Ben Sachs

Ben Sachs

Agrees with the Tomatometer 66% of the time.

Ben Sachs's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Chicago Reader

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Previous | Next
Showing 1 - 50 of 575
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
96% We Come as Friends (2015) "The action always feels as if it's unfolding in present tense, the avant-garde score and disorienting extreme close-ups conveying a sense of nervous, spontaneous energy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 27, 2015
40% No Escape (2015) "Dowdle sticks closely to the family's perspective, for better and for worse; though fairly effective at conveying their terror, he fails to establish any sort of social or political context for the story. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 27, 2015
No Score Yet Christmas Wedding Baby "[The film] never establishes a consistent tone, and the pacing is relaxed to the point of sluggishness. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 27, 2015
3/4 41% We Are Your Friends (2015) "Like its protagonist -- a 23-year-old DJ from the San Fernando Valley -- the coming-of-age story We Are Your Friends is sentimental, eager to please, and full of energy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 27, 2015
No Score Yet Takin' Place "Everyone has sad stories to share (most of the grandmother's family members have served time in jail), but Dowlatshahi counters the pervasive despair by showing his subjects at times of celebration. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 24, 2015
2/4 69% Digging For Fire (2015) "[Digging for Fire] isn't devoid of observations; it's just that those observations are banal. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 20, 2015
82% The Iron Ministry (2015) "The overheard conversations touch on social issues (e.g., China's rapid industrialization and rampant unemployment) addressed more thoroughly in numerous recent Chinese films. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 20, 2015
69% Prince (2015) "De Jong indulges in some shocking, violent imagery in these passages, and this detracts from the film's effective social portrait; so too does the aggressively loud synth-pop soundtrack. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 13, 2015
No Score Yet White Water "Adults will likely find this sentimental and overplayed, but it feels well suited for grade schoolers, delivering straightforward lessons about the history of American race relations and making them palatable to young viewers. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 13, 2015
100% 3 And 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015) "The prosecution and defense unfold with the suspense of a Hollywood courtroom drama. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2015
53% A LEGO Brickumentary (2015) "I'm sure the [LEGO] board of directors loved this. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2015
99% Shaun the Sheep (2015) "The sight gags are so meticulously designed that they often recall Rube Goldberg inventions; much of the fun derives from seeing how the filmmakers pull off their elaborate comic scenarios. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 6, 2015
31% The Runner (2015) "Most of the time, the movie just lies flat. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 6, 2015
8% Fantastic Four (2015) "All four principals -- Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell -- are well-cast, and their gee-whiz idealism is just right for the wide-eyed perspective of director Josh Trank. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 6, 2015
No Score Yet Llévate mis amores (All of Me) "Villaseñor has achieved something rare -- a satisfying piece of spiritual filmmaking on a delicate political topic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 30, 2015
3/4 56% Samba (2015) "Gainsbourg and Sy play off each other wonderfully, emphasizing how these characters relate to each other as people; their scenes together feel emotionally honest even though one can barely imagine them happening in real life. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 30, 2015
100% Elle L'adore "This drily comic French thriller marks the feature debut of writer-director Jeanne Herry, whose deceptively calm surfaces and psychologically nuanced characterizations prove her a worthy student of Claude Chabrol. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 30, 2015
56% Paper Towns (2015) "This is sensitive and often winning in its depiction of adolescent behavior; the characters speak openly about their vulnerabilities, which makes them sympathetic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 30, 2015
82% Do I Sound Gay? (2015) "As with many such informal documentaries on social issues, the results are hit-or-miss, though Thorpe's conversational tone is ingratiating. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 30, 2015
17% Pixels (2015) "This amiable Ghostbusters knockoff is unusually competent for a Sandler comedy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 23, 2015
67% Unexpected (2015) "This is modest and gentle but seldom sentimental; Swanberg and conscreenwriter Megan Mercier depict the challenges these characters face but take care not to let those challenges define them. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 23, 2015
2/4 54% Minions (2015) "I got tired of this joke before the movie ended, but I appreciate the gusto with which the filmmakers -- particularly Coffin, with his nimble vocalizations -- carried it out. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
No Score Yet Five Day Lover (1961) "The charming [Jean Seberg] adds a freshness to the creaky farcical complications. Her most attractive costar might be Paris itself, gorgeously rendered by Jean Penzer's sparkling black-and-white cinematography. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
No Score Yet Fidelio, Alice's Journey (2015) "The movie has as much to say about life in the globalized economy as it does about eroticism. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
34% The Ardor (2015) "Unfortunately the movie loses this supernatural vibe in the second half, settling into a rather literal-minded revenge tale, though like much Argentinian art cinema it makes effective and poetic use of the natural settings. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
97% Amy (2015) "Kapadia and King provide some worthy insights about the damaging effects of celebrity on psychologically fragile individuals. And the music is fantastic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
No Score Yet Von Caligari zu Hitler: Das deutsche Kino im Zeitalter der Massen (From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses) "The documentary's political observations may be dark, but Suschland's analysis of the films in question (which range from established classics to lesser-known titles) conveys a sense of wonder at the enduring power of movie magic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
94% Cartel Land (2015) "A worthwhile report on a pressing humanitarian issue. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
77% Jimmy's Hall (2015) "The portrait of Gralton and his comrades is so rich and heartfelt that one might easily overlook all the moralizing. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
20% Self/less (2015) "Tarsem Singh, who directed the eye-catching The Fall and Immortals, brings a comparable level of visual invention to this tale, though as usual his engagement with the material doesn't go very deep. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
86% The Tribe (2015) "The Tribe is a brilliant formal achievement that marks Ukrainian writer-director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky as a filmmaker to watch. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
22% The Strongest Man (2015) "Writer-director Kenny Riches lays on the whimsy pretty thick, and his sub-Jarmusch deadpan style (inert camera, intentionally flat line readings) adds another layer of affect to the story. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
87% A Borrowed Identity (2015) "Director Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree) balances an endearing nostalgia for the period -- particularly its counterculture -- with cutting observations of the minority experience " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
50% Closer To God (2015) "Unfortunately the result is dreadfully slow. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
26% Terminator Genisys (2015) "Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier pile on so many pulpy sci-fi conceits -- involving time travel, alternate realities, and the end of civilization -- that you might be carried along by the batty excess. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
80% Infinitely Polar Bear (2015) "Delivers an effectively heart-tugging family story without sentimentalizing mental illness. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 26, 2015
No Score Yet They Are We "This documentary about the Banta, an African tribe based in Sierra Leone, is a fascinating ethnographic lesson that also works as a mystery story. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 26, 2015
88% Dope (2015) "The movie is overly ambitious but never dull, and the ensemble cast is fun to watch. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 25, 2015
No Score Yet Krásno "This 2014 Czech feature veers unpredictably from broad comedy to dark chamber drama and back again; the tonal changes don't always work, but the film keeps you on your toes. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 25, 2015
2/4 98% Inside Out (2015) "Inside Out, the latest Disney-Pixar coproduction, feels like a clever educational short stretched to feature length. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
96% Grand Central "[Grand Central] starts as a piece of gritty social realism and gradually evolves into an old-fashioned romantic melodrama, but Zlotowski maintains such strong control over the material that the change doesn't feel jarring. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
No Score Yet Pojedeme k mori (To See the Sea) "You're never sure if the hero is an ordinary mischief maker or a potential monster, and this ambiguity keeps the movie fresh and interesting. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
82% The Yes Men Are Revolting (2015) "As usual, the mood is genial and the anticorporate politics refreshingly blunt. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
No Score Yet The Rendez-vous of Deja Vu "If you aren't film literate, you're likely to miss about half the jokes, but film buffs may find this hysterical. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 15, 2015
92% Jauja (2015) "This fifth feature by the brilliant Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso is his first with professional actors and a period setting, yet it meshes thematically with his other work. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
No Score Yet N.O.I.R. "The dreamy stylization never distracts from the stinging community portrait. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
No Score Yet Njinga Rainha de Angola "The facts of her biography are so extraordinary that I didn't mind the pedestrian filmmaking, which reminded me of educational TV specials. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
No Score Yet Fair Play "This somber docudrama is nuanced in its handling of period and the central female characters, but its vilification of communist authority figures is so obvious that it occasionally comes off as condescending. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
60% Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) "The quiet stretches actually serve their purpose here, creating a sense of intimacy with the characters as opposed to simply marking time between the shocks. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
82% Wolf at the Door (2015) "Though a strong director of actors, Coimbra is significantly less assured as a visual stylist. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 4, 2015
Previous | Next
Showing 1 - 50 of 575