National Review

National Review is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Armond White, Kyle Smith, Megan Basham
Rating Title/Year Author
Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words (2020) Kyle Smith Thomas may be the most famously silent public figure since Calvin Coolidge. But he has much to say in Michael Pack's excellent documentary Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Kyle Smith Even at 85 minutes, the movie is heavily padded, and... the casual viewer will wonder whether it might have been wise for the filmmaker to develop a feature-length story before starting production. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2020
Clemency (2019) Armond White Clemency is art-movie activism, and it collapses from the lack of emotional grace. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Brian Banks (2018) Armond White Director Tom Shadyac respects the moral clarity in the Brian Banks screenplay by Doug Atchison, who also wrote the moving Akeelah and the Bee, another keen observation of individual action over activism. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
Just Mercy (2019) Armond White Not even Michael B. Jordan, the charismatic star of Creed, can lift Just Mercy out of do-gooder drudgery. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2020
The Gentlemen (2020) Kyle Smith The Gentlemen turns out to be a spiffing revival of that quintessentially 1990s genre, the hilariously bloody smooth-talking gangster opus. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2020
1917 (2019) Armond White Mendes's prowling-camera vision of trench and field warfare offers jolts but never surprise; as Roger Deakin's adaptable camera surges through variously lighted locales, one's suspension of disbelief is dispelled by the photogenic stunt. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2020
Dolittle (2020) Megan Basham Every cheap, juvenile gag a lazy Hollywood screenwriter can be counted on to produce suddenly arrives to grate on parents' nerves. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Dolittle (2020) Kyle Smith After the Avengers saga, watching Robert Downey Jr. wade through this claptrap is like watching your favorite bright young college graduate accept a job emptying bedpans. EDIT
Posted Jan 16, 2020
Les misérables (2019) Kyle Smith It'd be unfair to Ly to characterize the film as simply a serious dramatization of social issues; it's also fast-paced entertainment. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2020
Uncut Gems (2019) Armond White Uncut Gems diminishes one of the richest comic sensibilities in modern cinema. It turns Sandler, the smartass who always chooses family and friendship over streetwise selfishness, into an icon of grungy nihilism. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2020
Little Women (2019) Armond White The crazy, boring, laughable thing about Greta Gerwig's version of Little Women is that casual racism is merely the start of its problems. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2019
1917 (2019) Kyle Smith Keeping a take going for an entire movie, though, is a mistake. It redirects the attention from the story to the technique. To be slightly rude about it, it makes Sam Mendes, not his characters, the star of the movie. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) Armond White A Hidden Life is so detached from our spiritual and political needs that it feels similarly useless. EDIT
Posted Dec 26, 2019
The Two Popes (2019) Kyle Smith In other words, liberals and conservatives can find common ground, if the conservatives would just agree to surrender the field of ideas to the liberals and step out of the way... The Two Popes is fantasy built on lies. EDIT
Posted Dec 23, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Armond White Through J. J. Abrams's visually inert busyness, it heralds the death of cinematic communication, if not narrative coherence EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2019
Cats (2019) Kyle Smith The look of the actors is so strange you can't get over it: It's the Uncanny Alley. The actors have tails and fur, but also hands. The lady cats have bosoms. Millions in digital effects have yielded the strangest species mashup since Manimal. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Armond White Roach's blonde-bot casting coup cannot fake its way past the film's basic dishonesty about the corruption of journalism. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Kyle Smith It's time to freeze this franchise in carbonite for a while. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Armond White This late phase of Eastwood's directorial career is his best because he resists moralistic grandstanding to achieve plainness and depth. Richard Jewell is like the finest, boldest, streamlined, and conscientious B-movie. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) Kyle Smith Josh and Benny Safdie have crafted another crazed, flavorful, cinematic slug of hooch. At the end of the movie, I felt a slight hangover rather than satisfaction -- a dazed sense of, "Wow, what was the point of all that?" Still, I enjoyed the binge. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019) Kyle Smith It's a slow, stately film but a marvelous one, steeped in faith and emotionally replete. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Bombshell (2019) Kyle Smith The acting is a mixed bag... As storytelling, though, Bombshell is a wet firecracker. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019) Kyle Smith Eastwood's latest, Richard Jewell, is a strange, sordid, untidy story that doesn't make the mistake of leveraging the truth in the service of clichés. To a degree that's unusual for a year-end, Oscar-bait studio movie, it revels in complexity. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Armond White Fact is, Sciamma doesn't trust the expressiveness of her medium; despite deft technique, she stages obvious agitprop. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
No Safe Spaces (2019) Kyle Smith If the Left does not want "common sense" to become an exclusively conservative epithet, it ought to heed the lessons of this rangy tour of today's free-speech wars. EDIT
Posted Dec 4, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019) Armond White Instead of urging viewers to question media accounts and move toward self-reflection, Queen & Slim uses marketing iconography to make up for what lead actors Kaluuya and Turner-Smith lack in charisma. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Armond White The movie seems wary of faith (it briefly mentions that Rogers was an ordained minister) and settles for secular sentimentality to account for his sensibility and behavior. This not only weakens the film, but it also hobbles Hanks's characterization. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Kyle Smith Perhaps I'm not the target audience for this slow-moving, punitively earnest movie. I'm not sure who is. People with more patience than I've got, maybe. EDIT
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019) Armond White When it concentrates on aspects of American exceptionalism -- the personal appreciation of how America once thought itself great -- it reminds viewers of what pundits and anti-American politicians would have us forget. EDIT
Posted Nov 22, 2019
Frozen II (2019) Kyle Smith Fairy tales that end in the happily-ever-after don't lend themselves to sequels, and this movie shouldn't have been made. The good news for Disney, I guess, is that someday people will forget it ever was. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
The Report (2019) Armond White Burns lacks a sense of urgency, so the movie feels like something that sat on a shelf since 2004. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
() Kyle Smith Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer is a zippy, entertaining, cynically funny but also genuinely disturbing look back at one of the most successful newspapers in the history of the United States. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Marriage Story (2019) Armond White Marriage Story falls short of its models because it doesn't reflect contemporary -- Millennial -- problems surrounding intimacy. Hence, Baumbach's reluctance to call the movie what it is. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
One Child Nation (2019) Kyle Smith The horrifying details of China's Holocaust of children emerge in a powerful documentary told by a woman whose family was one of the countless millions who suffered. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Armond White Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn is an embarrassment to white liberalism. Yet the film's shameless conceit is also a monument to white liberal narcissism. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019) Kyle Smith Christian Bale may be the leading actor of his generation. Not only is he a master of the technical stuff, but he also radiates the great intangible of star magnetism. In Ford v Ferrari, as in so many other parts, Bale simply owns the screen. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Midway (2019) Kyle Smith It's hard to find much merit in Emmerich's style -- frantic, breezy, shallow. Emmerich fills the frame with planes and flak and fireballs, yet the CGI just looks like... CGI. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
Doctor Sleep (2019) Kyle Smith Let's not hold [writer-director Mike Flanagan] to the Kubrick standard. The new film isn't a masterpiece. So what? It's a well-executed suspenser that radiates spooky unease. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Armond White While watching Dolemite Is My Name, one holds to the hope that Murphy will connect with Moore's shtick, but this film steadily disappoints its promise. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Harriet (2019) Armond White In Harriet, Millennial hindsight and historical revision come off as pompous and patronizing. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
American Dharma (2018) Kyle Smith Morris feels no need to paint Bannon as diabolical, not when the man is approvingly quoting Satan. Morris is merely taking after John Milton when he lets Bannon explain himself. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
The Irishman (2019) Armond White The overwrought Irishman resembles an American kabuki play about sin that also relishes sin. It epitomizes the degradation of "where we are today." EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
Jesus Is King (2019) Armond White Jesus Is King is a spiritual work thanks to its deep feeling -- pure expression brought to today's calamitous social condition. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
Black and Blue (2019) Armond White Black and Blue represents a form of commercial and political calculation too amateurish to call irresponsible; it's merely desperate. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
() Armond White Encore is a social-consciousness musical, brought back to challenge an era in which social consciousness itself isn't enough. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Kyle Smith We've all seen this stuff before, and the digital effects amount to a rehash of the cutting-edge 1991 mercury-man effect. So why bother? EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
Grâce à Dieu (2018) Armond White Ozon counters the trendy notions of "toxic masculinity" and victims seeking justice. This insight into masculine vulnerability makes the film remarkable. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Kyle Smith Has just about everything you look for in a funny movie: a fresh idea, swagger, a strong point of view, and gifted comic actors such as Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson. One element it's missing, however, is that it isn't funny. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Armond White Waititi's simplistic view of human behavior and political history isn't even as sophisticated as Indiana Jones's witty cultural summation: "Nazis -- I hate those guys!" EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019