Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Swamp (2020) Brian Lowry The film proves less about dredging the swamp than the filmmakers gaining the opportunity to provide a close-up view of what it's like to muck around in it, a process that offers less clarity or insight than advertised. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2020
The Secret: Dare to Dream (2020) Brian Lowry The Secret: Dare to Dream at best feels like a tepid distraction even for those receptive to its blueprint, far from the stuff that dreams are made of. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2020
The Go-Go's (2020) Brian Lowry The tale of The Go-Go's carries echoes of any number of stars who became sensations only to experience the darker side of achieving those dreams. Still, it's presented as only the people who lived it could -- whose lips, happily, aren't sealed. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
The Weight of Gold (2020) Brian Lowry The real point of this exercise hinges on breaking through the silence and shame that Olympians can suffer and, by extension, share that message with anyone who might grapple with depression. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Tesla (2020) Brian Lowry [Tesla is not] especially memorable, which is too bad, squandering... Ethan Hawke, very intense and brooding as Nikola Tesla. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2020
Radioactive (2019) Brian Lowry Like their [protagonist], give the filmmakers credit for some creative risks. Even so, it's a shame that [Radioactive never] lives up to the greatness of its subject. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2020
Showbiz Kids (2020) Brian Lowry There are few darker corners in the entertainment industry than the history of child stars, a subject explored with candor and nuance in Showbiz Kids, an excellent HBO documentary directed by Alex Winter. EDIT
Posted Jul 14, 2020
The Bachelor (1999) Paul Tatara "The Bachelor" is as generic as they come, the kind of commercial fabrication that sets up a pair of hackneyed concepts, then runs them in concentric circles until there's enough footage to cut together a movie. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2020
Palm Springs (2020) Brian Lowry This feels derivative almost to the point of distraction. And while its try-and-try-again exchanges can be pretty funny, the film feels as if it's laboring to flesh out even the under-90-minute running time. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2020
Greyhound (2020) Brian Lowry Compared to Hanks' other war-themed efforts, Greyhound is a conspicuously modest affair -- nicely shot, featuring a stirring musical score (by Blake Neely) and telling its story with spartan efficiency. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2020
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo (2019) Brian Lowry Its subject is so inherently likable that a feature-length dose of Trejo's boundless energy feels like the kind of adrenaline shot we can use right about now. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2020
Mucho mucho amor (2020) Brian Lowry If Mucho Mucho Amor does little to puncture that grand mystique, it's because the force of nature that was Walter Mercado wouldn't have it any other way. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2020
John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) Brian Lowry Despite the documentary's uneven aspects, his legacy is ample motivation for any student of history to see Good Trouble as a good investment. EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
The Outpost (2020) Brian Lowry Director Rod Lurie has presented an ode to valor and heroism, but leaves the storytelling mission only half completed. EDIT
Posted Jul 2, 2020
The Truth (2019) Brian Lowry If and when there's an Oscar ceremony, there ought to be considerable talk about Catherine Deneuve and her regal performance in The Truth. EDIT
Posted Jul 1, 2020
Hamilton (2020) Brian Lowry Granted, nothing can fully replicate the unique qualities of a live theatrical experience. But if anyone doubts that Hamilton can still deliver a Broadway wallop to the comfort of one's couch, well, just you wait. EDIT
Posted Jun 30, 2020
Absolute Power (1997) Carol Buckland "Absolute Power" is not a "must-see." But if you're looking for a well-made, grown-up movie, it's worth your time and money. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
Irresistible (2020) Brian Lowry Irresistible seeks to sway hearts and open minds, and perhaps inevitably winds up preaching -- and yes, that's the operative term -- to the choir. As road tests go, Stewart's movie passes inspection, but just barely EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020) Brian Lowry It's a nuanced look at media's ability to influence the conversation -- to move the needle in terms of public perception -- as well as its limits. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2020
Miss Juneteenth (2020) Brian Lowry Marking an impressive directorial debut, Miss Juneteenth is a straightforward story of mothers and daughters... It's also a terrific showcase for star Nicole Beharie. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2020
You Should Have Left (2020) Brian Lowry You Should Have Left" has a nifty throwback feel... Kevin Bacon plays the guy seeking to unwind in a very creepy house, adding an extra degree of class to this spare and modest exercise. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn (2019) Brian Lowry Inevitably, consumers of previous Cohn projects will note a degree of repetition here. Yet Meeropol's personal angle brings a slightly fresh spin to her subject, whose story remains as timely as ever. EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2020
Irma Vep (1996) Paul Tatara I really enjoyed "Irma Vep." I will, however, be the first to admit that it's not for everybody. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2020
Artemis Fowl (2020) Brian Lowry Artemis Fowl isn't an unqualified good egg, but it's perfectly adequate, and the best of the kid-friendly movies redirected to streaming by coronavirus -- a low bar, admittedly. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) Brian Lowry The movie drags on for 137 minutes, which feels like considerably more than the familiar premise and its aimless central character can fully support. That's despite the able supporting lineup. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Brian Lowry Lee has a way of juggling multiple ideas within his films, but to use a war metaphor, he's fighting on too many fronts -- trying to service the story and subplots while fleshing out the historical context. EDIT
Posted Jun 11, 2020
Shirley (2020) Brian Lowry It's easy to admire the performances without feeling like the journey adds up to much. While Moss captures the complexity of Shirley's personality, the movie sheds scant light on the underlying why of it all. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2020
Be Water (2020) Brian Lowry Be Water is, in its own way, as precisely choreographed as Lee's fight sequences, shining a well-deserved light on his brief life but long shadow, as the statues of him around the world attest. EDIT
Posted Jun 8, 2020
Mother (1996) Paul Tatara What's really surprising here is that Brooks has finally discovered the very human heart beating beneath his trademark malcontent. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2020
2040 (2019) Brian Lowry Although 2040 can come across like a heavy-handed way of making its point, the film's heart and head are in the right place. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2020
The High Note (2020) Brian Lowry The High Note is a breezy way to kill a few hours. Granted, it's more an opening act than a headliner, but that simply makes its digital, on-demand residency feel like the venue where the film rightfully belongs. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2020
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (2020) Brian Lowry While there are some very funny bits, clever observations and yes, personal information strewn along the way, perhaps inevitably nothing lands with quite the raw intensity of her debut. EDIT
Posted May 26, 2020
AKA Jane Roe (2020) Brian Lowry AKA Jane Roe doesn't necessarily ask the viewer to like McCorvey; rather, the goal, mostly accomplished, is to present a clearer sense of the unlikely personality at the center of this polarized debate. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2020
The Lovebirds (2020) Brian Lowry This is, pretty transparently, one of those exercises wholly reliant on the stars to distinguish it, and they carry things well enough... Mostly, the film can be seen as the latest modest steppingstone for its stars. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2020
SCOOB! (2020) Brian Lowry Beyond the improved computer animation compared to the hand-drawn origins, sequences worthy of attention are too few and very far between. EDIT
Posted May 15, 2020
Spaceship Earth (2020) Brian Lowry It's all made juicier by a cast of characters -- many of them interviewed for the film -- so eccentric that any screenwriter would be told to go back and tone them down. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2020
Becoming (2020) Brian Lowry To her credit, Michelle Obama doesn't come across as complaining about her reality; rather, it's as if she's able to step outside herself and witness the strangeness of an existence where "the entire attention of everything is you" from a bird's-eye view. EDIT
Posted May 5, 2020
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (2020) Brian Lowry What Remains Behind does an admirable job of demonstrating what made Wood special, not just to her daughter, but generations of fans. EDIT
Posted May 4, 2020
A Secret Love (2020) Brian Lowry A Secret Love stands out by being sweetly understated, at a time when that's especially welcome. It's a deeply felt testament to both the strength of this couple's bond, and the fragility and hard choices that often come at the end of a lifetime. EDIT
Posted Apr 29, 2020
Bad Education (2019) Brian Lowry With Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney as a can't-miss combination, Bad Education joins a juicy true story somewhere in the middle, drags before getting into the meat of it, and then rallies solidly in the second half. EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2020
Extraction (2020) Brian Lowry Even without his hammer, Hemsworth still conjures a few sparks. But with apologies to his last collaboration with the Russos, Extraction feels like the short end of the stick. EDIT
Posted Apr 22, 2020
One World: Together at Home (2020) Brian Lowry If the special could be seen in part as a shrewd means of reminding people that you can find all those movies on Disney+, the studio's streaming service, it nevertheless offered a warming note of reassurance at an unsettled time. EDIT
Posted Apr 20, 2020
Trolls World Tour (2020) Brian Lowry It's too aimless and loud for grownups... and while there's a lot to look at and hear in a jukebox musical manner, it's hard to imagine many kids understanding jokes at the expense of smooth jazz and yodeling. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2020
Clockers (1995) Carol Buckland "Clockers" is as grim as it is good. This is not an"entertaining" popcorn- type movie. It's timely. It's tragic in many ways. And it leaves a provocative and lasting impression. EDIT
Posted Apr 9, 2020
Liar Liar (1997) Paul Tatara I would tell you that this is a loud, obvious, one-joke movie, but most of you would run out and pony up the eight bucks to see it anyway. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Slay the Dragon (2019) Brian Lowry Slay the Dragon does an extraordinarily good job of taking a complex issue and connecting the dots, which seems particularly appropriate for a documentary about gerrymandering. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
The Scheme (2020) Brian Lowry A riveting, meticulously detailed guide to a system that seemingly invites rule breaking at every turn. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2020
Crip Camp (2020) Brian Lowry Although the template possesses the trappings of what might be called a feel-good film, there's happily nothing saccharine about it. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020) Brian Lowry More performance art than news, their appearance is fodder for ridicule, but there's nothing funny about the larger implications of After Truth, and what that title denotes. EDIT
Posted Mar 17, 2020
Bloodshot (2020) Brian Lowry While Bloodshot modestly delivers on the most rudimentary level, there's barely enough juice in that nanotechnology to bring such a paper-thin construct to life once, much less again. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020