John Lui


John Lui
John Lui's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): The Straits Times (Singapore)

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
5/5 94% The Favourite (2018) Wonderfully arranged and wickedly funny film. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
3.5/5 72% Destroyer (2018) This combination of tense cop thriller and revenge flick does work. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
4.5/5 93% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) This is a rare film in which everything gels so perfectly, the whole would collapse if one element were missing. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
2/5 60% Alita: Battle Angel (2019) This movie lacks a spine and, very nearly, a brain. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet Killer Not Stupid (2019) If nothing else, serves as a nostalgic echo of the big, broad ensemble comedies, high in the goofiness factor, that the Hong Kong film factories used to make during the Chinese New Year period. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 87% Colette (2018) Respectful and tasteful? Yes, but it would have been better if this biopic's storytelling style matched the boldness of the woman it seeks to portray. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Silk and the Flame (2018) This is a solid work of family anthropology, one that captures the complicated currents of guilt, respect, responsibility and love that runs through many Asian families. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 96% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Underneath it all is a thin but serviceable adventure about Hiccup and his tribe forced to become migrants to protect themselves and the dragons. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3.5/5 89% A Private War (2018) A portrait that does not seek to flatter its subject. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
3/5 80% Green Book (2018) The odd-couple comic setups feel easy and unforced. There is genuine chemistry between the brash Vallelonga and the stuffy Shirley. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
3.5/5 88% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) This emotionally gripping but flawed work ticks all the checkboxes for a work that festival fans love: a tough social-realist drama centered around a child's point of view. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
2.5/5 37% Glass (2019) All that foreshadowing sets up expectations for a massive climax - one that, because of the story reminding the viewer of how epic it is, sabotages itself and becomes distinctly underwhelming. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
3.5/5 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Makes a fitting postscript to one of Redford's best-loved films, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969). - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
3/5 70% The Mule (2018) This is Eastwood smack dab in his comfort zone, playing a man who squints at the world and sees only slack-jawed morons looking back at him. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
2.5/5 72% On the Basis of Sex (2019) The timing makes good marketing sense, but did the movie have to be such a bore? - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
4/5 93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) This comedic dig at capitalism and broken race relations mixes the sweet with the sour, the silly with the serious. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2/5 77% Anna and the Apocalypse (2018) Sadly, much like the gait of the undead, the anodyne quality of the music gives the film a lurching, lifeless quality. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 27% Mortal Engines (2018) The steampunk aesthetic has never looked so good on screen, but it is a shame that one notices it so much because the people in the foreground are so bland. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 87% Climax (2019) Like his dancers, Noe has locked the viewer in, and there is no way out. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
99% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) The result, given a voiceover by witnesses to the carnage, is the most striking reminder to date of the scale of the conflict and the lives lost to it. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
5/5 96% Roma (2018) Small in scale but enormous in its emotional impact, this drama from one of Mexico's top film-makers is a masterclass in how everyday events, shot in a natural, unforced way, can make for gripping cinema. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2.5/5 93% Bumblebee (2018) The sixth instalment in the Transformers movie series is the best yet, but that is not saying very much because of the low bar set by the other five. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Who knew the work that would come closest to capturing the first film's clarity and playfulness would be one that goes all the way back to the hero's first format - comic books? - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Good on Disney for not caving in to the current fear of leaving anything under-explained in family films. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 83% Girl (2018) The style is deeply naturalistic, with a look that feels unscripted. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/5 64% Suspiria (2018) Under its arthouse skin, this film has a heart of pure grindhouse. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/5 67% Default (Gukgabudo-ui Nal) (2018) Given the number of times Asians have been portrayed as bad guys in the West, perhaps that depiction is just deserts. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
2/5 62% Bird Box (2018) This post-apocalyptic thriller with supernatural overtones has a clever premise - as in the legend of Medusa, death visits anyone who looks upon the source of evil. But the potential is squandered. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Momoa, Kidman, Wilson and others are there to service the script, even when it gets cheesy, and it does get cheesy indeed, but the film's warmheartedness and clarity of purpose win out in the end. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
2.5/5 57% The Grinch (2018) The result is a meandering, low-stakes affair, punctuated by fine but forgettable visual jokes. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
2.5/5 14% Robin Hood (2018) Who knew that the tale of the merry men of Sherwood Forest could be so dour? - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3.5/5 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Coens love how fate places a banana peel under the feet of those foolish enough to look up at stars. Desire makes fools of everyone and to the Coens, that is rich comic material. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
3/5 84% Creed II (2018) It is strange to say this, but the thing that carries the biggest sting here - especially in the scenes when Stallone's Rocky, aware that he is in his life's twilight, muses about roads not taken - is not the boxing, but the bonding. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
4/5 91% Widows (2018) The thrilling, emotional Widows is so satisfying because it not only does not skimp on the stuff that makes heist movies tick, it ups the ante. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
4/5 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) The first movie was such an endorphin rush, it is hard to imagine a sequel that could match it in sweet, rambunctious fun. But this follow-up comes very close. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet Dark Figure of Crime (2018) Both actors handle their roles wonderfully. Kim Yoon-seok's eyes flicker with intelligence underneath a world-weary face while Ju's killer Kang is a compelling mix of bravado, menace and psychotic rage. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
2.5/5 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) The seizure-inducing cuts and crazy angles felt as though one were taking a torture test designed to weed out weaklings from an astronaut training programme. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/5 100% Shirkers (2018) Shirkers is one of those films that seems almost too good to be true. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2/5 40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) But in these superhero-happy times, she has been turned into Tomb Raider's Lara Croft crossed with Marvel's Black Widow and, in the process, loses everything that made her character special. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
4/5 80% Overlord (2018) This project relies on intimate encounters that put viewers close to the grisly stuff, but only after careful character-driven plotting that places people right where they ought to be. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
3.5/5 75% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) That third-act misstep aside, this is still one tense and stylish crime thriller, filled with small delights and grounded in the politics of its period. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3.5/5 67% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) And using these techniques, he has fashioned a fun, chuckle-worthy take on the 1973 book of the same name, one that never feels ironic nor a heavy-handed exercise in visual style. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
3.5/5 61% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Care is taken to coat everything with a layer of light, self-deprecating comedy. It is as if Mercury or May are on the couch, regaling a talk-show audience with an anecdote. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
4/5 69% Beautiful Boy (2018) These are deeply airbrushed images of how addiction plays out, but Groeningen casts a spell, helped by heart-breaking central performances from Carell and Chalamet. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
2.5/5 70% The Happy Prince (2018) Wilde's painful decline is drenched in romantic idealism - in a fictional touch, he becomes a father figure to adorable French orphans - and worsened by Everett's reluctance to rein in the sprawl of characters and dialogue. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
2.5/5 65% Lizzie (2018) The team has come up with a psychologically realistic but polite work that, like the corsets around Lizzie's torso, feels too buttoned-down and joyless for its own good. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
4/5 87% First Man (2018) Chazelle's story could have been drowned in technical details, but as he did with musical terminology in Whiplash ("Not quite my tempo"), he reveals just enough for things to move forward. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
5/5 90% A Star Is Born (2018) The result is a richly layered, laugh-and-cry love story that understands that audiences must love the characters before they buy their love affair. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
3.5/5 89% MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. (2018) This contradiction - an activist for social justice with a blue-blooded partner - is sadly never explored. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
2.5/5 32% The Predator (2018) Chaotic, loud and filled with too many coincidences to count. The best thing that can be said about The Predator is that the dialogue is engaging, and some gags are funny. - The Straits Times (Singapore) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018