Ben Sachs

Ben Sachs

Agrees with the Tomatometer 67% of the time.

Publications:
Chicago Reader
Total Reviews:
388

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 388
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
—— Sinapupunan (Thy Womb) " The elemental story and awesome natural imagery create a sense of timelessness, while the intense acting and camerawork make this feel utterly contemporary." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
55% The Zero Theorem (2014) " This cartoonish sci-fi satire might be described as Terry Gilliam's Mr. Arkadin-a visually inspired but frequently confounding (and clearly underfinanced) reworking of longtime personal themes." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
93% The Guest (2014) " That's a familiar setup, but Barrett and Wingard take it in one unexpected direction after another, displaying obvious pleasure in their mad dash to keep topping themselves." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
42% This Is Where I Leave You (2014) " One by one, each of them acknowledges his or her problem, they talk it out, and by the end of the week everybody's OK." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
4/4 99% Starred Up (2014) " This is strong medicine, yet it's also exhilarating." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
59% A Five Star Life (2014) " Flatly told and highly familiar." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
7% The Identical (2014) " [The Identical] feels like one of the biopic parodies from Mr. Show played completely straight." — Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
43% Yves Saint Laurent (2014) " This glitzy biopic of the renowned French fashion designer doesn't offer much insight into its subject or milieu." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 29, 2014
90% To Be Takei (2014) " Another pleasant if disposable portrait." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
77% A Letter to Momo (2014) " After the fashion of Miyazaki's films, the visual style achieves a satisfying balance between realistic detail and painterly flourishes, and the laid-back pacing allows one to savor both." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
86% See You Next Tuesday (2014) " Tuesday locks the viewer into a disturbed character's head space, generating terror from the possibility it will erupt upon the world at large." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 27, 2014
4/4 98% A Summer's Tale (2014) " Few directors could say as much with as little as Eric Rohmer." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 22, 2014
—— The Forgotten Kingdom (2014) " Adults might find this overly sentimental... though it's ideal viewing for kids -- informative, visually impressive, and generous in its worldview." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 21, 2014
—— Little White Lie " That story is interesting enough, though Schwartz uses it mainly as a pretext for navel-gazing." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 14, 2014
73% The German Doctor (2014) " Quietly unnerving." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 14, 2014
58% Coldwater (2014) " Grashaw effectively charts the unhealthy power dynamics, though he seems still to be finding his way at conceiving characters, directing actors, and establishing tone." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 14, 2014
54% The Fluffy Movie (2014) " He's a crowd-pleaser reminiscent of Robin Williams, inserting funny sounds and vocal impersonations into nearly every line and alternating raunchy material with moments of unabashed sentimentality." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2014
71% Alive Inside (2014) " The movie effectively bullies you into feeling good; with its hard sell and superfluous CG imagery, it might as well be a superhero movie." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2014
20% Into The Storm (2014) " The characters are all automatons and the story is streamlined past the point of any emotional resonance, the better for viewers to enjoy the large-scale destruction." — Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2014
—— Jayhawkers " An impressive visual imagination and a nuanced sense of history compensate for an obviously low budget." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 31, 2014
50% Cannibal (2014) " A meticulous lead performance by Antonio de la Torre is the one saving grace of this dumb, arty horror movie from Spain." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
97% Life Itself (2014) " No less than James's capital punishment documentary At the Death House Door, this asks us to think long and hard about what it means to die with dignity." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
91% A Most Wanted Man (2014) " This adaptation of a John le CarrĂ© novel works smashingly as a suspense film, a mood piece, and a vehicle for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
78% Happy Christmas (2014) " [Swanberg's] stance toward his characters seems to be maturing from shrugging acceptance into active sympathy, and his editing is getting sharper as wel" — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
56% Promoter (1991) " Neame and his players inject this with plenty of wit, distracting one from the Horatio Alger cliches." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 17, 2014
—— Flamenco, Flamenco " Each performance seems to take place at a specific time of day -- and because this was shot by the great Vittorio Storaro, the cinematography is just as impressive as the performances." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 17, 2014
18% Sex Tape (2014) " Given all the name-brand products invoked, their misadventure suggests a sort of nightmarish shopping spree." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 17, 2014
—— Run for Your Money " A minor though still appealing effort from the Ealing Studios." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 10, 2014
80% As It Is In Heaven (2014) " The results just feel tedious." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 10, 2014
1/4 48% Earth to Echo (2014) " If the movie is a waste, at least it's an instructive one, signaling just how offensive children's entertainment might become in the YouTube era." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 10, 2014
70% Nothing Bad Can Happen (2014) " Gebbe elicits strong performances from her actors and succeeds in inspiring a certain sick fascination with the material, yet the film's oppressive unpleasantness yields no new insights into psychology or religious faith." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 7, 2014
27% Deliver Us from Evil (2014) " Director Scott Derrickson demonstrates a knack for atmosphere but little sense of pacing; some sequences are effectively spooky (particularly one set at the Bronx Zoo), though just as many feel uninspired." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 6, 2014
18% Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) " In the end, though, this is still a movie about giant robots fighting each other, which is to say it's nearly impossible to take seriously on a narrative level." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 6, 2014
71% A Coffee in Berlin (2014) " Writer-director Jan Ole Gerster employs a loose, episodic structure that feels closer in spirit to TV comedy than feature filmmaking; though often funny, the movie never feels like more than the sum of its parts." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
75% Jews Of Egypt (2014) " This is a compelling history lesson, though it often looks like a PowerPoint presentation." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
80% The Illumination (Iluminacja) (1973) " The editing, at once jarring and exhilarating, is as revolutionary in its own way as that of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
—— Brave Miss World (2013) " Abargil is a hero whose story should be told, but not like this." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
84% 22 Jump Street (2014) " This sequel to the hit action comedy 21 Jump Street is better all around: the pacing is more consistent, the sight gags more imaginative, the self-referential jokes sharper." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
—— Tula: The Revolt " The episode is important enough to make this 2013 Danish drama worth watching, but it's blunt and didactic, with clunky storytelling and amateurish visuals." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
80% The Fault In Our Stars (2014) " An emotional climax arrives every 15 minutes or so, and every affecting moment is underscored with a soppy light-rock song." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
3/4 86% Cold in July (2014) " Initially the late-80s setting of Cold in July registers as kitsch, but it grows more evocative as the Carpenter impersonation gives way to something weirder and uglier." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
53% Citizen Koch (2014) " This imparts such vital information that one can overlook the technical ineptitude." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
75% Heroes for Sale (1933) " This is also bracingly egalitarian, attacking the hypocrisy of communists and capitalists alike." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 5, 2014
92% The Return To Homs (2014) " The images have an immediate, visceral impact; at the same time, Derki's plaintive narration is often beautifully elegiac, its perspective philosophical and even cosmic." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 5, 2014
50% Age of the Uprising (2014) " The film is almost monotonously somber, though not in a bad way -- when it erupts into violence or settles briefly into moments of intimacy, the shift in tone can be surprising, even invigorating." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 5, 2014
—— Oltre il guado (Across the River) " Neither fish nor fowl, this moody Italian feature (2013) recasts a familiar horror-movie narrative in the languorous, poetic manner of the so-called "slow cinema" that's pervaded the international festival circuit." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 5, 2014
42% Words And Pictures (2014) " With remarkable ease, director Fred Schepisi delivers a literate, grown-up comedy in the forgotten tradition of George Cukor and Joseph L. Mankiewicz." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 5, 2014
48% Maleficent (2014) " [It lacks] the sort of nightmarish visions that made Walt Disney's early animation features so powerful. This looks impressive, though, making use of highly imaginative, state-of-the-art 3-D effects while still evoking old-school Disney animation" — Chicago Reader
Posted May 29, 2014
91% X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) " Much of this takes place in the early 1970s, which gives the filmmakers an excuse to haul out lots of vintage kitsch and make some rather tasteless references to the Vietnam war." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 29, 2014
—— Mememe no kurage (Jellyfish Eyes) (2014) " The creatures -- which range from a human-sized frog to a sprite with a big metal box for a head -- provide a worthy showcase for Murakami's prodigious visual imagination." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2014
Showing 1 - 50 of 388
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