A Reel of One's Own
A Reel of One's Own is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Andrea Thompson
That Sabrina Van Tassel is able to convey the bafflingly wide array of information available in a fairly calm and reasonable manner is an accomplishment in itself.
Posted May 5, 2020
Writer-director Anna Kerrigan doesn't just have a deep knowledge of the state she's portraying (and a commitment to cast a child actor who was non-binary or trans), she has a deep affection for it.
Posted May 1, 2020
P.S. Burn This Letter Please (2020)
There's also little acknowledgment of any other decade besides the 80s, when AIDS tore into the community with the force of a destructive tornado. Such neglect of the some the rich characters who go underexplored in the film feels like a crime itself.
Posted Apr 29, 2020
Through the Night (2020)
"Through the Night" won me over though, not because director Loira Limbal has any illusions about objectivity, but because she prefers to step back and show the toll inequality takes on the very people our culture supposedly reveres most - families.
Posted Apr 29, 2020
Lady Bird (2017)
Marion and Lady Bird's bond is very real, strong, and complicated like many mother-daughter bonds tend to be.
Posted Apr 21, 2020
Wild Nights with Emily (2019)
It's one of those rare films where a director's perspective also feels like an insider's view of an invisible, almost parallel history as seen via a great love story, one that happened to be between two women.
Posted Apr 13, 2020
Come As You Are (2020)
Watching these four is hilarious as genuine friendships form and vulnerabilities are revealed with compassion, wit, a fair amount of insight, and no small amount of skill.The film also skillfully avoids cheap sentiment, no small feat here.
Posted Apr 13, 2020
With another director, this might be the stuff of shallow melodrama, but Sam de Jong keeps the retro flourishes coming, along with the vibrant humor.
Posted Apr 9, 2020
Eliza Hittman has written and directed a film with compassion bursting from every frame, despite its quietly simmering tone.
Posted Apr 6, 2020
Calling your movie feminist, or even giving a woman the lead role, does not make a movie so if it mostly reduces that lead to the men in her life, or in this case, in her past. "Swallow" comes closer than most, but as the song goes, almost doesn't count.
Posted Apr 2, 2020
Audiences also have needs beyond basic nutrition, and Lindenbaum's desire to show rather than tell at all costs means that what could have been a far richer feast comes off as rather flavorless at times.
Posted Mar 31, 2020
The Dilemma of Desire (2020)
Director Maria Finitzo's presence is continual as she guides "The Dilemma of Desire" through the myriad complexities of its own topics, with a respect for her diverse subjects other filmmakers mostly dream of achieving.
Posted Mar 30, 2020
Critical Thinking (2020)
The aftermath of just where those students ended up isn't fully revealed, but what "Critical Thinking" does choose to focus on at least comes off quite well.
Posted Mar 26, 2020
Rare Beasts (2019)
It's the ultimate contradiction that even nihilism has to have some kind of coherence to it, and "Rare Beasts" is just too frustratingly erratic to make anything stick.
Posted Mar 26, 2020
The Watermelon Woman (1997)
The film is very aware that the lives of the people who did manage to create will always be a mystery to a certain extent, but the film refuses to reduce any of its subjects to mere victims.
Posted Mar 25, 2020
The movie does manage to build an platonic love story between brothers around it, with enough charm for the family experience Pixar does so well.
Posted Mar 19, 2020
Such a predictable story and environment doesn't exactly lend itself to depth. It can even ironically end of reassuring those who most need to reflect on their role in where we've found ourselves today.
Posted Mar 18, 2020
"Birds of Prey" isn't just female-fronted, it's actually diverse... Even if the story is rather thin, you'll want to keep coming back to it, if only because it might just have one of 2020's best movie moments.
Posted Mar 2, 2020
Miss Juneteenth (2020)
In essence, "Miss Juneteenth" is an ode to black mothers in all their imperfect glory.
Posted Feb 11, 2020
The Courier (2020)
Ironbark pulls no punches when it details just what they're up against, or the consequences if their activities are discovered.
Posted Feb 7, 2020
Bad Hair (2020)
The truly ironic twist is this puts black women in the same kind of sexist situation white women typically occupy in cinema... That could be a twisted kind of progress I suppose, but nothing resembling a real solution.
Posted Feb 5, 2020
The credit goes not only to director Jennifer Phang, but lead Jacqueline Kim, who also co-wrote the screenplay in addition to giving an incredible performance.
Posted Jan 21, 2020
Like a Boss (2020)
Their opposition may be cartoonish, but it's representative of a more traditional approach that involves catering to male expectations and covering up everything they perceive as a flaw.
Posted Jan 9, 2020
Watching the passionate 18th century French romance "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" is an experience, and not just because it's such a beautifully told love story.
Posted Dec 26, 2019
Throughout Star Wars:The Rise of Skywalker, you'll keep waiting for that moment. But that lump in your throat, that ache in your heart that could only result from such beloved fictions becoming something more real, it never comes.
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Despite a few fun set pieces that come before, the action and fun arrive too late to make Jumanji: The Next Level anything other than another forgettable action comedy that's kinda short on conflict and laughs throughout its two hour runtime.
Posted Dec 11, 2019
Little Women (2019)
May the cinematic gods forever bless writer-director Greta Gerwig, who grasps this dichotomy from the first, kicking off 2019's [Little Women] with a quote from [May] Alcott herself: "I've had lots of troubles, so I write jolly tales."
Posted Nov 26, 2019
Frozen II (2019)
Too bad Frozen 2 doesn't so much chart a new path as echo the one previously laid out.
Posted Nov 25, 2019
The Mountain (2019)
[The Mountain] doesn't allow its characters to make much of an impression.
Posted Oct 3, 2019
Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019)
Parasite conjures up images of a creature which takes from a victimized host without a thought of giving or the consequences thereof, but as Joon-ho Bong's latest bit of brilliance unfolds, it's unclear just whom is feeding on whom.
Posted Sep 18, 2019
The Lighthouse (2019)
You'll never really figure out just what the hell is going on in The Lighthouse, but it's one of the few cases where a lot of confusion isn't too much of a bad thing.
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Knives Out (2019)
Knives Out is enjoyable not just due to performance from the likes of Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, and Jamie Lee Curtis, but for the way others play against type.
Posted Sep 12, 2019
The Nightingale (2019)
Anytime Nightingale focuses on Clare's personal story, it's a tale that still resonates today to a despairing degree, but the wider world needs that the same respect, rather than being painted with the same blood-soaked brush.
Posted Aug 27, 2019
Ready or Not (2019)
Ready or Not will make you shed a tear for the company once known as Fox Searchlight.
Posted Aug 26, 2019
One Child Nation (2019)
85 minutes is a relatively short time to bring such a wide range of stories to light, but it can't be said that "One Child Nation" doesn't make the most out of what it chooses to focus on.
Posted Aug 20, 2019
Such an environment is rarely depicted with any kind of nuance, but [Numa] Perrier disdains the hysterics and melodrama which so often accompany such depictions to deliver a deeply complex portrait of sex workers and the industry.
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Brian Banks (2019)
Yes, Brian Banks suffered a terrible injustice... but it shouldn't have to come at the expense of so many other victims.
Posted Aug 12, 2019
The Pieces I Am does an excellent job of reminding us that before [Toni] Morrison, few, if any, novels discussed slavery from a female perspective, took Black girls seriously as characters, or focused so much on female friendships.
Posted Jul 16, 2019
The Lion King (2019)
Director Jon Favreau clearly knows how to put real soul into potentially soulless technological marvels, but even he can't inject some passion into a film that could never be anything but a lifeless husk.
Posted Jul 11, 2019
What makes [Midsommar] so enjoyable is Ari Aster's awareness of just how much our most beloved fairy tales have in common with our darkest nightmares.
Posted Jul 3, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019)
One thing that's kept the Toy Story franchise so solid after so many installments is its commitment to whatever emotional crisis its beloved gang of sentient toys is facing.
Posted Jun 13, 2019
Men in Black International (2019)
While Men In Black International hardly charts new ground, at least it forges enough of its own path to keep things fun.
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Dark Phoenix (2019)
In the end, Dark Phoenix gives women permission to be emotional, as long as their emotions are properly directed towards the family. Yay?
Posted Jun 6, 2019
[Taron] Egerton swirls in the beautiful rhythms of Rocketman, complementing its unapologetic embrace of everything that made Reggie Dwight become the beloved Elton John in the first place.
Posted May 30, 2019
Octavia Butler is gleefully selling the hell out of this. Black women rarely get substantial roles in horror, let alone the chance to lead them as a villain who is as sympathetic as she is terrifying.
Posted May 29, 2019
Octavia Spencer gives what might be the best performance of her career, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. embodies Luce as a young man who may be capable of great or terrible things.
Posted May 28, 2019
Even if Monos refuses to tie up its own loose ends, the human nature it portrays is terrifyingly real, as everyone proves capable of dizzying levels of kindness, compassion, and most frightening of all, cruelty.
Posted May 28, 2019
Light from Light (2019)
Everything may end, but at least Light From Light is able to embrace the value of connection in the meantime.
Posted May 28, 2019
I enjoyed so many things about "Booksmart." There was the fun script, the easy way it incorporated progressive values, the friendship it depicts, the skilled cast, which ensured all the jokes not only landed, but landed spectacularly.
Posted May 23, 2019