Scott Tobias

Scott Tobias
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I see movies, watch DVDs, and read books, then I get paid to write what I think of them. Beats doing stuff.
Favorites:
Top 5 (no order): Sansho The Bailiff, Duck Soup, Tokyo Story, Shoot The Piano Player, Taxi Driver
Location: Chicago

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
88% Dead Alive (1993) [O]nce Lionel stops trying to cover up the zombie threat and starts fighting it, Dead Alive becomes a delirious showcase for molds, squibs, and other old-fashioned horror effects. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
76% Low Tide (2019) McMullin could have done more to evoke his Jersey Shore setting or develop Alan's romantic interest without leaning on star-crossed clichés, but he makes up in tension and pace what he misses in local color and richer character detail. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
37% In the Tall Grass (2019) Natali whips up an atmospheric frenzy in kind, but every new addition is a subtraction. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
66% The Day Shall Come (2019) While satire relies on a level of absurdity, Morris also presses the humility and humanity of the film's patsies, and the two different angles don't really go together. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
100% Heimat Is A Space in Time (Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit) (2019) Yet the overall effect of Heise's work is mesmeric, persuasive and cumulatively powerful, as each piece of the puzzle falls into place and he lands on overarching insights into a German century and what it portends for the future. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
No Score Yet And We Go Green (2019) Stevens and Venville don't offer enough time with these men to establish anything more complex about them than rooting interest, and the racing footage itself is chaotic, patched together by a generic sports-commentary track. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
83% Thesis (1996) Amenábar dodges the moral hysteria and hypocritical prurience that infected Joel Schumacher's 8mm three years later, and his cinephilia suffuses the film in mostly exciting ways. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
B+ 100% Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) (1958) Death Of A Cyclist addresses all the grievances that Bardem mentioned at Salamanca, and it succeeds most at capturing the general climate of fear and oppression in Franco's Spain. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
43% The Song of Names (2019) A fatally old-fashioned and lugubrious historical drama, muting the emotional payoff it labors so hard to deliver. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
100% Heroic Losers (La odisea de los giles) (2019) [W]hat really gives "Heroic Losers" a boost is its expression of national character, the way it attaches itself to this rousing fantasy to score one for the downtrodden. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
84% Zombi Child (2019) A half-beguiling/half-clunky allegory that casts a dissipating voodoo spell. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
70% Clifton Hill (2019) The deeper the film goes, the more it loses its grip. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
63% It Chapter Two (2019) The first It brought a robust blockbuster maximalism to the horror genre, and the sequel, like many blockbuster franchises, starts to list from all the baggage. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
100% The Load (Teret) (2019) The Load is thoughtful enough as a character study, but its true subject is the war-ravaged landscape that unfurls through the truck's windshield and the various pit stops its driver makes along the way. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
79% Good Boys (2019) Stupnitsky and Eisenberg understand the age and the specific torments that go along with it. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2019
64% Them That Follow (2019) It's all familiar indie earnestness, full of plaintive guitar plucks and big emotions, but rarely the sense that we're accessing life "on the mountain" from the inside. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
82% The Son (El hijo) (2019) [An] elegantly structured tease... - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) The film makes the case that Wallace's dogged commitment to getting answers is journalism in its purest form, holding powerful public figures to account. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
30% Girls with Balls (2019) Afonso doesn't push the cartoonish allure far enough into shocks or titillation, and he's not inventive enough to make up for the absence of cheap thrills. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
80% A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle) (2019) With a running time short of 75 minutes, A Faithful Man is a deft little wisp of a romantic comedy, treating love as a mystery that's elusive in its chemistry and often inexplicable in its machinations. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
59% Ophelia (2019) It might have been possible for Ophelia to survive its heresies if it broke more radically from its source, but every time the film and the play intersect, it's a supremely unflattering contrast. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
23% Men in Black International (2019) Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are a proven commodity, having teamed up briefly in Thor: Ragnarok, perhaps the funniest of all the Marvel movies, but they are too busy hustling around to expensive set pieces to spark off each other. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) With this third sequel to Toy Story, Pixar has gotten away with pushing its own expiration date on the series. But those tiny spork tines won't hold it together much longer. It's time to get lost. - The Verge EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
100% All Is Well (Alles ist gut) (2018) Trobisch directs in fragmented scenes that always cut a beat or two short of expectation, like little shards of glass, and Schwarz makes Janne's actions comprehensible at every turn as her troubles slowly and inexorably deepen. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
77% Leto (2019) Leto feels like a dream of freedom, carried along on the New Wave sounds of David Bowie and Talking Heads, and full of yearning for the country to loosen up a bit. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
33% Domino (2019) Plenty of evidence of a patch job is on display here, especially as the film actively yawns its way through a muddled plot about the conflict between Danish police and the CIA over an ISIS mastermind. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
57% Aladdin (2019) From Disney's perspective, an acceptable Aladdin probably meets the standard for franchise revivification, because it echoes the pleasures of the original film enough to get by. Audiences have a right to expect more. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
100% Our Time Machine (2019) Maleonn's wondrous creations are enough of an attraction on their own, but the film... has many more layers to reveal about the legacy of Cultural Revolution, familial relationships, the agonies of love and loss and the circle of life. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
14% The Hustle (2019) The Hustle will fail to seduce the most important mark in any heist movie: the audience. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
81% Long Shot (2019) Rogen and his co-star, Charlize Theron, are seasoned professionals in comedy and they spark off each other extremely well. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
70% Bolden (2019) The film generalizes the story to the point of erasing the man at its center - borrowing from so many places that it ultimately amalgamates its forgotten master out of existence. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
96% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché works hard to carve her name in the firmament, making an expansive argument for her as a pioneer in technique, a varied and gifted artist, and a shrewd businesswoman. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
95% Les Vampires (1915) Even at nearly eight hours, the series has ingenuity to spare. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
30% The Silence (2019) There may come a time when the Netflix algorithm grows sophisticated enough to cut out the middle man and write its own scripts, but until that day arrives, niche-targeted dreck like "The Silence" will have to suffice. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
83% Her Smell (2019) Her Smell is a journey through hell and back that feels more gratifying for being difficult. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
63% Unicorn Store (2019) In fact, "Unicorn Store" becomes an argument for itself: If such a tacky fantasy can get produced, then clearly it's a viable enterprise for grown-ups. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
83% High Life (2019) At a time when the Earth itself seems to be hurtling toward doom, the presence of genuine wonder and new life in the film carries a sliver of optimism. - The Verge EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
No Score Yet Billboard (2019) Zelker's three-ring circus of digital and social-media content needs a compelling main event, and this movie seems unlikely to inspire many to check out the supplementary materials. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
93% Us (2019) Us is a serious film about the American underclass, those who toil out of sight and out of mind. Us is also a lot of fun. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
100% Midnight Traveler (2019) A documentary that feels like a modern-day message in a bottle, an urgent appeal for help from a family that's still searching for a home. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
98% 3 Faces (2019) Panahi's sympathies are clear, but his humanity is boundless. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
94% Transit (2019) An utter beguilement, tied closely to characters whose motives and feelings are not entirely obvious, even to them. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
70% The Changeover (2019) The Changeover is one of those supernatural thrillers where the rules are both abstract and arbitrary, rendering Laura's internal struggle as dull predestination rather than an act of intention and will. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
44% What Men Want (2019) What Men Wants misses the opportunity to drag through the unutterable sludge of the male psyche, trolling for dirty thoughts or more eccentric digressions from ordinary conversation. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
50% Dream for an Insomniac (1996) The chemistry between Skye and Astin is based entirely on grueling, non-stop referential dialogue, as if neither of them has forgotten a word of Kierkegaard, Tennyson, or Cobain. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
68% 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Quirky, inventive, and brimming over with clever visual gags and colorful supporting characters, 10 Things uses Shakespeare as a jumping-off point to playfully send up a society that doesn't know what to do with a strong woman. - AV Club EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
35% King of Thieves (2019) With a cast this rich in experience and history and a fact-based heist of such enormous scale, King of Thieves sounds like a shake-and-bake classic in the making, which makes its pedestrian execution all the more puzzling to behold. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
31% Io (2019) A film more interested in symbols of human resilience than in the flesh-and-blood passions that animate it. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
97% The Heiresses (Las Herederas) (2019) By the end of the film, the audience feels like it knows his heroine at almost precisely the same time she has gotten to know herself. It's a minor kind of magic. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
50% Escape Room (2019) Escape Room is a throwback without the bite, a bloodless PG-13 thriller that recalls the mechanized horror trend while sanding off its serrated edges. - NPR EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019