Amy Nicholson


Amy Nicholson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Amy Nicholson is the host of the Earwolf podcast <a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/the-canon/" target="blank"><em>The Canon</em></a> and critic for KPCC's Film Week. Formerly, she was the chief film critic for the MTV News and LA Weekly, editor-in-chief of Boxoffice Magazine and film editor of the IE Weekly. Her other credits include the Los Angeles Times, Movieline, LA CityBeat, and the MTV podcast <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/skillset/id1127962474" target="blank"><em>Skillset</em></a>. She has served on the jury for Sundance and SXSW, and screened submissions for Sundance, AFI, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Amy holds a double B.A. in Film Studies and Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma as well as a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. Her interests include hot dogs, standard poodles and comedies about the utter futility of existence. Her first book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Cruise-Anatomy-Cahiers-Cinema/dp/0714868019" target="blank"><em>Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor</em></a>, was published by Cahiers du Cinema. Reach her on Twitter at <a href="http://twitter.com/theamynicholson" target="blank">@theamynicholson</a>.

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
C No Score Yet Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) The irony at the core of the Dr. Ruth persona is that the maverick who made the bedroom public is herself incredibly private - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
C 78% Share (2019) "Share" is fragmented and disorienting, though one suspects that confusion is perhaps Bianco's point. Like Mandy, we're forced to spend the film grasping for facts. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 86% Sonja - The White Swan (2019) A frosty tale of a star who was more machine than human, "Sonja: The White Swan" is, like Henie herself, brash and dazzling and hard to love. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 83% Hala (2019) Geraldine Viswanathan can do gross-out humor and slapstick, but here she proves her range and, hopefully, longevity. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B 100% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) As Belkin's brisk and compelling documentary fades to black, the director seems to hope that the Wallace quotation audiences cling to isn't one of his fanged questions, but his optimism for the profession to which he dedicated his life - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B+ 54% Them That Follow (2019) In Poulton and Savage's empathetic script, the only villain is Satan, who the locals blame for everything from asthma to sex. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B+ 58% Wounds (2019) Anvari plays to Hammer's strengths as a man who looks like he has it all until he opens his mouth - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 100% Clemency (2019) If Chukwu just wants the audience to witness Bernadine's burden, the script overplays its hand by questioning Anthony's guilty conviction. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C- 92% Little Monsters (2019) Nyong'o invests her teacher with such ferocious love, it's like she feared the Academy might see the film and retroactively revoke her statuette. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C+ 60% Official Secrets (2019) A dry and honorable retelling of events that exists mostly to remind us who she was, and why any potential whistleblowers out there should honor her example. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
A No Score Yet Jawline (2019) "Jawline" prods the contradictions of the authenticity-industrial complex. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
A 100% Knock Down the House (2019) A tribute to the energy of every woman who pledged that in 2018 they would make a difference. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
A 92% Hail Satan? (2019) Lane sets out to subvert American history with intelligence and wit. Here, she asks us to question why certain religions are deemed "normal," even though, notes one Temple member, Catholic mass is all about the symbolic drinking of blood. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C 31% Corporate Animals (2019) A thin satire on the dog-eat-dog - make that man-eat-man - selfishness of modern capitalism, with a deliciously nasty lead performance by Demi Moore - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B 83% Koko-di Koko-da (2019) The film avoids gross-out shivers in favor of the quiet torture of expecting death behind every tree - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
C 80% The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019) Compared to Gibney's previous attack docs, "The Inventor" is more of a second-degree assault, scoring a few direct hits and a fair amount of whiffing at what proves to be a vaporous target. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
B- 100% Selah and the Spades (2019) The film has more style than plot, but that style is terrific. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
C 84% I Am Mother (2019) "I Am Mother" is exactly what it seems: a good-looking allegory that postures like it's wrestling with more ideas than it actually is. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
C- 62% Bird Box (2018) Bird Box's pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code. There's good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
C+ 81% Overlord (2018) "Overlord" works best as a patriotism booster shot - it's "Inglourious Basterds" without a swizzle of irony. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
C- 65% Stella's Last Weekend (2018) The Wolffs are fine actors, and, no shocker, convincing siblings. But they're playing characters, well, only a mother could love. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
B+ 86% A Simple Favor (2018) The film feels a lot like the Serge Gainsbourg number that Stephanie dances to in the kitchen: jazzy, a little sleazy, and worth a cult following - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2018
C 66% Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018) The film's got a split personality: one part diva, one part Cyrano de Bergerac, if the big-nosed poet texted his lover a shot of a chimp. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
C 53% MDMA (Cardinal X) (2018) MDMA is all excess: giant hair, stacks of silver bangles, dramatic flashbacks, and lots of shouting - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2018
C 48% Destination Wedding (2018) It works only as a valentine to old-fashioned star power - two modern legends, older if no wiser, daring the audience to somehow love them for all their faults, and on that level, somehow succeeding. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
58% Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) Dark Web skates by on saturated nastiness, one terrific kill, and the audience's engagement in seeing if the filmmakers can pull off the stunt. Barely, but it's fun to watch them try. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2018
88% After Everything (Shotgun) (2018) Monroe's grounded presence keeps the film's feet on the ground, while White allows his character to spin into orbit when self-pity commands it. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2018
91% Set It Up (2018) Like a classic screwball farce, Set It Up's four leads hurl lines at each other like 60 m.p.h. sliders. It's an unabashed rom-com... So here's our command: more films like Set It Up, please. - Rolling Stone EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2018
B 56% Tag (2018) Surprisingly, there's emotional resonance in this slapstick flick about friends who are terrified to hug - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
C 68% The Year of Spectacular Men (2018) Lea Thompson's theatrical directing debut works best as a showcase for daughters Madelyn and Zoey Deutch who bring a real life zing to their fictional sister act - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
C+ 67% Ibiza (2018) This hangout flick doesn't just embrace gross-out girl comedy cliches, it sticks Jacobs in the air roof of a limousine screaming, "Whooo! I am a total cliché right now and I don't f-king care!" - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
B- No Score Yet Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018) Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance is engineered for sarcastic snickers. It lets Fitz-Henley and Fraser sell the audience on this history-making romance, while crowding the corners with tiny jokes. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
B 38% Life of the Party (2018) If the sparkling arc from sad acoustic guitars to Christina Aguilera anthems has any serious intention, McCarthy and Falcone want to salute the wonders women can accomplish when they band together. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
D+ 51% Rampage (2018) There are ludicrous constructions - say, a 30-foot wolf crossbred with spider, bat, and bug DNA. And then there's Dwayne Johnson as a misanthropic Special Forces soldier-turned-primatologist. - Village Voice EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
B 83% Blockers (2018) Cannon is dialed into how a teen girl prepping for what's, till then, the most memorable night of her life is no passive victim - she's a peak control freak - Uproxx EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2018
B+ 90% The Breaker Upperers (2018) Their film feels marvelously shaggy around the edges - their personalities pop - until after a whiplash-funny first hour, they play it safe with an everyone-gets-a-hug Paul Feig-style climax. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
B 95% Jinn (2018) Renee has a superhuman charisma. Yet the young actor makes audiences root for her while also allowing Summer to be rude and thoughtless. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
C 60% Perfect (2018) "Is perfection something the world needs?" asks Cornish. Alcazar is fine if most audiences say no, as long as at least one keyed-in weirdo says yes. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
C 62% The New Romantic (2018) More tragic than funny, but Stone is hoping for laughs - or really, swoons - or maybe just whatever will make audiences happy, an eagerness to please that makes the tone wobble from scene to scene. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
B+ 89% Wild Nights with Emily (2018) If the film has a flaw, its that it's so preoccupied with balancing its furious feminism with gags about Victorian life that there's little running time to lavish on Dickinson's actual poetry. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
A- 84% First Match (2018) Every punch hurts, and Newman doesn't skimp on the bruises and blood. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
B- 80% Unsane (2018) Soderbergh's less interested in her diagnoses - may I suggest "pogonophobia," the fear of facial hair - then her plummet down the rabbit hole from office cubicle to basement padded cell. - Uproxx EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
A 83% The Gospel of Eureka (2019) This cheerful small town portrait makes for an idealistic crowd-pleaser -- after all, Eureka Springs is the rumored home of healing waters - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2018
C 89% Fast Color (2018) Ultimately, "Fast Color's" thesis is more inspirational than the film, which often seems like it, too, is struggling to swirl itself into something more solid. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2018
A- 93% Support the Girls (2018) Hall's performance - tender, tough, empathetic, controlled - crumples from tears to laughter in a blink. It's phenomenal. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2018
C- 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) The film has the feel of a iPad video pawned off on a toddler so Dad can make comforting mac and cheese - here's a bite-sized lesson about loving yourself and a jumble of pretty colors. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2018
D 18% Death Wish (2018) Ironically, a film about a guy with guts doesn't have any itself. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
B- 46% Red Sparrow (2018) By the end, you want to give every Bond villainess a hug. - Uproxx EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2018
C 19% Mute (2018) Mute is more interesting as a bullet-point list of absurdities than as a two-hour film. Yet, Jones continues to have my attention. - Uproxx EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
C 55% Half Magic (2018) Heather Graham's Wiccan romantic comedy is one part wish fulfillment, two parts justified fury. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2018