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
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Armond White In The Dead Don't Die, Jarmusch's hipster sense of brotherhood is an assertion of perpetual liberal schmaltz. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019) Armond White Here's the problem: Scorsese, whose moralistic ethnic thrillers or genre fantasies are politically evasive, picks up the usual leftist cant... The voice-of-a-generation routine is not helpful to a new, politically disingenuous era. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
The Dead Don't Die (2019) Kyle Smith The Dead Don't Die is a movie that promises to do very little and lives up to its promise. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019) Kyle Smith With a glorious deadpan worthy of This Is Spinal Tap, which was itself a spoof of a Scorsese film featuring Dylan, Dylan and Scorsese have made a rock movie that lampoons the shaman-troubadours of rock. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Ma (2019) Armond White Ma's humor works best in its trailer, while the film itself is only fitfully funny. This isn't only a matter of Taylor and Landes's ineptitude and incoherence; Ma is the most strikingly conflicted Hollywood movie of the season... EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
Funan (2019) Kyle Smith Funan isn't merely first-rate for an animated movie, it's important by any cinematic standard, and implicitly it shames the world's leading film hubs for almost completely ignoring this bloody chapter in history. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
Late Night (2019) Kyle Smith Cute contrivances, gags beaten to death, weak one-liners, thin characters. I laugh more in any five minutes of Catastrophe or Veep than I did in this entire movie. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Kyle Smith Dougherty's team of screenwriters might as well have named their human creations Stock Characters 1 through 8. There is nobody present whom you would be upset to see get flame-broiled by a 165-foot lizard. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
Domino (2019) Armond White Each character's desperation and personal motivation are vivid; the global nightmare is conveyed with such quick efficiency that Domino plays like a B-movie dream of a great De Palma film. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
Running With Beto (2019) Kyle Smith The director of the film is otherwise so unable to generate any heat from his room-temperature candidate that he hands over scenes to fans and volunteers, some of whom are much more colorful. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Rocketman (2019) Kyle Smith Credit must be given to [director Dexter] Fletcher for bringing in a lot of ideas. Unfortunately, just about none of them are good ones. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
Aladdin (2019) Armond White Director Guy Ritchie's hackwork in this musical adventure film performs sleight of hand, moving so fast that his razzle-dazzle blurs any sense of personal ethnic insight. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
() Kyle Smith ABC's live presentation reminds us that The Jeffersons was the more interesting show... Oscar winner Jamie Foxx turns out to be very funny mimicking Sherman Hemsley's nervy-bantam performance as George Jefferson. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
Echo in the Canyon (2018) Armond White Echo in the Canyon prizes class opportunity and artistic consciousness. It promises that musicians who stay true to their muse don't then have to make exasperating soundbites. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
Aladdin (2019) Kyle Smith Ritchie's Aladdin is a whole old world, almost a scene-for-scene remake, except this time with three comprehensively dull actors playing Aladdin, Jasmine, and Jafar. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
The Cold Blue (2018) Kyle Smith Surprising and strange and funny but above all horrifying. The level of everyday heroism on offer almost surpasses our capacity to absorb it. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2019
John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Armond White [Director Chad] Stahelski knows there's pleasure in movie kinetics. The sheer nerve of the relentless fight scenes is hilarious, and their proficiency is cinematically gratifying. Parabellum lifts him to action-movie heights. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Kyle Smith So the writing is video-game thin. But if you take the film in the spirit in which it is intended, as a series of elaborately choreographed set pieces, it's thrilling enough, at least at the beginning and the end. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
Pasolini (2014) Armond White This gives Salò, and the figurehead that Ferrara and Dafoe create from Pasolini's artistic courage, great and undeniable significance amid the political hypocrisy and artistic crises of today. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2019
Furious 7 (2015) Armond White Furious 7 works on the simplest level: Bad guys die, good guys win. Success. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
Tolkien (2019) Armond White Giving priority to Peter Jackson's blockbuster doesn't make what Tolkien lived through profound; it distorts historical and cultural reality... All of life is seen as a boyhood tentpole adventure. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
Double Lives (2018) Armond White The film becomes insufferable when Assayas's perspective generates approval rather than criticism... Assayas resists judging his characters and winds up praising them. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
Tolkien (2019) Kyle Smith A pleasing if somewhat routine bildungsroman about the disturbingly Dickensian youth and happily Dickensian rise of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
Meeting Gorbachev (2018) Kyle Smith The director's sympathetic attitude toward his subject makes the film that much more damning. Herzog was not seeking to nail Gorbachev... Like other Herzog subjects, the former Soviet leader loosened up enough to reveal more than he intended. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Shadow (2018) Armond White Most remarkably, the film's political conspiracy and moral fascination contain such depth of insight that Shadow achieves what deserves to be called visual Shakespeare. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
Double Lives (2018) Kyle Smith The films of writer-director Assayas are subtle to the point of inviting varied interpretations... I'm not sure being hard to pin down is admirable, but as usual his latest effort rewards attentive viewers. It's pleasingly tricksy and loaded with subtext. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
Apocalypse Now (1979) Armond White Although Apocalypse Now is not a great movie, it shows a still-impressive, politically inspired ambition -- a reminder of why film culture matters... Mixing pessimism with astonishment, it expanded cultural unease on a grand 70mm scale. EDIT
Posted May 1, 2019
Iron Man 2 (2010) Kyle Smith Iron Man 2 would be surpassed by some other offerings in the MCU, notably the first two Captain America movies, but it remains one of the smartest and least silly chapters in the 22-film extravaganza. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Armond White Endgame's three-hour length suggests profundity, but each bout of knuckle-busting between the specially gifted vigilantes and the demonic Thanos either panders or, at best, is merely redundant. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
The White Crow (2018) Armond White The film is clear-eyed about immigration because it focuses on a privileged artist's selfishness, the part of his humanity that is inseparable from his ambition and probably inherent to his talent. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Kyle Smith This three-hour epic is more or less what we were all looking for. Regardless of whether the Avengers saga goes on, this one satisfyingly closes the book on its first era, eleven years that remade the movies. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
Mary Magdalene (2018) Kyle Smith One glance at Joaquin Phoenix being morose and anguished and weirdly sinister and the people of Judea would not have said, "Tell us more, teacher." They would have dialed IX-I-I. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
Fast Color (2018) Armond White By bringing lead singer Poly Styrene's eccentric musical and political wit into Ruth's already mysterious saga, Hart interprets the millennial black girl's plight in her own, fresh way -- as universal. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2019
Red Joan (2018) Armond White Red Joan's sentimental exoneration of one woman's treason and sedition fits with how today's media pay tribute to the kaffeeklatsch of political resisters. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2019
The Searchers (1956) Kyle Smith Apart from its stunning Monument Valley photography, The Searchers is mostly hokey and thinly written. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978) Kyle Smith Get Out Your Handkerchiefs is a farce played absolutely deadpan, with such an exaggerated solemnity that it baffled the kinds of critics who like to be properly alerted when it's time to laugh. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists (2018) Kyle Smith To guys like Breslin and Pete Hamill, a dive bar was an office where you met the characters, learned the secrets. Who does that anymore? EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Support the Girls (2018) Kyle Smith A canny, sophisticated, well-observed workplace comedy. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Shazam! (2019) Kyle Smith The screenwriters, Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke, prove unable to elevate the material beyond its 1970s Saturday-morning-television feel. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
Sauvage (2018) Armond White Sauvage/Wild is surprising and compelling for scenes that constantly convince you of Leo's sympathetic humanity, whether he is being childlike, naïve, angry, tender, filthy, or troublesome. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2019
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) Kyle Smith What the point of any of it is, I couldn't say. It's all jumble and stumble. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
Native Son (2019) Armond White The fact that we cannot escape Bigger Thomas's ghost is partly due to Johnson and Park's fashionable decision to subvert Wright's cautionary book and turn out one more urban-tragedy scenario, now carrying the imprimatur of HBO slickness. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2019
The Best of Enemies (2019) Armond White Atwater and Ellis's personal development is superficial but at least the movie doesn't drag the actors through trendy cynicism. Bissell and his performers admirably sentimentalize a small but historic accord. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
Peterloo (2018) Kyle Smith It may be that Leigh thinks Peterloo is so criminally neglected by history that he had to abandon his customary understatement and grab us by the lapels. Unfortunately for him, nobody likes a two-and-half-hour rant, no matter how loudly delivered. EDIT
Posted Apr 8, 2019
Peterloo (2018) Armond White Leigh's nearly great Peterloo succumbs to the derangement syndrome now common in British and American political rhetoric. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
The Highwaymen (2019) Kyle Smith It's a pleasing tale of resourceful, hard-nosed cops that's also something of an essay on cinema and society. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
The Brink (2019) Kyle Smith Director Klayman is less tendentious than most political documentarians, eschewing narration and not pushing viewers too hard... EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Dumbo (2019) Megan Basham It's fine, but far too familiar and doesn't hold a candle (or a feather) to the original little elephant that could. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Us (2019) Armond White Interpreting Peele's silliness doesn't go beyond his trivializing black American deprivation into junk-movie entertainment. And no intelligent moviegoer should be impressed by his tonier affectations, which are mere sketch comedy. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
Dumbo (2019) Armond White Now Dumbo, and the culturally unifying ideas that classic American movies once communicated, no longer take flight. Dumbo and our cultural heritage are forgotten and get chewed up in contemporary cynicism. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019