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
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
Dumbo (2019) Richard von Busack This film isn't Burton's worst, but it plays more like Spielberg doing kid-fodder with the help of Burton as production designer. The movie is a white elephant. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Us (2019) Richard von Busack Home invasion terror isn't always elegant, but it's always effective. Peele is a genial shocker. Unlike most doorbusters, these hell creatures aren't interested in sex. Comic relief settles in between never-too-horrible mayhem. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2019
Captive State (2019) Richard von Busack The top-notch, poorly titled Captive State by Rupert Wyatt of Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the first feature film to acutely deliver the mood of fear in the Trump era. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
To Dust (2018) Richard von Busack A comedy like this functions or fails depending on the way the pair get and stay together; Broderick and Rohrig have a harmony in their matched styles in forlornness. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
Suspiria (2018) Richard von Busack The wit of David Kajganich's script is that organized religion, even the satanic Old Religion, is just politics by other means. Suspiria takes The Red Shoes or Black Swan to the next level of horror. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2019
Fyre Fraud (2019) Richard von Busack Fyre Fraud convincingly identifies the fraud-fest as just one more chimera of modern times, a 24-hour game of "let's pretend," in which one cannot tell if someone is a delusional liar or the smartest person in the room. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2019
Fyre (2019) Richard von Busack It doesn't question the necessity of the fest. The Fyre Festival didn't work, but wouldn't it have been insanely cool if it had?... Thus, the Netflix doc may be a stepping stone to the inevitable exculpatory whitewashing feature film. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2019
Cold War (2018) Richard von Busack Cold War has the heart of an epic, a smart one, burrowing into its settings, and describing the bitter flavor of two different brands of moral crumble. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2019
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Richard von Busack James and Layne emote the kind of pure ethereal love that was there at the beginning of the movies and will be there at the end of them. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2019
Vice (2018) Richard von Busack Misanthropy rarely gets this unfunny. Here, even Cheney's sullen wiliness looks uninspired. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2019
Aquaman (2018) Richard von Busack James Wan's Aquaman has way too much going on. It's all three Lord of the Rings underwater, with a grand finale giant fish war that's like the largest tureen of bouillabaisse ever cooked. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Richard von Busack In college they warn you against the kind of history where things had to happen because they happened the way they happened. Thus we miss the question of what kind of plotting Mary had been up to -- real or imaginary. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
Across the Universe (2007) Richard von Busack What a bloody mess. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Roma (2018) Richard von Busack Roma, the film of the year, is an exquisitely tender work, and a deeply layered historical re-creation. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Richard von Busack It runs long but it never fails to impress with its confidence, its angles, its sensational color and its sense of bringing animation into a new century. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
Green Book (2018) Richard von Busack It's excerpt-ready for the Oscars, with the little blocks of conflict quickly precipitated and solved in a fast minute. The self-congratulation is thick. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
The Favourite (2018) Richard von Busack The bluntness in Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara's screenplay isn't wit. The script defeats the actors. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
Beautiful Boy (2018) Richard von Busack The eclectic soundtrack (everything from the hippie-days prog band Pavlov's Dog to Gorecki) adds to the movie's formlessness rather than defining it. EDIT
Posted Nov 28, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Richard von Busack The highly witty original was about learning and appreciating the groove you're in; the sequel seems stuck in it. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Richard von Busack The Coen brothers' new anthology film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, portrays the frontier as a place of death so sudden and terrible that the word "ironic" is too fancy for it. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2018
Prospect (2018) Richard von Busack Thatcher is a strong, resolute heroine, and this is an impressive debut, both solid and atmospheric. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Richard von Busack Alvarez escapes the doleful and unbelievable realism of the series to date, and makes it fun... This Lisbeth is just one mask and two pointed ears away from being Catwoman. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
The Other Side of the Wind (2018) Richard von Busack In this evocative satirical drama, Welles demonstrates a last magic act. He was still ahead of his time even at the end of his career. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Richard von Busack Ornery and salty as the film is, it has a cool counterpoint of loneliness to it. And it shows how lost even the recent past is. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Halloween (2018) Richard von Busack Halloween isn't scary, but like the film that started it, it's moody. What does survive is the malice endemic to the genre. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
Mandy (2018) Richard von Busack Mandy tries and sometimes succeeds to be the kind of movie you should only see after midnight, but a slow pace is fatal to grindhouse. The changes of emphasis and time that are so fearfully disorienting in Lynch are more like dead air here. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
First Man (2018) Richard von Busack First Man isn't a session of hero worship, but it does help one understand the otherness of Neil Armstrong, the seeming nervelessness that still exemplifies bravery in this age of scoundrels. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2018
Hell Fest (2018) Richard von Busack Honoring the knife-wielding maniac multiplex fodder of the 1980s, this mostly scare-free thriller lets you admire the hard work of the art directors and designers. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2018
A Star Is Born (2018) Richard von Busack This A Star Is Born is like movie night at the rehab clinic: all the shame of drunkenness and none of the elation. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2018
Bad Reputation (2018) Richard von Busack While the testimonials for Jett abound, particularly from Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, we don't get very deep into her inner life. It's a warm film, though. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2018
Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) Richard von Busack Fahrenheit 11/9 is a buffet movie -- you take some of it and leave the rest. Moments throughout justify it handsomely. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2018
The Predator (2018) Richard von Busack The script for The Predator does approach the rampage of a crab-faced superalien from the Howard Hawks' point of view... But the problem is that it isn't always possible to go comic, and Black tries it anyway. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2018
Juliet, Naked (2018) Richard von Busack Subjects that would seem like rom-com contrivance in lesser movies are sturdy and thoughtful here. It's a well-filled romance. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2018
Searching (2018) Richard von Busack It's neither the first nor the best movie about living (and dying) online, but San Jose-raised filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty's thriller Searching is an absorbing picture. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2018
The Wife (2017) Richard von Busack What makes The Wife insufferable soap is the masochistic insistence that the men are all crushers, and that that's all that's possible for them to do. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2018
The Meg (2018) Richard von Busack The Meg's target audience, the bloody-minded kid who wishes shark week was every week, isn't over served with guts and chum... There's neither speedy fun or much emotional investment in this. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2018
Rock Rubber 45s (2018) Richard von Busack Garcia's autobiographical documentary Rock Rubber 45s is a delight - this 50-something man of many talents is a born ambassador. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2018
BlacKkKlansman (2018) Richard von Busack This is a big movie from Lee, warm and smart. It's not essentially radical, unless the subject of self-defense is radical. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2018