J. R. Jones

J. R. Jones

Agrees with the Tomatometer 71% of the time.

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 1515
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
No Score Yet Villa Touma " The film's assured narrative development is buttressed by a control of tone that's impressive for a neophyte: this is one of those movies whose measured speech and decorous staging can't conceal the white-hot fury that drives it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
81% Dior and I (2015) " A few gauzy montages of black-and-white archival footage glorify the fashion house's founder and namesake, providing a welcome interruption to all the self-serving confessionals and stage-managed conflicts. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
42% Adult Beginners (2015) " The early scenes are acidly funny... By the end, though, this has turned into a Tim Allen movie. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
59% The Water Diviner (2015) " Some formulaic elements creep into the story but it's anchored by the grim realities of the first modern war and a sweeping humanism reminiscent of Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
14% Little Boy (2015) " Emily Watson plays the boy's mother and Tom Wilkinson turns up as a gentle parish priest, so this must have looked better on paper than it does onscreen. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
No Score Yet Eyes Of A Thief " [The movie] is rooted in the grim realities of the Israeli occupation but plays like something that's been workshopped with Hollywood industry types. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet Aurora (2015) " Writer-director Rodrigo Sepúlveda suggests a personal explanation for her quest late in the game, but too late and too half-heartedly to rescue this morose Chilean drama from its own sanctimony. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
90% Ex Machina (2015) " Its aura of cool menace is largely attributable to Isaac, stealing his every scene as the smoothly bullying CEO, and production designer Mark Digby, who created the millionaire's sleek, high-tech mountain fortress. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
47% True Story (2015) " The script is first-rate, questioning whether any story can really be credible when both the writer and the subject have everything to gain from it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 16, 2015
No Score Yet La formula del doctor Funes " This low-budget kiddie comedy from Mexico aspires to the hip, candy-colored vibe of Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids movies, especially in its genial parent-child relationships, but compared to its models, it's pretty short on invention. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
83% The Whisperer In Darkness " The effect doesn't quite come off, mainly because the images are too sharp and the editing and camera work too modern. But the movie is endearing anyway for its fanboy ardor. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
No Score Yet I'm Not Lorena (No Soy Lorena) " When the suspense machinery finally does kick in near the end, it's only the most violent aspect of an emotional vortex already in progress. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
83% Cheatin' (2015) " Bill Plympton's latest feature-length animation, about a loving couple riven by infidelity, contains some of his loveliest fantasy sequences, though the gap between his visual and storytelling skills persists. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2015
94% The Salt of the Earth (2015) " For this career-spanning documentary, director Wim Wenders accompanies the photographer on his travels, the color documentary footage punctuated by Salgados's stunning, minutely detailed black-and-white images. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
81% Human Capital (2015) " Valeria Bruni Tedeschi contributes an affecting performance as the rich boy's spiritually bereft mother, whose self-worth has been smothered by luxury. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
92% Man from Reno (2015) " Writer-director Dave Boyle is best known for his offbeat rom-coms with San Francisco musician Goh Nakamura (Surrogate Valentine, Daylight Savings), and his gift for eccentric characters redeems this standard whodunit. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 2, 2015
85% Wendy and Lucy (2008) " The climax is a heartbreaker, and in its haunting finale the movie recalls no less than Mervyn LeRoy's Depression-era classic I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 27, 2015
29% Get Hard (2015) " Anal rape jokes and racial stereotypes dominate this third-rate comedy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 26, 2015
92% The Hunting Ground (2015) " The documentary makes a persuasive case that certain colleges and universities -- which are called out onscreen -- foster a culture that punishes victims and protects serial predators. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
100% Seymour: An Introduction (2015) " The movie's real subject is the difficulty -- and the critical importance -- of bringing into harmony one's personal and artistic lives, of being not only a good artist but a joyful one. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
78% Danny Collins (2015) " I can imagine a lot of good movies developing from this premise, but as fictionalized by screenwriter Dan Fogelman, it becomes yet another soggy tale of father-son healing. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
86% Spring (2015) " The protagonist of this low-budget indie is so well characterized that it might have developed into a straight drama instead of the horror movie it becomes, though of course that's the key to most good genre films. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
31% Insurgent (2015) " [Woodley] spends much of the second [film] captured by the society's merciless overlord (Kate Winslet) and locked into a psychoactive contraption that subjects her to various traumatic hallucinations. Any movie critic can relate to that. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2015
93% The Duke Of Burgundy (2015) " [Peter Strickland's] new movie has more going on than cinematic mind games. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
86% Merchants Of Doubt (2015) " The jury's back in on the PR hacks who sow confusion and manufacture ambiguity in the public debate over climate change: they're guilty of crimes against not only science and their fellow citizens but humanity itself. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
96% She's Beautiful When She's Angry (2014) " The wealth of anecdotal material provides a fascinating perspective on how the movement intersected -- and sometimes clashed -- with other liberal crusades of the 60s. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
60% Run All Night (2015) " Unfortunately, the convoluted backstory is the only thing that makes this worth seeing. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2015
No Score Yet El Niño (2015) " Director and cowriter Daniel Monzón develops an intriguing cross-cultural romance. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2015
91% White God (2015) " This gripping suspense story considers how any canine can become the unfortunate repository for its master's darkest impulses. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2015
3/4 96% What We Do In The Shadows (2015) " I'm so sick of vampires I'd have pounded a stake into my own heart not to have to watch this, but it turns out to be a pitch-perfect spoof of MTV's The Real World and a sly satire on millennial slackerdom. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2015
67% Gemma Bovery (2015) " This is the first Fontaine movie I've seen that qualifies as lightweight. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 5, 2015
62% Maps to the Stars (2015) " Hollywood has been disemboweling itself since... Sunset Boulevard and The Bad and the Beautiful, but those movies seem like Cream of Wheat compared to Cronenberg's wicked vision. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 5, 2015
62% The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) " The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel grossed some $46 million, an impressive take for a niche-market release, so here comes the pointless sequel. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 5, 2015
100% Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008) " Leymah Gbowee [is] one of the heroic women interviewed in this fleet, gripping documentary. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 26, 2015
86% Ballet 422 (2015) " Aside from the time constraint, there isn't much tension here, or much insight into the creative process. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 26, 2015
88% Actress (2014) " At one point her agent tells her she needs a demo reel to get work in LA; watching her drop tears for the camera as her home life disintegrates, I had to wonder whether this was it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 26, 2015
56% Focus (2015) " Smith wears it like a well-tailored suit, and the brisk, snappy dialogue is well delivered by an able cast. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 26, 2015
3/4 No Score Yet Hogtown " A knotty detective story about a token black cop (Herman Wilkins) trying to track down a missing millionaire. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 20, 2015
3/4 No Score Yet Chicago Heights " Shooting mainly in black and white, [director Nearing] creates powerful compositions with subtly canted angles, eerie backlighting, and striking symmetries. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 20, 2015
88% Concerning Violence (2014) " Aside from a brief and uncritical preface by Columbia University professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, there's no attempt to contextualize Fanon's book. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 19, 2015
98% Song Of The Sea (2014) " Irish animator Tomm Moore follows his celebrated feature debut, The Secret of Kells, with another ravishing fantasy based on Irish folklore. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 19, 2015
79% McFarland USA (2015) " At this point the inspirational coach drama has become as ritualistic as the Catholic mass, but it's also developed an admirable social agenda of breaking down racial divisions, which is exemplified by this heartwarming Disney release. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 19, 2015
70% Young Bodies Heal Quickly (2015) " In the best tradition of Huckleberry Finn, both brothers are gullible dummies providing an entree to various American eccentrics, and like that book, Betzer's movie (2014) is a crazy quilt whose regional charms obscure a ramshackle plot. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 12, 2015
23% White Rabbit (2015) " First-time screenwriter Anthony Di Pietro pulls off a couple of nice character reversals. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 12, 2015
25% Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) " Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan make an appealing couple and battle mightily against the flat, linear plotting, though when the story ended inconclusively I wasn't eager to follow them through the inevitable sequels. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 12, 2015
88% Hausu (House) (1977) " There's never a dull moment, though I certainly felt dulled by the time it was over. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 6, 2015
13% The Loft (2015) " The twisty plot translates to any culture where swinging-d--- businessmen cheat on their wives -- which is to say, any culture. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 5, 2015
3/4 92% Girlhood (2015) " Physical force governs every relationship in Girlhood. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 5, 2015
35% Project Almanac (2015) " The premise has been done to death, but screenwriters Andrew Stark and Jason Pagan give it a fresh and pleasant spin by using it as a vehicle for adolescent wish fulfillment " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 5, 2015
25% Jupiter Ascending (2015) " Like many fantasy features by the Wachowskis, this is a wonder to behold, full of minutely realized gadgetry, but a chore to follow, full of barely realized characters. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 5, 2015
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