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
A- 97% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) This gorgeous movie was tapped by the NY Film Critics Circle for Best Cinematography and by folks at the Cannes Festival for Best Screenplay. This slowly deepening look at lesbianism in a remote 18th century section of France is a gem. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
B+ 96% Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) Entertaining as well as enlightening, this doc takes us inside the studios that develop sound for movies, while the experts tell us that sound is 50% of the emotional experience of cinema. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
B+ 92% Dark Waters (2019) A solid, David-and-Goliath story of corporate greed and the little guy who fights the power. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
C 65% Little Joe (2019) A low rent "body snatchers." - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2019
B+ 100% Midnight Family (2019) Take a chilling ride in this Mexico City ambulance and decide whether the story will please political conservatives or hard-core liberals. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2019
B 53% The Wolf Hour (2019) A claustrophobic, theatrical, psychological thriller that brings out the best of Naomi Watts. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
B+ 72% The Aeronauts (2019) A suitable-for-kids fictionalized tale inspired by an actual, record-breaking balloon ride undertaken in England in 1862. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
B+ 96% Uncut Gems (2019) If your taste runs to over-the-top movies like "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Inglorious Basterds," and "Dolemite is My Name," this movie is for you. Adam Sandler can match this year's Eddie Murphy with ease. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
B+ 88% Richard Jewell (2019) Look for the name Paul Walter Hauser to be honored by some year-end awards for breakthrough performance in the role of an innocent man who is treated as a doormat by police authorities. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
B+ 93% 1917 (2019) A realistic look at how one person can make a difference in war by saving 1600 soldiers. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
B+ 100% 63 Up (2019) A monumental job of film making, taking fifty-five years to pull together in examining the lives of select people from the time each was seven. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
B 89% The Two Popes (2019) The film finds humor in the interchange of a Cardinal and the Pope, two people whose ideologies seem polar opposites. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
B 95% Atlantics (2019) A ghost story, a romance, a look at a third world society that favors tradition over passion. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
B+ 89% American Woman (2019) Though the plot is nothing special, the principal virtue of this movie is the riveting performance of Sienna Miller as a woman in rural Pennsylvania living a hardscrabble life. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2019
B+ 96% Marriage Story (2019) In movies, divorces have rarely been as funny--and sad-- as this one. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
B 78% Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer (2019) The evolution of a scandal sheet marketed for the average supermarket Joe and Jane. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2019
B+ 96% I Lost My Body (2019) A boundary-busting animation of a disturbed young man whose severed hand seeks its body. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2019
B+ 95% Queen of Hearts (2019) An affair between a woman and a man one-third her age? There's something rotten in the state of Denmark. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
B 82% The Report (2019) As necessary as the film is in successfully dramatizing the Senate investigation into CIA torture of suspected terrorists, this can be a slog to get through. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
B No Score Yet Sefarad (2019) Condenses 500 years of Judaism in Portugal into 90 enlightening minutes. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
B- 93% Honey Boy (2019) LaBeouf scores as a father whose love for his son is covered up by the man's foul temper. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2019
B+ 82% Just Mercy (2019) Though a conventional biopic, this film is inspirational, giving hope during its opening Christmas week that the world is changing for the better. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2019
B+ 98% Clemency (2019) Alfre Woodard delivers a towering performance as a warden who must oversee executions. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
C+ 61% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) The tics could drive you nuts. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2019
B+ 74% Harriet (2019) Harriet Tubman must be grinning widely from her grave. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2019
A- 86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) Bold, original, impressive movie, taking top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2019
B 58% Frankie (2019) Eric Rohmer-light. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2019
B 95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) An absorbing narrative featuring testimony by three victims of molestation by a Catholic priest. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
A- 86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) A credible look at a person who wants to change his nationality, a movie that makes us wonder whether you can go home again--or even want to. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
A- 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) A bold, original, often hilarious satire at the expense of Nazi Germany. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
A- 79% Cyrano, My Love (Edmond) (2019) An involving look at a modern Cyrano. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
B 96% Tell Me Who I Am (2019) The late Oliver Sacks would have liked this movie about a young man whose memory was lost. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
A- 90% #Female Pleasure (2019) A heartwarming look at how women from different cultures are freeing themselves from repression. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2019
B+ 41% The Laundromat (2019) Uses arch humor to get us angry when we hear about how the rich one percent are screwing us over. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
B+ 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Class warfare among two South Korean families is treated with both comedy and horror in Bong's latest picture. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
A- No Score Yet Never Again Is Now (2015) Despite the awkward title, this doc is mesmerizing, torn from today's headlines about the rising tide of far-right nationalism threatening Jewish communities. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
B+ 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) A vastly entertaining, noisy and delightfully vulgar picture anchored by Eddie Murphy. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
C+ 21% Lucy in the Sky (2019) Cinematic tricks serve only to distract an audience from the banal story. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2019
B+ 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) A well done, thinly disguised biopic of Pedro Almodovar's life - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2019
B 65% The Day Shall Come (2019) Zany comedy centering on an emotionally disturbed man whose goal is to stop gentrification. - Big Apple Reviews EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
B 75% The Death of Dick Long (2019) Watch these deplorables trying to cover up a crime and you'll realize how police are able to solve so many cases. - Shockya.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
C+ 84% 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 86% 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- 71% 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- 70% 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 87% 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- 74% 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- 86% 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