The Film Stage

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
C+ Feast of the Seven Fishes (2019) Jared Mobarak [Despite the number of] subplots, Christmas Eve slows things down to make the camaraderie of preparing [dinner] an excuse to go into a trance of unadulterated joy. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
B Mickey and the Bear (2019) Jared Mobarak Morrone poignantly portrays [a] war within by always showing the sadness beneath each smile. Dale is a force as he runs the full spectrum of emotions. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
B+ White Riot (2019) Christopher Schobert Making its world premiere at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival, 'White Riot' is a stunning, often terrifying film. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2019
C+ Midway (2019) Dan Mecca Most will recall 2001's Pearl Harbormore than anything else. The CGI-laden dogfights are about as entertaining (a compliment in a way) and the wooden dialogue is a touch worse. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2019
B Last Christmas (2019) Dan Mecca It may well be that Last Christmas's most memorable decision is shifting the oft-criticized Male Gaze over to Female. Let's call it a Christmas miracle. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
B+ Doctor Sleep (2019) Brian Roan For those who can accept that departure, Doctor Sleep offers a shockingly nuanced and human story of social longing, spiritual rehabilitation, and existential redemption. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
B- Cold Brook (2018) Jared Mobarak Cold Brook is an adult fairy tale that embraces its broad interpretations to remind its leading men about what truly matters most. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
C+ Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Conor O'Donnell One of Dark Fate's key strength is in its one-upmanship, never succumbing to "Atlanta Syndrome," wherein the forces at play settle their conflict in a vacant lot somewhere in Georgia. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
Jesus Is King (2019) Jason Ooi The experience, though brief, returns the model of spectatorship from contemporary private experience to one of shared movement and emotion. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
B+ Western Stars (2019) John Fink The Boss, older and wiser, remains one of our most perceptive, curious, and eclectic chroniclers of the American experience. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
B- The Current War (2017) Jared Mobarak Hardly a different film, it exists as a stronger variant of what already was. The fact this improvement was made possible at all proves a victory for artistic integrity. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
B+ Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) John Fink Provides an exhaustive history of the medium right before our ears and eyes, jumping quickly from decade to decade and bringing it all together as a comprehensive cinematic dissertation of aural complexity. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
B+ The Kill Team (2019) John Fink This version of The Kill Team is a visceral study in masculinity divorced largely from sexuality or even sexual identity EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
B+ Chained for Life (2018) Leonardo Goi Never once does Chained ridicule his subjects, whether they're egocentric prima donnas or those with congenital differences: far from urging us to laugh at "the undesirables", Chained invites us to laugh with them. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
B Burning Cane (2019) Jared Mobarak A dark metaphor with even darker results. [Youmans'] handling of the topic is unapologetic in its visually poetic yet starkly matter-of-fact honesty. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
B- Working Man (2019) Jared Mobarak Jury has crafted an internalized drama getting to the core of our values and the way we can become warped by them in the context of love and guilt. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
C+ Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019) Jared Mobarak For all its redundancies, authentic character growth is wholly new. These characters now add substance to their own story. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
C Frances Ferguson (2019) Jared Mobarak [Wheless is] a hilariously off-kilter success, [but I] couldn't enjoy that aspect fully since it was built on the back of something that deserved more time to process. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
B+ The True Adventures of Wolfboy (2019) Jared Mobarak Krejcí's film possesses the necessary weight and purpose that allows its palatable genre trappings to deliver its morals to an audience that may otherwise avoid them. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
B+ Gemini Man (2019) Conor O'Donnell The most forward-thinking action film since Avatar. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
B Guest of Honor (2019) John Fink Guest of Honour is fascinating and entertaining in the moment-led by David Thewlis in his best performance since Mike Leigh's Naked. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2019
B- () Jared Mobarak [Their fight against America's favorite pastime is] the kind of story that would make more people angry if the gender roles were reversed. [They] deserve that same allegiance. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
B Rendezvous in Chicago (2018) Jared Mobarak Each chapter therefore unfolds on its own with as much levity as heart thanks to Smith understanding that they must progress on their terms rather than his. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
B The Garden Left Behind (2019) Jared Mobarak You can't discount what having a transgender cast does to ensure the psychology behind what's occurring isn't exploited or warped. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
B Crown Vic (2019) John Fink Crown Vic proves to be a limited yet effective study of urban police work initiated by veterans who have gotten this far on street smarts and broken windows policing, rather than the new school of a community policing approach. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
B- Harpoon (2019) Jared Mobarak Watching [them] fall prey to impulse knowing they've all done something inexcusable they're hoping stays under wraps is fun because there's an authenticity beneath the gore. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
C+ Low Tide (2019) Jared Mobarak Low Tide isn't groundbreaking or unique, but it knows its setting and characters enough to make the journey authentic despite its lack of surprises. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
A- The Irishman (2019) Vikram Murthi There's a real enervating anxiety of being completely forgotten that retroactively colors the rest of the film in stark, unsparing terms. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2019
B The Moneychanger (2019) Jared Mobarak These types of films usually star a cool customer eating people and spitting them out. This time our lead is the one being spit. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
B- Depraved (2019) Jared Mobarak Rather than the world being unready to accept [Adam] for what he is, though, [he's] who cannot [accept himself]. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
C- Young Ahmed (2019) Kyle Pletcher Young Ahmed clearly aims to be as thematically and narratively audacious as the Dardennes' The Unknown Girl, but marks a structural step backward and lacks that film's honesty in its politics. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
A- Sorry We Missed You (2019) Ed Frankl Sorry We Missed You is, simply, one of [Ken Loach's] best films that links the personal and the political. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
C+ Sibyl (2019) Ed Frankl As a metaphor for artistic invention, it's an interesting, but unsuccessful one. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
B An Easy Girl (2019) Ed Frankl This is a straightforward coming-of-age story from France, a country for whom this is almost a national cliché, but elevated by a key eye for gender roles of its protagonists and an up-to-date message for a teenage generation growing up in a #MeToo world. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
A- Dolor y gloria (2019) Ed Frankl This is perhaps the director's most outstanding work since his peerless fin-de-siècle diptych of Talk to Her and All About My Mother. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
B+ Synonyms (2018) Ed Frankl As an exercise in depicting the disjointed link between national and personal identity, Synonyms is dazzling. As a portrait of displacement in a world becoming both more globalized and more nationalistic, it is a testament. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
B I Was at Home, But (Ich war zuhause, aber) (2019) Ed Frankl A film whose aesthetics may be intensely controlled and yet whose narrative is sprawling with meanings and readings. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
B Corpus Christi (2019) Jared Mobarak Bielenia delivers a fantastic performance as his character overcomes insecurities and regret to speak the words he knows from experience can help those who've lost their way. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
B- () Jared Mobarak While [Fisk's] tenacity and confidence does make him someone the film refuses to question, those traits also let him be the kind of devil's advocate we need. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
B () Jared Mobarak So much of what works throughout Pelican Blood hinges on our belief that [Kaya] can destroy them all and she absolutely earns that fear. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
C+ Loro (2018) Jared Mobarak Loro has a ton of style and effective performances across the board. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
B+ () Jared Mobarak The lives of mothers and children in Iran are rendered forfeit by the men coercing them to conform to their selfish wants and desires. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
C Nobadi (2019) Jared Mobarak [That] we only get the [heart-wrenching moments via] the "convenience" of murder means any empathy I might have felt was negated by Markovics' pursuit for hollow provocation. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
B The Dreyfus Affair (2019) Rory O'Connor It's not difficult to see the director finding some kind of warped kinship with his subject. Take from that what you will. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
B+ 3 From Hell (2019) Mike Mazzanti This is America let loose, with our violence, trauma, and psychopathy sweeping south of the border in a deluge, our arbiters wearing the indigenous garb of those we've already slaughtered to make bedrock. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
B- () Jared Mobarak The film excels at embracing [Catherine's] rage. Johnson and company let [her] get angry without a need to apologize for it. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
B I Know I Am Not Alone (2005) Jared Mobarak We get first-hand accounts from the ground as well as recorded interviews in the aftermath of all the major players-[protagonists and antagonists alike]. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
F Lucy in the Sky (2019) C.J. Prince The fact that someone like Hawley has been able to attain this much power, money, and artistic freedom to make something so bankrupt should shake our faith in our society's institutions to its very core. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
B Weathering With You (2019) Jared Mobarak How Shinkai gets there isn't always with the cleanest choices, but you can't ignore the journey's intent or exhilaration. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
B+ Australian Dream (1987) Jared Mobarak What makes Goodes such an inspirational hero is the fact that he never matches hate for hate. He's teaching tolerance. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019