Elements of Madness
Elements of Madness is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Douglas Davidson
Like a Boss (2020)
Forget any notion you might hear that Like A Boss is a girls' night out film or a date night film. It's a friend film. New friends, old friends, casual friends, longtime friends, you will see yourself ... represented in the characters or the narrative.
Posted Jan 8, 2020
[S]o much of The Rise of Skywalker appears impossible, even likely improbable, until it happens and then, once more, we are returned to a childlike state, in awe of the mysteries of the Force.
Posted Dec 20, 2019
What [director Tom] Hooper's team devised, however, while not totally perfect, does wonderfully translate what stage actors envision for themselves when taking on the roles.
Posted Dec 19, 2019
Little Women (2019)
Likely to replace the '94 version as the best modern adaptation of Little Women is the recent release by writer/director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), who trims, adjusts, and bends the original tale into something Alcott would surely admire.
Posted Dec 18, 2019
Spies in Disguise (2019)
The narrative execution is the key element of what makes Spies in Disguise work, pulling audiences in with a silly premise and then giving them something both action-packed and heartwarmingly sweet, anchored by a strong cast.
Posted Dec 16, 2019
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Now on its fourth story, Jumanji: The Next Level succumbs to the best and worst parts of any sequel by making almost the same film as before, just with a different scenario.
Posted Dec 12, 2019
It's both stylish and gimmicky, while also emotionally tense and incredibly clever, resulting in a unique cinematic experience that's frequently harrowing, propulsive, and often emotional excruciating.
Posted Nov 29, 2019
Queen & Slim (2019)
However you read [Queen & Slim], there is no other way than to think of it as a time bomb, one which you are never prepared for when it goes off.
Posted Nov 26, 2019
Knives Out (2019)
Johnson flays layer after layer of socio-political intrigue as he twists the knife ... via an old school Jessica Fletcher-esque whodunit. Frankly, Knives Out is quite possibly the most fun you'll have at the theater this holiday season.
Posted Nov 25, 2019
Frozen II (2019)
What they bring to the table this time opens up the world only hinted at in 2013 and, in the process, offer answers to questions audiences may never have considered. By doing this, Frozen II becomes something braver, bolder, and, yes, more frozen.
Posted Nov 21, 2019
Blinded by the Light (2019)
[Director Gurinder] Chadha's Blinded by the Light is an uplifting tale of personal strength, the enduring sense of youthful revolt, and that no matter the time or place, our private pains are universal.
Posted Nov 18, 2019
White Snake (2019)
... White Snake is both a fantastic entry point for those who are less familiar with the original folktale, as well as a lovely reinterpretation for those completely intimate.
Posted Nov 13, 2019
Drawing from the translation of its name, "watercolor," Aquarela features no real narrative as it moves languidly from beginning to end. In this way, Aquarela is an absolutely mesmerizing piece of cinema.
Posted Nov 12, 2019
Love Is Blind (2019)
Love Is Blind is indeed the quirky romantic drama that the advertising suggests. ... In execution, however, it just doesn't fall into place in a manner befitting a clear and cohesive narrative.
Posted Nov 8, 2019
Last Christmas (2019)
While Last Christmas hits all the marks of a feel-good holiday flick, it also incorporates several challenging notions which celebrants of the holiday tend to forget amid the parties and gift-giving.
Posted Nov 7, 2019
Cold Brook (2019)
... Cold Brook succeeds in part by its fantastic cast, but mostly by its focus on simplicity. There're no grand fights or superfluous moments, just a tale of love that transcends time and mortal existence.
Posted Nov 4, 2019
Motherless Brooklyn (2019)
With so much that works as pieces, it's perplexing that the whole of Motherless Brooklyn ends up feeling lifeless, rather than as a living, breathing film.
Posted Oct 31, 2019
The Lion King (2019)
The best news for any Lion King fan is that even if this version isn't to your liking, you only need to remember two words to make it all ok: hakuna matata.
Posted Oct 22, 2019
Paradise Hills (2019)
For a feature film directorial debut, Alice Waddington (Disco Inferno) comes out swinging, demolishing the chains of patriarchy along the way.
Posted Oct 21, 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Having only recently watched [Toy Story] 3, the closure in [Toy Story] 4 is more concrete and serves as a fitting conclusion for a series that's been about duty, friendship, and caring for others.
Posted Oct 19, 2019
The Elephant Queen (2019)
The Elephant Queen is an absolute marvel, a beautiful technical achievement which also wonderfully captures nature's inhabitants of Kenya.
Posted Oct 16, 2019
Miss Virginia (2019)
What makes Miss Virginia so heart-warming isn't the inevitable triumph we know is coming, but in watching how the people of the community come together as one.
Posted Oct 15, 2019
Cyrano, My Love (Edmond) (2019)
... Michalik's Cyrano, My Love is full of rapid-fire dialogue, engaging performances, and sublime direction, all of which capture the energy of a play on celluloid.
Posted Oct 14, 2019
The Bestowal (2019)
... the crux of de Burgh's story is how significant every life lived can be when given the chance. It's a valuable message for those patient enough to receive it.
Posted Oct 13, 2019
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
It's a razor sharp, tension-filled psychological thriller whose best weapon is the way it teases its audience with scares and violence, even if any rarely comes. ... That's what makes it fun. That's what makes audiences want to come back for more.
Posted Oct 7, 2019
Despite finding Joker to be an incredibly unique cinematic experience, the result of craftspeople at the top of their game, the manner in which they successfully capture the nature of the Joker instills far more trepidation than awe.
Posted Oct 3, 2019
... Abominable is a lovely reminder that it doesn't matter where you go, but with whom you travel.
Posted Sep 24, 2019
Chained for Life (2019)
One thing for certain is that [director Aaron] Schimberg's approach to filmmaking is a breath of fresh air, opting to make bold statements via biting satire carefully constructed in a manner to never make the subject matter the butt of the joke.
Posted Sep 23, 2019
Ad Astra (2019)
Director James Gray and co-writer Ethan Gross draw from this to create a space odyssey which is futuristic, expansive, and largesse in style, while also being psychological, minimal, and extraordinarily personal in scope.
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Though it takes some getting used to as the animation is visually overwhelming at first, once the viewer is acclimated, Promare is a roller coaster ride of action, excitement, intentional hilarity, and moving storytelling.
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Neither Wolf Nor Dog (2019)
In many ways, the hubris and folly of the [Founding] Fathers are placed under high scrutiny in writer/director Steven Lewis Simpson's (A Thunder-Being Nation) Neither Wolf Nor Dog, an adaptation of the novel by Kent Nerburn.
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Empathy, Inc. (2019)
What makes Empathy, Inc. extraordinary is the lengths it's willing to go to push its audience to the brink of reason in search of the answer.
Posted Sep 11, 2019
... Freaks is a film which trades in paranoia, the kind where audience presumption gets them into trouble as they try to stay ahead of the story instead of giving themselves over to the journey.
Posted Sep 9, 2019
It Chapter Two (2019)
When all is said and done, Chapter Two offers a satisfying ending that feels absolutely earned. Growing up isn't about happy endings, but is about the acceptance of who we are, a realization which inspires strength in the face of absolute terror.
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Luke & Jo (2018)
Luke & Jo beautifully conveys the heartbreaking nature of our own crippling insecurities as the desire within us all to do better, to be better. If not for others, than for ourselves.
Posted Sep 4, 2019
In a tight 109-minutes, [director Julius] Onah puts into motion a film which examines ideas of racial coding, classism, parenting, academic excellence, nature vs. nurture, and more, all without losing an ounce of power or sincerity.
Posted Sep 3, 2019
Satanic Panic (2019)
Utilizing imaginative special effects and a killer twist on a familiar concept, Satanic Panic is a midnight movie built for a mainstream audience.
Posted Sep 2, 2019
Descendants 3 (2019)
... the Descendants series closes out in joyous celebration of the realization that we all deserve second chances and our parents choices don't define who we are as people. ... that's a particularly poignant message in our conflict-filled times...
Posted Aug 29, 2019
3 Lives (2019)
... 3 Lives is confrontational, forward-thinking, and not without a few surprises.
Posted Aug 28, 2019
In his first feature film, Burn, [writer/director Mike] Gan pushes the audience further than they may be comfortable as perception and expectation collide in surprising and disturbing ways.
Posted Aug 22, 2019
One things for certain, while Tone-Deaf isn't the phantasmagorical head trip the marketing suggests, it definitely bends the rules of reality just enough to feel like you've gone on a journey.
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Ready or Not (2019)
... Ready Or Not centers in on what makes any family event uncomfortable and amps it to 11 in a film that eviscerates the affluent and challenges the very notion of tradition, all while featuring a kick-ass protagonist.
Posted Aug 20, 2019
The Sun Is Also a Star (2019)
The Sun Is Also a Star is undeniably saccharine and yet is not without its charms. It tries to explore aspects of modern racial conflict and cultural assimilation, but by keeping its focus on the romance, Star loses most of the power it possesses.
Posted Aug 20, 2019
... given the chance, [audiences will] discover that Kingdom is an exciting action/drama filled with intrigue, treachery, daring fight sequences, and incredible heart.
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Driven is a fun, charmingly sweet, slightly unbelievable, and heartbreaking adventure of broken friendships and shattered dreams powered by the strong performances of a top-notch cast.
Posted Aug 14, 2019
... co-directors and co-producers Perri Pelta and Matthew O'Neill (a member of HBO's Axios) opted to focus on six other ways in which Americans are choosing to celebrate life as they greet the end. Grab your tissues. You're going to need them.
Posted Aug 13, 2019
The Kitchen (2019)
... The Kitchen is a strong feature directorial-debut from Andrea Berloff with a cast capable of delivering the goods: drama, suspense, action, and killer '70s soundtrack. Sometimes, that's really all we need.
Posted Aug 7, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
... The Peanut Butter Falcon, a film which wears its heart on its sleeve without an ounce of sarcasm or cynicism. In many ways, The Peanut Butter Falcon is too pure, making it the perfect salve for the rancor permeating our lives today.
Posted Aug 7, 2019
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
[T]he Rob Letterman-directed (Monsters vs. Aliens) film is a slow neo-noir that is more interested in telling a straight mystery that just so happens to feature mythical creatures than in being an action epic.
Posted Aug 4, 2019
8 Remains (2018)