Marshall Shaffer


Marshall Shaffer
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Marshall Shaffer is a New York-based freelance film journalist. His work has appeared on Slashfilm, Slant, Decider, Little White Lies, Vague Visages and many other outlets.

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
92% The Shape of Water (2017) If The Shape of Water were purely focused on Eliza and the creature with deity-like properties, it would be a pure shot of cinematic ecstasy. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
55% Caniba (2018) It's puzzling to reconcile how Castaing-Taylor and Paravel simultaneously operate on such a high level ... while also strapping themselves into an aesthetic chastity belt. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
93% A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse) (2018) Like the cinema of attractions, A Skin So Soft relies on the body as the primary method of communication. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
87% First Man (2018) By the end of First Man, it's unclear if Chazelle wants viewers to cheer on the achievement of walking on the moon - or just breathe a sigh of relief. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
94% Wildlife (2018) What Dano aims for is something trickier: understanding these characters and the forces animating their decisions without necessarily identifying with them. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
87% High Life (2019) Denis disrupts the steady forward progress of an objective-driven story by unmooring High Life from narrative gravity altogether. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
90% Green Room (2016) Saulnier clearly feels a good deal of kinship with the punks and gives them dynamic personalities that prove oddly compelling. - Movie Mezzanine EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
8/10 85% Battle of the Sexes (2017) Dayton and Ferris assemble a massive ensemble of talented performers to bring the manifold speaking roles in Battle of the Sexes to vibrant life. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
6/10 67% Breathe (2017) With just the slightest shift of his glance or the quiver of his lip, Garfield conveys as much as his grandest gestures in other films. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 49% Downsizing (2017) Downsizing dares to ask if humans will be ready to make the sacrifices necessary for the survival and preservation of the species is on the line. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 81% Chappaquiddick (2018) By divorcing Ted Kennedy from his accomplishments, Chappaqudick forces a reckoning over the divide between his rhetoric and his actions. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
5/10 9% Kings (2018) The film's worst sin is not that it's a middling movie. It's that it adds nothing to an urgent and ongoing dialogue. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
5/10 67% On Chesil Beach (2018) By keeping a literary structure intact, the film is dead on arrival. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 71% Hostiles (2018) This avoidance of anything resembling monotonic character development in Hostiles will either prove energizing or exhausting, depending on an audience's taste. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
10/10 93% First Reformed (2018) Add Paul Schrader's latest movie First Reformed to a growing list of modern masterpieces on faith. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
8/10 96% Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton (2017) Jim and Andy offers invaluable insight into the agony of acting. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 67% Unicorn Store (2019) Unicorn Store might not wield the fanciest and finest filmmaking techniques ... but it does show Larson possesses a wisdom beyond her years. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
9/10 95% Foxtrot (2018) As subjected as they all are to the vagaries of a fickle and bitterly ironic universe, Maoz always gives voice to the cries of his characters. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
6/10 76% Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez bronzer les cadavres!) (2018) Anyone who can bear to stare directly into Let the Corpses Tan may walk away with the sensation that their eyelids are burning ... that's by design. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
9/10 90% Lean on Pete (2018) Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete is a social realist drama of the highest order. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7.5/10 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Rather than embrace broad styles like "comedic" or "dramatic," McCarthy taps into emotions that span both genres. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
6/10 61% Teen Spirit (2019) The film is derivative, calibrated to appeal to a lowest-common-denominator audience ... and yet admittedly catchy. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
8.5/10 79% Dogman (2019) Dogman is a passionately allegorical tale for the modern-day enabler. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 63% Peterloo (2019) Peterloo's deliberate pacing and structure makes the evolution of a movement feel completely organic. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 87% Non-Fiction (2019) Olivier Assayas' Non-Fiction shows one of the great contemporary filmmakers at his most perceptive and loquacious. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7/10 93% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) By virtue of its song-like structure, Birds of Passage is melodramatic ... but nothing about the film's drama feels artificially heightened. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
8/10 62% American Dharma (2018) Morris uncovers that Bannon is less a political mastermind and more of a mythologizer. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
8/10 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) The Ballad of Buster Scruggs functions like a greatest hits album for the Coens, though somehow with songs we've never heard before. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
7.5/10 80% 22 July (2018) 22 July shows the danger of supremacist ideology even when its adherents do not pick up a weapon. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
10/10 94% The Favourite (2018) What sets The Favourite apart from similar tales of royal bickering, though, is Lanthimos' willingness to depict the blood sport of politics without engaging in it himself. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
8.5/10 83% Her Smell (2019) None of the bravura filmmaking would have the same stinging impact were it not for Elisabeth Moss. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2018
6.5/10 44% The Hummingbird Project (2019) Nguyen's tightly directed adult drama always captivates, but his undercooked script cannot help but beg the question "so what?" when the credits roll. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
6.5/10 68% Maya (2018) Hansen-Løve portrays both Maya, other Indian characters and the country at large with nuance and dimensionality. But she comes a little close to the line separating affectionate portrayal from exploitative navel-gazing. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
7/10 87% Climax (2019) [The] film is at its best when visually matching the lithe maneuvering of a body pushed to its extremity. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
7/10 70% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) What results is something still as rigorously written and planned as Farhadi's other films, just lacking a certain organic quality that gives the drama an extra punch. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
9.5/10 77% Mid90s (2018) Mid90s feels like Jonah Hill's soul pouring out on screen, an authentic and unfettered expression of maturation and belonging. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
7/10 81% Boy Erased (2018) There's a clear evolution over time in the performance of Jared, which features the normally charismatic Hedges functioning within a very small range of expressed emotion. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
7/10 88% What They Had (2018) What They Had manages to come out to something more than the sum of its imperfect parts. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
5.5/10 73% Assassination Nation (2018) Levinson is smart enough to know better while also apparently being brazen enough not to really care. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
7/10 100% Gloria Bell (2019) Lelio does not shy away from the melancholy of his protagonist's isolated situation, and it makes her triumphs all the sweeter to savor. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
8.5/10 80% Ben is Back (2018) Lucas Hedges provides a beating, aching heart at the center of Ben Is Back with his soulful performance, another reminder of why he is one of the most exciting young performers working today. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
7.5/10 69% Beautiful Boy (2018) Health and happiness are both so near and so unattainable in Beautiful Boy. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
85% The Sisters Brothers (2018) Audiard does not seek to ape, riff or revise common tropes. He seems far more concerned with honoring the spirit of the land that inspired so many others to stage thrilling tales in its vast expanses. - Vague Visages EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
7.5/10 86% Monsters and Men (2018) Though elements of it peek through in the other characters, Zyrick represents the only persona through which Green fully realizes his vision of self-actualization frequently denied to people of color in these narratives. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
2/4 60% Operation Finale (2018) The film never manages to reconcile the enormity of the Holocaust with how ordinary a bureaucrat Eichmann was. - Slant Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2018
8/10 56% Maine (2018) Remarkably, Maine never feels like some kind of pointed rejoinder to the wilderness self-discovery narrative that serves as a popular fantasy. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
7/10 69% Song of Back and Neck (2018) Do we really need another sad middle-age white guy comedy? Probably not, but if we have to have them, at least let them be more like Paul Lieberstein's Song of Back and Neck. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
8/10 95% To Dust (2019) Röhrig and Broderick work remarkably well in tandem throughout To Dust, with the former providing the sincerity and the latter bringing some levity. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
8.5/10 84% Disobedience (2018) The stakes are high, yet Disobedience never slips into easy melodrama. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2018
7/10 74% Back Roads (2018) The emotions on display in Back Roads are not the type that can be buried and disposed of. They must be acknowledged and dealt with. And factoring in this being a freshman feature only makes the achievement all the more remarkable. - Slashfilm EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018