
Beautiful Boy (2018) Greg Fleming Impeccably shot, well-written and boasting great performances, Beautiful Boy is a cautionary tale of privilege but one that never cuts as deep as it should. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2019
3/5 On the Basis of Sex (2018) Toby Woollaston Felicity Jones walks a fine line between an authentic portrayal of the real Ginsburg and breathing new life into her persona for the purposes of engaging cinema. Thankfully, she finds common ground. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
3.5/5 Ben Is Back (2018) Francesca Rudkin This is hardly an upbeat, feel-good, festive film. Ben is Back is full of raw emotion, desperation and hope but comes with a layer of gloss that attempts to give the gritty subject a sheen for a broader audience. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2019
3/5 The Mule (2018) Dominic Corry Although there's a spare, basic quality to The Mule, it remains undeniably watchable throughout and generates some degree of tension. Clint has cinema in his veins, and it shows here. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2019
Fyre (2019) Chris Schulz If you haven't already lost faith in the influencer industry, you will after watching this. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2019
4.5/5 Eighth Grade (2018) Dominic Corry For all Burnham's skill in making the artfully-composed film, it's Fisher who really carries all the humour and heart, delivering a stunning performance that serves as a painfully relatable avatar for everybody watching. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/5 The Happy Prince (2018) Tom Augustine A bleak film that nevertheless brims with the spirit and cheek of Wilde himself, Everett is here revealed as the man best suited to telling this particular tale. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2019
4.5/5 Private Life (2018) Tom Augustine Director Tamara Jenkins has always been one of the finest chroniclers of the American upper middle class, and this may be her most anxiety-inducing effort yet. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018
4/5 Shirkers (2018) Tom Augustine A mysterious and frequently wonderful documentary. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2018