Brian Lowry

Brian Lowry
Tomatometer-approved critic
Contributor, Variety
Publications:, Variety

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
100% Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me (2017) This look at Davis' personal journey through a tumultuous period in US history makes this an especially rich "American Masters" documentary. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
No Score Yet Kim Possible (2019) It's all a good deal of fun, bringing the animated show to life while riffing on those conventions. That said, the tone can be a bit uneven. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Ultimately, "Alita" seeks to create a semi-immersive experience (the 3D is impressive), but in the process plays like more like a video game than a movie, which is fine for about all of 10 minutes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Isn't It Romantic has charm to burn, in a light-hearted send-up of romantic comedies that playfully turns all the familiar tropes into a lively vehicle for Rebel Wilson. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
73% Cold Pursuit (2019) Cold Pursuit falls squarely into that basket, yielding a wholly forgettable movie - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
46% What Men Want (2019) A mildly pleasant but significantly flawed vehicle. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
83% Song of Parkland (2019) HBO marks that moment through a narrow window into it with "Song of Parkland," a half-hour documentary short that's equal parts uplifting and heartbreaking. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Far from awesome, it settles for being just OK -- lacking the surprise that elevated the original, while appearing reasonably content to simply follow the instructions. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
65% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) It's a modest twist on an old horror formula, where -- like snotty teenagers -- the viewer isn't supposed to feel especially guilty about watching the characters potentially become victims. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
27% Rent Live (2019) Given the various shortcomings, it's not clear it would have made enough of a difference to redeem a show that struggled to recover from an equally bad start. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
100% Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists (2018) The heart of the film resides in capturing what increasingly feels like a bygone era, when vibrant newspapers -- and the "big personalities with big opinions" they employed -- were powerfully connected to their communities. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
83% The Client List (2010) Frankly, a movie pitched as "Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a mom turned hooker" pretty much sells itself, which is why "The Client List" is such a pleasant surprise. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
37% Glass (2019) For those intrigued but not anticipating too much, it's the sort of flawed but reasonably entertaining effort that can be viewed as "Glass," half full. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
83% Brexit (2019) Even knowing the outcome, the glimpses behind the curtains of the two campaigns -- as written by James Graham, and directed by Toby Haynes -- presents a fascinating chess match. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
88% Fyre (2019) Fyre -- Netflix's version of a pair of dueling documentaries -- is positively bonkers, a feature-length look at the planned Fyre music festival that went spectacularly awry. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
93% Stan & Ollie (2019) An ode to friendship, it's something no one who has ever laughed at the pair should miss. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
72% Destroyer (2018) Kidman's brooding, mumbling, unglamorous turn comes in a vehicle so fraught with clichés that the movie feels as if it's stumbling about until the finishing stretch. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
72% On the Basis of Sex (2019) Worth seeing, not only as a tribute to the jurist nicknamed "Notorious RBG" but for the welcome context that it provides... As a drama, though, the film is just a bit too thin to warrant much more than ending up on the favorable side of a split decision. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
No Score Yet American Dream/American Knightmare (2015) Although Knight isn't always the most reliable narrator, the filmmaker gives him the latitude to tell his tale, describing a world of money, power and violence, while alternating between explaining and lamenting those dynamics. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
31% Welcome to Marwen (2018) [It] is such an eccentric film that it wins a few points for sheer ambition, including its inventive visual scheme. The central story, however... never feels as transcendent or stirring as director/co-writer Robert Zemeckis clearly intends it to be - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
45% Second Act (2018) The movie frankly feels like three stories in one -- without fully servicing any of them -- but skates by, barely, on the strength of Lopez's charm and some amusing supporting players. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
93% Bumblebee (2018) Even grading on a curve, though, this is a solidly executed story, tapping the familiar theme of a troubled kid whose life is changed by an extraordinary visitor. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
66% Vice (2018) It's a character study of a man imbued with a guiding vision of his own greatness that, finally, yields a somewhat scattered, just-OK movie. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
94% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) If Beale Street Could Talk portrays Tish and Fonny's fleeting happiness but also doesn't sugarcoat the impediments to it created by a system that treats young blacks as less than. Its director... he's by no means a one-hit wonder. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
95% Springsteen on Broadway (2018) Granted, those kind of accolades [EGOT] might sound like a lot to ask of one guy, standing alone on stage, armed only with a few musical instruments and an unabated passion for rock. But fortunately, he's that good. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) This animated feature -- distinguished by its dazzling visual palette, which creates the feel of a comic book leaping onto the screen -- proves a great deal of fun, reinforcing that animation remains the ideal medium... for superhero adaptations. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
65% Aquaman (2018) Aquaman is a step toward restoring equilibrium, creating a sprawling undersea world that most closely resembles the Thor franchise in terms of scope, majesty and happily, humor. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Perfectly passable, but well short of practically perfect. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
90% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) "Divide and Conquer" is well worth watching, underscoring the power Ailes wielded at the enterprise he ran for 20 years like a virtual kingdom. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
85% Dumplin' (2018) Dumplin has pretty much made its point about acceptance and tolerance, in the kind of polished feel-good movie that comes wrapped up in a very familiar coat, indeed. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
100% Icebox (2018) Like the best drama, "Icebox" is defined by its humanity, putting a face on asylum seekers in a way news coverage only occasionally does. From that perspective it feels like HBO is performing a public service, - EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
52% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) This is one of those happy occasions where the Netflix model allows a project that might have been lost in the theatrical wilds to find its place in the circle of life, albeit on a lower tier of the jungle canopy. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
70% The Christmas Chronicles (2018) It's not terrible, just more ho-hum than ho, ho, ho. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
84% Creed II (2018) Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone again provide a potent one-two combo, in a movie filled with nostalgic callbacks that make the most of the franchise's durable formula. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) The colorful action should delight tykes, but the smart, media-savvy asides make it especially appealing to grownups. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
79% Green Book (2018) It's easy to wish "Green Book" itself wasn't quite so ham-fisted at times, or on-the-nose with its dialogue. But... the movie possesses hard-to-resist warmth in its underlying theme, and welcome humor in the mismatched buddy dynamic. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) More workmanlike than magical, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" nevertheless feels like an upgrade from its predecessor, one that adds star power, introduces key characters and lays the foundation for a genuine "Wizarding World" franchise. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
91% Widows (2018) [Widows] feel like a throwback -- an old-fashioned, intricately plotted crime thriller that's more about characters than explosions. Much like the heist scheme, though, the movie looks better on paper, ultimately, then it does in the execution. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
81% Overlord (2018) The procedure isn't a complete success, but the movie wins a few battles in terms of its premise, energy and style, if not the entire war. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) At the very least, Foy's insertion into the franchise works, in a vehicle that delivers enough of the requisite thrills to be eminently watchable. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
58% The Grinch (2018) The underlying bones of "The Grinch" are so solid the movie can't help but be moderately pleasing. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
59% The Front Runner (2018) It's an understated film with enough smarts, unlike its protagonist, to overcome its shortcomings and deliver a winning ticket. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) But like A Wrinkle in Time, Nutcracker and the Four Realms is an expensive but clunky fantasy, mashing together mythical elements but mostly hitting discordant notes. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) What seems clear is that Boy Eased -- far from disappearing -- is one of those meticulously crafted films imbued with the kind of quiet power that can, and should, truly leave a mark. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Taken strictly on its terms, Bohemian Rhapsody is a credible exercise in nostalgia, if not an especially inspired one. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
No Score Yet Outside The Bubble: On The Road With Alexandra Pelosi (2018) Though, her travels "Outside the Bubble" conspicuously feel as if she's touring a shifting political landscape using an old, once-over-lightly road map. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2018
79% 24: Redemption (2008) Benefits not only from the change of venue but also from the luxury of incorporating so many first-rate actors, including Robert Carlyle. - Variety EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2018
83% My Dinner with Hervé (2018) The jokey-sounding title does a bit of a disservice to My Dinner With Herve, an HBO movie worth seeing solely for Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage's portrayal of Herve Villechaize. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
79% Halloween (2018) While drawing a straight line back to John Carpenter's original might be a neat trick, except perhaps for those who are a lot more invested in the franchise than this critic admittedly is, it's not much of a treat. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
69% Beautiful Boy (2018) To its credit, Beautiful Boy doesn't reassure its audience with the false comfort of easy answers. But it still feels, ultimately, like an earnest and relatively minor wrinkle on a stark, emotional, all-too-familiar story. - EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018