Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Amy Nicholson is the host of the Earwolf podcast <a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/the-canon/" target="blank"><em>The Canon</em></a> and critic for KPCC's Film Week. Formerly, she was the chief film critic for the MTV News and LA Weekly, editor-in-chief of Boxoffice Magazine and film editor of the IE Weekly. Her other credits include the Los Angeles Times, Movieline, LA CityBeat, and the MTV podcast <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/skillset/id1127962474" target="blank"><em>Skillset</em></a>. She has served on the jury for Sundance and SXSW, and screened submissions for Sundance, AFI, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Amy holds a double B.A. in Film Studies and Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma as well as a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. Her interests include hot dogs, standard poodles and comedies about the utter futility of existence. Her first book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Cruise-Anatomy-Cahiers-Cinema/dp/0714868019" target="blank"><em>Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor</em></a>, was published by Cahiers du Cinema. Reach her on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/theamynicholson" target="blank">@theamynicholson</a>.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) A film that just grows and grows and grows. It seems very quiet, but you are absolutely hooked. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
37% State Like Sleep (2019) This all unfolds so slowly that by the time it gets momentum... You're surprised that the plot suddenly has momentum. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
92% The Distant Barking of Dogs (2018) A really interesting "daily life" type of film where, over the course of it, you see Oleg and his friends shaped by internal stress. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
89% The Vanishing (2019) A nice little thriller to warm you up on the weekend. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
50% Escape Room (2019) The production design on this film is fantastic... I was dazzled from scene to scene. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
45% Second Act (2018) I loved the first half of this and thought that the second half got completely insane in a way I did not appreciate. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
34% Welcome to Marwen (2018) I didn't find it creepy -- maybe I'm just creepy! - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
74% Destroyer (2018) It sounds like a rote rote cop [movie], but the way that Karyn Kusama puts a spin on it: [Destroyer] is really about a woman who cannot deal with her own mistakes... I thought that this film had a real heaviness to it. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Incredibly sexy. It's nice to see a movie that's actually about passion. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
65% Aquaman (2018) The dumb parts of the movie are the best parts of the movie. I wish it had leaned into being more dumb. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
A- 64% Radioactive (2019) Satrapi collapses a century of innovation and destruction from the discovery of chemotherapy to Chernobyl into a flat timeline that Curie can see right through as though looking at an x-ray. In those moments of stylistic imagination, the film glows. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B- 78% Military Wives (2019) If you've seen even one based-on-a-true-story British misfit hobbyists movie, you already know the tune. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B No Score Yet Ready for War (2019) The doc's most controversial subject is El Vet, a masked veteran who stalks the film with a gun and his own hidden camera, which he uses to record his for-hire assassinations. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B No Score Yet Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator (2019) "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" is more than an indictment of a man. Orner cross-examines the community that protected a bully for four decades, ever since Bikram pranced before TV cameras flexing his pecs for a cheering audience. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B 100% Ordinary Love (2019) Very little happens on the surface of Owen McCafferty's script, as everything life or death is taking place inside Manville. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B- 70% The Platform (El Hoyo) (2019) Gaztelu-Urrutia's allegory is clear. What he's after, though, isn't as simple as eat the rich. He's curious about how the poor devour each other. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B 79% How to Build a Girl (2019) It's a young person's jam that will hit the right teen like a thunderbolt. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
88% Abominable (2019) In the film's most moving scene, Yi plays a solo so powerful it summons rain, flowers, and the Coldplay hit "Fix You." For an aspiring blockbuster, that culture clash is the cash-grab holy trinity. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
No Score Yet The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (2019) The cumulative assassinations begin to ache like a mysterious bruise, making the audience feel the psychic weight of living in fear. Yet, the style of the film is more teen soap opera than vérité miserablism. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
B+ 68% Angel of Mine (2019) It has a King Solomon-esque approach to taking the premise seriously, vacillating between jump scares and self-conscious good taste. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
29% Otherhood (2019) What makes it feel slightly heftier is that each of these actresses are terrific. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
86% The Nightingale (2019) The pleasure of this movie is slowly watching [Aisling Franciosi and Baykali Ganambarr] find their common ground, and Jennifer Kent doesn't make it easy for either of them in any step of the way. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
93% Luce (2019) I enjoyed this a lot -- I'm excited for people to argue about it when they leave [the theater]. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Mostly, the movie just putters along on two jokes: The Rock is very, very big, and Jason Statham compared to him (and not anybody else) is small. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
81% The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) I think people's mileage with this documentary will depend on how charming you think Benjamin Berman is... I didn't find him incredibly charming. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
97% American Factory (2019) It's really terrific and really relevant. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
88% Ready or Not (2019) It's predictable and sometimes a little bit unsteady... but it was fun. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
79% Good Boys (2019) This might be my favorite studio comedy of the year. - FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
C+ 45% Murder Mystery (2019) Every Adam Sandler comedy abides by a trope as hoary as "the butler did it." At some point in the shenanigans, Sandler's schlub has gotta get a chance to prove he's the bravest boy in the world. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
C- 61% Trial by Fire (2019) "Trial by Fire" is at its best when attacking the prosecution's bad science. Unfortunately, the film would rather try, and fail, to tug on the audience's heartstrings - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
B+ 51% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) The slacker enchantment of Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy transplants just fine to Generation Z's Manhattan, with its selfies and laser-lit noraebang parlors. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
C 94% Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) The irony at the core of the Dr. Ruth persona is that the maverick who made the bedroom public is herself incredibly private - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
C 83% Share (2019) "Share" is fragmented and disorienting, though one suspects that confusion is perhaps Bianco's point. Like Mandy, we're forced to spend the film grasping for facts. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 89% Sonja - The White Swan (2019) A frosty tale of a star who was more machine than human, "Sonja: The White Swan" is, like Henie herself, brash and dazzling and hard to love. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 86% Hala (2019) Geraldine Viswanathan can do gross-out humor and slapstick, but here she proves her range and, hopefully, longevity. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B 94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) As Belkin's brisk and compelling documentary fades to black, the director seems to hope that the Wallace quotation audiences cling to isn't one of his fanged questions, but his optimism for the profession to which he dedicated his life - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B+ 64% Them That Follow (2019) In Poulton and Savage's empathetic script, the only villain is Satan, who the locals blame for everything from asthma to sex. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B+ 54% Wounds (2019) Anvari plays to Hammer's strengths as a man who looks like he has it all until he opens his mouth - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 96% Clemency (2019) If Chukwu just wants the audience to witness Bernadine's burden, the script overplays its hand by questioning Anthony's guilty conviction. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C- 93% Little Monsters (2019) Nyong'o invests her teacher with such ferocious love, it's like she feared the Academy might see the film and retroactively revoke her statuette. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C+ 79% Official Secrets (2019) A dry and honorable retelling of events that exists mostly to remind us who she was, and why any potential whistleblowers out there should honor her example. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
A 96% Jawline (2019) "Jawline" prods the contradictions of the authenticity-industrial complex. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
A 100% Knock Down the House (2019) A tribute to the energy of every woman who pledged that in 2018 they would make a difference. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
A 96% Hail Satan? (2019) Lane sets out to subvert American history with intelligence and wit. Here, she asks us to question why certain religions are deemed "normal," even though, notes one Temple member, Catholic mass is all about the symbolic drinking of blood. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C 48% Corporate Animals (2019) A thin satire on the dog-eat-dog - make that man-eat-man - selfishness of modern capitalism, with a deliciously nasty lead performance by Demi Moore - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B 86% Koko-di Koko-da (2019) The film avoids gross-out shivers in favor of the quiet torture of expecting death behind every tree - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C 77% The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) Compared to Gibney's previous attack docs, "The Inventor" is more of a second-degree assault, scoring a few direct hits and a fair amount of whiffing at what proves to be a vaporous target. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 100% Selah and the Spades (2019) The film has more style than plot, but that style is terrific. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
C 90% I Am Mother (2019) "I Am Mother" is exactly what it seems: a good-looking allegory that postures like it's wrestling with more ideas than it actually is. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
C- 63% Bird Box (2018) Bird Box's pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code. There's good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018