Esquire Magazine

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Ecstasy (Ekstase) (Rhapsody of Love) (Symphony of Love) (1933) Meyer Levin Ecstasy is a serious and dignified treatment of the sexual theme. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
Anthony Adverse (1936) Meyer Levin There is an on-your-toes, give-your-best, you're-in-a-classic-now atmosphere about the acting which is fascinating. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
The Green Pastures (1936) Meyer Levin There have been, in the past, a few minor films about Negro life. But none has ever approached the pretentious dimensions of Green Pastures, none has given the Negro actor so great and dignified an opportunity as he has [in this film]. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Emma Dibdin El Camino is a carefully crafted gift to Breaking Bad fans. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Joker (2019) Dom Nero All the references in Phillips's film don't feel like they're homages-they feel like blasphemy. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
Joker (2019) Gabrielle Bruney The film isn't worth arguing over when it doesn't actually say anything at all. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
Joker (2019) Matt Miller It is a deeply unpleasant movie. You'll walk away depressed, wondering if there's any good left in the world. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
() Patterson Murphy Why mankind does not organize and agitate for a constitutional amendment prohibiting story writers and film makers to perpetuate the comic father on the hospital waiting bench is one of the profound mysteries of democratic society. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
The Fight for Life (1940) Patterson Murphy It makes use of all the standard, and some new cinema techniques: acted scenes, factual scenes, creative dialogue and dialogue noted from life, commentary, and even thought-speech. All these are blended, masterfully. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Meyer Levin An enormous monument to bad taste. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
In Which We Serve (1942) Gilbert Seldes Palpably fraudulent. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Air Force (1943) Gilbert Seldes There isn't a literary line in Air Force; and there isn't a phony character. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Casablanca (1942) Gilbert Seldes Casablanca is one of the most exciting melodramas the screen has ever produced. And it is mature, intelligently conceived, and, within the limits of melodrama, honest. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Gone With the Wind (1939) Patterson Murphy The only help we can give [a future researcher] is to explain that the burning question of our day was not a question of the value of this work as a piece of historic documentation: our public was concerned chiefly with the techniques of histrionic art. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Jawline (2019) Justin Kirkland The subject of Liza Mandelup's first feature may be live streaming, but it speaks to a generation's painful reckoning with what it means to come of age online. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
When the Screaming Stops (1973) Dave Holmes It will rip your head off of your neck. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
Harlot (1965) Dwight MacDonald Warhol is the Ponzi of the movie world, a comparison he would probably enjoy if he knew who Ponzi was. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Sound of Music (1965) Dwight MacDonald Pure, unadulterated kitsch, not a false note, not a whiff of reality; and every detail so carefully worked out... I came out full of goodwill toward all humanity. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Last Year at Marienbad (1961) Dwight MacDonald It is a charade, a masque, beautiful to the eyes -- I can't remember a film of more sustained visual delight -- and interesting to the mind, or at least to the crossword-puzzle-solving part of the mind, but curiously lacking in emotional affect. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Dear John (1964) Dwight MacDonald Lars Magnus Lindgren avoids defects of his fellow-countryman, Bergman, but he also avoids his virtues; he is never pretentious and he is never imaginative. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Morgan! (1966) Dwight MacDonald If Morgan! is supposed to be a comedy, and certain desperate attempts at slapstick suggest maybe it is, then I was not amused. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Help! (1965) Dwight MacDonald A witless orgy of expensive production that strangles the Beatles, so fresh and spontaneous in [A Hard Day's Night], in a laboriously foolish plot line and smothers them under tons of handsomely colored feathers. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Pawnbroker (1964) Dwight MacDonald The Pawnbroker seemed to me a bore and a phony, a vulgarization of a serious theme, an exploitation of cinematic "effects" used without taste or intelligence. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Juliet of the Spirits (1965) Dwight MacDonald Fellini's eye is as good as ever -- it is the mind, and the feeling, that somehow fails. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Repulsion (1965) Dwight MacDonald The purest exercise in homicidal mania yet made, and the most singleminded. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
This Sporting Life (1963) Dwight MacDonald Anderson's use of the camera is either too flatly, clutteredly realistic or else too "indicative." Few Hollywood movies are as flimsily motivated as this allegedly realistic film. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Fiances (1963) Dwight MacDonald Technically, Olmi seems to have made all the right choices... His photography is so right that after the first ten minutes of delight, one takes it for granted, forgetting past tortures inflicted on the retina. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Leopard (1963) Dwight MacDonald To transpose a book into a movie means to destroy the form of the original in order to re-create the effect in another medium... Visconti has preserved the form without apparently suspecting it had any meaning. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Sandra (1965) Dwight MacDonald In general, [Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa] was quite good fun. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
La Terra Trema (1948) Dwight MacDonald This one-way pathos trundles along for three hours slowly, glumly, predictably. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Chushingura (1963) Dwight MacDonald I would compare it rather to the Colosseum, very big. It's a kind of Japanese Gone with the Wind, by which I intend only a small insult. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Loved One (1965) Dwight MacDonald It is hard to understand how a witty, tightly organized extravaganza like the Waugh novel... could have resulted in such a queasy, humorless, formless botch. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Six in Paris (1965) Dwight MacDonald As a nicely colored travelogue, not bad, but people and plots keep interfering, and they are much less interesting than the streets and buildings. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Fists in the Pocket (1965) Dwight MacDonald A mess and a bore, but one that suggested a lot of talent, which the director was too young to discipline his ambitions into art. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Walkover (1965) Dwight MacDonald Half the time you don't know what's going on and the other half you don't care. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Mickey One (1965) Dwight MacDonald Mr. Penn seems to think that by keeping it ambiguous, he can roam more freely on both planes, reality and fantasy. But the confusion -- are we inside or outside of Mickey's head? -- is merely confusing. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Shakespeare Wallah (1965) Dwight MacDonald Everyone acts naturally and Mr. Ivory's direction is light and sensitive, managing to suggest the subtlety and comedy and pathos of Anglo-Indian relationships. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Shop on Main Street (1965) Dwight MacDonald The Shop on High Street has modest but solid virtues. It treats seriously -- that is, with a quiet realism that doesn't exclude humor -- a theme I can't recall having been attempted before except in documentaries. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Raven's End (1964) Dwight MacDonald There is a fine performance as the father by Keve Hjelm, but the rest is a slow retelling of a tale I have heard too often. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Gertrud (1965) Dwight MacDonald [Carl Dreyer] has in his later years developed his less-is-more style beyond effectiveness into mannerism. Gertrud is a further reach, beyond mannerism into cinematic poverty and straightforward tedium. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Charulata (1964) Dwight MacDonald Although Subrata Mitra's photography was beautiful, it seems to be a fact of cinematic life that the best photography cannot save a bad film, though it may improve a good one. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Red Beard (1965) Dwight MacDonald Cinema erupts a couple of times in those first two hours, but for the most part we are treated to lengthy scenes in which the characters talk lengthily to each other while the camera peers up into their faces like a faithful dog. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
What's New, Pussycat? (1965) Dwight MacDonald [A] fatally free, lethally indiscreet comedy. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Darling (1965) Dwight MacDonald An interesting failure: all the parts work, but somehow they don't make a whole. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Knack, and How to Get It (1965) Dwight MacDonald Mr. Lester uses the devices he used to such splendid effect in A Hard Day's Night. Only here they don't work so well. The Knack seems overdirected. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Casanova 70 (1965) Dwight MacDonald [A] tedious procession of mildly scabrous smoking room stories. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
In Harm's Way (1965) Dwight MacDonald Why did so normally astute a trend setter as Mr. Preminger decide to make a Pacific-war melodrama ten years too late? EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Ship of Fools (1965) Dwight MacDonald This is the worst movie that Mr. Kramer has yet directed, if the verb may be used, loosely, in this context. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Troublemaker (1964) Dwight MacDonald This is as heavy-handed and unamusing an attempt at comedy as any of those Hollywood productions I complained of here recently. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Having a Wild Weekend (1965) Dwight MacDonald The photography and the direction are atrocious, the jokes painful, the structure really chaotic, the spontaneity arthritic, and The Dave Clark Five remarkably uncharming and unwitty. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019