3AW

3AW is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Jim Schembri
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Dosed (2019) Jim Schembri Clearly committed to revealing tough truths about addiction and recovery, director Tyler Chandler chronicles Adrianne's bumpy journey in exhausting detail...[Her] odyssey is compelling and occasionally harrowing. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
2.5/5 Last Christmas (2019) Jim Schembri An unashamedly mushy rom-com and it's a safe bet that those willing to surrender themselves to the film's schmaltzy charms will get a medium high...Still, even in harmless fluff like Last Christmas, the sugary tone can become positively bland. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 Emu Runner (2018) Jim Schembri The delicate direction by Imogen Thomas, who worked closely with cultural consultant Frayne Barker, occasionally hits moments of real poignancy and beauty. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
4/5 Doctor Sleep (2019) Jim Schembri [An] excellent, immersive sequel...Doctor Sleep brandishes both the distinctive sting of Stephen King and echoes of Stanley Kubrick to deliver an unnerving spookfest...When the horror hits, it hits hard and it hits deep. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
3.5/5 Happy Sad Man (2019) Jim Schembri Without ever feeling forced or intrusive the film breathes with honesty and intimacy and is clearly designed as a push-back against the stereotype men have long been lumbered with, of having to suppress their feelings and suck it up when things get tough. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 Little Monsters (2019) Jim Schembri Director Abe Forsythe leans into the crazy and milks the scenario for a sizeable quotient of laughs...Lupita Nyong'o puts in such a committed performance amidst all the low-budget mock-horror nonsense you'd think she was vying for a second Oscar. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Jim Schembri What starts out sounding like a fat-girl comedy quickly morphs into a simple, soulful comedy-drama. Jillian Bell delivers a funny, barbed performance of a woman trying to change her outer self without sufficient regard for the flaws in her personality. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Jim Schembri Thankfully, Terminator: Dark Fate is just fine. Original? Ha. Great? No. Not even close, but it does make up for the insulting mess of Genisys...The film's production specs are all that we expect with top editing, stuntwork and big-screen cinematography. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
2/5 Locusts (2019) Jim Schembri The effort is there but there is just not enough scope, pay-off or hole-free plotting to the shenanigans in this crime-comedy-heist flick. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Jim Schembri With very little story to go on director Ruben Fleischer obligingly keeps the intricately choreographed fight scenes coming at a snappy pace, along with the jokes and cultural references, with Elvis Presley featuring heavily. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
3.5/5 After the Wedding (2019) Jim Schembri Moore again proves she is arguably the best American actress of her generation. As Theresa, she portrays a woman who has to reconfigure her life to accommodate a set of unexpected variables. It's a great performance at the heart of a mature, adult drama. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
3.5/5 () Jim Schembri Without descending into hysterics writer/director Partho Sen-Gupta does a fine job detailing how promptly fear and suspicion can be coaxed used to promote an official agenda. It's a strong-minded, subdued film that bravely confronts the politics of grief. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 Strange but True (2019) Jim Schembri With revelations at every turn, director Rowan Athale and writer Eric Garcia prove themselves dedicated to unpredictability, with each scene designed to have you guessing how it will plug into the increasingly bizarre story. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Jim Schembri In terms of visuals, director Joachim Ronning does a swell job recreating the lush fantasy/Goth look of the first film with effects aplenty and grand flourishes of other-worldly architecture. Storywise it's feathery fluff. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 Judy (2019) Jim Schembri Garland was a complicated mess and Zellweger truly captures her contradictory cocktail of confidence, desperation, ebullience, despair & stage fright. She's a has-been with a crinkled face and a defiant manner eager to reclaim her share of the spotlight. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
3.5/5 Freedom (2019) Jim Schembri The brutal nature of the modern slave trade in South East Asia is exposed in often shocking and violent detail in Australian director Rodd Rathjen's extraordinary, gruelling debut feature. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
2/5 UglyDolls (2019) Jim Schembri Even undemanding kids in need of distraction might find it hard not to get restless during this word-heavy, woke animation. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
1/5 The Goldfinch (2019) Jim Schembri A dismal, interminable drama. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
2/5 The Dead Don't Die (2019) Jim Schembri The prospect of a zombie apocalypse film by veteran arthouse filmmaker Jim Jarmusch sounds almost too enticing. Regrettably, the execution just doesn't do justice to the concept. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
1/5 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Jim Schembri You'd have to be part of that treasured horror movie demographic who jumps with fright whenever somebody spills a box of popcorn to get much spook value out of this slice of sub-Stephen King schlock. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
2.5/5 The Souvenir (2019) Jim Schembri The nuance-rich, slow-burn direction by Joanna Hogg really works for about the first hour before a dramatic inertia sets in and turns the enterprise into yet another mumblecore dirge about drug addicts. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) Jim Schembri The film's chief purpose is to pull focus on the work of the late Dan O'Bannon (died 2009) who first dreamt up the idea. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
4.5/5 Joker (2019) Jim Schembri As violent and as thematically dark as it often is, the film has moments of sheer brilliance and real bravery, especially when it comes to seeing the world from the point of view of somebody who is clearly deranged. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 The Rise of Jordan Peterson (2019) Jim Schembri The who, what, why and how behind the phenomenal rise of Canadian clinical psychologist/author/professor Jordan Peterson gets a very thorough, if workman-like detailing in a feature-length look at his life, philosophies and motivations. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 Green Light (2017) Jim Schembri A timely, punchy, highly emotional documentary that takes an uncomfortably close look at the benefits of cannabis oil...Made with conviction and a clear agenda, the film highlights the urgency for such treatments to be made widely available. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 Gemini Man (2019) Jim Schembri If the plot of this movie sounds vaguely like the kind of high-end pulp Arnie would have made decades ago before he went into politics, you're right. Smith is no Schwarzenegger, yet he brings his swagger to this concerted re-entry into the action genre. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
4/5 Isha Ovedet (2018) Jim Schembri The intricacies of the power dynamics behind sexual harassment in the workplace are aired out in all their subtlety and savagery in this excellent Israeli drama [that] soundly demonstrates how hot-button topics are best dissected with a cool head. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 Hustlers (2019) Jim Schembri A flashy, well-made crime comedy-drama, confidently directed by Lorene Scafaria...The film wisely has moral ballast about what these women do, so anyone looking for a quasi-feminist revenge-against-men lark might be disappointed. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 Good Boys (2019) Jim Schembri Good Boys is essentially a look at what a man-child is like when he is still a child, figuring out the path to adulthood and valuing those early friendships that will keep him from having to surrender too much of that pre-pubescent energy as he grows. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
3/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Jim Schembri It's only a guess, but a good part of the sound effects budget for this film was probably spent on heads of lettuce, scores of which must have been torn apart in front of highly sensitive microphones to accentuate the carnage Rambo unleashes. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
3.5/5 Abominable (2019) Jim Schembri Supremely well done and gorgeous to look at, with a loveable central character who continues the trend of showing monsters as critters who are out of place...Abominable is the latest non-Pixar film to reflect the best qualities of Pixar's early films. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
4/5 Ad Astra (2019) Jim Schembri [A] haunting, slow-paced, superbly mounted space epic...The visceral feel of recent films such as Interstellar, Gravity and The Martian mark the super-high standard of the film's effects and cinematography. Echoes of Kubrick's 2001 permeate the film. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
3/5 Animals (2019) Jim Schembri The strong chemistry between the two leads (Holliday Grainger & Alia Shawkat), who had apparently never met before being cast, drive the film as Laura and Tyler try coping with the changing circumstances that beset their change-averse lifestyles. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
3/5 The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) Jim Schembri The main difference this second time around is the film's sheer payload of gags, both verbal and visual, that acknowledge the sensibilities of the adults in the audience who are watching with their kids. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
3/5 Downton Abbey (2019) Jim Schembri The film serves its fanbase extremely well, sprinkling the soiree with breezy performances and crowd-pleasing humour...it's predictably pleasant, contains no surprises and leaves you with a sizeable smile. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
2.5/5 The Farewell (2019) Jim Schembri A feather-light film whose inconsequential breeziness is perfectly complemented by its brevity. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
1/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Jim Schembri As good as the horror-schlock of IT was, this way-overlong sequel pales in comparison by simply not containing sufficient scares. Or, indeed, any scares at all. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
3.5/5 Angel Has Fallen (2019) Jim Schembri When it comes to big-screen meat-and-potatoes action, Butler has carved out a nice niche for himself, and as solid as Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen were, this third installment is easily the best. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 Amazing Grace (2018) Jim Schembri The verite nature of the film lends the film an ultra-fresh feel that often makes it seem like it was shot yesterday. Fans of Franklin are in for a major treat, but it's to those who only know her from The Blues Brothers who are most likely to be touched. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
2.5/5 The Kitchen (2019) Jim Schembri Though panned by critics, the only real flaw in this otherwise watchable crime drama is that its proto-feminism is too loudly signalled...Elisabeth Moss provides a cutting portrait of a woman who channels her hatred of bad men into a love for violence. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 The Nightingale (2018) Jim Schembri A searing Gothic revenge saga that unspools like the unholy offspring of The Piano and I Spit On Your Grave...a primal, visceral experience...A truly awesome film, in every sense of the word. EDIT
Posted Sep 8, 2019
4/5 Midsommar (2019) Jim Schembri A disturbing and dark tale of manipulation, alt-religion, bizarre rituals and debauchery that might just leave you aghast...Fans of 1973's classic The Wicker Man will appreciate Midsommar's respectful nods in the manner it delivers its deepest frights. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
1.5/5 Late Night (2019) Jim Schembri There wouldn't be a single minute of 30 Rock or Parks & Recreation that isn't funnier and more relevant than this film and its fumbling attempt to pursue a "woke" agenda about diversity, gender equality glass ceilings and male privilege...Groan-worthy. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
1/5 Palm Beach (2019) Jim Schembri A film so boring that after about 30 minutes you begin wishing for a meteor strike. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
3.5/5 Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (2019) Jim Schembri The film is clearly designed as a tribute to the unfaltering courage of those men, yet it is not some hollow, patriotic flag waver, nor is there much glory in the outcome. The battle scenes are vivid, graphic and often brutal. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
4/5 Australian Dream (1987) Jim Schembri This detailed package of the media and public reaction to the actions and utterances of Adam Goodes is framed by his backstory and subsequent behaviour, yet there is enough fairly presented information in it for people to form an independent assessment. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
4/5 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Jim Schembri It's Tarantino's love of incremental tension-building that really sells - and sets apart - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He's long proved a master at delivering great pay-offs and in that regard he might well have hit a career high point here. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
3.5/5 Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018) Jim Schembri A remarkable documentary about a remarkable woman...[Director Pamela] Green re-assembles her life with deep respect and a palpable love for an artist who bypassed the dictates of convention and rewrote the rules to suit herself. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
3.5/5 The Public (2018) Jim Schembri Emilio Estevez shows his flair for ensemble directing here, sculpting an affecting, unusual urban drama about the warmth of compassion in a cold climate...A small gem of a film that takes a simple idea and gives it the oxygen and room to flourish. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
4/5 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Jim Schembri Everything clicks perfectly into place in this mega-sized action-comedy both for fans of the franchise and for those in need of a thunderous, undemanding time-killer...There is so much testosterone gushing around you could go white-water rafting on it. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019