David Stratton

David Stratton
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
David Stratton is a former Director of the Sydney Film Festival, former film critic for the international film industry magazine Variety, and is currently film critic for The Australian. A recipient of the Australian Film Institute ?s Raymond Longford Award, David has also served as a former President of the International Critics Jury for the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, authored two books, and is currently lecturing in Film History as part of the Continuing Education Program at the University of Sydney. David says, ?I had been the film consultant to SBS from its inception and then presenter of both the Movie of the Week and Cinema Classics for over 22 years. Both Margaret and I are grateful for the opportunities that SBS and The Movie Show have given us and have great affection for the network. So our decision to leave SBS is not a step we have taken lightly. But we are excited about the new challenge on ABC TV.?
Location: Sydney, Australia

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 97% Marriage Story (2019) This terrific movie, so honest, open, smart and touching, is a little gem. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Bell is terrific in the title role and the film as a whole is a confident combination of the amiable and the uncompromising. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
4/5 88% Emu Runner (2018) Emu Runner was clearly a labour of love for everyone who worked on it. It's a small film but one that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) For all those cinemagoers who have been enthralled by Almodovar's work over the years this very personal movie, with its superbly pitched central performance by Banderas, will be immensely rewarding. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
3.5/5 58% Balloon (2018) The film's main strength lies in its convincing depiction of what it was like to live under the restrictive totalitarian state that was East Germany. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
1/5 88% Ready or Not (2019) Even by its own humble standards the plot is poorly worked out (a few lame attempts at social commentary criticising the rich are feeble in the extreme) and the dialogue is wretched. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
4/5 89% Blinded by the Light (2019) The film feels authentic in its depiction both of Javed's family but also the changes that took place after what seems to have been akin to a religious conversion. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
2.5/5 40% Locusts (2019) Some talented actors are involved - including Andy McPhee as Ryan's friend - and Davis does his best to bring cohesion to the material, though the wobbly camerawork is, as always, an unnecessary distraction. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
4/5 100% Slam (2018) Overall, Slam is very impressive: it tells an important story in a convincing and enthralling way. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
4/5 83% Judy (2019) Garland must have been exasperating to work with, but Zellweger's performance goes right to the heart of what made her a superstar. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
4/5 97% Working Woman (2019) Ben-Shlush is excellent as Orna, while Noy exudes faded charm as the boss who treats his female employees shamefully. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
5/5 71% The King (2019) Adam Arkapaw's sombre, mellow cinematography is simply splendid and all elements of the production, notably the costumes designed by Fiona Crombie and Jane Petrie, are flawless. There's also a great music score by Nicholas Britell. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
3.5/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) Whether or not you've read the book, the film of The Goldfinch is definitely worth a look; it's no masterpiece but it's a whole heap better than many of the studio-made American films released so far this year. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) We've seen plenty of films about South American drug cartels, but Birds of Passage is unique as it depicts the very source of the problem. Guerra and Gallego show the inexorability with which the violence follows the money. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
4/5 90% The Souvenir (2019) Hogg's approach to this material is classical and literate. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
4/5 69% Joker (2019) ...a stark commentary on the human condition. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
3.5/5 75% Halston (2019) Meticulously researched and filled with colourful characters, Frederic Tcheng's absorbing documentary Halston will be essential viewing for anyone interested in the world of fashion. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
4/5 100% Buoyancy (2019) Sarm Heng gives a very appealing, natural performance as the naive Chakra, who witnesses some terrible things and eventually finds the strength to stand up against his oppressors. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) In-jokes abound and, though the material is slight, parts of the film are pretty funny. But it's a minor Jarmusch, with a running time too protracted for this type of thing. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3.5/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) It's a tasty idea for a space thriller, and Gray, with a great deal of help from his charismatic star and his cinematographer, Hoyte Van Hoytema, has produced a rich, suspenseful, intelligent outer-space epic. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
3.5/5 99% The Farewell (2019) There's plenty of humour, especially in the lengthy wedding sequence with its speeches and songs; but the film's main strength lies in its sympathetic examination of the differences between the Chinese who have never left China and their cousins... - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
4/5 68% Angel of Mine (2019) Angel of Mine is a domestic drama that nudges in the direction of a thriller and provides an entirely satisfying journey for the viewer. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3.5/5 83% Dogman (2019) Suffused with a very dark vein of black humour, the film is dramatically tense and emotionally raw. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
4/5 75% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) Despite a running time (more than two and a half hours) that would normally seem excessive for this kind of movie, Dragged Across Concrete is never boring. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
3.5/5 86% The Nightingale (2019) The Nightingale is a staggeringly powerful denouncement of the very worst aspects of colonialism - and also a moving portrait of a woman determined to seek justice in a world controlled by domineering men. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
2/5 96% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) The all-important films are shown in almost subliminal excerpts, offering today's audiences little opportunity to assess the place of this remarkable woman in cinema history. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
4.5/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Consummately acted by an unusually fine ensemble cast, the film will provoke and enthral, a sure indication the director has succeeded in making not only a handsome and nostalgic movie but also a challenging and subversive one. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
3.5/5 67% Danger Close (2019) Stenders and cinematographer Ben Nott stage the battle scenes with impressive hyper-realism, and editor Veronika Jenet's work is, once again, outstanding. Made on location in Queensland, the film feels thoroughly authentic. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3.5/5 50% Palm Beach (2019) The new Palm Beach is a world away from that likably rough and ready effort - it's a polished, visually lush and very likeable entertainment. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Camino Skies (2019) The challenging trek takes them and the viewer to some spectacular places but the crucial element of Camino Skies is the depiction of the love and support they give each other... - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
3/5 66% The Public (2019) Making a feature that pleads the cause of the homeless is a laudable achievement, so it's all the more unfortunate that Estevez is unable to eliminate some of the obvious flaws in an otherwise compelling, and timely, drama. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
3.5/5 59% Ophelia (2019) This visually handsome film, though it will probably annoy Shakespeare purists, proves to be a diverting entertainment. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
4/5 66% The White Crow (2019) The Nureyev story is a very good one, and Fiennes and Hare tell it well. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
3.5/5 96% Hail Satan? (2019) The conclusion to be drawn from [Penny] Lane's film is that these eccentrics may themselves be in danger... but they aren't much of a danger to the rest of us. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
4/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) Apollo 11... is quite simply an amazing film. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 88% An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) (2018) It's a rom-com for empty nesters and though it contains no surprises, Juan Vera's film is polished, occasionally astute and eminently watchable. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
3.5/5 90% The Third Wife (2019) It's certainly a curiosity for connoisseurs of Third World cinema. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
4/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart is such a smart, funny, rude, cheerful, likeable movie. It's well worth checking out, even if your school days are a distant memory. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
4.5/5 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Parasite is a subversive delight, and despite its hefty 2 1/4-hour running time is never dull because Bong keeps shifting the goalposts... - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
4/5 100% Mystify: Michael Hutchence (2019) Mystify is a terrific documentary, and as complete a portrait of this talented singer as you could wish. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
3.5/5 63% Yesterday (2019) On the whole, Yesterday succeeds partly because it is such a great idea and partly because those Beatles songs never fail to work their magic. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) Art and politics are explored in depth in this challenging but generally impressive examination of Germany in recent times, and though the film's running time is excessive, the story is a gripping one. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 93% Claire Darling (La dernière folie de Claire Darling) (2018) Claire Darling is far from being a major work, but it does showcase a late-career performance from a cinema icon. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3.5/5 58% Under the Silver Lake (2019) I'm prepared to give Mitchell the benefit of the doubt. His film looks great, and even though it lacks the discipline that might have made it a classic of its kind, it's well worth travelling down these mean cinematic streets. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
2/5 51% Tolkien (2019) Fans of Tolkien's writing probably won't discover anything new about the man from this film and the attempts to turn the Somme battlefield into a sort of fiery Middle Earth look painfully contrived. This is a minor biography of a major writer. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
3/5 68% Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (Astérix - Le secret de la potion magique) (2018) Devotees of the characters of diminutive Asterix and his hulking friend Obelix - and there are many - no doubt will celebrate that the latest film in the franchise is getting a cinema release, albeit a limited one. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
4/5 89% Rocketman (2019) Fletcher is one of the few directors working today who really knows how to stage this sort of lavish musical number for the camera. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
3.5/5 100% 2040 (2019) You can only hope that the time when this sort of optimism was scoffed at by climate change deniers is over and that our leaders will be moving with increased speed... - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
3.5/5 97% The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2019) Director Muayad Alayan, working from a screenplay written by his brother, Rami, has come up with a powerful, well-acted suspense film. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
4/5 97% The Heiresses (Las Herederas) (2019) This subtle, beautifully acted and in many ways remarkable debut is an exciting discovery from an unexpected source. - The Australian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019