Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I'm a Chicago-based Latino film critic that has been passionate about film for well over a decade. I'm also a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. I'm interested in prose above all and hope that my writing is valued for both its critical insight and wit.
Publications: Chicago Cinema Circuit

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
96% The Irishman (2019) The Irishman is profound in all the ways you'd expect a Scorsese film to be. It's thoughtful, exciting, and possesses all the signs of a master filmmaker challenging himself and his audience - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2019
88% Waves (2019) Whatever intended lyricism Shults aims for gets lost in a cacophony of despair that rarely feels genuine. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2019
85% Deerskin (Le daim) (2019) You almost want to give it credit for merely existing or for even having the bravado to suggest that a sequel is possible. But some ideas are best left as theoretical and Deerskin is clearly one of them. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2019
82% Girl on the Third Floor (2019) ...come[s] across as a WWE-studios version of Darren Aronofsky's mother! - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2019
85% The Whistlers (2019) ...something as astonishingly cool as his new film, The Whistlers, would seemingly go against the very tenets of what makes a Romanian New Wave film a Romanian New Wave film. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
90% The Twentieth Century (2019) ... this story of a shoe-sniffing bureaucrat with a particular knack for seal clubbing, is simultaneously new and familiar. Much like the best of Guy Maddin. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
78% The Truth (La vérité) (2019) The Truth is at its most persuasive when Kore-eda observes the scintillating rapport between Binoche and Deneuve. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
93% Tremors (Temblores) (2019) Concealed beneath the surface is a lyricism that can swell with truth. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
86% Mother (2019) As touching as Mother can be, its two-prong narrative seems like a compromise, with Bilsen never fully developing either story to the heights of their inherent dramaturgy. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
92% A Sun That Never Sets (Fire Will Come) (O Que Arde) (2019) Fire Will Come may be described as glacial in pacing, but the film is rich in textures, in what feels like an intensely muscular effort that demands its audience pay attention to all its ephemeral details. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
97% Clemency (2019) Chukwu's capacity of addressing an issue as unsexy as death penalty reform in both a lyrical and clinical context affords Clemency a palpable sense of urgency. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
65% Mister America (2019) As a self-contained piece of satire, it's a modest accomplishment. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
80% A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle) (2019) It becomes an examination of characters who gravitate toward thoughts of what's missing and lost... - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
64% The Mountain (2019) What you do get out of the film is a denial of closure, a refusal to provide the answers... - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
75% The Death of Dick Long (2019) It's easy to ridicule, sure, but it ends up becoming surprisingly more complex than its Nickleback-laced soundtrack would suggest. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) There's freedom in the kind of honesty that Gray expresses and as a result Ad Astra sings. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
88% Hustlers (2019) The likability of the ensemble does much of the heavy lifting here... - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
24% The Goldfinch (2019) ... a film not cerebral enough to be interesting nor thoughtful enough to be emotionally moving. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
63% It Chapter Two (2019) I really like what It Two is about, I just hate how it goes about it. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
70% Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2019) Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! is another example of the quote unquote documentary filmmaker peddling his brand of Gen-X whining as cultural and critical complaint. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
97% American Factory (2019) It's here where American Factory is at its most riveting, where Fuyao's Chinese upper-management attempts to suppress a union vote. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) [Brittany Runs a Marathon] possesses some notable virtues worth unpacking. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2019
78% Skin (2019) Skin ends up paying lip service, skimming past the messy mechanics and symptoms of hate. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) As you'd imagine, [Toy Story 4 will] mean a lot of things to different people, but most vitally, it just plain means something. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Jarmusch is speaking the language of the disenchanted; the language of a generation prone to skimming over specifics. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
82% Total Recall (1990) Adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, Verhoeven's backdrop of competing alien factions.... and ruthless capitalists informs something even more broad: when every waking moment is a nightmare, sometimes it's best to retreat to our dreams. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
No Score Yet The Last to See Them (Gli ultimi a vederli vivere) (2019) I found Summa's stylism to lend itself to evocation over provocation. The Last to See Them is thoughtful in a way that could not be anticipated. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) On a purely visual level, it's incomprehensible and meaningless with every scene involving these kaijus set to Biblical on the rain scale. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
97% Booksmart (2019) The good will that Wilde and her coterie of writers build, along with the integrity and commitment of all the film's performers, manages to steer the film through its rockiest passages. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
90% Saint Frances (2019) ... if the creases show, it's [Ramona Edith] Williams' doe-eyed, aw-shucks performance that will likely iron this out for audiences. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
70% Pink Wall (2019) ...while there were several passages throughout that I nodded in recognition, there's simply a self-consciousness to its design that makes most of Pink Wall a disingenuous disappointment. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
75% Olympic Dreams (2020) ... the kind of American independent film that captures your attention at its moment and then quickly fades out of your memory after its end credits scroll. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) There aren't many films that can suggest John Ford and D.W. Griffith in one scene and follow that up with a sequence involving a knife thrown directly to the groin, but Parabellum impossibly does. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) No human of a certain age, even with the credentials that (Bill) Nighy possesses, can utter the word "Pokémon" without it sounding a little embarrassing. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
73% Teen Spirit (2019) It's sloppy, embarrassingly indulgent, and operates more like a music video than a feature film. And for those reasons I, irrationally, really enjoyed [Teen Spirit]. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
66% Peterloo (2019) Leigh's mammoth ambitions limit the creative will of his filmmaking. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Mike Wallace is Here is so compulsively watchable that it's easy to forget that you've seen a dozen documentary films like it before. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
88% The Infiltrators (2019) ...a shallow film on a group's activism that doesn't seem to understand that true horror does not need reenacting - we're living it. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
96% Hail Satan? (2019) ...an uneven film, one that seems to value the puckishness of the Satanic Temple's leaders rather than the intricacies by which the religion (hopes to) operate as a true oppositional force. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
100% Knock Down the House (2019) For better or worse (mostly better), AOC ends up hijacking Knock Down the House. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! ended up being exactly what I needed when I needed it. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
93% Us (2019) Us is most persuasive when compressed, when we're observing its concerns through the retina of Nyong'o performance. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
92% Fighting with My Family (2019) .... intended for generic uplift that sacrifices specifics for something safe and anodyne. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2019
78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Everybody Knows stands out as Farhadi's most interesting film to date. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
70% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) ... banally imagines death as a series of jump scares or pithy one-liners intended to yank out a laugh. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
84% Don't Blink - Robert Frank (2016) Israel possesses a formal acuity that's refreshing for a documentary filmmaker - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
96% The Salesman (Forushande) (2017) Even if Farhadi rarely leaves me impressed with his visual capacities, the depths of his dramatic intuition are second to none. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story (2015) Cantu, as a figure, is magnetic enough to digest the film without much protest, but Schwartz' inability to discriminate between valuable content and its opposite fails its subject. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
96% The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä mies) (2017) The film is drained of any particular vitality - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
88% Christine (2016) This is my first experience with Campos and I'm completely taken aback by his formal IQ. Every frame is richly composed, informed by careful decisions that reflect the self-doubt of his characters - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019