Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
A Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Chuck Yarborough Hanks delivers a powerful performance as Rogers. He wears the cardigan and canvas boat sneakers as if he were born into them, and speaks with Rogers' trademark guileless transparency without even a hint of parody. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
B- The Report (2019) Laura DeMarco A heavy handed, one-dimensional docudrama that may have worthy goals, but is mediocre moviemaking... This is not to say The Report isn't a worthy effort, but it would have worked better as a straight documentary. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
C+ The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) Julie Washington The Warrior Queen of Jhansi squandered a chance to make a rousing period drama about a little-known female ruler who deserves to be remembered. Let's hope the next movie about her gets it right. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
A The Irishman (2019) John Petkovic As the credits scrolled across the screen, I couldn't help but think that The Irishman is it. The crew is old in the tooth. The world is a different place. And you might as well end it with The Irishman -- a triumph filled will splendor and sorrow. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
B- Midway (2019) Chuck Yarborough Harrelson continues to prove his range as an actor, giving an understated performance -- almost to the point of somnambulance. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
A Dolor y gloria (2019) Laura DeMarco Moving, beautiful and, ultimately, an ode to the power of art. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
A- Harriet (2019) Melodie Smith The movie's ace in the hole is Cynthia Erivo as Tubman, in a pitch-perfect lead performance. The Tony Award-winning actress gives Tubman the warmth, intelligence and fearlessness the true-life American heroine deserves. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
B Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Melodie Smith Expectations are largely met thanks to Schwarzenegger, whose arrival well into the movie's second half adds a spark that even Hamilton's presence somehow doesn't ignite. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
A Jojo Rabbit (2019) Chuck Yarborough After seeing a screening of director-screenwriter Taika Waititi's film I fear my brain put it in the context of today's hate-fueled climate here in America, and I woke up terrified. Again and again and again. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
B- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Laura DeMarco Director Joachim Ronning imbues the complex story with a fittingly frenetic pace and energy, and despite its fairy tale structure, Jolie and Pfeiffer endow their characters with believable human emotions and frailties. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
B+ Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's just fun. Pure, bloody, gory, silly, laugh-provoking fun. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
A Dolemite Is My Name (2019) John Petkovic Moore was hardly the Kung Fu master, but he managed to kick down a lot of doors on the road to becoming a somebody. Dolemite Is My Name is a valentine to that man, but also the dream and spirit he embodied. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
A- The Addams Family (2019) Julie Washington The Addams Family will appeal to mature folks who grew up with John Astin and Carolyn Jones as Gomez and Morticia in the 1960s TV show, and kids who are just discovering this kooky bunch. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B+ Gemini Man (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's the lesson of the "Gemini Man" that makes it more than a fun piece of fluff entertainment. And that lesson is pretty simple: War should not be painless. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
B+ Joker (2019) John Petkovic Phoenix is brilliant at exploring the depths of his demise to his ascent to avenging angel gone horribly wrong. He punctuates every step with sneering laughter. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
B Aquarela (2018) Chuck Yarborough It's a frightening, galvanizing, awe-inspiring 90 minutes in which water and water alone is the main character. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
B Abominable (2019) Chuck Yarborough The picky eaters in the audience won't even realize they were chowing down on broccoli... and loving it. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
A- Ad Astra (2019) John Petkovic It's an intimate voyage into memory and existence -- one that Pitt is stellar in conveying. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
B+ Downton Abbey (2019) Julie Washington While it's delightful to think of Mrs. Patmore and Daisy forever bustling in their kitchen, and Cora and Robert forever waltzing across a parquet floor, I hope this movie closes the door on Downton Abbey for good. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
B- David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) Chuck Yarborough Crosby is making amends the only way he knows how, really... To his credit, that wonderful voice has remained pure and strong, and he's using it to get out all he has to say, as quickly as he can. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
C+ Don't Let Go (2019) Chuck Yarborough The best twist, though, is that the story never really slips into the realm of totally implausible, even though by definition, it sort of is anyway. Credit for that goes in part to the Shakespearean-trained Oyelowo. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
A After the Wedding (2019) Julie Washington The questions raised in After the Wedding -- about loyalty, identity and truth -- linger long after the final credits roll. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2019
B- Ready or Not (2019) Julie Washington The "Surprise! Your new family is nuts" idea is intriguing and worth exploring -- whether for laughs or as a serious action thriller -- in a movie that can commit to one path or the other. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
A The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Chuck Yarborough Gottsagen is the ultimate Method actor. He doesn't "inhabit" the role, because for him, it's not a role. He literally IS the man determined to overcome an obstacle, and he's amazingly honest and wonderful in doing it. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
B+ Brian Banks (2018) Melodie Smith It's a quintessential feel-good movie, sincere in its intentions and, thanks to fine performances, nearly impossible to resist. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
B Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) Chuck Yarborough Starring Clevelander Isabela Moner as the bilingual Dora, it's fun, intelligent and just a smidge trippy. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
B+ The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Chuck Yarborough If the Academy gives out animal Oscars, Parker [the golden retriever] should get one. And if it doesn't, it should start. Now. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
C- A Score to Settle (2019) Melodie Smith A Score to Settle ends with lots of bullets but with very little bang. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
Amy Schumer: Live From the Apollo (2015) Nathan Paige This 65-minute show runs the gamut from tales of playful innuendo to outright raunchiness... Told in a way that only Amy Schumer can. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
A Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Chuck Yarborough It's hardly boring. As a matter of fact, it may be one of the most entertaining action movies you'll see this year. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
A Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Laura DeMarco It's a modern day, fractured fairy tale about the city of dreams that flawlessly blends fact and fiction. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
B The Lion King (2019) Laura DeMarco Despite some slow spots, The Lion King is a lush, dramatic getaway to the land ruled by lions. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
C La chute de l'empire Américain (2018) Chuck Yarborough There are some sweet moments in the film, and a couple of extremely violent ones, quite frankly, not enough to earn the film's R rating. But overall, the movie is just a question mark. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2019
A Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Laura DeMarco It has it all: great battles and special effects, a touching human tale, dramatic twists, wit and humor, stunning scenery, super-cool gadgets, a clear place in the Marvel mythology. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2019
B Yesterday (2019) John Petkovic Imagine there's no Beatles. It's not so easy if you try. But Boyle is deft at pulling it off with this romantic comedy that ventures into The Twilight Zone and comes out of it with light-hearted laughs. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
C Midsommar (2019) Chuck Yarborough It takes a LONG time for all this to unfold, and its predictability is almost as discomfiting as some of the more gruesome scenes. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
A The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Laura DeMarco Talbot focuses on a downtrodden side of America rarely seen on film, but presents it with love and joy as well as sadness and heartbreak. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
Pavarotti (2019) Zachary Lewis A warm-hearted documentary that not only brings Pavarotti roaring back to life, but also humanizes a figure who in his prime was larger than life itself. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2019
B+ Toy Story 4 (2019) Laura DeMarco Toy Story 4 is not as great as the original two, or as moving as the third installment, but it's a sweet summer movie that honors the innocent, creative spirit of childhood. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2019
B The Dead Don't Die (2019) Laura DeMarco A Ghoulardi-like irreverent, rock 'n' roll, B-movie, anti-establishment spirit is all over The Dead Don't Die. Jarmusch may be serious in his condemnation of what we're doing to our planet, but he's warning us with a wink and a laugh. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
B Late Night (2019) Mark Dawidziak Kaling's script has its predictable and by-the-numbers elements, and Late Night doesn't deliver as many laugh-out-loud moments as you'd expect. Still, the chuckles and grins are in great supply, as are the winning performances. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
D Men in Black: International (2019) Chuck Yarborough Each succeeding venture has gotten more and more cliché... which brings us to this version. Good Lord, I think the main reason this iteration is a full 114 minutes is so they could fit in all the tricks and such. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
B+ All Is True (2018) Mark Dawidziak This meeting of the great Shakespearean minds is everything you hope it would be, and more. It was for such riches that the phrase "worth the price of admission" was invented. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
B+ Changeland (2019) Melodie Smith A small film in which everyone is nice... But it still works, because of the two leads' natural chemistry, and because Green avoids any hint of millennial hipsterism or cynicism. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
B- Dark Phoenix (2019) Chuck Yarborough Sure, it's full of comic-book violence, space creatures, mutants and superheroes. But at its core, it's a primer on raising the next generation. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
A- The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Laura DeMarco It's a wonderfully entertaining, luminously illustrated film, again with a slight undercurrent of sadness that adults may pick up on more than kids, but which makes the happy moments all the brighter. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
B The Last (2019) Mark Dawidziak It is well worth seeing because it reaches emotional depths in revelations that are as haunting as they are powerful. There is many a glimmer of greatness here, even if the film itself falls short of greatness. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
A Rocketman (2019) Chuck Yarborough What's odd, considering John's flair for the flamboyant, is that the film is bare-bones and brutally honest, even as it's full of allegory and metaphor. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
() Mark Dawidziak The highest compliment you can pay Deadwood: The Movie is that it is the continuation and the conclusion that both the series and its fans deserved. It's just that good. It's powerful, at times profound, at times bittersweet. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2019
() Chris Ball Much copied since, the style gives a poignant power to events from the past. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019