Ben Travers


Ben Travers
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: indieWire, PopMatters

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
27% Rent Live (2019) There were moments, songs, and even stretches of "Rent Live" that worked as an engrossing musical experience, but the whole thing did not gel. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
C- 83% My Dinner with Hervé (2018) What's left are two dudes with varying degrees of moral disrepair shouting at each other across the Hollywood Hills. That's not enough to hold up an entire feature, or even a good dinner conversation. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
C+ 29% 70th Emmy Awards (2018) Produced by Lorne Michaels and hosted by his Weekend Update correspondents and head writers Colin Jost and Michael Che, the Emmys telecast was as paralyzed as the hosts' matching interlocked grips. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2018
C+ 32% Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Unfortunately, Fahrenheit 451 isn't hard-hitting enough as a film to be a proper motivating factor on its own. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
A- 69% Paterno (2018) It speaks to viewers with disparate reactions, but it also speaks to anyone who didn't dig into the scandal at the time by outlining what happens when we are too quick to defend the famous faces instead of those claiming to be victimized by them. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2018
100% Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (2018) Well, it's safe to say that was the best live musical since Grease. From a production standpoint, I'm glad to see they tried to raise the bar creatively instead of just copying what was done before. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2018
B 92% Spielberg (2017) Spielberg still feels like a respectful appreciation of a beloved figure more than an insightful study. There's nothing wrong with that, but ... it's also OK to ask for more. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2017
A 100% Burn, Motherf*cker, Burn! (2017) Blatant and unflinching, the documentary depicts a world that is neither well-balanced nor fair. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2017
B+ 88% Hermia & Helena (2017) By positioning Shakespeare within a chatty tale of young adulthood - and giving it a feminist slant - Piñeiro proves the vitality of the material without becoming subservient to it. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2017
B+ 74% The Wizard of Lies (2017) The Wizard of Lies isn't interested in gray areas. It wants you to see what the victims saw, and from a similarly pained perspective. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2017
C+ 67% The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017) Byrne is as solid as ever, and House of Cards favorite Reg E. Cathey stops by to provide additional gravitas, but the cast can't quite make up for the idea that Henrietta Lacks feels like a misplaced movie. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2017
B+ 92% Louis C.K.: 2017 (2017) If Louis CK 2017 is what we get in exchange for his work in so many other venues, than that's an excellent trade-off. There's more magic in that mic than we realize. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2017
B+ 91% The Disaster Artist (2017) The Disaster Artist largely works because it brings us closer to Tommy while reveling in the same ingredients that have turned him into an icon. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2017
B 96% Oklahoma City (2017) A blunt reminder of what has happened, and could happen again, when misinformation is spread to dangerous, angry, homegrown radicals. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2017
D 24% The Comedian (2017) Robert De Niro's eight-years-in-the-making passion project is a baffling mess loaded with outdated and unfunny jokes. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2016
B 36% Blair Witch (2016) Compared to the ill-fated "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 -- the first follow-up which was rushed to market for financial reasons -- this new iteration still comes across as downright inspiring. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2016
C+ 39% Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Batman: The Killing Joke is borderline unsettling - and not in a good way. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2016
B+ 88% All the Way (2016) All the Way should be admired for going the distance, and Cranston rewarded for holding it all together. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2016
C+ 82% Confirmation (2016) What's most admirable about the film is the person who's been pushing for its creation the longest. Kerry Washington brings a beautifully reserved presence to Hill without stripping her of any bravery. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
B+ 70% A Very Murray Christmas (2015) A Very Murray Christmas is ultimately just that: an honest attempt to be merry and an even more direct explanation of what it's like to be Murray. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2015
B 56% Ferrell Takes The Field (2015) When treated as light, easy entertainment, Ferrell Takes the Field goes down just fine. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2015
B 89% Bessie (2015) Despite its complicated central figure, Rees' film feels all too typical in the end. The small moments are there for anyone who wants to find them, but they're not enough to make "Bessie" as great as the woman herself. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2015
B 81% Nightingale (2015) "Nightingale" is overshot to appear more cinematic and underwritten to avoid pomposity, and that's okay. Both decisions are just that: choices to serve the character. Peter would be pleased with how his little film turned out. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2015
B 82% The Good Son: The Life of Ray Boom Boom Mancini (2013) The singular focus is not a fatal flaw. Not at all, really. It's merely a question haunting The Good Son even when its concentration steers the viewer away from it. - indieWire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2014