Jim Schembri Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
1/5 80% Go! (2019) There's not much point beating around the bush: this film is terrible. The acting is painfully stilted, the story sluggish...The narrative contains a minefield of plotholes...the film unspools like the kind of charmless mess we sat through in the 1980s. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
2/5 19% Dolittle (2020) It's an odd, expensive misfire, this. Though he produced it, the wiseacre humour and infectious energy we normally associate with performances from Robert Downey Jr are strangely absent.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
3.5/5 68% Bombshell (2019) There are so many places where the film could have gone deeper, but overall it paints an effective and disturbing portrait of the entitlement culture that comes with extraordinary power.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
2.5/5 76% Spies in Disguise (2019) This is a perfectly enjoyable popcorn entertainment, a family-friendly time killer that will engage you while it's in front of you, then slip out of your mind completely until, three months later, you recognize the title on your streaming index.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
2/5 57% My Spy (2020) The strained attempt to fashion mean-looking ex-pro wrestler Dave Bautista into a family-friendly star a la Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson falls largely flat in an action-comedy that feels like something in dire need of another edit or two‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3/5 98% Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019) Funny to a fault...Most admirable about the film is that it relies solely on visual cues to tell its story as it requires the audience to actually think. In the present era, that's some achievement, indeed.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3.5/5 95% Little Women (2019) Beautiful, thoughtful, challenging adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic 1868 novel...a proto-feminist theme propels the story, though [writer/director] Greta Gerwig is wise not to push matters to the point of it feeling anachronistic. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
4.5/5 76% The Gentlemen (2020) In what is easily his best film yet, Guy Ritchie delivers a fabulously entertaining, wickedly funny crime-comedy thrill ride... If Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels was his Reservoir Dogs, The Gentlemen is his Pulp Fiction.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
3.5/5 89% 1917 (2020) A very, very good war film about a very, very bad war...Visually, the film is unarguably impressive and Sam Mendes has delivered a cinematic vision of war we haven't quite witnessed before. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2020
2.5/5 21% Playing with Fire (2019) A fun, light-headed family friendly film where sentimentality and sight gags rule.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
1/5 40% Black Christmas (2019) Bleah.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
3/5 63% The Good Liar (2019) A handsome, prestige, low-key thriller that plays very effectively with the perils of online dating, tapping into that universal suspicion we all share about the honesty of those we deal with over the internet.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
4/5 84% Sorry We Missed You (2020) Touching, heart-breaking and all too real... pure, heartfelt drama that stings with authenticity...Easily one of Ken Loach's best. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
3/5 71% Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) Made promptly to ride the huge success of 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, there's nothing inherently wrong or bad with the sequel, apart from the fact that it doesn't really have a story...A proficient retread of what we saw before. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
4/5 80% Jojo Rabbit (2019) One of the cleverest and funniest movie satires we've seen in ages. Refreshingly daring, it tears into the nature of prejudice and how the young can be socially conditioned to become rule-loving racists.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
2/5 20% Cats (2019) Cats is the kind of modern movie musical that will have you humming the visual effects as you leave the cinema...For such a feather-weight musical the direction is just too dour. It's like trying to have a skip in your step while wearing moon boots.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
4.5/5 52% Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) The Force is strong indeed with this final chapter of the triple trilogy...the film delivers on all fronts, combining eye-boggling visuals with a meaty central storyline loaded with a series of resounding emotional thunder bolts. It's quite a ride.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2019
3/5 94% Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) Watching diminutive sex therapist and media mega-star Dr Ruth Westheimer resist the valiant attempts by her daughters to admit she is a feminist is just one of the joys in this very entertaining insight into her remarkable life.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
3/5 43% The Addams Family (2019) There's plenty of fun to be had with this snappy animated retread... there are enough confrontations and spook-based visual gags to make it an enjoyable, disposable jaunt with a timely and positive message about how best to shut down a bully.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
3/5 59% Mrs. Lowry & Son (2019) Timothy Spall's performance is a sterling study of understatement and pent-up frustration opposite a bed-bound Venessa Redgrave, who plays his domineering, ego-crushing horror of a mother.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/5 97% Knives Out (2019) It's wall-to-wall fun, mystery and mayhem among a wonderful array of obnoxious rich people in this snappy old-school whodunnit...The package comes complete with [enough] twists to keep fans of Agatha Christie, Murder, She Wrote and Columbo very happy.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/5 51% 21 Bridges (2019) A standard race-against-the-clock, cops & robbers crime thriller; formulaic, to be sure, but extremely well mounted, with Boseman putting in sterling work as one angry cop with a short wick and a lot of chips on his shoulder.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 77% Frozen II (2019) While not quite hitting the emotional peaks of Frozen, Frozen II comes close enough...In all, they've done a splendid job replicating the atmosphere and joy of the first film while developing the lore around its cast of beloved characters.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet I Am No Bird (2019) How easy it would have been for [director Em] Baker to default to a cynical viewpoint, highlighting the limitations and ruin marriage can inflict, and how out-of-date it supposedly is. The film delivers an understated backhander to such scoffing.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
2.5/5 83% Official Secrets (2019) Political films are at their best when they see both sides of a contentious issue. Even with such a raft of good actors putting in such sterling work, Official Secrets falls short of that.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 75% Judy & Punch (2019) It's no mean feat drawing comedy from the darkest of topics, yet Foulkes seems blessed with a sureness of touch when siphoning humour from tragedy, eliciting uncomfortable laughs from black moments as she shapes her story into a feminist revenge fable.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 59% Fisherman's Friends (2019) The film unspools as both a semi-musical comedy and as a light-hearted revenge lark about the sport of one-upmanship.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3.5/5 100% Suzi Q (2019) Fans of 1970s rock icon Suzi Quatro will no doubt deem this excellent, detailed, enjoyable biographical documentary as a long overdue tribute to the great, leather-clad, Elvis-inspired rock performer who helped kick open the doors for women in rock.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
1/5 52% Charlie's Angels (2019) The latest excruciating example from Hollywood of big-budget franchise film-making gone wrong...Not so much a reboot as an act of cinematic vandalism, its only real value being that it reminds us of just how cool, wild and fun those McG movies were.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 81% The Report (2019) A prime example of strong, sturdy political filmmaking...It's a tough, timely message, well delivered, if occasionally hard to watch.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
4/5 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) Easily one of the best racing films we've seen in decades. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Dosed (2019) Clearly committed to revealing tough truths about addiction and recovery, director Tyler Chandler chronicles Adrianne's bumpy journey in exhausting detail...[Her] odyssey is compelling and occasionally harrowing. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
2.5/5 46% Last Christmas (2019) An unashamedly mushy rom-com and it's a safe bet that those willing to surrender themselves to the film's schmaltzy charms will get a medium high...Still, even in harmless fluff like Last Christmas, the sugary tone can become positively bland.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 89% Emu Runner (2018) The delicate direction by Imogen Thomas, who worked closely with cultural consultant Frayne Barker, occasionally hits moments of real poignancy and beauty.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
4/5 77% Doctor Sleep (2019) [An] excellent, immersive sequel...Doctor Sleep brandishes both the distinctive sting of Stephen King and echoes of Stanley Kubrick to deliver an unnerving spookfest...When the horror hits, it hits hard and it hits deep.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Happy Sad Man (2018) Without ever feeling forced or intrusive the film breathes with honesty and intimacy and is clearly designed as a push-back against the stereotype men have long been lumbered with, of having to suppress their feelings and suck it up when things get tough.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 81% Little Monsters (2019) Director Abe Forsythe leans into the crazy and milks the scenario for a sizeable quotient of laughs...Lupita Nyong'o puts in such a committed performance amidst all the low-budget mock-horror nonsense you'd think she was vying for a second Oscar.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) What starts out sounding like a fat-girl comedy quickly morphs into a simple, soulful comedy-drama. Jillian Bell delivers a funny, barbed performance of a woman trying to change her outer self without sufficient regard for the flaws in her personality.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
3/5 70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Thankfully, Terminator: Dark Fate is just fine. Original? Ha. Great? No. Not even close, but it does make up for the insulting mess of Genisys...The film's production specs are all that we expect with top editing, stuntwork and big-screen cinematography. ‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2019
2/5 63% Locusts (2019) The effort is there but there is just not enough scope, pay-off or hole-free plotting to the shenanigans in this crime-comedy-heist flick.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3/5 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) With very little story to go on director Ruben Fleischer obligingly keeps the intricately choreographed fight scenes coming at a snappy pace, along with the jokes and cultural references, with Elvis Presley featuring heavily.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3.5/5 44% After the Wedding (2019) Moore again proves she is arguably the best American actress of her generation. As Theresa, she portrays a woman who has to reconfigure her life to accommodate a set of unexpected variables. It's a great performance at the heart of a mature, adult drama.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3.5/5 88% Ready or Not (2019) Think of Meet the Parents as re-imagined by Stephen King and you'll get some idea of what to buckle yourself in for with the twisted, bizarre offerings in this knockout horror-comedy, skillfully directed with a terrific balance of laughs, scares and gore.‐ jimschembri.com
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3.5/5 100% Slam (2018) Without descending into hysterics writer/director Partho Sen-Gupta does a fine job detailing how promptly fear and suspicion can be coaxed used to promote an official agenda. It's a strong-minded, subdued film that bravely confronts the politics of grief.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 57% Strange But True (2019) With revelations at every turn, director Rowan Athale and writer Eric Garcia prove themselves dedicated to unpredictability, with each scene designed to have you guessing how it will plug into the increasingly bizarre story.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 40% Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) In terms of visuals, director Joachim Ronning does a swell job recreating the lush fantasy/Goth look of the first film with effects aplenty and grand flourishes of other-worldly architecture. Storywise it's feathery fluff.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
3/5 83% Judy (2019) Garland was a complicated mess and Zellweger truly captures her contradictory cocktail of confidence, desperation, ebullience, despair & stage fright. She's a has-been with a crinkled face and a defiant manner eager to reclaim her share of the spotlight.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
3.5/5 100% Buoyancy (2019) The brutal nature of the modern slave trade in South East Asia is exposed in often shocking and violent detail in Australian director Rodd Rathjen's extraordinary, gruelling debut feature.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
2/5 27% UglyDolls (2019) Even undemanding kids in need of distraction might find it hard not to get restless during this word-heavy, woke animation.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
1/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) A dismal, interminable drama.‐ 3AW
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019