Elements of Madness

Elements of Madness is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Douglas Davidson
Rating Title/Year Author
4.5/5 () Douglas Davidson It's both stylish and gimmicky, while also emotionally tense and incredibly clever, resulting in a unique cinematic experience that's frequently harrowing, propulsive, and often emotional excruciating. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2019
4.5/5 Queen & Slim (2019) Douglas Davidson However you read [Queen & Slim], there is no other way than to think of it as a time bomb, one which you are never prepared for when it goes off. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
4.5/5 Knives Out (2019) Douglas Davidson Johnson flays layer after layer of socio-political intrigue as he twists the knife ... via an old school Jessica Fletcher-esque whodunit. Frankly, Knives Out is quite possibly the most fun you'll have at the theater this holiday season. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
4/5 Frozen II (2019) Douglas Davidson What they bring to the table this time opens up the world only hinted at in 2013 and, in the process, offer answers to questions audiences may never have considered. By doing this, Frozen II becomes something braver, bolder, and, yes, more frozen. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2019
3.5/5 Blinded by the Light (2019) Douglas Davidson [Director Gurinder] Chadha's Blinded by the Light is an uplifting tale of personal strength, the enduring sense of youthful revolt, and that no matter the time or place, our private pains are universal. EDIT
Posted Nov 18, 2019
4/5 Baishe: Yuanqi (2019) Douglas Davidson ... White Snake is both a fantastic entry point for those who are less familiar with the original folktale, as well as a lovely reinterpretation for those completely intimate. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
4/5 Aquarela (2018) Douglas Davidson Drawing from the translation of its name, "watercolor," Aquarela features no real narrative as it moves languidly from beginning to end. In this way, Aquarela is an absolutely mesmerizing piece of cinema. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
3/5 Look Away (2019) Douglas Davidson Love Is Blind is indeed the quirky romantic drama that the advertising suggests. ... In execution, however, it just doesn't fall into place in a manner befitting a clear and cohesive narrative. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2019
4/5 Last Christmas (2019) Douglas Davidson While Last Christmas hits all the marks of a feel-good holiday flick, it also incorporates several challenging notions which celebrants of the holiday tend to forget amid the parties and gift-giving. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/5 Cold Brook (2018) Douglas Davidson ... Cold Brook succeeds in part by its fantastic cast, but mostly by its focus on simplicity. There're no grand fights or superfluous moments, just a tale of love that transcends time and mortal existence. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
2/5 Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Douglas Davidson With so much that works as pieces, it's perplexing that the whole of Motherless Brooklyn ends up feeling lifeless, rather than as a living, breathing film. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 The Lion King (2019) Douglas Davidson The best news for any Lion King fan is that even if this version isn't to your liking, you only need to remember two words to make it all ok: hakuna matata. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
4/5 Paradise Hills (2019) Douglas Davidson For a feature film directorial debut, Alice Waddington (Disco Inferno) comes out swinging, demolishing the chains of patriarchy along the way. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2019
4/5 Toy Story 4 (2019) Douglas Davidson Having only recently watched [Toy Story] 3, the closure in [Toy Story] 4 is more concrete and serves as a fitting conclusion for a series that's been about duty, friendship, and caring for others. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2019
4.5/5 The Elephant Queen (2018) Douglas Davidson The Elephant Queen is an absolute marvel, a beautiful technical achievement which also wonderfully captures nature's inhabitants of Kenya. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
4.5/5 Miss Virginia (2019) Douglas Davidson What makes Miss Virginia so heart-warming isn't the inevitable triumph we know is coming, but in watching how the people of the community come together as one. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
4.5/5 Cyrano, My Love (2018) Douglas Davidson ... Michalik's Cyrano, My Love is full of rapid-fire dialogue, engaging performances, and sublime direction, all of which capture the energy of a play on celluloid. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
3.5/5 The Bestowal (2018) Douglas Davidson ... the crux of de Burgh's story is how significant every life lived can be when given the chance. It's a valuable message for those patient enough to receive it. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2019
3.5 Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Douglas Davidson It's a razor sharp, tension-filled psychological thriller whose best weapon is the way it teases its audience with scares and violence, even if any rarely comes. ... That's what makes it fun. That's what makes audiences want to come back for more. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
3/5 Joker (2019) Douglas Davidson Despite finding Joker to be an incredibly unique cinematic experience, the result of craftspeople at the top of their game, the manner in which they successfully capture the nature of the Joker instills far more trepidation than awe. EDIT
Posted Oct 3, 2019
4/5 Abominable (2019) Douglas Davidson ... Abominable is a lovely reminder that it doesn't matter where you go, but with whom you travel. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2019
4/5 Chained for Life (2018) Douglas Davidson One thing for certain is that [director Aaron] Schimberg's approach to filmmaking is a breath of fresh air, opting to make bold statements via biting satire carefully constructed in a manner to never make the subject matter the butt of the joke. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
4.5/5 Ad Astra (2019) Douglas Davidson Director James Gray and co-writer Ethan Gross draw from this to create a space odyssey which is futuristic, expansive, and largesse in style, while also being psychological, minimal, and extraordinarily personal in scope. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
4.5/5 Promare (2019) Douglas Davidson Though it takes some getting used to as the animation is visually overwhelming at first, once the viewer is acclimated, Promare is a roller coaster ride of action, excitement, intentional hilarity, and moving storytelling. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
3.5/5 Neither Wolf Nor Dog (2016) Douglas Davidson In many ways, the hubris and folly of the [Founding] Fathers are placed under high scrutiny in writer/director Steven Lewis Simpson's (A Thunder-Being Nation) Neither Wolf Nor Dog, an adaptation of the novel by Kent Nerburn. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
4/5 Empathy, Inc. (2018) Douglas Davidson What makes Empathy, Inc. extraordinary is the lengths it's willing to go to push its audience to the brink of reason in search of the answer. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 Freaks (2018) Douglas Davidson ... Freaks is a film which trades in paranoia, the kind where audience presumption gets them into trouble as they try to stay ahead of the story instead of giving themselves over to the journey. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
3.5/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Douglas Davidson When all is said and done, Chapter Two offers a satisfying ending that feels absolutely earned. Growing up isn't about happy endings, but is about the acceptance of who we are, a realization which inspires strength in the face of absolute terror. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
3.5/5 Luke & Jo (2019) Douglas Davidson Luke & Jo beautifully conveys the heartbreaking nature of our own crippling insecurities as the desire within us all to do better, to be better. If not for others, than for ourselves. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
4.5/5 Luce (2019) Douglas Davidson In a tight 109-minutes, [director Julius] Onah puts into motion a film which examines ideas of racial coding, classism, parenting, academic excellence, nature vs. nurture, and more, all without losing an ounce of power or sincerity. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
4/5 Satanic Panic (2019) Douglas Davidson Utilizing imaginative special effects and a killer twist on a familiar concept, Satanic Panic is a midnight movie built for a mainstream audience. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2019
4/5 Descendants 3 (2019) Douglas Davidson ... the Descendants series closes out in joyous celebration of the realization that we all deserve second chances and our parents choices don't define who we are as people. ... that's a particularly poignant message in our conflict-filled times... EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
3.5/5 3 Lives (2019) Douglas Davidson ... 3 Lives is confrontational, forward-thinking, and not without a few surprises. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
3/5 Burn (2019) Douglas Davidson In his first feature film, Burn, [writer/director Mike] Gan pushes the audience further than they may be comfortable as perception and expectation collide in surprising and disturbing ways. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
3.5/5 Tone-Deaf (2019) Douglas Davidson One things for certain, while Tone-Deaf isn't the phantasmagorical head trip the marketing suggests, it definitely bends the rules of reality just enough to feel like you've gone on a journey. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
4/5 Ready or Not (2019) Douglas Davidson ... Ready Or Not centers in on what makes any family event uncomfortable and amps it to 11 in a film that eviscerates the affluent and challenges the very notion of tradition, all while featuring a kick-ass protagonist. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
3.5/5 The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Douglas Davidson The Sun Is Also a Star is undeniably saccharine and yet is not without its charms. It tries to explore aspects of modern racial conflict and cultural assimilation, but by keeping its focus on the romance, Star loses most of the power it possesses. EDIT
Posted Aug 20, 2019
4.5/5 Kingdom (2019) Douglas Davidson ... given the chance, [audiences will] discover that Kingdom is an exciting action/drama filled with intrigue, treachery, daring fight sequences, and incredible heart. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
4/5 Driven (2018) Douglas Davidson Driven is a fun, charmingly sweet, slightly unbelievable, and heartbreaking adventure of broken friendships and shattered dreams powered by the strong performances of a top-notch cast. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
4/5 Alternate Endings: Six New Ways To Die In America (2019) Douglas Davidson ... co-directors and co-producers Perri Pelta and Matthew O'Neill (a member of HBO's Axios) opted to focus on six other ways in which Americans are choosing to celebrate life as they greet the end. Grab your tissues. You're going to need them. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
4/5 The Kitchen (2019) Douglas Davidson ... The Kitchen is a strong feature directorial-debut from Andrea Berloff with a cast capable of delivering the goods: drama, suspense, action, and killer '70s soundtrack. Sometimes, that's really all we need. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
4.5/5 The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Douglas Davidson ... The Peanut Butter Falcon, a film which wears its heart on its sleeve without an ounce of sarcasm or cynicism. In many ways, The Peanut Butter Falcon is too pure, making it the perfect salve for the rancor permeating our lives today. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/5 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Douglas Davidson [T]he Rob Letterman-directed (Monsters vs. Aliens) film is a slow neo-noir that is more interested in telling a straight mystery that just so happens to feature mythical creatures than in being an action epic. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2019
2.5/5 8 Remains (2018) Douglas Davidson Despite solid direction and a grounding performance from the lead, 8 Remains possesses too many ideas and relies too heavily on metaphor to create the powerful story of self-agency and rebirth it clearly wants to be. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
4/5 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Douglas Davidson Cinematic powerhouses Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham return as Lucas Hobbs & Deckard Shaw, two characters whose depth of disgust for each other belies a strange respect, and the fate of the world has never been so certain, so bombast, or so ridiculous. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/5 Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa (2018) Douglas Davidson No world-ending threats, no beings of superhuman power, no violent exploits, no real danger of any kind. Just some wholesome fun. When you're looking for family entertainment, what more do you real need? EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2019
4/5 Scary Stories (2019) Douglas Davidson Fans of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series will delight in Cody Meirick's documentary ... because of how it takes the time to create context for the stories themselves. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
3.5/5 Astronaut (2019) Douglas Davidson Even if the journey to get there in Astronaut runs on a foreseeable track, the message is timeless and universal. Perhaps it'll inspire new conversations among its audience and, in doing so, stir a new generation of astronomers. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
4/5 The Mountain (2018) Douglas Davidson The Mountain is a feast of a film. ... Alverson, Defa, and O'Leary constructed a tale which confronts several items at once, some more successfully than others, creating a lingering sense of doubt and despair. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2019
3.5/5 () Douglas Davidson While the film doesn't reach the fantastical heights of Okja or the emotional lows of Kodachrome, [Netflix's] Point Blank offers an entertaining experience which works due to the chemistry of the cast. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019