CJ Johnson Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

CJ Johnson

CJ Johnson
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
4.5/5 81% Proxima (2019) I can't remember the last time I was as moved - nay, emotionally wrecked - by a film as I was by Alice Wincour's Proxima ... Non-parents may not get it; parents may find Proxima their film of the year. Astronauts too.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted May 30, 2020
4/5 93% Bad Education (2019) I've never enjoyed a Hugh Jackman performance like the one he gives in Bad Education ... both performance and film are hugely entertaining. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted May 20, 2020
4.5/5 91% The Assistant (2020) Remarkably assured, bold and precise ... gut-wrenching and evocative and atmospherically rich ... It all adds up to a stunning package, which also has something truly serious to say, and says it with breathtaking audacity. Brilliant. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
3.5/5 79% Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (2020) Filmmaking at its most personal, and its most agenda-driven ... I rather loved it, even as I saw through it.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted May 11, 2020
3.5/5 86% Color Out of Space (2020) I've never read [the short story], so can't comment on how valid Stanley's film is as an adaptation, but as a freaky movie about cosmic infection, it's frighteningly effective. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted May 11, 2020
3.5/5 88% Whitney (2018) I felt a lot of big emotions watching Whitney. It's the documentary she deserved: hardly hagiographic, indeed warts and all, but with a massive heart.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted May 2, 2020
4/5 100% The Australian Dream (2019) A clear-eyed screed, a dignified rebuke, and a vital document. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2020
3/5 72% Vivarium (2020) A touch more Twilight Zone than Black Mirror, and if that distinction makes perfect sense to you, you're the intended demographic for this film. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
3/5 86% Come to Daddy (2020) Timpson's clearly into weird cinema, and with Come to Daddy, he's effectively made exactly the kind of film he likes to program at his own festival ... [he also] has a lot of surprises up his sleeve; one of them is very, very clever. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2020
3.5/5 92% Monos (2019) Despite all the references, it's bracingly original. That duality is also present as a travelogue: here are some of the most beautiful locations in the world, exquisitely shot, along with reason to never visit them.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2020
3/5 99% Blow the Man Down (2020) The milieu definitely offers its own rewards, as does the supporting cast of exemplary female character actors led by June Squibb and Margo Martindale.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2020
3.5/5 85% Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018) Just because a film like this appears so modest, that doesn't make it any easier. Indeed, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead has to hold our attention with no tricks, gimmicks or flim -flam; it's all about storytelling, and Wheatley is terrific at that.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
4/5 90% Dark Waters (2019) Todd Haynes brings his virtuosic levels of craftsmanship to a lawyer-versus-corporation true story, with magnificent results ... ruthlessly compelling and compulsively watchable ... Every beat of this movie is told with integrity.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2020
3.5/5 92% In Fabric (2019) It's not the funniest comedy nor the scariest horror film, but is absolutely the most committed haunted-dress movie of the year. It's Peter Strickland, it's full of artistic integrity, and it's fabulous.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2020
4/5 100% Honeyland (2019) The film's thematic resonance is huge: in Hatidze's seemingly simple story, we can find a vast metaphor for the world's struggle with environmental sustainability. As an anthropological artefact, it's eye-opening; as filmmaking, it's jaw-dropping. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
3.5/5 94% Honey Boy (2019) When the credits rolled, I found myself waiting to see who played Otis's father, somehow convinced that LaBeouf had played himself; the film is that convincing, and also that strange.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
3/5 72% Horse Girl (2020) Mental illness as the engine for a thriller is a cultural conceit whose days are numbered, but, as a last gasp, there's no denying this entry is compelling and evocative. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2020
3.5/5 86% Emma. (2020) Taylor-Joy is sublime, reason enough to mount a new film, as, say, Jude Law was enough for there to be a new Hamlet on the West End in 2009.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2020
4/5 90% The Lighthouse (2019) Wake In Fright meets Ida meets Splash. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2020
2.5/5 35% Seberg (2020) On paper this film had every possibility of working ... [but] the dialogue is excruciating, and it makes the actors saying it look bad ... Watching Seberg is to become increasingly disheartened, as it strays deeper into bathos, incredulity and cliché.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2020
3.5/5 42% Midway (2019) This is a film free from dramatic nuance and irony; it's about as subtle as the attack on Pearl Harbor. But (dialogue aside) it's a very good history lesson in movie form. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2020
4/5 70% Bombshell (2019) Exhilarating, furious, compelling and thoroughly entertaining. It's also essentially and thrillingly visceral: I spent the second half of the movie having to stop myself from standing up in the crowded cinema and screaming "Take that you evil f**k!"‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
4/5 78% True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) Post-modern deconstructionist expressionistic anachronistic elliptical storytelling is my jam, and Justin Kurzel's fourth feature is full of it. This is a feast for the senses, a gloriously indulgent examination of myth-making.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2020
3/5 89% 1917 (2020) Rather empty spectacle; it doesn't really have characters, relationships or emotional stakes ... Schofield has few attributes, other than being a Very Decent British Man, and the film has little to say, other than that British Men are Very Decent.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2020
4.5/5 92% Uncut Gems (2019) Every character, no matter how minor, seethes with inner life; the dialogue is vibrant, startling and unique, the milieu beyond evocative and fuelled by integrity, the camerawork energetic and artful, the score wondrous, and the pacing magnificent. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2019
2/5 21% Cats (2019) Furries rejoice! Tom Hooper and Universal have spent around ninety-five million dollars on your dream movie ... For the rest of us, the film is a clear misfire, misconceived and badly executed.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2019
4/5 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) The screenplay, for which Sciamma deservedly won a prize at Cannes, is so compelling not for how it radically alters the genre but for how it surprises and intrigues within it.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2019
3/5 52% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) You don't need a reason to see The Rise of Skywalker, but if you did, it would be Daisy Ridley. Her fierce commitment to playing Rey with integrity, intelligence and a total understanding of the kind of film she's in lifts her every scene.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
4/5 89% The Two Popes (2019) The four conversations, which collectively probably make up about 70 percent of the film, are exquisite acting set-pieces of the absolute highest order: two of the world's greatest actors with intelligent, thoughtful and often very funny words to say.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2019
2/5 63% The Good Liar (2019) The film sells itself first on McKellen and Mirren and then on its "twisty" plot. The actors are great; the plot, not.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
3.5/5 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Based purely on audacity, without regard for outcome, Jojo Rabbit would have the potential to win [all the awards] ... [but] Waititi's [performance] is emblematic of the whole film: it can be brilliant or really flat, often in the span of the same moment.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2019
4.5/5 96% The Irishman (2019) As monumental, and monumentally skilled, cinema, it's breath-taking ... {but} the biggest surprise was the amount of times the film made me laugh out loud. Once Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) enters the story ... the Irishman is not afraid to boldly make a joke.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
3.5/5 77% Frozen II (2019) Going in, expecting a finely-tuned toy advertisement, and instead getting bonkers nonsense with some fine songs and Elsa ice-surfing, is unpredictable, and unpredictable in this case is to be celebrated.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
4.5/5 97% Knives Out (2019) This film is super satisfying. It's funny, the mystery plot really works, and it also has something to say, which it does with enjoyably righteous anger. Go for the production design and the plot, leave being blown away by De Armas.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2019
5/5 95% Marriage Story (2019) Noah Baumbach's masterpiece, a tragicomedy of human relationships that gets everything right ... every scene, and practically every moment, is simultaneously deeply sad and very funny. That's not just skilled filmmaking, it's a kind of alchemy.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 100% Suzi Q (2019) The qualities of the film are the qualities of Suzi Quatro: inoffensive, charming, friendly, nice ... a pleasant hang, a G rated version of a rock star life.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2019
4/5 78% Judy & Punch (2020) A film whose great artfulness is only outdone by its sheer, breath-taking originality ... Foulkes' script is a work of deep and intellectually rigorous imagination, and her direction meets it for thrilling theatricality and innovation. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2019
3.5/5 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) Staggeringly respectful, both of Kubrick's film and Stephen King's 2013 novel, and, for the Shining fan, great fun ... all credit to Flanagan and all involved, it's highly entertaining, which certainly makes it one of the strange surprises of 2019. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/5 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Murphy roars back into the cultural conversation and my heart with his flamboyant, exuberant and spectacularly entertaining performance ... I could easily take a Netflix series with an episode spent on the production of every one [of Moore's films].‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
4/5 87% Pavarotti (2019) Howard's been a highly skilled storyteller for a long time now, and he knows how to flesh out a theme. ‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2019
3/5 88% Ready or Not (2019) A goof and a hoot, a retro, completely silly, quite violent but never nasty romp that doesn't tax the cerebral cortex but isn't without style ... Weaving is supremely watchable, a superb physical comedienne with a unique presence.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
2/5 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Harrelson and Eisenberg do their best to energise the dialogue, but it's all too self-conscious, and self-satisfied, to be playable ... without Deutch's idiot schtick, there'd be nothing to laugh at at all.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2019
3.5/5 87% Hustlers (2019) Despite being astonishingly derivative on a directorial level, has some fresh vibes in the excellent chemistry between Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 68% Joker (2019) Cinematography, art direction and Phoenix's performance are the draws here; the story is so derivative, drawn out, empty and vapid that the film's biggest fault is that it drags.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
3/5 82% Judy (2019) Subtle it is not.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
3.5/5 98% Working Woman (2019) This is a forensic examination of just how workplace sexual harassment can not only play out but ensnare its victims in deeply complicated, confusing, dehumanising emotional and psychological webs.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
3/5 61% Ride Like a Girl (2019) Far be it for me to churlishly point out too many deficiencies - some slack editing, some iffy dialogue and some far too glorious (CGI-infected) sunsets; this is a rousing crowd-pleaser that earns its box office success.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
2.5/5 80% Good Boys (2019) The kids' charm, the script's inherent nostalgic value and a hefty dose of good will provide the film's value, rather than any particularly brilliant gags.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
3/5 55% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Held together almost entirely by the warm interplay between Bill Murray and Adam Driver as a couple of small-town cops dealing with the undead rising.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
3.5/5 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) This unique film will be easily appreciated not only by the Scarface completist, but the cultural tourist and art-house anthropologist as well.‐ Film Mafia
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2019