Robert Roten Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Robert Roten

Robert Roten
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
B 88% Onward (2020) This story follows the standard Pixar playbook, with strong characters and a deft blend of humor, pathos and a powerful emotional message. It also features the usual Pixar technical competence and some lovely animation.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2020
B 84% The Way Back (2020) There aren't too many good basketball movies, but this one is right up there among the best of them.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2020
B 78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Despite the R-rating and the large body count of this action film, it is emotionally light in nature. The action is comic, rather than serious, the opposite of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy with its dark, tortured characters.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2020
B+ 83% Waves (2019) This psychological drama about a family in crisis is filled with hyperactive sound and imagery which can be a bit disconcerting at times, but the emotional message of the film about the need to use love to conquer hate comes through loud and clear.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2020
B 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) The main things this film has going for it are its many well-staged action scenes, particularly its beautifully choreographed martial arts sequences and stunts. There is a lot of variety in these scenes.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
B 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) Like many of Almodovar's films, this one is emotional and personal. I think this film appeals to an older audience with its story about reconnecting with one's emotional center, after suffering despair brought on by age and medical problems.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2020
B 93% Invisible Life (A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão) (2019) The acting is very good in this movie, and the story is compelling, if somewhat far-fetched and overlong (140 minutes). I would have liked this movie more if it was more believable, and had a shorter running time.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2020
B 82% Queen & Slim (2019) This movie does cover a familiar story arc, but this is an exceptional debut feature for director Melina Matsoukas. The acting, by Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, is excellent and the cinematography by Tat Radcliffe is haunting.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2020
B 84% Downton Abbey (2019) This is basically a high-toned soap opera, but it is not overly serious. It is largely a comedy of manners. There is plenty of humor and high spirits in this story and the acting is excellent. The production values are first-rate.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
B+ 91% Luce (2019) This is a really chilling psychological thriller that illuminates racism in American in a different way than more common approaches. It asks, 'What is the cost of submerging one's identity, history and race in order to conform to white standards?'‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
B 91% Clemency (2019) Alfre Woodard gives a powerful performance here, backed by an excellent cast. This is a powerful film that gets is point across, but in its sense of hopelessness, it is also bleak and depressing.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
B 92% Wild Rose (2019) Despite my inability to understand some of the dialog , and the fact that I'm not a fan of this kind of music, I enjoyed the film. It is well written and acted. Director Tom Harper also helmed another of my favorite 2019 films, 'The Aeronauts.'‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
B 96% Little Woods (2019) This is a film of high tension about two sisters living on the edge of ruin in the farthest northern reaches of North Dakota. One slip up and they could end up homeless, or in jail. The only things they have to rely on are their wits and each other.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
B 92% Monos (2019) This Columbian entry for best international film in the 92nd Academy Awards is a brutal, gritty war drama that is reminiscent of William Golding's novel, 'Lord of the Flies' and the film 'Apocalypse Now'.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
B 98% One Child Nation (2019) This is a story of immense size, told on a personal scale. Also impressive is the access the filmmakers got to people in China, not the easiest place to get access to stories that are critical of the government.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2020
A 95% Marriage Story (2019) This movie pulls back the cover on divorce and lets you peek into the emotional and legal process of divorce in a very intimate way. At the same time, the movie also finds humor in the absurdity of the legal and emotional process.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) It plays like a brilliant con job comedy in the first half, before switching to total wacko mode at the end, with knives out and bloody. I liked the first half of this Jekyll and Hyde film a lot. The second half, not so much.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B+ 94% Honey Boy (2019) The acting by LaBeouf, Hedges and Jupe, is stellar, while director Alma Har'el does a great job weaving this complex, time-hopping story together. This movie confronts the emotional pain of Otis and his father head on. It offers no easy answers.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B+ 98% Maiden (2019) This is an amazing story of a woman, a boat and a crew that did something that was thought by many to be impossible.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B 82% The Report (2019) This is a very informative movie, and the parallels between that investigation and the current impeachment investigations are revealing. However, this movie is somewhat static and didactic, although it does project moral power.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B 97% Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) This documentary offers a rich, comprehensive treatment of sound in movies that gives the viewer some appreciation of the effort it takes to make a movie with a good sound design.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B 61% Brian Banks (2019) This is a great story, well told, about a man who refuses to give up on his quest for justice, despite the incredible odds against him.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B 96% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Writer-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz have crafted a very pleasing movie that is funny, touching and somewhat uplifting. Too often, we forget there are a lot of good people in the world. This is a movie that celebrates good people. ‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
A 91% The Great Beauty (2013) This masterpiece of filmmaking, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino seems at first to be a haphazard collage of images and sounds, but it somehow all fits together perfectly.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
C+ 77% Bad Boys for Life (2020) The third film in the Bad Boys series, dating back to 1995, finally has a decent screenplay to back its two charismatic stars, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but it looks and sounds ragged, despite its $90 million production cost.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2020
B 85% Les Misérables (2020) This is a very impressive debut fictional film from documentary filmmaker Ladj Ly. The story is compelling and the acting is convincing. The pace, and the tension, never let up.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B 42% The Laundromat (2019) Like 'The Big Short,' this film blows the lid off of corruption infecting global financial markets, but it also shows the real life consequences of this corruption.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) This is a delicate and thoughtful film, a fine first directing effort by Joe Talbot, with a story written, in part, by Fails himself based on his own experiences.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) The acting by Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel is excellent. The love between their characters, Marianne and Héloïse is quite believable, as is the pain and anguish caused by the circumstances of their forbidden love.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B+ 83% Just Mercy (2020) Based on a true story, this familiar, but gut wrenching drama about a lawyer, with his wrongly convicted black client on Death Row in Alabama, fighting against a rigged legal system, carries a shattering emotional punch.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
C+ 92% Who Will Write Our History (2019) There are those, of course, who don't like to be reminded once again of this history. There are those who deny these events ever happened. So yes, this is a story that needs to be told again and again.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B 99% Amazing Grace (2019) People got up and danced in church. They could not help themselves. That's the power she has. In the movie, I think it was James Cleveland who said that Aretha can sing anything. There is no doubt about that.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) This is a compelling drama, with some interesting characters. It is a story worth telling and movie worth seeing, because this could happen anywhere. I am surprised it hasn't happened in more places, especially in the United States.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
A 97% Booksmart (2019) I really liked Beanie Feldstein in Ladybird, and she is matched in this film by Kaitlyn Dever. The characters they play, and the other characters they interact with in the film are what make this an exceptional film.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2020
B+ 99% For Sama (2019) This movie from Syria doesn't get into politics other than to ask the question, why did the nations of the world stand by and do nothing as the men, women and children of Aleppo were being slaughtered?‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
B 96% The Irishman (2019) This is a well-made movie by a truly great director and the acting is fine, but the story seems kind of pointless. There is a lot of killing, a lot of suffering, and for what? On the other hand, maybe that is the point of it after all.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
B 53% The Lion King (2019) I was not a big fan of the original 1994 movie, and I found this one to be about the same. It is a good film, with a good story and good music. What sets this film apart, however, is the technical wizardry that makes it look like a live action film.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
A 100% Honeyland (2019) This haunting documentary about a woman described as the last beekeeper of wild bees in Europe finds her rural village invaded by a family that overtaxes the fragile environment of Northern Macedonia with a bumbling commercial agriculture operation.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
B+ 97% Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Eddie Murphy is perfect in the role of Rudy Ray Moore, and he's backed by fine supporting performances by Wesley Snipes and Da'Vine Joy Randolph, who plays Lady Reed/Queen Bee.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
C+ 56% The Beach Bum (2019) Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dog both seemed to be having a lot of fun in this movie, and they both turn in good performances. This is a funny, easygoing stoner comedy .‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
B 89% The Two Popes (2019) Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce both give excellent performances in this film, fully expressing the characters and making them believable. The film also has high production values, with opulent sets and costumes.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
B 80% A Hidden Life (2019) Award-winning writer-director Terrence Malick takes aim at autocrats who demand, above all, personal loyalty, in this anti-fascist saga of an Austrian farmer who refuses to swear allegiance to Adolph Hitler during World War II.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
A 89% 1917 (2020) This action-packed film that looks like it was all shot with one continuous camera exposure is an emotional, compelling and inspiring hero's journey through the nightmare setting of trench warfare.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2020
B 88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) This is not about the destination. It is about the journey, and it's a long, painful one. It is about more than just losing weight and running the distance, although that is hard enough. It is a long movie, but the characters make it worth the time.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
B 91% The Biggest Little Farm (2019) This is a movie about a family with a dream of farming, who makes that dream come true, sort of, with a lot of outside help. There is some great cinematography showing nature at work on the farm. The story of the farm is well, and fairly told. ‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
B 89% Arctic (2019) For the most part, this is a typical story of survival in harsh conditions, but there are some plot twists, and it is a well-made film. Mikkelsen shines as the rugged, capable pilot of a downed plane somewhere in the Arctic Circle.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
B 96% American Factory (2019) This documentary film gets right in the middle of a culture war, a union versus management fight and anxiety over globalization and automation. It shows what is happening in manufacturing in many countries, including the United States.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
B+ 72% The Aeronauts (2019) This is a movie with a lot of visual magic, as well as Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne. These days, with science under attack from political and religious forces, it is great to see a film that celebrates those early pioneers of science.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
A 81% Abominable (2019) This is a film all about inclusiveness, kindness, empathy and healing, which are all things sorely lacking in today's world, it seems. Maybe that is why I found this film so emotionally appealing.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
B+ 92% Uncut Gems (2019) Sandler is fascinating to watch in this role as the shady wheeler dealer Howard Ratner. He whipsaws from manic emotional highs, tenderness and mischief to devastating lows. Watching Ratner desperately juggle bets and deals is something to behold.‐ Laramie Movie Scope
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2020