Wenlei Ma

Wenlei Ma
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 99% The Farewell (2019) This is an intricately constructed, deeply personal and surprisingly funny story - one of the real highlights of 2019 in cinema - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 62% It Chapter Two (2019) There's a grandness to its scale and production values that still makes It Chapter Two an enjoyable romp, but it's not the ghoulish scarefest it could be. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
4.5/5 86% The Nightingale (2019) A powerful, emotionally shattering experience, and one of the most memorable movies so far this year. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
1/5 21% The Kitchen (2019) Its hodgepodge mix of styles and tones isn't genre-defying, it's the mark of a movie that either started with a terrible script or lost any sense of coherence in the editing suite - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 78% Downton Abbey (2019) Was the Downton Abbey movie necessary? Of course not. But that doesn't mean the package won't delight Downton enthusiasts who'll take any excuse to revisit this opulent world - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
4/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) Less of a plot-driven story and more of an opulent mood piece, Once Upon a Time is a love letter, an evocation of a specific time and place. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
4/5 83% Midsommar (2019) Ari Aster's approach to horror filmmaking seeps into your subconsciousness with great effect, lingering like an uninvited guest. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 80% Late Night (2019) Mindy Kaling wrote the screenplay with Emma Thompson in mind and you can see the character was crafted for exactly her talents. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 50% Palm Beach (2019) Palm Beach is a movie that falls square in the "it's fine" category. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3/5 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) If you're expecting Hobbs & Shaw to be anything other than a ridiculous, over-the-top action extravaganza that defies all logic and gravity, then shame on you. You should know better by now. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3/5 66% The White Crow (2019) The White Crow offers up all these elements of Nureyev - his past, his heat, his vulnerabilities - but all those parts are dancing around each other incongruously rather than as a well-choreographed ensemble piece. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3/5 53% The Lion King (2019) Though by no means a bad movie, The Lion King would've been better off trying to be more of its own movie, do something different in terms of story and character, and aim as high narratively as it achieved with its extraordinary visuals. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
4.5/5 97% Booksmart (2019) It sounds like such a cliche but you will literally laugh and cry, and flash back to your own teenage days with fondness, not horror. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
2/5 42% Stuber (2019) Stuber is a lumbering, tired and dumb comedy, but if that's what you're looking for, then have at it. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
86% Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) His show is funny and insightful, but it's also emotional. It's enough to make you forgive him for his sins. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
2/5 63% Yesterday (2019) Yesterday is billing itself as a feel-good movie, buoyed by its Beatles-fuelled soundtrack and quirky premise. But will it make you feel good? Only if your personal bar is pretty low to clear. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
5/5 100% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Bong uses everything in his bag of cinematic tricks to craft a dazzling and devastating movie that is part modern-day parable and part family drama. Parasite will variously shock you, make you laugh (guiltily) and make you think. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3/5 58% Ophelia (2019) A middling romantic drama about female empowerment with gorgeous visuals and a strong performance from Ridley, but is often lost among the reeds in terms of pacing and narrative cohesion. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
4/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Far From Home is exciting storytelling, and a jubilant chapter of the Spider-Man story - you'll want to see it again. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
3.5/5 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Toy Story 4 proves, once again, that there's still life left in this charming and smart franchise. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
4/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) Never Look Away is a three-hour movie of emotional depth that, despite its long running time, maintains its grip on your attention. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 60% The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Make no mistake - The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a kids-only affair. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
2.5/5 45% Murder Mystery (2019) Murder Mystery's predictability and cliches are comforting - which has entertainment value if you're not looking to be challenged for 90 minutes. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 51% Tolkien (2019) Tolkien is innocuous but uninspiring. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
2.5/5 22% Men in Black International (2019) This is Men in Black. It should be extravagant and nuts, not, well, civilised and sanitised. It's like they forgot to have fun. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
4/5 93% Wild Rose (2019) To call Wild Rose a feel-good triumph feels reductive, but it literally makes you feel good and smile. How can you argue with that? - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
4/5 90% Always Be My Maybe (2019) Fresh, charming and laugh-out-loud funny - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3.5/5 89% Rocketman (2019) Rocketman isn't a sanitised peek-a-boo of someone's life, barely teasing at the surface of a complex creative genius. Rocketman gives you the warts and all version, and it's not going to pink-wash John's sexuality. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Sometimes you have to be honest about the movie you really are - smashy smash. If you can reconcile that, then it's not so awful. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
2.5/5 57% Aladdin (2019) Everything about Aladdin is big, and yet feels small at the same time. Its lavish production design and costuming also has the effect of looking more like a stage production than an epic movie. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
4/5 96% Little Woods (2019) The directorial debut by Nia DaCosta is a stunning, deep and thoughtful portrait of two marginalised women in America forgotten by city folk and the political class. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3.5/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) When there are hundreds of deaths, it's pretty incredible that John Wick 3 sustains its inventiveness and sheer bonkers-ness. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
3/5 65% Peterloo (2019) There's an emotional distance to Peterloo that often makes it seem stagey. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
2/5 14% The Hustle (2019) An unimaginative and moderately diverting comedy that you'd probably be content with if you literally have nothing else to watch. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3.5/5 68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Detective Pikachu is a weirdly enjoyable adventure that will charm the pants off you - or at the very least, Pikachu's pants. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3.5/5 86% Top End Wedding (2019) Go out and support this Australian movie, not just because it deserves it but because you deserve it. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3.5/5 91% Gloria Bell (2019) Gloria Bell is as complex and understated as its lead character, brought to life by Moore with a lived-in quality, and with texture. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) A spectacle that is genuinely affecting and packed with properly exciting moments that will literally make you draw your breath, clap and whoop, and jump out of your seat - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
4.5/5 94% Burning (Beoning) (2018) Lee hypnotises with his story of a love triangle, crafting a movie that could be described as visual poetry. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2019
3/5 62% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) It's exactly the kind of odd, reality-skewing fantasy you'd expect from the inventive Gilliam. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2019
2/5 17% Hellboy (2019) The anticipated reboot of the cult comic book character is, well, intense. And not in a good way, unless you really love your movies to be disjointed, tonally confused and really, really gory. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
4/5 91% The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) Maggie Gyllenhaal never disappoints, and that's certainly true in The Kindergarten Teacher, an understated character study with a lot to say but no easy answers. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
2.5/5 47% Little (2019) There are many sequences that are funny and winsome on their own, but as a movie, it doesn't cohere. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
2/5 27% The Aftermath (2019) A shallow excuse for attractive actors to get their kit off. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
3.5/5 91% Shazam! (2019) Charming, high-spirited and embraces its youthful, goofy side. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
4/5 93% Us (2019) Us is more sensory experience than thinkpiece. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
3.5/5 47% Dumbo (2019) This Dumbo is certainly a visual spectacle, and it could've gone awry if not for the one key thing required to make this movie work: Dumbo is really, really cute. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
3.5/5 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Fighting With My Family is a rousing crowd-pleaser, guaranteed to make you smile, at least once. You may even leap out of your seat and whoop, if such undignified public displays are your kind of thing. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
3.5/5 74% Destroyer (2018) A masterful performance by Kidman, who has proven over the last few years that she has deep reserves of talent. - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019
3/5 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) It's only really in the last 20 minutes of the film that it all comes together and you can appreciate what the movie is trying to say about working collaboratively and sharing something you love - News.com.au EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2019