Liam Lacey

Liam Lacey
Tomatometer-approved critic
Location: Toronto

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
A 99% Varda by Agnès (2019) The documentary is both Varda's last testament and, paradoxically, a perfect introduction to the work. Charm, humanity and a passel of filmmaking insights are all here, rewarding dedicated fans and newcomers alike. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
B-minus No Score Yet Assholes: A Theory (2019) Walker spreads himself wide in this lightly sociological, somewhat silly doc, focusing on many locales where homo anus flourishes: Fraternities, social media, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
85% Waves (2019) Though well-intentioned, this messy, overwrought family drama demands emotion but arouses antipathy. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
A-minus 95% Atlantics (2019) A magic realist fantasy, a ghost story, a love story and political allegory, Atlantics packs a deceptive amount of complexity in a gauzy, slender film. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
A 97% The Irishman (2019) This is some of De Niro's most moving work in years. His performance, full of anxious misfit energy, grimaces and haunted gaze feel entirely correct. He's a character who recognizes the depths of his sin but is unable to see redemption. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
B-plus 86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) Synonyms episodic structure can grow wearying, but Mercier's aggressively kinetic performance and Lapid's take-no-prisoners dismantling of Israeli macho mystique and French hypocritical superiority are, in the best way, outrageous. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2019
B-plus 95% By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu) (2019) Resolution hardly seems possible: Ozon's film is about how the children he harmed remain stuck in adult Limbo, both legally and psychologically. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
C 40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) The script hits the familiar notes - a beautiful princess, a handsome prince, meddling old folks, anthropomorphized creatures. But they're essentially here for another Marvel-style apocalypse. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
26% Gemini Man (2019) Despite being helmed by a major filmmaker, Gemini Man feels dated, sluggish, and visually stilted, like a video game without the fun of pushing the buttons. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
B-minus 41% The Laundromat (2019) Consistently feels as if it's intended to be funnier or more poignant than it actually is. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
83% Roger Waters: Us + Them (2019) Equal parts concert film and anti-establishment rally, this documentary about the Pink Floyd frontman shot in Amsterdam in 2018 is a must for fans... but a definitely maybe for the merely curious. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2019
89% Sometimes Always Never (Triple Word Score) (2020) Bill Nighy is reliably great in this supremely British and occasionally winning dramedy about a man trying to connect with his family. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2019
100% Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) Director Max Lewkowicz's lively and well-researched documentary puts the enduring Fiddler on the Roof phenomenon in clear perspective. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
B-plus 57% Touch Me Not (2019) Though it probably takes on more issues than it can handle, Touch Me Not is an intriguing oddity in a world saturated with sexual imagery, but where the subtleties of intimacy remain largely mysterious. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
B-plus 88% Aquarela (2019) Has a you-are-there clarity to unnerving effect. While Kossakovsky has said his plan was to show every emotion created by water, the emphasis is on the beautiful and the terrifying - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
89% Blinded by the Light (2019) This coming of age tale from the director of Bend It Like Beckham (and it shows) props up an so-so story with a Bollywood-ized take on the Boss. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
82% Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) This oddball documentary, equal parts John LeCarre and Morgan Spurlock, chases a genuinely intriguing mystery but with meh results. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
42% 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) An ultra-lame sequel presumably hoping to capitalize on the surprise success of the 2017 film. Um yeah... no. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
79% Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) This adaptation of stories from Alvin Schwartz's early eighties book series (co-produced by Guillermo del Toro and bearing his cinematic thumbprint) is thin plot-wise but with some great visuals and jump scares. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
80% Light of My life (2019) Writer /director Casey Affleck's chilling dystopian tale raises resonant questions about parental love, and about the vagaries of fiction. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Belkin's documentary on the legendary TV investigative journalist doesn't break new ground but offers a trove of watchable archival footage with marquee names from Eleanor Roosevelt to Malcolm X. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
A 99% Honeyland (2019) While the characters and events are real, the artful design of this film and its allegorical resonances seem to put Honeyland in its own genre - that of a real-life fable... a theme worthy of a Biblical parable. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
B 91% Tel Aviv on Fire (2019) To find comedy against the backdrop of the Palestine-Israeli conflict takes chutzpah... or alwaqaha, as they say in Arabic. It somehow maintains a genial tone, despite references to terrorism and daily humiliations of the occupation. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
B-minus 79% Free Trip to Egypt (2019) There's something of a "nice Borat" quality to this sweet-but-slight documentary. It confirms its premise that exposure vanquishes bigotry (though its sample size is small). - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
A 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) There's always something going on her to tickle the eye and brain: Attention-grabbing compositions, riffs on imaginary '60s TV programs and movies -- an Italian Bond knock-off, Westerns of the Spaghetti and New-Hollywood variety. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
84% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) With toxic masculinity as its impetus, this quasi-satiric film manages to connect the dots between bros and blows but fails to land anything with much force. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
100% Push (2019) This timely doc is certain to resonate with anyone (everyone?) puzzled, shocked or traumatized by the outlandish prices of rent and property across the globe. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2019
42% Stuber (2019) One part buddy-action comedy, one part male-female imbroglio, Stuber succeeds in not being stupid though it is frustratingly half-assed and full of wasted opportunities given its strong cast. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
96% Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) A lovely, affectionate documentary about an amazing woman offered as a tribute and celebration. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2019
B-plus 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) A film with a tone of scorched romanticism, and a love story many can relate to, about being betrayed and getting your heart crushed by a two-timing, social-climbing city. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2019
C-plus 43% Ferrante Fever (2019) Mundane in the making, a talking heads and clips assemblage, the film gives us neither the author in person, nor her writing, except in brief clips, read in voice-over by an actor. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
8% Isabelle (2019) Isabelle is generic, littered with clichés and just plain bad. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2019
C 64% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) In a Night at The Evil Museum fashion, the artifacts in the Warrens' demon museum come to life over the course of a night. Despite aggressive editing and Joseph Bishara's shrieking score, it's a long night indeed. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
95% Buddy (2019) A lovely, touching doc from a director who knows a thing or two about emotional intimacy. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
84% Dogman (2019) Director Garone's dark drama is fueled by allegory and a standout performance by actor Marcello Fonte in his debut lead role. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
32% Shaft (2019) As with many of these slapped-together action-comedy hybrids, Shaft is a game effort by a talented cast but a shame about the movie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
B 78% Watergate (2019) A problem is that Watergate, while good at getting into the muck and weeds, fails in overview. The success of Watergate prosecution seems to have owed at least as much to luck as to Nixon's dogged adversaries. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
86% Pavarotti (2019) Director Ron Howard's experience and resources ensure this sentimental doc about the Italian classical music superstar is well-paced and researched for memorable archival tidbits. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
76% Asako I & II (Netemo sametemo) (2019) This bittersweet Japanese oddity doesn't quite work as a romantic melodrama but succeeds in illuminating anxiety-ridden millennial generation. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
C-plus 57% Aladdin (2019) It runs 128 minutes - though it has enough digressions, chases, musical numbers and virtual fly-overs through bazaars, minaret-and-domed skylines, that is feels it may actually last 1001 Nights. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
C-plus 57% Brightburn (2019) The movie rattles through 90 minutes of episodic jolts and jumbled visual style, distinctive only in having a better effects budget than your average demons-in-the-attic quickie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
B-minus 51% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Without ever feeling like an "issue movie," it balances a coincidence-riddled romantic fantasy against a plausible backdrop of immigrants' struggles. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
90% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) Director Herzog- famous for his films about impossible dreamers - is uniquely qualified to document Gorbachev, the man who dreamed of reinventing the Soviet Union... and ending up triggering its dissolution. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
20% This Is North Preston (2019) It's an interesting story but This Is North Preston's cinematic approach (think music video) undermines its gravitas. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
91% The Biggest Little Farm (2019) A beautiful film with a surprisingly strident message and broad-based appeal. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
A-minus 94% Shadow (2019) While the thematic scheme may be ancient and remote, Zhang's poetic compression and technical pizazz feels as fresh as a splash in a mountain stream. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
54% J.T. LeRoy (2019) Colourful performances by Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart fail to find any urgency in retelling the tale of this incredible early-2000s literary fraud. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
B-plus 96% Hail Satan? (2019) Though it occasionally gets a little repetitive in its use of archival devil movie and tab TV clips, Lane's film is mordantly funny and persuasive in making the case that religion should be kept out of politicians' dirty hands. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
B-plus 93% Diane (2019) Yes to everything about Place, whose performance is wonderfully specific. Her face, away from other characters' eyes, collapses into a semaphore of disappointment, with a down-turned mouth, and a far-away stare. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
29% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Despite bearing the stamp of horror king James Wan, La Llarona is dreadful, predictable and truly a must-miss. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019