Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Frozen II (2019) Alissa Wilkinson By my lights, Frozen 2 is still a plenty enjoyable film, even if it lacks its predecessor's subversive spark. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
2.5/5 Noelle (2019) Emily VanDerWerff Noelle frequently feels like it's running in place, frantically throwing shiny objects in your face in the hope you don't lose interest. But for fans of movie depictions of Christmas, there are worse options. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
American Son (2019) Alissa Wilkinson American Son doesn't really work as a movie. Its theatricality comes across as forced and curiously inert on screen, at close range to the actors, and its conversations about race and policing in particular feel stilted and contrive EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
2.5/5 Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Dark Fate by and large pulls off recapturing the goofy fun of the original, though with a twist. It evokes the earliest Terminator films, but Dark Fate doesn't want to just rewrite Terminator's future -- it wants to reevaluate its past, too. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
2.5/5 The Elephant Queen (2019) Alissa Wilkinson The result is a nice story about elephants but not much more, making The Elephant Queen feel a bit like a squandered opportunity. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2019
3.5/5 Tell Me Who I Am (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Tell Me Who I Am narrowly but successfully pulls it off by letting the brothers delve into the rawness of their relationship. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
3/5 The Laundromat (2019) Alissa Wilkinson The Laundromat is unwieldy at times, and its final scene is truly befuddling. But it's worth watching not just for its bitterly entertaining explanation of a densely confusing matter but also the way it illustrates a larger problem. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2019
3/5 Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Alissa Wilkinson It's not entirely clear why a Zombieland sequel was necessary, but everyone looks like they're having fun, and sometimes that's enough. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
3/5 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Alissa Wilkinson ... the fun comes from seeing your favorite characters again, not finally resolving missing pieces that have tortured your sleep for six years. And on that front, El Camino delivers. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
1/5 Gemini Man (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Gemini Man is a demo reel for some fancy new movie technology, an EPCOT attraction dressed up as an action flick. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
2.5/5 The King (2019) Constance Grady [The King] is filled with macho posturing about war and kingship and the nature of power and how really, it's extremely virtuous to be extremely boring, and there is hardly any sense of humor to be found onscreen at all. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
3.5/5 Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Alissa Wilkinson [Dolemite Is My Name is] a vivid depiction of the challenges that black entertainers have faced, particularly in Hollywood. And it is, to everyone's delight, a great Eddie Murphy performance. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
1.5/5 Lucy in the Sky (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Lucy in the Sky feels unfocused, distracted, and tonally uncertain. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
4.5/5 () Alissa Wilkinson [The Irishman] is lively and wry and very funny, but at times it also feels like a confession, a plea for grace, not just from its protagonist but from the filmmaker himself. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
3.5/5 Judy (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Judy is mostly a pleasure, even in its most tense moments, especially because [Renée] Zellweger performs several full numbers that give you a sense of the magic [Judy] Garland brought to the stage. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
4/5 Waves (2019) Alissa Wilkinson What sets Waves apart is its complex understanding of what it actually means for love to conquer fear and hatred. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
4.5/5 Ad Astra (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Ad Astra is beautiful, contemplative, and loaded with meaning -- not an action movie, but one that leaves you with plenty to ponder. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
5/5 Parasite (2019) Alissa Wilkinson While it's hugely entertaining, Parasite is also thought-provoking. By the time the catharsis arrives, you think you're at the end of the film, but a coda adds a new wrinkle to the whole thing. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
5/5 Marriage Story (2019) Alissa Wilkinson To get a story like this right requires a sense of the comical and the absurd along with the devastating -- and Marriage Story delivers. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
4.5/5 Hustlers (2019) Emily VanDerWerff Hustlers asks what a movie like Goodfellas looks like with women at the center of the story. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 Knives Out (2019) Alissa Wilkinson It's a worthy tribute to Agatha Christie, a light but pointed rebuke, and a delectable time at the movies, too. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
2/5 The Goldfinch (2019) Alissa Wilkinson [Donna] Tartt's novel comes in at such great length because it's trying, for better or worse, to emulate that artistic technique. And in sticking so closely to the plot of the novel, The Goldfinch loses the story, and the soul, of its source. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
2.5/5 Joker (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Joker is a tightly directed mood piece with an unforgettable performance at its center, but it's not much more than a mask, with nothing but banality behind. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019
3.5/5 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Alissa Wilkinson With rising tides of hate and ignorance, where demagogues have groupies and neo-Nazis are easy to find on the internet, preying on the weak, what Jojo Rabbit has to say is both hysterically funny and grim as hell. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 Just Mercy (2019) Alissa Wilkinson In spite of its shortcomings, Just Mercy is still the sort of film that's worth watching and absorbing and discussing, because the story it tells has not stopped being relevant in the decades since [Bryan] Stevenson and [Walter] McMillian met. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
4.5/5 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Alissa Wilkinson A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood sneaks around the barriers we throw up in adulthood, finding the kid inside of us who just wants to know we are loved. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
3.5/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Aja Romano While Chapter Two works perfectly fine as a complement to Chapter One, it still falls short in that the closer our heroes come to triumphing over "It," the further they get from a satisfying conclusion. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
3.5/5 Jawline (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Jawline is both disturbing and empathetic, and an important peek into the glory and angst of being a teenager on the internet today. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Woodstock (1970) Alissa Wilkinson [Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music] is an outstanding documentary, a joyful musical experience and a playful artifact of an era, even at its butt-busting length. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
3/5 Ready or Not (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Ready or Not looks and feels like a straight-ahead horror thriller, but the opportunity to do something truly mind-bending is squandered. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
4.5/5 American Factory (2019) Alissa Wilkinson American Factory tackles the challenges of globalization with much more depth and nuance than most reporting on the topic, precisely because it steps back to watch a story unfold over time and resists easy generalizations. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
1.5/5 Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Alissa Wilkinson There's a story buried in here about a woman with a seemingly happy life who's nonetheless lost her sense of self, but it feels too pasted together from disparate parts to not leave the audience just scratching their heads by the end. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
3.5/5 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Aja Romano Given that I was mainly expecting monsters with a side of more monsters, I can't complain too much. I got what I came for, and this is certainly not the first horror film to serve a sloppy social allegory along with its chills. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
() Caroline Framke Haddish unleashes hilarious, filthy, and even moving anecdotes to tell the story of her life to this point, without anything holding her back, at long last. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2019
Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted (2015) Caroline Framke Where "Live" saw Notaro reeling from a bruise, Boyish Girl Interrupted celebrates the healing. Notaro found a way to build upon her previous set without dismissing it entirely, and her joy at cracking that code radiates from every punchline. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
3/5 The Great Hack (2019) Alissa Wilkinson The Great Hack isn't revealing much that hasn't been reported elsewhere, but it's powerful in the ways it does so. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
2/5 Stuber (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Stuber is part of a breed of summer movies that I think of as "aggressively fine": They're not unwatchable, and you'll laugh sometimes, but they're also not very good, and there's no particular reason they couldn't be. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
2/5 The Lion King (2019) Alissa Wilkinson The Lion King has always been a film with quite a lot to say bubbling below its surface. But 2019's telling adds bloat, and nothing more. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
5/5 The Farewell (2019) Alissa Wilkinson [The Farewell] is a finely tuned drama that finds humor in the everyday absurdity that comes from belonging to a family. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
3/5 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Alex Abad-Santos Spider-Man: Far From Home is great - once it gets out of its own way. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 Child's Play (2019) Aja Romano It's silly, even nigh nonsensical, full of flat stock characters, plot non sequiturs, and a hand-wave-y take on technological dystopia that never manages to get above eye roll levels of sincerity. But it's also fun and funny. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
4/5 Midsommar (2019) Alissa Wilkinson There's no cutting away from the disturbing in Midsommar (in fact, the camera prefers to push into the worst of it); you will look at this, and you will see the violence that is life and death, the movie says. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
3.5/5 The Edge of Democracy (2019) Alissa Wilkinson The Edge of Democracy is not an impartial piece of journalistic filmmaking; indeed, Costa makes no pretensions to objectivity. She weaves in her own family's story and the film takes on the quality of a lament. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
2.5/5 Murder Mystery (2019) Alissa Wilkinson It's just the kind of movie to pop on one night when you're looking for something fun, silly, and a little mysterious. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
4.5/5 Toy Story 4 (2019) Alex Abad-Santos In Woody's search for love, Toy Story 4 reminds us how hard it is to let go. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
4/5 The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Alissa Wilkinson The Last Black Man in San Francisco is heartbreaking and elegiac in all the best ways. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
4.5/5 Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Emily VanDerWerff I'm about to say is a compliment, even if it might not sound like one: Deadwood: The Movie feels like the best TV episode of 1997. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
1.5/5 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Alissa Wilkinson Godzilla: King of the Monsters has big monster fights in the rain. But it feels by the end like you've just spent hours of your life on a fleeting amusement park ride. EDIT
Posted May 31, 2019
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' (2019) Emily VanDerWerff This special might have grown out of nostalgia, or Jimmy Kimmel's ego, or a genuine desire to fete [Norman] Lear while he's still alive. But there's a comfort in ritual, in recreating the same basic ceremony over and over again. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
The Perfection (2018) Aja Romano In essence, the movie looks like it should be a slick, thrilling emotional arc that speaks to women. But beneath the surface, it's something more regressive. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019