The Reader (Omaha, NE)

The Reader (Omaha, NE) is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Ryan Syrek
Rating Title/Year Author
A Jojo Rabbit (2019) Ryan Syrek Narcissistic, lying megalomaniacal strongmen, even dead ones, are always wounded by being made to look small. Jojo Rabbit reduces the uni-testicled failure and his entire ideology to cartoonish boobery. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
B- Doctor Sleep (2019) Ryan Syrek King's attempt to reclaim the Shining necessitated a film adaptation, which is why Doctor Sleep is more obsessed with repossessing the most well-known horror iconography of all time than with introducing anything new, other than the world's stupidest hat. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
A Parasite (2019) Ryan Syrek The bassline of modern art is thumping and pulsating with a fury about inequality. Often, that sound gets understandably but simplistically distilled into "rich bad, poor good" messaging. Parasite absolutely defies a quick synthesizing of its message. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
C+ The Laundromat (2019) Ryan Syrek Admittedly, 11 million documents that detail how wealthy dinguses around the world use shell corporations to horde their riches in offshore dungeons like dragons who have Jeffrey Epstein's phone number doesn't scream "Adapt me!" EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
C Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Ryan Syrek The odds against replicating the chemistry-enhanced breeziness and clever nuggets of the first film kept them from attempting a follow-up for around a decade. But the bible says even Jesus will get a sequel, so here we are. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
D- Gemini Man (2019) Ryan Syrek It cannot be stressed enough how much of this alleged action movie involves plane rides between locations and the phrase "I just need to talk to him." EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
F Joker (2019) Ryan Syrek Watching an emaciated creeper do several "kooky underpants dances" is definitely somebody's idea of a good time. It is just not mine. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
A+ Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Ryan Syrek A Walt Disney fairy tale about El Chapo told through the language of Gabriel García Márquez and visually painted as if guided by Frida Kahlo's hand, Tigers Are Not Afraid is some kind of special. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
A- Ad Astra (2019) Ryan Syrek Not quite as sophisticated as it thinks itself, the film is still a lurid, pensive argument that the only meaningful thing in the entire universe is our connection with each other. Also: rabid space monkeys! EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
B- Hustlers (2019) Ryan Syrek In the spirit of Hustlers, please imagine a montage of a movie reviewer typing away, tormented by a thwarted masterpiece. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
A+ Out of Omaha (2018) Ryan Syrek Out of Omaha doesn't put a bow on things, mince words, or offer concrete solutions. It just dares everyone to look where most choose not to peek. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
D It: Chapter Two (2019) Ryan Syrek "It 2: At Least There's No Sewer Orgy" is a start-to-finish misfire, from its insensitive opening to an ending that would make Peter Jackson give the "wrap it up" signal. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
A Before Midnight (2013) Ryan Syrek Before Midnight is quiet, shrewd and sparse. It is unassuming and unafraid to poke fun at its own sporadic pretentiousness. It is funny. It is heartwarming. It is heartbreaking. It is inspired. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B- The Source Family (2012) Ryan Syrek It's hard not to be somewhat engrossed by Father Yod, even if the package presented is less enjoyable than it is textbook-designed, which is kind of funny given the bizarre and rebellious nature of the subject. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A- Man of Steel (2013) Ryan Syrek Man of Steel is admittedly missing humor and fun, consumed by the seriousness of producer Christopher Nolan's dark overtones and grey color palate. But the tone was a course correction, and the payoff is great. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C- World War Z (2013) Ryan Syrek World War Z is not the complete, absolute disaster tales of its production suggested may come to pass (what with an entirely reshot third act). But that's the limpest compliment that can be given. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B Much Ado About Nothing (2012) Ryan Syrek The take-home message to this retold tale of social grace is this: talented wealthy people apparently stage fairly adorable Shakespearean recreations as a way to blow off steam. Not exactly a beer after a hard day's work, huh? EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C The Bling Ring (2013) Ryan Syrek Playing like the slow, dull sister of Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring exchanges neon decadence and teen sinning for vacant crimes of boredom. The take home message here isn't an indictment of modern celebu-worship so much as it is "eh, whatever." EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B+ The East (2013) Ryan Syrek There are only two choices: either you love Brit Marling or you will love Brit Marling. The proof is The East. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
D- White House Down (2013) Ryan Syrek The nicest thing that can be said about director Roland Emmerich's White House Down is that it is the second best Die Hard rip-off set in the Presidential estate released in the last four months. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
F The Lone Ranger (2003) Ryan Syrek Good news, Washington Redskins! For one glorious weekend in the summer of 2013, your unapologetically racist franchise is not the most grotesque pop culture representation of Native Americans! EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B Despicable Me 2 (2013) Ryan Syrek The best compliment you can give to Despicable Me 2 may also explain why it doesn't get a higher grade here: it's slight, mass-appealing fun. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C+ Stories We Tell (2012) Ryan Syrek Stories We Tell ditches the burger and fries and delivers nothing but vegetables. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B+ Pacific Rim (2013) Ryan Syrek Does the thought of nearly mountain-sized Transformers wailing away on Godzilla's uglier stepsisters with rocket punches and wrist swords excite you or do you have no idea what most of the words in the first half of this question mean? EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C+ 20 Feet From Stardom (2013) Ryan Syrek It is a bit ironic that the film we could have seen is somewhere to the side of this one, probably no more than 20 feet away. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
D R.I.P.D. (2013) Ryan Syrek Based on a comic book that literally had to be better, writers Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi and David Dobkin did director Robert Schwentke no favors, but Schwentke directed The Time Traveler's Wife, so he had it coming. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B- Red 2 (2013) Ryan Syrek Watching talented folks like this have a genuinely good time is contagious, and given the late-summer tsunami of mediocrity we're swimming in, simply having reason to smile a bit feels like a decent victory. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B Between Us (2012) Ryan Syrek Between Us is Edward Albee's classic play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" regifted in new wrapping paper. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A Only God Forgives (2013) Ryan Syrek Only God Forgives crackles with dense subtext. Even the karaoke, which seems like a joke at first, winds up playing like a prayer for absolution. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C- The Way, Way Back (2013) Ryan Syrek The Way Way Back is way way unnecessary more than anything else. You could overflow every landfill in New Jersey, a state known for its connection to trash, with the number of literary and cinematic tributes to this particular brand of "coming of age." EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B- The Wolverine (2013) Ryan Syrek The Wolverine being "pretty good" seems like a miracle. It isn't. But it's watchable, satisfying and a less harmful way to scratch your Jackman itch than his last few offerings. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C+ The To Do List (2013) Ryan Syrek The To Do List feels like the first draft of a classic comedy. But plot strands get away, situations are redundant, and the end result is a mixed bag of sexual empowerment and stupidity. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B Elysium (2013) Ryan Syrek First things first: Jodie Foster is officially no longer a two-time Oscar winner. There's no way anyone can do what she just did in Elysium and get to keep golden bookends. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C We're the Millers (2013) Ryan Syrek If you've seen the trailers, you've seen a highlight reel of all We're the Millers has to offer, save for swollen prosthetic genitalia worn by a teenage actor from Chronicles of Narnia. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B Blackfish (2013) Ryan Syrek Nothing says "family fun" like aquatic murder and animal mistreatment, right SeaWorld? EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C Kick-Ass 2 (2013) Ryan Syrek Kick-Ass was a clever sneer at "grim and gritty" superhero movies; Kick-Ass 2 really isn't much of anything. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C- The Spectacular Now (2013) Ryan Syrek The most startling thing about The Spectacular Now is that people seem to like it. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A- A Hijacking (2013) Ryan Syrek A Hijacking is one of those movies that must be recommended even if it's in a way that doesn't suggest that watching it will be much fun at all. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B+ The Hunt (2012) Ryan Syrek The Hunt is not exactly date movie. In fact, unless you enjoy the feeling of simmering in a warm tub smothered with guilt gravy and stewing in awkward juice, things are going to get uncomfortable. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A The World's End (2013) Ryan Syrek Shaun of the Dead mocks zombie movies and is a hell of a zombie movie. Hot Fuzz picks on buddy cop movies and is a great buddy cop movie. The World's End ridicules apocalyptic invasion movies and serves as a great apocalyptic invasion movie. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A The Act of Killing (2012) Ryan Syrek The Act of Killing is a brutal, unrelenting cinematic experience. It can't be reduced to one simple trope or theme and really can't even evoke one overriding, overarching emotion. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013) Ryan Syrek Ain't Them Bodies Saints is sparse and slow. It's dusky palate and hazy, starcrossed-outlaw-fairy-tale mannerisms will come off as pretentious affectations to those not gripped by paralyzing emotional attachment. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B- Austenland (2013) Ryan Syrek If Austenland is supposed to criticize obsessive fandom, the ending makes no sense. If it isn't, the rest of the film makes no sense. And yet, the light, airy, innocent nature of it all is somehow pleasing enough EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
F- Mud (2013) Ryan Syrek This ain't the "magically tingly" kind of fairy tale. It's the "fundamentally flawed indication of where a culture is at" kind of fairy tale. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B Prisoners (2013) Ryan Syrek Stuffed to the gills with child abduction, overmedicated depression and familial implosions, director Denis Villeneuve's bloated whodunit is a puppy suicide away from the most joyless way to spend well over two hours. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
A Gravity (2013) Ryan Syrek Bullock's dizzyingly complex performance in a film that is as thrilling as it is culturally resonant makes Gravity something hella special. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
D Machete Kills (2013) Ryan Syrek I "get" grind-schlock. This isn't that, this is someone doing a bad impression of that. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C Captain Phillips (2013) Ryan Syrek Sadly, thanks to the Dutch film A Hijacking, which "coincidentally" hit DVD this week, Captain Phillips isn't even the best "hijacked by Somali pirates" movie in the last 6 months. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
C- The Fifth Estate (2013) Ryan Syrek You can't make a character study of a man with this many secrets and you can't make a thriller out of people typing. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
F The Counselor (2013) Ryan Syrek The Counselor is a horrifying reminder that even the best of us are capable of bad, bad things. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019