LarsenOnFilm's Scores

  • Movies
For 222 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Lowest review score: 25 Swiss Family Robinson
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 222
222 movie reviews
  1. Burning Cane doesn’t resolve things as much as it makes poetry of them, right from its opening shot of the radiant beams of the sun shining upon the drifting smoke of a smoldering sugarcane field. Sometimes it seems as if there’s no escape from the stain of sin.
  2. The actor’s cadences and vocal register are different than the real Rogers (did I detect an illogical Southern accent here and there?), but he mostly embodies the lightness with which Rogers held the screen, the unhurried manner in which he spoke to people, and the way, while watching his show, the world stopped for a little while and you felt like someone deeply cared.
  3. Ably mixing past and present sensibilities is no easy feat, but every person in Gerwig’s ensemble cast manages it.
  4. This is either the worst time for a movie like Jojo Rabbit or the best time. I lean toward the latter. I’m perfectly willing to concede that the film may come across as gauche in the coming years, but in November 2019—as an irreverently comic middle finger to idiotic, irrational tribalism—wow, does it feel good.
  5. Ash Is Purest White starts as a crackerjack, Bonnie and Clyde-style crime movie, then slows down into something more akin to Antonioni’s L’Avventura. It eventually ends as a mesmerizing mood piece about personal alienation and national dislocation. That’s quite a shift, but writer-director Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart) finesses it effortlessly.
  6. Perhaps director Martin Scorsese had to make five other mobster movies before he could make one as wise, reflective, and mournful as The Irishman.
  7. Figuring everything out isn’t necessary to enjoying The Lighthouse; it’s staggering simply as an audiovisual feast.
  8. Zhou is fantastic as the schoolteacher-turned-rebel-leader; clearly not content to keep her head down, she’s always peering out of windows to get the lay of the land, even before she officially joins the movement.
  9. Pain and Glory is one of Almodovar’s least exuberant productions. It’s also one of his best.
  10. The genius is in the way the movie’s little details and character touches lead to an absolutely bonkers climax—after a shocking twist I won’t reveal—that nevertheless feels inevitable.
  11. Jaundiced and judicious, deeply cynical yet not quite ready to leap into the abyss, Joker is a provocatively toxic time capsule for an era of misguided rage. It’s galling, and pretty great.
  12. The real problem, however, is that neither Molly, nor Newbury, nor anyone on her staff is very funny.
  13. You can feel the ungainly attempts to force that material into tidy little narratives.
  14. In the lead, Mbatha-Raw delivers a shaken, exposed performance that hints at the more familiar stories of domestic trauma (drug use, suicide, having to give up a child) that this otherwise super story might stand in for.
  15. As a political satire, Let the Bullets Fly is pointed and precise.
  16. A predictable narrative is given rich contours in Little Woods.
  17. In Andrei Tarkovsky’s science-fiction masterpiece Solaris, a character observes that even in the depths of outer space, “we want a mirror.” Perhaps that’s why Ad Astra—starring Brad Pitt as an astronaut in the near future who travels to Neptune to find his missing scientist father—feels like the most visually arresting session of talk therapy you’ve ever experienced.
  18. It Chapter Two has structural problems, character problems, and aesthetic problems.... But the movie’s main issue is an unexamined streak of cruelty.
  19. Nimbly and unassumingly, this relatively straightforward anthropological study blossoms into both a socioeconomic commentary on the dangers of globalization and a biblically resonant parable about our relationship with the environment.
  20. Ungainly in many ways (inconsistent in tone, unconvincing in locale, contrived in its plotting), Where’d You Go, Bernadette manages two stellar sequences that are raw and truthful enough to salvage the movie.
  21. There has been debate over the graphic depiction of violence in the film, which is sickening and unblinking. Still, the explicitness undoubtedly forces you to face the brutal trauma that was inflicted upon women in this particular time and place—indeed, has been inflicted throughout history.
  22. I laughed a great deal at the bad-boy banter during Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. I also thought the action stood up alongside anything else in the franchise. But the thing I enjoyed the most about this riotously ridiculous movie is that way it functions as a near-brilliant exercise in cinematic parallelism.
  23. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is a twilight film in more ways than one.
  24. The Farewell resists any temptation to be a wacky, extended family comedy and instead stays true to the sadness of its central premise.
  25. Like Hereditary, Midsommar functions as an outlandish imagining of the effects of personal trauma, especially for someone who already struggles with an unsteady mind. Yet the psychology and the horror aren’t quite as holistically handled this time around.
  26. Like its predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home is content to be a high-school movie first and a superhero saga second.
  27. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are the reason to see Men in Black: International—she has a comic precision that nicely deflates his humorous hubris—but for some reason the movie doesn’t bring them together until a third of the way in, after failing to establish any real sense of their characters.
  28. No, Toy Story 4 isn’t necessary. Yes, Toy Story 4 is fun. Does it end in a way that’s worthy of the series, and Woody in particular? We’ll get there.
  29. When The Dead Don’t Die sputters, you fear that Jarmusch’s political angst may have paralyzed him. But then there is the bleak, sardonic beauty of the climactic scene.
  30. For all its pointed critique, The Last Black Man in San Francisco also offers a fair amount of whimsy.

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