Harvey S. Karten

Harvey S. Karten
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
After teaching high school for quite a while, I took an M.A. in Film and Theater from Hunter College in New York and a Ph.D. in Theater from the City University Graduate Center, also in the Big Apple. Having sat through one innocuous Broadway show after another and a great deal of talky off-Broadway productions as a so-called second-night critic, I realized that you don't always get what you pay for. Broadway shows may be $75 a ticket and movies just $9.50 (in New York), but you're more likely to have fun AND take away something of substance from the big screen. The switch from reviewing theater to reviewing movies was an easy one to make.When my application for membership in the New York Film Critics Circle was circular-filed (print media only, sorry), I founded the Online Film Critics Society in January 1997 and three years later, NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online).
Favorites:
Favorite films: Amadeus, Schindler's List, Lassie Come HomeBest of 2006: Thank You for Smoking
Location: Brooklyn, New York

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
C+ 85% Downton Abbey (2019) Too many subplots are shoehorned into this movie when each deserved its special, unhurried pacing in the TV episodes. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
B 75% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) A critical look at lawyer Roy Cohn who represented shady politicians and criminals and is today considered deserving of his disbarment. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2019
A- 70% Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2019) Spurlock takes aim at the lack of transparency in the chicken industry while again proving himself among the most entertaining documentarians in the business. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
B 88% Hustlers (2019) Likely to lead to post-movie discussions about whether women working in strip clubs are really exploited by the rich male customers. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
A- 71% The Game Changers (2019) "The Game Changers" and "Super Size Me 2" are probably the two best and most important movies about food that you will see this year. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
B+ 100% América (2018) Great love shown to an 93-year-old woman by her son and grandchildren is rewarded by a jail term for the dad. A delightful story. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
B 89% Depraved (2019) I prefer Boris in the role of the monster, but Alex will do just fine. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
A- 73% Yomeddine (2019) If this is not the year's best movie, the unorthodox road trip in the Egyptian desert by two people shunned by society makes it the most moving. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
A- 82% Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019) Makes a skillful connection between Beethoven's deafness and that of a young male pianist. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
A- 60% Promise at Dawn (La promesse de l'aube) (2019) In a stunning performance, Charlotte Gainsbourg displays all the love and intrusiveness of a Jewish mother, an upbringing that propels her only son Romain Gary into becoming a major French writer, war hero, and ambassador. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2019
C+ 97% Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2019) Features dull, repetitive commentary by the street kids. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
B 96% Jawline (2019) Teens really are in a different world from adults. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
B 97% American Factory (2019) Exposes Chinese communists for the capitalists they actually are. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
B+ 89% Aquarela (2019) Water water everywhere. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2019
B 65% Edie (2019) A heartwarming saga of the relationship of an elderly woman with a man fifty years her junior amid the spartan splendor of the Scottish highlands. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2019
B+ 100% Alternate Endings: Six New Ways To Die In America (2019) Though six people do go gentle into that good night, they have original wishes on the locations of their remains. An incisive documentary that plays to the heart. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
B 43% The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) One of the more sophisticated movies that star dogs. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
B- 88% Efter brylluppet (After the Wedding) (2006) Takes aim at the rich one percent though the movie is not as entertaining as the Danish version. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2019
B 32% Corporate Animals (2019) A clever satire that pairs modern corporate culture with cannibalism. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2019
B+ 99% One Child Nation (2019) Blows the lid off a scandal that found China selling off children who were born beyond a government established limit. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2019
A- 59% Brian Banks (2019) Among the best films that deal with the incarceration of innocent people. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2019
B+ 100% Teacher (2019) An often violent movie asserting the theme that bullies are people who were themselves bullied as children. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
B+ 93% Luce (2019) A solid work with deliberate ambiguities to have moviegoers discussing race and class long after a viewing. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2019
B+ 90% Tel Aviv on Fire (2019) Focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this is a sumptuous send-up of soaps and schisms. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2019
B 40% The Operative (2019) An only occasionally tense and overly complex spy study, but given the performance of the amazing Diane Kruger is eminently watchable. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
C 65% The Mountain (2019) If this is a satiric look at the 1950s and at the practice of lobotomies (and your guess is as good as mine), then this dark drama by a maverick director might be up your alley -- or not. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2019
B+ 99% Honeyland (2019) Greed is bad. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
B+ 77% Skin (2019) How an extremist group triggers blowback from one of its members. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
B+ 93% The Ground Beneath My Feet (Der Boden unter den Füssen) (2019) Yet another examination of mental illness and how that affects the schizoid woman's sister. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
B 92% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) A solid confession by a celebrity who brags about the 100 women he slept with and who now regrets that his body is fading. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2019
B 97% Rosie (2019) Ireland, like the U.S., has a problem with gentrification, and the title character shows how this leads to family disaster. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2019
B+ 53% The Lion King (2019) A quantum leap in animation technology will make you swear that you are witnessing photos of people on a South African safari. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
B+ 99% The Farewell (2019) Unfolds an intriguing charade that will make you wonder whether white lies are perfectly acceptable. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2019
C- 42% Stuber (2019) Dumb and Dumber have to work with a script and direction that are lowbrow, even by the standards of summer blockbusters. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2019
B 83% Midsommar (2019) Gorgeous, expansive photography and a folksy choreography make up for the movie's convoluted plot. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2019
B 22% Phil (2019) Greg Kinnear combines acting with directing in a role that exudes nice-guy-ness that few other performers can duplicate as well. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2019
B+ 69% The Other Story (2019) Yet another rigorous story of a woman's rebellion against her father and her entire religious upbringing. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2019
B+ 68% Three Peaks (2019) A seven year old kid drives his mother and foster dad crazy in this intriguing movie set against a mountain. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
B+ 96% The Edge of Democracy (2019) Intriguing in an analysis of Brazil's politics seen through the prism of the director's own family life. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2019
B 44% Back to the Fatherland (2019) Explains the hard-to-believe phenomenon of Jews leaving Israel to live in Germany and Austria. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2019
B+ 86% Pavarotti (2019) Director Ron Howard exudes warmth for his subject, the expansive gentleman who kept audiences attending his concerts and buying his albums after the passing of Caruso. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
B+ 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) The late, great playwright August Wilson, whose ten plays dealt with the lives of African-Americans in different decades, would have radiated warm support for this unabashedly theatrical movie. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
B 54% Ma (2019) This convincing and entertaining tale suggests that victims of bullying, like Brian De Palma's "Carrie," may not suck it up forever. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
B+ 83% Fig Tree (2018) Gritty drama taking place during the civil war in Ethiopia that led Jews of that country to emigrate to Israel. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2019
B 100% For the Birds (2019) This doc will evoke long discussions about the mental state of this champion protector of birds. Is she a hoarder, or a saint? - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2019
B 100% The Unorthodox (2018) It's refreshing to see a film, partly comic but otherwise serious, that presents a political party's initial idealism, one that caters to the true needs of its followers. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2019
B+ No Score Yet Red Cow (Para Aduma) (2018) Extremist politics meets forbidden love in a drama that commands attention as it conveys the thoughts and emotions of Israelis on the verge of being uprooted from an illegal East Jerusalem settlement. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
B 97% Booksmart (2019) With its frantic pace and ultimate sentimentalism, "Booksmart" enters the field of high-school movies with considerable originality. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
C+ 43% The Tomorrow Man (2019) Mushy story about two idiosyncratic elderly people. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2019
B 89% The Third Wife (2019) Lacks changes in pace, this movie is strictly for the arthouse crowd which will savor the way it shows a Vietnam different from today's fast-moving Asian country with its stock market and other accoutrements of capitalism. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019