Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
63% Bombshell (2019) The acting is a mixed bag... As storytelling, though, Bombshell is a wet firecracker. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
87% Richard Jewell (2019) Eastwood's latest, Richard Jewell, is a strange, sordid, untidy story that doesn't make the mistake of leveraging the truth in the service of clichés. To a degree that's unusual for a year-end, Oscar-bait studio movie, it revels in complexity. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
50% No Safe Spaces (2019) If the Left does not want "common sense" to become an exclusively conservative epithet, it ought to heed the lessons of this rangy tour of today's free-speech wars. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Perhaps I'm not the target audience for this slow-moving, punitively earnest movie. I'm not sure who is. People with more patience than I've got, maybe. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
77% Frozen II (2019) Fairy tales that end in the happily-ever-after don't lend themselves to sequels, and this movie shouldn't have been made. The good news for Disney, I guess, is that someday people will forget it ever was. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
78% Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer (2019) Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer is a zippy, entertaining, cynically funny but also genuinely disturbing look back at one of the most successful newspapers in the history of the United States. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
98% One Child Nation (2019) The horrifying details of China's Holocaust of children emerge in a powerful documentary told by a woman whose family was one of the countless millions who suffered. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Christian Bale may be the leading actor of his generation. Not only is he a master of the technical stuff, but he also radiates the great intangible of star magnetism. In Ford v Ferrari, as in so many other parts, Bale simply owns the screen. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
43% Midway (2019) It's hard to find much merit in Emmerich's style -- frantic, breezy, shallow. Emmerich fills the frame with planes and flak and fireballs, yet the CGI just looks like... CGI. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
77% Doctor Sleep (2019) Let's not hold [writer-director Mike Flanagan] to the Kubrick standard. The new film isn't a masterpiece. So what? It's a well-executed suspenser that radiates spooky unease. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
63% American Dharma (2019) Morris feels no need to paint Bannon as diabolical, not when the man is approvingly quoting Satan. Morris is merely taking after John Milton when he lets Bannon explain himself. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
71% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) We've all seen this stuff before, and the digital effects amount to a rehash of the cutting-edge 1991 mercury-man effect. So why bother? - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Has just about everything you look for in a funny movie: a fresh idea, swagger, a strong point of view, and gifted comic actors such as Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson. One element it's missing, however, is that it isn't funny. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
62% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) The mystery element of the film is tangled and not particularly compelling, and Norton's chief purpose as a filmmaker seems to be to give himself a lot of attention as an actor. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
91% El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Mainly it provides a showcase for Aaron Paul as Pinkman. Freed of competition from Bryan Cranston, he really gets to show off what he can do as an actor. Bravo to him. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
26% Gemini Man (2019) A dusty artifact of a script livened up with bleeding-edge technology. It's a fair debate whether the moldy script or the brand-new tech is its most regrettable aspect. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
96% Marriage Story (2019) Getting hit with such a snootful of mega-misery is not necessarily what I'm looking for in a relationship movie. I don't find catharsis here. All I see is a kind of cinematic therapy session. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2019
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Far from being melodramatically schematic, it leaves some ambiguity around the edges, raising questions it doesn't necessarily claim to be able to answer. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
69% Joker (2019) Joker is brilliantly done, searingly filmed, and so drenched in its seamy milieu that you can practically feel the roaches skittering under your feet. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) Scorsese opus No. 25, The Irishman, features a lot of the strengths of those earlier films, but while it's a good film, it isn't a great one... Scorsese doesn't bring to it anything like the ironic voltage that courses through Goodfellas. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
84% Downton Abbey (2019) It's a pleasure to spend two more hours with this crew, especially Lady Violet, who despite being a sort of caricature of the conservative mindset nevertheless manages to make a robust case for traditionalism with elegance and wit. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) The ponderousness that is supposed to make the film feel deep merely makes it feel soggy. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
86% Bill Burr: Paper Tiger (2019) Burr has the gift of being surprising, of resuscitating a done-to-death subject... Still, some bits work better than others. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
63% Liam Gallagher: As It Was (2019) Essentially a promotional video meant to push [the album As You Were] and a follow-up, Why Me? Why Not., which arrives next week, so it is reticent about his many bad choices, dismissed in a brief montage as "personal problems." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
88% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Ronstadt is reticent about her private life, and the film doesn't pry... The work is enough to fill a movie, though. Hers was a gutsy, label-defying career defined by a love of all kinds of music. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
35% Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones (2019) The set mostly misses the mark. And what is that mark? The truth. Chappelle remains one of the most vital, and certainly among the most daring, of standups... His latest hour is a setback. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
80% Good Boys (2019) The title of Good Boys is meant to be ironic, but the harder these kids try to be bad, the more endearing they are. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
18% Hot Air (2019) The script is sometimes funny, but the movie never is, because Coogan detests his character so much he plays him with a kind of constipated fury that kills the wit of the writing. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2019
94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) A beguiling new documentary full of strange details, some unnerving, some wonderful. Backed by Davis's resplendent music, it's frequently hypnotic, even heartbreaking. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2019
100% Apocalypse Now: Final Cut (2019) Apocalypse Now builds a vision of war around paradoxes and incongruities and grueling ironies. It interrogates the whole business of war without being reductionist or trite. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Though this is a formula picture that occasionally ventures into hokey territory (notably in its climactic moments), it's engaging and warm throughout. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
44% After the Wedding (2019) A drama offering actors the caliber of Moore, Williams, and Crudup is an enticing prospect, but the movie winds up sinking into a pudding of emotion. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
88% Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy Of A Terrorist (2019) Makes unfortunate, distracting use of cheesy dramatic reenactments in telling this awful story. But it also raises important questions about Emwazi's journey to terrorism. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Tries to make the case for Wallace's importance but pretty much comes up empty. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a really good 100-minute movie rattling around inside a 160-minute space... I'd still recommend the movie, barely. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
53% The Lion King (2019) Sometimes not changing anything is a daring choice, and though Favreau's take does much less original thinking than his 2016 live-action Jungle Book did, it never feels like an insipid dinner-theater remake. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
72% Forrest Gump (1994) Forrest Gump has layers and nuances and ironies, and it's far bleaker than it is given credit for. Just because a movie is a monster hit doesn't mean it isn't interesting. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Directed by Nick Broomfield, the new documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is intended as a tribute to the relationship that inspired one of Cohen's best-known songs. It is actually more of an indictment. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) I expected more, much more, from Yesterday, considering the talents of its writer, Richard Curtis, and director, Danny Boyle. The answer to the question "What are they going to do with this setup?" turns out to be "almost nothing." - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2019
90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Drifts along with lots of tepid comedy and uninvolving action scenes. Yet things improve considerably in a clever and robustly entertaining second half. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
45% Murder Mystery (2019) Thanks to a deft, funny script by James Vanderbilt and brisk direction by Kyle Newacheck, this throwback comedy turns out to be an easygoing charmer. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
60% Calvin Marshall (2010) Good-natured but not overly sentimental, Calvin Marshall makes its formula work with thoroughly realized characters and unforced comic moments about the irrepressible charms of the obliviously self-deluded. - New York Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Despite the film's quick pace and breezy good nature, the overall effect is mediocre, and Toy Story 4 is easily the weakest effort in the series so far. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) The Dead Don't Die is a movie that promises to do very little and lives up to its promise. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
92% Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese (2019) With a glorious deadpan worthy of This Is Spinal Tap, which was itself a spoof of a Scorsese film featuring Dylan, Dylan and Scorsese have made a rock movie that lampoons the shaman-troubadours of rock. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
91% Funan (2019) Funan isn't merely first-rate for an animated movie, it's important by any cinematic standard, and implicitly it shames the world's leading film hubs for almost completely ignoring this bloody chapter in history. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
80% Late Night (2019) Cute contrivances, gags beaten to death, weak one-liners, thin characters. I laugh more in any five minutes of Catastrophe or Veep than I did in this entire movie. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
42% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Dougherty's team of screenwriters might as well have named their human creations Stock Characters 1 through 8. There is nobody present whom you would be upset to see get flame-broiled by a 165-foot lizard. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
95% Running with Beto (2019) The director of the film is otherwise so unable to generate any heat from his room-temperature candidate that he hands over scenes to fans and volunteers, some of whom are much more colorful. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) Credit must be given to [director Dexter] Fletcher for bringing in a lot of ideas. Unfortunately, just about none of them are good ones. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019