Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
87% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Her voice has lost its soul-clanging power, but she can still deliver some pretty solid harmony...this is the story of an immensely talented woman who often doubted her own abilities. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
B- 80% Official Secrets (2019) [Sometimes] the dialogue sounds more like speechifying than regular conversation.Still, there's something so vital about the material it covers that Gavin Hood's fact-based docudrama demands to be seen. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
C+ 88% Hustlers (2019) Despite its welcome depiction of mutually supportive sisterhood, Scafaria's film becomes bogged down in sticky moral entanglements. Even more problematic, this is an emotionally chilly yarn exhibiting little warmth or open compassion for its characters. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
97% Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2019) [It] is not only dark thematically, it's dark visually, thanks to Juan Jose Saravia's evocative handheld cinematography. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
92% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) The film has a solid first hour, then loses focus and sort of drifts off in its final 30 minutes. Still, there is much to admire here, for this is no warm dip into fuzzy nostalgia. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
90% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) All this may sound like a tall order, but despite a few missteps Brittany Runs a Marathon delivers the uplifting goods. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
B+ 99% One Child Nation (2019) Amazingly, given the incendiary subject matter, One Child Nation avoids sensationalism. The overall tone is less outrage than one of sober melancholy. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
B 95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) The Peanut Butter Falcon borders on surreal fantasy. That it works at all is amazing; that it works as wonderfully as it does is miraculous. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
C+ 44% After the Wedding (2019) After the Wedding offers the spectacle of fine performances in an uphill battle against melodramatic drek. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
B 86% The Nightingale (2019) You may want to look away, but such is Kent's skill that you don't. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
C 18% Hot Air (2019) Coogan is actually quite effective as Lionel, while young Russell offers a charismatic and watchable presence. Problem is, Hot Air lacks a point of view. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
B 94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Questioned about his borderline brutal methodology, Wallace would say he was motivated by a search for the truth. But as Avi Belkin's documentary makes painfully clear, much of Wallace's bulldog style was born of insecurity, of a sense of unworthiness. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
B+ 88% Blinded by the Light (2019) Blinded by the Light is a valentine to Bruce Springsteen and his music. But it's a whole lot more. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
59% Brian Banks (2019) Shadyak plays things straight, with no show-offy visual flourishes, slowly building a full head of indignation and then letting all that pressure out with a whoosh of relief. Best of all, he gets really strong performances out of his players. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
64% Them That Follow (2019) No film that offers both Walton Goggins and Olivia Colman can be dismissed out of hand. They are among our best actors, and here give solid performances. But Them That Follow left me wanting more. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
98% Maiden (2019) This is an engrossing and inspiring saga , one that leaves the viewer with a profound respect for the men (and women) who go down to the sea in ships. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
B 99% The Farewell (2019) The Farewell hits universal themes of kinship and mortality with unerring accuracy and delicate grace. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
B 93% Sword of Trust (2019) Sword of Trust is largely fluff. But it's great fluff, a consistently entertaining character-driven wonder. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
B 94% Echo In the Canyon (2019) Divided almost equally between talking heads and musical performances, this doc is tuneful, insightful and, yeah, awesomely nostalgic. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
93% Wild Rose (2019) Wild Rose sidesteps the anticipated rags-to-riches denouement in favor or something far more subtle and satisfying. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
B- 83% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) You could dismiss The Art of Self-Defense as a one-joke movie, but it's a pretty good joke with just enough twists and revelations to keep the viewer alternately amused and appalled. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
C 58% Under the Silver Lake (2019) David Robert Mitchell's Under Silver Lake looks so good while evoking a palpable aura of dread (despite its sunny setting) that it pains to report that the movie makes no damn sense. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
B- 53% The Lion King (2019) Is it colorful and diverting? Diverting enough, anyway. Is it moving? Not particularly. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
B 97% Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) Greenfield-Sanders intersperses talking-head observations with vintage newsreels, family photos and Morrison's own testimony (recorded in sessions going back to the '70s) to create a panoramic history of her life and career. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Less a conventional narrative than an extended tone poem, Joe Talbot's The Last Black Man in San Francisco is bursting at the seams with color, movement and, quite often, stillness. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
B+ 86% Pavarotti (2019) Pavarotti falls short of being encyclopedic...but there's enough here to convince us that despite some blips this was a life well lived. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
B- 58% Ophelia (2019) Ophelia is a smart piece of work. True, it lacks the genius of Shakespeare's original dialogue...still, Chellas' script achieves a sort of Masterpiece Theatre eloquence. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
63% Yesterday (2019) Good thing the movie has Patel, whose bumbling likability factor is off the charts. And then, of course ,there are the songs. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
74% The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) It is in the little biographical details that the doc stands out... - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
C+ 54% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Here's the bottom line: the film's trailer contains just about every good laugh in the picture and never wears out its welcome. Also, it's free. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
B+ 83% American Woman (2019) American Woman represents a career high for Miller; one only hopes this little movie isn't overlooked at awards time. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
C+ 80% Late Night (2019) On certain topics the film is as timely as hell. Alas, in other important areas it feels tired, cliched and passe. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
B 72% All Creatures Here Below (2019) Schiffli and his players find a core of humanity there that holds us even as Ruby and Gensan's situation becomes increasingly more dire. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
B- 98% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) There's enough of interest here to keep us engaged. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2019
B 100% The World Before Your Feet (2018) Matt Green may be a bit nuts, but it's a wonderful nuttiness. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 100% Oh Lucy! (2018) Many of the performances are perfunctory and/or badly thought out (not sure what to make of Hartnett's John), but there's no denying that leading lady Terajima is a compelling screen presence. She makes it worth the visit. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
B+ 89% Wait for Your Laugh (2017) As a recap of a monumental, astoundingly rich life, Wait for Your Laugh is a marvel. - Butler's Cinema Scene EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
3/4 87% Wind River (2017) Sheridan's screenplay provides plenty of thumbnail portraits of colorful characters. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2017
2.5/4 52% The Glass Castle (2017) There are a few moments when "The Glass Castle" threatens to come to emotional life. But they pass. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2017
3/4 84% Detroit (2017) "Detroit" is a crushingly visceral experience, one filled with indignation not only for what went on in 1967 but for today's troubling displays of shoot-first law enforcement. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2017
2.5/4 78% Atomic Blonde (2017) Whether soaking away her pain in an ice cube-filled bath or savagely kicking Commie butt, this "Atomic Blonde" grabs our attention and won't let go. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2017
3.5/4 90% A Ghost Story (2017) Stick with it and you will be treated to what very well may be the year's most unique cinematic vision. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2017
3/4 98% The Big Sick (2017) It's hard to overstate just how effectively "The Big Sick" balances its romantic inclinations against life-or-death drama, or how its comedy co-exists with potential heartbreak. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2017
2.5/4 79% The Beguiled (2017) Ultimately "The Beguiled" is clinical when it should be compelling. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2017
3/4 93% Baby Driver (2017) The results are both familiar and fresh. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2017
2/4 29% Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) Early reports on "Dead Men" suggested it was a step up from the last couple of "Pirates" pictures. That's like saying Grandma showed impressive speed in outrunning Great-Grandma. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 25, 2017
1.5/4 31% King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017) Hunnam looks good but can't do much with the material, for there is not one genuine moment of emotion in the whole laborious mess. Even the action scenes are more confusing than stimulating. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted May 11, 2017
2.5/4 69% Free Fire (2017) "Free Fire" is a no-subtext zone. What you see is what you get. But concentrate on the action and the smart-ass insults and you'll be OK. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2017
2/4 48% Going in Style (2017) Light, glib and easy to forget. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2017
3/4 71% Beauty and the Beast (2017) Bottom line: This Beauty is big, well-designed, tuneful and -- finally -- romantic. But here's the odd thing: It made me want to revisit the original. - Kansas City Star EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2017