The Straits Times (Singapore)

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 Ad Astra (2019) John Lui Ad Astra is a visually stunning movie that could do with more silence and less dialogue. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
4/5 Midsommar (2019) Boon Chan The restrained approach pays off and the revelations that follow make quite a shocking impact. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
3.5/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) John Lui There is an honesty to the Rambo story that is rare in movies - he wants bad men to die and takes the shortest, most over-the-top bloody route possible. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
2/5 The Goldfinch (2019) John Lui A late plot development turns what feels like a so-so introspective examination of grief into an aggressively mediocre heist movie. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2019
3.5/5 Weathering With You (2019) Boon Chan It has to be said though that Your Name felt more magical...but Shinkai still manages to make the ending satisfying and surprising, like a warm ray of light peeking through dark storm clouds. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3.5/5 Hua jiao zhi wei (2019) John Lui The movie succeeds, mostly because of the degree of care taken with each woman's background, which is rooted in concerns peculiar to their age, class and society. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
2.5/5 Hustlers (2019) John Lui The strippers - and audiences - deserve a better, more shaded picture. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/5 In Your Hands (Au bout des doigts) (2018) John Lui This film serves as a reminder, too often forgotten in dramas which lean on dialogue, that cinema is a medium of vision and sound. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
3/5 The Great Hack (2019) Alison de Souza All of which is sobering, and you would hope it makes viewers think twice about not insisting on better data protections and rights. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
3.5/5 Plus One (2019) John Lui This is a sweet, heart-on-a-sleeve celebration of love blossoming in unlikely circumstances. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
2/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) John Lui A flabby, nearly three-hour affair where everything matters so therefore, nothing does. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
3/5 () John Lui The depth of sincerity of this tribute to the classics and its loving adherence to the form cannot be doubted. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
2/5 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) John Lui As is standard practice, the sequel packs in more, but that extra weight is like an overloaded diver's belt pulling the enterprise down into the depths. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
3.5/5 Pavarotti (2019) John Lui A celebration of a life that runs close to two hours will test anyone's patience, especially one stuffed with this much repetitive praise. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
3.5/5 Bodies at Rest (2019) Boon Chan Of all the twists and turns the movie serves up, one of the biggest surprises is to see Renny Harlin credited as director. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
2.5/5 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) John Lui It is like being trapped in a taxi with a driver who is not the sweet man you thought he was at the start of the conversation...this work is a record of an obsessive film fan's fixation on a tiny slice of history. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
3.5/5 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) John Lui The pacing, editing, character development and visuals are as slick as they come - there is no moment here that feels overlong or wasted EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 Blinded by the Light (2019) John Lui The story shines when it makes observations about the generational gap between immigrant parents and their children. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
2/5 Stuber (2019) John Lui The oddest thing about this almost complete rip-off of other, better buddy-cop movies is how good actors such as Nanjiani and Bautista got involved in something so dire. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
2.5/5 The Kitchen (2019) John Lui Such a pity then that the promising premise is ruined by fractured editing, mixed messages on violence and incoherent character motivation. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
2.5/5 Yesterday (2019) John Lui An intriguing story about honest mediocrity versus plagiarised stardom is sabotaged by a need to please Beatles nostalgists. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
2.5/5 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) John Lui The successful Fast & Furious franchise has its first spin-off and the baby has everything that audiences like about its parents: car porn, a comic-book approach to stories and massive vehicular action setpieces. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
3.5/5 Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) Alison de Souza There is plenty of crowd-pleasing stuff - bits about trying to explain racism in America to his white Danish girlfriend as well as topics he has addressed before, like the unfair burden of contraception placed on women. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
2/5 Ma (2019) John Lui This movie proves that interesting casting choices putting a new spin on old ideas do not guarantee that a horror movie will be either scary or even entertaining. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
4/5 Pájaros de verano (2018) John Lui How the story poetically blends that idea with the bloody and often lurid tale of a kingpin's rise to power is remarkable. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
4/5 The Kleptocrats (2018) John Lui This one is as juicy as they come... EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
4/5 Clean Up (2018) John Lui The melancholic yet suspenseful first feature from writer-director Kwon Man Ki...is skilfully directed and edited, and treats its characters with compassion. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
4/5 Amazing Grace (2018) John Lui The sound is pristine and the visuals put the viewer there, with the enraptured audience. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
3/5 The Lion King (2019) John Lui Watching this, it is hard to muster an emotion not previously associated with the first movie...It would have been a bold, fresh move for director Jon Favreau to have pencilled in a few changes... EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
2/5 Tolkien (2019) John Lui The spoon-feeding does not just feel silly and pandering, it is distracting - as in a video game, Easter egg-hunting draws attention away from the key story. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
2/5 The Dead Don't Die (2019) John Lui This could almost be a stoner comedy, except there are no drugs, no jokes and not enough weirdness. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (2017) Alison de Souza The centrepiece for Minhaj is a truly astonishing and bittersweet tale about his prom that is alone worth the price of admission. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
Jo Koy: Live From Seattle (2017) Alison de Souza Koy does not go quite as deep, but is no less funny, albeit in a more physical, scatological way. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
2.5/5 The Professor and the Madman (2019) John Lui Unlike the tome, this movie is neither useful nor necessary. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
2.5/5 The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (2019) John Lui Characters can change, but they should not become two completely different people. EDIT
Posted Jul 11, 2019
4/5 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) John Lui This movie is perfectly pitched as a sweet pick-me-up, a human-sized romp that looks back to the blip, while moving the story forward. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
2/5 Red Joan (2018) John Lui Unintended silliness makes young Joan look foolish for being entranced by them, robbing her of agency when the film is desperate to prove the opposite. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
2/5 Love The Way You Are (Wo De Qing Chun Dou Shi Ni) (2019) Boon Chan Mostly, the story feels forced. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
5/5 Parasite (2019) John Lui Social satires rarely come as funny, unpredictable or as generous to its characters as this. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
2.5/5 The White Crow (2018) John Lui It is made more dramatic by Nureyev's frequent tantrums...and made worse by the over-exposure of persons important to the plot, but useless as characters worth caring about, such as Exarchopoulos' socialite, Saint. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 The Wolf's Call (2019) John Lui Despite the excursions into fantasy, this submarine saga with a French flavour is a fun watch. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
1.5/5 Anna (2019) John Lui It is one thing to watch a film-maker turn his kink into a movie, but it is another when that kink carries a specifically European strain of racism. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
4.5/5 Toy Story 4 (2019) John Lui Happily, the long wait has paid off. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
2.5/5 Kingdom (2019) Boon Chan The bigger problem is that the film is let down by an overwrought script from writer-director Shinsuke Sato. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2019
1.5/5 Men in Black: International (2019) John Lui It tries to pass itself off as the real thing, but the mask keeps slipping. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
4/5 Deadwood: The Movie (2019) John Lui This film remains a fitting and satisfying farewell. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/5 Rocketman (2019) John Lui This is a biography that falls into the trap of thinking that suffering is the same thing as depth. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Someone Great (2019) Yip Wai Yee Here is another cute romantic comedy on Netflix worth watching. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/5 Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch (2019) Boon Chan While Wild Wild Bunch is less steeped in period detail than the first movie, it does have a reasonably strong central story. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
3/5 Dark Phoenix (2019) John Lui Turner is generally good in her role, but it would have been better if she had given it more range - being anguished all the time can get tiring for audiences. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019