AV Club

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
B- Frozen II (2019) A.A. Dowd It's almost a reparations story, really, which would be more touching-and interesting-if the sacrifices stuck. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
Hamlet (2000) Noel Murray Scott's Hamlet has been staged with clarity and competency... But the video-library shelves are already overflowing with more vital adaptations, so there's no real reason to blow the dust off this one. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
C+ The Good Liar (2019) Jesse Hassenger Instead of deepening his material, Condon has made an unsuccessful fling of a movie: fun for a while, but trying to get as far as it can by leaving crucial material off of its profile. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
B Ford v Ferrari (2019) Jesse Hassenger Ford V Ferrari isn't quite as witty or elegiac as it could be, but it does have a pragmatist's sense of satisfaction in doing meaningful, enjoyable work while maneuvering around the limitations of an unfeeling corporate world. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2019
C Dark Waters (2019) Mike D'Angelo Dark Waters would likely have been a forgettable mediocrity in anybody's hands, given its fact-based, muckraking limitations. Coming from the visionary who gave us Safe, Far From Heaven, I'm Not There, and Carol, it's a crushing disappointment. EDIT
Posted Nov 13, 2019
B- The Hottest August (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky While it never feels completely defeatist, [Story's] film offers scattered snapshots of an uncertain society in its dog days. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
B I Lost My Body (2019) Mike D'Angelo Had Clapin and Laurant succeeded in fusing those two wildly disparate storylines... I Lost My Body might have been more than a mildly intriguing, visually dynamic curiosity. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
B Atlantics (2019) Lawrence Garcia Nonetheless, for Diop as much as for her lead character, Atlantics resounds with the promise of great things to come. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
B+ The Report (2019) Noel Murray [Driver's] performance isn't just gripping; it's inspiring. He's not just portraying Jones; he's embodying an ideal. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
C Charlie's Angels (2019) Katie Rife The overall look of the film has the shiny, empty appearance of a newly rehabbed condo, and the quips about women's love of cheese and gigantic closets have a similarly hollow sassy-greeting-card feel. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
C+ Noelle (2019) Gwen Ihnat All of this doesn't add up to the warm alchemy of a Christmas classic, or a holiday movie you'd go out of your way to watch more than once, even if it is streaming. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
C- Playing With Fire (2019) Jesse Hassenger Sadly, the movie never shows similar curiosity about what its young audience, and subjects, might be thinking or feeling. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
C- Primal (2019) Mike D'Angelo It's the sort of humdrum thriller you half-watch on TV while folding laundry; any hope that Cage might do something memorable enough to momentarily pull your attention entirely away from your socks is in vain. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
B- The Kingmaker (2019) Lawrence Garcia All of this makes The Kingmaker Greenfield's most urgent film by far, which only makes its lack of focus that much more frustrating. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
C+ Lady and the Tramp (2019) Caroline Siede Watching the remake over-explain every joke and dramatic beat only increases one's appreciation for how the original trusted its young audience to understand subtext, satire, and emotional nuance. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
B- The Little Mermaid Live! (2019) Caroline Siede This is a love letter to Disney fans, not an intro for new viewers. And, as such, it mostly works as a messy but charming hybrid event. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Nathan Rabin Director Ron Howard aims for the beautifully stylized mayhem of Frank Tashlin and Tim Burton, but he comes closer to the clamorous, headache-inducing visual overkill of Joel Schumacher's Batman movies. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
C Midway (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky With apologies to George S. Patton, Midway teaches us that wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by jawlines and cheekbones. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
B- Last Christmas (2019) Charles Bramesco It's a guilty pleasure nobody has to feel guilty about indulging in. EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
Just Friends (2005) Nathan Rabin This movie had some good ideas, but never gelled. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
Love Actually (2003) Scott Tobias Love Actually provides enough happy endings to make the audience forget that romance and Christmas miracles don't always work out. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
C+ The Christmas Chronicles (2018) Charles Bramesco The film doesn't know how to get out of its own way and foreground what's working, namely the dynamo of screen presence placed more prominently in the advertising than the feature itself. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
C+ Krampus (2015) A.A. Dowd Otherwise, this holiday-season fright flick never leaps far enough outside of its own box; the movie flirts with going full-on monster mash, with really cutting loose, but the mayhem is too little, too late. EDIT
Posted Nov 5, 2019
The Santa Clause 2 (2002) Keith Phipps Despite the obviously mercenary nature of this sequel, there's a thimbleful of clever ideas at work here, most notably in the way Allen's RoboSanta begins to turn his toy factory into a tiny dictatorship. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
B American Dharma (2018) Mike D'Angelo It's the journalistic equivalent of Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope strategy, and while Bannon is far too media-savvy to be one of Morris' best subjects, he doesn't clamp down tight, the way Rumsfeld did. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
C+ Redoubt (2018) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky Barney's best work has occasionally pulled off the feat of being enthralling and ridiculous at the same time, though Redoubt sometimes ends up being merely the latter. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
B Light From Light (2019) Vikram Murthi Light From Light concerns ghost hunting, but Harrill characterizes the process in practical, mundane terms; it's the emotional implications of the endeavor that interest him. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
D Arctic Dogs (2019) Katie Rife There's really not much to recommend about this film: the animation lacks texture, the score is overwrought, the plotting is scattershot, and the character design is uninspired. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
C+ Doctor Sleep (2019) A.A. Dowd Compounding the already considerable disconnect between King's two stories, Doctor Sleep can't always seem to decide if it wants to be its own thing or a kind of throwback fetish object, a tribute to the cult of Kubrick. EDIT
Posted Nov 3, 2019
The Kill Team (2019) Roxana Hadadi The Kill Team's depiction of toxic masculinity and bloodthirstiness within the U.S. Army is blunted by an overly passive lead performance and a lack of specificity in its storytelling. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
B- Harriet (2019) Roxana Hadadi Cynthia Erivo makes a compelling Harriet Tubman in Harriet, a slightly shallow biopic of the American hero. EDIT
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Ravenous (1999) Stephen Thompson Ravenous will doubtless find some sort of cult following, but that cult will be following a lousy, ill-conceived movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 29, 2019
B Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Jesse Hassenger Handsome and largely unfussy, visually evoking the grayness of late-autumn New York chill, it's a dad movie for dads who might alternate detective novels with Robert Caro's The Power Broker. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
D+ Countdown (2019) A.A. Dowd Forget cheating death. In Countdown, it's the audience that really gets cheated. EDIT
Posted Oct 24, 2019
F No Safe Spaces (2019) Vadim Rizov This isn't an argument for free speech, it's just paranoid whining, complete with a roundtable of comics sympathetically agreeing how sad and scary this all is, plus images of the Statue of Liberty with tape over its mouth. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
A Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (2019) Brianna Wellen Where some textbook comedy specials fall flat because of over-rehearsed jokes or stiffness, Stage Fright succeeds because it oozes authenticity, thanks in part to a combination of Slate's overwhelming joy and a display of deep vulnerability EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
C+ Frankie (2019) Mike D'Angelo Sachs doesn't supply the neurotic wit that would make Frankie distinctive rather than just... nice. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
C+ Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Jesse Hassenger Though Dark Fate gets more engaging as it goes on, its sci-fi ideas mostly amount to a listless skimming of hot-button issues. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
C+ The Current War (2017) Jesse Hassenger The movie wants very much to look at the past as a window to the future, but not as much as it wants to look at everything from endlessly, fussily canted angles. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
B- Synonyms (2018) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky But whereas the films it quotes sought to create cryptic and contrapuntal meanings, Lapid errs on the side of the loudly obvious, building to a final shot that might as well be a thesis statement for the rest of the film. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2019
C Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Katie Rife When it comes to zombies, more is more, and there are a few good scenes of gory mayhem in this film. But when it comes to Zombieland movies, more is just tedious. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
C- Wounds (2019) Joshua Alston It's a shame the audience has to wait the entire runtime to see what, in a better film, would have been an inciting event rather than a last-minute stinger. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
D+ Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky Awkward and unfunny in exceptionally long stretches, Reboot probably won't turn his diehard fans against him. But it's unlikely to win him any new converts either. For that, there's Clerks, Mallrats, or Chasing Amy. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
B- Grâce à Dieu (2018) Mike D'Angelo It's an approach that yields additional pathos, but at the expense of dramatic momentum; dispensing with all the shoe-leather sleuthing results in two-plus hours of demands for justice and accountability being politely stonewalled, over and over again. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
C The Cave (2019) Vikram Murthi The Cave isn't the best tribute to their actions. Instead, it's a monotonous descent into agony that coasts on the impossibility of anyone walking away unaffected by the imagery. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
C Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Jesse Hassenger Some movies twist; the Maleficent series politely flips on a signal before any turns. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2019
D+ Jexi (2019) Beatrice Loayza Surely, bland cultural insights can't defeat a film whose main attraction is the promise of stupid, raunchy fun? Reader, Jexi fails even at that... EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2019
C The Addams Family (2019) Katie Rife Anyone who's still engaged by the end of the movie is probably too young to remember the original. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2019
C+ The College Admissions Scandal (2019) Gwen Ihnat There's unfortunately much too little about the real victims here-the hundreds of kids those spots belonged to in the first place, which they were robbed of due to a heartless mercenary conspiracy rooted in class privilege. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
C+ Mister America (2019) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky Running only a little shorter than the average season of On Cinema At The Cinema, it's never as cringe-inducingly funny or inventive as the webseries that spawned it. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019