The Ringer

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Miles Surrey Jesse's journey in El Camino, while light on action by Breaking Bad standards, is heavy on meditation, and is a thematically appropriate bow on the character's story. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Joker (2019) Rob Harvilla Joker turns nihilism into an Olympic sport, and given that aspiration, if that's even the right word, there was only one song worthy of the soundtrack. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Lindsay Zoladz While it's not always particularly deep, what feels new, even radical, about Ad Astra as a space flick is its conclusion that "being a man" is something smaller, stranger, and more malleable than the default expectation of American culture. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Lucy in the Sky (2019) Lindsay Zoladz Lucy's fatal flaw is to think Nowak's story had some inherent gravitas and nobility just because she's a woman. And anyway, the tone of the movie is already all over the place... EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Shea Serrano I just didn't like it because it wasn't fun (like, to illustrate this particular point, Assassins, which had a Latino bad guy). Or clever (like Demolition Man, which had a Black bad guy). Or sexually interesting (like The Specialist). EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Miles Surrey A cinematic experience that perfectly captures the conflicting ideals of space travel and those who pursue it? If not, it could be the closest approximation thereof, and within McBride's journey through the cosmos lies one of the best films of the year. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
() Danny Chau Modernity can be an all-consuming wave, but through... Malika, we find survivors on the very fringes of the world, holding on, taking from the world only what they need, in spite of everything. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Honeyland (2019) Danny Chau Hatidze may put a face on the crisis for some, but part of Honeyland's allure is how deeply it pulls you into her world, and its triumphs and challenges. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Uncut Gems (2019) Adam Nayman Even as they prevent the narrative from hurtling off the tracks, the Safdies keep plunging Howard-and the audience-downward, culminating in a final shot that, magically, comes out the other side. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Ad Astra (2019) Manuela Lazic Ad Astra, set in the near future, gives the father-son dynamic literally astronomical dimensions. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017) Hannah Giorgis The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks stop short of directly indicting specific parties on the family's behalf. The resulting film is moving and accessible, but it offers no absolution. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
() Adam Nayman ... its excellent craftsmanship and satisfying follow-through should earn it a devoted cult. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Parasite (2019) Adam Nayman The speed and ferocity with which things fall apart-and with which Parasite mutates from a sly upstairs-downstairs satire into something more literally and tonally multileveled-is something to behold. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
It: Chapter Two (2019) Miles Surrey Chapter Two feels like a missed opportunity. Rather than going for broke, it's content just being the "evil clown movie." EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
The Running Man (1987) Adam Nayman However far away from the book's original vision the movie may stray, it ends up right in Arnold's wheelhouse, letting him dispatch a series of worthy rivals with aplomb. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Stand by Me (1986) Adam Nayman It's among the light sprinkling of King tales that elide the supernatural entirely. But that doesn't mean it isn't morbid... EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Creepshow (1982) Adam Nayman The team-up of director George A. Romero with King was seen as a monumental summit; the movie that resulted from their collaboration is uneven, but its best bits hold up as well as anything in either master's canon. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Cujo (1983) Adam Nayman The movie is as nasty and single-minded as Cujo himself: It's simple, and it works. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Salem's Lot (1979) Adam Nayman ... spooky and atmospheric-a Maine-set immersion in the Dracula mythos with exactly the same sprawling, ensemble dynamic that King regularly evokes on the page. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Mist (2007) Adam Nayman H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos has long been one of King's guiding influences, and Frank Darabont's adaptation of The Mist honors that relationship while also working as a 21st-century political parable. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Christine (1983) Adam Nayman If the '80s were partially defined by revenge-of-the-nerd narratives, Christine is more about the horror of the geek-id unleashed. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Dead Zone (1983) Adam Nayman What makes the The Dead Zone so frightening-and finally deeply moving-is how it commits to the psychology of a guy whose destiny is destroyed and fulfilled by the way he's slipping through the cracks. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Carrie (1976) Adam Nayman It opens with an insidiously brilliant update of Psycho's shower scene and ends with a jump scare that Hitchcock would have envied; in between, it's merely the tenderest and most affecting movie ever made out of one of King's novels. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Shining (1980) Adam Nayman [It] Kubrick's gallows humor, which was always about confronting and critiquing his audience's baser impulses: reinventing The Shining as a slapstick comedy about murderous patriarchal insecurity is a daring move. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Waves (2019) Sean Fennessey Waves is the kind of movie that punches you in the gut, and then slashes your Achilles as you reach for your stomach. Then, as you fall, it catches you in its arms. It is relentless but never exploitative. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones (2019) Alison Herman Sticks and Stones is designed to generate inflammatory coverage... It's a symbiotic cycle with no end in sight, and it's become the last thing a beloved provocateur should ever want to be: predictable. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
Jacob's Ladder (1990) Manuela Lazic It is this constant slippage into uncertainty that makes Jacob's Ladder unique. Lyne's focus on the sensual experiences of his character helps blur that line between dream and reality... EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
Ready or Not (2019) Miles Surrey Ready or Not is a lot of fun, but what it's selling should also feel familiar-the biggest difference is that sometimes, when the film skewers the 1 percent, it also does so literally. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
What You Gonna Do When The World's On Fire? (2018) Adam Nayman In the end, I'm not sure that What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? really "says" anything, and that's OK. Sometimes, the simple acts of looking and listening trump any attempts at eloquence. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) Adam Nayman Cold Case Hammarskjöld's wild postulations about secret political assassinations and biologically engineered viruses have a gripping, gruesome urgency: Watching it is like getting sucked into a Reddit thread at 3 in the morning. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
Blinded by the Light (2019) Rob Harvilla ...this movie is entirely devoted to capturing what makes Springsteen so beloved and enduring, and willing to risk looking uncool to get there. It's not trying to convert you, but it does a fine job of depicting the unembarrassed fervor of the converted. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Adam Nayman Because Linklater never truly risks alienating his audience, the story's central mechanism of Bernadette as an intractable outsider rings hollow. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
Good Boys (2019) Rob Harvilla It has the distinct, lazy "80 percent of an actual movie" vibe you get from most Netflix originals...you've seen this movie before, worse versions, maybe, but better versions, definitely. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
A Perfect Getaway (2009) Adam Nayman The intimacy of A Perfect Getaway can be read as Twohy's response to his adventures in mega-budget moviemaking, as can its smartly self-reflexive references to the craft of storytelling itself. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Miles Surrey ... as Hobbs & Shaw has demonstrated, these characters can more than hold their own, and feel most assured when they're not indebted to their predecessors. When family drifts apart, it's not always a bad thing. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Lindsay Zoladz You can't tell the story of the Manson murders without at least gesturing toward Polanski, but he's presented with an unexamined lightness that feels indicative of the movie's general tendency to skirt tougher questions about violence against women. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2019
The Lion King (2019) Rob Harvilla The remake's ceiling is Good Enough. Favreau hits that ceiling often enough, sure. But even in those moments, don't expect to be thrilled-only soothed. It is, indeed, a problem-free philosophy. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
The Lion King (2019) Miles Surrey The Mouse House's spate of remakes is...deeply dispiriting. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
Luz (2018) Adam Nayman Less-is-more philosophy is crucial to the film's effectiveness. Instead of letting his lack of resources be a liability, Singer leans into the benefits of minimalism. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
Crawl (2019) Adam Nayman What's likable about Aja's new thriller, Crawl, is how the director pares down his indulgences into a fine, sharp point. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
Make Happy (2016) Alison Herman A shockingly prickly, frequently meta medley of stand-up and song that challenges Burnham's fans more than it caters to them. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (2016) Alison Herman Cobra is a contradiction in terms ,  and the sly, surface-level hypocrisy is part of Wong's genius, building to one of the most skillful closers in recent memory. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2019
Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats (2014) Alison Herman One of the Greats opens with a montage that styles Peretti after her idols, and the special itself is filled with cutaways to Peretti in character, often as a clown. It's a fittingly weird and inventive approach for someone like Peretti. EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2019
The Farewell (2019) Manuela Lazic The Farewell [is] a vivid and endlessly relatable story of fractured identity in a globalized world. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015) Alison Herman Watch for the laughs, but also the pleasure of watching a masterful entertainer grow into his talents. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers (2015) Alison Herman The final third of Thoughts and Prayers is a thrilling break from his established pattern, a near-20-minute meditation on public performance of sympathy in the wake of tragedy. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) Alison Herman Ansari flips from being the subject of uncomfortable questions to decisively weighing in on those same dilemmas. It's an abrupt and audacious switch... Regardless, at BAM, Ansari manages to carry the audience right along with him. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2019
Jonas Brothers: Chasing Happiness (2019) Rob Harvilla Chasing Happiness has a familiar and pleasing rise-and-fall-and-rise arc from ungodly success to grim disillusionment to triumphant rebirth. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2019
Midsommar (2019) Lindsay Zoladz Through the force of her complex, engrossing performance, Pugh brings Dani's many ambiguities to light. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
Midsommar (2019) Adam Nayman The key dichotomy in Midsommar's network of contradictions is the one between humor and horror, which also informs many of the genre classics that Aster admires. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019