Combustible Celluloid

Combustible Celluloid 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, Rob Blackwelder
Rating Title/Year Author
2.5/4 Pieces of a Woman (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Kirby is magnificent in a tough, stark role, and when Martha finally wrests some tiny bit of control from her life in the final moments, it's a huge triumph. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2021
3.5/4 City Hall (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson As 'City Hall' comes together, it at least becomes clear that these public servants are truly interested in helping their constituents, trying to be as fair as possible to as many as possible. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
3.5/4 The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson A surprisingly well-oiled machine. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
3.5/4 Soul (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Docter and Powers do a remarkable job of making things flow in the best Pixar vein. It's very funny, of course, but the most memorable moments are existential, when characters experience small revelations, begin to see what life is about. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2020
3.5/4 Promising Young Woman (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson The ultimate #MeToo film, and the revenge film of the year, [this] is a sly, deceptive comedy, painted in Easter-Egg pinks and blues and looking for all the world to be a redemptive romance before whipping around and sticking its knives into you. EDIT
Posted Dec 24, 2020
2.5/4 Tenet (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson 'Tenet' may contain [Nolan's] most ambitious use of time, but also, ultimately, the least effective. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
2.5/4 Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's an odd duck, and as eagerly as I was waiting for the magic to happen, it took well over an hour for it to emerge. Many will have given up by that point. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
3.5/4 Minari (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's evenly, softly paced and the drama is never ramped up to soap opera levels. It's a gorgeous, pleasant film that will make plenty of people happy. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
3.5/4 Dear Santa (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Filmmaker Dana Nachman, who makes uplifting, kid-friendly documentaries like 'Batkid Begins' and 'Pick of the Litter,' returns with this holiday delight, sure to inspire smiles and reaches for the tissue box. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
3.5/4 Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson He's an irascible interviewee; Temple lovingly combines his footage with archival material and plenty of music to make a cautionary tale feel like a celebration. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
3.5/4 Nomadland (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Zhao's gentle, open-eyed direction blends things as well as anyone could ask for. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2020
3/4 Last Call (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson The black-and-white is appealing, but also carries a desperation. It feels closed-in, and it's certainly a downer. But when Ifans reads Thomas's work at the microphone, all the stuff everyone says about him comes to life - as genius leaps off the page. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
3.5/4 Collective (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson In the end, it's about the ongoing battle between crusading journalists and corrupt businessmen/politicians, apparently locked in a tie. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/4 Hearts and Bones (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson A strong, sturdy feature directing debut by Ben Lawrence (son of filmmaker Ray), the emotionally astute drama 'Hearts and Bones' is both bold in its vision of the world and quietly respectful of its characters' needs. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/4 Come Away (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson [A] lightly charming work that gets big points for placing non-white actors in roles that have traditionally gone the other way. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2020
3.5/4 The Boy Behind the Door (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Making a gripping, hypnotic feature writing and directing debut, David Charbonier and Justin Powell's The Boy Behind the Door treads some familiar ground, but also breaks into fresh territory with its two protagonists. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2020
3/4 The Mortuary Collection (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Here's a horror anthology that's aware of how horror anthologies work. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2020
4/4 The Gunfighter (1950) Jeffrey M. Anderson It has enough grit to make it seem like a model hybrid of respectable and genuine. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2020
3.5/4 Outside the Law (1920) Jeffrey M. Anderson It doesn't quite have the personal touches that Browning's later films would have, but it's a strong entertainment nonetheless. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2020
3/4 The Ape (1940) Jeffrey M. Anderson This thoroughly silly movie is worth seeing mainly for a delightfully touching, hammy performance by Boris Karloff in the lead role. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2020
4/4 I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson What haunted me about the film... is the way that Kaufman fully inhabits this shifting, twisting nightmare world, and the way that little existential clues seem to pop up everywhere. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2020
3/4 Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Regardless, even if the sequel doesn't quite feel like the explosive cultural dirty bomb that the first movie did, 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm' is still a tonic for those that care to partake. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2020
2.5/4 Nocturne (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson 'Nocturne' is a nice-looking film with plenty of good music, and it's passable, but it's my least favorite of the four [Blumhouse] films. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
3/4 Mnemophrenia (2018) Jeffrey M. Anderson A quiet, contemplative, hyper-intelligent drama that requires strict attention, and will likely benefit from more viewings. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
3/4 White Riot (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson Unlike so many other movies about punk rock, White Riot actually looks punk rock, with graphics that appear borrowed or homemade. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
3/4 Evil Eye (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Benefits from appealing performances by Sarita Choudhury and Sunita Mani as mother and daughter, and from a non-white cast, but its straightforward narrative isn't terribly surprising. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
3/4 Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1972) Jeffrey M. Anderson It just goes to show that, even though a maverick may not be polished or professional, if given his own prerogative, he can deliver something truly unique, and - in its own odd way - special. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2020
3/4 Warm Bodies (2013) Jeffrey M. Anderson What's remarkable is that, despite the movie's humor, it has a notable lack of cynicism. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
3/4 28 Weeks Later (2007) Jeffrey M. Anderson This sequel, directed by the much more imaginative Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto, Intruders), takes the zombie invasion in a new, grim direction. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
3/4 Rec (2007) Jeffrey M. Anderson Co-directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza unfold their story over a tight, tense 75 minutes, using the hand-held camera to create an atmosphere of immediacy, and never wasting an opportunity to ramp up the sense of panic, or provide a brutal scare. EDIT
Posted Oct 5, 2020
3/4 Lost Girls & Love Hotels (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson The movie could have dived into an explosive Yakuza shoot-em-up ending, or it could have gone down a more lurid path, attempting to titillate with the sex, but instead, every scene is about lostness, about forever yearning and searching and not finding. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
3.5/4 The Naked City (1948) Jeffrey M. Anderson 'The Naked City' is a classic police procedural, brilliantly told, with the tiniest details seeming like huge breakthroughs. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2020
3.5/4 Dear Diary (1994) Jeffrey M. Anderson Generally strikes a cross between deadpan and absurd; most of it is stuff that would likely never happen, but Moretti captures it all with straight-faced seriousness. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2020
3/4 Brute Force (1947) Jeffrey M. Anderson A breakthrough crime film for director Jules Dassin. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2020
2.5/4 Immortal (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson The movie does feature some strong performances and some intriguing setups... EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2020
3/4 Death on the Nile (1978) Jeffrey M. Anderson Once it gets going, Death on the Nile is bright and leisurely, like a vacation, and the notes of humor are enough to keep things from getting too heavy. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
3/4 A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson This low-budget horror anthology with eight short tales is actually much better and spookier than I would have dared hope. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
3.5/4 Sicily! (1999) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's a brief 66 minutes, but packed with talk and meaning. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
3.5/4 Mulan (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson It's far more dynamic and alive than most of the other remakes, and it honors the spirit of the original while heading forward into some interesting, modern new directions. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2020
3/4 The Sign of the Cross (1932) Jeffrey M. Anderson This early, pre-code Cecil B. DeMille spectacular is famous for pretending to be a religious epic, while actually being full of sex and violence. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2020
3.5/4 Toni (1935) Jeffrey M. Anderson Renoir's touch is so warm and earthy that the movie never seems too cheap or frivolous. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2020
3.5/4 Breezy (1973) Jeffrey M. Anderson Looks like some remnant from the hippie days. But what a surprise to see that Breezy is really quite touching and even delightful. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2020
3/4 All I Desire (1953) Jeffrey M. Anderson Most certainly one of Douglas Sirk's lesser movies, All I Desire lacks some of the heart-rending visual flourishes of his masterworks, but it nonetheless remains a pretty solid piece of soap. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2020
4/4 There's Always Tomorrow (1956) Jeffrey M. Anderson A full-on masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2020
2.5/4 Old Boyfriends (1979) Jeffrey M. Anderson A mopey, dry soap opera. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
3.5/4 Red Ball Express (1952) Jeffrey M. Anderson Before establishing himself with his Randolph Scott Westerns, director Budd Boetticher was a solid, competent director of "B" pictures, and Red Ball Express is as brisk and as entertaining as they come. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
2.5/4 Those Who Deserve To Die (2019) Jeffrey M. Anderson With the exception of a fierce, striking little girl ghost (Alice Lewis) and a supporting role by cult favorite Lynn Lowry, the movie relies on some rather flat characters, and it's easy to find yourself feeling a bit detached. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
3.5/4 Tesla (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson Certainly the movie might have been more streamlined, or gone further, but I really like its strange, interior touches, its experimental, dreamlike quality, and its lack of rules. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
2/4 The Pale Door (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson With a promising title taken from Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Haunted Palace, the movie The Pale Door immediately squanders that promise. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
3/4 Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020) Jeffrey M. Anderson [Wolf's] 'Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies' is much shorter [than 'Time Warp'], and covers much more ground, and thus it feels a bit rushed in spots, and a bit thin overall. Even so, I still learned quite a bit... EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020