AV Club

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
C The Call of the Wild (2020) Allison Shoemaker It is neither disaster nor dream, landing firmly somewhere in the disappointing middle. EDIT
Posted Feb 17, 2020
C- Fantasy Island (2020) A.A. Dowd Thriller framework aside, Fantasy Island probably works best as a comedy. At least when it's not trying to be one. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2020
B- The Photograph (2020) Caroline Siede There's an appreciable poise to The Photograph, which is reflected in the gorgeous lighting by cinematographer Mark Schwartzbard and a moody jazz score from pianist Robert Glasper. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
D+ Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) A.A. Dowd Yes, it's that kind of movie: a nattering chore of a "family" comedy that feels written by committee and directed by indifferent machine. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
C+ I Was at Home, But (Ich war zuhause, aber) (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky Despite its austere, theory-heavy minimalism, I Was At Home, But... is lopsided and lumpy, filled with longueurs in which the brain begins to check out. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
C+ A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky But all that Farmageddon delivers is a not-unpleasant distraction for a cold, lazy afternoon. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
C+ Ordinary Love (2019) Vikram Murthi It's just a shame that extraordinary talents can't redeem an ordinary film. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
C Olympic Dreams (2019) Mike D'Angelo It's almost painfully obvious that the film's dialogue was improvised during shooting; everyone constantly looks and sounds just a bit anxious, as if they're under significant pressure to come up with something interesting to say. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
B+ After Parkland (2018) Noel Murray In a subtle but insistent way, After Parkland suggests that this simple act of changing the narrative around an appalling act of violence-rather than just learning to live with it-could be the way to prevent it from happening again. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
B- To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) Caroline Siede Though it's once again welcome to see a rom-com dig into the specificity of the Korean-American experience... for the most part P.S. I Still Love You is a pleasant distraction without a lot of payoff. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2020
A () Scott Tobias The film has the extraordinary quality of being simultaneously clarifying and murky, and that's just great journalism on James' part. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2020
B- Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Katie Rife [T]he film... is more successful as a madcap comedy chasing Harley Quinn through the streets of Gotham than it is as a comic book adventure. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
C+ Horse Girl (2020) Roxana Hadadi Horse Girl's big weakness is that it can't decide how much ambiguity to provide its central character, or how seriously it wants to present Sarah's breakdown. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
C+ And Then We Danced (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky If Akin knows how to direct better than this, he rarely shows it. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2020
C+ The Night House (2020) A.A. Dowd Unfortunately, the script by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski is clunky-in the convoluted nature of its reveals and also in the sometimes-baffling behavior on display. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2020
B+ Palm Springs (1936) A.A. Dowd The film, directed by Max Barbakow and written by Andy Siara, pretty quickly reveals its premise, but there's still a pleasure in experiencing how they let the cat out of the bag. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2020
B Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020) Josh Modell Whether this book is really open, and whether it reveals the "real" Taylor Swift or not, Miss Americana is convincing, positive, and entrancing nonetheless. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
C+ Downhill (2020) A.A. Dowd There's maybe one ideal audience for Downhill, and that's the folks who have never seen or maybe even heard of the much better film on which it's based. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
C The Rhythm Section (2020) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky Unfortunately, this cinematographic brain trust's idea of a visual style for The Rhythm Section mostly consists of making sure that everyone can tell that the movie was filmed with anamorphic lenses. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
B- The Traitor (2019) Mike D'Angelo More than anything else, and despite its focus on a small fry rather than a don, The Traitor suggests what Gotti might have looked like in assured-or maybe even just competent-hands. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
C- Wendy (2020) A.A. Dowd Zeitlin has no fresh take on the material... it's the usual clichés about resisting the encroaching disillusionment of adult life, filtered through a "grounded" reboot that leeches all the actual excitement and adventure, the magic, out of the story. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
B+ Promising Young Woman (2020) A.A. Dowd Promising Young Woman stops short of a truly radical ending, but only just. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
B- Zola (2020) A.A. Dowd Turns out Twitter might really have been the ideal platform for this anecdote. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
B+ Beanpole (2019) Katie Rife The film's bleak finale underlines this larger political point, but smartly does so in the service of character development rather than pure pedagogy. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
B+ Black Bear (2020) A.A. Dowd It's often scathingly funny-a dark comic millennial spin on the Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? template, buoyed by three expertly modulated performances and acidic bon mots. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
B+ Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) A.A. Dowd It's a pleasure to finally join the chorus of praise and see Hittman hit her stride; this is the movie I've been waiting for from her. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
A- The Assistant (2019) A.A. Dowd [W]hat Green achieves is something like a blueprint of the inner workings of an empire, demonstrating how someone like Weinstein could use the promise of career advancement to make those on his payroll unofficial accomplices. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2020
B- () A.A. Dowd The entire film feels a little like that, gushingly supportive at the expense of any real dramatic tension; it's ultimately more of an everyone's-a-winner showcase than the messy vision of a community it appears to be aspiring towards. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
B- Bad Hair (2020) A.A. Dowd The impression is of a provocative logline that Simien never quite figured out how to expand into a satisfying movie; once you get the thrust of the story, it's mostly repetitions on a theme. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
B+ Leslie Jones: Time Machine (2020) Ashley Ray-Harris Time Machine is one of those exceptional stand-up specials that can get a laugh out of anyone, from any demographic-and that's the power of Leslie Jones. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
C The Last Full Measure (2020) Mike D'Angelo Ultimately, we're just meant to recognize bravery and salute. The movie's not strictly necessary for that. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
C The Turning (2020) Jesse Hassenger In a movie as utterly lost as The Turning, everything from the performances to the production design to the music cues amount to one big pile of dirty mirrors and doll parts. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
B Zombi Child (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky For Bonello, whose previous films have emphasized emotional continuity over conventions of chronology and realism, it all seems to be part of the same continuum, suggesting a deeper, contradictory myth. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
B+ I Wish I Knew (2010) Lawrence Garcia [A]n expansive exploration of Shanghai as a cultural center shaken by converging historical forces. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
C+ The Gentlemen (2020) Vikram Murthi Any good work on the performance level is inevitably stymied by The Gentlemen's overstuffed script, which shortchanges everything from key character relationships to plot payoffs, even as it luxuriates in a bloated runtime. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2020
C+ VHYes (2019) A.A. Dowd [T]he real problem with VHYes may be that its two modes don't work well together. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
C Bad Boys for Life (2020) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky Bantering back and forth, Lawrence and Smith manage to recreate some of their screen chemistry-though not enough to make anyone want to go on another bumpy ride. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
C- Dolittle (2020) Katie Rife [A] confused, sweaty, zigzag approach to storytelling, which waves away inconvenient details and waves in lame jokes with an equal sense of desperation. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003) Keith Phipps As it goes with the TV show, so it goes with the movie, which benefits from being shot largely in Rome and suffers from trying to stretch its sitcom antics to feature length. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
C+ Troop Zero (2019) Mike D'Angelo Janney can't do much with her garden-variety stick in the mud, though, and Davis' character is saddled with way more lifelong discontent than this otherwise flimsy role can bear. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
B+ Weathering With You (2019) Noel Murray By the end of Weathering With You, this has become a story about two people with their whole lives ahead of them, navigating their way through a future where they pine for things we all take for granted. Like, say, the simple pleasure of a sunny day. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
D- The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson (2019) Katie Rife The Murder Of Nicole Brown Simpson is directed like a Lifetime thriller, relying heavily on stark lighting and ominous music to create suspense. (Neither is effective.) EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
B- Underwater (2020) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky It's another movie about thin characters and bland monsters-albeit one that's better than the norm. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
B Rob Delaney: Jackie (2020) Dennis Perkins Delaney's is a paradoxically cozy misanthropy, gleeful in tearing down outright assholes while lumping himself into his overriding assumption of failure and embarrassment. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2020
B Les misérables (2019) Allison Shoemaker It's not subtle, and it's not pleasant. It's angry, and it's honest. Hugo would approve. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
C Like a Boss (2020) Katie Rife [I]f you're looking for something truly groundbreaking-or hilarious-Like A Boss isn't it. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
C The Grudge (2020) Katie Rife [W]hile John Cho is a welcome addition to any film, the biting shot that wraps up his storyline doesn't wholly compensate for its mushy buildup. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
C- Three Christs (2017) Vikram Murthi There's no salvation to be found in this story of a sane man learning about his own limitations from the insane-only suffering. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Frida (2002) Scott Tobias Salma Hayek finally ushered her dream project into production, but her impassioned lead performance lacks the necessary gravitas for the role, mistaking empty energy for wild fits of inspiration. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2020
C The Song of Names (2019) Mike D'Angelo Is a mediocre film worth seeing for a single magnificent sequence that only works properly in context? Here's the test case. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019