Variety

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
() Tomris Laffly A handsomely designed but perishable dystopian horror-thriller that impresses through imagery and audio cues... but doesn't scar the soul like it should. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
Teen Beach 2 (2015) Brian Lowry [Teen Beach Movie] is a pretty thin excuse to reunite the gang to dance and sing again. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
Girl vs. Monster (2012) Laura Fries The pic is akin to a good piece of Halloween candy that's sugary sweet on the outside but has a chewy surprise in the middle. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
() Dennis Harvey The emotions we witness and feel should have more force given the obviously stressful circumstances depicted. But they feel like all the edges have been sawed off to flatter both the subjects and principal actors. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
() Alissa Simon A continent-hopping dramedy that's not very funny and never catches fire. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Song Wo Shang Qing Yun (2019) Richard Kuipers Teng's fine-tuned direction and Yao's spot-on performance combine impressively to maintain Sheng Nan's dignity and deepen viewers' sympathy even as she stumbles, blunders and suffers embarrassment in her pursuit of satisfaction. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Ready to Run (2000) Laura Fries Underneath the Disney-ized version of the world, full of vivid primary colors and Hanson music, there's a pleasant little story accentuated by some heartfelt performances. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Jump In! (2007) Laura Fries Director Paul Hoen delivers a taut and immensely entertaining pic from a script by Doreen Spicer, Regina Hicks and Karin Gist. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
() Carole Horst It's a funny premise that works quite well... [Robert] Townsend keeps the pace steady and the scenes with the family funny in a sweetly goofy way, yet there's only so much he can do with the hackneyed villains and story resolution. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Going to the Mat (2004) Laura Fries Although a bit heavy on the slo-mo sports sequence, [Stuart] Gillard otherwise nicely balances action with drama, touching on universal teen themes of alienation and the undo pressures of high school sports. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
() Owen Gleiberman Marder hasn't filled in the dramatic interior of what does happen. He has made a movie about deafness that's at once experiential and too muffled to hear. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Tiger Cruise (2004) Laura Fries Writers Anna Sandor and Bruce Graham deserve kudos for filtering a tough story through the eyes of kids without diluting the message. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Bordertown (1935) Variety Staff Finish is phoney, but it can't hurt the previous good work. Casting throughout the film, which is also well written [from a novel by Carrol Graham] and paced, is exceptionally good. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
() Guy Lodge A nervy alternative horror film in which political ghosts of the past mingle with more uncanny phantoms, it ought to be the filmmaker's most widely distributed work to date. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
() Dennis Harvey This is a strong piece of poetically pure art-house cinema that finally offers a ray of hope for humanity's future - not just the Ukraine's, as this largely depoliticized statement is one of universal relevance. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
A () Amy Nicholson The movie's optimism comes from the way it was put together, as an after-school collective between filmmakers, volunteers and girls like Bakray, who met screenwriter Theresa Ikoko years before cameras began to roll. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
B () Amy Nicholson A dizzying story about ambition and artistic competition EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
A The Vast of Night (2019) Amy Nicholson Patterson trusts that chemistry will compensate for a gentle thriller that chooses to impress with ingenuity and charm instead of special effects. EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Liam Gallagher: As It Was (2019) Chris Willman Finally amounts to a feature-length EPK. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
() Dennis Harvey Anyone with an attention span above ADD levels... is likely to find this undeniably slick, energetic contraption plays somewhere between grating and numbing. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2019
Can You Keep a Secret? (2019) Courtney Howard Overall, Can You Keep A Secret forges its identity as a serviceable romp for those who enjoy films based on postfeminist fiction. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
() Dennis Harvey Some recognizable cast names and enough action to fill out a trailer should make this a viable acquisition item, but TV director Neasa Hardiman's first feature will play as a slow night's forgettable time-killer in any format. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
() Dennis Harvey Competently crafted, "Tammy" is too glib to be poignant and too defeatist to be amusing. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
The Weekend (2018) Guy Lodge Notwithstanding any comparisons, there's more assured personality here than there was in her last feature, the bright, proficient but somewhat synthetic big-studio teen romance "Everything, Everything." EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
() Scott Tobias Yet the overall effect of Heise's work is mesmeric, persuasive and cumulatively powerful, as each piece of the puzzle falls into place and he lands on overarching insights into a German century and what it portends for the future. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
On Promised Land (1994) Laura Fries Disney telepic has "quality" writ large all over it. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
() Joe Leydon Larry Clarke's debut effort as writer-director is an affecting dramedy about a family dealing with a fading paterfamilias. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
() Owen Gleiberman You emerge from "Desert One" knowing certain aspects of the Iran-hostage crisis better than you did before. That makes it a worthy film, and an absorbing one. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
A Ring of Endless Light (2002) Laura Fries Director Greg Beeman does as much as is required with the simplified script, which has totally eliminated the contemplative and edgier facets of the book. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
() Jay Weissberg [E]ven though the Islamist topic is hardly under the radar of late, Dia grants his characters warmth and humor in their struggles and makes the story feel fresh without compromising on drama. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
A- () Amy Nicholson Satrapi collapses a century of innovation and destruction from the discovery of chemotherapy to Chernobyl into a flat timeline that Curie can see right through as though looking at an x-ray. In those moments of stylistic imagination, the film glows. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B- () Amy Nicholson If you've seen even one based-on-a-true-story British misfit hobbyists movie, you already know the tune. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B Ready for War (2019) Amy Nicholson The doc's most controversial subject is El Vet, a masked veteran who stalks the film with a gun and his own hidden camera, which he uses to record his for-hire assassinations. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B () Amy Nicholson "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" is more than an indictment of a man. Orner cross-examines the community that protected a bully for four decades, ever since Bikram pranced before TV cameras flexing his pecs for a cheering audience. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B Ordinary Love (2019) Amy Nicholson Very little happens on the surface of Owen McCafferty's script, as everything life or death is taking place inside Manville. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B- () Amy Nicholson Gaztelu-Urrutia's allegory is clear. What he's after, though, isn't as simple as eat the rich. He's curious about how the poor devour each other. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Lucy in the Sky (2019) Peter Debruge Hawley [is] a gifted visual storyteller who triple-knots his own shoelaces here, stumbling over cumbersome metaphors... when he should have just entrusted his leading lady to carry the narrative. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
B How to Build a Girl (2019) Amy Nicholson It's a young person's jam that will hit the right teen like a thunderbolt. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Aga's House (Shpia e Agës) (2019) Jessica Kiang [Zeqiraj's] terrific ensemble embraces the challenge of embodying these very real, frequently unlikable, damaged but resilient characters. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Stepsister From Planet Weird (2000) Michael Speier "Stepsister" definitely has that certain goofy charm that makes so much of Disney's fare light and likable: everyone smiles, nobody gets hurt, and fantasy looms large. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Princess Protection Program (2009) Laura Fries While this original adventure/comedy doesn't stray far from the usual promotional model... writer Annie DeYoung ultimately throws in a nice message for young girls about self-esteem. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Camp Rock (2008) Brian Lowry Camp Rock is the kind of confection that requires copious brushing and flossing immediately afterward, but given Disney's track record, that won't dissuade four out of five girls with Jonas Brothers fever from sinking their teeth right in. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Haunt (2019) Dennis Harvey Delivers a satisfying quantity of creeps and frights that more than compensate for the occasional lull. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Full-Court Miracle (2003) Laura Fries For a movie that purportedly touts notions of establishing the truth of your own identity, the script is surprisingly devoid of one. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
The Color of Friendship (2000) Ramin Zahed Since the film is based on actual events, Paris Qualles' script and thesps' overall work have stronger emotional resonance than the usual "A dream is a wish your heart makes"-type pics airing on the Mouse cabler. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
The Cheetah Girls (2003) Laura Fries [The Cheetah Girls] aspires to be a culturally diverse morality lesson disguised as musical fantasy. Instead, it's a diva training film with a plot about as memorable as a Kelly Clarkson pic. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Alissa Simon Without artificial-seeming contrivance, Chen masterfully builds resonance through rhyming scenes, repeated images and reoccurring dialogue. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Dennis Harvey After a while, all these visual poetics start to feel like a pretentious means of suggesting enigmatic depth where there really is none. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
() Dennis Harvey An engrossing tale that should do reasonably well in home-format placements, and give a definite leg up to the director and his principal collaborators. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Harriet (2019) Owen Gleiberman "Harriet" is nothing if not a dutiful and eye-opening salute. But it still leaves you feeling that the great movie about Harriet Tubman has yet to be made. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019