Stuart Klawans

Stuart Klawans
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
91% Dark Waters (2019) Dark Waters [is] a direct, compelling, and damning procedural drama, one that respects the emotional ordeal of Rob Bilott as much as it builds the case against the managers of DuPont. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
82% The Report (2019) More is needed. Burns really grabs you only when the horror becomes vivid... - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Ford v Ferrari features Christian Bale doing wonders as race-car driver Ken Miles. You get the lean, hollow-cheeked Bale this time, who just by tilting his head one way or the other can seem amused, curious, satirical, or royally pissed off. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Flimsiness betrays flimsiness; the gaps in direction read almost like Heller's confession of the falsehood of the scene's emotional breakthrough, its essence as wish fulfillment. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2019
96% Marriage Story (2019) Noah Baumbach's excellent Marriage Story -- which is actually the story of a divorce -- revisits territory this filmmaker has explored before, notably in 2005's The Squid and the Whale. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
100% Vitalina Varela (2019) Vitalina Varela begins with a procession leaving a funeral, ends in a graveyard, and in the middle puts you in touch with something absolute in its main character's experience. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) After too long a fallow period, Pedro Almodóvar has returned to form, or even improved on it, with Pain and Glory, the most candidly autobiographical film he's ever ventured. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) Challenging and unpredictable, when not outright daring you to punch it in the face, Nadav Lapid's extraordinary Synonyms offers an alarming new take on the themes of drifting youth and soured identity. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
42% Wasp Network (2019) [Assayas] gives you impeccably crisp direction, a wide scope of action, an exceptional cast -- Edgar Ramírez, Wagner Moura, Penélope Cruz, Gael García Bernal --and some enjoyable misdirection. This is, after all, a tale about liars. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
86% The Whistlers (2020) The landscape of the Canaries makes a lovely change from Bucharest, and the scenes of the cop learning to whistle are little masterpieces of deadpan comedy. That said, I thought the movie was mostly hot air. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
73% The Traitor (2020) You might call these scenes highly theatrical for the way the gangsters dramatize themselves and fabulate, but they're actually about the dangerous moment when someone insists that playacting come to an end. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
60% Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, une lumière) (2019) Oh Mercy! is less concerned with discovering who committed a crime than in establishing precisely how it happened and understanding why. You've heard of a pitiless gaze? Desplechin's is the opposite. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
96% The Irishman (2019) Sometimes all the brooding over actors and motifs from past films makes you feel as if Scorsese is engaged in a conscience-stricken meditation on his career. At other times, you wonder what happened to his famed momentum. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
69% Joker (2019) Todd Phillips can dump two cups of Taxi Driver into a bowl and slop in a cup and a half of The King of Comedy, but that doesn't make him Scorsese. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) As a James Gray fan, I'm disappointed, not just in him but in the alarmingly enthusiastic reception this hot air balloon has received. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
100% Midnight Traveler (2019) Like Ad Astra, the film concentrates on relationships and emotional states as much as on outward action. Unlike Ad Astra, Midnight Traveler tells a story that actually happened. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Having dramatized the struggle of rich versus poor in wildly lurid terms, he brings the conflict to its dreadful conclusion with the simplest, smallest, most everyday gesture possible. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
No Score Yet The Miracle of the Little Prince (2019) It's worth listening to-in Tamazight, Sámi, Nawat, Tibetan, or any tongue you can name. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
90% Give Me Liberty (2019) It's the perspective of a thoroughly acculturated Russian immigrant who has nothing in life but his work and a crate of old vinyl. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
48% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) You'll laugh. You'll be reassured. You'll even shed a happy tear. Thank God Cate Blanchett did the movie with him. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) What [Tarantino] created is a genuinely enthusiastic tribute to American entertainment in 1969, as well as a sad and moving farewell to those who never made it in the business. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2019
56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) If Jarmusch is bringing together the people he loves, it's evidently to say goodbye. The world comes to an end in this zombie-movie mash-up, and so does his filmmaking, which disappears up its own meta. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
99% Honeyland (2019) [A] gorgeous, fascinating, continually problematic documentary. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
80% Late Night (2019) Late Night is charming enough but could have been more. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) It would be frivolous to pretend that this fourth Toy Story has anything to add to the previous three or exists because of anything other than a commercial imperative. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Joe Talbot's lovely, quasi-Dickensian film boasts no absolute truths, instead leaning into its ambiguity, humanity and a quizzical moodiness. - Film Comment Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2019
90% The Souvenir (2019) At once artfully coy and unabashedly confessional, Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir is a memory film about all-consuming, disastrous first love, set in the England of the early 1980s. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
100% The Silence of Others (2019) The Silence of Others is clear-eyed, clear-headed, and artful without advertising its own skill. It has made a difference in the world. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
99% Amazing Grace (2019) Surely the first and most overwhelming emotion that ought to be felt by anyone with ears in working order-ears, and a heart-is gratitude. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2019
92% Pulp Fiction (1994) Soon enough you come down off its high, with that druggie feeling of your bones being hollow and your skin encrusted with dirt; but you can't deny that the movie delivers... or that it somehow elevates craft and cleverness to the level of art. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
84% The Brink (2019) In The Brink, [director Alison] Klayman gives us something even more disturbing: copious on-the-fly glimpses of the man in action. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
84% Dogman (2019) Dark, absorbing, [and] beautifully acted. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
78% Captain Marvel (2019) Larson makes something more than formulaic out of Vers's grit and impetuousness, Jackson takes the trouble this time to play the nuances of his character (since the filmmakers, for a change, have given him some). - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
70% Climax (2019) This is virtuosity without thought or purpose, other than to show that everyone's beastly...I note with added queasiness that Noé has chosen to make the ones with the darkest skin tones the most brutal and obscene. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
94% Transit (2019) To be in focus, a dual vision requires an immaculate style. Petzold weighs the effect of each image in Transit, never faltering in his camera placement, never cluttering the action with an unnecessary shot. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
97% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) Erlingsson mimics the language so well that you might find it chucklesome, if it didn't ring so dreadfully true. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
94% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) There are no winners to be found, not even that regional author whose feet hurt from listening to Sinan. There is still something to be won, though: if not forgiveness, then the capacity to forgive. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
90% A Star Is Born (2018) With Gaga, everyone who feels the call of the polymorphous can see themselves in the endlessly malleable contours of her face and hear their emotions throb in her omni-generic singing. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
78% Never Look Away (2019) The director moves Never Look Away out of the category of fancy biopic and into the realm of languorous, art-house suspense movies-like Blow-Up, you might say, if Antonioni had been a German postmodernist eager to offer reassurance. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) An old-fashioned melodrama -- a good one at that. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
66% Vice (2018) Vice has enough depth that it also can excite pity, fear, and a creepy, corporeal dread. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
100% The Waldheim Waltz (2018) [It] speaks even more directly to our current situation... - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
84% Monrovia, Indiana (2018) As scenes recur and a rhythm gets going, certain types of labor gain force as organizing principles in the film. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
93% Long Day's Journey Into Night (Di qiu zui hou de ye wan) (2019) Nothing makes much sense, but everything is gorgeous. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
99% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Witty, gritty, resourceful, and burning with the "righteousness" of which other criminals only boast, [Zhao Tao] endures. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
90% Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018) I wish [director Alice] Rohrwacher had thought of a better way to end the picture than to resort to a weak religiosity; but I'd gladly watch everything up to the last five minutes again and again. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) The plot revelations, which [director Hirokazu] Kore-eda cunningly piles up at the end, are heartbreaking when they hit. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
96% Roma (2018) Of those [films] I managed to see, none could match the clarity of vision and intensity of feeling, expansiveness and intimacy, breadth and breath of Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
83% The Other Side of the Wind (2018) For people with an infinite interest in Welles - like me - The Other Side of the Wind will provide inexhaustible material for study. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
97% Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Ross's images are intimate and emotive; the camera often follows people closely or shows details as if through his subjects' eyes, and a heightened color intensifies the mood. - The Nation EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018