Francis X. Friel

Francis X. Friel
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Film critic at Moviejawn.com and MountainX.com.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
.5/5 40% Leap! (2017) Heavy-handed, hideous and humorless, the talented supporting voice cast can't do much with this tripe that even the little kids in the target audience will assuredly rip to shreds on the way home. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 28% I Do... Until I Don't (2017) The new indie rule would seem to be, why have something to say when having nothing to say is just as viable an option. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 33% Home Again (2017) Is there anything less relatable than rich, successful white people whining about how hard they have it? - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 89% The Midwife (Sage femme) (2017) Provost delivers Ozu by way of Chantal Akerman in this razor-sharp portrait of troubled, dreary, ordinary lives. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 34% American Assassin (2017) How on Earth is this from the same guy who gave us L.I.E. and 12 and Holding? - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 79% Brad's Status (2017) A good cast and an OK script are let down by directorial fumbling and an ending that leaves you wondering just what exactly, if anything, the film was ever trying to say. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 55% The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) The low point of the Lego franchise drops the ball hard by being a warmer, fuzzier retread of the first two films. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 17% Friend Request (2017) Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and let a movie jump-scare you for 95 minutes. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 4% Flatliners (2017) A heartless remake of already brain-dead material. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 48% My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) A dream of dark and troubling things. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 80% Marshall (2017) Young Mr. Lincoln by way of the Hallmark Channel. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 71% Happy Death Day (2017) Turns out being a shameless Groundhog Day rip-off is not the worst thing that can happen to your movie. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 5% Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017) This film is a cinematic hate crime. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 16% Geostorm (2017) At least they tried to go weird with it, which I will always appreciate. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 33% Jigsaw (2017) Fun and gruesome though it may be, it's too little too late to save the now eight-deep Saw series. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 77% Thank You for Your Service (2017) Cold but never heartless and never afraid of how desolate the landscape of mental illness can be. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 31% A Bad Moms Christmas (2017) Every time a cash register rings, a studio executive gets their wings. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4.5/5 68% Wonderstruck (2017) An underrated master delivers one of the best films of the year. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 42% The Star (2017) A weird and off-putting story conceit that doesn't add anything new to one of the most often-told stories of modern times. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 79% The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) A great supporting cast and beautiful photography capturing a fairy-tale-like 19th-century London. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 5% Just Getting Started (2017) Scripts this bad will sometimes seem fun with enough enthusiasm behind or in front of the camera, but the star power on display isn't enough to make this anything but a (hopefully) forgettable misstep for all involved. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 71% Ferdinand (2017) Loud and raucous while staying gentle and sweet, the film has its heart in the right place and is one of the better releases from animation house Blue Sky. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 30% Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) A lot more knife fights and exploding yachts than you might expect. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 33% Insidious: The Last Key (2018) A lot of fumbling over themes of family unity and believing in yourself - and that abusive fathers may not always be the most trustworthy people. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 28% Proud Mary (2018) A striking ineptitude of pacing and motivation. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 24% Forever My Girl (2018) Every character in the movie acts like a brainwashed zombie just dying to let this clown walk all over them. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 51% 12 Strong (2018) A sprawling and leaden Bruckheimer monster. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 64% Peter Rabbit (2018) A breathless, dizzyingly joyous adventure that brings some seriously intelligent skill to these classic hare-brained characters. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 81% Early Man (2018) Serves as a reminder that Aardman is always out there creating worlds just as distinctive in their tone and overall aesthetic as anything Disney or Pixar were producing in their '50s or '90s heydays. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 62% Every Day (2018) A playful, thoughtful film that delves deep into the throes of first love with a decidedly queer bent that lets it stand out from the rest of the teen romance pack. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 18% Death Wish (2018) Eli Roth has proven consistently that he has a pretty loosey-goosey understanding of human nature, let alone basic cinematic grammar. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 45% The Hurricane Heist (2018) An absurdly over-the-top spectacle that doesn't overcome an overstuffed script and uneven cast. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Ava DuVernay's clunky but big-hearted adaptation is equal parts Madeleine L'Engle, Zack Snyder and David Lynch. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 39% The Strangers: Prey At Night (2018) A well-made lean and nasty splatterfest. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 61% I Can Only Imagine (2018) The film veers so far off-course that I could barely believe my eyes. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 24% 7 Days in Entebbe (2018) While stylish in places, the film flops in every conceivable way in tackling weighty philosophical elements against one of the most divisive political situations of the last century. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 92% Love, Simon (2018) A sweet, sincere and attentive film about young love and friendship that passes the Howard Hawks test and deserves a longer shelf life than most teen comedies are allowed these days. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 22% Midnight Sun (2018) Like a live-action and weirdly insensitive version of that sun level from Super Mario Bros. 3. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 18% Tyler Perry's Acrimony (2018) A movie that gaslights its own characters at the expense of tricking its audience. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/5 81% Chappaquiddick (2018) Was Teddy the Fredo of the Kennedy boys? - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
.5/5 16% Blumhouse's Truth or Dare (2018) Its fundamental lack of faith in its own story only becomes more and more obvious as the movie goes on. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
1/5 68% Finding Your Feet (2018) Finding Your Feet plays as if it's ripped straight from the Miramax reject pile circa 1994. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 82% Beirut (2018) Gilroy often fares better with more human elements to ground his often too-complex-by-half plotting, and here the solid cast makes the most of it. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2/5 36% I Feel Pretty (2018) Allegedly a self-actualization fairy tale, the film can't resist laughing at its characters for daring to accept themselves. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2.5/5 53% Bad Samaritan (2018) The pretty standard and otherwise forgettable low-budget thriller has only the whacked-out performance by David Tenant going for it, but that's enough (he's worth it). - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
1/5 38% Life of the Party (2018) This must be what it's like to watch movies in hell. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
1.5/5 26% Breaking In (2018) Panic Room knockoff minus all the inventiveness the director of V For Vendetta should have brought to a project like this. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2/5 54% Book Club (2018) The first entry in the 50 Shades Extended Cinematic Universe brings nothing new to the table or the genre but sets up plenty of avenues for the inevitable Book Club 2. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/5 70% Adrift (2018) Shailene Woodley gives a career-best performance in a film that's both harrowing and strangely life-affirming in equal measure. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/5 91% Beast (2018) Beast ends up playing things a lot straighter than its twisty, sometimes hallucinatory narrative structure might lead you to believe. - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019