WBAI Radio is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Mike Sargent, Prairie Miller
The Big Ugly (2020)
Move over, Ugly American, Brando or not. A gangster thriller gone global that may endure for that title if nothing else, The Big Ugly could not have grabbed US feeding frenzy imperialism more. Plus Brexit anxiety, and a rural land uprising tossed in too.
Posted Jul 30, 2020
Dateline: Saigon (2016)
Fake News, Nothing New: A rigorous and scathing chronicle of devastating defeat on two fronts simultaneously: The US War on Viet Nam, and on the US media.
Posted Jul 17, 2020
Freud, Fascism and smokers guide to surviving history. And though audiences are psychologically deprived (what would Freud say!) with its options, moments as Freud wearily crashing on his own therapy couch out of historical exasperation, are indelible.
Posted Jun 20, 2020
Intrigo: Dear Agnes (2020)
Actors playing actors on screen to further tease noir conventions and expectations, these seductive saboteurs shake up the genre as boldly conceived feminist fatales.
Posted May 8, 2020
Sorry We Missed You (2020)
Sorry, we missed the point. Or in other words, a director of Loach's stature in need of a new screenwriter for some time. With unfortunately coincidental insight into a country that demonized Jeremy Corbyn, and got anti-workingclass Boris instead.
Posted Apr 18, 2020
Judy & Punch (2020)
The boldly irreverent anti-patriarchal parable critiques a me-too menu of atrocities. Including mass superstition, vigilante justice, the persecution of women as witches, and a righteous uprising of designated ancient heretics, rebels and outcasts.
Posted Mar 14, 2020
The Public (2019)
A mix of eloquence and satire, in this homeless mass uprising takeover of one of the last remaining US sanctuaries for bookworms and the homeless alike, the public library.
Posted Feb 21, 2020
The Misogynists (2020)
A uniquely penetrating if over the top and grotesque endeavor. In other words, a savagely unrelenting excursion into male talk when women aren't around and even when they are, a self-critiquing uninhibited outpouring of venomous male bonding as well.
Posted Feb 21, 2020
Fear of the masses - in a movie. And a bold, startling when not mournful expression of simmering low wage police state millennial generation misery.
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Gloria Bell (2019)
Best musical of the year. Julianne Moore in a take no prisoners transformative rebel middle age makeover. And with lots of self-celebratory, breathlessly expressive emancipation in this somewhat feminist musical too.
Posted Jan 7, 2020
Three Christs (2020)
Three Christs - Or possibly four. Gere is commended for his principled choices on and off screen, including helping stranded immigrants off the Italian coast. But missing here about US mental health cruelty is better grasped now in another movie - Joker.
Posted Dec 22, 2019
Citizen K (2019)
Who is Russian oligarch Khodorkovsky, and what is he doing as a dubious hero in this film. While celebrated here promoting his human rights outfit, Open Russia - created and funded by war criminal Kissinger and UK robber baron banker Jacob Rothschild.
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Richard Jewell (2019)
"Don't become an asshole, a little power can turn a person into a monster." In this truth stranger than Hollywood biopic, Eastwood in a bid as unlikely as his designated hero has crafted an emerging police state/corporate press collusion cautionary tale.
Posted Nov 30, 2019
Cold Brook (2019)
Are You Ready To Be Different: Part ghost tale, part Bartleby while at the same time a captivating slavery reparations fable, the film flirts with the supernatural even with its heart planted firmly in sobering class and race issues historically and now.
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
With class, race and cultural divides up for satirical scrutiny, the entire explosive socio-political era that fed blaxploitation gets raw enlightenment. And with the ignited rebel instinct, lucid moment of the marginalized defining that subversive time.
Posted Oct 27, 2019
Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019)
A condescending, pessimistic portrayal of human nature, bereft of class consciousness or ideology...
Posted Oct 24, 2019
Unfortunately apt title for this essentially generic biopic plodding along with a tearjerker tabloid cinema soul, Judy could have been about any aspiring female entertainer's disappointed downfall. So the question presents itself throughout - Which Judy?
Posted Sep 26, 2019
Official Secrets (2019)
Yet another instance of filmmakers of courage and conviction stepping up where unfortunately and unlike Gun, politicians and the press (including critics) fear to tread. Which is the reason you likely never heard of this best female action hero this year.
Posted Aug 29, 2019
The take no prisoners daring director's perspective focuses yes on disturbing, but more as mirror reflecting back with ugly historical truths. Think terrifying trajectory as grotesque human canvas extending from Bosch and Bruegel to late stage capitalism.
Posted Aug 24, 2019
The Operative (2019)
The Operative is essential filmmaking of conviction indeed. A brave movie stepping in to confront the challenges of current political censure and censorship offscreen - where timid and cowardly or complicit governments and corporate media fear to tread.
Posted Jul 12, 2019
'We're not homeless, we're just lost.' An unfortunate irony in an otherwise harrowing drama about homelessness. As this not uncommon timid film evades with a blame the victim, emotional cluelessness. Rather than protest against an intolerable system.
Posted Jul 4, 2019
A vivid, near soliloquoy, men distorting women and bypassing the soul. And relief for suppressed passions and frustrations do eventually break free for moments, but with only elusive windows of dramatic conjecture provided - as perhaps it should be.
Posted Jun 18, 2019
A metaphorical, muted lyrical elegy of unrelieved despair in the Kafkaesque catacombs of global capitalism, somewhere in the former GDR following German reunification - and the concurrent disappearance of a collective trucker brotherhood under socialism.
Posted May 29, 2019
Renegade Dreamers (2019)
A kaleidoscope of vibrant generational influences on protest music and spoken word poetry across the decades. Connecting the '30s, the Beats and '60s culture with the contrasting political and creative struggles younger artists face today.
Posted May 18, 2019
Flesh Out (2019)
The film elicits both sadness and outrage, framed within the simultaneous, progressively resigned and rebellious inner life of the young protagonist. And that happens to be related personally to the director herself, when gazing in the mirror.
Posted May 4, 2019
The Load (Teret) (2019)
Requiem for a country. Or rather, what doesn't kill you makes you..Disappear. An ironic Serb-French co-production between NATO/victim country - which might update and expand the Winston Churchill axiom: History is written by the victor's filmmakers.
Posted Mar 9, 2019
St. Agatha (2019)
What ensues during this deepening, darkly laced diabolical torture spree is basically wildly wicked women at their worst, a maniacal generation gap standoff with the young terrorized females, and something best left to those warped imaginations out there.
Posted Feb 8, 2019
Bird Box (2018)
For the birds? Or something more. In other words, the mass helpless perception through those very senses. Counting deep state digital surveillance, and the powerlessness of all of us against these doomsday scenarios for real - protective blindfold or not.
Posted Dec 28, 2018
Here and Now (Blue Night) (2018)
A showcase for three eminent actresses that includes Jacqueline Bisset and Renee Zellweger as well. And the delicately layered ways in which women bond and unbond, however awkward or misread, when men aren't around.
Posted Dec 8, 2018
55 Steps (2018)
Though 55 Steps, well, side-steps the alarming political issues, with the doctors in question as cover for the true medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex villains, at its core this film transcends class as a remarkable female bonding story.
Posted Nov 8, 2018
Veteran time traveler on screen Christopher Lloyd - Back To The Future and many more - is at it once again in ReRun. Never disappointing and in this case lending new meaning to the notion of 'in the closet' - though with more metaphysical implications.
Posted Oct 11, 2018
Black '47 (2018)
Daly crafts his poetic, visually haunting and melancholy yet defiantly triumphant epic as brilliantly adapted classic storytelling, the western. Reinventing the bleak axiom: history is written or rather courageously resurrected - by principled filmmakers.
Posted Sep 15, 2018
All About Nina (2018)
Or rather, The Queen Of Comedy. And De Niro's brutal portrayal taken to another level, laced with macabre when not pornographic shock jokes, updated and feminized for the 21st century. And a ferociously raw comic noir minefield that provocatively stings.
Posted Aug 31, 2018
Active Measures (2018)
Proceed with caution in this disclaimer-free Dem infomercial in doc sheep's clothing. And one-side-to-every-story carnival barker spree - the best line from a smirking talking head asked for proof: Everything I know that's interesting, I can't tell you.
Posted Aug 15, 2018
The King (2018)
Or rather a tale of two cons. A doc that could have benefited from both a less worshipful title and portrayal, and likewise compromised by a facade of pandering even handedness dubiously tossing together Elvis with the equally fraudulent American Dream.
Posted Jul 15, 2018
Mary Shelley (2018)
A provocative new take on the enduring, mythic power of Shelley's Frankenstein. In other words instead of a cautionary prophesy about science, that she foretold how women no less than the monster that may be herself - have been abused throughout history.
Posted Jun 15, 2018
The Cleaners (2018)
Move over, Dark Web. In this both illuminating and creepy doc-noir, lurks a stressed, exploited army of outsourced cyber-police tasked with expunging whatever corporations counting Google, deem mandatory. Cell phone activists as well - you get the idea.
Posted May 31, 2018
American raises far more provocative issues than can be addressed. But perhaps that's the point - to stimulate curiosity, speculation and intense conversation - as to what exactly is the definition of American, in these troubling and turbulent times.
Posted May 5, 2018
The Death of Stalin (2018)
Don't believe the hype. A far more intriguing, follow the money power struggle off screen instead, pitting corporate interests against the mass popular discontent of the downwardly mobile US population in progress. In other words, who funded your movie.
Posted Mar 26, 2018
Ideologically dismissive and strictly from the school of scratching the surface cinema, not to mention the enigmatic participation of no less than 27 production companies likely rubber stamping their own two cents all over this politically evasive project
Posted Feb 24, 2018
Like Me (2018)
Or perhaps alternately titled, Dislike Me. A psycho-socially driven horror movie about millennials gone mad, taken over by a gadget generation cyberspace psychosis. And at a time right now when idea driven horror like Get Out, may be making a comeback .
Posted Jan 26, 2018
A documentary about the first black man to sleep in the White House - no, not Obama - but rather Sammy Davis Jr. A simultaneous chronicle of a turbulent era, and memory lane excursion through the complex and complicated life of the entertainment legend.
Posted Dec 29, 2017
Daisy Winters (2017)
Sterling Jerins impresses as an eleven year old with a dark and capricious but fascinating imagination. And Shields subtly and gracefully goes inside herself to burrow into the complicated emotional life of this woman.
Posted Dec 2, 2017
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)
'In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way had been lost.' Denzel's 21st century Dante captivates as perhaps not coincidentally 'Roman' J. Israel Esq., in a film seemingly long been waiting to be made.
Posted Nov 24, 2017
In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) (2017)
Diane Kruger goes full Antifa. An intriguing metaphorical narrative premise - and what ultimately ensues is not just a stunningly executed thriller, but a brilliant political parable in reverse for our time. You go, Diane.
Posted Nov 2, 2017
Kaurismaki's offbeat imagination and subversive charm remain in evidence here. But that irreverent stylistic mix with serious and heart wrenching issues surrounding the current refugee crisis in Europe, lends a perplexing, missed opportunity to this film.
Posted Sep 30, 2017
A powerful blueprint for saving public libraries from predatory urban removal developers, intent on demolishing and grabbing the land right under them - and in effect community centers for the masses by default, in a society lacking them under capitalism.
Posted Sep 30, 2017
This bittersweet political satire uncovers the shameful collusion of Hollywood with Franco back then - the roots of fascism in this country today. And Penelope as a new kind of anti-fascist female action hero - move over Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde.
Posted Aug 22, 2017
The Ice Cream Truck (2017)
A scary world filled with everyday, distinctly frightening stuff for women in the real world yet to be mined as fuel for horror in movies - who knew. And kicking in a new and different kaleidoscope of bizarre, amusing and unconventional at the same time.
Posted Aug 18, 2017
California Typewriter (2017)