Neely Swanson

Neely Swanson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Easy Reader (California)

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Citizen K (2019) [Director Alex] Gibney is a master at presenting multiple sides to a story. He's outdone himself here with this must-be-seen documentary of depth and complexity. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
78% Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer (2019) This is a very entertaining documentary that seduces the viewer into forgiving the tactic for the end result. But then, in the end, look what it got us. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
100% Mr. Klein (1976) Alain Delon, as Mr. Klein, gave one of his best performances in this film. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
64% The Sound of Silence (2019) It might have been effective as a short film. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
75% Spider in the Web (2019) A somewhat convoluted thriller with John Le Carré pretensions that succeeds more than it fails. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
40% Vita & Virginia (2019) Despite the costumes, this is as modern as they come and worth the journey, slow though it may be on occasion. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
51% Tolkien (2019) Tolkien is first rate all the way around. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
87% Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (2019) Non-Fiction, and make no mistake, I really liked this film, would make a much better play as it is all words, very interesting, challenging words, but in the end, all words. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
37% Out of Blue (2019) Tells a story of murder, philosophy, and physics, and none of it well. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
55% Yardie (2019) Elba has put all the parts together and has given the film its necessary edge of danger, but somehow, the story is at loose ends. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
94% Transit (2019) Writer/director Christian Petzold is a master of allegory, irony, and complexity. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
78% Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People (2019) Surely the man who won the quintessential battle for the first amendment deserves better. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2019
36% Patrick (2019) Laden with pleasant, stereotypic characters, there isn't a twist or turn that you don't see coming long before Sarah. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
84% La religieuse (The Nun) (1971) Rivette is equally adept at showing the depth of belief of his characters and their reliance on God as he is in showing the corruption that had put a stain on such beatific belief structures. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Rob Marshall, who has had notable successes in bringing musicals to the big screen, has directed this in a perfunctory fashion, seemingly more interested in staying within the footprint of the original and not coloring outside the lines. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
98% The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018) Gustave Möller, directing from an outstanding script he co-wrote with Emil Nygaard Albertsen, defies all expectation. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
91% Stavisky... (1974) One might even go so far as to say that this is an excellent example of style over substance. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
99% Tea With the Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) (2018) Tea with the Dames is one of the most delightful documentaries to come along in a period that has been full of wonderful documentaries. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) This is a performance to savor; this is the Sundance Kid in a different era with a softer, but still definitive fall. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
66% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) This film is a true illustration how important every creative crew member worked together to add depth to character and story, with remarkable thrills and chills. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
No Score Yet When You Read This Letter (Quand tu Liras Cette Lettre) (1953) Do not miss this extraordinary film. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
87% Colette (2018) Most films starring Keira Knightley are worth a look, if only for what she brings to the role. And here, she brings a lot. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
88% Love, Gilda (2018) What this documentary does very well is help you see what others saw in Gilda Radner... the sorely missed icon of sketch comedy, using archival footage and home movies. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
98% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) This real-life horror film (it's the bright orange teeth that haunt) is informative and entertaining; an example of how the best laid plans of men have changed Mother Nature's course and contributed to climate change. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
69% Hot to Trot (2018) Hot to Trot, the documentary by Gail Freedman, in her directing debut, is a warm-hearted, soft-focus film about the same-sex competitive ballroom dancing world. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
64% Memoir of War (La douleur) (2018) Nobly, Finkiel has tried to recreate the interior life of the heroine almost entirely through words, perhaps because there is no real action. He has forgotten, or perhaps ignored, the fundamental rule of cinema - it is a visual medium. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
97% To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) So, as was said recently about another film, leave your brain at the door and lead with your heart. Sometimes you just need to feel good, no matter what your age. This is a good start. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2018
80% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) This sequel, unhindered by the expectations of source material, works on so many levels that the original didn't. Mainly, it works on the mindless fun level with good music to boot even if some of it doesn't rise to the level of the known hits. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
97% Yellow Submarine (1968) Even if it was originally intended for adolescent and post adolescent Beatles fans, it should still be a marvelous experience for children with its bright colors, flowing movement, and wonderful music. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2018
75% Maineland (2018) Maineland is, however, very much worth seeing because it does give us a portrait of two teens who share more with their American counterparts than they or we imagine. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
100% Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) (2018) It is clear that Simón shows promise but this is clearly her first feature and there is room for growth. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2018
81% That Summer (2018) The film is raw, not even "rough-cut" quality. And this is the charm and the power. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2018
77% The Escape (2018) A well-intentioned effort to portray the slow suffocation of a young wife in her role as the stay-at-home mother with a seemingly perfect life. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2018
89% Le Corbeau (1948) Recognized now as an early classic of film noir, it was Clouzot's masterpiece of psychological suspense, misinterpreted and reviled by all political viewpoints at the time. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
100% Lives Well Lived (2018) This film should have a nice run on cable or streaming but see it first on screen. It will make your day. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
38% An Ordinary Man (2018) I suppose there is something to be said about the juxtaposition of such incredible physical beauty and the ugliness of the actions in support of it. But in the end, there's still not much to be said, period. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2018
100% Quai des Orfèvres (Quay of the Goldsmiths) (Jenny Lamour) (1948) Watching Jouvet unravel the other characters as he begins to unravel the mystery is a brilliant lesson in minimalism. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2018
45% Shelter (2018) Shelter, advertised as a subtle thriller suffers from a bit too much subtlety. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
53% Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël) (2018) This is billed as the "Director's Cut," leading one to wonder if the previous cut might have made more sense; at the least, it would have been mercifully shorter. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
77% In the Land of Pomegranates (2018) The film could have benefited from some judicious cutting to tighten the narrative. It is not, as the marketing would have it, a suspenseful film. It is, however, a very depressing but necessary one. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
100% Oh Lucy! (2018) This is a wonderful small movie that defies expectations at every turn; this film is the very definition of character development and that makes it something to be seen. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2018
60% The Young Karl Marx (Le jeune Karl Marx) (2018) For the most part, Peck succeeds in shining a light on an era and two seminal characters who became the very definition of that time and the century to come. The production values-cinematography, costumes, production design-are all first rate. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
63% My Art (2018) It all centers on Simmons who, as an actress, is flat, revealing little dimension or exhibiting little character depth, growth or empathy. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
100% Rebels on Pointe (2017) The choreography is faithful, the dancing impeccable, and the comedic punchline is truly on point (yes, yet again another pun). Luckily, it is one of the dance highlights of the film. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
94% Big Sonia (2017) That, in a nutshell, is Sonia's lesson to us - do not let the trauma of the past define you, use what you have and what you know to make yourself stronger. That, and wear more leopard skin prints. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2017
85% The Square (2017) At what point do you become engaged with what is happening around you and what is the causal effect - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2017
28% Seeking Justice (2012) Complicated, jerky pacing and inadequate casting. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2017
96% The Kid with a Bike (2012) This amazing film of loss and discovery will change you - a rare occurrence these days. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2017
80% The Deep Blue Sea (2012) This is a fine film, a throw-back to the wonderful American films of the 40s and very much worth a visit to the cinema (as these Brits would have said). - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2017
77% Jeff Who Lives at Home (2012) The Duplass brothers, Jay and Mark, who wrote and directed the film, don't take the time necessary to make any of the characters believable or complex. - Easy Reader (California) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2017