RSS feed for A.A. Dowd
  • Pet Sematary

    Pet Sematary

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Powerhouse material locked in mortal battle with uneven execution. The performances, with the exception of Gwynne's wonderful work, are dodgy as hell, and whole passages stray into unintentional goofiness—an issue I put on both Lambert and King's sometimes clunky adaptation of his novel. Nonetheless, some of the gut-punch intensity of said novel does survive, and I'd even go as far as saying that the weird tonal issues actually contribute to a kind of dreamlike uneasiness; it doesn't always feel like…

  • The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant

    ★★★½

    Nice to see Vin Diesel just be himself in a movie.

  • Dragged Across Concrete

    Dragged Across Concrete

    ★★★

    A.V. Club review, in which I basically fail to decide if this thing is offensive or just provocative. One thing for sure is that it's gripping and sometimes hilarious. Zahler is even better than Taylor Sheridan (another possibly right-leaning genre maverick!) at writing punchy dialogue. Could have filled this whole fence-sitting review with descriptions of scenes like this:

    Two-minute shot of Vaughn eating a sandwich in the car. Vaughn finishes sandwich.

    Gibson: Amen. I've been hearing and smelling that for…

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

    The Talented Mr. Ripley

    ★★★★½

    Double meanings of a double life: an ingenious con-artist thriller that's also about the desperate loneliness of playing rich and straight, respectively. Does Matt Damon do his best work as men faking their way to high society? It's a theme that resonates at least superficially with his movie-star backstory as an ordinary dude from Bahstan, and which finds its own double in The Departed, another con artist story of sorts, featuring a (possibly closeted) character self-actualizing up the ladder through…

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    ★★

    A.V. Club review. Obscenely boring abuse of a brand. Must there be three more of these?

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web

    The Girl in the Spider's Web

    ★★½

    Watchable junk. But honestly, that's kind of how I felt about the last one, too, and if Alvarez doesn't quite possess Fincher's chops, this is still really well-directed in spots.

  • ParaNorman

    ParaNorman

    ★★★★

    "What do you think you're doing firing on civilians? That's for the police to do!"

  • The Road Movie

    The Road Movie

    ★★½

    Biggest takeaway: Driving is fucking dangerous.

  • It

    It

    ★★★

    Relieved I didn't end up reviewing this proper, because it's the rare instance where I couldn't possibly separate my deep attachment to the source material from the movie they made out of it. (Now I know how Harry Potter fans feel when they complain about the absence of house-elf subplots and etc.) It was clear the moment they announced that It would be two movies instead of one that the interweaving of past and present would have to go, even…

  • Friend Request

    Friend Request

    Didn't have room in my A.V. Club review to mention the part where a cop says "I've been doing this job for 45 years and I've never seen anything *this* crazy." Almost bumped it up half a grade for that old chestnut.

  • Raw

    Raw

    ★★★½

    Trouble every semester.

  • The Purge: Anarchy

    The Purge: Anarchy

    ★★★

    Get ready to bleed, rich bitches.