Michael Sragow

Michael Sragow
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Michael Sragow saw the greatest movie ever made, <em>The Wild Bunch</em>, six times in two weeks in 1969 and has been arguing about it and other movies ever since. He has been a movie critic for The Baltimore Sun since 2001 and a regular contributor to The New Yorker since 1989. Prior to writing for The Sun, he was a film critic for Rolling Stone and The San Francisco Examiner, among other publications. He is the author of Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (Pantheon, 2008).

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
8/10 97% Knives Out (2019) "Like a clever piece of stage conjuring, Knives Out is slight but hugely enjoyable. " - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) The movie enables us to glimpse something great or near-great: Hanks's profoundly instinctive portrait of a preternaturally tolerant and rational man. But this trumped-up story keeps getting in the way. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
93% Honey Boy (2019) Har'el and Braier bring a gnarly shimmer to poolside dreams and roadside pipe-dreams. Along with LaBeouf, they bequeath the roughest characters with the tenderest mercies. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
2/4 64% Love Actually (2003) If you feel yourself glowing after Love Actually, you might be suffering from sugar shock. - Baltimore Sun EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
4/10 26% Gemini Man (2019) The real mystery here: How did Lee and such a gifted cast and crew end up with such a vacuum? The plot bumps along from one ludicrous turn or gaping hole to the next. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
70% The Kill Team (2019) "The movie aims for eloquence...and it hits the mark. In its finest moments, performance, writing, and direction come together with chilling limpidity." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
70% The King (2019) "The King"'s attempt to de-mythify patriarchal aristocracy and medieval war is so blunt and single-minded that it revises the underlying history and legend out of existence. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
100% Nightjohn (1996) Carl Lumbly brings bedrock conviction to Nightjohn. - Baltimore Sun EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
84% Downton Abbey (2019) "In "Downton Abbey", series creator Julian Fellowes, as sole writer and co-producer, gracefully recreates the sweet and savory, upstairs-downstairs charms." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2019
24% The Goldfinch (2019) "Unfortunately, in "The Goldfinch", a barrelful of cinematic filigree adorns an empty antique memory box." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
5/10 88% Ready or Not (2019) "-the makers of the killingly clumsy horror comedy "Ready or Not" aim to take all those games from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, swap sexual for homicidal content." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
80% Good Boys (2019) "Profanity and banality make for a joy-killing combination in this fourth-rate farce "Good Boys." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
78% Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) "This adaptation of the popular children's series recreates the visceral impact of the original, but tames its absurdity - carrying over the flaws of some Amblin films. The craftsmanship is here, but the heart is artificial." - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
55% Piranhas (La paranza dei bambini) (2019) This is a softened down, slicked up, rags-to-glad-rags movie, and its wispiness is maddening. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
40% The Operative (2019) With a clumsy flashback structure, The Operative never quite reaches a full boil, coming off - like its heroine - as an entity without a country - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
53% The Lion King (2019) The weight of the production and the hubris of its technological aspirations accent the story flaws that were always part of The Lion King. This is one Disney fable that should have stayed a handmade tale. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2019
90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Spider-Man: Far from Home takes a huge leap upward for director Jon Watts after the overstuffed Homecoming, delivering a consistently entertaining blend of action and comedy. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
2.5/4 49% Jurassic Park III (2001) Despite all its talk of genetic engineering and its deliberately stupid characters, the unintended message of Jurassic Park III is that when it comes to art and entertainment, you can't beat human DNA. - Baltimore Sun EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Toy Story 4 is a must-see for its beauty, drollery, and charm. But when it comes to the story, the boomerang maneuver is all it's got. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
23% Dark Phoenix (2019) It's as if the writer-director [Simon Kinberg] is using a superhero movie to rediscover the roots of soap opera. His emphasis on everything Young about the franchise swamps everything that's Adult. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
33% Domino (2019) In Domino, De Palma's virtuoso gifts are at odds with Petter Skavlan's rudimentary scenario... its current form, it fails to generate the dense, volatile atmosphere needed to bring Skavlan's pulp fiction to life. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Buying a ticket to a John Wick movie is like signing control of your lizard brain away to the director, Chad Stahelski, for 130 minutes. Luckily, he knows what to do with it. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) Disney's remake of Aladdin features human actors and digital creatures, but don't call it "live-action." Maladroit and overlong, its resting state is moribund. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
86% Christ Stopped at Eboli (Cristo si è Fermato a Eboli) (2019) Forty years after its premiere, American audiences can savor its earthy and transcendent glory in its full 220-minute running time... - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) ...[T]his film melds the unpretentious, dreamy joys of old-time comic books with the sly, rambunctious humor of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon featurettes... - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
56% Marie Antoinette (2006) It's high-caloric art-house moviemaking, full of pastry-coated, sugar-swirled ideas and historical moments dipped in candy. - Baltimore Sun EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
20% Serenity (2019) A crackpot suspense film about a fishing boat captain who veers into perilous existential waters, Serenity tries to pull off a "bait-and-switch" times two. But will anyone take the bait either time? - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
22% Miss Bala (2019) Miss Bala provides the first feasible argument for our southern neighbor to pay for building a wall: to keep Hollywood hacks out of the country. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
No Score Yet The Lincoln Cycle (1917) Its combination of popular myth-making and eccentric innovation held me rapt for 215 minutes straight. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
61% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) As spectacle, the film is aces. It welds Rodriguez's eccentric touch with action and special effects to Cameron's mastery of world-building. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
90% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) DeBlois's confident, extravagant animation combines muscular force with doodling whimsicality. He conjures intoxicating tableaux out of roaring seas, Northern lights and mists, and ruddy, green-specked mountain isles. - Brooklyn Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
43% The Wedding Guest (2019) Winterbottom's confident technique holds us for only half the running time of The Wedding Guest, a flimsy thriller about a tight-lipped lone wolf possibly named Jay. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) Lacking a unifying vision and a charismatic star performance, this film is less a big-screen comic than a patchwork quilt. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
94% The Mustang (2019) Schoenaerts's passion and the horse's grace make their dance-of-life-or-death indelible. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
95% Crumb (1995) The movie isn't a testimonial or a valentine. It's unpredictable and galvanizing: an empathetic portrait of the artist that also unveils a trenchant view of an American family's dashed illusions. - New Yorker EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
35% Welcome to Marwen (2018) The partnership between Zemeckis and Carell is ... what keeps Welcome to Marwen from falling off its own high wire-and finally brings the movie home. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
79% Buffalo Boys (2019) Set in 1860, it's ... a good-looking, erratic, cartoonish, and ultimately rousing ultraviolent Indonesian Western. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
91% Sicilian Ghost Story (2018) It is by far the best trip the recent cinema has taken 'into the woods.' - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
62% Outlaw King (2018) For all its melodramatic tension and visceral force, the movie lacks the sturdy vision or conviction that would connect the audience to it emotionally. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
89% A Private War (2018) Colvin once summarized the ultimate challenge of her missions this way: "The real difficulty is having enough faith in humanity that someone will care." A Private War is such a testament of faith. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
87% First Man (2018) Chazelle and Singer have created a grueling, prosaic, state-of-the-art docudrama (no imagination allowed) with the heart of a male weepie. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
81% Mid90s (2018) The film has a sketchbook quality, but Hill does something very difficult: he sustains the alternation of intense claustrophobia and release. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) I stayed to the final credit, in case there was a clever tag, but I didn't feel cheated when there wasn't one. I needed the time to catch my breath. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
73% Christopher Robin (2018) Although it lacks the sustained, crazy logic of a first-rate flight of imagination, it's still witty and affecting. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
92% A Prayer Before Dawn (2018) Overloaded with physical peril and over-strategized to convey the jitters of a strung-out junkie, the movie runs a deficit on emotional intelligence and journalistic information. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) A binge-able series might have been a better way to go, since the script squeezes a sprawling supporting cast into boisterous caricatures and transforms an intricate flow chart of status among Singapore's superrich into a flood of affectations. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
60% Operation Finale (2018) The film fictionalizes setups and collapses factual details while trying to make Eichmann's extraction play out with conventional suspense; it ends up a poor cousin to Argo. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
89% John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L'empire de la perfection) (2018) This movie is a complex portrait of the athlete as a young artist in what proved to be his dominant period. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
87% The Sisters Brothers (2018) As a novel, The Sisters Brothers was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. This is not the kind of movie that typically wins awards, but for me it is even better than the book. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) I come to praise Redford, not to bury him. I want to celebrate the groundbreaking performer forgotten in the wake of the ultra-handsome superstar. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018