Caryn James

Caryn James
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 100% The Irishman (2019) Scorsese knows his audience and reputation so well that the film constantly plays with, and defies, expectations. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
100% Nightjohn (1996) Mr. [Charles] Burnett never sacrifices drama or emotions for the sake of neat themes and lessons, and his exquisitely real touch is matched by a superb cast. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
4/5 96% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) With clear-eyed rigour, Heller, Hanks and Rhys put aside cheap sentiment and earn this film's authentic heartfelt emotion. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 99% Knives Out (2019) Best to remember that those old movies Johnson embraces were really not that great, and to bring lowered expectations to his entertaining but scattershot update. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/5 85% Downton Abbey (2019) The film is delightful fun, even though the plot is obvious almost to the point of stupidity, and there are few surprises for the well-known characters, some of whom are handed unnecessary subplots to give everyone some screen time. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) John Crowley's adaptation of Donna Tartt's novel is beautifully photographed and eloquently told, but too emotionally muted for its own good. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
40% The Giant (2019) Well-directed but hollow and tiresome. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 96% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) What's missing, and what makes this adaptation an enjoyable romp rather than a great film, is Dickens's narrative pull. Iannucci is better at shaping scenes than he is at telling a story, so the film is a bit up and down. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
100% The Cave (2019) A stirring, tough, beautifully made documentary. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
43% The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Watchable but flat, with only occasional flashes of wit and feeling. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
26% Otherhood (2019) A banal, by-the-numbers waste of three first-rate actresses. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
4/5 53% The Lion King (2019) But if the new Lion King is not as seamless as the earlier versions, it is full of adventure and is just as sweetly engaging. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/5 62% Yesterday (2019) Danny Boyle's apparently simple style actually relies on a complicated balance of sweetness, naturalness, and big, bright settings. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
No Score Yet Blowing Up Right Now (2019) Painless and pleasant enough to watch, but there's nothing to set this comedy above a gazillion other, fresher works streaming all around us. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
92% Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese (2019) Full of eye-opening musical performances, the film also sparkles with tongue-in-cheek humor, and features contemporary interviews that are often far from what they seem. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
2/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) It's hard to be engaged when the characters themselves seem so detached. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
51% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Even by generic standards, The Sun Is Also a Star is simply misbegotten. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
4/5 97% Booksmart (2019) A female buddy film in the guise of a high-school partying movie, Booksmart is endlessly funny and outrageous, yet always grounded by its realistic central relationship. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
No Score Yet Two/One (2019) Two/One escapes the pretentious tone it might have carried thanks to the self-assured way he grounds characters in the vivid, precise, beautifully shot details of their lives. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
100% Blow the Man Down (2019) This atmospheric, expertly crafted little New England noir has droll dialogue, a female empowerment theme and a sly use of crime elements. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
3/5 81% Long Shot (2019) The least you can expect from a romantic comedy is that old-timey quality: it leaves you smiling. Sometimes that is enough. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
55% American Woman (2019) The film is lively and detailed enough so it is never boring, but it never takes off dramatically or realizes its intriguing possibilities either. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
94% What's My Name: Muhammad Ali (2019) An idealized but vivid and fascinating portrait of a career. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
85% Swallow (2019) The idea is cartoonish in its essence but the pic is shot and played with such straight-faced realism that Swallow becomes utterly ridiculous. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
75% Dreamland (2019) While Dreamland doesn't entirely overcome its familiar trajectory, the film is so stunning in every other way that its narrative shortcoming hardly matters. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
100% Leftover Women (2019) Erratic though it is, Leftover Women makes one important point. It reveals how much at least some parts of society still expect women to accommodate what's best for men. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2019
100% After Parkland (2019) Intimate, sensitively made and moving. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2019
86% The Seer and the Unseen (2019) Savvy, appealing and meticulously made. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
No Score Yet When I'm a Moth (2019) Earnest, pretentious and pointless. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
54% The Best of Enemies (2019) [W]hile it lacks the ambition to turn its obvious plot into a film that feels new, it also avoids the pitfalls of moral smugness and stereotyping. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
No Score Yet Does a fine, if unexciting, job of walking the line between capturing a lively character from Texas and explaining his research to a general audience. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
4/5 93% Us (2019) The film takes an unexpected, spectacular stylistic turn. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
100% The Garden Left Behind (2019) It's one thing to decide to make a movie about the struggles of the transgender community and violent attacks on it. But it's far harder to turn that message into a film as natural and graceful as The Garden Left Behind. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
54% Five Feet Apart (2019) What starts as a promising film that takes the disease seriously and might even raise awareness about its challenges quickly turns into a romantic melodrama that checks all the familiar boxes. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
92% Well Groomed (2019) An amusing trifle. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
100% The River and the Wall (2019) Visually stunning and politically sharp. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
83% Go Back to China (2019) Go Back to China is easy to watch, and at times even easier to roll your eyes at. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Captain Marvel may be good enough to satisfy the series' built-in audience, but might disappoint anyone expecting more. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
75% The Hottest August (2019) The Hottest August is ambitious and carefully thought-through, but its scattershot, no-context approach undermines it in the end. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 27% The Aftermath (2019) The Aftermath arrives as a mildly engaging trifle that might have worked better as a miniseries. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
94% Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (2019) Smart and entertaining, just like its subject. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
92% High Flying Bird (2019) A sharp-minded iPhone-shot look at high-stakes, behind-the-scenes action in the professional basketball world. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
80% Photograph (2019) A quiet charmer. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
96% Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) An informative, if unadventurous appreciation of a great writer. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
100% Midnight Traveler (2019) A valuable, first-hand refugees' story. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
89% Shooting the Mafia (2019) Roughly two-thirds of the film feels like a self-indulgent memoir, with all the selective memory autobiographies often bring. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
98% Maiden (2019) A rousing, real-life, feminist adventure tale. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
85% Dumplin' (2018) Dumplin' clings timidly to its YA roots, which are firmly on the unsophisticated side of the spectrum. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/5 78% Green Book (2018) Mortensen and Ali are a joy to watch, but Green Book is just a warm bath of clichés. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
4/5 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Willem Dafoe's magnificent performance captures every bit of the artist's complexity in Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate. - BBC.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018