Preston Barta

Preston Barta
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 96% Marriage Story (2019) 'Marriage Story' is a relatable series of heartbreaks and joys through the lens of marital disintegration. [Driver and Johansson] should have [their] shelves decorated in gold for their work here. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
4/5 93% Honey Boy (2019) Some may chuckle and solely think of the kid who took pies to the face and screamed his head off around robots, but this cinematic account makes you want to reach through the screen and hug LaBeouf. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
5/5 88% Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' has the ingredients of a high-dollar buddy comedy, but it also steers toward quieter, more mature territory that ultimately gives it greater cinematic electricity. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
4/5 99% The Farewell (2019) 'The Farewell' is a rewarding film for the ages. It has its tears, undoubtedly; but it also has many laughs and uplifting moments to carry you through your own obstacles. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2019
3.5/5 74% The Daytrippers (1997) A cautionary tale of sorts that also humorously pokes at the kookiness of family. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2019
2/5 53% Noelle (2019) 'Noelle' is reheated egg nog that has lost its joyful flavor. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2019
4/5 96% The Irishman (2019) 'The Irishman' is a marvel to behold. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2019
3.5/5 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) There are elements about it that will leave you feeling conflicted. Still, the emotional arc and the balancing act Flanagan pulls off between the physical and metaphysical world is an astonishing feat. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
2/5 74% Harriet (2019) 'Harriet' occasionally has the power to move, but the lens in which it is presented plays like a safely packaged TV production without the raw intensity it needs to move mountains. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
4/5 70% The King (2019) Although it loses some momentum around the midpoint, 'The King' is a harrowing journey worthy of its crown. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
5/5 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) A crazy game of poker. It'll keep you on your toes and will have you hunkering down like a moth to a flame. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
4/5 92% The Lighthouse (2019) 'The Lighthouse' is a challenging experience that will make your mind run amok, to the point where you begin to feel it slipping away like its characters. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
A 60% The Current War: Director's Cut (2019) What so easily could have been a standard account, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon uses all components of filmmaking to work in tandem. It's fall's first bolt of cinematic electricity. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
2.5/5 21% Lucy in the Sky (2019) Despite all [Noah Hawley's] talents and Natalie Portman's fierce performance, 'Lucy in the Sky' is elevated Lifetime movie material that hits significant turbulence due to its lackluster script and visual overload. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 41% The Laundromat (2019) 'The Laundromat' is endlessly fascinating but also extremely exhausting. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 62% Fractured (2019) 'Fractured' breaks into many of the thematic elements that are present in Brad Anderson's other works. Some may label it as a lesser 'Shutter Island' (which is fair), but I was still sucked into its tale of parental anxiety. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
4/5 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Eddie Murphy looks like he hasn't had this much fun making a movie in years. He brings all the charm and quick wit from his prime and squeezes it into a portrayal that's equally as affecting on a dramatic level. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
B 68% Wrinkles the Clown (2019) What unfolds is a twisted experience that is unlike any other documentary. The journey of being wowed, confused and shocked is something that will never leave your memory. It's a new kind of nightmare. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
4/5 82% Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) What many filmmakers would turn into a monotonous series of self-congratulatory interviews, Alexandre O. Philippe takes the information we may know about 'Alien' and presents it through a unique lens. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
4.5/5 69% Joker (2019) 'Joker' is a film that is simply trying to elicit a response and provoke viewers. It is not what you will be expecting from a big-budget movie with a DC logo slapped on it. How Phillips made something that is on par with 'Taxi Driver' is utterly shocking. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
3.5/5 59% In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) A character-driven story makes 'In the Shadow of the Moon' tick. There's meaning in its quest for truth and the sacrifices we make along the way. It's an entrancing lunar chase across time. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 75% The Death of Dick Long (2019) In many ways, 'The Death of Dick Long' is like watching a high-anxiety episode of 'The Office.' But instead of including characters like Jim Halpert and Michael Scott, it's a litter of Dwight and Mose Schrutes. It's pure chaos and fun. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
B- 85% Color Out of Space (2020) Richard Stanley's 'Color Out of Space' is a tasty bowl of WTF soup. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
B+ 96% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) Takashi Miike consistently keeps you on your toes and finds amusing ways to reconfigure familiar plotlines. 'First Love' is a toned down Miike film, but the fun of his story will cause your heart to beat for it. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
4.5/5 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) 'Jojo Rabbit' has so much positivity in its narrative that it could warm the iciest of hearts. It's absolutely lovely, and one of the year's very best films. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
C+ 38% In the Tall Grass (2019) 'In the Tall Grass' has many of the elements needed to shape into a fine creep show. But after a while, the wheels begin to spin, and you can't escape the feeling that it should have been mowed down to a short. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
4/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) There's a particular madness to 'Ad Astra' that causes you to look inward and ruminate on your own dealings with pain, shame and regret. It teaches a lot about humanity, fatherhood and masculinity. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
4/5 96% Love, Antosha (2019) It's honest, inspiring and heartbreaking. By the end of the film, whether you were familiar with [Anton Yelchin's] work or not, you will feel like you've lost a great friend. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3/5 62% It Chapter Two (2019) 'Chapter Two' is an emotional finale that takes a few detours that detract from its overall quality. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
4/5 48% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Linklater's film is a giant hug about abandoning our routines and finding real happiness. It's absolutely lovely and deserves your discovery. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet Manson: Music from an Unsound Mind (2019) Through talking head interviews with biographers, former Manson family members and associates, and a fat stack of stunning archival footage and photos to punch up the narration, director Tom O'Dell fashions an all-encompassing tour de force. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
4/5 95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) The screenplay by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz (also the directors) cuts deep. Between the fun interactions of its characters are quiet nuggets of wisdom and truth. Let it carry you to happiness. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
1.5/5 84% Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) It's bad. Like 'Master of Disguise' bad. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
3/5 26% Otherhood (2019) Not every relationship wraps up as well as others, but the film's journey is what gives 'Otherhood' its staying power. Fortunately, thanks to the well-sold drama, performances and truth revelations, it's a cozy Netflix watch. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3.5/5 30% The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019) 'Red Sea' undoubtedly has a Hollywood spit shine, with its modern musical score, heavy stylization and story conveniences. That said, the act of heroism and human sincerity at its center keep it sharp and worthwhile. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3/5 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 'Hobbs & Shaw' is a glorious beefcake showdown that presses the NOS button on stupidity and revs the entertainment engine to mad levels. It's pure lunacy with all the cheese and zingers to put a smile on your face. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
5/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Quentin Tarantino crafts an elegant valentine for 1960s cinema and culture and soaks it in the bong water of 'Dazed and Confused' for a splash of big-time fun. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
2.5/5 53% The Lion King (2019) 'The Lion King' finds its strength in the quieter moments. However, much of everything else feels lifeless and doesn't reach its full potential to be unique. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 39% Point Blank (2019) The Netflix action-thriller may be the same ol' exposing corrupt cops tale that you've seen many times before, but director Joe Lynch knows how to accelerate the material into territory that makes it exciting. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
4/5 86% Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) Just as [Aziz Ansari's] actions caused me to look inward, 'Right Now' has the same effect. Ansari wants people to do what the title of his special suggests: Look at who you are right now and how you live right now. It's an impressive analysis of humanity. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
3.5/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 'Far From Home' has this confidence that's admirable. It gets weird, goofy and keeps you on your toes, which is what you want out of a franchise that has 20-plus movies in it. Go have a blast! - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
4/5 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) While it may still feel like a stretch, it's a sweet continuation with fun new characters, lots of laughs and plenty of heart. So, if a fourth movie in the franchise had to be made, 'Toy Story 4' is about as good as it could be. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
A- 83% Midsommar (2019) 'Midsommar' feels as if a satanic eye sits at Aster's shoulder, nudging him further into the dark. It's a devilish horror feast about codependency. Florence Pugh gives a performance that absolutely slays. - Fresh Fiction EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
3/5 45% Murder Mystery (2019) The first 20 minutes of Netflix's 'Murder Mystery' is some of Adam Sandler's funniest work in years. But then there's the rest of the film, which ranges from OK to silly. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
3.5/5 56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Jarmusch clearly had a blast making this film and he doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks. So, when the odd beat drops, just embrace it. 'The Dead Don't Die' has comedy and characters that are to die for. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
4.5/5 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) With its smooth blend of photography, lyrical language and first-rate performances, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' haunts like a classic poem. The journey of sitting with it and finding new discoveries along the way is going to be remarkable. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
3/5 19% High School High (1996) 'High School High' may push the envelope a little too far at times, but you won't be able to hold back the tears from laughing so hard. The first 30 minutes are pure gold! - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
3.5/5 57% The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) If running up and down the emotional spectrum sounds ideal, allow 'The Prisoner of Second Avenue' to lock you behind its bars for 100 minutes and free you a changed person. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
3.5/5 70% Isn't It Romantic (2019) While not all the jokes work and some scenes carry on longer than they should, 'Isn't It Romantic' is a feel-good movie with a message to take to heart. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
3.5/5 92% A Vigilante (2019) Like having a good cry, you will walk away from 'A Vigilante' a more emotionally and mentally enriched person. The awareness it brings and the journey that star Olivia Wilde takes you on (in a career-best performance) make it rewarding. - Denton Record-Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019