Austin Chronicle

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3/5 Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Steve Davis Well-researched and candid, this documentary will not change anyone's perception of [Roy] Cohn or rehabilitate his character in any way. Although his self-loathing insecurities may slightly humanize him, he will always be one-dimensionally evil. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 Midnight Traveler (2019) Jenny Nulf What makes Midnight Traveler distinct from its counterparts is that it follows filmmaker Hassan Fazili's own family, and the intimacy he's able to capture over the life spans of three iPhones makes his documentary more tender and honest and immediate. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
1.5/5 Lucy in the Sky (2019) Josh Kupecki [Natalie] Portman gives her all in her performance, which is the only saving grace of the film, and in the end this film is a complete misfire. To paraphrase the titular song, picture yourself seeing any other movie than this. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
2.5/5 Gemini Man (2019) Matthew Monagle Gemini Man features strong chemistry between its leads and an undercurrent of regret that makes it surprisingly empathetic for an action movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3.5/5 Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Marc Savlov Add it all up and My Name Is Dolemite is a wicked return to form for [Eddie] Murphy, who absolutely nails [Rudy Ray] Moore's straight outta West Hollywood brio and never-say-die single-mindedness. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Saint Maud (2019) Matthew Monagle Saint Maud may move slowly and deliberately, but [Morfydd] Clark makes sure we are always in her character's capable hands -- whether we want to be or not. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Vivarium (2020) Jenny Nulf It's an overlong Black Mirror episode that forgot what the audience is supposed to be afraid of. Yes, we all know suburbia is trite, but your film doesn't have to be as well. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
The Lodge (2019) Richard Whittaker ... the biggest issue is that cruelty. It's all emotional, rarely physical, and almost bloodless, but it's so constant as to be grueling. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
The Other Lamb (2019) Jenny Nulf Unless you are into the warped imagery of trees and dead animals, it can seem like an incredible slog like the many hikes the women have to trudge through to reach the pinnacle "Eden." EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks (2019) Marc Savlov For a documentary so heavily front-loaded with well-researched observations on both the cinema of Kung Fu and the genre's persistent presence in the real world, Iron Fists... is a deliriously fun ride. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Kimi to, nami ni noretara (2019) Richard Whittaker [Masaaki] Yuasa entrances the eye, but he also know how to make your heart soar with this deft, delicate, and highly entertaining story of loss, of coming to terms with grief, of moving on without ever forgetting. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Jallikattu (2019) Matthew Monagle If only more filmmakers could match form to politics with this degree of skill. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
The Pool (2018) Jenny Nulf Pouring from the demented mind of Ping Lumprapleong, The Pool is a survival thriller that manages to balance dumb decisions with gut-busting laughs to mold an extreme riot of a film that shouldn't be as entertaining as it is. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
The Deeper You Dig (2019) Richard Whittaker The Deeper You Dig may be a small production, but everything in it feels aspirational, so much bigger and heartfelt and horrifying than can be expected. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
After Midnight (2019) Matthew Monagle Even without a completely balanced relationship at the film's center, After Midnight offers an endearing mixture of humor and thirtysomething ennui. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Fractured (2019) Matthew Monagle For those in need of casual thrillers to stream, and those in need of additional entries in the Brad Anderson oeuvre to obsess over, Fractured will be a welcome addition to the streaming platform. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Koko-di Koko-da (2019) Richard Whittaker [Johannes] Nyholm has a point to make: it's just unclear if even he can explain what it is. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten In the Shadow of the Moon comes up short in regard to the human angle. Still, there's enough mystery to pull the plot through, and all the technical aspects of the made-for-Netlix film are top tier. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
In the Tall Grass (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten The performances are all solid, and writer/director [Vincenzo] Natali and cinematographer Craig Wrobleski wreaking fiendish menace from the grass jungle. Surely, they're not in Kansas anymore. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Parasite (2019) Jenny Nulf Bong Joon-ho, who has consistently played with what the class system means in a modern day South Korea, has finally reached his pinnacle with his latest film, Parasite. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
4x4 (2019) Marc Savlov The success of [Mariano] Cohn's film rests almost entirely on the performance of [Peter] Lanzani, and he turns in a remarkable performance that runs the gamut of emotions from disbelief to dawning horror as the reality of his plight begins to sink in. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019) Marc Savlov It's a coming of age story unlike any other, filled with the director's trademark heart and a soul-stirring argument against the ever ready darkness of unswerving, "patriotic" nationalism. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
1.5/5 The Parts You Lose (2019) Matthew Monagle The Parts You Lose captures the wintry isolation of North Dakota well, and the actors involved ensure that it's never unwatchable. Yet this is the worst kind of bad movie: a film with absolutely nothing to say. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
1.5/5 Joker (2019) Josh Kupecki It's DC Comics playing rough, but not rough enough, but maybe that's too much to ask. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
3.5/5 First Love (2019) Jenny Nulf [Takashi Miike's] recent output just feels a little too produced and overseen by the Japanese government. Despite all this, First Love's warm and tender nature keeps it an endearing and heartwarming addition to the master's filmography. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
3/5 Chained for Life (2018) Richard Whittaker If the point of Tod Browning's Freaks was that it's what's inside that makes someone a monster, Chained for Life finds that everyone is awkward, everyone sees their own flaws, and everybody is just somebody. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
3.5/5 Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018) Steve Davis The film's stunning visuals of these and other impacted places, particularly the aerial shots, capture an abstract imagery that is at once beautiful and horrifying. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Cold Sweat (2010) Richard Whittaker Not only is his use of chemistry gruesomely ingenious, but he finds a convincing and tense way to make two doddering coffin dodgers into memorable screen villains. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
3/5 Sister Aimee (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Sister Aimee is a scrappy period piece that supplants the things a bigger budget might have afforded with good choices about things that were under the filmmakers' control. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
3.5/5 Kamera o tomeru na! (2017) Richard Whittaker One Cut of the Dead isn't just charming. It's an earnest and funny love letter to all the microbudget dreamers who use all their heart and ingenuity to make their movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
2.5/5 Abominable (2019) Steve Davis There's some gorgeous animation and impeccable camerawork on display here. But as George Lucas' 2015 fiasco Strange Magic demonstrated, beautifully executed visuals will get you only so far. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/5 Judy (2019) Steve Davis [Renée] Zellweger gives a fearless performance in this movie. She captures the essence of [Judy] Garland with such immersive nuance that the line between the actor and the role doesn't only disappear, it's as if it never existed. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
4.5/5 Monos (2019) Marc Savlov A pure cinematic experience like Monos is a rare and precious gem. Colombian director [Alejandro] Landes has created a surreal, sumptuous assault on the senses that's as lushly beautiful as it is unforgettable. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
2.5/5 The Golden Glove (2019) Richard Whittaker This long slog through the gutter, from the first brutal murder to [Fritz] Honka's grisly yet comedic arrest, is a tough stroll that it's hard to recommend. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
1/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Marc Savlov At just under an hour and a half, [Rambo: Last Blood] still feels padded with pointless moments that do little to advance an already obvious outcome. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
3.5/5 Depraved (2019) Matthew Monagle At nearly two hours, Depraved can feel a little long in the tooth... Then again, the performances here are a little too strong for Fessenden's film to be anything other than a treat for fans of independent horror. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
3.5/5 The Death of Dick Long (2019) Richard Whittaker [Daniel Scheinert] can take something that shocks, something that will create a real, visceral response in the audience, and still find a way to illuminate the characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 Hustlers (2019) Matthew Monagle With a refreshingly dynamic soundtrack and impressive costume design, it's fair to say that almost everything about the film works as intended EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
3/5 Desolation Center (2018) Marc Savlov Desolation Center illuminates a short-lived but absolutely momentous time when the Mojave beckoned, free of charge and front-loaded with anarchic artistic overload. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
2/5 American Dreamer (2018) Marjorie Baumgarten Since none of the characters are terribly bright or likable, the experience of watching the film is like being trapped inside a locked car stuck in neutral. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
2/5 Ad Astra (2019) Richard Whittaker Ad Astra is undoubtedly aspirational in its intent -- but it's also trite. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
1.5/5 The Goldfinch (2019) Josh Kupecki An enthralling story on the page, this adaptation fails to capture what good adaptations can: the heart and spirit of a story told in another medium. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
2.5/5 Downton Abbey (2019) Kimberley Jones Downton Abbey may not soar to new heights or tender any surprises, but there's a pleasure to its predictableness. It's so very ... capable. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
3.5/5 Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten [Stanley] Nelson has gifted us with a thoughtful and rich profile which, like a fading note escaping from Davis' trumpet, leaves us wanting more. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
2/5 Tôkyô gûru 'S' (2019) Richard Whittaker While [Tokyo Ghoul S] never shies away from its own stomach-churning visuals, Ken is too milquetoast and Shu too histrionic for their dinner date to ever leave you satisfied. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 Riot Girls (2019) Marc Savlov Riot Girls doesn't disappoint in the mayhem department, and as a meta-story about female empowerment in an increasingly threatening "men's world," this wild and woolly take on teen-angsters past would make Furiosa herself cheer. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 Rapid Response (2019) Richard Whittaker Its microfocus, anecdotal structure, and reliance on archive footage and talking heads, undoubtedly makes this one for the true devotees of motorsports, but they'll not want to miss it. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
2.5/5 Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) Marjorie Baumgarten Since [Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein] are a top-notch documentary duo with such probing films as The Celluloid Closet and The Times of Harvey Milk representative of their filmography, it's fair to have expected more from this music doc. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3.5/5 Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) Josh Kupecki This film will be a treasure trove of insight into not just the making of a musical, but of women and men who had the courage of their convictions in the face of odds set against them. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
High School Musical 2 (2007) Belinda Acosta I could go into an analysis of why this musical makes me gag, but frankly, there are so many things I like about it. I like the fact that it has a diverse cast. The big production numbers are suitably toe-tapping and fun to watch. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2019