Dennis Harvey

Dennis Harvey
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Film Critic, San Francisco Bay Guardian and Variety

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% The Dead Center (2019) There's a lot of excellent atmospherics here that are more unsettling than the actual violence, which in turn is all the more effective for largely being kept just off-screen. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
4% Mary (2019) This tale of nautical terror is one leaky vessel, despite veteran cinematographer Michael Goi's professionally competent direction and a cast well-equipped to handle more challenging, as well as more intelligent, material. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
95% Harpoon (2019) The energetic mix of mayhem and snark will appeal to those who like their comedy horrific and their horror comedic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
19% Semper Fi (2019) Though professionally smooth in execution, "Semper Fi" has the frustrating sum impact of a movie at fundamental conflict with itself. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
44% Cuck (2019) This downbeat drama problematically stacks the deck by levying just about every dysfunctional trait and scenario imaginable on its hapless protagonist. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
88% Red Penguins (2019) "Red Penguins" has the kind of stranger-than-fiction appeal that could lure both hockey fans and the puckless. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
22% Running with the Devil (2019) What might in other hands have played as a tragedy is lent further emotional distance by the fact that there are almost no innocent victims here. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
50% Bloodline (2019) It counts too heavily on the shock value of familiar ideas the script doesn't lift above contrivance, and which his direction treats with a deadpan restraint that doesn't fully pay off. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
87% Diamantino (2019) There is something to be said for a comedy willing to go broke for surrealism, and that is precisely the thing to be said for this eccentric feature by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt. - 48 Hills EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
80% There's Something in the Water (2019) If "There's Something in the Water" isn't the most sophisticated treatment of the issues it scrutinizes, it nonetheless makes a very convincing case for protections against environmental harm being applied equally to all members of society. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
71% The Sky Is Pink (2019) The emotions we witness and feel should have more force given the obviously stressful circumstances depicted. But they feel like all the edges have been sawed off to flatter both the subjects and principal actors. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
No Score Yet Atlantis (2019) This is a strong piece of poetically pure art-house cinema that finally offers a ray of hope for humanity's future - not just the Ukraine's, as this largely depoliticized statement is one of universal relevance. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
68% Guns Akimbo (2019) Anyone with an attention span above ADD levels... is likely to find this undeniably slick, energetic contraption plays somewhere between grating and numbing. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2019
79% Sea Fever (2019) Some recognizable cast names and enough action to fill out a trailer should make this a viable acquisition item, but TV director Neasa Hardiman's first feature will play as a slow night's forgettable time-killer in any format. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
88% Tammy's Always Dying (2019) Competently crafted, "Tammy" is too glib to be poignant and too defeatist to be amusing. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
68% Haunt (2019) Delivers a satisfying quantity of creeps and frights that more than compensate for the occasional lull. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
64% The Other Lamb (2019) After a while, all these visual poetics start to feel like a pretentious means of suggesting enigmatic depth where there really is none. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
90% Calm With Horses (2019) An engrossing tale that should do reasonably well in home-format placements, and give a definite leg up to the director and his principal collaborators. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
75% The Vigil (2019) The cultural context adds novelty to an effectively creepy, small-scale chiller that does a nice job eking suspense from its simple story and limited setting. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
50% American Son (2019) Worthy yet heavy-handed, too often coming off as an editorializing lecture or essay in thinly fictionalized form. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
No Score Yet The Elder One (Moothon) (2019) A handsome, accomplished piece of work. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
82% Color Out of Space (2019) It's disorderly fun that sports a directorial personality distinct enough to make one grateful for Stanley's return. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
78% Jungleland (2019) It's the kind of enterprise that has everything but a single fresh idea, or even moment. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
84% Synchronic (2019) "Synchronic" is more accomplished in its packaging than its content. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
73% Blackbird (2019) It works admirably well - at least to a point, at which some viewers may feel Torpe piles on one crisis too many. Nonetheless, this is a quality enterprise with numerous rewards for adult audiences... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
83% Blood Quantum (2019) Despite sufficient gore, there's more style than bite to this undead opus, which does not excel at scares or action set-pieces. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
65% Human Capital (2019) The solid performances and assured packaging make this a reasonably engrossing tale set in a convincingly upscale burg where some less-prosperous citizens are trying not to make their anxiety too obvious. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
71% I Am Woman (2019) This pedestrian biopic doesn't really convey the distinctiveness of Reddy's appeal, let alone package it in a way likely to trigger a significant revival of interest in a major star largely forgotten now. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
59% While at War (Mientras Dure La Guerra) (2019) It's insufficiently moving as character-driven piece, but also lacks the urgency and suspense needed to make larger events vivid. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
85% Empathy, Inc. (2019) A clever indie suspense that draws on fantasy-tinged notions of virtual reality and identity exchange to create an ingenious tale more in the realm of an intimately-scaled thriller than sci-fi. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
50% Bennett's War (2019) Modest but enjoyable, with some exciting race footage, it should provide an inviting alternative for audiences on the lookout for inspirational family-friendly fare... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019
18% The Fanatic (2019) This paralyzingly awkward combination of "I Am Sam" and "The Fan" (either version) plus a little "Misery" - OK, make that a lot of misery - does truly impress in all the wrong ways. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2019
100% Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) There's considerable pleasure to be had here, particularly in the interweaving of several decades' performance clips in various staging styles and languages. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
58% Burn (2019) A passably diverting, moderately offbeat but also instantly forgettable hybrid that doesn't even rank among the best truck-stop-in-crisis movies... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
38% The Divine Fury (2019) At over two hours, all this takes far too long, frittering away the frights and fun in too much somberly nonsensical dialogue and incongruous maudlin moments. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
10% ECCO (2019) There's more repetition and ponderousness than compelling intrigue in the end result here. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
86% The Father's Shadow (A Sombra do Pai) (2018) Not entirely satisfying, it's nonetheless a curiously poignant fable of profound premature loss, both enhanced and somewhat muddled by its slippery occult elements. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
No Score Yet Sator (2019) Anyone can pull off a jump scare or three. Graham immediately manages the considerably more difficult task of conjuring a mood of general dread, suffusing ordinary settings with supernatural unease. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
88% Bliss (2019) It is certainly not for everyone, but those eager for a walk on the wild side will find those expectations fully sated. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
No Score Yet Black Magic for White Boys (2019) For those who grok his amiably misanthropic, offhand brand of humor, it will comprise another satisfyingly idiosyncratic chapter in a singular career... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
No Score Yet Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019) Those with a simpatico arcane pop-cultural taste for giddy absurdism will find "Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway" as delightfully nonsensical as its inspired title. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
83% Mystery Of The Night (2019) Eventually grows too humorlessly turgid to be as impactful as intended. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2019
80% Coyote Lake (2019) A sluggish mix of thriller and drama that lacks the suspense required in one department and the depth needed on the other. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
No Score Yet SHe (2018) A wordless, spectral nightmare of anthropomorphized gender conflict and implicitly feminist commentary whose visual invention will impress even those put off by its cryptic, frequently unpleasant narrative content. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2019
90% The Wretched (2019) This polished, well-paced middleweight nightmare will please most genre fans, while announcing the writer-directors as ready for major-studio assignments. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
80% 1BR (2019) The premise remains intriguing enough to make "1BR" a qualified success, albeit one whose ideas sometimes cry for a more adventuresome and assertive treatment. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
95% The Deeper You Dig (2019) A nicely economical tale of supernatural vengeance that benefits from its small scale and lived-in atmospherics. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2019
67% Lying and Stealing (2019) Yet even given its budgetary limits and second-tier cast, "Lying and Stealing" manages to be a retro escapist pleasure - one whose cleverness might actually have been muffled by flashier surface assets. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
61% Trespassers (2019) A weekend getaway goes sour even before the corpses start accruing in "Trespassers," a good-looking indie thriller that's diverting, but could have used another script draft or two. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
82% Socrates (2019) [Moratto] imbues this unhappy slice of slum life with an energy and compassion that transcends mere miserabilism. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019