J. R. Jones

J. R. Jones

Agrees with the Tomatometer 72% of the time.

Publications:
Chicago Reader
Total Reviews:
1324

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 1324
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
65% The Railway Man (2014) " The cast is excellent and the screenplay, by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson, is delicately attuned to the emotional cost of war and the terrible struggle to be healed." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 17, 2014
63% The French Minister (2014) " There are enough moments of inspired lunacy to make this worthwhile." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 10, 2014
59% Dom Hemingway (2014) " The real star here is writer-director Richard Shepard, who pumps enough comic juice into the story to revive its shopworn premise of a career criminal hitting the streets again after years in the can." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 10, 2014
53% Cuban Fury (2014) " Frost is credited with the "original idea," a fanciful phrase given the highly formulaic story, but he and Jones are charming together." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 10, 2014
84% Cheap Thrills (2014) " Screenwriters David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga pose a simple question -- how much will a person degrade himself to make ends meet? -- but it's a potent one, at least for those of us who ponder it every Monday through Friday." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 10, 2014
80% Hide Your Smiling Faces (2014) " [Features an] outsider perspective, authentic locations, unforced naturalism, and fresh, improvisatory work by first-time actors." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 10, 2014
3/4 22% Sabotage (2014) " What redeems all this, to some extent, is Ayer's bleak but honest vision... he understands how law-enforcement people witnessing the depths of humanity might lack the necessary character to climb back up." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 3, 2014
77% Anita (2014) " Focusing on her as a personality at the expense of the incident's greater social, racial, and political context reduces this to a liberal exercise in self-congratulation." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 3, 2014
95% Finding Vivian Maier (2014) " The portrait Maloof and Siskel assemble here from the scant information available suggests that her fanatical privacy was the darkroom in which her distinctive artistic personality was developed." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 3, 2014
59% Nymphomaniac: Volume II (2014) " The shocker ending struck me as both gimmicky and ill motivated, but up until then this confirms von Trier as the cinema's most accomplished provocateur, turning his attention here to the eternal conflict between pleasure and morality" — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 3, 2014
60% The Human Scale (2013) " No documentary I've seen about city planning has come at the topic from such a resolutely humanistic perspective, or given me more hope for the future. " — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 1, 2014
63% Bad Words (2014) " Trashy, ribald laughs in the Bad Santa vein, this marks Bateman's directorial debut; it's not much to look at, but at least he has the nerve to push the insolence, profanity, and brutal insult humor to its absolute limits." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 27, 2014
2/4 41% Divergent (2014) " It's all pretty dumb, and it marks a career low for director Neil Burger, who's made some first-class indie dramas from his own scripts." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 27, 2014
54% Breathe In (2014) " This indie drama by Drake Doremus impressed me with the amount of mileage it gets from the simple premise without the affair even being consummated." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 27, 2014
79% Muppets Most Wanted (2014) " The verbal wit is fairly weak this time around, though as in the previous film there's an endless succession of three-second star cameos." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 20, 2014
76% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) " I found this compelling, and I'm eager to see what will transpire at the... well, I guess the word would be climax." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 20, 2014
25% Wicker Park (2004) " There are some striking visuals and Hartnett is a magnetic presence." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 18, 2014
—— Ekspeditionen til verdens ende (The Expedition to the End of the World) " In practice that means a lot of disconnected musing about the perilous state of the planet and the Darwinian aspect of climate change, the discourse rendered trivial by the staggering landscapes." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 13, 2014
—— Când se lasa seara peste Bucuresti sau metabolism (When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism) " A listless backstage romance." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 13, 2014
94% La Nana (The Maid) (2009) " As played by Catalina Saavedra, she's a guarded, ruthless, but ultimately poignant character, and writer-director Sebastian Silva studies the levers of power inside the little household as if it were the Politburo." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 13, 2014
84% Run & Jump (2014) " Writer-director Steph Green develops it so patiently and notes its emotional dislocations so carefully that it never descends into cliche." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2014
100% Ida (2014) " This story of faith and despair is gracefully told, its simple, uncluttered spaces and luminous black-and-white photography harking back to Robert Bresson." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2014
96% The Lunchbox (2014) " As in an old Nora Ephron comedy, each of the prospective lovers is supplied with an irritating comic foil." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2014
95% Child's Pose (2014) " A tour-de-force performance from Gheorghiu carries this 2013 drama along, but Radulescu provides the fine edge, noting how this lioness cloaks her selfish crusade in a plea for humanity." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2014
52% Adult World (2014) " Roberts is completely over-the-top here, her frantic, unfunny performance serving only to highlight Cusack's caginess and restraint." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2014
22% Son Of God (2014) " Aimed at a devotional middle-American audience, this never risks the sort of individual perspective necessary to bring the story to life onscreen, for good or ill." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2014
90% Cropsey (2010) " This disturbing true-crime documentary takes its name from a local bogeyman that video makers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio were warned about when they were growing up on Staten Island." — Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 3, 2014
100% The Girls in the Band (2013) " The documentary is rescued only by a final sequence in which Chaikin restages the famous 1958 group photo A Great Day in Harlem, this time with mostly women." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 28, 2014
53% Jimmy P. (2014) " A fascinating cross-cultural experiment that eventually runs itself into the ground." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 28, 2014
33% 3 Days To Kill (2014) " Every gag is premised on the fact that Renner allows his work and personal lives to overlap, though this contradicts everything we've been told about him and would obviously heighten the risk to his loved ones." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 28, 2014
40% Black Out (2014) " Some of the gags are funny, some are stale, and some are stale but still funny." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 21, 2014
83% The New Black (2014) " The ballot initiative for same-sex marriage that was put to Maryland voters in 2012 supplies the narrative frame for this revealing study of the conflict between LGBT activists and black Christians." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 21, 2014
45% In Secret (2014) " It's most remarkable as a pairing of two inspired actresses with four decades separating them: 25-year-old Elizabeth Olsen, the bewitching star of Martha Marcy May Marlene, and 64-year-old Jessica Lange." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 21, 2014
54% Hank: Five Years From the Brink (2014) " This highly sympathetic documentary profile of Paulson is slightly redundant, but it's also more factualized and instructive in its financial detail." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 13, 2014
10% Vampire Academy (2014) " This is a garbage heap of weak quips, delivered by an assortment of pretty boys and girls and amped up with some cheesy moments of animal cruelty." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 13, 2014
48% RoboCop (2014) " I'll take the original any day, but this is still fun, and the cast is first-rate." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 13, 2014
2/4 92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) " No amount of visual invention can substitute for characters, though, and Anderson doesn't so much write characters anymore as recruit a great cast and dress them up." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 13, 2014
100% 7 Boxes (2014) " Directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori weave together a complex, fast-moving intrigue with little more at their disposal than a few cell phones and the byzantine corridors of the market." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 6, 2014
99% Gloria (2014) " This is a driven, indelible character -- like the women Gena Rowlands played for John Cassavetes -- and you fear her going over the edge not least because you suspect you'd follow her." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 6, 2014
33% The Monuments Men (2014) " The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, established by the Allies during World War II to protect European and Asian cultural treasures from destruction, deserves a better movie dramatization than this fumbling prestige project." — Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 6, 2014
80% As Tears Go By (1989) " Some of the editing has a giddy, overeager quality, the natural excess of a young prodigy, but when the action and the tempo align, the results are exhilarating: an early brawl in a pool hall fairly leaps off the screen." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 30, 2014
91% The Great Beauty (2013) " Celebrating Rome in all its decay, this florid comedy by Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo, This Must Be the Place) opens with a hyperbolically gaudy party honoring a celebrity journalist on his 65th birthday." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 30, 2014
92% Fire In The Blood (2013) " This infuriating documentary by Dylan Mohan Gray chronicles the long battle to make generic ARVs available to poor African countries, which big pharma resisted because cheap drugs would undermine their bloated pricing here in the U.S." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 30, 2014
33% Labor Day (2014) " Even as a bodice-ripping fantasy it's pretty compelling: Winslet knows how to play hunger, Brolin is handsome and sincere, and writer-director Jason Reitman shows a none-too-common restraint in never showing the characters in bed." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 30, 2014
99% The Missing Picture (2014) " I could say the movie requires some patience, but in fact it commands patience with its humbling tale of a boy being cruelly torn from one life and forced into another one of extreme privation. " — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 16, 2014
64% August: Osage County (2013) " The cloistered farmhouse setting, the surfeit of familiar faces, and the furious emotional pitch all contribute to the stifling sense of claustrophobia that's so key to Letts's writing." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 9, 2014
94% Her (2014) " The movie has earned critical acclaim for capturing the zeitgeist of gadget-based narcissism, though it strikes me as the sort of thing made by someone who could use some actual problems to worry about." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 9, 2014
100% The Man Who Laughs (1928) " As usual in Hugo, love is measured in sacrifice, yielding a sincere and extravagant sense of romance. " — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 8, 2014
98% 56 Up (2013) " This suffers as well from the fact that the subjects' lives haven't changed all that much since 49 Up (2005); perhaps the series will improve yet as they head into old age." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 1, 2014
80% Warm Bodies (2013) " A muddled teenpic." — Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 31, 2013
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