Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers

""Truly, for some men, nothing is written unless THEY write it." - Sherif Ali, "Lawrence of Arabia." "It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself." - Lester Burnham, "American Beauty" "One: never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two: take it outside. Never start anything inside unless it's absolutely necessary. And three: be nice. You be nice ... until it's time to not be nice." - Dalton Voss, "Road House.""

Agrees with the Tomatometer 76% of the time.

I have been covering arts & entertainment, as well as writing general features, for the past 13 years at various print outlets in Illinois and have been reviewing films since 1995.
BEST OF RECENT YEARS - There Will Be Blood, United 93, A History of Violence, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, About Schmidt, The Royal Tenenbaums, Traffic, American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan, L.A. Confidential, Sling Blade GUILTY PLEASURES - Deep Rising, Mouse Hunt, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, From Dusk Till Dawn, Jackass: The Movie, Road House, XXX
State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL) ,
Total Reviews:
Lafayette, IN

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 780
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
2/5 22% Sabotage (2014) " Early on, an irritated DEA agent asks who cut one in the back of their vehicle. The question fits a film that feels like its own unwelcome lingering fart - lively in its violence but not its story, and demanding far too much of Arnold Schwarzenegger." —
Posted Mar 29, 2014
3.5/5 33% The Chase (1994) " What seems crudely jerry-rigged to be nothing more than a mindless car crash-up is instead an intelligent, incisive carving-up of media insanity and idiocy. Plus, throughout the movie, Charlie Sheen showcases stealthy comic chops." —
Posted Mar 28, 2014
3.5/5 17% Terminal Velocity (1994) " A brisk, sleek wrong-man story that's easily the better of 1994's dueling skydiver movies and, had a darker Charlie Sheen from another universe not swapped places with our own, might have made the actor Kurt Russell's action-movie heir apparent." —
Posted Mar 28, 2014
1.5/5 65% Reality Bites (1993) " Gone is the fearless savagery Stiller smuggled into his TV series. Stuck between slacker and attacker, he settles for something curiously inert, slavishly mainstream and so hopelessly phony its own characters might make fun of it between bong rips." —
Posted Feb 25, 2014
4.5/5 58% The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) " Few of the Coen Brothers' films spike the vein of pure pleasure as easily. It's an irresistibly loquacious, unpredictably riotous comedy that dares you to keep up with its daffiness and doesn't give a damn whether you get left behind." —
Posted Feb 1, 2014
1/5 3% The Legend of Hercules (2014) " An early frontrunner for 2014's funniest credit: Ironing by Bogdan Lambev. Mr. Lambev could've done worse than keeping loincloths clean and pressed. He could've been one of four writers who smoothed out this mythology's coolest, campiest wrinkles." —
Posted Jan 10, 2014
4/5 75% Lone Survivor (2014) " Peter Berg delivers an appropriately harrowing, horrifying and humbling war film that's imperfect but offers indelible ideas, images and performances. If it ultimately goes Hollywood, it's only after running an exhausting gauntlet of authenticity." —
Posted Jan 9, 2014
4/5 88% Scarface (2003) " One fundamentally dishonest character choice launched a billion-dollar industry. But it hardly sours a film that became a garishly ghoulish, bleakly funny and compulsively watchable template for modern-criminal deconstructions of the American Dream." —
Posted Jan 3, 2014
3/5 39% Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) " "Marked" employs more traditional, but effective, tactics to unsettle. But this reasonably entertaining overachiever also has the most to lose when forced to perform mouth-to-mouth on franchise mythology that's been coding for a long time." —
Posted Jan 3, 2014
5/5 79% Carlito's Way (1993) " Although still distinctly sleek a la de Palma, it's the rare instance in which romantic optimism & warm, careful character observation trump his penchant for coolly detached cynicism. It's not nihilistic, fetishistic or misogynistic. It's humanistic." —
Posted Dec 21, 2013
4/5 79% Saving Mr. Banks (2013) " It's every bit the charming confection you expect it to be, but it's also uncommonly and unexpectedly thoughtful about the troubles of the creative mind and the travails of the creative process. It's spoonfuls of salt that make this medicine go down." —
Posted Dec 21, 2013
4.5/5 60% Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) " Even amidst readily apparent imperfections, "Wicked" still holds a melancholy grip. That's because its supernatural elements are really but a grace note to the symphony of its everyday drama, whose elegant, elegiac qualities have diminished little." —
Posted Nov 14, 2013
5/5 90% Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013) " The bravery, vulnerability and risks of Exarchopoulos and Seydoux's performances multiplies exponentially in the final act, and the result is a revelatory love story that delights, shatters, bruises and lingers in the memory. One of the year's best. " —
Posted Nov 14, 2013
3.5/5 65% Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) " Where does it land? A fifth dimension beyond that known to most films. The middle ground between wowing & worthless, between so great & so what, and it lies between the pits of recklessly fatal hubris and the very summit of spirited genre filmmaking." —
Posted Aug 29, 2013
4/5 64% Demolition Man (1993) " Not for nothing does the film open on a screen-filling image of the Hollywood sign in flames, for it torches almost every supposition that a film made to showcase Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes whomping on each other can only be brain-dead." —
Posted Aug 1, 2013
1.5/5 42% Red 2 (2013) " So much of the movie feels on the verge of collapsing into blooper laughs well before the credits roll. It's depressing to watch such once-likable characters and conceits flail with no rescue in sight. Then again, they'd have been better dead than RED 2." —
Posted Jul 18, 2013
4/5 52% So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993) " Everyone quotes the Scottish-accented misanthropy. But at its heart, "Axe" is a sweet, funny romance between people trapped in patterns and freed by a positive paradigm shift. It's also the reason we never see Mike Myers' true face in films anymore." —
Posted Jun 27, 2013
2.5/5 36% The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) " As a character, Burt Wonderstone runs counter to Steve Carell's inherent sweetness. In Carell's hands, Burt comes off as a 50-calorie Ron Burgundy. When he tightens his vocal cords to hit Ferrell's register, the strain is as visible as it is audible." —
Posted Jun 23, 2013
4.5/5 38% The Purge (2013) " Feels like the speculative offspring from a shotgun marriage between real-life, tenuous policies and discordant bluster. From a political point of view, it invites you to the wedding, lets you decide on which side to sit and avoids any sermonizing." —
Posted Jun 7, 2013
3.5/5 34% The Internship (2013) " Harmlessly middlebrow with the occasionally relatable observation about occupational problems. Despite its flaws, it works as T-shirt-and-jeans comedy - loose-fit casual, with a timeworn plot faded into its fabric like a decade-old salsa stain." —
Posted Jun 7, 2013
4.5/5 38% Last Action Hero (1993) " Driven less by mammoth ego and more by wild, unchecked id, "Last Action Hero" works as a riotous comedy and a rigorous case study of why we go to the movies. It's an inventive valentine made timeless by audacious shamelessness and shameless audacity." —
Posted May 30, 2013
4/5 50% Now You See Me (2013) " If a trick really is something a whore does for money, "Now You See Me" is a cut-above illusion that plays fanciful, fast and loose, but more or less fair. Its only knock is not having much up its sleeve for any actors playing the Four Horsemen." —
Posted May 30, 2013
4.5/5 68% Fast & Furious 6 (2013) " "Furious 6" elevates the franchise into saga territory -an automotive "Avengers" as suffused with sincerity as it is bereft of pretenses. Its sweet, nostril-filling tang is unwise to inhale too often, but it's worth a good whiff every couple years." —
Posted May 23, 2013
1.5/5 41% Parker (2013) " Calling "Parker" run-of-the-mill insults the pleasures of the potboilers it's trying to emulate. It feels like the product of misfits who broke into a mill shuttered on the edge of town and fired up the machines without understanding how they work." —
Posted May 20, 2013
4.5/5 75% This Boy's Life (1993) " The film demands ominous electricity between Dwight and Toby, the latter of whom endures various and sundry humiliation and harm at the former's hands. And there are times when DiCaprio doesn't just go toe-to-toe with De Niro but feels just as tall." —
Posted May 5, 2013
2/5 32% Gangster Squad (2013) " Although it's blunt and brisk in its own inoffensive way, "Gangster Squad" is meathead cinema - the sort that cuts hard from a splattered brain to spatula-pressed hamburger. Unlike that grilled patty, the movie is mostly sizzle, little steak." —
Posted May 5, 2013
3.5/5 65% The Outsiders (1983) " Ultimately, "The Outsiders" feels like two movies awkwardly thrown together - one a tough-acting antiseptic to the sanitized-suburbia Spielberg fantasies that ruled the era's box office, the other a besotted valentine to widescreen epics of old." —
Posted May 5, 2013
4.5/5 61% Jack Reacher (2012) " McQuarrie deftly intermixes observations on human nature - aware that in life, as in all great mysteries, people are not so easily described as "killer" and "victim." Part of why you root for Jack Reacher is his empathy for these foibles and follies." —
Posted May 5, 2013
4/5 54% Oblivion (2013) " The narrative's heart races neither as rapidly nor poetically as it should, and it's almost pathologically derivative. But ultimately, director Joseph Kosinski's curious, compelling combination of analog patience and digital prowess saves the film." —
Posted Apr 18, 2013
3.5/5 80% Videodrome (1983) " Here, Cronenberg is a provocateur only to a point - boldly striding past boundaries of comfort but getting the heebie-jeebies upon approaching true profundity. But he wasn't too far from figuring out which incisions could cut the deepest." —
Posted Feb 28, 2013
4/5 60% The Last Stand (2013) " A legendary star back on his game. Clever humor. Hellacious setpieces. The smarts to not take things too seriously. When it comes to what you need for a clever, entertaining live-action "Looney Tunes" episode, ble, ble, ble, that's all, folks." —
Posted Jan 17, 2013
5/5 93% Zero Dark Thirty (2013) " Catharsis is infrequent. Victories are few. The clash between statistics and instincts yields casualties. And heart, as often defined by Hollywood, here becomes just a physiological midpoint between brain and gut - trusted at the risk of peril." —
Posted Jan 10, 2013
3/5 19% Texas Chainsaw (2013) " In such slabs of beef, there's always going to be gristle. At least Luessenhop and company cut around most of it and sear in enough seasoning to serve something that, as cheapie-roadside cinematic meals go, is surprisingly digestible." —
Posted Jan 4, 2013
3/5 75% Killing Them Softly (2012) " Terrific performances, but it too often feels like a referendum on Brad Pitt's disappointment in President Obama, much like George Clooney's "The Ides of March." Unlike "Ides," it strains mightily to Say Something Big about political bread & circus." —
Posted Dec 4, 2012
3/5 12% Red Dawn (2012) " A technically proficient, matinee time-waster, but not the palpable, clammy-palmed geopolitical nightmare that could have been. It trades not on current U.S. anxieties, but the bankability its stars acquired as the film languished on studio shelves." —
Posted Nov 21, 2012
2/5 60% Never Say Never Again (1983) " Can we just consider 1983 a lost year for James Bond? First, "Octopussy," then Sean Connery's return in a depressing dilution of the 007 brand - one that ends with a fourth wall-breaking wink indicative less of arch fun, more of bored indifference." —
Posted Nov 11, 2012
1.5/5 27% Casino Royale (1967) " Proponents of this dreadfully indulgent cabaret, which thumbs its nose at coherence, have called its nigh-impenetrable plot the sincerest form of satire. That's like citing the indecipherable nature of Zapf Dingbats as a foremost send-up of language." —
Posted Nov 11, 2012
4.5/5 92% Skyfall (2012) " The last scenes reshuffle the deck with a tipped cap to tradition and a clear eye on the future. They suggest Bond has learned all he must to persevere. Perhaps he can go forth defined less by those he's lost and have a little fun in doing so." —
Posted Nov 8, 2012
3.5/5 49% The Man With the Iron Fists (2012) " Equal parts Jack Burton and Richard Burton, Russell Crowe bellows and bloviates through the entire movie. That's a compliment to this lovingly cheeky and aggressively choreographed, if not overly exciting, valentine to shabby-grindhouse martial arts." —
Posted Nov 3, 2012
4/5 57% Die Another Day (2002) " There was absolutely no choice but to dial it down afterward but not because "Die Another Day" is an abomination of which to be ashamed. Alongside "You Only Live Twice," it's Bond at his most aggressively outlandish and shamelessly entertaining." —
Posted Oct 20, 2012
1.5/5 24% Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) " At a Thursday-night screening meant for the diehards, one man was loudly sawing logs by the 60-minute mark and the final "shock" stinger was met largely with laughter. Para-snore-mal activity, indeed." —
Posted Oct 20, 2012
1.5/5 51% The World Is Not Enough (1999) " Austin Powers seems to have made the Broccolis gun shy about letting Bond have too much fun, lest "World" be mentally lumped alongside an aggressively bawdy parody. Sterile, sluggish and halfheartedly suspenseful, it's the second-worst 007 film ever." —
Posted Oct 14, 2012
4/5 57% Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) " A thrill machine akin to one of the canon's more cleverly naughty entendres, uttered here: "You always were a cunning linguist, James." Obvious and crass to please everyone's inner schoolboy, but presented with just enough eloquence and ingenuity." —
Posted Oct 14, 2012
4.5/5 82% GoldenEye (1995) " It doesn't completely lay Bond's psychological complexities naked, cold and bare. But "GoldenEye" can hardly be faulted for occasional concessions to casual entertainment - especially with a superior villain, taut action and an all-time Bond girl." —
Posted Oct 14, 2012
3.5/5 74% Licence To Kill (1989) " No quips. No smirks. No innuendoes. Just raw, exposed nerves. The traits for which Dalton gets dinged are those looking past the character's admittedly alluring surface pleasures. Women aren't the only things that keep 007 awake at night, you know." —
Posted Oct 14, 2012
4/5 75% The Living Daylights (1987) " Dalton is a dapper, dashing and dangerous Bond. And although "Casino Royale's" sophisticated blend of thrills and personal turmoil slightly eludes "Daylights," it's a sign that the producers then had the right instincts if not the full initiative." —
Posted Oct 14, 2012
3/5 36% A View to a Kill (1985) " Contrary to historical opinion and some truly awful movies, Moore conjured roguish magic over his 12-year tenure. His Bond cast the spell that initially charmed me as a kid - one perhaps so intoxicating to him that it was simply hard to let go." —
Posted Oct 13, 2012
2.5/5 42% Octopussy (1983) " James Bond is old. Wrinkled-forehead old. Lecherous-coot old. Strategic-hairstyle old. Senior meal-discount old. Simply ... old. That's the biggest takeaway from Roger Moore's second-worst outing as 007, hot on the heels of his second-best. " —
Posted Oct 13, 2012
4/5 73% For Your Eyes Only (1981) " There are quite a few individual pieces of "For Your Eyes Only" that don't quite fit. But to borrow from its Olympic theme, its gymnastic flexibility sure lets it excel in the all-around. " —
Posted Oct 13, 2012
1.5/5 62% Moonraker (1979) " James Bond would have to go back to Earth in "For Your Eyes Only" because "Moonraker" is truly a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder. " —
Posted Oct 13, 2012
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