The Filtered Lens
The Filtered Lens is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Matthew Dougherty
It's a remarkably controlled performance that the script never quite lets explode, to both its strength and its detriment.
Posted Dec 30, 2019
Little Women (2019)
As undercooked as Little Women can occasionally feel, it's always enjoyable, with some great shots made for the canvas and other small charms throughout.
Posted Dec 27, 2019
The Rise of Skywalker is a pitiful attempt to wrap up all nine films, an experience so whittled down by the corporate process that it falls completely flat.
Posted Dec 20, 2019
But even with varying depth, Bombshell's ensemble is its greatest strength.
Posted Dec 15, 2019
A Hidden Life (2019)
Terrence Malick's style is so distinct in what works and what doesn't. Just like the rest of his films, A Hidden Life is resplendent in natural imagery, and also just like the rest, it's criminally self-indulgent.
Posted Dec 12, 2019
In Fabric (2019)
Had the pacing issues been worked out, or the message populate some of the boringly handled transition sequences, In Fabric might have been something really special.
Posted Dec 10, 2019
The Two Popes (2019)
...this is a film about the state of the Catholic Church made in 2019 that doesn't want to rustle any feathers. Some will take issue with that, and others won't.
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Knives Out (2019)
...after a somewhat prolonged setup, the list of suspects start exhibiting their wild personalities, putting this ensemble of legends to work.
Posted Nov 27, 2019
Dark Waters (2019)
As uninteresting as the film is cinematically, it will induce some semblance of paranoia in its viewers. That's enough to make it watchable, even if it overstays its welcome.
Posted Nov 25, 2019
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is like a hug of a film, but not the warm and fuzzy kind you get from watching something nice. It's a sobering embrace of human understanding and healing.
Posted Nov 24, 2019
Frozen II (2019)
By no means will it reach the status Frozen had in 2013, but for those who want to play in this world again and revisit these well-drawn characters, it could have been much worse.
Posted Nov 24, 2019
The Report (2019)
Scott Z. Burns only rarely finds the language intrinsic to film to tell this story in The Report...
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Just as the Ford company needed Ken Miles, so too does Mangold need Christian Bale. It's he who gives this fun crowd-pleaser a little extra horsepower.
Posted Nov 17, 2019
Though it doesn't always work, the film's unique structure reveals Shults' admirable ambition in telling this relatively simple, everyday story.
Posted Nov 14, 2019
Honey Boy (2019)
...as a peak inside the life and mind of an artist, it doesn't really get much more original and personal than this.
Posted Nov 9, 2019
Doctor Sleep (2019)
As a complete package, it's largely inoffensive.
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Light from Light (2019)
More of an All Saints' Day ghost story than a Halloween one, director Paul Harrill's Light From Light is as low key and quaint as supernatural stories get.
Posted Nov 3, 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Like the titular robot menaces, these Terminator sequels just keep coming. Unfortunately, the sixth installment, Dark Fate, comes armed to the teeth with bad ideas and corporate machinery.
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Waititi brings his signature wit to the script, and his direction walks a thin line that maintains the film's lighter tone while keeping the gravity of the whole Nazi Germany situation in check.
Posted Oct 20, 2019
Greener Grass (2019)
Greener Grass is wild from the get-go, with the cinematography and set design wholly committed to the joke, but there's also a clear strain the script is going to to be as weird as humanly possible.
Posted Oct 19, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019)
Director Robert Eggers has crafted a psychological thriller practically spat up by hell itself, and it is supremely unpleasant in the best way possible.
Posted Oct 17, 2019
Little Monsters (2019)
For how freely the blood flows, in and of itself one of the main draws of the zombie genre, there's a warmth to Little Monsters that gives it a fresh feeling.
Posted Oct 12, 2019
...with how dark the end of that series got, our re-introduction to Jesse is a solemn affair. He's covered in scars, inside and out.
Posted Oct 12, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
As Murphy reminds us of his place in the world, we see Moore fighting for his. Dolemite Is My Name just could have better told us how he felt about that fight.
Posted Oct 8, 2019
...the story sort of just happens, with violence, expertly built tension, and some truly gorgeous cinematography used to fill the air where a central theme would normally go.
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is hyper-aware of the perils of its setting, and yet still manages to be inherently sexy, thanks to the chemistry of its leads.
Posted Sep 30, 2019
It doesn't all work, but by and large, this is a thoughtful, and often quite funny, retrospective on the artist and their struggle to create.
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Goold merely falls into the same biopic pitfalls many a films do when they've got a big star at the center and they're gunning for Oscars.
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Ad Astra (2019)
As an intimate portrait of the loneliness deep in our bones through the lens of a big interstellar epic, Ad Astra is simply peerless.
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Alejandro Landes' Monos is undoubtedly the most impeccably crafted film of 2019 so far.
Posted Sep 15, 2019
Had Stein and Lipovsky committed to keeping their story small-scale, this film could have been the next Midnight Special.
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Hustlers' stranger than fiction narrative is more than enough to keep the film afloat, but that doesn't stop Scafaria from injecting a fresh style missing from her past directorial efforts.
Posted Sep 12, 2019
It Chapter Two (2019)
Though no one could accuse It Chapter 2 of playing it safe, the 170-minute runtime often misplaces its focus.
Posted Sep 8, 2019
Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)
...there's rarely a moment where Brittany Runs a Marathon isn't having an honest, if very funny, conversation through its lead about self esteem.
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Blinded by the Light (2019)
It's cheesy to be sure, and can be grating in passing moments, but Blinded by the Light leaves all cynicism in a trail of dust as it dances along.
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019)
...you can feel the plot unfolding on screen cutting corners to get to the book's big scenes. The story is rushed beyond belief, and thus many of its emotional beats don't get the necessary room to breathe.
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Good Boys (2019)
It would be a one-trick pony were it not for a smart thematic exploration of a particular aspect of growing up that emerges just before the third act.
Posted Aug 13, 2019
Onah doesn't bring any discernible style to the film. But he does let this complex yarn play out with all the tension he can muster.
Posted Aug 1, 2019
...compared to the rest of his filmography, the first two hours of Once Upon a Time..in Hollywood are fairly breezy, and better for it.
Posted Jul 25, 2019
The Lion King (2019)
This Lion King is one of the most technically impressive disasters in film history...
Posted Jul 18, 2019
...as far as its actual premise, Crawl could not be simpler, and that's a huge part of what makes it so effective.
Posted Jul 14, 2019
The Farewell (2019)
The Farewell crackles most when Awkwafina and Shuzhen are on screen together, in scenes both happy and sad. Their chemistry is nothing short of perfect, rendering the dramatic irony of the story devastating.
Posted Jul 11, 2019
No matter what, there's usually something going on in Midsommar worth unpacking, but with the film so stretched, a lot of the individual scenes, especially the transitional ones, don't feel as rich as they could.
Posted Jul 3, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
As with all the other Spider-Man films, Peter struggles with balancing his personal life with his superhero career, but this is maybe the first Spider-Man film to struggle with that balance itself.
Posted Jul 3, 2019
Wild Rose (2019)
There's an energy to this relatively new performer that deserves and commands our attention.
Posted Jun 23, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019)
In terms of sheer plot construction and emotional precision, it's definitely the weakest of the series. But there's a newfound ambition here that cleverly and satisfying rewrites the core of the franchise into something that's really life-affirming.
Posted Jun 22, 2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco isn't one of those indies that feels like its story could have been told across other forms of art. Talbot makes effective use of film by giving it a cinematic quality too few filmmakers dare to today.
Posted Jun 9, 2019
Late Night (2019)
This film is designed to be easy to consume, which is likely why the script can feel overwrought. But then the players save it.
Posted Jun 8, 2019
Dark Phoenix (2019)
Not that the film had to have the same quippiness of the Avengers flicks, but good lord can this film be a downer with all its musings on rage and internal conflict.
Posted Jun 6, 2019