Melanie McFarland


Melanie McFarland
Tomatometer-approved critic

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
0/4 34% Gummo (1997) Instead, [Gummo is] a gaudy, reckless collage of perverse images that lack any value. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
62% Bird Box (2018) Is it good? Not really, but it doesn't need to be. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
92% Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable (2018) It also makes her more real to everyone - to her fans and anyone else who has an immutable notion of who she is without taking into account the expectation of who we expect her to be. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
70% The Christmas Chronicles (2018) The film's no great shakes, but Russell's star power in "The Christmas Chronicles" is a gift anyone should be happy to claim. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
95% Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) In some sense one might think of it as the mother recipe of the American Christmas special. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
99% Aliens (1986) Beyond dispute, however, is the film's timeless worth as a cathartic work, especially in terms of its accidentally commentary on the sexism of the corporate structure. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
94% RBG (2018) At the same time, although West and Cohen get around to the version of Ginsburg that has become a meme for Millennials and a symbol of resistance, the greater part of the film celebrates her tireless determination. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018
No Score Yet August 28th: A Day in the Life of a People (2018) A shining miracle. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2018
93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) It should throw the viewer for a loop, because it's a reflection of the insane times we live in. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
100% Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018) What Gadsby does in this unassuming sneak attack is disassembly of the artistry and trick of comedy itself. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
3.5/4 81% Sadie (2018) You live among these characters, aching for them. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2018
32% Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Where it truly falls short is in capturing the ways that literature helps us define our humanity and our individuality and life's meaning. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2018
89% Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (2003) And what is "Galactica," old or new? A high-flying trifle. Choice, cheesy adventure. Sci Fi pulp. So stop squeezing your thermoses, turn off your brain, and enjoy. - Seattle Post-Intelligencer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2018
100% Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (2018) Jesus Christ Superstar Live! diverges from television's holiday tradition of genuflecting before Hollywood history and its long-accepted and outdated vision of what religious figures look like. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2018
No Score Yet Mister Rogers: It's You I Like (2018) By leading with the warmth of shared memory and endearment, producers JoAnn Young and John Paulson mold It's You I Like into experiential viewing that emphasizes intimacy. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2018
100% Baltimore Rising (2017) There are many such moments of human frailty and humor in Baltimore Rising, and Sohn presents all of it without specific judgment or an agenda beyond capturing as many voices as possible and corralling them as efficiently as possible. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
89% The Problem with Apu (2017) The Problem with Apu ... welcomes viewers into the conversation by gently weaving the narrative between Springfield and the real world. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
No Score Yet Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968) It is no small boast to make on behalf of the 1968 film to call it a work richer and more resonant than what I have no problem saying is James' best ghost story. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2017
92% Spielberg (2017) Lacy consistently seduces us through its two and a half hour running time without ever slackening the energy or glossing over his shortcomings. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2017
30% Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) Nothing about Sharknado 5 is worth recommending even if you consider it to be an American summertime tradition, as so many people do. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2017
70% To the Bone (2017) An admirable and empathetic work that does not romanticize anorexia or the young woman being ground into nothingness by the disease, as some have feared. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2017
74% The Wizard of Lies (2017) What Wizard of Lies lacks in terms of a broader historical span is compensated for by telling Madoff's tale as a classical tragedy about hubris and human cost - only in this case we watch as the villain's wife and children take the brunt of the toll. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2017
3.5/4 93% The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge) (2017) In its artfully drawn frames, a simple and universal story unfolds. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2017
99% Tower (2016) A gripping examination of human bravery and frailty in the face of barbarity. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2017
100% Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (2017) Bright Lights plucks [Fisher's] star and that of her mother down from distant heights and lets us gently hold them for a time, reassuring us that their brilliance and humanity was real, their mutual endearment unbreakable. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2017
80% Barry (2016) Gandhi's direction brings out superior performances in the film's cast, particularly in Terrell, whose imitation of Obama's singular ways of speaking and mannerisms is nearly flawless. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2016
No Score Yet Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (2016) The pop culture portions of the miniseries may be the most enticing element of Black America Since MLK because these contain the African-American faces with which mainstream America is most familiar. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2016
100% Hamilton's America (2016) Hamilton's America... smoothly marries the very personal nature of the musical's story with Hamilton's impact on the nation and the world, adopting Miranda's iconoclastic flavor in the process. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2016
63% Killing Reagan (2016) Someday there will be an engrossing cinematic portrait of Reagan that explores the man's faults and merits with equal measure. Killing Reagan is not that film. - Salon.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2016
1/4 3% Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) The video game is much more fun, of course. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2014
1.5/4 10% Woo (1998) Woo disappoints on so many levels, lacking in wit and intelligence, characters with any sense of dimension and a coherent story line. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2014
1/4 40% Can't Hardly Wait (1998) The majority of the film is mired in magazine cliches and tired gags. Oh, look, the foreign exchange student only knows how to say he's a sex machine, haw! And the nerd's getting drunk! Hoo! - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2014
4/4 92% Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime) (1999) Beautifully constructed and painstakingly written, this is about as close to a perfect animated epic as you're likely to get. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2013
1.5/4 14% Ghost Ship (2002) Truly a cinematic albatross, Ghost Ship should be enjoyed after sipping some Halloween grog. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2002
2/4 61% Blue Crush (2002) Blue Crush is one of those tough-to-sell late-summer flicks made for marketing impossible dreams and fashion. But its main failure is the way it undermines its heroine's drive and strength. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2002
3/4 32% Windtalkers (2002) This is one of the most intensely personal war films you will ever see. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2002
3.5/4 77% Undercover Brother (2002) A colorful, cool and completely hilarious ride that'll have you rolling through the outtakes. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2002
2/4 65% Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) Yes, Episode II is beautifully rendered and better than the last. It's also duller than Tatooine's desert landscape until the last half-hour. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2002
3.5/4 92% Nine Queens (Nueve reinas) (2002) The film seethes with a sense of something more sinister at work around us, building to the point that you're not sure who's getting played and who isn't. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2002
3/4 60% The Independent (2001) Good but not great. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2002
3/4 92% Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) A wonderful demonstration of how employing the aesthetic values of a subject can produce a raw, jagged exciting style in cinematic nonfiction. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2002
0/4 19% Jason X (2002) The 10th installment of the Friday the 13th franchise is, hands down, the worst of the worst. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2002
1.5/4 29% The Other Side of Heaven (2001) As exciting as all this exoticism might sound to the typical Pax viewer, the rest of us will be lulled into a coma. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2002
3/4 43% Escaflowne: The Movie (2000) Romantic, riveting and handsomely animated. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2002
3.5/4 84% The Rookie (2002) It soars with palpable sentiment and spirit. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2002
2/4 57% Blade II (2002) There's no seduction here, no build. You might leave feeling strangely sucked dry. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2002
.5/4 13% Sorority Boys (2002) After being subjected to this painful movie ... you'll be rendered speechless. Not by any demonstrable good humor, but because of light brain damage. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2002
3/4 34% Resident Evil (2002) The best video-game-based movie so far. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2002
3.5/4 93% Scratch (2002) Edited and shot with a syncopated style mimicking the work of his subjects, Pray turns the idea of the documentary on its head, making it rousing, invigorating fun lacking any MTV puffery. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2002
1.5/4 17% Queen of the Damned (2002) For any of those die-hards still shunning daylight while anxiously awaiting the release of Queen of the Damned, I have two words for you: sunblock, matinee. Or, try this pair: dollar theater. - Seattle Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2002