Adam Kempenaar Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Adam Kempenaar

Adam Kempenaar
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/5 73% The King of Staten Island (2020) ...when you've got a character like [Davidson's] Scott... you can't expect, if Apatow trusts us as viewers, that we're going to get some totally inspirational transformation...‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2020
5/5 98% Jaws (1975) ...more interesting is where the political and personal intersect... which fits nicely with what the movie as a whole does so well, mixing the horror and adventure with the personal.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2020
2.5/5 92% Da 5 Bloods (2020) "...best when Lee's hand is most clearly visible - the fluctuating aspect ratios, the Hanoi Hannah recreation, the Milton Olive lesson." ‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2020
3.5/5 96% The Painter and the Thief (2020) Both [Barbora and Karl-Bertil] are open books, and open wounds.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted May 31, 2020
4.5/5 95% Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) "This is important. This means something," is everyman's declaration, a reassuring cry to the cosmos that your life matters, you matter. But it's also the artist's creed...‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted May 30, 2020
4.5/5 91% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) "Times have changed." It's an elemental Wes Anderson lament...‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted May 30, 2020
1.5/5 81% How to Build a Girl (2020) "Girl" purports to be about the transformative power of words and music - rock and rock criticism, specifically - but doesn't exhibit even a rudimentary interest in either.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted May 8, 2020
3/5 88% Dark Victory (1939) Judith frequently grasps onto objects, her clothes or a chair... Davis has so much energy and life force flowing through her that she has to direct it somewhere. ‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
3.5/5 92% Insomnia (2002) Dormer has a weariness that Pacino wears perfectly, always finding some new depth to his exhaustion and despair without ever being a sleepy presence on screen.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
2.5/5 79% True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) That unhinged, hallucinatory spirit is what Kurzel taps into visually... realism clashing with fantasy to the point where the landscape feels more Mordor than the bush outside Melbourne... It's a lot. A little too much for me.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
4/5 98% Blow the Man Down (2020) I was in from the opening prelude, a quasi-Greek chorus of fishermen singing an old sea shanty, their great voices mixed with the musicality and rhythms of their tools and work.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
5/5 93% Memento (2000) Think of all the ways that a linear film structure stabilizes us - the cause and effect chain of events. But Memento is about a character completely destabilized, so Nolan destabilizes us accordingly in a way maybe no other movie has.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
4/5 99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Watching [Autumn's Q&A] unbroken, in real time... rather than seem exploitative or like a cinematic trick, feels like the only empathetic way to show it, to let her have that journey.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
4.5/5 95% First Cow (2020) There's an element of parable... Reichardt is critically but not polemically saying something about the nature of capitalism and the so-called American Dream.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
3.5/5 92% The Assistant (2020) There's a lot of chaos in The Assistant, except it's all happening behind Julia Garner's eyes.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
5/5 95% Little Women (2019) Gerwig's approach to time... makes the culmination of the story Jo's awakening as a writer - finding her voice.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
2/5 53% Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) The dialogue isn't the issue; the acting isn't really the issue; nor is it any single annoying character... There's no sense of wonder. No yearning. No spirit.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2019
2.5/5 82% The Report (2019) For a movie that takes such a clinical and cynical approach... the swelling strings underlining the oratory coming from the floor of the Senate feels false. ‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
4/5 71% The King (2019) The plays are about [Hal's] youth and immaturity - his unreadiness to be king - and Chalamet captures that impetuousness.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
4.5/5 94% Marriage Story (2019) ...understands all of the emotional and procedural pitfalls and pain [of divorce] with complexity and clarity.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
4.5/5 96% The Irishman (2019) Goodfellas by way of Wild Strawberries...‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
2.5/5 90% The Lighthouse (2019) Like Pattinson's Ephraim, The Lighthouse is weird, complex, testing... and soulless.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2019
4.5/5 99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) [The Park's] garage door is the curtain, the grand window looking out from the living room onto the yard is the proscenium, and everything that occurs within its reflection is this symbiotic tragicomedy...‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
1.5/5 68% Joker (2019) Never evolves beyond scene after scene of painful slights, degradations, and worse - empty provocations.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
4.5/5 93% Being John Malkovich (1999) Kaufman and Jonze steer us through a truly twisted psychological and existential swamp. ‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
4.5/5 94% Shanghai Express (1932) Peak Dietrich merging with peak von Sternberg... Each artist and their respective styles coming together to create something distinct and dazzling.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
3/5 50% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Linklater understands that it's not where you ended up but what brought you there - and what you do when you get there - that really matters.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
2.5/5 67% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) There's a solid 90 minutes that is as sleek and fun as that McLaren Statham speeds through London in... and another 45 that's weighted down with so much 'heart' that it barely moves.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
4/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) There's a melancholy that runs deeper, and sadder, than nostalgic longing. After all, how do you truly long for a time and place that was never real to begin with?‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2019
3/5 97% Booksmart (2019) As good as Feldstein and Dever are as a pair... Booksmart really soars when our heroines reach their destination and, separately, get to spread their wings.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) The MCU has generally successfully balanced planetary and personal stakes. Endgame is a worthy culmination of that storytelling approach.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
2.5/5 93% On the Town (1949) It's hard to make a good musical with mediocre songs... One exception... the sweetness and gracefulness [of Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen] in "Main Street."‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2019
4/5 83% Her Smell (2019) We basically don't get any escape [from Becky Something]. We are either right up in her face, with those close-ups and handheld camera, or they're employing a steadicam that follows her around as she stalks the rooms and corridors backstage.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2019
4/5 96% Opening Night (1977) Tying back to A Woman Under the Influence... [Cassavetes] explores what happens when women don't play their prescribed roles.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
4/5 93% Us (2019) ...the reason the humor is so effective... is that it's always borne out of family dynamics.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
3.5/5 79% The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) The genre elements are mostly subterfuge because otherwise [Cassavetes would] basically be bleeding on the screen.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 94% Transit (2019) Transit isn't untethered from history so much as it's unburdened, transforming a Holocaust story into a universal one of loneliness and longing.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) That perspective - what a group of individuals can do when coming together for a collective good - shapes everything we see.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2019
4.5/5 90% A Woman Under the Influence (1975) 'Be yourself,' Nick implores Mabel. But how do you be yourself if you have no longer have a self?‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2019
4.5/5 88% The Matrix (1999) Neo offers Reeves the perfect combination of Ted Theodore Logan's curiosity and wonder, Johnny Utah's earnestness and the badassedness of Jack Traven.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
4/5 83% Faces (1968) In Faces, Cassavetes forces us to confront people - and, consequently, ourselves - at their most vulnerable.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2/5 37% Glass (2019) What's disappointing isn't that Shyamalan chose not to make Unbreakable 2; it's that what began so successfully with Unbreakable has devolved into such thoroughly unsatisfying pulp, void of any real humanity.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
3.5/5 83% Creed II (2018) ... refreshingly less concerned with trite triumphs than it is with fractured men forced to confront who they perceive themselves to be or aspire to be vs. who they are - and the fight to reconcile that.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
4.5/5 90% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) ... an unabashedly bleak yet oddly hopeful and entertaining meditation on the Coens' perennial preoccupations - the folly of human nature and death.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
4/5 91% Widows (2018) Really a film about power ... and the compromises that accompany those transactions, be they political, professional or personal.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2018
4/5 93% Wildlife (2018) ... a portrait of the artist as a young man, [the artist] just doesn't know it yet.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2018
2/5 60% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Bohemian Rhapsody is made up almost entirely of contrived biopic signposts - a Queen's 'Greatest Hits' of ah-ha moments.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2018
3/5 65% Suspiria (2018) [The new element] that resonated with me the most was the sense of history and survival -- the strength and resolve of this [female] collective making quite political art for 30 years.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
3.5/5 71% Hold the Dark (2018) Holding the dark - embracing it within, or keeping it away - is what all of Saulnier's films are about.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
3/5 94% Private Life (2018) Kayli Carter bridges the ache and absurdity and becomes the movie's salvation, just as her character, Sadie, tries to be.‐ Filmspotting
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018