A.A. Dowd

A.A. Dowd
A.A. Dowd's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): AV Club Time Out Chicago
Publications: AV Club, Time Out Chicago

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
B- 83% Frozen II (2019) It's almost a reparations story, really, which would be more touching-and interesting-if the sacrifices stuck. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
C+ 67% Krampus (2015) Otherwise, this holiday-season fright flick never leaps far enough outside of its own box; the movie flirts with going full-on monster mash, with really cutting loose, but the mayhem is too little, too late. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
C+ 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) Compounding the already considerable disconnect between King's two stories, Doctor Sleep can't always seem to decide if it wants to be its own thing or a kind of throwback fetish object, a tribute to the cult of Kubrick. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2019
D+ 25% Countdown (2019) Forget cheating death. In Countdown, it's the audience that really gets cheated. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
A- 96% The Irishman (2019) This is the Scorsese of Silence, patient and methodical, and it brings out a subtle agony from De Niro one might have assumed the actor could no longer summon. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
100% Drácula (Dracula, Spanish Version) (1931) Certainly, there's a liveliness here that's noticeably absent from Browning's stiffer interpretation. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
D+ 50% 3 from Hell (2019) It makes you grateful for the laconic Michael Myers (Zombie's or Carpenter's), a psychopath with the common courtesy to shut the fuck up while spilling your entrails. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
C+ 42% The Laundromat (2019) With the exception of one inspired passage involving a family negotiating an uncomfortable secret, the vignettes don't hold much individual interest. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
B+ 88% Bad Education (2019) Cory Finley's Bad Education gets some real dramatic juice out of what became a national story, largely by building itself around a compelling personality. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
C 23% Lucy in the Sky (2019) You're left wondering why anyone would make the astronaut-in-a-diaper movie if they didn't want to make an astronaut-in-a-diaper movie. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
B- 91% Waves (2019) Right from the start, when the camera does 360-degree loops in a moving car while an anthem blares deafeningly on top, Shults treats his narrative as a coat-hanger for a style that's sometimes assaultive, sometimes expressive.. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
C+ 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) True satire challenges and provokes. This one offers free hugs. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B+ 94% Uncut Gems (2019) It's a performance as live-wire exciting as the one the Safdies got out of Robert Pattinson in Good Time. And the movie itself is exhilarating. Just bring a Xanax. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
A 97% Marriage Story (2019) Marriage Story can be as funny, in its sharp observations about behavior... But it's also a drama of startling insight and complexity, so confidently made (and so expertly shot on 35mm) that it evokes the art-house renaissance of the 1970s... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
B- 69% Joker (2019) Joker may cop its values, aesthetic and philosophical, from other films, but at least it has values. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
B- 96% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Heller, fresh off the sharp Can You Ever Forgive Me?, is the one mediating their communion, steering it away from schmaltz and into more honest and ...Rogersian sentiment. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
A- 97% Knives Out (2019) This, in other words, is one of those mysteries so clever and fiendishly well-engineered that you eventually have no choice but to stop trying to get ahead of it, to simply enjoy the way it plants and payoffs. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
B 78% The Truth (La vérité) (2019) The Truth, like so much of Kore-eda's work, is fundamentally minor; it has one of those slightly maudlin piano scores that he favors, much too blatantly announcing the wistfulness. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
B- 96% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) But while the act of gracefully condensing this big book into a coherent movie is indeed impressive, the truth is that said movie does end up feeling a bit like glorified cliff's notes, albeit ones enlivened by Iannucci's gift for volleying banter. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
B 84% True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) True History Of The Kelly Gang (Grade: B) turns out to be an at-once straightforward and intriguingly unintuitive take on the life of the famous bushranger and Australian folk hero. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
C- 5% Jacob's Ladder (2019) It was funhouse schlock with pretensions of seriousness, but a lot of its visual ideas oozed their way into the genre gene pool. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2019
B- 79% Good Boys (2019) In more ways than one, it's the training wheels for a better comedy-a slightly edgier and funnier one. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
B 78% Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Whenever Scary Stories is prioritizing the scary stories, it becomes a lively bit of supernatural-slasher hokum. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
B+ 91% Luce (2019) Luce lets such questions hang constantly and unsettlingly over its entire fleet running time. The plot turns out to be a puzzle with multiple pieces, falling gradually into place. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2019
B 64% The Mountain (2019) [A] strikingly glum midcentury drama. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
B- 83% Crawl (2019) Crawl is dumb genre fun, but it's not too dumb... If any one thing holds back this modest, skillfully made potboiler from true B-movie glory, it's the human drama. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2019
D+ 53% The Lion King (2019) It's as if every creative decision were subordinate to the film's misguided insistence on realism, on keeping the mannerisms and movements of these magically intelligent creatures "believable." - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
C- 42% Stuber (2019) The demands of action and comedy, however, are apparently much too great a weight for this action-comedy to Lyft. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
B+ 83% Midsommar (2019) This is, in other words, a less perfectly crafted nightmare than Aster's last one. But there's a deranged integrity to its sprawl, and to the filmmaker's willingness to embrace the darkest, most unsparing aspects of human desire. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
C+ 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) There's just little here that the X-Men series hasn't shown audiences before. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
C+ 75% The Traitor (2020) There's just no real perspective on Buscetta, which separates this brisk but uninvolving history lesson from the truly great mob movies. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
D 10% Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo (2019) In practice, however, the film is a slog of epic proportions, its trancelike repetitiveness threatening to destroy this critic's fragile grasp on time itself, ushering me into a new plane of star-child boredom. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B 59% Frankie (2019) The whole thing struck me as pleasant, nicely judged, and unremarkable, right up to a final shot so graceful and moving that it sent waves of poignancy backwards through the movie. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
C- 58% Matthias and Maxime (2019) There was a time when I used to wish that Dolan would settle down a little-the manic energy of his work could be exhausting. But if this is the alternative, I take it all back. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B- 60% Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, une lumière) (2019) You have to go back to basically the start of the French filmmaker's career to find him working in such a stylistically restrained register. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
A- 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Shifts tonal gears in total service of its class politics, infecting the film's breezy dark-comedy with notes of rage and melancholy. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B+ 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Even its missteps are kind of fascinating, as an expression of Tarantino's generational unease. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
B+ 92% The Lighthouse (2019) Dafoe, especially, digs his maw deep into Eggers' stylishly, flavorfully archaic dialogue, in a performance that suggests a live-action version of the sea captain from The Simpsons. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
A- 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) Far from some stuffy costume drama, it's a deeply stirring romance with a modern soul, and also a forcefully, compassionately feminist one... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
B- 46% Young Ahmed (Le jeune Ahmed) (2019) It's reasonably gripping on a scene-by-scene level, and about as starkly unsentimental as any of the Dardennes' lean, urgent moral thrillers. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
C+ 79% A Hidden Life (2019) We're meant, I think, to see A Hidden Life as a story of a man fighting to stay true to his beliefs, but Malick never successfully suggests any real temptation or doubt... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
B 85% The Whistlers (2019) A major change of pace for director and star alike. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
B+ 87% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2019) In a movie where just about every scene contains some inventive technique or choice, I was most taken with the way Diao boldly abstracts some of his action... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
B 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) There's plenty to admire, including the lead performance. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
B+ 70% Little Joe (2019) Creepy for how mundanely uncreepy it plays its scenario, Little Joe is an existential horror movie about our inability to understand our own complicated emotions, and the allure of relenting to a kind of thoughtless, unburdened happiness. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
B+ 100% Beanpole (Dylda) (2020) Balagov doesn't see his characters just as victims. He's as interested in their pathologies as he is in their dire circumstances. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
B- 96% Atlantics (2019) Most successful as a look at a particular milieu, which makes one wonder if Diop might have been better off just making a longer nonfiction film on the subject. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
B 85% Zombi Child (2020) Does this strange brew entirely coalesce? Maybe not, but what it has going for it is Bonello's typically seductive craftsmanship... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
C+ 85% Sorry We Missed You (2019) Loach doesn't know when to say when. He continues to labor under the misconception that he has to drop the whole weight of the world onto his characters... - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
B- 76% Les Misérables (2020) While I admired the one-day-in-David-Ayer-hell energy of the movie, I also found it bombastic and contrived. It's the police drama as police baton. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019