J. R. Jones

J. R. Jones

Agrees with the Tomatometer 72% of the time.

Publications:
Chicago Reader
Total Reviews:
1369

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 1369
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
75% The Last Sentence (2014) " Unfortunately, Troell chose to shoot the movie in digital black-and-white; the imagery seems anachronistic in its precision, undermining the period decor and clashing with the occasional low-grain newsreel footage of Nazis on the march." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
50% I Origins (2014) " Mike Cahill's movies are categorized as science fiction, but the scientific elements in them are subsidiary to his characters and, more importantly, his metaphysical concerns." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
92% Closed Curtain (2014) " Unfortunately, Closed Curtain also indicates there's only so much an artist can say about his own oppression before he winds up in a creative cul-de-sac." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
57% Mood Indigo (2014) " French filmmaker Michel Gondry has demonstrated time and again that, despite his prodigious visual imagination, he can't tell a decent story." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
61% Magic in the Moonlight (2014) " Woody Allen on autopilot, disappearing into the jazz age again for a blunt, listless thesis film about the limits of rationality." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
16% And So It Goes (2014) " Old people still go out to movie theaters, God bless them, though the meaty fare they enjoyed back in the 70s has given way to soft foods like The Bucket List, Last Vegas, and this senior-citizen rom-com by Rob Reiner." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 24, 2014
40% Wish I Was Here (2014) " The earlier, comedic scenes work a lot better than the later, dramatic ones, thanks mainly to Braff's wide-eyed, deadpan performance and good supporting work from Kate Hudson." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 17, 2014
99% Boyhood (2014) " Linklater's writing is typically warm and insightful, and the cast is uniformly excellent, including Ellar Coltrane as the quiet, down-to-earth hero." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 17, 2014
91% Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) " The human characters (played by Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell, among others) are so bland they don't stand a chance against their simian counterparts." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 10, 2014
23% Third Person (2014) " Trust is essential to any love relationship, writer-director Paul Haggis wants us to know, though he trusts us so little to grasp this theme ourselves that he makes his alter ego here, a world-weary novelist played by Liam Neeson, spell it out." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 7, 2014
88% Elena (2014) " The movie becomes a defiant reversal of that sentiment, an act of creation in the face of death." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 7, 2014
86% Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia (2014) " [Filmmaker Nicholas D. Wrathall] couldn't have asked for a more striking scene than the one in which the writer shows him the grave he plans to occupy (beside his longtime companion, Howard Austen, who died in 2003)." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 7, 2014
82% Begin Again (2014) " Its soft-rock bonhomie [prevails] over a story that often registers as trite or naive." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 7, 2014
94% Snowpiercer (2014) " As with The Host, the political satire is teased out gradually as the story progresses and never intrudes on one's enjoyment of the movie's richly imagined world." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 6, 2014
82% The New Rijksmuseum (Parts 1 and 2) (2013) " No one survives unscathed, but the most pitiable figures here are the world-class architects who designed the elegant new structures and displays, then watched helplessly as their bold work was watered down." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 6, 2014
76% Lucky Them (2014) " This pleasant but eminently forgettable indie comedy is the sort of thing that makes you wonder whether the big names in the cast were having serious career problems, doing someone a favor, or just had a few weeks to kill." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
—— Corn's-A-Poppin' " Without Altman's involvement, this probably would have been lost years ago, yet the music is pretty good and the movie is a singularly quirky exercise in regional filmmaking." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
65% The Rover (2014) " It's impressive for its ingenuity in suggesting, on a relatively low budget, a 21st century in which the world monetary system has disintegrated, leaving every man for himself." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
54% Jersey Boys (2014) " This isn't the movie it should have been, but it serves its purpose as a souvenir of the stage show." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 19, 2014
—— Freedom Summer " This potent documentary re-creates an America most of us are lucky never to have experienced: the apartheid government of the state of Mississippi, circa 1964." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
84% Night Moves (2014) " As in Wendy and Lucy, the natural and social environs are impeccably authentic, in this case conveying the bohemian radicalism of the Portland area that nurtures the trio's dangerous scheme." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
87% Obvious Child (2014) " The heroine can't seem to come up with any material that doesn't involve bodily functions; she never goes near the subject of motherhood, which proves that the filmmakers are scared to death of their own story." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
55% The Signal (2014) " This sci-fi puzzler by cinematographer-turned-director William Eubank often recalls the work of Shane Carruth (Primer, Upstream Color) in its low-budget resourcefulness and creeping, gnawing paranoia." — Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 12, 2014
33% A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) " Despite all the costumes, stunt work, and locations in Monument Valley, this big-budget western spoof by Seth MacFarlane is too glib to live up to its potential." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 30, 2014
64% The Cold Lands (2014) " Writer-director Tom Gilroy has worked with Yelich previously and makes his youthful character the quiet, watchful center of this 2013 indie drama." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 29, 2014
36% Just a Sigh (2014) " Devos manages to keep it afloat in the second half as the actress peels away for her own adventure and writer-director Jérôme Bonnell develops a subplot that will force the lovers to part for good." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 29, 2014
93% The Dance of Reality (2014) " Whatever childhood traumas Jodorowsky may need to exorcise are ultimately subsumed by the movie's wild invention and carnivalesque cheer." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 29, 2014
100% Ilo Ilo (2014) " Anthony Chen, a Singaporean writer-director with a half-dozen shorts to his credit, makes his feature debut with this vividly characterized domestic drama." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2014
31% God's Pocket (2014) " A dud." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2014
63% For No Good Reason (2014) " This is most worthwhile for its scenes of Steadman at work, flinging ink all over the place and turning the splatter marks into his signature grotesques." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2014
82% Fed Up (2014) " Thumbnail portraits of morbidly obese kids introduce a plaintive note to the argument, especially since, as the documentary notes, many school cafeterias are now indistinguishable from fast-food joints." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2014
61% Million Dollar Arm (2014) " A completely by-the-numbers affair." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 16, 2014
74% Young & Beautiful (Jeune Et Jolie) (2014) " Ozon is grasping for something about the rudeness of sexual impulse and how intimates necessarily learn to look the other way, yet he comes to this idea too late in the game to make anything of it. " — Chicago Reader
Posted May 15, 2014
71% Palo Alto (2014) " The movie often recalls Larry Clark's early work in its effortless authenticity, though in contrast to his emotional brutality, the tone here is gentle and understanding." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 15, 2014
67% Beneath The Harvest Sky (2014) " The languid pace effectively communicates the characters' crushing boredom, yet the dramatic interest never flags." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 8, 2014
54% NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage (2014) " The camaraderie among the players, some of whom have interesting stories of their own, tends to shut out any sense of audience response, aside from the ovation that reliably greets the star as soon as he appears onstage." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 8, 2014
87% The Kill Team (2014) " [A] gripping documentary." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 8, 2014
100% Miele (2014) " [Honey is] never really laid bare as a character; her helpless, beseeching customers leave a much deeper impression." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 8, 2014
83% Belle (2014) " This British historical drama is getting the "inspiring true story" treatment, though the inspiring parts aren't true and the true parts aren't inspiring." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 8, 2014
73% Neighbors (2014) " An energetic, hit-or-miss affair." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 8, 2014
—— Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times Of Grant Hart (2013) " Even die-hard fans of the iconic 80s punk band might have trouble sitting through this shapeless documentary." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 1, 2014
53% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) " Amazing is a word so overused it no longer has any impact, which makes it the perfect adjective for this second installment of the second franchise based on the Marvel Comics superhero." — Chicago Reader
Posted May 1, 2014
80% Watermark (2014) " As in Manufactured Landscapes, the long shots of natural and man-made environments have a patterned, abstract beauty that often chafes against the ugly truth on the ground." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 24, 2014
69% No God, No Master (2014) " [A] fairly engrossing historical drama." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 24, 2014
88% Alan Partridge (2014) " Coogan is an old hand at the comedy of fear, envy, and bruised egotism, and the movie is packed with clever gags." — Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 24, 2014
66% 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
58% 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
52% 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
88% 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
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