Leah Pickett

Leah Pickett
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 88% Hustlers (2019) This movie too is zingy, surreal, and wildly entertaining. The key difference between it and the many great films that depict men doing horrible things for understandable reasons-is that Hustlers asks, why not women? - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
100% American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel (2019) A documentary that calmly disassembles the fallacies of the religious right skirts despair by focusing mainly on an uplifting church congregation in deep-red Oklahoma City that dares to call itself "liberal." - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
90% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) I too admire Colaizzo's effort, but in the end found myself ruminating on why I was expected to cheer at the finish line. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
2/4 44% After the Wedding (2019) ...the movie's biggest issue blooms from its core: it doesn't seem to know what kind of movie it wants to be. Did its makers envision a worldly, sweeping, somewhat political drama? - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2019
81% The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) It's not until Berman dives deeper, questioning his motivations to pursue the subject matter and testing the ethical limits of narrative nonfiction, that his doc makes a persuasive case for existing. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
93% If the Dancer Dances (2019) The film may not compare to seeing RainForest in its purest form, live and sans context, but no matter: dance nerds and visual art obsessives will find much to appreciate. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
100% Angels Are Made of Light (2019) Beautiful despite its ravages, somehow still glimmering with hope. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2019
59% Brian Banks (2019) Hodge's resolute performance anchors the film, while the nuanced screenplay from Doug Atchison and lush visual language from cinematographer Ricardo Diaz push it several rungs above prosaic TV-movie-style fare. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Belkin's portrait evokes the spirit of a typical Wallace interview: hard-hitting and unflinching in pursuit of the truth. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
80% The Freshmen (Première année) (2018) The film's heart beats through its central, intense, and fragile relationship between two ambitious young men. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
98% Rojo (2019) Many works of art foreground the victims of corruption; fewer investigate the hearts and minds of those who turn their backs. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
44% Hampstead (2019) Here Keaton reprises the role of the slightly kooky, klutzy, and lovable gal next door in this toasty crumpet of a film, set around London's scenic Hampstead Heath. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
83% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Writer-director Riley Stearns is a dark-comedy talent to watch. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
33% One Nation, One King (Un peuple et son roi) (2018) The film looks splendid; if only its golden glow and impressive costumes had contributed to something more exciting. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
58% Ophelia (2019) The picture is nowhere near as memorable as other more controversial twists on misunderstood women of history and fiction. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2019
90% Before Stonewall (2019) Join[s] Paris Is Burning (1990) and How to Survive a Plague (2012) in the top tier of documentaries concerning LGBTQ+ history and culture. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2019
100% The Proposal (2019) Magid, similar to the architect she reveres, knows the power of a good story and how to poetically construct one. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
92% Sauvage / Wild (2019) The central thrust of this graphic French drama may be a radical notion to some: that a sex worker can enjoy the wild, carnal freedom that his or her job can provide, while also being vulnerable to its dangers. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
92% The Feeling of Being Watched (2018) This should be required viewing for all Americans, but especially those who think they couldn't possibly be living in a surveillance state. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) The story reshuffles reality, especially time and facts, and the film is more enjoyable for it. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
84% Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) This film offers a moving remembrance of the people, music, and extraordinary circumstances that aligned to produce a cultural touchstone. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
43% Ferrante Fever (2019) Mostly, the film inspires in the viewer an urge to read the books instead. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
4/4 97% Booksmart (2019) Move over, Superbad: There's a new teen-buddy comedy in town. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
34% Poms (2019) Director Zara Hayes, to her credit, mixes some dark humor and blistering social commentary into this otherwise frothy cocktail of pratfalls and platitudes. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
66% Wine Country (2019) A curious letdown. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
58% Charlie Says (2019) The movie's depiction of these lost flower children, and what rendered them susceptible to Manson's brainwashing, is frustratingly shapeless and shallow. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
94% Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) Westheimer provides an essential public service, which the film, an affectionate tribute to her life and work, continues. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
2.5/4 81% Long Shot (2019) Long Shot is hit-and-miss. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3.5/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) A film that should feel overlong and overstuffed rings purposeful, weighted with existential truth even as it flashes before our eyes. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
100% Babylon (2019) A new restoration of this 1980 British cult classic makes plain that its themes of disaffection and racial discord in south London are still relevant nearly four decades later. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
73% Teen Spirit (2019) Vivid colors and shimmering light communicate the singer's frissons and invite her audience to feel them, too. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
44% The Chaperone (2019) The film has a sedate TV-movie quality, unbefitting of the roaring era and its It Girl. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
47% Dumbo (2019) The refurbished story, both numbing in its predictability and painstakingly woke, is the clearest indicator that this reboot need not exist. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
55% Five Feet Apart (2019) While mawkishness should not be a prerequisite for the sick-teens-in-love genre, the popularity of the two in concert has likely convinced many filmmakers that the opposite is true. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
44% Captive State (2019) Overall it's a mess, compounded by murky CGI and some unrealistic performances. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2019
3/4 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is a formidable force and a welcome addition to the MCU. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
100% The Ice King (2017) Erksine forgoes talking heads for interspersed audio of Curry's peers and admirers, keeping the film's visual and emotional focus on the man himself and the transporting power of his art. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
70% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Though the movie's tropes have been written about or spoofed before in funnier films like They Came Together, this breezy take has heart and a clever resolution. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
95% What Is Democracy? (2019) [Taylor] presents an inclusive and necessary debate, asking whether democracy today really is of, by, and for the people, and if it ever was. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
100% The World Before Your Feet (2018) Green's openness to learning about himself and others by going out to notice and appreciate what most overlook-a crumbled landmark, an unexpected garden-is edifying. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2019
20% Serenity (2019) The movie becomes even more ridiculous after its big reveal, which is obvious from early on and suggested in the opening shot. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
No Score Yet Impulso (2018) The workings of internal organs might come to mind when watching experimental flamenco dancer Rocío Molina contort and pulse her body onstage; she exudes a feral abandon that most people hide beneath pleasantries and skin. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
67% Vice (2018) You cannot simply sit and absorb this movie. Love it or hate it, you are one of its characters. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
100% Charm City (2018) Filmmaker Marilyn Ness gains extraordinary access to her subjects and apparently their trust. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Dafoe fully commits to his performance, as does Schnabel to the painter's vision and humanity. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2018
37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) The Crimes of Grindelwald feels hollow and disconnected, like it could have been made by anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Rowling's wizarding world. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Kidman delivers a delicate and nuanced performance as usual, while Edgerton's take on the manipulative head therapist is disturbingly accurate. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
88% Love, Gilda (2018) It's Radner's voice-especially when describing her struggles with food, fame, and men-that shines brightest. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
36% Hunter Killer (2018) The film is largely uncontroversial, save for a climax that could double as an advertisement for the Navy and America itself. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
78% Black '47 (2018) The movie sits in a murky place between appropriately weary historical drama and a more nimble action-Western hybrid, spurred by an outlaw's revenge - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018