Akron Beacon Journal

Akron Beacon Journal is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Clint O'Connor, George Thomas, Rich Heldenfels
Rating Title/Year Author
B Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) George Thomas Give Fleisher credit for being able to tweak the formula and ensure that Zombieland: Double Tap maintains a degree of freshness that includes a near post-credit scene. This is the type of film people should want to see at Halloween. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
C- Gemini Man (2019) George Thomas An interesting premise gets wasted in this effort as Gemini Man generally falls flat. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Joker (2019) George Thomas Phillips could have made a nip and tuck here or there to shave off run time, but he asks questions about society where no easy answers exist. In that respect, he makes "Joker" very much worth the time and money invested. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
B+ Downton Abbey (2019) Clint O'Connor Fans of the TV show can be assured that rather than reinventing itself for theaters, Downton has remained as steady and starched as Carson's collar. Think of it as an extended episode of the series that plays to its strengths. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
B Ad Astra (2019) Clint O'Connor Pitt delivers an endearing performance. So much of the film is his face, his thoughts, his voice-overs. Following his terrific turn as Cliff Booth, the wry, rascally stunt man in Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, this has been a banner year for the actor EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
B- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) George Thomas Ultimately, any doubt some may have had about a Fast & Furious spinoff franchise is erased with this outing. Yes, summer will be going out with a bang. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
B+ Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Clint O'Connor Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" stumbles because it runs out of story before the credits role. But it succeeds, in part, because it is such a loving tribute to the TV and film industries during a beautifully recreated era. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
B+ The Lion King (2019) Clint O'Connor The "wows" this time come less from the script by Jeff Nathanson, and more from the this-all-looks-so-realistic-it's-scary factor. (Kudos to visual effects supervisor Rob Legato and legions of artists). EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
B Yesterday (2019) George Thomas Given the need to totally suspend disbelief, Yesterday will face plenty of detractors. Given the smile that generally stayed plastered on my face, it doesn't matter. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Clint O'Connor This is Marvel movie light. It's meant as teen-friendly summer popcorn entertainment. And at that it succeeds. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
B Toy Story 4 (2019) Clint O'Connor The folks at Pixar care too much about the beloved Toy Story characters to completely mail it in. And although Toy Story 4 lacks the levels of wit and charm of its predecessors, it does have its winning moments. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
B Shaft (2019) George Thomas Shaft takes pleasure in its story about the clash between generations and the audience certainly benefits. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
B The Dead Don't Die (2019) Clint O'Connor If you're looking for zombie thrills, you'll need to look elsewhere. But if you appreciate the Jarmusch vibe and his casting choices, The Dead Don't Die is like hanging out with old friends for a while. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
C- Dark Phoenix (2019) George Thomas Predictions of the demise of the comic-book movie genre continue to come, despite the continued success of movies such as Avengers: Endgame. X-Men: Dark Phoenix will do little to quell such prognostications EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
A- Rocketman (2019) George Thomas With flourishes of great rock movies such as The Who's Tommy and even Alan Parker's Pink Floyd: The Wall, Rocketman tells John's story stylistically, with emotional depth and has the benefit of possessing a memorable soundtrack from the start. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
A- Booksmart (2019) George Thomas Booksmart could very well end up being the unexpected gem of the summer. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
C Aladdin (2019) George Thomas Stuffing more than an additional half hour on the original's run time doesn't help in the least. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
B John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) George Thomas A thrilling popcorn flick worthy of a look. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
C Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) George Thomas A film that plays more like an overlong afternoon cartoon. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
C- The Hustle (2019) George Thomas The Hustle works in a few moments, but unfortunately, they are few. Given the high-powered leads, that's a waste, but Sharp is a minor salvation as he steals nearly every scene he inhabits. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2019
B Long Shot (2019) George Thomas The narrative hook is enough to grab an audience's interest, but the film's unlikely romantic leads keep it. Long Shot is one of those projects where even when there aren't laugh-out-loud moments, a smile remains plastered on faces. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
The Intruder (2019) George Thomas Ealey is normally the best actor working on the screen in anything he does. That doesn't change with The Intruder, but it's tragic to see his skills wasted in an Alfred Hitchcock ripoff that doesn't rise to the level of a Lifetime network movie. EDIT
Posted May 3, 2019
A Avengers: Endgame (2019) Clint O'Connor It gives us a collection of compelling characters, ties up a lot of loose ends, provides the satisfying pow and wow of a superhero movie, but then takes it all to another level, delivering a poignant drama with relatable human emotions. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
C Shazam! (2019) George Thomas Swings further into the goofy abyss than necessary. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
B Dumbo (2019) Clint O'Connor Parents and kids... want wondrous pachyderm power. Dumbo provides plenty of it. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
A- Us (2019) George Thomas What's refreshing about Peele's first two efforts - Get Out being his first - is he doesn't rely on gratuitous violence to provide his thrills. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
B+ Captain Marvel (2019) Clint O'Connor Larson... is terrific. She gives Vers a swagger and a smart-alecky veneer. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
Ordinary People (1980) Dick Shippy Ordinary People is not a drama in which you can be easily, comfortably absorbed because it cuts to the bone and the pain is exquisitely felt. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Gandhi (1982) Bill O'Connor All those old screeching terms once used for 1950s movies could be used for Gandhi, and they would be accurate. 'Epic. Twenty years in the making. A cast of thousands.' But the power of the film is much simpler and much more complex. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Unforgiven (1992) Mark Dawidziak Stampede your way to Unforgiven, a powerful ride that might finally net Clint Eastwood Oscar nominations in the acting and directing categories. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
B- Isn't It Romantic (2019) Clint O'Connor If you like your movies light and fluffy, or just want to gawk at a shirtless Liam Hemsworth, your yacht awaits. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2019
B The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Clint O'Connor The family friendly film provides smiles for kids and enough pop culture references and inside jokes for adults to laugh along. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
C- The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) George Thomas If The Kid Who Would Be King appeals to one set, it would be those 10 or younger. For most everyone else, it could be a slog. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2019
On the Basis of Sex (2018) Clint O'Connor It's not an impression; it's a rendering. And a good one. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2019
Bumblebee (2018) George Thomas Written by Christina Hodgson, [Bumblebee] possesses something only the original could claim: heart, and it's unabashed about it. EDIT
Posted Dec 20, 2018
A Vice (2018) Clint O'Connor Christian Bale is mind-blowingly amazing in the lead role. Let's give him the Oscar right now. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2018
A- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) George Thomas It's witty, intelligent and makes an emotional connection. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2018
The Favourite (2018) Clint O'Connor The three leads are all splendid, especially Weisz. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2018
A- Green Book (2018) George Thomas Much praise for Farrelly, who finds the right tone in "Green Book," not easy for a subject that requires a light and deft touch to have any chance of success. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
B Creed II (2018) George Thomas Caple gives us well drawn characters we're invested in all while dealing with the cliché boxing tropes with restraint and maintaining the gritty tone Coogler established in the original. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2018
B+ Wildlife (2018) Clint O'Connor In a film of stand-out performances, Mulligan's is the most fully realized, unspooling Jeanette's desperation and discovering suppressed, buried pieces of herself from moment to moment. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
A- Widows (2018) George Thomas There are few actresses who could have pulled off this role with the intelligence, wit and determination Davis provides Veronica. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2018
C- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) George Thomas Grindelwald is a messy film that builds toward nothing for most of its runtime... EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2018
C- The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) George Thomas The problem: better material is needed and the audience can almost see the hand of the studio executives tapping [Alvarez] on the back and reminding him to remember for whom he's directing the film. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2018
2/4 Beautiful Boy (2018) Clint O'Connor It is well-acted, well-intentioned and heartfelt. But it can also be a slog with repetitive, paint-by-numbers scenes that rob the film of a compelling narrative arc. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
3/4 Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) George Thomas Crackles with snappy dialogue, rarely plods and finds the characters' voices with little problem. If any issue exists it's courtesy of a film that lacks a plot. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
3/4 The Hate U Give (2018) George Thomas This film could have very easily veered off into preachy condescension, but Tillman's direction and Wells' script keep it honest while allowing the emotional impact to develop organically. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2018
2.5/4 Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) George Thomas Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Only if it's consistently good and enjoyable. Bad Times isn't. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2018
2/4 Venom (2018) George Thomas Offers a slapdash experience filled with a host of clichés and unintentionally laughable moments. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2018
3/4 A Star Is Born (2018) Clint O'Connor Cooper deserves the accolades, but it's Gaga people will be talking about as they leave the theater. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2018