Marjorie Baumgarten

Marjorie Baumgarten
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Austin Chronicle

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/5 83% Queen & Slim (2019) Queen & Slim artfully weaves together a lovers-on-the-lam crime story with very trenchant Black Lives Matter thematic content. It is a perfect movie for our times. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
4.5/5 97% Marriage Story (2019) [T]he keen observations and sharp wit of Marriage Story are likely to wed the audience to the film until death do us part. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/5 83% The Report (2019) [Scott Z.] Burns seems better positioned than most to straddle this intrinsic paradox concerning fact-based, politically charged dramas. However, in favoring datelines and details over personalities and concision, Burns does his film few favors. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
3/5 62% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Motherless Brooklyn may have no solid direction home, but it indeed walks the walk of a movie that knows the way. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
4/5 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Banderas creates a shadow image of Almodóvar, with similar hair and physique, without becoming a replica. It's a very controlled performance. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/5 69% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) As sequels go, Double Tap delivers the goods, but exists in a realm that feels more like a second serving than a new taste treat. It still tastes good, but nothing ever replicates the joy of the first bite. Just ask a zombie. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
59% In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) In the Shadow of the Moon comes up short in regard to the human angle. Still, there's enough mystery to pull the plot through, and all the technical aspects of the made-for-Netlix film are top tier. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
37% In the Tall Grass (2019) The performances are all solid, and writer/director [Vincenzo] Natali and cinematographer Craig Wrobleski wreaking fiendish menace from the grass jungle. Surely, they're not in Kansas anymore. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
3/5 68% Sister Aimee (2019) Sister Aimee is a scrappy period piece that supplants the things a bigger budget might have afforded with good choices about things that were under the filmmakers' control. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
2/5 50% American Dreamer (2019) Since none of the characters are terribly bright or likable, the experience of watching the film is like being trapped inside a locked car stuck in neutral. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
3.5/5 94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) [Stanley] Nelson has gifted us with a thoughtful and rich profile which, like a fading note escaping from Davis' trumpet, leaves us wanting more. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
2.5/5 88% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Since [Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein] are a top-notch documentary duo with such probing films as The Celluloid Closet and The Times of Harvey Milk representative of their filmography, it's fair to have expected more from this music doc. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
3.5/5 49% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Although [Cate] Blanchett's performance seems a bit mannered and slightly reminiscent of her Oscar-winning performance in Blue Jasmine, these are hardly flaws when the outcome is so riveting. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
2.5/5 92% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) A Sixties survivor who by his own account has crossed lines the rest of us have yet to think of, [David] Crosby is indeed a living legend. However, he also remains a legend in his own mind. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
3/5 79% Pasolini (2019) Just as he did with 2018's At Eternity's Gate, in which he embodied the artist Vincent van Gogh, [Willem] Dafoe brilliantly captures the essence and a more-than-reasonable resemblance to the real figures. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
2.5/5 95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) The Peanut Butter Falcon may lack depth and subtlety, but you can always feel the beat of its heart. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
3/5 64% The Mountain (2019) The Mountain has productive veins of ore for those willing to mine it. But be aware that finding gems will require sweat equity. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
3/5 74% The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) Despite the abundance and thoroughness of the historical research and on-camera interviews, the film never fully completes its picture of [Moe] Berg. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
2.5/5 79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) The film should lure in all Cohen-heads, but it doesn't color outside its two-person narrative, which only exists because one of the two is famous. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
No Score Yet Crocodile (1979) One of the daft selling points of the Thai-Philippine co-production is that it is one of the most inept monster movies ever made. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
2.5/5 92% Echo In the Canyon (2019) Despite the obvious shortcomings, Echo in the Canyon should please fans of the music, as well as newcomers to the sound who are experiencing it fresh. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
4/5 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) The Last Black Man in San Francisco offers the perspective of residents who are embedded in the here and now rather than those who have only recently arrived looking for something better. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/5 43% The Tomorrow Man (2019) The Tomorrow Man gives off a feeling of having seen it all before. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
2/5 71% All Is True (2019) Apart from fleeting pleasures, All Is True is mostly a goodie bag stuffed for Shakespeare completists. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2.5/5 79% Photograph (2019) The film's small, quiet moments are its most alluring feature, although it's possible the film may ultimately be too quiet for its own good. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
2.5/5 68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) The film's plot is either too much or too little. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2.5/5 29% Sunset (2018) Stripped of life-and-death consequences, Sunset never convinces us that its protagonist can sustain such unrelenting scrutiny. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
3/5 92% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) Despite issues with the Penguins narrative, its cinematography is unsurpassed. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
2.5/5 44% The Chaperone (2019) Because The Chaperone's second fiddle doesn't soak up the spotlight as readily as its star, the film leaves the viewer with an unsatisfied longing for more Brooks. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
4/5 97% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) Serious and comic at the same time, the immensely likable Icelandic film Woman at War is a human-scaled superhero story. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
1.5/5 36% Burlesque (2010) As Burlesque ground along its obvious and well-worn path, my inner voice indeed shouted, "Take it off," though my request was directed toward the projection booth rather than the dancers onstage. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
2/5 27% The Aftermath (2019) The Aftermath wants to be a great war romance, but it's stuck inside of Hamburg with the Casablanca blues again. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
3.5/5 99% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Jia's minimalist visual style and sprawling narrative style allows him to observe changes in the present and over periods of time. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/5 43% The Wedding Guest (2019) The film skirts classification as nimbly as it does pursuers, and in the process creates something that simmers on its own timetable. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/5 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) For all our Tony Montanas and Pablo Escobars, both imagined and real, I guarantee you have never seen a drug-trafficking movie like Birds of Passage. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
3.5/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) Apollo 11 is free of extraneous narration, which helps lend it a present-tense feel. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2019
3.5/5 60% Greta (2019) Despite the buildup of these horror expectations, there is no predicting how deliciously enjoyable it is to witness the macabre dance performed by Moretz and Huppert, two of the best actresses working in today's movies. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3/5 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Everybody Knows is not Farhadi's best work, but he does deliver an affair to remember. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) Pardon my disgruntlement, but after three hours, my tendency is to desire a more resounding ending and something less solipsistic. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
2.5/5 70% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Isn't It Romantic, the film, is "a dream that can be heard," but only as a counter melody to the main theme. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Like the time period it covers, this love story is filled with passionate rhetoric and uncertain intentions. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
2/5 41% The Upside (2019) Kevin Hart's huge number of fans may push this film to early box-office success but eventually they are likely to toss it into the untouchable pile. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/5 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Dafoe's ability to switch on a dime between expressions of joy and pain, spiritual transcendence and physical suffering, are put to great use here, creating a character both venerable and pitiable. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2.5/5 92% Maria By Callas (2018) Volf strives to present material that will absolve the diva of her scandals while presenting her side of the story, but what he hints at instead is a tantalizing portrait of a world-renowned female artist forging her place in a male-defined world. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3.5/5 91% Widows (2018) There may be no honor amongst thieves, but at least one thing is true: Viola Davis knows a thing or two about getting away with murder. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/5 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Ultimately, Buster Scruggs is lesser Coen, despite the movie bearing many of the filmmakers' trademarks. Both silly and serious, it's a hodgepodge in spurs, a horse opera with nothing but arias. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/5 88% What They Had (2018) Too many characters, who all have problems that need solving, stretch the limits of the story and push it beyond its comfort zone. Nevertheless, when the family dynamics are going strong, What They Had is an ensemble piece that hits the bull's-eye. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 45% The Portrait of a Lady (1996) For all its misfires, The Portrait of a Lady paints a fascinating picture. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
2.5/5 72% The Happy Prince (2018) There are scenes during which Everett's Wilde commands our wide-eyed attention, still mesmerizing despite his physical and psychological decline. Yet in between those quickened moments, The Happy Prince trudges forward with monotonous uniformity. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
2/5 59% Malice (1993) Maybe it depends on how you feel about such intrusions but me, I don't welcome malice as my primary movie-going experience. - Austin Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018