Joe Friar

Joe Friar
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/4 60% Bird Box (2018) Sandra Bullock leads a strong cast in the end of the world thriller that remains faithful to Josh Malerman's novel. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
3.5/4 61% Vox Lux (2018) Vox Lux is visually striking, a bit intimidating and unduly fascinating. The film arouses the senses and confirms Corbet as one of the most interesting filmmakers working today. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/4 97% Roma (2018) Alfonso Cuarón's masterpiece oscillates between the intimacy of the director's Y Tu Mamá También and the grandeur of a Cecil B. Demille epic. It's an exquisite work of art filled with compassion and beauty‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
4/4 94% The Favourite (2018) Devilish fun as Colman, Stone, and Weisz take the British monarchy for a rollicking jaunt. One of 2018's best films. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
3.5/4 82% Green Book (2018) Green Book is the one film you'll be cheering for at this year's Oscars. Mortensen and Ali are a terrific team.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
4/4 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Melissa McCarthy gives the performance of her career and Richard E. Grant is terrific. Director Marielle Heller has a keen eye for detail from the bookshops to the bars, the film is bathed in authenticity. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2018
4/4 82% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Dafoe delivers a masterful performance while Schnabel creates the most revealing portrait of Van Gogh placing the audience in the troubled mind of the accomplished painter. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2018
3.5/4 68% Beautiful Boy (2018) Timothée Chalamet delivers a superb performance. The film covers territory usually skipped in most drug addiction films primarily the family's struggle to help. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/4 58% The Front Runner (2018) Hugh Jackman is first rate as senator Gary Hart in Reitman's fast paced film which perfectly blends comedy and drama. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/4 97% Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Ross' eye as a photographer results in amazing cinematography. The unorthodox documentary represents cinema in its purest form.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
1/4 16% Robin Hood (2018) The dialogue is ridiculous and the action dull. Robin Hood is now stealing from anyone who buys a ticket, rich or poor. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3.5/4 91% Widows (2018) The female-driven thriller features powerful performances by Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriquez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo. Steve McQueen delivers everything that was missing from the fluff piece Ocean's 8 primarily danger and suspense.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
3.5/4 92% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Tragedy is at the forefront of the Coen Brothers western anthology. The wildly entertaining yarn incorporates many of the Coen's staples, quirky characters, witty dialogue, and plenty of misfortune.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2018
4/4 94% Wildlife (2018) Carey Mulligan delivers another outstanding performance in Paul Dano's directorial debut. "Wildlife" is a must-see!‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2.5/4 37% Viper Club (2018) The film features solid performances by Sarandon, Matt Bomer, and Edie Falco but stops just short of making an emotional connection with the audience.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
3.5/4 88% Bodied (2018) The aggressive and uproarious film packs a wallop as the viewer is left incapacitated by the lyrical poetry in full flow. Khan's film is refreshing, fearless, and intensified.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
3/4 62% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Judging by Anthony McCarten's screenplay, the biopic falls in the "fantasy" category. Facts are sacrificed for entertainment in Bryan Singer's crowd pleaser which features an electrifying Rami Malek.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
4/4 84% Borg Vs. McEnroe (2018) LaBeouf and Gudnason are electrifying in the best on-screen rivalry since Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl battled it out in Ron Howard's Rush.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
4/4 90% Lean on Pete (2018) The shots of Charley and Pete in the desert searching for his aunt recall Wim Wenders Paris, Texas. Plummer's performance is of the finest caliber and the driving force behind the film.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 72% Kodachrome (2018) There are a few predictable moments along the way as Olsen and Sudeikis touch upon the romance angle but for the most part, the film does it best to avoid pratfalls.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 34% I Feel Pretty (2018) You've got to be able to drop your guard to fully enjoy the comedy filled with fat-shaming jokes and that may prove to be difficult in this ultrasensitive era. There's a reason clips of the Tom Hanks comedy Big are included in the film. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 82% Ghost Stories (2018) A rollercoaster ride from hell that keeps the audience entertained with a well-written screenplay that's backed by snazzy cinematography, slick editing, and enjoyable performances. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 46% The Devil and Father Amorth (2018) I get the feeling that Friedkin decided to put the footage out there at the last minute which may explain the documentary's crude form. For those with faith Friedkin's documentary is downright chilling. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 84% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) A spectacle that leaves the audience breathless.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
4/4 97% The Rider (2018) Occasionally a film comes along that captures an honest slice of American life with performances so authentic that you forget you're watching a movie. Writer-director Chloé Zhao is responsible for one of the best films of the year. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 74% The House of Tomorrow (2018) The film features a wonderful cast that delivers heartfelt performances. Butterfield and Wolff drive the film. Offerman is at his best as the humane parent, and Burstyn is suburb as the gentle but inflexible eccentric grandmother.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
2/4 9% Kings (2018) It could use a good edit but even then we would still be left with a chic Halle Berry and a charismatic Daniel Craig who shouldn't be so appealing in such a heavy drama. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
4/4 96% Zama (2018) An elaborate piece of cinema suffused with so many details, both visual and audible, that it's impossible to absorb everything happening behind-the-scenes. The vivid portrait of colonialism marks a magnificent return for Martel after a nine-year absence. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 94% RBG (2018) Even Ginsburg's biggest devotes will be learn something new from the documentary which takes a candid look at RBG's life. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 85% Tully (2018) The film's third act ventures into darker territory, a welcomed surprise, which leads to an ending that left me unsatisfied. Reitman doesn't end "Tully" on an ambiguous note yet the resolution I sought never materialized. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 80% In the Last Days of the City (Akher ayam el madina) (2018) There is a poetic aura that drives El Said's visually stunning debut. The performances are so natural that the film within a film feels like an actual documentary. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 83% Disobedience (2018) Weisz is dynamic in the film, delivering a superlative portrayal of an anguished daughter, while McAdams gives one of her best performances as the oppressed wife living a lie. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 93% Beast (2018) Jessie Buckley's luminous performance drives the psychosocial thriller. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 77% Lu Over the Wall (Yoake tsugeru Rû no uta) (2018) Masaaki Yuasa may be working in restrained mode, but his visual style remains intact. Lu is an adorable protagonist that audiences will adore while absorbing the vibrant animation. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 50% Measure of a Man (2018) Instead of rehashing familiar tropes, the film keeps the audience engaged with a first-class performance by Blake Cooper as the film's 14-year old protagonist Bobby Marks.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 70% Back to Burgundy (Ce qui nous lie) (2018) Cédric Klapisch's passion for wine gives the film an authenticity that usually accompanies a documentary. Viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the process while getting familiarized with the story's rich characters. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 53% Book Club (2018) You're not going to see this film for the intricate plot, you just want to be entertained and these iconic ladies know how to keep the audience satisfied. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 64% Anything (2018) The convincing performances by Lynch and Bomer push the film past incredulity while delivering a message of tolerance. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
2.5/4 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) On the surface, Solo resembles the classic Star Wars film, but it doesn't take long to determine that Howard's entry is just a meek variation of the beloved franchise. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
4/4 93% First Reformed (2018) Just as redemption plays a role in most of Schrader's work, First Reformed offers self-redemption for a master craftsman who delivers on the best films of 2018.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 69% The Seagull (2018) The English-speaking cast gives the film a contemporary feel while Mayer uses the camera fluidly to avoid the perception that you're watching a play. This is by far the best cinematic adaptation to date.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 97% 1945 (2017) The film's straightforward but effective narrative holds few surprises while the talented cast strengthens the storytelling especially Péter Rudolf who makes a smooth transition from comedy to drama.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 68% On Chesil Beach (2018) If these two actors were appearing together in a modern romance their characters' Facebook relationship status would read, "It's complicated." ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 74% Bernard and Huey (2018) David Koechner and Jim Rash deliver one of the best examples of camaraderie on screen this year. Bernard and Huey are relics in the age of the #MeToo movement.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/4 86% The Captain (Der Hauptmann) (2018) Robert Schwentke's powerful film tells a fascinating story that's intensified without the use of color which also makes The Captain easier to digest. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/4 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) The character-driven film shines the most when Redford and Spacek share the screen. It's a fascinating story that would be hard to swallow if it wasn't true. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2018
3.5/4 97% Border (Gräns) (2018) The weird and wonderful gothic tale behaves like David Cronenberg's misbegotten son. Abbasi's film requires the audience to navigate past layers of repulsiveness before you recognize that what you are seeing is an abstract form of beauty.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2018
3.5 /4 68% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett's brilliant portrayal exposes Oscar Wilde's soul to moviegoers. It's a role the English actor was destined to play after wallowing in related territory.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
3.5/4 99% The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018) Keeps you on the edge of your seat thanks to Jakob Cedergren's engaging performance and the vital sound editing by Oskar Skriver. Regardless of where you think the film is going, Möller has a few tricks up his sleeve that you won't see coming. ‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2018
3.5/4 87% All About Nina (2018) Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a tour de force as self-destructive stand up comic Nina Geld. The brazen film unleashes plenty of ugliness on the audience which fortunately is counterbalanced by the superb performances.‐ The Victoria Advocate
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018