My Take on the Movie Scene

A Note on Where to Find My Reviews

You can find links to all my movie reviews here. However, in general, my shorter reviews (200 - 300 words) appear on my FB site first (@themovieswithSam), and my longer analytical reviews (typically 1,000 words or more) appear at the Independent Institute. I will provide links to both. You can follow me on twitter, too (@SamRStaley).

My 2019 Movie Reviews

Click here for my latest movie reviews.

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Fast track to the 2019 reviews

Movie Review Archive (and more)

Click here to read earlier reviews plus other musings on many films such as Wonder Woman, Deepwater Horizon, Pirates of the Caribbean, and others!

Fast track to the past

A bit more about me and my essays on movies


In addition to my writing, I am a film critic for the Independent Institute, a think tank based in Oakland, California with a global platform. Reviews with a political economy angle are usually posted on the Independent Institute site (although they also examine the artistic merit and quality of the film). Reviews that are more artistically focused, or targeted toward a more general movie-going audience, are posted on my personal blog ( and links are posted on my movie review Facebook Page (@themovieswithsam). Below are the links to all these reviews. Civil and serious comments and reactions to my review are welcome on both sites. Full disclosure: I do not receive compensation for these reviews. I almost always see them in theaters and pay the full ticket (or DVD) price. 

Those interested in reading more about my process for scoring and evaluating reviews can click on the link below and find a more complete discussion in my paper Scoring Movies: A Personal Guide to Evaluating Film Content and Visual Storytelling (see below).


Scoring Movies

Click below and get access to the scoring rubric I use to anchor my movie reviews, Scoring Movies: A Personal Guide to Evaluating Film Content and Visual Storytelling. This is my attempt to provide a little transparency in a very subjective process. 

Scoring Movies (pdf)