Diane Pershing

Diane Pershing
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Malibu Times

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) The film's pace is deliberate, made with a documentary style-no histrionics, just raw determination and mounting tension. An important, engrossing work-highly recommended. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
71% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) I was alternately interested and bored by the repetition... Can you tell that I am not the demographic for this film? But at least it was good to see the talented and gorgeous Mackenzie Davis. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
82% Cyrano, My Love (Edmond) (2019) Do yourself a favor and follow the chaos, setbacks, frustrations and ultimate triumph of Rostand (Thomas Soliveres) that produced a masterpiece. You'll be glad you did. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) Ad Astra works well as a kind of quiet and reflective inner journey that feels more existential than formulaic, more adult than most sci-fi films. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
84% Downton Abbey (2019) Thank you, Julian Fellowes, for creating these people and their trials and tribulations; you've performed a service for us all. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
88% Hustlers (2019) The second half picks up the pace somewhat, leading to a resolution that tries to be about the enduring strength of female friendships but just feels artificial. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
88% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Alternating between performance clips from the past (oh, the bell-bottoms and the hair! oh, the amazing songs!) and today in retirement and surrounded by family, this is a moving, historically fascinating, thoroughly enchanting film. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
89% Blinded by the Light (2019) Yes, it has a fine multi-racial cast, but it's too long by at least 20 minutes, and after a while even The Boss's music becomes way too much of a good thing. Yes, it deals with racism and school bullying, but the story is predictable, the ending treacly. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
85% Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) The promotors lost their shirt but oh, what they created. Fascinating stuff. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) et al., we have a new toy (Forky) and another from the past (Bo Peep, voiced by Annie Potts), not to mention a magical toy store, and an ending that is bittersweet but just right for a finale to the series. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) I found the film lots of fun to watch, but by the end, the special effects -- amazing as they are -- took over and had a numbing effect. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
53% The Lion King (2019) I was enchanted by the amazing photography (bravo, Caleb Deschanel) and voice work of terrific actors (Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Seth Rogan) and the always-wonderful James Earl Jones. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
100% Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (2019) Do yourself a favor and catch this amazing one-hour stand-up routine. The woman is a treasure and not to be missed. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
90% Always Be My Maybe (2019) Wong and co-writer and co-star Randall Park work well together, each with different pacing and comic timing that successfully counterbalance the other. A perfect escape film. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) For those of us who have been there from the beginning, the three-plus hours went by without me once looking at my watch. I enjoyed how it delved more deeply into the characters with terrific back-and-forth banter of old friends. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
100% Knock Down the House (2019) We are struck by the honest passion of those who try to make changes, and we wish them well; they are, after all, the future. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
81% Long Shot (2019) It was fun seeing Theron-always elegant and, of course, gorgeous-lighter and sillier than I've ever seen her. And comical, clever Seth Rogen, formerly cast as the buffoon or best friend in movies, is now slimmed down and almost believable as her guy. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
87% Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019) This is a treat for those of us who care about books and ideas, and who are suckers for foreign films with subtitles. I raise my hand. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
60% Charlie Says (2019) Charlie Says is a small gem of a film...if you can bear re-visiting the entire horror story. I was reluctant to do so but am glad I did. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
92% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) It's the Disney version of nature, made palatable for the young set. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! is definitely a film for 15-year-olds, but might I suggest it's also for grown-ups who haven't seen their teen years in a very, very long time? - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
93% Us (2019) Peele is a gifted filmmaker, the ending is satisfyingly chilling and it boasts another brilliant performance by Lupita Nyong'o in a dual role. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) If you just want to see the result of groundbreaking computer restoration of hours and hours of black and white WWI footage that honors the centennial of the "war that was to end all wars," do see They Shall Not Grow Old. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
97% Free Solo (2018) Honnold's journey elicits audience-wide gasps, mixed in with an "Oh, my God" or two. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
67% The Isle (2019) I found myself mostly unimpressed. In fact, it felt like a predictable B movie from the 1950s, albeit with much better special effects. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Even if you're not a comic books fan, or not a "Spiderman" films fan, there will be something for you in this unique, creative, even daring cartoon adventure. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
85% The Wife (2018) The movie itself has its origins in Meg Wolitzer's 2003 novel, and its literary roots show too much, which is why it's not a great film. But worth seeing, for sure. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
74% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Daniel Stiepleman's script is more than serviceable and Mimi Leder's sensitive direction gets the job done. Not a masterpiece, but definitely worthwhile. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
96% Roma (2018) Cuarón's camera switches back and forth from long, deliberate takes interspersed with short, action-filled sequences. The black and white photography is simply gorgeous and exactly right for the story. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
78% Green Book (2018) But it is the performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, their on-screen chemistry, their characters' moments of quiet reflection and startling revelation, that make this a must-see. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) This much-hyped and eagerly awaited film has lots of dazzle, lots of talent, great new songs, gorgeous costumes....and is totally empty at its core. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
96% Becoming Astrid (Unga Astrid) (2018) Anchored by a brilliant performance by Alba August, this is a charming-yet-realistic small gem of a film. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
93% The Favourite (2018) Brilliant, brittle dialogue, three amazing female actors and a setting of the English court of Queen Anne (her reign was 1702-07) are enough to make this sumptuous, cynical and gorgeous film a worthwhile Oscar contender. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
91% Widows (2018) The widows' journey is spearheaded by the always-brilliant Viola Davis as a character who is quite buttoned-up with all kinds of depth just beneath the surface, doesn't hurt at all. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) [It's] not a great movie but is anchored by a standout performance by Melissa McCarthy (even though she simply cannot pull off a born-and-bred, tough New York broad) that makes it worthwhile. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
87% First Man (2018) The really standout performance is Claire Foy who makes "the wife" part into a pivotal role, a woman with inner fire, by turns put-upon, excited and exasperated by her husband... worth an afternoon or evening at the cinema. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
90% A Star Is Born (2018) If I have any nits to pick it's that there is too much music and it's too long. But so what? It's really good. Go see it. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
94% Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) If you miss him and if you missed this documentary when it debuted a few months ago, don't miss it now. I laughed and I cried. So will you. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
82% Quincy (2018) This Netflix documentary honors his career, but it's the focus on the man himself that sets it apart from others like it. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
96% Jane Fonda in Five Acts (2018) This HBO production is too long. And I found some of the modern day interviews somewhat self-serving and filled with inconsistencies. On the other hand, who among us can look back on long lives with total emotional and factual recall? - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
82% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) Michael Moore's new film is one of his more successful endeavors: a hard-hitting exposé of raging greed that disregards the horrific toll it takes on human beings. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
73% The Children Act (2018) It moves with deliberation and rich dialog, many silences, and thoroughly captures the surface charm and inner struggle for disengagement of Judge Maye. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
85% A Simple Favor (2018) "A Simple Favor" is a clever film, filled with lots of twists and turns-perhaps one or two too many?-and enhanced by two fine actresses, Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
83% Juliet, Naked (2018) It's a funny little film but it also has moments of profundity, such as wishing for do-overs when life makes that impossible... I recommend it highly. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
60% Operation Finale (2018) Operation Finale is not a particularly successful nail-biter; in fact, it can be downright dull at times. What a waste, because it's a great story - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Crazy Rich Asians is the perfect way to avoid reality, so if that sounds tempting, I suggest you avail yourself of its charms. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2018
97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) Bravo to the technical and location directors and the fine editing. MI: Freefall is sheer fun and, while it's much longer than usual at two-and-a-half hours, it's worth every tense moment. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2018
93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) I wanted to like it more than I actually did... But much of the humor totally escaped me and I walked out only mildly impressed. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) British filmmaker Tim Wardle has done an exquisite job of... weaving i[information] all together like a well-made mystery, full of twists and shocks and possible villains. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
98% Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) It is exemplary in explaining just who this Mr. Rogers was, warts and all. - Malibu Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2018