Brian Lowry


Brian Lowry
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Contributor, Variety
Publications: CNN.com, Variety

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
92% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) It's a satisfying resolution, without reaching the same heights that the original achieved. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
59% 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
72% Cold Pursuit (2019) Cold Pursuit falls squarely into that basket, yielding a wholly forgettable movie - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
45% What Men Want (2019) A mildly pleasant but significantly flawed vehicle. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
86% 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
84% 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2018
73% 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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 - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Perfectly passable, but well short of practically perfect. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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, - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
70% The Christmas Chronicles (2018) It's not terrible, just more ho-hum than ho, ho, ho. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com 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. - CNN.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018