Ben Croll Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ben Croll

Ben Croll
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
A 100% One More Time With Feeling (2016) Like his camera circling the song about circles, Dominik is working a sneaky mix form and content here, creating a film about the need to create in the face of tragedy.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2016
A 92% The Shape of Water (2017) For all the veering from one genre to another, neither does it feel rough. Del Toro's tight directorial control sees to that.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2017
A- 90% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Though "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" pursues a number of narrative strains, it's really about lost characters doing whatever they can to scheme their way out of a rut.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2017
B+ 73% Final Portrait (2018) As a bit of art-house escapism, that it is a trip well worth taking.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
B+ 67% Spoor (Pokot) (2017) Though far from perfect, this one part revenge thriller, one part eco-reverie, tied together with sumptuous visual brio, is the "John Wick"/ "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring" mash-up you never knew you always wanted.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
B 75% Mom and Dad (2018) "Mom and Dad" has the same depraved verve, sick humor and berserk pulse of the "Crank" series, and what's more, marries all that to an operatic Nicolas Cage performance in full on nutzoid mode.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2017
B 89% The Midwife (Sage femme) (2017) What the film lacks in narrative and visual subtlety it more than makes up for in rich human interaction.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
B 96% Zama (2018) As an existential objet d'art Zama stands as a serious achievement. But that won't prevent even the most sophisticated of cinephiles from staggering out of the theater, wondering "What in the world did I just see?"‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
B 80% Unsane (2018) In short, it could never be anything but a Soderbergh film, and a particularly delicious one at that.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2018
B- 73% The Secret Life of Pets (2016) The Secret Life of Pets moves like a bat out of hell from frame one, though if you're looking for any kind of emotion you might be barking up the wrong tree.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2016
B- 47% Downsizing (2017) ... "Downsizing" is rife with witty visual touches and inspired comic premises but never quite comes together as fully successful whole.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2017
B- 94% Arrival (2016) Arrival has its heart in the right place. Who doesn't want smart sci-fi? Who wants to argue with a big budget drama about linguistics? And though the film is not more than sum of its parts, well, those parts are pretty great.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2016
B- 50% Return to Montauk (2017) Wolff cuts a fascinating if frustrating figure, and you wish the film would spend a bit more time teasing out who she is, how she lives, and what she sees in a bore like Max.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
B- 100% Ana, mon amour (2016) This two-hander about toxic-codependency from Romanian director Călin Peter Netzer is best in small-moments and insightful asides, but does a disservice to the relationship at its heart by honing in on one single thought and hammering it home.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2017
3/5 No Score Yet It's a noble effort. That resigned-to-violence consistency is a fascinating pitch that brings a new perspective to a well-worn genre.‐ Guardian
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
B- 86% Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no jûnin) (2017) One of Takashi Miike's most lethal works.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted May 18, 2017
B- 82% Lover For A Day (L'amant d'un jour) (2018) [Garrel's] detractors contend that he always makes the same film; his defenders say that's the point.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted May 24, 2017
B- 92% A Prayer Before Dawn (2018) Like any mean prizefighter, it's admirable from afar. ‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted May 24, 2017
3/5 86% The Nightingale (2019) The Nightingale can be wearingly repetitive, making a point, making it again and making it once more for good measure, each time with the same sleepy whisper. Still, it's a noble effort.‐ Guardian
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
B- 86% The Wife (2018) Without Glenn Close, "The Wife" wouldn't be much to write home about.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2017
C+ 28% Suburbicon (2017) An undeniably entertaining watch, "Suburbicon" stumbles when it tries to recycle effective old ingredients into something new.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2017
C+ 87% What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? (2019) Knows exactly where to look and what to ask, but never sticks around long enough to learn anything. What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? is hardly a disappointment, but it does, in places, feel like a missed opportunity.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018
C 66% Peterloo (2019) You can feel Leigh's fury glowering off the screen through the entire last act, but that fury does the film and the filmmaker little service.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2018
C 58% A Rainy Day in New York (2019) A work that feels stodgily anachronistic.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
C 50% Waiting for the Barbarians (2019) The message is not wrong, but it certainly is a disappointing use of Guerra's talent.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
C- 66% Victoria & Abdul (2017) The film is called "Victoria & Abdul" but it only ever lives up to one half of its title.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2017
C- 73% Viceroy's House (2017) This material could make for a powerful work, but "Viceroy's House" is certainly not it. The film's chief offense is its bland inoffensiveness.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
C- 43% Golden Years (Nos années folles) (2017) Téchiné's film is a surprising misfire, especially because it arrives only one year after the director's masterful Being 17.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted May 23, 2017
C- 58% The Summit (La cordillera) (2017) I don't know if it's worse than a politician without ambition, but there's something inherently dispiriting about a film with significant means and nothing to say.‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted May 26, 2017
C- 59% Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (2017) Though sprawling in length, the film is quite thin as far as plot goes... ‐ indieWire
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2017
100% Over the Limit (2018) Of all its substantial merits, Marta Prus' harrowing and thoroughly captivating sports doc Over The Limit is perhaps most surprising for its sustained bouts of misdirection.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
100% Fake Tattoos (2017) Working from his own script, Plante never resorts to flashbacks or overt speeches, instead allowing the viewer to piece together the lead's wounded backstory through uneasy interactions, allusions and insinuations.‐ Screen International
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2018
99% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Jia Zhang-Ke's large scale reintroduction is hardly a disappointment; it's simply another fine Jia Zhang-Ke film. What did we expect?‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Kore-eda marshals his considerable talents to tell what initially appears to be another story of family love and perseverance in the margins of society.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Bong delivers a stunning return to form with this newest venture.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
98% BPM (Beats Per Minute) (120 battements par minute) (2017) If the second half of the film is more conventional, it also packs a powerful emotional wallop.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted May 26, 2017
98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) Visually ravishing.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
97% The Rider (2018) The Rider marries the majestic vistas of the greatest American westerns with a deeply interior story of a cowboy having to renegotiate his identity.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted May 26, 2017
96% Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle (Muchos hijos, un mono y un castillo) (2017) Far from being a whimsical title, Lots of Kids, A Monkey And A Castle is something of a promise fulfilled.‐ Screen International
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2017
96% Atlantics (2019) [Atlantics] can occasionally feel stretched and thin in certain spots, like a cracking medium-length film padded out to feature runtime. Still, that's no matter, because the film's real coup is the victory it scores for greater perspective.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
95% Styx (2019) It's engrossing, if (somewhat ironically, considering the open sea setting) dry fare made by and for stalwarts of the European academic set.‐ Screen International
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2018
95% Babyteeth (2020) Does it all work? Not quite, but you can't fault a film for its ambition, least of all one that does manage to bring it all together for a deeply moving home stretch.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
94% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) In his 2014 Palme d'Or winner, Ceylan unpacked thorny issues of ethics and morality with a surgeon's steady patience; he employs a similar approach here, only the territory is much less fertile.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
94% It Must Be Heaven (2019) As a director, [Elia] Suleiman knows how to compose the frame to get the most out of each gag, and as a performer, he recognizes that his arched eyebrows are powerful tools of comedy and employs them as such.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
92% The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2020) As with most films of this type, the pleasures arrive less in the originality of the story than in the way the way it's told.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
91% The Climb (2020) Covino shows truly impressive formal control, incorporating sophisticated camerawork and tightly coiled edits while allowing time, space and rhythm - in short, the foundations of cinema - to play as equal participants in the comedy.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
90% One Week and a Day (Shavua ve Yom) (2017) Tears of laughter and tears of grief are both in abundant supply in Asaph Polonsky's uproariously funny and heart-wrenchingly moving One Week and a Day.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2016
90% Isle of Dogs (2018) While Isle of Dogs is basically a fizzy, ornately mounted assembly of quirks and barks, the sheer artistry displayed... is so expertly accomplished, and so clearly fueled by love, that you can't help but grin.‐ Vanity Fair
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
90% The Lighthouse (2019) It rocks.‐ TheWrap
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019