Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
77% 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
57% 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
93% 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
25% 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
98% 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
68% 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
100% 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
85% 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
62% 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
87% 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
79% 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
43% 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
62% 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
79% 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
41% 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
93% Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' (2019) ABC's live presentation reminds us that The Jeffersons was the more interesting show... Oscar winner Jamie Foxx turns out to be very funny mimicking Sherman Hemsley's nervy-bantam performance as George Jefferson. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) Ritchie's Aladdin is a whole old world, almost a scene-for-scene remake, except this time with three comprehensively dull actors playing Aladdin, Jasmine, and Jafar. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
100% The Cold Blue (2019) Surprising and strange and funny but above all horrifying. The level of everyday heroism on offer almost surpasses our capacity to absorb it. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) So the writing is video-game thin. But if you take the film in the spirit in which it is intended, as a series of elaborately choreographed set pieces, it's thrilling enough, at least at the beginning and the end. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
51% Tolkien (2019) A pleasing if somewhat routine bildungsroman about the disturbingly Dickensian youth and happily Dickensian rise of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
89% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) The director's sympathetic attitude toward his subject makes the film that much more damning. Herzog was not seeking to nail Gorbachev... Like other Herzog subjects, the former Soviet leader loosened up enough to reveal more than he intended. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
88% Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019) The films of writer-director Assayas are subtle to the point of inviting varied interpretations... I'm not sure being hard to pin down is admirable, but as usual his latest effort rewards attentive viewers. It's pleasingly tricksy and loaded with subtext. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
73% Iron Man 2 (2010) Iron Man 2 would be surpassed by some other offerings in the MCU, notably the first two Captain America movies, but it remains one of the smartest and least silly chapters in the 22-film extravaganza. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) This three-hour epic is more or less what we were all looking for. Regardless of whether the Avengers saga goes on, this one satisfyingly closes the book on its first era, eleven years that remade the movies. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
45% Mary Magdalene (2019) One glance at Joaquin Phoenix being morose and anguished and weirdly sinister and the people of Judea would not have said, "Tell us more, teacher." They would have dialed IX-I-I. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2019
98% The Searchers (1956) Apart from its stunning Monument Valley photography, The Searchers is mostly hokey and thinly written. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
88% Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (Préparez vos mouchoirs) (1978) Get Out Your Handkerchiefs is a farce played absolutely deadpan, with such an exaggerated solemnity that it baffled the kinds of critics who like to be properly alerted when it's time to laugh. - National Review EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019