J. R. Jones

J. R. Jones

Agrees with the Tomatometer 71% of the time.

Publications:
Chicago Reader
Total Reviews:
1419

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 1419
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
58% Rudderless (2014) " The story takes an even sharper left turn in the last half hour, raising emotional issues it can't adequately address. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 16, 2014
95% Keep On Keepin' On (2014) " As Terry's health declines, the documentary takes on a rather ghoulish aspect; at one point both his legs have to be amputated, and Jones, himself pushing 80, shows up for an emotional reunion that one assumes will be the men's last. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 16, 2014
88% Timbuktu " The rebels are too flatly characterized for the religious conflict to deepen, and Sissako's other main story line, tracing a deadly feud between a fisherman and a cattle farmer, adds little to the movie's political thrust. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 16, 2014
100% No No: A Dockumentary (2014) " What really distinguishes this... is its candid-and surprisingly flippant-treatment of widespread drug use in major league baseball. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 16, 2014
96% Whiplash (2014) " This is just a sports drama with a brass section. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 16, 2014
75% Kill the Messenger (2014) " Director Michael Cuesta, a veteran of HBO's Homeland, imparts enough paranoid-thriller ambience to propel the complex story. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 9, 2014
47% The Judge (2014) " The leads are typecast to perfection -- Downey glib and aggressive, Duvall principled and crotchety -- but the legal drama is freighted with stale family and interpersonal conflicts, and the comic relief is unfortunate " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 9, 2014
3/4 94% The Dog (2014) " Questions of identity reverberate through The Dog, a documentary by Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren that chronicles Wojtowicz's storied and terribly sad life. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 2, 2014
96% Last Days in Vietnam (2014) " This is both a gripping suspense story and a profound moral drama. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 2, 2014
29% Men, Women & Children (2014) " Once Reitman has finished zinging his characters for their self-absorption, their chronic loneliness and insecurity prove rich material for the able cast. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 2, 2014
88% Gone Girl (2014) " Gillian Flynn's twist-laden mystery novel gets a somber, respectful screen treatment from David Fincher, which has the unfortunate effect of diminishing the book's diabolical fun and heightening its dull misanthropy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 2, 2014
91% Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) " These meager pleasures are swallowed up in all the frantic action and overblown CG sequences. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 30, 2014
75% Margaret (2011) " Even in its truncated state, this is pretty gripping stuff. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 26, 2014
81% Tracks (2014) " Ultimately the movie mimics the trajectory of the quest itself, pulling one toward its final destination, but across an arid expanse. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 25, 2014
71% Take Me to the River (2014) " The premise for this documentary couldn't be more stilted, and some of the matchups are enough to make you wince. But there are a few striking intergenerational moments. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 25, 2014
2/4 75% Jimi: All Is by My Side (2014) " To really understand Hendrix, Ridley would have had to reach much farther back. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 25, 2014
63% The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2014) " Maturely written, richly characterized, and flawlessly acted. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
No Score Yet Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine " What lingers afterward is the haunting sense of someone who became an icon only because he was cheated of the opportunity to become himself. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
72% The Notebook (2014) " Thoroughly unpleasant and at the same time completely unedifying. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
69% God Help the Girl (2014) " The movie is like a milk shake so sweet that you want to keep drinking, even as you begin to gag. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
No Score Yet Queers In The Kingdom: Let Your Light Shine " What might have become a penetrating social documentary settles instead at the level of a pride exercise. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
87% The Skeleton Twins (2014) " Writing and directing his second feature, Craig Johnson demonstrates a knowing sense of how consciously, and helplessly, some people destroy themselves. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
39% Tusk (2014) " This is gruesome but never scary, snarky but never funny. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 18, 2014
100% A Life in Dirty Movies (2014) " This is worthwhile simply as an introduction to Sarno's work, but it also presents a touching portrait of the 89-year-old artist and his wife, Peggy Steffans, who appeared in his films all those years ago and remains his biggest fan and tenderest friend. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 15, 2014
2/4 59% Finding Fela! (2014) " The problem isn't really finding Fela, but containing him. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 12, 2014
91% CODE BLACK (2014) " Like most documentary makers addressing the health care crisis, McGarry can't begin to get his arms around the whole problem; this works best as a highly subjective account of a small portion of it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 12, 2014
88% The Drop (2014) " Lehane's climactic plot twist is all the more laudable because it springs directly from complexity of character; you realize the truth has been obscured not through a writer's trickery but through your own simple reading of the action. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 12, 2014
83% Rich Hill (2014) " In this life, people limit their dreams to what you can find at the dollar store. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
92% Norte, the End of History (2014) " Powerful and humbling, this 2013 drama is worth every minute you're willing to give it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
46% Life After Beth (2014) " Once it's safely slotted in the overworked zom-com genre, there's no reason to keep watching. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
29% The Last Of Robin Hood (2014) " [Kline] sails through his performance as the aging lothario Flynn; ably supporting Kline are Dakota Fanning as Flynn's underage paramour and Susan Sarandon as her one-legged mother. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 4, 2014
68% Me and You (2014) " The defining emotion here... is a characteristic warmth toward -- and envy of -- young people coming into bloom. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
44% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) " Reviewers were forbidden from posting a word about this sequel until opening day, lest we give away the shocking secret that it's a carbon copy of its predecessor. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
69% What If (2014) " Nerd wish-fulfillment of the first order, this Canadian rom-com places an artificial barrier between its cute-as-a-button leads and asks us to stick around for an hour and a half until it's artificially removed. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
86% The Trip To Italy (2014) " The movie soon grows tedious; Coogan's irritation with his traveling partner has diminished significantly, and the laughs along with it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
97% Love Is Strange (2014) " Beautifully realized in Sachs's sensitive characterization are the pain of separation and the despair of becoming a burden on the next generation. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
36% The November Man (2014) " Director Roger Donaldson has had his ups and downs over the past few years; the script for this lodges somewhere in the middle, though he compensates for its lack of distinction through sheer velocity and nimble negotiation of its hairpin turns. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 28, 2014
76% Moebius (2014) " [Moebius] would be easy to dismiss if Kim weren't so sincere and sober in pursuit of his Oedipal and other emotional concerns. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 21, 2014
80% Land Ho! (2014) " [An] engaging, low-key character study. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 21, 2014
81% The One I Love (2014) " When the couple first realize what's going on, the husband immediately references The Twilight Zone, whose 26-minute time slot would have been more appropriate here. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 21, 2014
18% When The Game Stands Tall (2014) " [The film] makes a commendable effort to invest the inspirational sports movie with some deeper meaning but simultaneously labors to keep all the genre cliches firmly in place. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 21, 2014
100% The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) " Enchanting. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 19, 2014
71% Dinosaur 13 (2014) " Private excavation and sale of fossils is a more complicated issue than this heavily slanted account would have you believe. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 14, 2014
35% The Giver (2014) " Incredibly, this screen adaptation is rated PG-13, which means that parents, who will probably find it excruciatingly simpleminded, are cautioned to keep it away from their middle school children, the only viewers who might possibly enjoy it. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 14, 2014
51% Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) " Biyi Bandele has excerpted their story from a much wider-ranging narrative, but the action here is still so tightly compressed that this feels like a precis for a movie twice its length. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2014
89% Calvary (2014) " Gleeson brings his usual fierceness and gravity to the role, and there are fine supporting turns by Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aiden Gillen, and Dylan Moran. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2014
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) " I'll spare you my usual rant about the decadence of foodies, but it should be obvious by now that, despite their discerning tastes, the movies catering to them are the artistic equivalent of dinner at the Olive Garden. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 7, 2014
89% Poison Friends (Les Amities malefiques) (2006) " [Emmanuel Bourdieu] turns a standard coming-of-age premise -- four young literary scholars compete for recognition at a Paris university -- into a biting academic fable. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 31, 2014
66% Lucy (2014) " No one has ever accused French action director Luc Besson of thinking too hard, and this frantic exercise in pseudoscience and goofball metaphysics is best enjoyed by following his lead. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 31, 2014
79% Get On Up (2014) " Straightforward but highly entertaining. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 31, 2014
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