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      Brian Lowry

      Brian Lowry

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      Contributor, Variety


      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      Boston Strangler (2023) Writer-director Matt Ruskin nicely captures both the hurdles and indignities Loretta faced as a woman in this male-dominated world and the palpable fear that gripped the city, another echo of Zodiac. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2023
      Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) Everything that worked in the original works less well in this so-so sequel, blunting even the star power emitted by its high-profile villains. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2023
      Boys on the Side (1995) Given perennial complaints about the dearth of Oscar-worthy roles for women, Boys sends calendar-year ’95 off to an auspicious start, reinforcing Whoopi Goldberg’s dramatic credentials and Mary-Louise Parker’s rapid ascension toward major star status. - Variety
      Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2023
      Chang Can Dunk (2023) Chang Can Dunk isn’t an all-star, but viewed that way it’s a nice wrinkle on an old story – the sort of calculated leap that, unlike Chang’s gamble, feels like a pretty good bet. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Champions (2023) Champions has its heart in the right place... It’s possible to admire the message, though, without thinking much of a movie that, Marcus’ aspirations notwithstanding, belongs in the minor leagues. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      65 (2023) There’s a reason such films have, in theatrical terms, been pushed to the brink of extinction, and 65 represents such an uninspired effort as to look like a fossil even before the credits roll. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2023
      Scream VI (2023) Scream VI reinforces how shrewd the producers were in casting the next generation, with Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega ably carrying this chapter of horror’s most self-referential franchise. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 09, 2023
      Creed III (2023) Bulking up the back story slows the pacing, in a movie that finally delivers the goods but whose broader ambitions under director/star Michael B. Jordan get boxed in by its ring-shaped formula. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 02, 2023
      Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) The title, however, feels particularly apt in describing a series that burned quite brightly when it first arose, and despite the light and heat cast by its charismatic lead, gradually fizzled, faded and flamed out. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2023
      Cocaine Bear (2023) Give the kudos more to the concept than the movie, which mostly demonstrates, with apologies to an old marketing slogan, that things don’t always go better with coke. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2023
      Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023) Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania works on one key level, establishing Kang the Conqueror as a truly formidable and worthy villain. Yet with its plunge into inner space, "Ant-Man" comes up short in almost every other way that matters. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2023
      Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023) Magic Mike’s Last Dance is less a coda to the franchise than a muted riff on it, an encore without much of a purpose. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2023
      Your Place or Mine (2023) Even grading on a rom-com curve, though, the structure makes the movie a bit of a slog as it oscillates between Debbie and Peter’s arcs. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2023
      80 for Brady (2023) Give Paramount credit for the audacity to build a project around 335 years worth of screen stardom, but even its golden gals can only do so much with the playbook given them. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 04, 2023
      Knock at the Cabin (2023) Economically told and cleverly calibrated to maximize its claustrophobic setting, it’s among the most effective films the director has delivered since his mid-career slump, making this a door well worth opening. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2023
      Jung_E (2023) The film turns out to be visually striking and narratively muddled, with a story that starts somewhere in the middle, throws around lots of provocative science-fiction concepts and comes to a rather abrupt end. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 02, 2023
      Pamela, a Love Story (2023) The result is a humanizing look at a woman often reduced to cartoon caricature, while occasionally feeling too conspicuously like a licensed product. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2023
      Shotgun Wedding (2023) This is a slapdash effort on most every level, seemingly sold almost entirely on the notion of watching Lopez run through the jungle in a tattered wedding dress. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2023
      You People (2023) A topnotch cast can’t fully redeem material that gets lost somewhere between satire and sitcom as assembled by star Jonah Hill and director Kenya Barris. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2023
      Teen Wolf: The Movie (2023) Any fans of the show howling for encore will likely welcome the “Fangs for the memories” nostalgia, as the characters reunite to face a new and mysterious threat. Even so, the executive falls flat. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2023
      Plane (2023) The overall exercise feels more efficient than inspired, but there's something to be said for that sort of workmanlike ethic in an old-fashioned "B" movie fashion. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2023
      M3GAN (2022) M3GAN deftly threads the needle in terms of serving as a warning and still delivering the requisite tension and horror within its modest means and the confines of a PG-13 rating, all in a generally crowd-pleasing fashion. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 06, 2023
      White Noise (2022) Baumbach’s pandemic-inspired undertones resonate on that level, but it’s played in such stilted fashion as to make White Noise pretty easy to tune out. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2022
      Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (2022) A rewarding example of the perilous practice of building such efforts around children. Of course, it helps that the young star, Alisha Weir, is terrific, aided by wonderful turns from Emma Thompson and Lashana Lynch. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2022
      Babylon (2022) Despite a stellar cast and showy moments (given who’s involved how could there not be?), the writer-director’s sprawling, messy, three-hour-plus endurance test isn’t ready for its closeup. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2022
      Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) When it comes to long-delayed sequels it’s wise to be careful what you wish for, but overall the film manages to nimbly land on its feet. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2022
      Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) James Cameron has done it again with Avatar: The Way of Water, a state-of-the-art exercise that rekindles that sense of wonder and demands to be seen by anyone with lingering interest in watching movies in theaters. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2022
      Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) It’s an intriguing but ultimately muddled departure, grounding a story associated with fantasy in grim historical reality. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2022
      Emancipation (2022) There’s a pronounced Hollywood-ized feel to the finished product, one that doesn’t compare favorably with other projects that have covered similar territory. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2022
      The Whale (2022) Fraser deserves praise for his buried-under-makeup performance, but that’s not enough to keep the movie afloat. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2022
      "Sr." (2022) “Sr.” is a highly identifiable portrait of family and the sense that even when a parent dies in their 80s, the loss and grief is tough on those left behind. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 06, 2022
      Violent Night (2022) David Harbour makes a particularly good cranky, butt-kicking Santa, in a movie that offers the sort of shared experience that should bring theaters some much-needed cheer. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 06, 2022
      Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) Writer-director Rian Johnson again assembles a solid cast behind Daniel Craig, but it’s his use of language -- where nary a word is wasted -- that finally gives the sequel its edge. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2022
      She Said (2022) At a time when journalism is often under siege, there’s value in displaying its noblest qualities and loftiest aspirations. Even with hiccups and quibbles, She Said achieves that central mission. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Slumberland (2022) The realm of dreams is described as “a world with no consequence,” but as constructed, that comes in a movie with no clear creative compass, proving more mystifying than magical. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Bones and All (2022) It’s that rare movie that despite its flaws leaves you wanting more, where the limited series version would potentially be more rewarding. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Disenchanted (2022) Amy Adams nimbly steps back into the role of an animated princess trying to adapt to the live-action world, in an epilogue to Enchanted that has moments of magic without completely delivering on the premise. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2022
      Spirited (2022) Spirited tries turning A Christmas Carol on its head, and while it’s big and boisterous, the movie isn’t consistently irreverent enough to feel like much more than a streaming stocking stuffer. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2022
      The Fabelmans (2022) It’s a deeply personal chronicle from one of cinema’s greatest talents, yielding a movie that features wonderful moments within a somewhat scattered narrative. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2022
      Say Hey, Willie Mays! (2022) It’s a gift for baseball fans who saw him play before he hung up that golden glove nearly 50 years ago, and maybe even more so, for those who didn’t. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 08, 2022
      Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) Presented the daunting task of bidding farewell to a star tragically taken in his prime in sober but stirring fashion, Coogler has given audiences, and the studio, a solidly and gracefully executed dive into a “Wakanda” for right now. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 08, 2022
      Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022) Like its namesake’s songs, it’s at times little too silly, but still energetic and attention-getting enough to help put the easily ignored Roku channel on people’s radar. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 04, 2022
      Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me (2022) If Gomez chafes, understandably, at feeling like “a product,” My Mind & Me doesn’t escape the notion that it’s leveraging that fame, and the product-like part of her existence, in order to sell it. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 04, 2022
      Enola Holmes 2 (2022) The game is afoot (again) in Enola Holmes 2, a wonderful showcase for Millie Bobby Brown that this time manages to work the character’s famous brother, Sherlock, more organically into the mix. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 03, 2022
      God Forbid: The Sex Scandal that Brought Down a Dynasty (2022) God Forbid also earns points for not overplaying its hand, telling the story in a relatively concise package while still connecting the central scandal to the political tides with which it became inextricably linked. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 01, 2022
      Call Jane (2022) The writers clearly intended to personalize the abortion conversation through their Everywoman protagonist, and Banks ably fills that role. Still, turning this into one woman’s story shrinks the narrative at least as much as it universalizes it. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2022
      Ticket to Paradise (2022) Think of Ticket to Paradise like a postcard of beautiful people having fun in a beautiful place and you’ll get along just fine. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2022
      The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (2022) Perhaps foremost, “Mrs. Rosa Parks” highlights the selflessness of its subject and seeks to provide a detailed portrait of a woman who, through the vagaries of history, was frequently reduced to a symbol. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2022
      Descendant (2022) A bit slow-moving at first, the history gives way to a thoughtful conversation about how best to remember this history and honor its victims, while simultaneously highlighting the modern science surrounding identifying the ship. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2022
      The School for Good and Evil (2022) Mostly, there’s a tired, by-the-numbers quality to much of what transpires, even if the underlying lessons seek to expand on the familiar notions of heroism and love. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2022
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