Daniel Barnes

Daniel Barnes
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/5 94% The Favourite (2018) Lanthimos takes a lean and witty script about conniving women and weak men and imbues it with his own peculiar and pitiless absurdism. The result feels like an outrageously opulent cross between Dangerous Liaisons and All About Eve.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
1/5 38% Cutthroat Island (1995) A chaotic jumble of bad action, juvenile comedy and chilly romance, all wrapped in a cheesecloth of limp, lifeless pirate cliches. ‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
2.5/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Only another impressive turn from Lucas Hedges elevates this earnest but slipshod drama above the level of an after-school special. ‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2.5/5 81% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Schnabel tries to give new life to familiar material through a self-conscious naturalism full of hand-held camera shots, long takes and lens flares. Unfortunately, this breath of fresh air eventually turns stale.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
2/5 83% Creed II (2018) Whatever you think about Rocky IV, it is inarguably a mid-1980s time capsule. Creed II isn't a time capsule, but it should get buried.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
1.5/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) The Front Runner is unbelievably naive in its cynicism about the tabloidization of the political process, ultimately (and possibly by accident because of ineptitude) making an anti-transparency argument that would appease the "fake news" dingbats.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/5 89% Maria By Callas (2018) The life of world-famous 20th-century opera singer Maria Callas gets the Amy treatment in this serviceable documentary.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
1/5 No Score Yet Collision Course (1989) A vile and incompetent archive of 1980s cop movie cliches rife with product placement and casual racism.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
4/5 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Shoplifters is so tender and meticulous about establishing the cramped, desperate and insular world of these characters that you're hardly prepared for the emotional punch of the film's final act.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
4/5 90% Cartel Land (2015) An almost unbelievably intimate piece of cinematic journalism‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/5 81% Overlord (2018) Julius Avery directs this high-energy, low-imagination genre mashup, a combination of Inglourious Basterds and Planet Terror that is not nearly as fun as that description might imply. ‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
1/5 30% The Monuments Men (2014) Clooney speeches and preaches nonstop throughout.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
3.5/5 86% Monrovia, Indiana (2018) Not the meatiest Wiseman effort, but even minor Wiseman provides major cinematic nourishment for the soul.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 88% Prospect (2018) A high-concept film that doesn't explain itself to death is refreshing, but the margins of Prospect are far more interesting than the central story and characters.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2.5/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) The film twists itself in knots to make Israel seem like the victim of her own crimes, but this mainly amounts to McCarthy moping around in a Kathy Geiss haircut.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
4.5/5 96% Krisha (2016) The film practically vibrates with a nervous energy.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
1/5 8% The Snowman (2017) A nonsensical movie less famous than its own meme.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
4/5 94% Burning (Beoning) (2018) Powerfully enigmatic and immaculately constructed.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3.5/5 No Score Yet Seder-Masochism (2018) Seder-Masochism lacks the thematic coherence and striking originality of Sita Sings the Blues, but it's actually a more accomplished film, with an endless number of knockout setpieces.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3.5/5 100% Pet Names (2018) I felt like I was constantly on the verge of loving this observant comedy about ex-lovers reuniting for an impromptu camping trip.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3/5 89% Museum (Museo) (2018) I was captivated by the weird energy, shifting tone and unconventional approach, even if I wasn't particularly captivated by the story and characters.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3/5 100% Little Woods (2018) The film has atmosphere and intensity to burn, but it also feels dwarfed by similar yet superior films.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet When the Trees Fall (2018) This strange slice of Ukrainian magic realism has a primal energy and unconventional, borderline chaotic construction.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
2.5/5 96% The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le grand méchant renard et autres contes) (2018) A trilogy of stories presented as the performance of an animals-only theatre troupe, the film displays occasional charm but meanders more often than not.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
2.5/5 91% The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) The film offers a treasure chest of Keaton clips, but there are just as many punch-the-screen moments.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2018
2/5 63% Suspiria (2018) Guadagnino's flavorless film is less a straight remake than a dreaded "homage," with subtext becoming text, the unspoken getting spoken and tantalizing assumptions transforming into leaden story points. ‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
2/5 37% Viper Club (2018) Incredibly unfocused and strangely impersonal, relying almost entirely on hackneyed visions, dreams and flashbacks to forge any kind of emotional connection with the audience.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
2/5 76% Mid90s (2018) Mid90s is one of the slightest major releases in recent memory, and although a handful of nice moments point to Hill's potential, none of the characters are developed beyond a one-sentence outline.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
1.5/5 17% Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) A film simultaneously obsessed with and contemptuous of William Friedkin's 1973 classic, Exorcist II: The Heretic is crazy without ever becoming crazy fun. ‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
3.5/5 53% Person to Person (2017) The film has a huge heart and a sneaky sense of humor, and there is a propulsive musical energy that reminds you of vintage Alan Rudolph or Paul Mazursky.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/5 71% The Unknown Girl (La fille inconnue) (2017) I'm sure there's a Christian allegory that I'm missing here, but a blandly sturdy, stutter-stop drama is a blandly sturdy, stutter-stop drama in any denomination.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille (2016) Brosnan intercuts his own journey through local bureaucracy and unreliable corporate sponsorship with a somewhat dubious biography of DeMille, but despite some chintzy production values, it's still an absorbing story of Hollywood archaeology.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/5 97% Lucky (2017) Most actors don't get the opportunity to dictate their cinematic epitaph, and Lucky makes for a lively wake.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3/5 94% Chavela (2017) An affectionate but rudimentary documentary introduction to Chavela Vargas.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/5 97% Ex Libris: New York Public Library (2017) Wiseman allows ample space for discovery and digression, and over the course of 197 mostly compelling minutes, disconnected vignettes shot at various branches of the NYPL gradually form into a portrait of a community. ‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
1/5 6% The Identical (2014) Is it an Elvis movie or a Jesus movie (or a dessert topping or a floor wax)? ‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
1/5 14% Collateral Beauty (2016) Despite a cast that includes six former Oscar nominees (and two winners), Collateral Beauty is essentially a rich person's Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. ‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
1/5 23% Ready to Rumble (2000) Excrement could have easily received third billing.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
4/5 98% Dina (2017) There is a rare mix of raw intimacy and artifice to Dina, with obvious camera set-ups and movie-like music cues but also amazing moments of tenderness, humor and candor.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
1.5/5 88% 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) Bloviating dude after bloviating dude gives their mostly unnecessary takes on Hitchcock, naturally leading to spurious claims about how Psycho was the first film to ever do everything.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/5 90% Brimstone & Glory (2017) One jaw-dropping sequence after another.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
1.5/5 25% Upside Down (2013) Earnest and tedious, Upside Down is lean on narrative and long on gobbledygook.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
1.5/5 15% The Circle (2017) The irrationally paranoid The Circle examines essential 21st-century privacy issues with all the depth of a Facebook debate.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
3.5/5 98% Free Solo (2018) More than other recent documentaries about daredevils, Free Solo succeeds in penetrating Honnold's shell, showing us why he would risk his life rather than simply celebrating his thirst for danger.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
4/5 81% Sleepaway Camp (1983) An atypical slasher movie that blurs the lines between high and low art, good and bad acting, male and female, proficiency and ineptitude, sophistication and primitivism.‐ Dare Daniel
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
3/5 97% Zootopia (2016) Pixar has set a high bar for films about anthropomorphized critters, inanimate objects, artificial intelligences and abstract concepts, too high for a harmless but only marginally clever time-filler like Zootopia to fully hurdle.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
2.5/5 89% The Lady In The Van (2015) he Lady in the Van offers more fourth wall-breaking narrative devices than a Tarantino fever dream, but since we're never that invested in the characters or the story, it doesn't add up to anything but a self-satisfied distraction.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
1.5/5 45% Everything, Everything (2017) Every generation gets the dopey, drippy, star-crossed teenage romance that it deserves, and so here comes Stella Meghie's self-conscious, phone-obsessed Everything, Everything.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
2/5 15% Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) At a certain point, I simply surrendered to The Last Knight. I don't think I had a choice. The film had me surrounded, and I just wanted to see my family again.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2018
2/5 90% Their Finest (2017) Two godforsaken hours of buttery drivel smothered in rancid nostalgia.‐ Sacramento News & Review
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2018