Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
97% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) Fact is, Sciamma doesn't trust the expressiveness of her medium; despite deft technique, she stages obvious agitprop. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
83% Queen & Slim (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
82% The Report (2019) Burns lacks a sense of urgency, so the movie feels like something that sat on a shelf since 2004. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
96% Marriage Story (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
62% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
74% Harriet (2019) In Harriet, Millennial hindsight and historical revision come off as pompous and patronizing. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) The overwrought Irishman resembles an American kabuki play about sin that also relishes sin. It epitomizes the degradation of "where we are today." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
83% Jesus is King (2019) Jesus Is King is a spiritual work thanks to its deep feeling -- pure expression brought to today's calamitous social condition. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
51% Black and Blue (2019) Black and Blue represents a form of commercial and political calculation too amateurish to call irresponsible; it's merely desperate. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
67% The Cotton Club Encore (2019) Encore is a social-consciousness musical, brought back to challenge an era in which social consciousness itself isn't enough. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) Ozon counters the trendy notions of "toxic masculinity" and victims seeking justice. This insight into masculine vulnerability makes the film remarkable. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) 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!" - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Bong is an unfunny extremist. In Parasite, he annihilates the concept of the nuclear family by setting a brood of lower-class con artists against an upper-class family unit. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) All these performances (Pain and Glory is the best-acted film of year) idealize complicated human relations. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
69% Joker (2019) Phoenix and Phillips turn Joker into a sociopolitical mishmash. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
83% Judy (2019) Judy's lapidary construction is a setting for Renée Zellweger's performance, which attempts a precarious tribute... Zellweger's sensitivity ensures that only a cruel viewer could ignore Garland's struggle against common obstacles. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
82% Socrates (2019) Trading on sentimentality, this type of storytelling coerces viewers by projecting social consciousness through juvenile media icons. Above all, the ploy is politically devious; the idea of innocence is manipulated as rhetoric. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
No Score Yet Tattoo of Revenge (Rencor tatuado) (2019) Tattoo of Revenge's kaleidoscopic cross-section of bohemian, underworld, and media types is such a sensual feast that it evokes the troubled temperaments of today's social disorder. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
91% Nashville (1975) Works of popular art are rarely so pertinent as to make viewers rethink their own lives. Seen today, Nashville fills in the intellectual, spiritual, and political chasm caused by Hollywood's juvenile Millennial escapism. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
88% Hustlers (2019) Hustlers is appalling. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
86% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Now that the fashionable Left has abandoned compassion -- and complexity -- this slicker-than-Michael Moore doc buries Roy Cohn as a paradigm for Machiavellian ruthlessness. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
88% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Ronstadt speaks of herself honestly and modestly, but the talking-heads tributes in this doc are trite. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
69% Bottom of the 9th (2019) A rare, affecting baseball film, it's also an unapologetic, unhip redemption tale. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
89% Blinded by the Light (2019) Blinded by the Light actually avoids everything that is interesting about cross-ethnic pop culture. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
97% American Factory (2019) [A] facile, generalized survey. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
100% Olivia (The Pit of Loneliness) (2019) Director Audry and her sister, screenwriter Colette Audry, made Olivia as artists, not activists. And the cast of exquisitely nuanced actresses exercised imaginative understatement. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
80% Good Boys (2019) Thor's final school pageant performance of "I Want To Know What Love Is," intended to express his sense of growing apart, is the single most mawkish and dishonest movie ending so far this year. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2019
100% Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas) (2019) Children could enjoy watching the story as an ever-changing fable, but adults will get more out of its depiction of multifaceted political art. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
22% The Kitchen (2019) The Kitchen is neither a good movie nor a reliable dramatization of female power. It is, in fact, a laughable insult to women and their social circumstances. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
90% Luce (2019) More than a battle of wills between a high-school teacher and her star pupil, the movie Luce uses that familiar premise to explore the beliefs -- and the fears -- by which our enlightened, progressive society lives. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Finally, Tarantino asks audiences to think about life -- not just the movies. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Thanks to Belkin, we can appreciate the difference between what Wallace called "tough questions" and what an irate interview subject called "rude." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
53% The Lion King (2019) Biblical and Shakespearean archetypes are trivialized by the new Disney. Its style of fake realism prevents one from imaginatively projecting onto the animation. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
96% I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari) (2019) Barbarians makes the nightmare of Communist oppression, and its continuing effect on the popular and artistic psyche, absolutely clear -- and pertinent. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
No Score Yet The New King of Comedy (2019) Stephen Chow has replaced Steven Spielberg as the world's most humane, unifying filmmaker. The latest proof is The New King of Comedy. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) This plot device, in which Spidey realizes duty and hormones, feels gimmicky to anyone not suckered by the Marvel-Pixar contrivance that makes formula analogous to "home." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
100% Toy Story 2 (1999) Toy Story 2 shows how pop art can disarm your loftiest objections with unexpected wit and genuine insight. "Magical" describes it but not its aspects that are superlatively humane. - New York Press EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
95% Control Room (2004) Control Room leave viewers susceptible to the deceptions of politicians and media charlatans. - New York Press EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) In this tragic new world, taste and feeling are ignored for fame and group-think correctness... Yesterday entertains this possibility as if it were fun. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
85% Liberty Heights (1999) It's atrocious. Twisted sociology. - New York Press EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Pixar continues to indoctrinate viewers into childish, compulsive consumerism. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
64% Our Time (Nuestro tiempo) (2019) In the nearly three-hour Our Time, Reygadas has gone completely worldly -- still aestheticizing nature and behavior, yet always bypassing the spiritual for the carnal. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) In The Dead Don't Die, Jarmusch's hipster sense of brotherhood is an assertion of perpetual liberal schmaltz. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
92% Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
54% Ma (2019) 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... - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
33% Domino (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) 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. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019