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

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
86% L For Leisure "As someone who suffered through more poststructuralist theory in college than he would have liked, I had good fun watching this shaggy-dog comedy, though the arcane subject matter makes it an acquired taste. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
4/4 98% Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) "Even after two viewings, I feel as though I've only scratched the surface of Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller's action fantasy is astonishingly dense for a big-budget spectacle, not only in its imagery and ideas but in the complex interplay between them. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
50% On The Way To School (2015) "Though aimed at children, this 2013 French documentary is the sort of direct, expressive, and compassionate filmmaking that can be appreciated by anyone. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
75% The Lesson (2015) "The kinetic yet poker-faced filmmaking renders the narrative turns especially jolting. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
91% I'll See You in My Dreams (2015) "A nuanced lead performance by Blythe Danner anchors this better-than-average entry in the growing subgenre of light dramas about Baby Boomers learning to enjoy retirement. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
88% Slow West (2015) "Writer-director John Maclean insists at every opportunity that the American west teemed with brutality and that every positive myth about the region was built on a lie, yet he doesn't deliver this familiar revisionist history with much force. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
83% Animals (2015) "The couple's doomed romance feels familiar from numerous other films about addiction, and the movie is downright bad whenever it aspires to visual poetry. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
75% Good Kill (2015) "The bold, confrontational tone commands one's attention, and the cast -- which also includes Bruce Greenwood and Zoe Kravitz -- is superb. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
No Score Yet The People Vs. Paul Crump (2014) "The provocatively detached perspective that Friedkin brings to these violent scenes points ahead to his features Cruising and Rampage, and like the latter film, this asks viewers to think long and hard about the validity of capital punishment. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
No Score Yet The White City "This gains a bit of melodramatic verve only when the filmmaker character becomes sexually infatuated with an Israeli soldier, a subplot that plays like secondhand Gregg Araki. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
98% Iris (2015) "Maysles simply presents lots of other designers telling Apfel how brilliant she is, their testimony interspersed with pithy accounts of her past achievements. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
100% Cousin Jules (2013) "Focusing on archaic farming rituals to the exclusion of nearly everything else, the film has virtually no dialogue, but each sight and sound is monumental, communicating an entire way of life. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
47% The Film Critic (2015) "As in much recent South American art cinema, the depictions of working life are vivid and relatable, throwing the more fantastic ideas into sharp relief. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
No Score Yet Aspen (1991) "A masterpiece. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 7, 2015
2/4 43% The D Train (2015) "For a vulgar American comedy, this is refreshingly low-key and generous. I admired its intentions without finding it all that funny. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 7, 2015
7% Hot Pursuit (2015) "Reese Witherspoon delivers a few minutes of superb physical humor in this otherwise worthless action comedy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 7, 2015
2/4 76% Hyena (2015) "Johnson aspires to make Hyena into the stuff of classical tragedy, yet he telegraphs Michael's inward transformation way too soon. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 30, 2015
3/4 74% Welcome To New York (2015) "[The] deliberate structure demonstrates Ferrara's artfulness, as does the lush imagery. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
62% Unfriended (2015) "You might find yourself rooting for the murderer. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
59% May In The Summer (2014) "Dabis's character comes off as a self-serving fantasy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet El cerrajero (Lock Charmer) "It feels like a short story more than a novel, but given the sympathetic and detailed characterization, that's not necessarily a bad thing. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
100% Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock And Roll (2015) "This is eye-opening and frequently moving, elevated by sharp editing that imaginatively juxtaposes major events in government and entertainment history. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet Canal Zone (1977) "This is one of his most wickedly funny films, but there's more to it than that; Wiseman seems astonished by the intricate interactions that make up a society. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet Deserto Azul (Blue Desert) "This reminded me of Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem: it's great to look at and occasionally thought-provoking, but it doesn't really go anywhere and director-cowriter Eder Santos lacks Gilliam's ingratiating sense of humor. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet Basically, Johnny Moped "This documentary portrait of the group is familiar in its execution... but the story is definitely novel and the agreeable tone is hard to resist. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet Las vacas con gafas (Cows Wearing Glasses) "This Puerto Rican drama evokes silent cinema in its elemental story and emotional directness, and Daniel Lugo's lead performance -- rooted in precise, expressive body language -- strengthens that connection. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
27% Marfa Girl (2015) "Clark's sympathy for his subjects is more evident than ever. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
No Score Yet El Silencio De Las Moscas "Chronic depression comes to seem like a plague afflicting everyone in this isolated region, and though Arias doesn't force the metaphor, the relentlessly mournful tone is devastating. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
No Score Yet Climas "Schematic in design but nuanced in execution, this 2014 Peruvian feature is a worthy addition to the feminist-themed art cinema currently flourishing all over South America. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
28% The Longest Ride (2015) "Though Tillman doesn't quite elevate the maudlin material into serious drama, the result is uncommonly sensitive. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
No Score Yet Law and Order (1969) "Because Wiseman rarely divulges why the police have been called, the viewer is forced to confront his own fundamental views of American race relations and the legitimacy of police authority. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
No Score Yet Miss India America "The filmmakers seem to regard the narrative formula as a pretext for introducing positive depictions of Indian-American women to movie comedy, so this features lessons about embracing Indian cultural heritage as well as some genial Bollywood in-jokes. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
81% Ned Rifle (2015) "For all the evident despair, Hartley can't repress his love of cinema; the comic dialogue sings and many of the images have a fragile beauty. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
84% While We're Young (2015) "The storytelling is smooth and assured and the one-liners are generally enjoyable. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
52% Woman in Gold (2015) "The Nazis' illegal seizure of hundreds of thousands of artworks -- the subject of the fine 2006 documentary The Rape of Europa -- becomes the pretext for heavy-handed sentimentality in this British-American docudrama. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
81% Furious 7 (2015) "The story takes place in LA, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, and the Caucasus Mountains, yet Wan has so few ideas about how to choreograph and edit action that the elaborate stunt sequences all feel exactly the same. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
94% Eden (2015) "The camerawork is so fluid and the settings so brimming with detail that one feels washed away by the film, recognizing the hero's decline only when he does-that is, too late. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 26, 2015
96% Wild Tales (2015) "How to discuss this giddily inventive Argentinian feature without ruining its many surprises? " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 26, 2015
87% Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2015) "An engaging, even surprising feature. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 26, 2015
46% Home (2015) "Aggressive and cynical approach to children's entertainment, pummeling viewers with mechanical-looking action sequences (which suggest video game demos), unfunny one-liners, and overly loud pop songs and sound effects. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 26, 2015
97% An Honest Liar (2015) "Randi's story suggests a modern-day footnote to Herman Melville's novel The Confidence-Man, reflecting the strange interplay between show business, religion, and hucksterism in American life. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 20, 2015
2/5 96% It Follows (2015) "Follows is an effective pastiche but a studied one; by the end, even its ambiguities feel overdetermined. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
100% Cavalo Dinheiro (2015) "Painterly and meditative in Costa's singular manner, this 2014 feature reconfigures traumatic episodes, both personal and historical, into a waking dream. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
50% Tip Top (2014) "The freewheeling narrative experimentation and cryptic social commentary recall 60s Godard, but the vibe is Bozon's own. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
16% The Gunman (2015) "I can imagine Sean Penn agreeing to star in this Taken knockoff on the condition that it educate moviegoers about humanitarian crises in Africa; it does, but the film feels misshapen as a result. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
100% Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed (2014) "Javier Camara, best known here for his work with Pedro Almodovar, is quite good as the teacher, delivering a performance of real tenderness and depth. In Spanish with subtitles. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
79% Life of Riley (2014) "As in all of Resnais's theatrical adaptations, the performances are warm and naturalistic, countering the artificiality of the stage conventions and illuminating the universal struggle to create personal meaning in lives bound by social convention. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
86% La Sapienza (2015) "This recalls Manoel de Oliveira and Eric Rohmer in its poker-faced style, deliberately archaic storytelling, and magisterial epiphanies. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
84% Cinderella (2015) "The visual design is exquisite, coming remarkably close to replicating the original movie's Technicolor splendor. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
97% '71 (2015) "It's a potent, visceral experience, but it doesn't offer much historical context, and its depiction of the IRA is fairly simplistic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
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