Shadows on the Wall

Shadows on the Wall is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Derek Malcolm, Rich Cline
Rating Title/Year Author
4.5/5 The Father (2020) Rich Cline It's a fiendishly inventive approach to the topic at hand, challenging the audience with clever storytelling and frankly astonishing performances. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
2.5/5 Tyger Tyger (2021) Rich Cline It's a bit frustrating that the plot is so unfocussed, and so difficult to engage with on any real level. Mondragon definitely has a distinctive eye, and a more compelling narrative might have made this a cult hit. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
2.5/5 Crisis (2021) Rich Cline Jarecki may create a sense of urgency by touching many powerfully urgent angles around the topic, but aside from the film's educational value there's no path for the audience to crack into it in a meaningful way. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
3.5/5 Cherry (2021) Rich Cline The narrative covers a lot of ground, holding the interest even if the deeper themes seem a little thin. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
4/5 The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) Rich Cline Lee Daniels directs the film with an open, raw heart, drawing out genuinely wrenching emotions and a bracing sense of resilience that bring the themes urgently to life. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
2/5 Tom & Jerry (2021) Rich Cline Despite a promising visual approach combining live-action with hand-drawn style animation, these iconic cartoon characters are badly let down by a limp script and unambitious direction. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2021
3.5/5 I Care a Lot (2020) Rich Cline Everything is rather overwrought, but writer-director J Blakeson keeps the movie slick and watchable. Often viciously so. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
3/5 To Olivia (2021) Rich Cline With the brightly engaging tone familiar in British period biopics, this sharply well-made film explores the momentous life of Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
5/5 The Mauritanian (2021) Rich Cline This powerful film's true story unfolds in a way that digs much deeper than the political issues involved, taking a personal look at the moral imperative to seek the truth. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
A Skeleton in the Closet (2020) Rich Cline From Argentina, this bouncy comedy circles around the likeable members of a family, never wallowing in their darker moments. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2021
4.5/5 Night of the Kings (2020) Rich Cline Beautifully written and directed by Philippe Lacote, the film features a thunderous ensemble of characters. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2021
2.5/5 X (2021) Rich Cline Even if it never quite works on any level, it's so audacious that it's impossible to imagine what might happen next. EDIT
Posted Feb 23, 2021
2.5/5 The World to Come (2020) Rich Cline Hushed to the point of being downright dour, EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/5 Minari (2020) Rich Cline Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung tells a story about Korean immigrants in the rural US, knowingly exploring common experiences of expat families while pointedly unpicking the American Dream. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/5 Twilight's Kiss (2019) Rich Cline With an observant slice-of-life approach, writer-director Ray Yeung puts a spotlight on a group of people who are falling through the cracks. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
3/5 French Exit (2020) Rich Cline It's a warm portrait of a mother and son who are clueless about the world, directed at an unhurried pace by Azazel Jacobs from a script by author Patrick DeWitt. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/5 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Rich Cline A sense of urgency sustains the story over its long running time, and complex performances from Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield keep it resonant. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
4/5 If It Were Love (2020) Rich Cline In addition to the elaborate interaction on-stage, filmmaker Patric Chiha is also exploring how these performers relate to each other behind the scenes, skilfully finding the points where their characters blur with who they really are. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
3/5 Running Naked (2020) Rich Cline An engaging mix of comedy and drama, this British independent film takes on big themes in a light-handed way. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
2/5 Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Rich Cline It's too scattershot to be a classic, with action and drama that are painfully corny, but it's camp enough to keep us giggling. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
3.5/5 Two of Us (2019) Rich Cline For a warm romantic drama, this film has surprisingly sharp edges that keep the audience on its toes. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/5 Little Fish (2020) Rich Cline The understated, internalised filmmaking gives each scene a remarkable intimacy, pulling us in further. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/5 Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Rich Cline It's a cleverly offbeat exploration of awkward small-town relationships, creating a comically exaggerated sense of Ireland. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/5 Malcolm & Marie (2021) Rich Cline Writer-director Sam Levinson infuses every moment with soulful rhythms, jagged humour and underlying topicality, keeping the film engaging as the acute dialog continually strikes resonant chords. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/5 Bliss (2021) Rich Cline Surreal touches and a moody tone give this intriguing film a dreamlike quality, as writer-director Mike Cahill explores the nature of reality through the eyes of people going through trauma. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/5 4x4 (2019) Rich Cline Even if the ending feels a little over-the-top, Cohn has so carefully constructed the situation that we're powerfully gripped. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2021
3.5/5 Rams (2020) Rich Cline The film feels a bit long and slow, but there's plenty going on around the edges to make it thoroughly enjoyable. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
3.5/5 The Little Things (2021) Rich Cline Writer-director John Lee Hancock may over-egg the masculinity, and the case at hand isn't terribly original, but the film has a rough charm thanks to a far above average cast making the most of the gristly dialog. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
3.5/5 The Night (2020) Rich Cline [A] sharply well-made dramatic freak-out. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
3/5 Caged (2021) Rich Cline Melodramatic and more than a little overwrought, this nerve-jangling prison drama has a vividly theatrical style that plays up pulp-style grit along with almost fantastical psychological touches. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
4/5 The Capote Tapes (2020) Rich Cline The film is a lively swirl of material, with lovely archival film clips and excerpts from Capote's novels accompanied by segments from Plimpton's recordings. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
3.5/5 The Dig (2021) Rich Cline If the film feels like a perhaps prettified version of real events, its underlying ideas give us something to chew on. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
3/5 Synchronic (2019) Rich Cline Moody and strange, this offbeat dramatic horror spirals to heights of absurdity that are grounded in a nicely played central relationship. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
2/5 The Exception (2020) Rich Cline The provocative ways these characters react raise some issues to think about. So it's a shame that neither Nielsen's direction nor Torpe's script allows a female perspective to emerge, essentially defining everything through the eyes of the men. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
4/5 Are We Lost Forever (2020) Rich Cline This is an unusually honest exploration of a breakup, mixing a range of emotional reactions into scenes that resonate on several levels. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
4/5 Persian Lessons (2020) Rich Cline Director Vadim Perelman creates a skilfully unfussy period style, avoiding genre cliches to focus on characters who are finely brought to life by an excellent cast. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
3/5 Brothers by Blood (2020) Rich Cline Gritty but engagingly introspective, this dark drama centres on a group of growly men whose lives are entwined with organised crime. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
4.5/5 Notturno (2020) Rich Cline Shot over three years in Syria, Kurdistan, Iraq and Lebanon, this masterful documentary by the gifted Gianfranco Rosi immediately reminds us of the intensely personal stories behind headlines about war. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
3.5/5 True Mothers (2020) Rich Cline Exquisitely shot to capture both natural beauty and nuanced performances, this unhurried Japanese drama explores the various sides of an adoption story. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
3/5 Identifying Features (2020) Rich Cline It's shot with impressive artistry, but a more accessible narrative would have made it even more involving. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
4/5 The White Tiger (2021) Rich Cline This energetic Indian drama bristles with life and humour even as it promises that things are going to take some very dark turns. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
3.5/5 Stardust (2020) Rich Cline There's a loose, scruffy charm to this biopic about a pivotal moment in David Bowie's life. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
3.5/5 Blithe Spirit (2020) Rich Cline Broad and silly, this remake of the Noel Coward comedy is written and directed with plenty of spark. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
3.5/5 MLK/FBI (2020) Rich Cline The film is a bit dry and insistent, but the material has huge historical significance. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
3/5 Love Sarah (2020) Rich Cline Sensitively written and directed, this comedy-drama opens with a tragedy before shifting into a more upbeat tone. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
3/5 Outside the Wire (2021) Rich Cline Fast-paced and sharply well-designed, this futuristic war thriller is packed with gritty action and seamless effects. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2021
4/5 The Reason I Jump (2020) Rich Cline The film is beautifully shot and edited, using colours, shapes and textures to offer the viewer a new sense of perspective. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
2/5 A Stone in the Water (2019) Rich Cline This low-budget thriller has a hesitant, awkward rhythm that makes it difficult to engage with. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2021
3.5/5 Pieces of a Woman (2020) Rich Cline As the story continues, the film becomes increasingly painful to watch, and the slow-burn pace and extended running time will also strain viewers. But the steely undercurrent is riveting, and it's heading somewhere important. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021
3/5 The One You Feed (2020) Rich Cline There's a dreamy tone to this artful drama. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021