Travis Johnson

Travis Johnson is Australia's most prolific film critic

3

Critic

Dirt Music Review

Tim Winton is hard to adapt for the screen. Do it right, as in Simon Baker’s 2017 feature directing debut, Breath, and you can wind up with something quite special, a thoughtful meditation on adolescence and loss, with a palpable sense of time and place. Do it wrong, as in Gregor Jordan’s take on Winton’s 2001 novel, Dirt Music, and you wind up with a soporific seaside soap opera. Yes, I’m proud o...

8

Critic

A Hidden Life Review

Philosopher filmmaker Terrence Malick specializes in making dense, cerebral, challenging films whose oblique narratives tend to frustrate viewers keyed to traditional storytelling, while delighting those who are open to his meditative, deeply spiritual musings on All of It. Still, even his most ardent admirers generally admit that 2017’s romantic drama Song to Song was a misfire, and so A Hidden L...

9

Critic

Little Women Review

Writer and director Greta Gerwig follows up her acclaimed solo directing debut, Ladybird, with this effervescent adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 1868 novel. Little Women follows the four March sisters – headstrong emerging writer, Jo (Saoirse Ronan); quiet, domestic Meg (Emma Watson); saintly Beth (Eliza Scanlen); and puckish, artful Amy (Florence Pugh) – as they grow to womanhood in Civ...

6

Critic

Go! Review

An amiable throwback to the kind of kids adventure films we used to get on the reg back in the day – think BMX Bandits and Frog Dreaming, both by Ozploitation veteran Brian Trenchard-Smith – the WA-shot Go! Never even attempts to rewrite the rulebook, instead relying on recognizable archetypes, appealing performances and a suitable brisk clip to keep the wheels spinning until it crosses the finish...

7

Critic

The Report Review

Effectively a clapback to Kathryn Bigelow’s “hunt for Bin Laden” political thriller, Zero Dark Thirty (a trailer for Bigelow’s film actually shows up in the background of one scene here), The Report puts us in the shoes of Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver), who is tasked by his boss, California Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to investigate instances of American agents using t...

8

Critic

Zombieland: Double Tap Review

Well, it took a decade but we’re finally back with the geographically-named heroes of Zombieland, who are finding that, even with the world overrun by slavering hordes of the living dead, people are still gonna have the same emotional and relationship problems that they’ve always had. You’d think that being able to hang your hat in the now-abandoned White House would take some of the sting out of ...

8

Critic

Judy Review

As a person and an icon, Judy Garland was n effervescent combination of incredible talent, nigh-crippling tragedy, and camp charm, and so it makes sense that Judy the movie is too. Director Rupert Goold (True Story) and screenwriter Peter Quilter, who adapted his own stage play, End of the Rainbow, manage to thread a very narrow needle with this assured biopic, which manages to be funny, touching,...

7

Critic

Rambo: Last Blood Review

At the coda of 2008’s Rambo, the fourth film following the exploits of alienated Vietnam veteran turned freelance killing machine John Rambo, we got a glimpse of our hero (Sylvester Stallone) returning to his family’s ranch in Arizona, the violence which had wracked his life for some 30+ years ostensibly behind him. The appearance now of a fifth Rambo flick indicates that this is not the case; aft...