Monica Castillo

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For 169 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Monica Castillo's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Cuties
Lowest review score: 0 The Departure
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 169
169 movie reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Monica Castillo
    The movie is so much more nuanced and bold than the first wave of outrage charged. With Cuties, Doucouré announces herself as a director with a keen visual style who’s unafraid to explore these cultural and social tensions.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Monica Castillo
    Based on the Shakespeare play of the same name, Paul Ireland’s Measure for Measure is filled with drama, although perhaps not the kind you’d expect from the Bard. No, this is a modern-day adaptation—one grappling with xenophobia, drug addiction, and gun violence. There are no period costumes here, but there’s a stone-faced Hugo Weaving to make up for it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 Monica Castillo
    The Garden Left Behind works best as a message movie, not for the community it’s set in but for everyone else.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Monica Castillo
    A sweet but ineffective comedy that cashes in on drag culture’s new mainstream fame. While the movie brings up a handful of important topics, the way it handles issues like drug addiction and physical abuse ultimately feel superficial and hollow. Fortunately, a few sparkling performances salvage the show from becoming too maudlin.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    Heading into the homestretch of this year’s election, Represent feels like a balm. A reminder that, win or lose, there’s something to be gained by reigniting people’s interest in civil engagement, especially at the local and state level.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    This movie promises dancing, and it delivers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    This version of La Llorona finds new emotional ground. It’s not just a creepy story, but a painful reflection of injustice.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    The Cuban pulls together music, romance, loss, and memory into an emotional tale that spans cultures and generations. One thing connects them all: Cuban music.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Monica Castillo
    You can soak in the movie’s basic premise and overacting just as long as you know this pool’s shallow.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Monica Castillo
    If A Nice Girl Like You would have stayed the course of the book it’s based on, Ayn Carrillo-Gailey’s 2007 memoir Pornology, it might have been an interesting enough premise. Instead, Andrea Marcellus’ screen adaptation whitewashes the main character and moves the narrative into a more conventional territory, one centered on love over lust, tame over the risque.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    Archive is a somewhat unwieldy sci-fi thriller to get into. The plot twists are many, and so are the cliches.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Monica Castillo
    Welcome to Chechnya is both astonishingly groundbreaking in its use of technology, and difficult to watch.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Monica Castillo
    There’s a quiet intensity that runs throughout The Audition. Although most of it feels like a subtle family and teacher drama, sharp anxious pangs occasionally disrupt the film’s otherwise gentle pace. Eventually, these feelings spin the film’s main character out-of-control into a truly baffling conclusion that feels neither right nor earned. It’s almost as if it were the ending of another movie entirely.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    There are gentle surprises in the trip’s unexpected turns and setbacks, and thankfully, Simon-Kennedy knows where she’s going.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 0 Monica Castillo
    In the case of Merland Hoxha’s The Departure, my first note was “why does this movie exist?” An hour and change later when the credits rolled, I still couldn’t answer my own question. My best guess to explain this vile movie is that it’s based on some nasty relationship drama, and we’re all invited to watch Hoxha work his way through some still-lingering resentment.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Monica Castillo
    Dreamland is a half-remembered nightmare. It’s full of incomprehensible flashes of striking imagery, most of which won’t make sense in the morning. But in the moment you’re watching Dreamland, you’ll feel the restlessness of its messy story, the fitful starts-and-stops of its erratic editing and the leaden quality of its action sequences, which has all the grace of someone who took a Benadryl pill too early.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Monica Castillo
    Complemented by the eerie work of sound designers Johnny Marshall and David Rosenblad and music by Erick Alexander and Jared Bulmer, The Vast of Night sells its mystery as a package deal, firing on all sight-and-sound cylinders to immerse its viewers in its story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    The film gets teasingly close to bringing up some hefty conversations about women in the music business, but in the end, those notes stay flat, playing more like a melody that doesn’t stick around for long.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Monica Castillo
    Carroll’s film never loses sight of Kennedy. It would be almost impossible to do so. She’s a prickly character, an energetic curmudgeon who wields her sharp tongue as readily as she cuts tomatoes with a knife. She will not suffer fools asking her to change recipes or vendors trying to sell her items that don’t meet her high standards. She’s an intimidating presence, even in her old cooking shows from decades ago, who seems unforgiving of mistakes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    As Alice, Piponnier is phenomenal, putting in a meticulously reserved performance in what could very well have been a melodramatic role.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    There is more in How to Build a Girl that works than doesn’t. It’s charming and sweet, and even in its more serious moments, the movie never loses its sense of humor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Monica Castillo
    Following the stylish mountain man as he reverts to his base, feral nature, the movie itself feels sparse, almost minimalistic. It’s stripped down to its barest essentials, just a crazed individual under the influence of the illusion of masculine power.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 Monica Castillo
    Daniel H. Birman’s Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story is what happens when a crime documentary loses sight of its focus.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    The movie practically sparkles in scenes at Melanoff’s candy factor, where the rainbow motif is woven throughout the space and even onto Melanoff’s commander jacket, which is topped off with candy buttons and cupcakes on his shoulders.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    From the moment Selah is shown on her wicker chair throne off-campus, Selah and the Spades is impressively filled with style. Through the lens of cinematographer Jomo Fray, the film is vibrantly colorful yet moody, dripping with teen angst.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Monica Castillo
    Our characters here are not so much stuck in a time loop, as they are in a very lazy movie filled with cliches and middle school-level humor, and which starts over half-way through the events for no reason. The joke is on anyone who mistakes this movie for entertainment.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Monica Castillo
    As wonderful as The Other Lamb appears on screen and its cast embodies the story’s tension, it feels as if there is missing something from the final picture. The movie is slight in its exploration of dark subjects like cults, inter-generational dynamics and abuse, without coming to any kind of conclusion or closure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    While the documentary has the feel of a scrappy passion project, the message itself remains powerful. Given the chaotic times, There’s Something in the Water also serves as a stark reminder that not all governments have their citizens’ best interests at heart.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Monica Castillo
    Much of the movie is dedicated to the hard science behind the discovery of CRISPRs that has opened a whole new Pandora’s Box of possibilities both terrible and great, but I wish there were more of the human element in Human Nature.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Monica Castillo
    No matter, after much sound and fury the movie is more of a molehill than a mountain. Betty Gilpin deserves better and so do we.

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