New Zealand Herald

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4.5/5 Hustlers (2019) Tom Augustine Hustlers is a hoot with just enough of a sour kick to cement it as one of the best of the year. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) Karl Puschmann [Zach Galifianakis] made a handful of new episodes and tied them together with a lazy clichéd story that offers neither big laughs nor any ambition and I can't decide which is worse. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
3.5/5 Animals (2019) Toby Woollaston [A] spirited, punchy tale that sparkles with a heady mix of confident youthful enthusiasm and dark sardonic humour. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3.5/5 Hustlers (2019) Dominic Corry It's a treat to see a true movie star assert herself so emphatically. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
2/5 Joker (2019) Tom Augustine So intently focused as he is on crafting an edgy and grown-up vision of the Batman world, Phillips sacrifices consistent character development, good scripting and editing. EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2019
3/5 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Dominic Corry The 1968 setting lends some mild political heft to the proceedings - one of the main characters is a draft-dodger - but the film works best when it's simply trying to freak you out. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
4/5 Maiden (2018) Francesca Rudkin [T]his is a thrilling story filled with heart-warming ups and anxiety-inducing downs. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
3.5/5 Good Boys (2019) Tom Augustine I found Good Boys to be an amiably cheeky, enjoyable little confection. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
3.5/5 Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Tom Augustine I found it to be a surprisingly watchable, even engrossing dramatic film in its early stretches, earning its cathartic grand guignol of vengeful bloodletting by film's end and then some. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
5/5 Ad Astra (2019) Tom Augustine Part classical space adventure, part Apocalypse Now-esque freefall into the heart of darkness, part solemn meditation on the loneliness and interiority of space, the film is directed with typical invention and muscularity by James Gray. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2019
4/5 Midsommar (2019) Toby Woollaston Midsommar is a slow burn, a ruminating and sinister film that ratchets tension with a vice-like grip. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
High Life (2018) Tom Augustine Nevertheless a fascinating, worthy effort from one of our most revered auteurs, High Life is a space oddity worth seeing in spite of its more alienating elements. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Girls of the Sun (2018) Tom Augustine Girls of the Sun offers up a fresh, rich way of seeing war through a band of heroic women rebels but, ultimately, gets somewhat lost. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
3.5/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Toby Woollaston [It Chapter Two's] entertaining and proper creepy throughout, but it would've been nice if it had taken time to slow down here and there. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
4/5 High Life (2018) Francesca Rudkin You really need to see High Life to take in the mix of despair and violence, set against the dream-like, poetic voyage. [Claire] Denis once again confounds with her vision. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/5 Girls of the Sun (2018) Toby Woollaston [W]hile none of it is original movie-making, the sum of its parts is a bruising assault on the nerves. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
5/5 Amazing Grace (2018) Toby Woollaston Raw and shambolic in appearance, the film's imperfections only serve to enrich and highlight Franklin's jaw-dropping vocals. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
5/5 The Farewell (2019) Tom Augustine [T]he film is patient, sensitive, remarkably universal in its specificity. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
3/5 It: Chapter Two (2019) Tom Augustine Chapter Two finds itself stumbling into myriad plot holes or, worse, unintentional moments of hilarity, that belie its occasional stretches of inspiration or sweetness. EDIT
Posted Sep 9, 2019
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (2019) Francesca Rudkin [F]or those interested in the machinations of warfare Danger Close is an intense, exhausting and visceral experience. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Falling Inn Love (2019) Anna Murray But even whimsical animals can't save this project, because nothing can take away from the fact that Falling Inn Love is garbage. Softly lit, beautifully shot, wonderfully scenic garbage. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
4/5 Apollo 11 (2019) Tom Augustine An astounding restoration and compilation of never-before-seen footage of the iconic mission to the moon, it features countless awe-inspiring images, flooring the viewer with its sense of scale and titanic effort. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
1.5/5 The Kitchen (2019) Tom Augustine There's a great film in here somewhere but original, grown-up cinema needs to do much, much better than this. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
2.5/5 Angel Has Fallen (2019) Francesca Rudkin The father/son reunion attempts to add some heart to the chaos but, let's be honest, no one buys a ticket to these films to enjoy the family drama. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
5/5 Apollo 11 (2019) Toby Woollaston It's a mind-blowing experience that makes you sit back and simply gape in awe. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
2/5 The Kitchen (2019) Francesca Rudkin It feels like The Kitchen has been played around with so much that those involved lost sight of the film they set out to make. EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
4/5 () Tom Augustine [Mystify's] an enlightening, tragic glimpse of an Australian icon gone too soon. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2019
2.5/5 Blinded by the Light (2019) Tom Augustine Despite some undeniably moving sequences toward the end of the film, Blinded by the Light can't quite escape its suffocating sentimentality. EDIT
Posted Aug 26, 2019
4/5 Blinded by the Light (2019) Toby Woollaston It's life-affirming, heartfelt and a lot of fun. EDIT
Posted Aug 22, 2019
5/5 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Tom Augustine To watch a film is something like a waking dream - and it's within this space that Once Upon a Time operates, right down to its fantastical title. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
5/5 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Dominic Corry There are moments in the film that gave me serious pause, even when factoring in their implied justification. But I cannot deny that, overall, I was utterly swept up into Tarantino's Hollywood. And it was a glorious place to be. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
3.5/5 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Tom Augustine An inessential but ultimately harmless addition to the franchise - but a far cry from the high-points of the Furious universe. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
5/5 Support the Girls (2018) Tom Augustine Support the Girls is a smart, intelligent and ultimately bittersweet slice-of-life celebrating solidarity and empowerment in spaces where women are often discouraged from having either. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
() Karl Puschmann The brute repetition, unyielding in its awkwardness, delighting in the uncomfortable pauses before starting right back up again, hits Andy Kaufman levels of anti-humour. EDIT
Posted Aug 8, 2019
3/5 Support the Girls (2018) Dominic Corry The always excellent Regina Hall stars as den mother to a group of waitresses in this low-key, slice-of-life comedy. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
2/5 The Public (2018) Toby Woollaston It's clear [Emilio] Estevez is well-meaning but ultimately, The Public is a movie that lacks any genuine depth. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
2.5/5 Sibyl (2019) Ethan Sills The plot stumbles with logical leaps, and despite 90 minutes of build-up, Sibyl's eventual fall from grace is unconvincing and rich with cliché. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
5/5 Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Ethan Sills Brittany is as uplifting as it is hilarious - to say it makes you laugh and cry feels like a cliché, but is perfectly apt for this finely balanced dramedy that, if there was any justice in Hollywood, would launch Bell into a plethora of leading roles. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
3/5 Celeste (2018) Ethan Sills Celeste is certainly a victim of style over substance. That's not to dismiss the film outright. Radha Mitchell's performance as the unhinged Celeste is worth the price of admission alone. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2019
2.5/5 Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Ethan Sills Where's My Roy Cohn? concludes as a deservedly harsh examination of an infamous figure but its existence is nothing more than a checklist of Cohn's greatest hits. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2019
4/5 Booksmart (2019) Toby Woollaston [A] hilarious teen comedy that's infectiously charming. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
3.5/5 Bellbird (2019) Ethan Sills At times it can be mistaken for an out-and-out comedy, but Bellbird is wonderfully tender and emotive. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
3.5/5 The Lion King (2019) Francesca Rudkin The Lion King doesn't tug on the heart strings as strongly as you'd expect but the mastery and technical brilliance goes some way in making up for it. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
4/5 Litigante (2019) George Fenwick Litigante nails the way life just happens sometimes, illustrating one woman's struggle to stay afloat with authenticity and grace. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
4/5 Kraben rahu (2018) George Fenwick Manta Ray takes a hypnotic look at a politically urgent topic. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
3.5/5 Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) Ethan Sills [Mads] Brügger has crafted something entertaining, chilling and totally captivating, but by presenting a conspiracy theory as the answer to a murder mystery, he makes it easier for his entire project to be disregarded. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
3.5/5 American Woman (2018) George Fenwick Come to American Woman for the missing-person mystery, stay for the story of hope, endurance and survival. EDIT
Posted Jul 22, 2019
2.5/5 The Etruscan Smile (2018) Toby Woollaston Suffice to say that Rory's Way doesn't break much fresh ground and appears to be content with running a by-the-numbers routine that snuggles up to a very risk-free screenplay and a comfy score drumming to the bland beat of "mediocre". EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
4/5 Child's Play (2019) Tom Augustine In a year full of dull, uninspired rehashes of prior franchises, this remake seems genuinely aware of the inherent trashiness of its premise and has a lot of fun with it. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019
4/5 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Tom Augustine At this point, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has got their formula down to a fine science and while Far From Home takes few risks... this makes for a fittingly fun and good natured capper following Endgame's apocalyptic shenanigans. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2019