Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I have been covering arts & entertainment, as well as writing general features, for the past 13 years at various print outlets in Illinois and have been reviewing films since 1995.
Favorites:
BEST OF RECENT YEARS - There Will Be Blood, United 93, A History of Violence, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, About Schmidt, The Royal Tenenbaums, Traffic, American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan, L.A. Confidential, Sling BladeGUILTY PLEASURES - Deep Rising, Mouse Hunt, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, From Dusk Till Dawn, Jackass: The Movie, Road House, XXX
Location: Lafayette, IN

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 37% 6 Underground (2019) Stupid. Offensive. Generally indefensible. Glorious. Another of Michael Bay's distinctly prodigious entertainments in which he continues to outdo himself & it's as much his own meditation as "The Irishman" was for Scorsese or "Roma" was for Cuarón. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2019
2.5/5 88% The Two Popes (2019) Flirts with the best films about faith for its first hour. Then screenwriter Anthony McCarten's anodyne, awards-chasing approach kicks in and reduces what could've felt like a wave crashing on Catholicism's beach to a tide that's neap and cheap. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2019
3/5 50% 21 Bridges (2019) Nothing new, but there are enough trace elements of fatalism to complement throwback energy of actors behind guns, their faces filling the screen as they sling sturdy, stentorian soliloquies at each other. 21 Bridges is a gritty little ditty. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2019
4.5/5 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) A furiously entertaining, unexpectedly thoughtful work of force and finesse. James Mangold's latest triumph is big-blue-yonder filmmaking that observes the holes an obsession with the line of what's possible can leave and the ones it can fill. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
1.5/5 42% Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle (2003) Where the first film is aggressively gleeful, the sequel feels like felonious assault - a cold, calculated and cobbled-together continuation from which all comedy and camaraderie has been sucked out. Your brain will eventually wave the white flag. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
3.5/5 68% Charlie's Angels (2000) You may consider this the loosened collar or tightened noose on lightweight American action. But the film remains a kitschy, kick-butt confection that embraces the utter disposability of its severe necklines, sheer pantylines and silly plotlines. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
1.5/5 43% Midway (2019) Lumping this in with other nations' jingoistic efforts insults the inherent confidence and conviction behind propaganda, however mighty and just the moral outrage it provokes. Instead, "Midway" finds itself stuck squarely in a dollar theatre of war. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
4.5/5 94% In Fabric (2019) Peter Strickland elevates garden-variety consumer satire into a rarefied air of exquisite laughter & explosive shock value. The most horrifying thing in a film about a killer dress? Just how lonely the indignities of everyday life can feel. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2019
1/5 68% Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) To cite Tallahassee's coin-flip nomenclature: If Double Tap represents everyone's idea of waiting 10 years to make sure they got it right, they'd have been better off with "shut up." - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2019
3/5 91% El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Vince Gilligan's poetically poignant spin on the classic Point Blank template certainly presents an enjoyable coda. But it shows how even watershed peak-TV achievements like Breaking Bad can be made to feel like hangout series. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2019
1/5 26% Gemini Man (2019) Ang Lee continues his free-fall of futzing around with fancy technology to a fruitless result. Some upside: The last time he made a movie this bad, Brokeback Mountain followed. Maybe instead of frame-rate folly, he can clone that. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
3/5 77% Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) Although sometimes a smidge too shapeless, Zach Galifianakis's feature-length expansion of his web shorts has something smart to say about challenging the well-known in conversation rather than sitting them down for silly, sophomoric cool-kid games. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
4/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) Threads a needle of insanity, absurdity and humanity that's adventurous enough to forgive its occasional fumbles. Here's a film that pushes the potential of its chosen sci-fi milieu while infusing it with a frighteningly relatable malaise and unease. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
4/5 56% Weird Science (1985) Think of Weird Science as a Vanilla Sky for John Hughes. It's anomalous to his usual genre but analogous to the trials and tribulations found in his other work. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
1.5/5 22% The Kitchen (2019) The choppy, sloppy film too often asks its inherently feminist premise to prop up everything that transpires in place of legitimate character work. Of the many reasons it shouldn't miss, not even pulling the trigger is the most disappointing. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
2.5/5 60% Brian Banks (2019) Aldis Hodge and Greg Kinnear give everything to a movie that is never anything beyond what you'd expect. From its blah trajectory to its bland title -Turnover was RIGHT there - this plays like a dramatized two-hour 20/20. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
2.5/5 29% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Director Michael Chaves ramps up the Spielbergian flair in the final act, with a spookhouse run of more playful malevolence than perfunctory motion. But after two acts of overly telegraphed terror, you just don't fear the weeper. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
2.5/5 32% Double Impact (1991) Some slickly commendable action sequences and a great final fight between Jean-Claude van Damme and Bolo Yeung. But this often feels like it's eight hours long. Don't let that deter you from one of the year's finest making-of documentaries, though. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
2/5 30% The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019) It's like watching a cruise-ship entertainment director make do on a marine humanitarian vessel. Chris Evans will be fine, but he'll certainly have to do better than this Munich-ish cosplay that can't even reckon with the quandaries it poses. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
2/5 39% Point Blank (2019) This thriller's prefab premise is easily translated into any language or culture. For American audiences, the filmmakers were content to simply showcase an incongruously bouncy '80s soundtrack and an atypical Cincinnati setting. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
5/5 93% All the President's Men (1976) Removed from its topical urgency, it remains a vigorously entertaining pursuit of accuracy and accountability. Revisited, it's clear how much inspiration David Fincher took for Zodiac to depict investigative reporting and workplace dynamics. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
5/5 96% The Insider (1999) Michael Mann's least physically violent film feels no less ferocious -especially given the appetites with which corporations gobble up media today. Holding off barbarians at the gate is only noble until you must sell them the gate to fund the fight. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4.5/5 88% The Post (2018) For a film as far from Steven Spielberg's fantasy lands as possible, it's among his most visually deft-a smorgasbord of spatial and geometric symbolism to separate characters and, at times, minimize or magnify them in meditating on the here and now. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/5 77% Kill the Messenger (2014) Evokes the detailed energy and ennui of enterprise journalism, and thanks to Jeremy Renner's best performance outside The Hurt Locker, Webb comes across as a more meaningfully complex character than most comparable crusaders, real or imagined. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4/5 90% The Parallax View (1974) Often eclipsing visible light in vampiric shadow, it feels like a premonitory vision of America at its most dangerously divisive. Unsparingly depicted in an unbroken take, the conditioning video is among Alan Pakula's monuments to masterful tension. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3.5/5 90% Under Fire (1983) An incendiary film that transforms the pipe-dream assumption that Americans only intervene to do good into a pipe bomb. The less-interesting love triangle is a delivery system for a blunt, effective observation: War's only objective truth is death. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/4 86% The Quiet American (2003) A stylish, gauzy thriller and a character study of zeal and detachment that meet on an inverse scale of idealism. An intriguing, if not entirely harrowing, grapple with the idea that being human does not inherently mean being good. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4/5 77% Fletch (1985) As Chevy Chase's best starring vehicle, it inverts the novels' occasional darkness into a quick-witted quip machine. But that energy feels appropriately extemporaneous here in making defenses fall or hackles rise. Either way, Fletch gets the story. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/4 86% Top Five (2014) Big laughs and believable vulnerability. But it also has aged faster than Indiana Jones Nazis unable to spot the cup of a carpenter and relies on truly retrograde eye-rolling plot turns about reporters' motives. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/4 53% The Pelican Brief (1993) Not on par with Alan J. Pakula's preeminent paranoid cinema. But depicting a POTUS at odds with his FBI director and creating obstruction of justice concerns aligns it with Pakula's other preternaturally predictive potboilers. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1.5/5 75% Eyewitness (1981) Peter Yates' initially promising thriller becomes a turgid trifle that wastes its '40s-noir-in-'80s-fashion premise. The only thing more anemic than its mystery or social commentary? Hurt and Weaver's sexual chemistry. Film at 11, asleep by 11:30. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4/5 51% The Interview (2014) Headlines strained to politicize the film. But it's merely a crass, caustic comedy whose point of view is to not let cultural coverage brainwash the best out of us - whether it involves human rights or celebrity hairpieces. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2/5 64% Street Smart (1987) Fact checkers will bail on this improbable, boring drama that deigns to make Christopher Reeve's character the hero even after he dangles his girlfriend as pimp bait. So should you, as Morgan Freeman's performance doesn't justify the casual racism. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1.5/5 36% Mad City (1997) A drama too timid to tackle its media machinations or manipulations with thoughtful talk. Dustin Hoffman is fine. John Travolta resembles the SNL version of Wolverine. Ultimately, it's a 2-7 off-suit hand bluffing an ace in the hole. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2.5/5 45% True Story (2015) A meditation on the mindset of fabulists like James Frey or Stephen Glass? A gripping psychological thriller? A takedown of every writer's dream about a memorable memoir? A good movie? On all counts, True Story rings false. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1/5 48% Bruce Almighty (2003) Spiritual enlightenment is served as a side dish to the main course of orgasm and orifice jokes. Steve Carell gets the film's only good scene, easily You-Tubed, with an on-air gibberish seizure. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1.5/5 63% Truth (2015) Even if Truth hadn't opened in the same year as Spotlight, its superficial grandstanding about rigged systems and agendas would feel like a production staffed by understudies. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2/5 50% The Mean Season (1985) Nicely shot but thematically daft schlock about the line past which storytellers become the story. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2.5/5 36% Anna (2019) The twists are less risible than in Atomic Blonde or Red Sparrow. But it's what the twists come to stand for that starts to make it feel like Luc Besson is trying to represent himself in court and be his own character witness. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2019
3.5/5 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Enjoyable and energetic but hardly essential, this is a piece you could pluck from the Toy Story canon and never notice its absence. That's a far cry from the ways in which this franchise has always challenged itself to reach for the sky. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
1.5/5 32% Shaft (2019) Can ya bigot? - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
1.5/5 45% Murder Mystery (2019) No comedian stays great forever. But when you see how effective Adam Sandler can be when putting forth even a scintilla of skill, that's why these vending-machine movies - now complete with vending-machine titles - continue to rankle so much. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/5 90% I Am Mother (2019) Like Moon or Monsters before it, Grant Sputore's film is small-budget sizzle ahead of studio steak. Whether he can cut around fat better than others remains to be seen. While his debut is unambitious, it's at least artfully watchable. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 73% The Perfection (2019) The final act's bid for topicality falls flat, but up to that point, it takes entertaining hard-left hairpins into several lanes of horror. It's an effective, efficient nugget of nastiness. Just X out of Netflix's autoplay trailer as fast as you can. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
4/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) The first half is fulsome in its fury, with Wick at his most improvisational and the series at its most ingenious and invigorating. The rest is ultimately a bit more enervating than you'd hope, but you remain invigorated by where the saga could go. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
2.5/5 67% Wine Country (2019) A superficial Sideways cut with a better-behaved Bridesmaids is unambitious, but that's tempered by the true-life chemistry these comediennes share. Rachel Dratch and Paula Pell are the respective secret weapons that really make it go. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
2.5/5 32% The Intruder (2019) It's too long and the ending skunks intriguing ideas on manliness. But if you're watching this at all, you're here to see Dennis Quaid subvert his Stetson-sturdy charms into a sinewy monster who slobbers all over the screen ... and boy do you get it. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
2.5/5 34% Poms (2019) The jokes mostly bomb. Sadder and wiser beats carry it, along with a lack of disdain for younger characters. "Poms" knows people of any age are capable of petty behavior, but also prompted into better decisions by those who remain patient with them. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
2/5 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) A sequel that pulls time-and-a-half to carry all the corporate water the first one left at the bottom of a hill. To watch it feels like freebasing fifteen 5-Hour Energy drinks, and its message -play nice with siblings to get more LEGOs - is rancid. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
2/5 5% Movie 43 (2013) There is even money on a man with a gun just outside the frame at any given moment here ... except in "Happy Birthday," where Gerard Butler looks legitimately elated and excited to portray a pair of foul-mouthed, genital-mutilating leprechauns. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019