MetroActive

MetroActive is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jeffrey M. Anderson, Richard von Busack
Rating Title/Year Author
Fantasy Island (2020) Richard von Busack It wanders in all directions, it takes a great deal of desperate writing to twist around and explain who's the actual bad guy, and the production design and costuming is disappointing. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2020
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Richard von Busack Call it upcycled, repurposed or just plain ripped-off, but it's made out of familiar and gaudy stuff. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) Richard von Busack Ritchie's problem is that he has about a pint of movie sloshing around in a gallon jug. All the sidebars and word-bandying among the all-male cast don't expand upon this story satisfactorily. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
2020 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation (2020) Richard von Busack Get out your handkerchiefs, because rich tales of sadness constitute this year's selection of Oscar-nominated animated shorts. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020
The Aeronauts (2019) Richard von Busack The Aeronauts does what movies used to do; telling us fictions to remind us to be brave and persistent. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
1917 (2019) Richard von Busack It's a movie on steroids, cooking up incidents when the truth is bad enough... [But] I succumbed to this thrilling, compelling film. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Cats (2019) Richard von Busack The film is a triple-decker weirdburger from the twitching ears to the too-long tails that make the ensemble look like lemurs. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Richard von Busack The Safdies have talent, and if they'd cut this uncut gem they'd get closer to the work they're emulating. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Richard von Busack This was once a series that did things that no other movie franchise could; the best thing you can say about it now is that it's finally wrapped up. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
The Kingmaker (2019) Richard von Busack It is to Greenfield's credit that she caught the mask of glamour slipping for a second, revealing the hideousness of tyranny underneath it. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Honey Boy (2019) Richard von Busack At 33, LaBeouf has come a long way... But as a writer, he wallows. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Richard von Busack Baumbach finds new depths in his performers, in the wounded, frightened side in Driver, and the macho side in Johansson; she's quite small, but formidable in a boy's haircut and trousers. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Knives Out (2019) Richard von Busack Knives Out is Thanksgiving entertainment for those seething at their relatives over the turkey carcass. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Dolor y gloria (2019) Richard von Busack Pain and Glory is like getting a letter from Almodovar, but what's here is not all in words. He may not quite be the last filmmaker left who understands the power of color, but his eye has little equal; he notices the harmony of colors. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
The Good Liar (2019) Richard von Busack Happily, Bill Condon's The Good Liar rejoices in old age's boundless capacity for treachery -- a senior citizen's dirty avidity for just one more piece of pie. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Richard von Busack Prosecutorial as it is, Matt Tyrnauer shows us the weirdly whimsical side of the man... I guess even river scum must have professional courtesy. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Richard von Busack [An] elegantly turned if sometimes episodic comedy. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Richard von Busack Dolemite is My Name is great fun, despite the way it disgruntles the serious Rudy Ray Moore fan. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Richard von Busack This is tense and authentically tough, but not on its own wavelength, like David Lynch's brilliant sidebar to Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me. El Camino doesn't stand alone. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Joker (2019) Richard von Busack Phoenix's maniac is never boring, always finding new layers of anguish; it's even remarkable what he does with the cigarettes he chain smokes. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
The Sound of Silence (2019) Richard von Busack The Sound of Silence is a thoughtful film, though; Sarsgaard is convincingly enigmatic, and observe how good Jones is in this mode, in which her mirth is restrained to a bare minimum. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Judy (2019) Richard von Busack There's a word for a lot of Judy, and that word is schmaltz; I preferred the previous arrangement where she'd sing "Over the Rainbow" and we'd cry, rather than the role reversal here. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Richard von Busack The lost-father drama can be tedious in the deftest hands. But this time, the celestial backdrop adds some allegorical freshness to the subject. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
The Goldfinch (2019) Richard von Busack Mostly the film copies Dickens' approach to mysterious bequests, lifelong guilt and sudden reversals of fortune, in a sprawling tale that [director] John Crowley keeps engrossing, but never completely convincing. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
It: Chapter Two (2019) Richard von Busack What should feel like a slowly gathering evil that one cannot forestall arrives with the inevitability of a mandatory sequel. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
After the Wedding (2019) Richard von Busack After the Wedding defeats Moore, yet she gives this stodgy adoption-melodrama a good fight, with sudden surprising moves and pivots. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Nightingale (2018) Richard von Busack The problem with so many of these films is their insistence on graphic depictions of sexual violence -- as if viewers couldn't possibly imagine being overpowered and taken by force. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Richard von Busack It is a bit gooshy, with a baptism by a profane junkyard reverend and a magical realist moment of triumph. Still, the Outer Banks waterscapes make The Peanut Butter Falcon funky and appealingly summery. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Richard von Busack The cast are far more than the usual cyphers fed to the meat grinder, and there is a sense of loss in almost every supernatural attack. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
The Great Hack (2019) Richard von Busack I urge all to watch The Great Hack, and beware. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
() Richard von Busack Attell, a balding pudge with skeevy beard and friendly dark eyes, combines deeply pervy and palsy-walsy qualities in a way not seen since Telly Savalas went to that big casino in the sky. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Richard von Busack One feels less like reviewing Once Upon A Time in... Hollywood, and more like writing Quentin Tarantino a letter that begins, "Thank you for retrieving my lost city." EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Sword of Trust (2019) Richard von Busack A harmonious blend of mumblecore and screwball, Lynn Shelton's Sword of Trust touches both poles: nowheresville cinema-of-disappointment meets millionaire ex machina. Despite the ambling pace, here is the self-deception of frantic 1940s comedy. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Richard von Busack A beautifully made study of disillusionment and urban dispossession. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Ophelia (2018) Richard von Busack Without the dialogue, Hamlet is melodrama. You sort of ache to hear the actual lines instead of these Shakespeare for Dummies summaries. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Child's Play (2019) Richard von Busack The ghastliness isn't even vivid enough to be worrisome. We viewers are not impressionable blank slates like poor Chucky. Besides, current events tend to put one in the mood for a violent puppet show. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019) Richard von Busack Toy Story 4 has the wings and claws of a great melodrama. Nobody today can drill into childhood trauma like Pixar. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Richard von Busack The tone is like a New Yorker cartoon mocking a particularly bloody Goya painting; it's too cozy to be grisly. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
Shaft (2019) Richard von Busack This catastrophic reboot insists that we won't know NYC detective John Shaft is a bad M.F. unless he talks about his magnum every six seconds. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Richard von Busack The actual battles are highly satisfactory, even if no one gets to shout, "Destroy all monsters!" EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
All Is True (2018) Richard von Busack It's uneven but worthy work, with Branagh believable and vinegary as a man making amends. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
Rocketman (2019) Richard von Busack Director Dexter Fletcher... bills this as a "true fantasy." The fiction may be upfront -- composite characters cannot sue -- but it's awfully familiar. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Charlie Says (2018) Richard von Busack Harron's film gets the milieu, the angle and the details right. To properly tell the story of the Manson gang, one needs a certain fellow feeling for the hippies. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
Red Joan (2018) Richard von Busack It's too easy to say Dench is this film's only redeeming value, yet it's too difficult to try to find other good points about this stodgy romance. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Richard von Busack Avengers: Endgame didn't seem a moment too long, and there wasn't an awkward performance among its cast. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
High Life (2018) Richard von Busack High Life has poetry, but it's awkward. After a long and distinguished career, this is Denis' first movie in English. Is there any reason, beyond increased ticket sales, that a director would cut off her tongue at age 70? EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Peterloo (2018) Richard von Busack The epic is kept at a distance throughout, from the continual stand-and-deliver speechifying to the oddly unfeeling way the reporter confers over the shambles... Peterloo addresses us as if we were a public meeting. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
Shazam! (2019) Richard von Busack Mostly satisfying, often juvenile, Shazam! is a Christmas-in-Easter superhero origin story.... Ultimately, one wishes there had been more bounce and less grit. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
Mary Magdalene (2018) Richard von Busack Phoenix's sensitivity overwhelms the callouses one has against the Greatest Story Ever etc... Against this mysterious poignancy, Mara seems a bit lost and underpowered. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
The Hummingbird Project (2018) Richard von Busack We can count on an audience that likes to watch people work, an audience that will admire fast-talking hustlers, no matter what their grift. But eventually Nguyen plays softball with the conniving characters. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019