David Keyes


David Keyes
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
A love of films. A love of the written word. What better way to combine them? I started this little movie reviewing gig on the 'net back in 1998 when I was just 17. At the time, the idea wasn't exactly a developed one on my part (I never even fathomed the concept until it was suggested to me by a high school instructor), but once it began, it was as if I was physically incapable of stopping. For that year and the next, film criticism was life. On a personal level, it was also a visceral experience, something that I and I alone could do without having my work comprimised by some kind of looming superior (I guess school gives you that mentality naturally). For a time following the whole K-12 thing (and even a bit into college), I wanted this to be a career. Unfortunately, time and dedication, especially in isolation, tends to build walls around your ego -- thus, I was put off by the impending notion that I couldn't have complete control over my own material in a paid profession, so the idea went from being a career goal to a recreational hobby rather quickly. Thankfully, I wasn't as defensive about my other Journalistic talents, so I didn't give up on the vocation entirely. I currently freelance for publications whose primary audiences are those that thrive on information-gathering, and the prospect of objective and thorough reporting is an art in itself. But one doesn't write just for the sake of writing, either; it has to be something engaging on a personal level, otherwise your wasting your time. Though movie reviewing has taken a back-burner in recent years to other things, it has nonetheless lived on in some capacity -- and for the sake of staying up with the times, that simple old free Geocities site I opened in the summer of '98 was moved to its own fully-paid server in early 2004. Cinemaphile.org is the culmination of all that work, and I'm proud that I am able to keep up this little hobby in a way that doesn't seem easily disposable. I love the movies and I love writing about them, and I intend on keeping the hobby under my belt as long as people are still willing to hear what I have to say.
Favorites:
Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries" John Boorman's "Excalibur" Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" Joel Coen's "Fargo" Jonathan Demme's "Beloved" William Friedkin's "The Exorcist" Christophe Gans' "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Mary Harron's "American Psycho" Werner Herzog's "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" Meyno Meyjes' "Max" Bill Paxton's "Frailty" Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" Alex Proyas' "Dark City" Ridley Scott's "Alien" Quentin Tarrantino's "Pulp Fiction" The Wachowski Brothers' "The Matrix" Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: Troutdale, Oregon
Official Websites: cinemaphile.org

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/4 94% The Favourite (2018) Lanthimos has made a film that plays like a diabolical union between Ken Russell and Robert Bresson, full of savage rhythms and emotional distance. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2019
1.5/4 30% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Whatever merits we attach to the first film in this series, they are all but abandoned somewhere in the mess of a follow-up. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2019
3/4 59% The House That Jack Built (2018) In between killings and mutilations are verbal rationalizations that underline the violence with startling clarity. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
4/4 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) Unpredictable and masterful. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
2.5/4 90% A Star Is Born (2018) A Star is Born is well-intentioned, but wants to play it far too safe for any of the good objectives to resonate. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
1.5/4 57% The Grinch (2018) The concoction of overpaid simpletons who have opted for a more literal subtext and undermined the very spirit of the source in the process. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 37% Hunter Killer (2018) Far from being earth-shattering but competent enough to be worth a glance on a weekend matinee. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 29% Venom (2018) A movie that pushes any intellectual connotation warrants much more careful and precise technical values. Halfway through this film and I was ready to pop an ibuprofen. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/4 96% BlacKkKlansman (2018) Sharp and perceptive, unfiltered, confrontational, and driven by a deep dramatic current that sees reality without varnish or sanitation. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 67% The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) At some point during the film, when my pessimism ought to have overwhelmed the occasion, I simply forgot I was an adult and descended freely into the material. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 95% We Are Still Here (2015) There is a skill working through the frames of director Ted Geoghegan's debut opus, providing us with enough allure and tension to more than make up for the maddening uncertainty. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
0/4 38% Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018) All the dramatic cues are there, and many of the faces convey an eagerness that is admirable, but every simpering scene of false sincerity moves to the rhythm of some shallow after-school special. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2/4 45% The Meg (2018) The movie is a long and absurd exercise in kitsch, without any high aims and even fewer incentives to inspire more than a passive glance. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 56% The Greatest Showman (2017) Almost everyone involved here was working in the full scope of their abilities. Perhaps one day they can even collaborate on something with more than just a shoestring screenplay. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
1/4 42% Rock of Ages (2012) One does not so much watch the movie as they stare on in maddening disbelief. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
2.5/4 83% Blockers (2018) A picture in the spirit of the early Farrelly brothers comedies, where a premise usually functioned as the glue holding together a mass of gross-outs. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
0.5/4 17% Father Figures (2017) A movie entirely without consequence, about people we don't care much for, a plot of impossible silliness, and situations that seem hauled through the grinder of exhausted mid-tempo farce. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
0.5/4 33% La casa sperduta nel parco (House on the Edge of the Park) (1985) What we are left with is a bunch of clueless faces standing around, submitting to the cause of a mistaken screenplay, and a director who has studied nothing of mood or context. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
1/4 No Score Yet The Initiation (1984) 107 minutes of witless nonsense, populated by performers who would look more at home in after-school specials, and filmmakers who ought to have been left stranded on the unemployment line. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
0/4 39% Maniac (1980) A loathsome exertion in perverse voyeurism. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
2/4 48% Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) The dinosaurs have ceased being sources of excitement and are now superficial showpieces in a plot that piles one ludicrous moment on top of another, without providing us much time to react or contemplate them. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2018
4/4 89% Hereditary (2018) The movie throbs with a relentless underlying terror that is frequently mystifying, sometimes aggravating, and almost always poised to keep the mind engaged in disquieting wonder. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2018
3.5/4 81% Scream 2 (1997) A sharp collection of observations strung across two hours of bloodshed, intricate motives, pointed cultural references and nearly flawless examples of well-modulated tension. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2018
4/4 88% Annihilation (2018) Here is a movie so thoroughly realized, so utterly entrenched in the harrowing ordeals of its characters, that their struggles touch on the very nervous system of our need to endure. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
100% The Bridge (Die Brücke) (1959) One of the most confrontational war movies of its time. An act of profound audacity. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
93% Nashville (1975) To ponder Robert Altman's Nashville is not merely to examine a profoundly important movie, but to deal with the very birth of a filmic ideal. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
No Score Yet Voskhozhdeniye (The Ascent) (1978) A revelation. It calls to us from an unmitigated stasis that sees the act of war as the consequence of dangerous movements colliding inwards on each other. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
4/4 96% Vertigo (1958) Hitchcock's film is distinctive, above all else, because it is the only one in his long catalogue without a scornful mask separating the obsessions from the vulnerabilities, and into the frames he pours the living essence of his timeless panache. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
3.5/4 75% Images (1972) An experiment that embodied the bold risk of an emerging method of cinema, where a garden of new filmmakers was being driven by themes more than characters or story. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
3.5/4 57% Last Days (2005) A tremendously sad and unsettling film. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
3.5/4 95% A Quiet Place (2018) A marvelous film that is genuinely frightening, without the zeal or polish of a routine studio picture where all the scares are conducted to convention. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3/4 74% The Witches of Eastwick (1987) Miller modulates the film from such a meticulous place that his fantasy develops with sincerity and humor, great underlying chemistry, and performances that inhabit the material rather than overplay it. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3.5/4 86% My Friend Dahmer (2017) The film works above standard because there is a powerful sadness motivating the characters. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
0.5/4 15% Geostorm (2017) A movie so bankrupt of ideas that it has the gall to masquerade as something more meaningful. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
2/4 40% Demon House (2018) Fashioned from a scorching creative eagerness that seems held back unnecessarily by a fear of visual or thematic excess. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
1.5/4 12% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) It's not a movie at all, but a sex toy with dialogue. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
4/4 80% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) Yorgos Lanthimos has distanced himself from the mere notion of promising filmmakers and made "The Killing of a Sacred Deer," a movie so strikingly perceptive that it moves him into the company of greater, more assured voices in the medium. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
3.5/4 88% The Post (2018) Here is a movie that is important for all the reasons you've undoubtedly heard about but is also something few of us could have expected: genuinely exciting. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
3.5/4 92% Dunkirk (2017) At a deeper level it is a testament to the audacious power of pure elemental filmmaking. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
4/4 99% Lady Bird (2017) The sweet, charming "Lady Bird" is a love letter to the cinema of ambitious adolescents. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
4/4 98% Get Out (2017) Peele's parting thought is not to insist that we are destined to be slaves to the narrow thinking of others, but that we have a responsibility to remain cautious and vocal until such ideas have been destroyed. Get Out is an urgent call to that necessity. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2018
4/4 91% Phantom Thread (2018) The movie leaves behind a profound afterthought, a feeling that we have just been roused by an idea that has not yet been spoken or discovered. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
3.5/4 95% Call Me by Your Name (2018) A sweet and loving film where the characters are less mindful of an outside response and more consumed by the amorous temptations they possess. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
2/4 84% Darkest Hour (2017) A droll, listless experience of a movie, an exercise that functions only because it is made in the service of its actor, who is more than up to the challenge of conveying a seamless portrayal. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
4/4 96% The Florida Project (2017) Baker has made a movie that cuts out the melodrama of after-school specials and found the profound contemplation lurking underneath. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
4/4 91% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Here is one of the more pointed and thoughtful discoveries of the year. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
3.5/4 89% I, Tonya (2018) A rather perceptive little film about the creation - and eventual destruction - of an Olympic athlete. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
3.5/4 91% La La Land (2016) Ambitious, hopeful and loving... a celebration of musical culture. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2018
2/4 72% Beauty and the Beast (2017) Nearly every detail is lifted verbatim from the earlier picture, minus the finesse or joy. This is not a movie at all, it's an overzealous dress rehearsal. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
3/4 92% The Shape of Water (2017) A splendid entertainment, well-modulated by a steady directorial hand, and sincere in its depiction of individuals whose physical limits are meant to propel them towards wondrous - if suspenseful - adventures. - Cinemaphile.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 1, 2018