The Lamplight Review
The Lamplight Review is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Brent Hankins, Kyle Wilson
While the film is certainly messy and manic, fans should take a breath and see it for themselves -- there's a lot to like (and even love) in The Rise of Skywalker.
Posted Dec 19, 2019
The action sequences are among the best of the series. Particularly stunning is a pitched battle at sea, with Rey and Kylo Ren trading blows atop floating bits of wreckage as towering waves crash all around -- this entire sequence is instantly iconic.
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
While Jumanji: The Next Level mostly adheres to the same elements that turned the previous film into such a hit, it also remixes a few of those components to freshen things up a bit.
Posted Dec 10, 2019
Knives Out (2019)
With a huge ensemble of A-list talent, a razor-sharp screenplay and a head-spinning number of shocks and surprises, Johnson adheres to genre conventions while simultaneously spinning them into something more complex, more devious, and more hilarious.
Posted Nov 27, 2019
The Irishman (2019)
The Irishman will no doubt be revered as one of the greatest films ever produced about organized crime, and might very well be the definitive statement on the genre, because it's difficult to imagine anyone eclipsing what Scorsese has done here.
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Having already portrayed Walt Disney, another figure instrumental in the shaping of so many childhoods, it only makes sense that Hanks would be tapped for this role, and let's be honest: who else could have pulled it off with such aplomb?
Posted Nov 20, 2019
Frozen II (2019)
Returning directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have done an outstanding job with this follow-up, giving fans more of the things they loved in the original film while expanding the world and exploring the characters in spellbinding new ways.
Posted Nov 14, 2019
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Although Ford v Ferrari slots neatly into the biopic formula, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as Mangold wisely chooses to focus not on the titular rivalry, but on legendary racing personalities Carroll Shelby (Damon) and Ken Miles (Bale).
Posted Nov 13, 2019
The Report (2019)
That Burns was able to distill 6700 pages of information into a two-hour film is an impressive feat on its own, but it's the dynamite ensemble cast that elevates The Report from rote investigative drama to nail-biting political thriller.
Posted Nov 12, 2019
Doctor Sleep (2019)
The film shouldn't work nearly as well as it does, and it's almost baffling how neatly it all comes together. It's a cinematic magic trick of sorts, and Flanagan pulls it off with the confidence of someone performing an illusion for the thousandth time.
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
As the de factor third chapter in the story of Sarah Connor, this is a very worthy continuation of her journey. Thanks to its surprisingly smart script and a captivating turn from Hamilton, Dark Fate puts the series on the road to redemption.
Posted Oct 31, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Dolemite is My Name provides Murphy with his best material in years, and the actor rises to the occasion, embracing his R-rated roots with aplomb and firing off jokes with a ferocity we haven't seen in far too long.
Posted Oct 25, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019)
Even with a finale as rocky as the shoreline on which Thomas and Ephraim are stranded, the film is an absolute must-see, a brilliant shining beacon in a sea of stagnant cinema, guiding viewers through the storm toward salvation.
Posted Oct 24, 2019
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
The film's ambition is admirable, and it's hard to imagine anyone more capable of wringing so many laughs from such a peculiar premise.
Posted Oct 22, 2019
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
The brisk 99-minute runtime is a welcome respite from comedies that overstay their welcome, and offers more than enough laughs to delight fans of the original.
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil may have the dubious honor of becoming the Disney film with the highest body count, but that's about the only distinction worth bestowing upon it.
Posted Oct 15, 2019
Gemini Man (2019)
Ultimately, the film makes for an impressive coming-out party for an exciting piece of tech, one that could have fascinating applications in the coming years, but offers precious little else.
Posted Oct 10, 2019
Joker is an impressive achievement on many levels, but the sloppy mixed message of the film and the near torturous dread of the entire outing leave very little entertainment to be had.
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
Here's hoping the inevitable third installment brings Emily Blunt back into the fold, so we can at least look forward to a character whose moral compass is still in working order.
Posted Oct 3, 2019
It's as if Phillips had a burning desire to create his own version of Taxi Driver, but wasn't sure audiences would show up, so he slapped a coat of green hair dye and greasepaint onto the screenplay to guarantee plenty of asses in seats.
Posted Oct 2, 2019
Directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen have crafted a ferociously funny comedy-thriller, thumbing their nose at convention and frequently pulling the rug out from under the characters and the audience in equal measure.
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Hustlers may be a sexy crime thriller, but it's also a film about women banding together to take on a system that frequently treats them as "less than," turning the tables on those who hold all the cards, and having a damn good time doing it.
Posted Sep 13, 2019
It Chapter Two (2019)
Less engaging and less scary than its predecessor, with a daunting runtime that nevertheless remains a must-see for any horror fan.
Posted Sep 5, 2019
A goofy, light-hearted riff on the Indiana Jones films that never shies away from poking fun at cinematic cliches -- or itself.
Posted Aug 9, 2019
Hobbs and Shaw is so irrational and illogical that it's basically a cartoon, a machismo-laden thrill ride that borders on parody and is, at times, unspeakably dumb, but in the best possible way.
Posted Jul 31, 2019
Despite being inspired by and connected to a particular event, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is less about telling a specific story of the era, and more about capturing its emotion and spirit. In that regard, Tarantino knocks it out of the park.
Posted Jul 25, 2019
In many respects, the film serves as a cautionary tale -- not of a dark future, but of a time that's already upon us, which makes Salim's debut feature all the more terrifying and affecting.
Posted Jul 15, 2019
The Lion King (2019)
There's no denying that Favreau and his team have crafted a brilliant technological achievement, but whether The Lion King is a great film on its own merits is a subject that will likely inspire a fair amount of debate.
Posted Jul 11, 2019
It's a bit slow out of the gate, but once Bautista and Nanjiani finally connect, it makes up for lost time with an overload of laughs and a healthy dose of bloody, cartoonish violence.
Posted Jul 10, 2019
For decades, horror films have conditioned us to believe that bad things only happen in the shadows, but that's not the case here, and the knowledge that daylight is no longer a safe space makes Midsommar even more disturbing.
Posted Jul 4, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Both a great bookend to the first era of the MCU and another immensely pure and satisfying installment of everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood wallcrawler.
Posted Jun 28, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
While the action in Spider-Man: Far From Home is much larger in scope than its predecessor, the film nevertheless feels considerably smaller and more self-contained than most MCU entries, especially in the wake of Endgame's enormous finale.
Posted Jun 27, 2019
Directors Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss deserve commendations of their own for ensuring this tale of unprecedented kindness in the face of unspeakable tragedy doesn't fade away into history.
Posted Jun 18, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Like its predecessors, Toy Story 4 understands the significance of the bond between a child and their favorite toy, and more importantly, the undeniable magic of childhood.
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Men in Black International (2019)
Overlong and mostly unfunny, Men in Black International offers precious little of the recipe which made the previous films -- particularly the original -- so endearing.
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Late Night (2019)
Late Night is at its best when Thompson leans into Katherine's caustic and abrasive personality, which plays well against Kaling's earnestness, and the film's best moments arrive whenever these two comedic powerhouses share the screen.
Posted Jun 7, 2019
Dark Phoenix (2019)
Dark Phoenix sends the X-Men out not with a bang, but with a roll of the eyes and a somewhat exasperated sigh.
Posted Jun 4, 2019
Thanks to imaginative musical numbers that aren't always bound by the limits of reality and the irrefutable charisma of its leading man, Rocketman manages to break the mold just enough to stand tall above many of the genre's other offerings.
Posted May 31, 2019
On the rare occasion the camera pans out enough to showcase its creatures, they're truly awe-inspiring. But these moments of gratification are unable to counterbalance the film's laundry list of defects and misfires.
Posted May 30, 2019
Deadwood: The Movie (2019)
While it may not be a perfect substitute for the fourth season that Milch had originally envisioned, Deadwood: The Movie nevertheless feels like a natural evolution for the characters that we fell in love with more than a decade ago.
Posted May 29, 2019
Massoud's carefree demeanor and world-class grin are a perfect match for the "street rat" who dreams of bigger things, and the fierce determination Scott brings to the role of Jasmine is a welcome change from the usual damsel in distress archetype.
Posted May 22, 2019
With its razor sharp script and electric lead performances, it could very well unseat the likes of Superbad and Mean Girls as the funniest high school comedy of the 21st century.
Posted May 17, 2019
The marriage of brutal hand-to-hand combat and impossibly precise gunplay have been franchise staples, and John Wick: Chapter 3 takes these elements to incredible heights with some of the most flat-out insane action choreography ever seen.
Posted May 10, 2019
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
It's family-friendly, for the most part, but there are a few cases of double entrende that will sail right over the heads of the little ones, while giving mom and dad an extra chuckle or two.
Posted May 8, 2019
If you're looking for subtlety in David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford's screenplay, expect to come up short.
Posted May 7, 2019
Red Joan (2019)
Dench is criminally underutilized here, resigned to a handful of scenes. Most of her limited screen time is spent feigning bewilderment at questions from MI5, as if the mountain of evidence piled on the table before her doesn't exist.
Posted Apr 26, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
I won't go so far as to say it's a perfect film, but still quite mind-blowing that it's able to pull together such a fun, satisfying close.
Posted Apr 24, 2019
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
If Avengers Endgame -- with its carefully crafted emotional beats, thrilling action sequences and heartbreaking farewells to some of our most beloved heroes -- isn't the perfect final chapter, I can't imagine what perfection might look like.
Posted Apr 23, 2019
We Believe In Dinosaurs (2019)
Some stones are left unturned, and it would have made for a compelling addition to explore the conflict between the teachings of Answers in Genesis and their actions, but the existing material is certainly captivating and disquieting enough.
Posted Apr 19, 2019