Dennis Harvey


Dennis Harvey
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Film Critic, San Francisco Bay Guardian and Variety

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
80% The Magic Life of V (2019) It's not enough for the film to look great; can't we get some actual insight, too? - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
No Score Yet Tigerland (2019) Kauffman has crafted an enjoyable armchair adventure that juggles the archival imagery, engaging present-day personalities and glimpses of the magnificent creatures themselves at a leisurely yet absorbing pace. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
No Score Yet The Purity of Vengeance (Journal 64) (2018) [A] high-gloss thriller... which is undeniably entertaining yet whose pleasures have the guilty edge of a particularly lurid airport read. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
93% Sweetheart (2019) Not quite original or stylish enough to be memorable. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
75% One Last Deal (2018) Director and scenarist execute their tale with enough restraint - reflective of the lead character's stunted emotional range - to eke out poignancy from what's at core a somewhat predictable narrative arc. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
92% A Twelve-Year Night (La noche de 12 años) (2018) An impressive work that further confirms writer-director Alvaro Brechner as one of the leading South American screen talents to emerge in the last decade. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
82% Light From Light (2019) A quietly matter-of-fact drama that utilizes a "haunting" story hook for non-religious yet affirming ends. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2019
100% The Disappearance of My Mother (2019) "The Disappearance of My Mother" is a successful piece of documentary filmmaking inasmuch as it's entertaining and dextrously crafted. But its precise intent is unclear. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
100% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) It's an entertaining flashback to an always-diverting countercultural epoch, with a touching footnote of a semi-famous love story at its center. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
85% Stieg Larsson - The Man Who Played With Fire (2019) You don't get a lot of Lisbeth Salander here. But you do get an overview of fascist/nationalist movements in Sweden and beyond over recent decades, which lends this well-crafted effort interest well beyond the strictly biographical. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
100% This is not Berlin (2019) With a coolness factor off the charts, this musically and otherwise seductive drama is likely to appeal to audiences who lived through the era as well as those who wish they had, both straight and gay. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
83% Dolce Fine Giornata (2019) A Nobel-winning poet recklessly inserts herself into immigration and terrorism debates in Jacek Borcuch's satisfyingly complex drama. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
78% The Lodge (2019) English-language "The Lodge" is atmospheric and intriguing enough to appeal to more adventurous viewers. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2019
71% The Tomorrow Man (2019) [T]he film's packaging has an attractive simplicity - amplifying an overall effect of everyday strangeness that's finally more reassuring than truly bizarre. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
89% Before You Know It (2019) It's hard to care about the nice characters who somewhat improbably put up with wildly insufferable ones. There's some invention and good humor here, yet the whole feels inorganic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
94% Fighting with My Family (2019) "Fighting With My Family" may not be an Oscar contender but it has enough wit, heart, energy and good cheer to make it a fun watch even for non-wrestling fans. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
75% Judy & Punch (2019) The overall concept, from Foulkes and her trio of story collaborators, has a bracingly original air, from the film's period anachronisms to its impressive design elements. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
89% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) This terrifically engaging debut feature by playwright Paul Downs Colaizzano is the best kind of "crowdpleaser": one that earns every emotional beat that might seem formulaic in four out of five similar enterprises. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
100% Ms. Purple (2018) There's enough substance here to reward the patient in this tale of two disparately isolated siblings reuniting during their father's last weeks in L.A.'s Koreatown. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
No Score Yet This Is Personal (2019) This is a good example of a documentary so deep in the middle of the fight it's depicting, it doesn't quite notice that its own message is too overstuffed for maximum impact. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
80% The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) Competently mounted yet plodding, it's manifestly a labor of love that becomes a bit of a labor to watch. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
90% To the Stars (2019) Starts like a slightly cartoonish teenage version of lesbian date-night favorite "Desert Hearts," then gradually plods toward an excess of retro-potboiler melodrama. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 27, 2019
86% Always In Season (2019) An engrossing mix of history, investigation and activism. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
86% Adam (2019) Brisk and astutely assembled, "Adam" makes something educational and playful rather than insulting out of that character's brief walk in another gender construct's shoes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2019
100% Maktub (2018) The light, droll touch applied overall lets the filmmakers get away with a few fairly graphic moments that remind us criminal violence is no joke. These also pass fleetingly enough not to sour the genial mood. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
No Score Yet Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire (2019) Mostly transcends standard artist-appreciation terrain by virtue of a diverse, colorful and energetic package that amplifies the subject's own aesthetic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
83% The Realm (El reino) (2018) Acclaim should carry it far among those craving intrigue, suspense and muckraking social commentary. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
No Score Yet Fig Tree (2018) "Fig Tree" is a fine drama whose seemingly casual progress only heightens its ultimate impact. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
77% Pledge (2019) A lean and mean shocker that tells its tale of collegiate hazing run amuck with brute efficiency. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
No Score Yet Buck Run (2019) It would benefit from more of a structural spine, and the characters need more definition (including fleshed-out backstory) to avoid feeling like an evocative, elliptical short story simply stretched to fit a longer frame. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
87% The Vanishing (2019) Falling between the stools of thriller and drama, this speculative tale grows steadily less satisfying, despite a handsome look and a strong cast headed by Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
6% American Renegades (2018) Offers a particularly dumb kind of gung-ho Ugly Americanism... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
100% Communion (Komunia) (2019) The burden of premature adult responsibilities forced on children by childish adults has rarely been captured quite so vividly as in "Communion." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
60% Nona (2018) This is one of Polish's best films, an uneven but texturally interesting ramble though foreign cultural and geographic terrain, all examined with a fresh eye. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2018
81% The Quake (Skjelvet) (2018) It's just intelligent and serious enough to give you your escapist cake - deluxe popcorn perils in all their big-screen glory - without making you eat the familiar guilt of empty-calorie overload. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
25% All the Devil's Men (2018) There's a lot of double- and triple-crossing, culminating in a fadeout that seems to go one plot twist over the line of narrative coherency. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
90% Ghostbox Cowboy (2018) This original if sometimes befuddling vision blurs the line between fiction and documentary elements, conventional storytelling and improvisational collage, all to oft-bracing effect. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
30% Elliot The Littlest Reindeer (2018) There are worse Yuletide kidpics, but "Elliot" has that particular by-committee quality which can suck the goodwill right out of the room. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
No Score Yet Astral (2018) You'll wish you could project yourself into a different entertainment dimension while slogging through "Astral." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
100% The World Before Your Feet (2018) While some more skeptical strangers seem to think Green is wasting his time, "World" makes it easy to admire the logic of his explanation that "It's just about the value of paying attention to something." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2018
No Score Yet Speed Kills (2018) What's not to like? Well, everything -- unless you're the star, who seems convinced that this embarrassingly cloddish biopic-slash-thriller actually flatters both him and its subject. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2018
64% Weightless (2018) Despite the emotional terra firma Nivola and other cast members try to provide, this drama about a taciturn loner forced into single-parenthood drifts into the ozone. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
86% Possum (2018) The film has a striking aesthetic and atmospheric assurance that takes a particular British miserabilism into near-abstract terrain, not unlike Cronenberg's vaguely similar (if more rigorously plotted) "Spider." - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
83% The Others (2001) The show belongs to Kidman, and snugly tailored as it is, she's surpassingly fine. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
No Score Yet Air Strike (2018) Air Strike retains elements of evident expanse and expense. Yet the final result is such a compromised jumble it's hard to tell what its full original intentions might have been. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2018
38% Silencio (2018) This turgid fantasy thriller, boasting scant thrills or imagination, douses a mystic time-travel concept with soap operatic hand-wringing to mawkishly unconvincing effect. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
65% Jonathan (2018) Taken on its own confidently crafted terms, "Jonathan" is an intelligent, absorbing tale that provides an impressive showcase for "Baby Driver" star Ansel Elgort. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
40% High Voltage (2018) Short on thrills and energy despite its title, this slick yet sluggish feature often seems barely interested in the horror elements that are, after all, what will primarily lure viewers in. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
18% I Still See You (2018) Newcomers will find this adapted tale's fantasy logic arbitrary, its plot convoluted, and the sum effect wildly unconvincing... - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
85% Knuckleball (2018) While you're watching, helmer Michael Peterson effectively earns suspension of disbelief with stark atmospherics, solid performances and a persuasive escalation of panic. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2018