David Keyes

David Keyes
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
A love of films. A love of the written word. What better way to combine them? I started this little movie reviewing gig on the 'net back in 1998 when I was just 17. At the time, the idea wasn't exactly a developed one on my part (I never even fathomed the concept until it was suggested to me by a high school instructor), but once it began, it was as if I was physically incapable of stopping. For that year and the next, film criticism was life. On a personal level, it was also a visceral experience, something that I and I alone could do without having my work comprimised by some kind of looming superior (I guess school gives you that mentality naturally). For a time following the whole K-12 thing (and even a bit into college), I wanted this to be a career. Unfortunately, time and dedication, especially in isolation, tends to build walls around your ego -- thus, I was put off by the impending notion that I couldn't have complete control over my own material in a paid profession, so the idea went from being a career goal to a recreational hobby rather quickly. Thankfully, I wasn't as defensive about my other Journalistic talents, so I didn't give up on the vocation entirely. I currently freelance for publications whose primary audiences are those that thrive on information-gathering, and the prospect of objective and thorough reporting is an art in itself. But one doesn't write just for the sake of writing, either; it has to be something engaging on a personal level, otherwise your wasting your time. Though movie reviewing has taken a back-burner in recent years to other things, it has nonetheless lived on in some capacity -- and for the sake of staying up with the times, that simple old free Geocities site I opened in the summer of '98 was moved to its own fully-paid server in early 2004. Cinemaphile.org is the culmination of all that work, and I'm proud that I am able to keep up this little hobby in a way that doesn't seem easily disposable. I love the movies and I love writing about them, and I intend on keeping the hobby under my belt as long as people are still willing to hear what I have to say.
Favorites:
Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries" John Boorman's "Excalibur" Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" Joel Coen's "Fargo" Jonathan Demme's "Beloved" William Friedkin's "The Exorcist" Christophe Gans' "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Mary Harron's "American Psycho" Werner Herzog's "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" Meyno Meyjes' "Max" Bill Paxton's "Frailty" Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" Alex Proyas' "Dark City" Ridley Scott's "Alien" Quentin Tarrantino's "Pulp Fiction" The Wachowski Brothers' "The Matrix" Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: Troutdale, Oregon
Official Websites: cinemaphile.org

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/4 92% The Lighthouse (2019) A total exercise in style, brought to glorious excess by showy performances and visual gimmicks right out of an ambitious nightmare. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
1.5/4 69% Joker (2019) If Arthur Fleck reflects the same cultural alienation that creates mass shooters and serial killers, the movie cuts away too often to establish a cogent argument. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
3.5/4 84% Ad Astra (2019) The movie is an audacious, agonizing, engrossing meditation on personal isolation. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
3/4 88% The Burning (1981) Instead of recycling the sort of artificial showmanship that usually informed most of the violence in the early horror franchises, the movie creates a convincing aesthetic. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
3/4 62% It Chapter Two (2019) There are a great many moments and sequences scattered across "It Chapter Two." On the other hand, audiences might take issue with there being so many. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
0/4 15% The Condemned (2007) One of the most deplorable movie-going experiences of my life. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
3.5/4 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) The movie's greatest strength is in how it isolates precious moments among characters - some loving, others sad, many foretelling of darker realities. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
1/4 35% Children of the Corn (1984) This is not a story that was ever destined to work on film. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
2.5/4 50% Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe (The Tenderness of Wolves) (1973) Part of what distances us from indulging the story's approach is our inability to see him as the madman painted by history books. His crimes are so simplified, even reduced. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
3/4 83% Midsommar (2019) As a stamina test, the movie is as exciting as it is startling. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
4/4 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) One of the most striking and profound discoveries of the year. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
3/4 71% Christine (1983) One of the more effective screen treatments of the era, however corny or preposterous it may remain on paper. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
1.5/4 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) A thoughtless and mechanical descent into nonsense, with nothing standing at the center other than a myriad of conflicting arcs and questionable motives. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
4/4 84% Last Tango in Paris (1972) In this age where the human behavior system is rarely an important facet in film narratives, here is a picture that still throbs with all the pain and misery of its deep emotional wounds. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
3.5/4 100% Zelig (1983) If the sum of Allen's career can be seen as a series of destinations on a road to self-discovery, then this strange, off-the-cuff "mockumentary" provides the most unlikely roadmap. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
1/4 58% Under the Silver Lake (2019) This isn't a creative dive at all, it is a suicide bomb masquerading as an audacious shift in direction. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
0.5/4 5% Movie 43 (2013) By the end you can't entirely be sure whether you have watched a film or participated in a eulogy for the careers of its participants. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
3/4 93% Us (2019) Peele is slowly emerging as one of the most exciting provocateurs of modern horror films. "Us" is further proof of that. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
3/4 100% The Head Hunter (2019) Less perceptive sorts would have you believe Downey is crippled by his shoestring budget; in truth, he turns it into the conduit for a very solid descent into a thrilling little mystery. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3.5/4 70% Climax (2019) A work of visceral madness. Profoundly engrossing. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
4/4 94% Transit (2019) Phenomenal. A near-perfect lament on conflicted human behaviors. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 85% The Hole in the Ground (2019) The Hole in the Ground shows a promising talent finessing the notes of his song without formulating it into plausible music. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
1/4 24% The Happytime Murders (2018) 90 minutes of laughless, mean-spirited hogwash - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
3/4 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Decent and watchable, without being nearly as resonant as it should be. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
1/4 7% The Emoji Movie (2017) You know you are in the middle of something cynical when the most interesting character in a cartoon is a walking digital hand whining about no longer being popular. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
3.5/4 89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) There is an undercurrent beneath the frames that goes to the bloody heart of the matter, giving a wondrous sense of dramatic desperation to each of the characters as they move through this macabre labyrinth. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
1/4 13% Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989) If it's laughs you are after, however unintentional, this movie provides all the precious morsels. Starting with the idea that anyone felt the need to make it. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
0.5/4 40% Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) An insult to anyone in the audience who has two brain cells to rub together. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
3.5/4 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Even cynics of this formula will leave the theater feeling thankful for the chance to engage with a delightful spectacle rather than a pointless retread. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
3.5/4 92% Dogtooth (Kynodontas) (2010) We watch on and on - sometimes in horror, often in confusion, and always in complete awe of its strange and perplexing energy. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
1.5/4 49% Twilight (2008) Like most great psychological lessons in the hands of novices, this is a story far more interested in dancing to rhythms than understanding melody. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
4/4 89% Hell House LLC (2015) This is not a movie manufactured from within the conceit of aspiring filmmakers hoping to make a low-budget wave, either: what these people have created is a credible descent into the material. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
4/4 93% The Favourite (2018) Lanthimos has made a film that plays like a diabolical union between Ken Russell and Robert Bresson, full of savage rhythms and emotional distance. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2019
1.5/4 33% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Whatever merits we attach to the first film in this series, they are all but abandoned somewhere in the mess of a follow-up. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2019
3/4 58% The House That Jack Built (2018) In between killings and mutilations are verbal rationalizations that underline the violence with startling clarity. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
4/4 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Unpredictable and masterful. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
2.5/4 90% A Star Is Born (2018) A Star is Born is well-intentioned, but wants to play it far too safe for any of the good objectives to resonate. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
1.5/4 59% The Grinch (2018) The concoction of overpaid simpletons who have opted for a more literal subtext and undermined the very spirit of the source in the process. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 36% Hunter Killer (2018) Far from being earth-shattering but competent enough to be worth a glance on a weekend matinee. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 29% Venom (2018) A movie that pushes any intellectual connotation warrants much more careful and precise technical values. Halfway through this film and I was ready to pop an ibuprofen. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/4 96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) Sharp and perceptive, unfiltered, confrontational, and driven by a deep dramatic current that sees reality without varnish or sanitation. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 66% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) At some point during the film, when my pessimism ought to have overwhelmed the occasion, I simply forgot I was an adult and descended freely into the material. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 95% We Are Still Here (2015) There is a skill working through the frames of director Ted Geoghegan's debut opus, providing us with enough allure and tension to more than make up for the maddening uncertainty. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
0/4 38% Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) All the dramatic cues are there, and many of the faces convey an eagerness that is admirable, but every simpering scene of false sincerity moves to the rhythm of some shallow after-school special. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2/4 46% The Meg (2018) The movie is a long and absurd exercise in kitsch, without any high aims and even fewer incentives to inspire more than a passive glance. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 56% The Greatest Showman (2017) Almost everyone involved here was working in the full scope of their abilities. Perhaps one day they can even collaborate on something with more than just a shoestring screenplay. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
1/4 42% Rock of Ages (2012) One does not so much watch the movie as they stare on in maddening disbelief. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 83% Blockers (2018) A picture in the spirit of the early Farrelly brothers comedies, where a premise usually functioned as the glue holding together a mass of gross-outs. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
0.5/4 17% Father Figures (2017) A movie entirely without consequence, about people we don't care much for, a plot of impossible silliness, and situations that seem hauled through the grinder of exhausted mid-tempo farce. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
0.5/4 43% La casa sperduta nel parco (House on the Edge of the Park) (1985) What we are left with is a bunch of clueless faces standing around, submitting to the cause of a mistaken screenplay, and a director who has studied nothing of mood or context. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018