Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.
'The Shape of Water' Earns 14 Critics Choice Award Nominations
Nominations for the 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards have been announced and it is a bonanza for Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water which earned 14 nominations including noms for Best Picture, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, Best Director for Guillermo Del Toro, and many below the top line nominations. My favorite movie of 2017, The Big Sick, earned 6 much-deserved nominations including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Holly Hunter, and Best Original Screenplay for Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon’s lovely retelling of their true life love story.
Movie Review: 'Downsizing'
The soulful Alexander Payne has ventured into new territory with his part sci-fi, part romance, Downsizing. Starring Matt Damon, Downsizing tells the story of Paul Safranek, a Midwestern schlub dealing with the daily grind of a job he doesn’t love, a home he can’t afford, and a wife, Audrey, who may or may not love him, played by Kristen Wiig. Paul’s typical Midwestern domesticity is upended by the discovery of Downsizing which gives humanity the chance to shrink to about 5 inches tall and help save the environment by consuming less.
Movie Review: 'Princess Cyd'
Princess Cyd is a movie that may make you uncomfortable but it will also charm you and make you laugh. The film is a frank discussion of a teenage girl discovering her sexuality and for many, myself included, this is not an easily digestible subject. That said, Princess Cyd happens to be a remarkably sensitive, smart and funny coming of age story with fully realized and charming characters. It’s a film that reminds us all how important it is to talk about and explore topics we may find awkward or uncomfortable.
Movie Review: 'The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon'
The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon is a strange little low-budget sci-fi horror movie that has no business being as fun as it is. This American-Serbian production from director Dejan Zecevic is well paced, fun and quite creepy. Movies like The Rift are a nice reminder that low-budget sci-fi horror is still being made and can still be quite fun despite our pop cultural prejudice in favor of big budgets, big studios and big movie stars.
Movie Review: 'The Disaster Artist'
Pathos—a quality that evokes pity or sadness. Pathos seemed to be the defining characteristic of Tommy Wiseau’s abysmal debut feature The Room. The film evoked pathos because it was quite pitiably terrible in every fashion. The film was/is complete and utter nonsense from beginning to end with the witless Wiseau creating a star vehicle for himself despite his complete lack of talent and then directing the whole mess despite his complete lack experience and talent.
Movie Review: 'Love Beats Rhymes'
Love Beats Rhymes is the kind of movie that just doesn’t get made enough. This is a sweet, sensitive, and smart movie about a young, ambitious black woman who decides that she can have all that she wants, school, career, a good man, and that all it takes is a little hard work and desire. I wish more movies had the courage to tell young women that you don’t have to compromise all the time and that you can demand all that you want and work toward getting it.
Movie Review: 'I, Tonya'
It’s hard to pin down director Craig Gillespie. On one hand, he directed the wonderfully warm and quirky Lars and the Real Girl in 2007 but also directed the awful, unfunny "comedy" Mr. Woodcock that same year. Gillespie has since directed the remarkably dull sports flick Million Dollar Arm, the forgettable and unnecessary horror remake Fright Night and the wildly underrated and too quickly forgotten The Finest Hours. So, is Gillespie a great director or a hack? Is he an auteur or a Hollywood carpenter, cobbling together studio products?
Movie Review: 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes, a mother whose daughter was brutally raped and murdered. The crime has not been solved after eight months and a frustrated Mildred is at her wit's end when she sees three empty billboards on a lonely street side outside of the town of Ebbing. Hoping to light a fire under the local Chief of Police, Jim Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), Mildred books all three billboards with a message directed at the chief.
For Your Consideration: James McAvoy for Best Actor in Split
In a year in which Gary Oldman brilliantly embodied Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour, it’s easy to forget that other actors have been just as good as or better than the longtime favorite character. For instance, Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out or James Franco’s incredible comic performance as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, or the subject of this article, James McAvoy in Split. Horror movie performances rarely get awards buzz, especially when they came out so long ago, January, that they feel like they should have been considered last year. But McAvoy was so indelible, so remarkable in Split that I feel compelled to remind everyone.
Movie Review: 'The Man Who Invented Christmas'
The Man Who Invented Christmas is a remarkably dull movie. Regardless of the good intentions and the good ideas at the heart of the film, the story and specifically the character of Charles Dickens, never get going. The story about how Charles Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol likely wasn’t all that dramatic; most writing isn’t particularly dramatic, in and of itself. But where The Man Who Invented Christmas fails is in finding some aspect of Dickens that was interestingly dramatic while he wrote his masterpiece. Instead, we have an almost insufferable lead character on a predictable journey toward a well-known outcome.
Movie Review: 'Coco'
It’s hard for me to look at a Pixar movie as just another movie. The computer animation company has built such a remarkable run of quality work that it feels like something more than just a string of hit cartoons. Pixar movies combine heart, humor, pathos and great art unlike any other company on the planet. Toy Story, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, and the like aren’t just any other kids movie, they are highly regarded works of art.
Movie Review: 'The Square'
The Square, the 2017 winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor, the Palme D’or, is a provocative and strange film. At times, the film defies description in its oddity and yet its points and purposes regarding political correctness as an excuse for the rich to ignore the poor are relatively obvious and on the nose. Directed by Ruben Ostlund, whose Force Majeure was far more interestingly provocative than The Square, the film has beautiful cinematography and a handful of the most interesting scenes in any movie in 2017.