Esther Zuckerman

Esther Zuckerman
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% The Irishman (2019) Fully engrossing for all of its 209 minutes... The Irishman is also -- true to form for Scorsese's best mob sagas -- remarkably funny with nearly everyone landing punchlines through the poetry of tough-guy language. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) There's larger social commentary here, but the root of the drama is about a man learning to embrace the emotions he's kept buried for years. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
88% Hustlers (2019) When all the pieces of Hustlers come together, you're left realizing just how full an experience this film is. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
96% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) [Marielle] Heller once again proves she is an incredible director of actors. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
99% Marriage Story (2019) The movie's power rests in the hands of Johansson and Driver. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
94% Uncut Gems (2019) In the end, it all comes back to Howard, who Sandler makes frustrating and captivating in equal measure. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
63% It Chapter Two (2019) The oddest part of Chapter Two is that, despite its length, it fails to earn the "epic" status it so wishes to earn. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) The cast is stacked with otherwise brilliant actors stuck in a borderline incomprehensible plot and forced to play second fiddle to monsters whose powers of wonder wear off fast. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) It's bizarre in a way that's sometimes funny-bad and sometimes just bad-bad. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) It's gag-a-minute filmmaking with zany, Looney Tunes energy, that covers a lot of plot at a brisk pace. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) It serves as a funny wrap-up to the events of the big superhero showdown, while also standing alone as an adventure for Tom Holland's endlessly appealing webslinger. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
83% Midsommar (2019) Hårga is such a rich tapestry of terror, designed to envelope you in its creepy embrace, that it's a perverse pleasure to spend time traipsing through its grass. You may even want to put on a flower crown. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Compared with most modern blockbusters, Detective Pikachu is contained, almost small, in its ambitions. But that's a relief, allowing viewers, among them nostalgic millennials and children, to bask in the charm of a Pokémon-filled environment. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Endgame reinforces that there's still a beating heart beneath all the machinery. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
63% Unicorn Store (2019) The movie practically begs you to indulge your inner child. But the adult in me prevailed, and I spent too much of the running time desperate to scream at the screen: Grow up already. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) Given the relative obscurity of the hero, expectations for his solo picture were essentially non-existent, so the film easily ends up rocketing past whatever hopes there are and landing in a place of pure delight. - Starburst EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) For a movie that clearly operates on a heightened plane, it actually feels relatively realistic. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
93% Us (2019) Much of Us feels like an excavation, and maybe even an exorcism, of Peele's childhood influences, all in an effort to make a grand metaphor about the callousness of America and its class system. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) The raw material is all there, but filmmaking itself does not yield any truly thrilling, resonant moments. The action sequences are rote, at times almost muddled. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
92% High Flying Bird (2019) There aren't any action scenes in High Flying Bird -- there's barely even any basketball in it -- but it's nonetheless thrilling, nimble, and funny, even as it does the hard work of challenging the idea that professional basketball is just entertainment. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
90% Big Time Adolescence (2019) Big Time Adolescence is something of a triumph for Davidson. It's a modest, familiar movie, certainly, with themes about growing older and leaving the people you idolize behind, but his weirdly compelling screen presence elevates it. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
63% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) The movie succeeds because of its deliciously catty soul. Even as it says that art should be about more than just spectacle, it relishes in the bitchiest of bon mots. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
97% Honey Boy (2019) Honey Boy -- with its winks at Transformers and sitcom conventions -- knows why we're watching and maybe that's enough. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
56% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) Very little in Extremely Wicked is speculative, which is perhaps why it's strangely lacking in any sort of menace. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) The initial Mary Poppins is also somewhat unwieldy, it's just a question of how inspired these modern diversions are. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
85% Dumplin' (2018) Dolly's always been a woman full of contradictions. Her honesty is coated with a thick layer of glam. Dumplin' is sort of a mess of these contradictions too. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Let the Coens take you on funny, yet incredibly depressing, journey through a vicious land. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
91% Widows (2018) Despite the widows' common goal, they are not chummy. They are bound solely by need, so there's a grimness to their mission. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
62% Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018) Though the script's characterization of Sierra is at times uneven, Purser figures out her mix of confidence and insecurity. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
14% Life Itself (2018) The movie wants so desperately to be clever, and just comes off looking lame. All this adds up to a film that thinks it's being charming and inspiring, but is instead merely a cruel joke on its audience. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
32% The Predator (2018) Black's new movie is less the goofy, garish sequel we were hoping for and more an act of universe-building. But, hey, at least there's a bigger, badder Predator on the scene, one that looks like he's been doing CrossFit. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
24% The Happytime Murders (2018) The Happytime Murders is as limp as a puppet without a puppeteer. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
97% To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) Like any teen story, To All the Boys has some growing pains... Still, we'll forgive it. Sure, it hits at core truths about new love. But it's still a fantasy, just not the bodice-ripping one of Lara Jean's teen daydreams. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
46% Like Father (2018) These flaws might be more banal, if not more forgivable, had the film not seemingly had its own ulterior motive for entering your living room. Unfortunately, branding plays a far more significant role than any of the human supporting characters. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2018
99% Eighth Grade (2018) Brilliantly elicits gulps of horrified recognition as it recreates the experience of that first teenage year... Eighth Grade is also a genuinely lovely story about a young woman not quite finding herself. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2018
80% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) I'm happy to report that Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is utterly delightful, a little deranged, and an actual improvement on its predecessor. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
55% Tag (2018) Mostly Tag is a series of tag-related set pieces that range from mildly amusing to tiring. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
92% Set It Up (2018) It's not perfect, certainly, but it's an emotional support blanket of a film, an old-fashioned rom-com led by stars with palpitating chemistry. - Thrillist EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2018
45% Red Sparrow (2018) In some ways, Red Sparrow feels like it was ripped from another era and not just because of its bend towards exploitation. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
56% The Greatest Showman (2017) [This] kind of insanity is really fun to watch. The Greatest Showman is a lot of things, but it's not boring. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) It's a constantly churning engine of wonder and excitement that grapples with elemental questions of good and evil that have always been the driving force of this universe. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
93% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) But in [Daniela Vega's] eyes you can see the buried trauma of losing a loved one and the repressed pain caused by the aggressions she's facing. - Mashable EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
40% Justice League (2017) Honestly, Justice League's main problem is that it's boring, and fails to convince me why I should care... beyond the fact that they are all famous cultural properties. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
84% Hello, My Name is Doris (2016) Doris may be a bit clueless, but the movie doesn't deny [Sally] Field her sexuality. - Refinery29 EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2017
93% Thor: Ragnarok (2017) I left Ragnarok completely happy. But I also wanted more from Hela and especially from Valkyrie. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2017
69% mother! (2017) If this is Aronofsky's acknowledgement of those he's hurt in his life, then it is grossly remorseless. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2017
85% Battle of the Sexes (2017) despite being aware of the outcome-I caught myself quite literally cheering when Emma Stone's King got a point off Steve Carell's Riggs during the big showdown. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2017
89% I, Tonya (2018) This is The Tonya Harding Show, and Robbie portrays her with an appropriately DGAF attitude. - Marie Claire EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2017
91% The Disaster Artist (2017) Inhabiting Wiseau's skin gives [James Franco] liberty to be as weird as he wants to be and it completely works. Even when Tommy's actions seem cruel, Franco's interpretation brims with sympathy. - Mashable EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2017
82% Molly's Game (2018) It's often a zippy, fun time, however-that is, if you can convince yourself to overlook its self-congratulation and mildly regressive gender politics. - Mashable EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2017