Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
97% Marriage Story (2019) Marriage Story is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing short of a reappraisal of marriage and divorce and the casualness with which both are entered into. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
63% Lady and the Tramp (2019) Lady and the Tramp is quite the mild ride. Its marriage of computer animation with real dogs may be impressive, but it's aimed at kids, and they won't care. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) While Pacino fulminates and Pesci seethes, De Niro presents us with a character who all his life has lived in a kind of limbo. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
63% American Dharma (2019) Morris does not lead you by the hand. If the subject is lying, or delusional, as he often seems to be, Morris presumes the viewer will notice. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) Ozon's approach is masterful, his past proclivities for mischief-making nowhere to be seen. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Everything, notably the interiors, are simply too beautiful to be anything but the work of an exalted imagination. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
81% Little Monsters (2019) Is this Bergman? Fellini? George Romero? No, but it's alarmingly fun (and profane, and gory) and Ms. Nyong'o is a delight. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
83% Judy (2019) [T]he Garland story is something singular. So is Renée Zellweger's performance, which makes a sad story elevated, elevating and all about love. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) To lavish too much praise on Mr. Pitt's performance would be to somehow suggest he isn't already among the best actors on screen. He is. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
84% Downton Abbey (2019) With a two-hour running time, Downton Abbey can indulge itself in some of the more delicious aspects of its six-season run. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
86% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Most of what Mr. Tyrnauer serves up is not news, but to have it all in one place is to immerse oneself in a bilious lesson in history. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
63% The Sound of Silence (2019) Art is supposed to help us see the world in novel ways. The Sound of Silence, in its quietly exhilarating manner, may make us hear it differently, too. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
86% Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019) It is a very moving film by veteran documentarian Irene Taylor Brodsky about deafness, music, raising children and your parents getting old. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
24% The Goldfinch (2019) Mr. Straughan [the screenwriter] remains faithful to the book when he should be committing adultery. Chunks of original dialogue land like bricks. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
87% Depraved (2019) It puts a punctuation mark on the mythos and epic that Mary Shelley conjured up, and on which Mr. Fessenden puts such a delightfully gritty, sometimes gruesome spin. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
No Score Yet Big Family: The Story of Bluegrass Music (2019) What is made perfectly clear by Mr. Helms's proselytizing voiceover is that bluegrass fans are passionate, the music exists and persists, and is constantly changing. From what, however, is not something "Big Family" ever satisfactorily explains. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) A gossipy and very musical primer on Davis, who is, needless to say (though it is said and said), among the giants of jazz. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
82% Official Secrets (2019) An unabashedly political movie that is, essentially, a procedural, but also a very sophisticated, ornate, complex and convincing thriller. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
17% The Fanatic (2019) One can understand the draw of The Fanatic for someone like Mr. Travolta: It calls for full immersion, mentally and physically. And he pulls it off. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
No Score Yet Cola Wars (2019) One wishes Cola Wars took a bit of a snarkier stance on its subject. The narration is anodyne, and the ingredients are standard-issue, even if the talking heads are very smart. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2019
80% The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) "The Amazing Johnathan Documentary" is ostensibly about a comic and is often very funny. There are snatches out of the Amazing Johnathan archive and repertoire, which includes gross-out gags and no small amount of meta magic. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
92% The Distant Barking of Dogs (2018) Childhood during wartime is hardly a new subject for filmmakers of any stripe, but The Distant Barking of Dogs finds its own special nonfiction space. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) [Tarantino] clearly relishes recapturing the period flavor, and, of course, portraying life as it is lived through and in movies. What he doesn't have here is an actual story, other than what he borrows from history or leaves out. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2019
100% American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel (2019) It makes passionate arguments. It offers a ray of hope. And it evokes the sense that those most desperately in need of seeing it will never cross its path. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
86% Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping (2016) Mr. Oswalt is an amiable presence, a highly sardonic but fairly low-key comedian of the observational/confessional variety... What he's not is hungry. He exhibits little regard for comic timing. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) While the title Marianne & Leonard sounds as if it's out to give the female half of a famous partnership equal time, it does something quite close to the opposite. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Spider-Man: Far From Home is a visually incoherent, effects-heavy superhero movie that would seem quite at home on the Disney Channel. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
21% Phil (2019) Making a movie about suicide and keeping it inside Mr. Kinnear's light-comedic wheelhouse would be a lot to ask of any director, never mind a first at-bat... Phil isn't a home run, exactly. But you could rule it a double to left. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
67% The Quiet One (2019) The Quiet One is a modest film about a modest man and benefits enormously from Mr. Wyman's apparent obsessive-compulsive drive to collect, record and photograph. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
83% Midsommar (2019) The studios have been treating audiences like newborns (formula, round the clock). So when a movie like Midsommar comes along, and goes out of its way to so flamboyantly flout convention, it deserves credit just for being undefinable. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
98% Maiden (2019) What we have from director Alex Holmes is a documentary with all the nervous-making energy of a first-rate drama; a cast of sailors who are both endearing and intelligent; and a delicately wrought suspense story. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) How did such a crazy premise -- a world in which the Beatles basically have never existed -- turn into such a routine romantic comedy? To paraphrase John Lennon, Mr. Boyle should have known better. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
45% The Way of the Gun (2000) Like a director who's budgeted a helicopter and can't bear not to use it, McQuarrie can't help larding his directorial debut with trimmings from far superior crime dramas, old and new. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) The songs, the color, the dancing and, yes, the redemption are all intended to make people happy. And will. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) The nonhuman element (Abu) is great; there is also a perfectly charming Magic Carpet. There is just an unfortunate shortage of magic. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
No Score Yet Light Falls (2019) Entrancing, even if many of the subtler concepts seemed to evanesce in this viewer's head just as they were being explained. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
51% Tolkien (2019) Tolkien is on a journey, and while the film may deprive us of an arrival, it does give us a rather exhilarating travel itinerary. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
78% Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People (2019) By definition hagiographic. But it's not afraid to acknowledge Pulitzer's talent for making enemies on the level of a Teddy Roosevelt. Or that he was a somewhat obnoxious personality. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
45% Mary Magdalene (2019) Mary Magdalene is in many ways an act of love, an effort to tell its story both freshly and honestly, with fidelity to Scripture. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
66% Peterloo (2019) What [Leigh] is digging at, under a remarkably convincing recreation of 1819 England and the nascent reform movement of early 19th-century Britain, is both the brutality and the self-righteousness exhibited by the haves, when the have-nots ask for more. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
0/4 39% Hot Rod (2007) A charmless idiot, a clumsy rip-off of Jackass and one more tiresome exercise in arrested adolescence -- add them up and you have Hot Rod. - Newsday EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
91% Tigerland (2019) Nimbly negotiating its geography and parallel narratives, Tigerland is, on the one hand, a wildlife film by a filmmaker from outside that genre. The genre certainly benefits. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
77% The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) The Inventor has an ethereal atmosphere, enhanced in no small way by Will Bates's music, and conforms to Mr. Gibney's usual M.O. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
91% Fyre (2019) [An] elegantly constructed takedown. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
79% Fyre Fraud (2019) Fyre Fraud, which had been planned as a series, feels unfocused and rushed. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
84% La religieuse (The Nun) (1971) There are no theological arguments made in La Religieuse. Suzanne's faith is firm, her Christian belief a monument to itself, given her treatment. But again, the convents serve as metaphors... - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
35% Gummo (1997) Is the perspective of youth in this country really so devoid of significance, and their existence so septic? These are good questions, although "Gummo" provides neither answer nor solution, nor even thematic cohesion. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
No Score Yet USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter (2019) It remains a haunting episode in American naval history, one that this PBS special does considerable justice -- especially in the tragedy/irony/indignation department. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
66% Vice (2018) Vice isn't a dishonest movie, exactly. It just enables dishonesty. - America Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
83% Fail State (2018) Fail State is dense with information but incorporates just enough intimate, personal portraiture to make itself tragically human. - Wall Street Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018