Leigh Monson


Leigh Monson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Leigh Monson is technically a licensed attorney but somehow thinks movies are a lot more fun. Leigh loves both award darlings and hilariously bad films, does not believe in superhero movie fatigue, and calls it like they see it.
Publications: Birth.Movies.Death.

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) The film's writing is stuck in an ever-tightening spiral of repetition and redundancy before finally stripping away the irony altogether to embrace an understanding of romantic comedy that's about two decades out of date. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) There's something more to this story than redundant sequelizing. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
67% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) It is a decidedly goofier movie, and it plays that to its benefit. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
46% What Men Want (2019) What does save it is some fantastic direction by Adam Shankman and a pretty great performance from Taraji P. Henson. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
84% Rust Creek (2019) What a great example of the power of independent cinema. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
23% Miss Bala (2019) Miss Bala exists in this weird middle ground between heightened action and grounded realism, and it's clear that the film should have leaned into its more exaggerated moments to achieve its desired effect. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
83% The Vast of Night (2019) The climax is beautiful, to be sure, and the effects work is excellent given the budget on which this film was produced, but it doesn't have much more meaning than is presented on its face. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
21% Serenity (2019) How did multiple people look at the screenplay of Serenity and think "Yes, this is a good idea!"? - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
97% The Hate U Give (2018) An important artifact of our time that I consider it one of the best films of 2018. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
33% Io (2019) If you're looking for science fiction that makes manifest the anxieties of a dying world, our dying world, then Io is a good place to start. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
89% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Cornish has built a loving testament to the power of legends to build a better future. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
40% The Upside (2019) The Upside takes any sense of subtlety from the original and blunts it into the thinnest, broadest shape for minimal positive impact. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
88% Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Beradona) (1973) A landmark in animation and a bold statement on sexual autonomy and liberation. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
93% Stan & Ollie (2019) A bit on the predictable and clichéd side, but it's also immensely entertaining to watch Coogan and Reilly perform classic bits. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
48% Escape Room (2019) At the end of the day Escape Room is a pretty solid horror movie. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
93% Bumblebee (2018) Bumblebee feels like the Transformers movie we should have gotten in the first place: a slice of family-friendly fun. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
70% The Mule (2018) Earl is framed as loveable for his casual racism and lack of sympathetic filter, yet he's anything but, and The Mule is openly hostile to anyone who thinks otherwise. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
62% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) As a pair of character studies it is a fascinating contrast, with both Ronan and Robbie giving performances worthy of the dignity of their characters. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Perhaps the best film to ever encapsulate the essence of a comic book to the big screen, and not just because the fancy new animation style. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
85% Dumplin' (2018) It ultimately serves its purpose as a vehicle for empathy and positive energy, leaving little room to fault the film for feeling so basic. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
90% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) This is a level of insight that is, if nothing else, cathartic. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Lingers in a murky area between cynicism and hope that makes its final moments a wrenching punch to the gut. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
59% The Front Runner (2018) It collapses under the weight of its own ambition, painting every player as compromised without any idea of what to say beyond that. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
91% A Private War (2018) Pike's stellar work speaks for itself, and thankfully it also speaks on behalf of the film and on behalf of Marie Colvin. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) It's functional and plods along at a good clip, but it's entirely mechanical and without soul. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
94% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Barry Jenkins and James Baldwin are a match made in heaven. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Writer-director Joel Edgerton has made some quality Oscar bait. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2018
88% In Search of Greatness (2018) As frustratingly distracting as the actual filmmaking is, In Search of Greatness isn't without its value. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2018
79% Green Book (2018) A feel-good story if you are somehow able to look past the overbearing reality of today's pervading racism. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
87% First Man (2018) The result is a film that replaces humanity with a cold nothingness, and unfortunately nothing fills that vacuum. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
29% Venom (2018) In terms of narrative and character arc, Venom is an absolute disaster. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
No Score Yet Molly (2018) You won't be blown away by Molly's story, but you might just be impressed with what they were able to make of it. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
67% The Boat (2018) The film is solid, but it feels resigned to the limitations of its premise rather than actively pushing against its boundaries. Is there anything inherently wrong with that? Not really. Does it make for a safer, more boring film as a result? Undoubtedly. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018
54% Under the Silver Lake (2019) The pretense of muddling nonsense with intellectual rigor means that it will forever be impossible to consider Under the Silver Lake as anything other than an exercise in smugness from a creative mind that has only the barest grasp on the theses it posits - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018
100% The Blood of Wolves (Korou no chi) (2018) You may approach The Blood of Wolves with a sense of nostalgia for yakuza films, but you'll leave with a sense that this pulpy genre has been injected with new life. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
No Score Yet Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart (2018) Your tolerance for such egotism is likely the measuring stick by which you will enjoy it. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
94% CAM (2018) Don't sleep on Cam. It will give you a whole new appreciation for the people on the other side of your screen. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
No Score Yet Slut in a Good Way (Charlotte a du fun) (2019) Slut In A Good Way is a slight, feel-good story that still manages to slip in important perspectives on the double standards inherent in modern interactions between genders. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
91% Shadow (2019) Beautiful to look at, with amazing stuntwork, complicated characters, and a story that constantly twists and turns, this is a film that hopefully signals that Zhang Yimou is back to making films of layered complexity and visual splendor. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
100% Chained for Life (2018) This vicious satire of Hollywood disability representation forces you to differentiate empathy and pity. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
81% Overlord (2018) Overlord is a loud, intense, Nazi-punching good time. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
33% Between Worlds (2018) Between Worlds is an absolutely bugnuts display of Nicolas Cage's cult appeal, and an experience worth having just for the virtue of being able to say you had it. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2018
36% Feral (2018) The thought that humanity is the thing worth fearing, whether feral or civilized, is perhaps the most terrifying notion of all. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
67% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) The film itself is an excellent example of how to treat children with the emotional maturity to handle scary situations without pandering to the idea that they aren't able to grasp intense stakes. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2018
86% A Simple Favor (2018) The darker side of Paul Feig may not be much of a palette shift, but it's an ample demonstration of why Feig doesn't need that much range anyway. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
12% Peppermint (2018) Jennifer Garner's Frank Castle impression needs some work. A lot of work. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
60% Operation Finale (2018) This procedural walks a treacherous line between human complexity and Nazi sympathy. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
79% Alpha (2018) A slow, meditative film, taking full advantage of the natural spectacle of a simulated ice age for an experience that is as much about contemplating humanity as loving the cute doggo. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2018
91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) The adaptation of Kevin Kwan's glamour novel is a glitzy spectacle with a ton of heart. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2018
75% Never Goin' Back (2018) Never Goin' Back is a breezy eighty-six minutes of absurd hijinks, but it is failed by a lackluster script that doesn't quite have the jokes on the page. - Birth.Movies.Death. EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018