Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) When this two-hour sci-fi art film was all over, the only thing it addressed on an emotional level - at least, in my eyes - was the abstract idea of masculinity... and frankly, it feels like a very lonely place. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3.5/5 85% Downton Abbey (2019) The writing reflects a larger, social whole because as much as we get lost in individual storylines, we feel the immoveable anchor of place. The sprawling elegance of the house keeps its inhabitants contained -- together but dramatically apart... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
3/5 88% Hustlers (2019) Scafaria's long lens stands in awe of these women as they twist around the pole, shake their booty and manipulate the male ego like so much silly putty. The movie looks like a coke-fuelled night out, but Hustlers is more than a formula quickie. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) Crowley's yellow-cast frames soaked in incandescent light capture the hue of the painting, the glow of an ancient veneer, and the warmth of a love-filled memory. Things degrade when we hit the harsh sun of the Las Vegas suburbs... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
3.5/5 89% Ready or Not (2019) There's a dark sense of humour that fuses with astute human observation, which means the actors have to find the magic friction point between camp and the last act of a Tennessee Williams play. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2019
3/5 57% Aladdin (2019) Aladdin is everything it had to be, and yet, like our conflicted hero, we'll no doubt wish it could have been more. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 97% Booksmart (2019) There's a lot to process. Yet, Wilde's ride wouldn't be complete without the full roller coaster of emotions, and to her credit, she doesn't pander. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
2.5/5 59% The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) The vocal talents are so good, the only things you really wish for through The Secret Life of Pets 2 are better lines, a few more sight gags featuring cats and laser pointers - and maybe a little less Hart. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) It's an uncomfortable place to be, because we crave easy judgments fuelled by emotional certainty. Yet, if there's one thing living in the Jean Grey zone for two hours accomplishes, it's holding up the looking glass to our splintered moment in time... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
2.5/5 56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Jim Jarmusch's latest film doesn't end well at all. In fact, the white-haired hipster has created something close to a painfully self-aware groaner that stumbles in a semi-conscious daze from start to finish. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 32% Shaft (2019) For those of us weaned on 1970s and '80s television, Shaft feels like dozing off on a shag rug - an unconscious nod into a long, open loop of nostalgia that conjures an entire, and unique, set of sounds and textures. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 85% Pavarotti (2019) Pavarotti was the Babe Ruth of tenors, and with Opie behind the wheel, there's an element of fandom that creeps into the mix - by keeping things out of the mix. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 79% Late Night (2019) ...Because Late Night featured such a complex character in Katherine, and such a capable actor in Emma Thompson, the movie probably could have gone a few floors deeper into the dungeons of our dated ideas. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 83% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Stearns's broad-strokes spreadsheet bares all in time, but it's only when you start to audit the details that you fully appreciate the film, and its well-disguised emotional embezzlement. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
2/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) It's clever, but like all things branded Tarantino, it's also purely exploitative. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 22% The Kitchen (2019) The Kitchen has so many male constructs sewn into its inseam, Berloff doesn't have a lot of room to move. It's a man's cut, yet she makes it comfortable by wearing it all a size too large, boyfriend style. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) When the running joke all about "the Peter tingle" - and whether Peter feels his "Peter tingle" - you know you're scraping the great barrier reef of frat-boy lazy, where many a good idea has been grounded by an urge to go low for an easy laugh. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 89% Rocketman (2019) Rocketman isn't just another biopic about a rock star whose music formed the soundtrack of a generation, it's an affirmation of the human endeavour - for all its good, and all its bad. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2019
3.5/5 54% J.T. LeRoy (2019) JT Leroy unveils all the lies to show us a shared sense of desperation, as well as a deep need to invest in any fiction if it appeals to, and heroically reaffirms, our personal version of truth. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
4/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Sure, there's a howling gale of action sequences and an acrobatic collage of mind-bending stunt work.. but really John Wick is about Keanu's chemistry with canines. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
3.5/5 57% Pet Sematary (2019) The directing team of Dennis Widmeyer and Kevin Kolsch are so fluent in their chosen genre, the movie feels slick and seamless even when the story stops making sense. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
4/5 75% Hotel Mumbai (2019) Hotel Mumbai is not documentary, yet it feels like we've borne witness to something undeniably real by the time it's over. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
3/5 90% Shazam! (2019) ...Think of Shazam! as D.C. comics' DUPLO - a simplified and safe take on what could be seen as the Marvel Comic Universe's LEGO, a well-designed, scalable and interlocked structure of franchise success. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2019
2.5/5 57% The Hummingbird Project (2019) Kim Nguyen's ambitious attempt at an artsy thriller headlined by Hollywood talent drills itself into the ground by betting on big equipment, instead of empathetic characters, to do the heavy lifting. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3/5 54% Five Feet Apart (2019) The contrast between human love and the hospital environment is what seduced me most of all. For those people who know what it's like- as a patient or visitor -Five Feet Apart does a tender job of articulating the unique experience of long term ward life. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3.5/5 76% Wonders of the Sea (2019) The Cousteau family returns to the big screen for a three-dimensional dive that goes deep to reveal the ocean's mind-bending beauty in minute detail, yet comes up a little shallow when it comes to addressing the human flaws that now define the landscape. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3/5 87% Miss Bala (2012) Hardwicke loads the barrel with everything any feminist action fan could hope for, but Miss Bala splatters shotgun-style, with fragments of narrative shrapnel piercing every scene, without hitting any specific dramatic targets. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3.5/5 70% Isn't It Romantic (2019) ...We're scratching at aortal scabs. And like all itches, there's something super-satisfying about nailing the right spot with a good dose of digital friction - even if the results leave a mess. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3.5/5 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) The absurd, existential, creative edge that really defined the first film has been replaced by something a little more ordinary, and far more predictable. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
4/5 61% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Cameron's noble edge defines the mood of the film.. And most notably, erases the cold technological edge that generally suggests machines are evil and humans are good. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
4/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) A cold sense of recognition coiled around a constant hope for redemption, Never Look Away sketches the essence of the human spirit in its own blood. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3.5/5 60% Greta (2019) Because Jordan's style brings emotional and psychological depth to every scene, there's a creepy joy in just watching it all unfold - especially because Huppert is so gleefully eerie, and pushes the whole cinematic wheelchair to the edge of the stairs. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3/5 80% Ruben Brandt, Collector (2019) Though steeped in a deep knowledge of art history, and brimming with visual references to the so-called masters, Milorad Krstic's animated heist movie is undeniably 'arty,' but it doesn't feel like 'art.' - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
4/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Brie Larson has such a command over our empathy, she redeems the awkwardly written moments of emotional poignancy, as well as the comic-book, time-space mumbo-jumbo that tends to make my eyes glaze over and my ears shut down. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
3/5 74% Destroyer (2018) This is where the fun stuff usually resides in noir: In lapel-grabbing close-ups punctuated by dark aphorism delivered with a Bogart accent. Destroyer gives us the scenes... Yet, has no fun with the added contrast of an altered, gendered landscape. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
1/5 37% Glass (2019) The faux-intellectual clutter contaminates the whole experience. It's where you feel Shymalan's gnawing presence. His need to feel smart. His utter conceit in every overly written scene. It would all be forgivable if it weren't so condescending... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
3/5 41% The Upside (2019) The Upside goes light and hopeful, in the way Hollywood usually chooses to go, but it doesn't feel entirely real, despite the brilliant performances from the entire cast. Including Kevin Hart. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
3.5/5 91% Widows (2018) Somersaulting over crowd-pleasing heist bits to explore character is a dicey move, but McQueen and Flynn manage to accommodate our desire for a good yarn as well as manage genre expectations... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
3.5/5 63% Outlaw King (2018) There's a perverse pleasure in seeing our ancient tribal history reanimated and re-imagined, especially for a cable audience. The insinuation of moral purity can be cast aside, replaced by a House of Cards understanding of political strategy... and sex... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
3/5 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Mercury was making love to the audience with every bone in his body. Malek never seems like he's in his body at all. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
4/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Lee would do just about anything to help her cat. So if you're hooked by this one single thread of connection, you're committed to processing the fur ball that follows. Is it tragedy or comedy? ... both thanks to McCarthy and Grant's grinning demons... - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
4.5/5 80% Boy Erased (2018) It's not an argument about Biblical interpretation. This is a movie about how we choose to treat each other, and how we choose to solve problems. Edgerton and the talented cast create a brilliant rainbow of emotion through a single source of light: Love. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
3.5/5 60% The Front Runner (2018) ...If you're wondering where the sober Republic turned into all-American spectacle, check out Jason Reitman's The Front Runner, a somewhat surgical dissection of Gary Hart's downfall, and a gentle probe into the modern media's frontal lobe. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
5/5 97% Free Solo (2018) Honnold's whole being is an existential equation. His only means of survival is to remain completely dedicated to each single nanosecond, and his exact place in the universe. He must Be. Or not Be. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3/5 36% Hunter Killer (2018) The title fits what Butler serves up on a silver platter... Hunter Killer still isn't a great movie, but it puts the world order back in place for the better part of two hours as it re-establishes the Russian threat to the American Way. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2018
3/5 79% Halloween (2018) Jamie Lee Curtis is the one who brings it all back into focus with her stark portrayal of Laurie, a woman chiselled to the sinews by stress. Laurie rises the from the ashes of the ingenue and finds power in a post-sexual state, becoming the ultimate foil. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
4/5 80% 22 July (2018) Greengrass captures it all with very little. Like the wool sweaters on the members of Viljar's family, he hand knits a story that shows us how small, human connections...can change the fabric of society and keep the chill of fear at bay. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
3/5 87% First Man (2018) With so much to process, First Man fragments into a loose stream of dramatic particles that orbit around the central star, Ryan Gosling. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
3.5/5 29% Venom (2018) The movie doesn't really capitalize on the inherent novelty of a villain in the title role. It's where you can feel the conflict in the movie itself. Like Eddie, our hero-villain, the film resists a new shape, a new manifestation of a changing inner core. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2018
3/5 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Everything feels comfortably familiar, yet halfway through this plate of pleasing nostalgia and orchestrated pathos, you realize there's not much substance between the focaccia. We may love our two leads but their characters never feel entirely developed. - Ex-Press.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018