Peter Howell

Peter Howell
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/4 76% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) There's more than a spoonful of sugar in this felicitous revisitation.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
4/4 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) The film's take-home message, if you want to call it that, is that we all have a little Spidey in us: "What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man."‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
2/4 62% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) The movie tries to have it both ways, by remaining mostly true to history while also taking numerous factual liberties.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/4 59% The Mule (2018) A man's restless quest for meaning and connection in an increasingly illogical and divided America.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/4 53% Once Upon a Deadpool (2018) It's a clever cash snatch... and actually makes for a mildly funnier film.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3.5/4 94% The Favourite (2018) I command you to see it.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
3/4 89% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) As this doc shows, he went as low as he could possibly go, until his repugnant behaviour finally caught up with him - as it must to all such men.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
4/4 96% Roma (2018) Roma will be tough to beat as the best film of 2018.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 100% Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz (2018) His energy never seems to flag, in a film that pays full tribute to him - while also sounding the alarm that his work is more urgent than ever.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 81% At Eternity's Gate (2018) It's a story both ecstatic and tragic, and Schnabel is more interested in the former than the latter.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
3/4 97% Border (Gräns) (2018) It... gnaws at the brain for its subliminal messages about how we treat the people in our midst who don't fit whatever definition of "normal" we're carrying around with us.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
3.5/4 90% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) The Wild Pear Tree brilliantly illuminates the gap in life between what is desired and what is achieved, but the metaphorical light seeps into the frame rather than fully exposing it.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2018
3/4 83% Creed II (2018) Audiences have now invested decades in this ringside soap opera and they want to see where it goes, despite everything else. And, when all is said and done, the fight scenes are actually quite good.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3/4 88% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) The internet had it coming and this movie delivers serious silicon schadenfreude. Come for the breaking, stay for the hacking.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
4/4 90% Widows (2018) McQueen's artful slow-take style, in films like 12 Years a Slave and Hunger, would seem to make him an odd choice for the ticking-clock pace of a caper pic, but don't be fooled.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
4/4 82% Green Book (2018) Peter Farrelly has fun with stereotypes but he also explodes them, especially the old canard of "polite" racism that is anything but.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2.5/4 59% The Front Runner (2018) Vera Farmiga plays Hart's wife Lee, brilliantly bringing home in just a few scenes the personal cost of a spouse's betrayal.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
3/4 92% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) There's also entirely too much talk and an ending that goes nowhere. But the film as a whole satisfies, even if it's something less than the sum of its parts. Any new Coen Bros. offering is always worth celebrating.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2.5/4 57% The Grinch (2018) Newcomers to the tale will enjoy it, at least as much as they have other offerings from Illumination Entertainment, the cheer factory behind Despicable Me, Minions and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/4 94% The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man (2018) The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man addresses the very real title star's amusingly bizarre habit of casually barging into regular lives.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/4 41% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) A ridiculous amount of the plot involves what I call the Magical Hacker Trope: a computer boffin uses her smartphone, laptop or other gizmo to do things Bill Gates never dreamed of as she unlocks doors, cars and computers on the fly, anywhere...‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
1/4 63% Suspiria (2018) "It's a mess, isn't it?" Susie says at one point, and she's certainly got that right.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
4/4 94% Burning (Beoning) (2018) A movie of shadows and light that gets at populist rage by way of incendiary metaphor.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3/4 62% Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) When all was said and done, Queen just wanted to have fun. Which is why I'm inclined to cut much slack for Singer's approach, which follows a Rock 101 storytelling template: Levis to leather pants, superstardom to squabbles, leave-taking to Live Aid.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
3.5/4 100% Sharkwater Extinction (2018) Stewart's third film is also his best... with scenes of marine genocide that should make us all weep tears of rage.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
2.5/4 76% Mid90s (2018) It just observes, as young rebel movies have since the dawn of cinema, that life is something that happens while you're busy trying to skate around it.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
2/4 34% Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) It occurs to me that Johnny English might be funnier if Atkinson played Johnny silently, the way he used to do mischievous Mr. Bean, the role that made him famous.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
3/4 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) [McCarthy is] brilliantly paired with Grant, the salt to his sugar, and they both have a chance this year to win Oscars, or nominations at the very least.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
2/4 79% Halloween (2018) It might as well be James Bond behind Michael's latex mask, noticeably weathered by four decades of abuse, for all the deviation from franchise formula we see on the screen.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3/4 68% Beautiful Boy (2018) A harrowing and frequently dispiriting watch.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
2.5/4 61% The Oath (2018) Barinholtz doesn't fully explore his dystopian premise and he doesn't make the best use of his cast. But The Oath has the scary energy of an all-too-plausible scenario.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3/4 99% The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018) Clever sound design helps sculpt the clockwork narrative. The best stories are the ones that unfold in your mind.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
3/4 74% Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) The film makes a suspenseful dive down a long and twisting rabbit hole.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
3.5/4 88% First Man (2018) When the Eagle finally lands on the moon in First Man, the picture truly soars.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
3/4 89% Studio 54 (2018) Tyrnauer documents it all with journalistic rigour, building his film around the bittersweet memories of the reclusive Schrager... and those of former Studio 54 employees, publicists and patrons.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
2/4 29% Venom (2018) At some future gala event where Tom Hardy is being feted for his incredible acting career, the clip from Venom will be the one that gets the audience laughing.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
3/4 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Redford thoroughly enjoys himself in a role that's perfect for his age (82) and personality.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
3/4 85% The Sisters Brothers (2018) Equal parts comedy, drama, love story and horror story, the saga simply refuses to be easily lassoed.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
4/4 90% A Star Is Born (2018) It's Cooper's first time as director and Gaga's first major movie role, but you'd never guess it from the skill and passion they bring to the project.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
2/4 29% Night School (2018) Night School's sextet of writers, Hart being one of them, have a lot of individual jokes they want to tell. But nothing really adds up to a whole story and there's nothing they want to say.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
4/4 91% ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch (2018) To say that there are no easy answers to planetary woes is to state the obvious. But the film seeks to reveal rather than lecture, in the hope that our eyes will convince our brains to act before it's too late.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
3/4 87% Colette (2018) Purists may cavil, but only if they insist on overlooking the abundant charms of this handsomely decorated, costumed and scored production, which has more than a whiff of Merchant and Ivory films about it and also a good deal of self-aware amusement.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
3/4 83% My Generation (2017) The film wisely resists the standard documentary technique of stringing together a series of talking heads - no small temptation, given the famous people rounded up for reminiscing.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
3/4 81% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) A movie that begins as a... lament about Trump ends with hope for the future - but only, Moore persuasively insists, if citizens everywhere pay attention and get involved.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
1.5/4 13% Life Itself (2018) The whole film is rather consumed with itself...‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/4 67% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) Contains very few real scares and even less of a story.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
3/4 88% Love, Gilda (2018) "My biggest motivation has always been love," Radner wrote in another of her diary entries. The feeling comes through in Love, Gilda, prompting us to return it in kind.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
2/4 33% The Predator (2018) The movie pays big-time homage to 1980s cinema, including an action score that sounds like something Spielberg would have thrown away.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
3/4 82% Juliet, Naked (2018) The plot is really secondary to the piece, which is not something I'd ever expect to say about a work conceived by Nick Hornby.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
3/4 93% Support the Girls (2018) [Hall] anchors the antics with mother-hen authority that doesn't disguise a bone-deep melancholy about how she ended up where she's at. She feels real, stuck in a situation that's a lot like real life.‐ Toronto Star
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018