Paul Byrnes Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Paul Byrnes

Paul Byrnes
Paul Byrnes's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Sydney Morning Herald, The Age (Australia)

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/5 No Score Yet Koko: A Red Dog Story (2019) The new documentary will be used to raise funds for dog rescue. That's a fitting tribute to Koko, who was a special dog. Alas, this film doesn't do him justice.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
3/5 93% Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) She is good at deflecting those who want to pry and that's a problem for the film. If we're going to go 100 minutes with this remarkable old lady, a little depth is pretty much required. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
3/5 86% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) The documentary does a reasonable survey of his faults and foibles, lining up those willing to plunge a knife, but it's neither definitive nor detailed enough to satisfy even a minimum standard of proof.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2019
3/5 59% Mrs. Lowry & Son (2019) Both actors give this bed-bound script their all and their jousting is enjoyable if you like other people's pain. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
4/5 83% Official Secrets (2019) The script, based on a book by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell, keeps layering in complexity, refusing to go dumb. And Knightley's performance gets steelier as she struggles to overcome her fears ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
3.5/5 53% Farming (2019) The tone of the film is also unexpectedly lyrical -- like a fairytale, albeit grimmer than Grimm. Unrelieved horror and violence can be enervating, but this film has the benefit of truth, and a message of survival. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 83% A Reindeer's Journey (2019) Sutherland adopts the tone of a kindly grandpa reindeer, or perhaps God himself, looking down from a drone's eye view. For younger kids, it might well work. For anyone over age 12, it will probably sound a little patronising.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2019
4/5 97% Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) A masterful, melancholy, tender, lacerating self-examination, filled with colour and light and the ghosts of those he has loved. Almodovar at 70, and perhaps astonishing to himself, continues to grow.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
2.5/5 14% Arctic Dogs (2019) It's more like a compendium of familiar ideas bolted together and painted white -- a snow job, in other words.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Happy Sad Man (2018) It's a sobering film, not least because it suggests the problem is much greater than we have acknowledged.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
3/5 64% Balloon (2018) The film is a solid political thriller, with good edge-of-the-seat tension if you don't mind everything slightly over-cooked. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
3/5 43% After the Wedding (2019) When a story earns it, most of us are happy to give up some tears; this one only thinks it does. That kills emotion, offering a facsimile of drama rather than the real thing.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2019
3.5/5 86% Pavarotti (2019) Director Ron Howard knows how to make it emotional and appealing, to make us love the man as well as the extraordinary voice, as he skims the surface of a grand life and career. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2019
4/5 98% Maiden (2019) Maiden is simply riveting, a story of grandeur and sweep that's also moving and intimate because there are so many naked emotions in play. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2019
2/5 55% Strange But True (2019) What's strange is that anyone thought this movie was worth making. It's a thriller with no thrills, almost no action and even less tension. What it does have is a strong cast, but who wants to see good actors going to waste?‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
4/5 97% Working Woman (2019) This is a supremely clever movie, rooted in strong emotion that's rigorously controlled. It's a work of passion, told with utmost restraint. That makes it even more effective.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet The Eulogy (2018) Hosking does Tozer and us a service by broadening our understanding, both of what made him great and of what might have brought him to such a point.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 7, 2019
4.5/5 96% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) There are ethnographic films and there are crime films. I can't recall a film before this that does both successfully - but wait, there's more. Birds of Passage is also an epic tragedy... It's a breathtaking, moody, elegiac piece of work.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
4/5 100% Buoyancy (2019) Rathjen makes a powerful statement with this gripping debut.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
4/5 75% Halston (2019) Tcheng treats the film like a film noir... It's a homage to the narrators in Citizen Kane and Sunset Blvd but it's unnecessary. The historical footage is good enough to sustain the story.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
3.5/5 88% Freaks (2019) Freaks is a compendium of movie love, as much as it is a movie. Its success rests on an astonishing performance by Lexy Kolker, who was seven when the film was shot.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
4/5 86% Animals (2019) It's a tribute to [director] Sophie Hyde's work that these two gals, with tinkling white wine glasses and cackling laughter, become fully engaging women on screen. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
3/5 68% Angel of Mine (2019) The Australian adaptation is not quite a success, nor fully a failure. Some of its weaknesses come from the original.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Naked Wanderer (2019) It's funny in parts, innocently likeable, it has great locations amid stunning landscapes, but almost no narrative drive or tension. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
4/5 75% Dragged Across Concrete (2019) Dragged Across Concrete feels like you're dangling on the end of a meat hook. It's painful and tense and at the same time, a little ridiculous... Even then, it's full of surprises, and riches for those who like it darker.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2019
3/5 94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) Nelson has made many lauded documentaries about the black experience in America. His life of Miles is comprehensive and stimulating, frequently illuminating, but also frustrating. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
4/5 67% Danger Close (2019) If it's not the most character-driven of Australian war movies, it's certainly one of the most intense.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/5 96% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) The film is a must for aficionados.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
3/5 66% The Public (2019) It's hard to play a good man doing the right thing. Saints are dramatically dull, but Estevez gets away with it here.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2019
3/5 60% Ophelia (2019) Ridley does a fine job on all fronts, so that the second half of the film rises above its theatrical tethers. George MacKay does his share of the heavy lifting.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Defend, Conserve, Protect (2019) Amis had the opportunity to go deeper into the politics and the difficulty involved in high-risk sea conservation... Instead, he gives us a 76-minute commercial for Sea Shepherd, and precious little about these courageous young people.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
3.5/5 75% Sink or Swim (Le grand bain) (2019) The film boldly goes where no French film has gone before and with enough humour and heart to defuse such ungenerous thinking. Yes, it's a bit wet, but what else could it be?‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
3/5 91% The Keeper (Trautmann) (2018) For the most part, the film embraces its contradictions. As a parable about forgiveness, it's a fine example. As a portrait of the real Trautmann, some questions remain, hanging in the air like a ball on the way to the far corner of the net.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2019
4/5 88% An Unexpected Love (El amor menos pensado) (2018) Comedies like this are rare -- not just for the mature age range, but for the wisdom packed into the observation. It's a sophisticated comedy, born out of experience. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
4.5/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) Most biopics never crack an artist's process, if they even try, but this one goes in hard, in a courageous way. That's part of von Donnersmarck's purpose -- to chart the artist's growth and self-realization. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
3/5 51% Tolkien (2019) The film looks great, a polished period piece, but the pedigree is ragged... The result is polite, plodding and unconvincing, like most movies about famous writers.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
2/5 58% Under the Silver Lake (2019) [Director David Robert] Mitchell has a gift for arresting and slightly discomfiting imagery, but he either can't, or won't, submit to the editing discipline that would give the film pace and drive.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
3/5 30% Red Joan (2019) In technical terms, it's a proficiently made film by the evergreen Trevor Nunn -- or it would be if it were not so determined to embrace all the cliches of the moment, both about British spies and films for women.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
2.5/5 68% Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (Astérix - Le secret de la potion magique) (2018) The films have always been more kid-oriented than the books and this one won't frighten the school-age ones, although it might raise a few hairs on those younger. Adults might enjoy the knowing glimpses of the real world.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3.5/5 91% Acute Misfortune (2019) It's an uncompromising and complex film, a sort of horror movie about modern times. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
3.5/5 100% 2040 (2019) You can't please everyone. Gameau is at least doing what he can to talk about some big problems, in an entertaining and accessible way.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet RocKabul (2019) Most bands only have to put up with jeers if they bomb. The stakes are always much higher here, which is part of what makes this documentary highly engaging.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/5 84% The Night Eats the World (La nuit a dévoré le monde) (2018) If you are going to take a dusty old premise, you have to be creative -- and director Dominique Rocher does this with flair. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
3/5 50% Celeste (2018) Radha Mitchell bears a strong resemblance to Cilento, but the film does Cilento no favours by evoking her memory in this confused, over-sexed and under-cooked melodrama.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
3/5 44% The Chaperone (2019) Norma's story, as handmaid to greatness, inevitably ends up feeling like we've explored a pleasant tributary, rather than the mainstream.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
4/5 95% 1985 (2018) What really distinguishes the film is that it gets deep inside this broken family without becoming histrionic or accusatory. Tan avoids any hint of sentimentality, concentrating on the pain instead. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/5 35% Breaking Habits (2019) This is where the film falls down. It's not enough for Ryan just to show us the weirdness. He needed to stay longer, to answer some of the questions he raises.‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
3.5/5 85% The Hole in the Ground (2019) In this creepy Irish-Finnish co-production, that fear combines with more modern concerns about the traumas of parenting in a way that freshens up the soil. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/5 94% Transit (2019) Christian Petzold is a gifted director...but here he mistakes narrative complexity for dramatic rigour. The film didn't need the existential ponderings. The cake was rich enough without the icing. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2019
3/5 72% The Happy Prince (2018) Everett's direction is full of beautiful surfaces and witty lines, but there's not much beneath them. ‐ Sydney Morning Herald
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019