Chicago Reader

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Balthazar (1966) Leah Pickett The movie plays like a concerto. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
The Woman Who Loves Giraffes (2018) Leah Pickett Innis Dagg returns to the site of her innovative research, and the accompaniment of vivid color photographs and 16-millimeter footage the scientist herself took in the late '50s render the duality of the experience all the more bewitching. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
Kings and Queen (2004) Jonathan Rosenbaum It adds up to more than the sum of its parts, but you may not realize it for a day or so. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
The Son's Room (2001) Meredith Brody With tender skill, Moretti illuminates Samuel Beckett's familiar summation "I can't go on-I'll go on." EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Monster in a Box (1991) Jonathan Rosenbaum ...his powers as a writer and performer certainly hold one's attention. Incidentally, more than five dozen names appear in the credits of this one-man show. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
Spellbound (1945) Dave Kehr ...beneath the facile trappings there is an intriguing Hitchcockian study of role reversal, with doctors and patients, men and women, mothers and sons inverting their assigned relationships with compelling, subversive results. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2019
2/4 The Mountain (2018) Ben Sachs One can easily watch the film the way Andy takes part in Wallace's odyssey-but you'll probably be disappointed if you expect the various ideas to add up to more than the sum of their parts... EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
The Cat Rescuers (2018) Leah Pickett Cat people tend to be unfairly maligned, but in this documentary, they're heroes. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
The Goldfinch (2019) Leah Pickett A cool sterility lingers beneath every cue meant to tug at our insides. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2019
It: Chapter Two (2019) Leah Pickett Trimming the adults' often soppy individual narratives to focus on their more interesting dynamic as a group might have mitigated some of the numbness that sets in from predictability. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
Jay Myself (2018) Leah Pickett In the end, the viewer might find herself both feeling the loss at the center of Maisel and Wilkes's letting-go process and craving a similar grotto of her own. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
3/4 Ad Astra (2019) Ben Sachs In drawing on and amplifying ideas that have appeared elsewhere in his work, [James] Gray heightens Ad Astra's sense of familiarity, making the future seem like something out of the past. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Night and Day (Bam gua nat) (2009) J. R. Jones Hong works in long, improvised scenes that seem to go nowhere, but they're so rife with sexual subtext that, even at 144 minutes, the movie never feels long. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
I Live in Fear (1955) Jonathan Rosenbaum I persist in finding it among the most memorable: eerie, troubling, and haunting. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
3/4 Hustlers (2019) Leah Pickett Hustlers, it must be said, is hustle incarnate. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
Drifting (1923) Ben Sachs Tod Browning directed, and though the film isn't as sensationalistic as his better-known horror films, it still offers flashes of his perverse imagination. There are compelling supporting performances from Wallace Beery and Anna May Wong. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2019
5B (2018) Kathleen Sachs Its simplicity is in service of its effectiveness. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Ben Sachs This may have as much to do with the colorful eastern seaboard settings as it does the filmmakers' sensitive handling of the main character's developmental disability; the film feels authentic as well as sincere. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel (2019) Leah Pickett A documentary that calmly disassembles the fallacies of the religious right EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Leah Pickett I too admire Colaizzo's effort, but in the end found myself ruminating on why I was expected to cheer at the finish line. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
3/4 What You Gonna Do When The World's On Fire? (2018) Ben Sachs The charisma of Minervini's subjects is powerful enough to cut through the ethnographic vibe... EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
3/4 Los Reyes (2018) Ben Sachs Los Reyes is a charming, calming film, though it's also somewhat one-note... EDIT
Posted Aug 29, 2019
For Sama (2019) Andrea Gronvall One of the most intimate and stirring documentaries about war in the 21st century, and a plea to the free nations of the world to act. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
2.5/4 Old Boyfriends (1979) Kathleen Sachs I find Tewkesbury's restraint more interesting, as it results in something hazily impenetrable and truer to the often ambiguous nature of people's thoughts and motivations. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
2/4 After the Wedding (2019) Leah Pickett The movie's biggest issue blooms from its core: it doesn't seem to know what kind of movie it wants to be. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2019
Premature (2019) Andrea Gronvall Premature is one of the year's best films. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Strive (2019) Andrea Gronvall The screenplay by Sha-Risse Smith and Piper Dellums at times hovers on melodrama, but Starr keeps the film on target with her performance. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Sprinter (2018) Andrea Gronvall A crowd-pleaser devoid of false sentimentality, thanks to its disarming young lead, Dale Elliott, and a sturdy supporting cast that includes Lorraine Toussaint and Dennis Titus... EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
I Can't Breathe (2017) Andrea Gronvall Don't miss this enlightening documentary, a primer on the risks and rewards of politics, and why it's absolutely fundamental that all citizens engage in its discourse, on whatever level we can. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Always in Season (2014) Andrea Gronvall Although difficult to watch, the film is invaluable in its exploration of lynching as a form of racial terrorism. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story (2018) Andrea Gronvall The movie makes a strong case for how Blue Note helped change race relations in the U.S. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Love for All Seasons (2003) Ted Shen If Hong Kong comedy's infinite capacity for outlandish plot turns, lowbrow humor, and shameless consumerism doesn't wear you out, then you might be fitfully amused by this goofball item... EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) Leah Pickett 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. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
If the Dancer Dances (2018) Leah Pickett 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. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Ben Sachs Richard Linklater's adaptation of Maria Semple's novel is a critical (if characteristically humane) assessment of American society in spiritual crisis. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
Angels Are Made of Light (2018) Leah Pickett Beautiful despite its ravages, somehow still glimmering with hope. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2019
Brian Banks (2018) Leah Pickett 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. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) Andrea Gronvall If there ever was a case of a film adaptation improving on the original source material, this is it. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
4/4 Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari (2018) Ben Sachs This is heady stuff, but never daunting. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2019
Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Leah Pickett Belkin's portrait evokes the spirit of a typical Wallace interview: hard-hitting and unflinching in pursuit of the truth. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Première année (2018) Leah Pickett The film's heart beats through its central, intense, and fragile relationship between two ambitious young men. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2019
Sword of Trust (2019) Kathleen Sachs It's equal parts spry, improvisational comedy and salient social commentary. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
2/4 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) Ben Sachs Though Tarantino mixes fiction and historical fact cleverly and confidently, I'm not sure what he wanted to achieve with the mix this time, and I'm not sure if he knew either. EDIT
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Rojo (2018) Leah Pickett Many works of art foreground the victims of corruption; fewer investigate the hearts and minds of those who turn their backs. EDIT
Posted Jul 25, 2019
The World in His Arms (1952) Ben Sachs This is no classic, but it's loads of fun, thanks in part to Walsh's brisk pacing and infectious sympathy for rugged, macho types. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
Deadline U.S.A. (1952) Dave Kehr Windy, self-righteous newspaper film, written and directed by Richard Brooks in a fair reflection of the way journalists think about themselves when they've had a few too many. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
Summer Storm (1944) Dave Kehr George Sanders is superb as a weak, corrupt judge facing both his past and the specter of the revolution, and Edward Everett Horton contributes an extraordinary dramatic turn as a provincial count. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
2.5/4 Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank (2005) Andrea Gronvall ...director Fox let his subject lead too much of the way, and the film's resulting stream-of-consciousness shapelessness could easily confuse any viewer who knew little or nothing about Frank and his works going in. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
3/4 Pull My Daisy (1959) Andrea Gronvall Pull My Daisy situates the viewer in one of Frank's most creative decades, with a cast of who's who among the Beats. EDIT
Posted Jul 19, 2019
Hampstead (2017) Leah Pickett 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. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019