Peter Howell

Peter Howell
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 94% In Fabric (2019) Is "In Fabric" amusing, terrifying or instructive? That cackle you hear, with another twist of the dial, is Strickland's maniacal laughter. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
3.5/4 91% Antigone (2019) "Antigone" views the plight of desperate immigrants through the lens of Greek tragedy, wringing compelling drama out of a situation that too often resembles catastrophe in the real world. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
2/4 No Score Yet Stand! (2019) "Stand!" unfolds as more of a series of teachable moments than as cohesive drama. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
3/4 93% Dark Waters (2019) It's enough to make you want to chuck all of your non-stick and waterproofed products after seeing this movie. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
3/4 No Score Yet Assholes: A Theory (2019) There's much humour but also a few swift kicks to the derriere delivered in the doc, including to supposedly mild-mannered Canadians. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2019
3/4 83% Queen & Slim (2019) "Queen & Slim" has more than a few dialogue clangers and narrative contrivances... but the felicitous pairing of Turner-Smith and Kaluuya makes the flaws easy to forgive. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
3/4 97% Knives Out (2019) "Knives Out" is as much a 'toon as it is a hat tip to the elaborate mechanics of an Agatha Christie mystery. It's silly and suspenseful in equal measure. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
3.5/4 96% Marriage Story (2019) It's not quite as bleak as a Bergman film, although the late Swedish auteur is clearly an influence on Baumbach, as well as on Robbie Ryan's austere cinematography. But it leaves similar scorch marks upon the mind and heart. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
3/4 77% Frozen II (2019) One thing that really sets "Frozen 2" apart from its predecessor is the visuals, which are as gorgeous and awe-inspiring as computer animation can possibly get. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
1/4 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) Many such scenes are shot in claustrophobic close-up, possibly in a vain attempt to disguise how fake they look or because most people will just end up watching this dumb movie on their smartphones, if they bother with it at all. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
2.5/4 47% Last Christmas (2019) Feig just wants to make people smile, and also to solve all the terrible "isms" of the world. So must all who come into his cuddly embrace. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
2/4 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) It just leaves you starving for something better. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/4 96% The Irishman (2019) It's a cinematic tour de force in form and substance, representing late-career high points for director Scorsese and his lead actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
3.5/4 98% The Cave (2019) "The Cave" is a stark reminder of the toll of war, but also of the tenacity of the human spirit. God may not be watching, but we all should. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
2/4 62% Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Manages to seem like a paint-by-numbers detective story even as it ambles through a byzantine narrative. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
2.5/4 71% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Nostalgia, chemistry and some sneaky "Deadpool" sarcasm help carry the load. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3.5/4 93% Western Stars (2019) "Western Stars," Bruce Springsteen's best album in years, makes for an enchanting movie that looks bravely ahead at the open road while casting a longing glance in the rear-view mirror. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/4 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) "Double Tap" ultimately staggers to the finish line through a combination of personal chemistry and audience good will - this was a sequel most fans of the original actually wanted - but there are so many instances where it could have been better. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
2/4 43% The Addams Family (2019) All this talent, but an empty crypt of a committee-written script, which goes in mainly for cornball one-liners and sight gags working the eternal Halloween conceit of the Addams saga. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
2/4 26% Gemini Man (2019) It doesn't have much of a story to tell, and it has a needlessly complicated high-tech way of telling it. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3.5/4 69% Joker (2019) The supervillain origin story to beat all origin stories. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
3/4 93% Monos (2019) It's an intoxicating descent into anarchy that alarmingly suggests the bonds of civility are all too easy to shuck off. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/4 83% Roger Waters: Us + Them (2019) This is more than just a Pink Floyd's greatest-hits show, but not much more than that. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/4 84% Ad Astra (2019) Stellar acting, along with the pretty pictures, overrides the film's structural limitations. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
3/4 94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) The film is kind of brilliant in the way it covers and contextualizes more than 50 years of groundbreaking music in barely two hours. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
2/4 86% The Whistlers (2020) A great idea, badly executed. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
2/4 77% A Hidden Life (2019) Malick falls prey yet again to the voice-over whispering and dreamy cloud-watching he relies on too much. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
1.5/4 63% Greed (2019) Coogan's one-note riff gets old quickly and the anti-exploitation message lacks punch. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
1.5/4 24% The Goldfinch (2019) A movie as inert as the famous oil painting it is titled for. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
2/4 58% Frankie (2019) Any film that wastes the great Isabelle Huppert is a crime. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 85% Waves (2019) Waves takes us on a real journey, leaving us breathless but also marvelling at the end. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 88% The Two Popes (2019) This is a crowd-pleaser for believers and agnostics alike. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 73% Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2020) This... is very much guitarist/songwriter Robertson's version of the truth, but it rings true as it accounts how drugs, petty jealousies and other demons ultimately undid these Fab Five musicians. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 82% Just Mercy (2019) Strong performances, especially by Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Tim Blake Nelson, help make the message a movie. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 83% Judy (2019) Renée Zellweger wasn't the obvious choice to play the late Judy Garland, the joyful Wizard of Oz ingénue turned adult captive of addiction and anxiety, but she makes it seem like there's no place like her home. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/4 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Taika Waititi knocks it out of der park with the meaningful lunacy of his anti-hate satire, which is equal parts Mel Brooks, Wes Anderson and Waititi's own whimsical brilliance. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
2.5/4 88% Hustlers (2019) If you want to see JLo in her best role in 21 years, since she dallied with George Clooney in Out of Sight, you've come to the right naughty place. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) The story's great and the racetrack action leaves skid marks on the eyeballs. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Can you dig it? Consider it dug. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Tom Hanks fits the red sweater like he was born in it, but Marielle Heller's unique take on Fred Rogers' magnetism exceeds impersonation. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 88% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2019) It's an exercise in pure cinema, an abstract painting of a crime story. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 99% Varda by Agnès (2019) A master class on filmmaking by the late, great Agnès Varda, by way of a tour of her 64 years behind and in front of the lens, as a leading force of the French New Wave. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 90% The Twentieth Century (2019) Take those history books, pile them up and set them ablaze. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 73% The Traitor (2020) This mob tale steals our attention. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 85% Sorry We Missed You (2020) Bleak even by Loach's no-guff standards, but it kicks like a mule. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 97% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019) The film could be considered Exhibit A for essays on the female gaze. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/4 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Satire morphs into a savage underclass morality lesson that recalls the home invasion tales of Michael Haneke and Jordan Peele. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/4 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Pain and Glory is a film to savour like a fine bourbon, watching how Salvador (and Almodóvar) wrestles with demons of the mind, heart and body. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/4 98% The Last Waltz (1978) Simply one of the best rock docs ever, born of equal parts thunder and fatigue. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/4 82% Les Misérables (2020) Tensions run high; pulses do, too. - Toronto Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019