Moira MacDonald

Moira MacDonald
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/4 93% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Cinematographer Lukasz Zal finds a chilly, etched beauty in every frame; you're struck by how snow seems to stroke and soften a harsh landscape, and by the poignancy of wind ruffling the grass in a quiet field.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
2/4 15% The Aspern Papers (2019) "The Aspern Papers," brief as it is, needed more of a lightness of touch; if you weigh down melodrama too much, it dies.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
4/4 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Jenkins lets the story unfold slowly and patiently, giving his actors room to tell their own quiet stories.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
2.5/4 63% Vice (2018) "Vice" is quite watchable; it zips along quickly, and the cast around chameleon Bale is strong.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
3/4 72% On the Basis of Sex (2019) While the structure occasionally feels a bit awkward, "On the Basis of Sex" has the kind of crowd-pleasing story that skims over any minor shortcomings; by its end, you're ready to cheer.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2018
2.5/4 38% Second Act (2018) It's a pleasant enough diversion, helped along immensely by Lopez's warm screen presence and by a first-rate Sassy Best Friend performance by Leah Remini.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
3/4 79% Ben is Back (2018) Roberts... takes hold of this movie like a lamppost in the winter darkness.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
4/4 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Emily Blunt, holding the movie in her impeccably gloved hands, makes Mary Poppins her own.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
4/4 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Every one of master Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda's movies breaks your heart in a different way.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
2.5/4 64% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Every movie that has Saoirse Ronan in it works, to the extent that it has Saoirse Ronan in it.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
3.5/4 94% The Favourite (2018) The real fun here is in the three central performances, each of which threatens to steal the film‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
2.5/4 76% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) "Anna," though short, runs out of ideas - but not of fake blood - long before its ending. Nice spurting, though.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3/4 92% The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) This movie lives in its black-and-white clips, which provide both a fine introduction to those new to Keaton's work, and plenty to dig into for hard-core fans.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 83% Creed II (2018) It's always fun to decry a formulaic movie - except when the formula actually works.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
3/4 81% Green Book (2018) You watch "Green Book" wishing it were a little better but nonetheless enjoying how very good much of it is, thanks to Mortensen and Ali, who make every moment sing.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
2/4 38% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) While it's often great fun to look at, "Crimes of Grindelwald" fails at what should be Rowling's great strength: storytelling. Three more to go, and an infusion of magic is desperately needed.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2.5/4 59% The Front Runner (2018) The movie ultimately feels exhausting, raising issues it doesn't have the energy to address (about morality, the role of journalists, the public's right to know) and presenting a wide-eyed Rice as a lamb led to slaughter.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
4/4 90% Widows (2018) If all heist movies were like this, I'd never leave the multiplexes.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
3.5/4 89% A Private War (2018) A fact-based feature film both celebrating and illuminating the disappearing, dangerous art of the war correspondent.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/4 58% The Grinch (2018) While the first "Grinch" I will always adore It's possible that there's still room for one more. Hearing the Who's sing their songs to the skies - It's still movie magic, whatever the size.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/4 80% Boy Erased (2018) Though the film works hard at extending kindness and understanding - even Edgerton's villainous character is ultimately presented as a lost victim - it's difficult to watch.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
2.5/4 34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) An enjoyably nutty more-is-more family holiday extravaganza.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
2/4 64% Suspiria (2018) By its bizarre final sequence... the viewer feels lost in a sea of blood and pretension.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3.5/4 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) By the movie's too-quick end, all you want is to hang out with these two just a little bit longer...‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3.5/4 94% Wildlife (2018) A small-scale gem with a haunting final image, Paul Dano's debut feature "Wildlife" is the story of a 1960s family quietly imploding.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
2/4 62% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Pretty much everyone in this film is a cipher, particularly Mercury's bandmates.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
2/4 35% Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) There's enough funny stuff here to make a hilarious very short film...‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
3/4 69% The Happy Prince (2018) Florid but warmhearted - much like the man at its center - "The Happy Prince" is a haunting portrait of the aftermath of betrayal; of how the master of comedy became a tragedy.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
2/4 61% The Oath (2018) Political satire is one of the trickiest of genres; this one, running out of steam and nerve, ultimately becomes a too-familiar example of another genre: the 93-minute movie that feels way, way too long.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3.5/4 81% Sadie (2018) Its honesty and power makes it feel large; you live among these characters in their weary trailer park, aching for them.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
3/4 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Cooper, in his directing debut, puts us inside the music and the drama and lets it swirl around us.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
3/4 87% Colette (2018) Here, the focus is on Knightley, who delivers some of her best work.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
2/4 33% Little Women (2018) There isn't much to be gained by setting "Little Women" in 2018, other than the amusement factor of seeing the name "Marmee" as the caller on an iPhone screen, and of wrapping your head around the idea of Laurie as a plaid-blazered hipster.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
2.5/4 65% Lizzie (2018) We wait in vain for "Lizzie" to do something truly surprising with this oft-told tale. But it's worth a look if only for the two central performances.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
3/4 89% Love, Gilda (2018) There's no happy ending to this story, but it's a pleasure to spend just a bit of time with Radner again.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2018
3/4 85% A Simple Favor (2018) Feig, better known for straight-up comedy, draws out the movie's early acts deliciously, letting the actors play with their roles and creating a near-Hitchcockian tone of slinky ominousness, cut with the driest of wit.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
3.5/4 84% The Wife (2018) Close owns this movie, from beginning to end; it's a performance of such intelligence and subtlety that only when the movie is long over do you start wondering about whether the plot holds up.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
3.5/4 54% The Bookshop (2018) The Bookshop is a gentle, quiet film in which not a whole lot happens... But it's beautifully evocative of the musty, inviting smell of a bookshop on a cool day, or of the nostalgic pleasure of old photographs‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2018
3/4 64% The Little Stranger (2018) Horror-movie fans should be warned that it's all quite subtle. But it's haunting, in its quiet way.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
3/4 83% Juliet, Naked (2018) "Juliet, Naked" is basically what would happen if you put "Almost Famous" and "You've Got Mail" in a blender and then poured the contents out in a picturesque English seaside town; none of which is a terrible idea.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
3.5/4 92% Searching (2018) "Searching," a pleasantly gimmicky movie, gets its power from something that isn't a gimmick at all: an actor's ability to simply and movingly tell a story.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
2.5/4 89% Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) Equal parts gossipy tell-all and poignant portrait of a man whose life is revealed to be rather more complicated than the sunny sex romp Bowers describes.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
3.5/4 84% The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) (2018) Murder is endlessly fascinating, as the vast crime-fiction industry would indicate, and this one is no different.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
3/4 83% Puzzle (2018) "Puzzle" becomes a low-key pleasure, with all its pieces fitting together nicely.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2018
3/4 91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Is it as good as the book? No. Did it make me happy? Oh yes, and how nice to be reminded what a gift a joyful rom-com can be.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
3/4 45% The Meg (2018) It's all good, goofy fun; make it an air-conditioned double feature with "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" and you might just have the very definition of "summer movies."‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
3.5/4 95% BlacKkKlansman (2018) You leave this film shaken, remembering what happened not so very long ago in the name of "very fine people on both sides."‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
3.5/4 72% Christopher Robin (2018) I'd been missing the 100 Acre Wood. What a pleasure it was to visit it again.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2018
3.5/4 97% Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" is definitely everything we expected, and more. You might need to go lie down afterward, in a good way.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2018
3/4 80% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) It's the same sunny, hummy territory as the 2008 original, but it's oddly better this time around; credit writer/director Ol Parker, and the way that a familiar recipe often improves after you've made it a few times.‐ Seattle Times
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018