Andrea Gronvall

Andrea Gronvall
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Chicago Reader film critic.
Publications: Chicago Reader

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet My Egg Boy (2016) This cloying Taiwanese romantic comedy is painful to watch despite the attractive young couple at its center. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
71% Mercury in Retrograde (2017) [An] observant, nuanced indie. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
95% Shadowman (2017) Remarkable for its sweep and its refreshing lack of cant and sentimentality. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
100% Macario (1960) Roberto Galvadon's 1959 rags-to-riches fable combines magical realism and folkloric elements of Mexico's Indianist movement with results that are alternately comic and poignant. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
No Score Yet The Pink Egg (2017) [Animator Jim] Trainor conveyed animal freakishness more effectively in his short animation The Bats(1999). - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
100% Wajib (2017) [A] crowd-pleasing Palestinian drama. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
No Score Yet A Hustler's Diary (Måste Gitt) (2017) Energetic, incisive, and sometimes hilarious. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
64% Disappearance (Verdwijnen) (2017) A compelling debut feature. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
100% The White Helmets (2016) These one-on-ones are the soul of the movie, as the men - in their former lives, a builder, a blacksmith, a tailor - affirm their belief in humanity and a better tomorrow. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
No Score Yet Blockage (Sade ma'bar) (2017) Gritty [and] suspenseful. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2020
64% Dean (2017) This material might've worked better as sketches in an omnibus film. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2020
60% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) The actors here try too hard to flesh out roles that are little more than stock types. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2020
4% Just Getting Started (2017) The producers must think this drivel is what their senior target audience wants, but only someone who's lost an appetite for real life could find any entertainment in it. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2020
No Score Yet Rona, Azim's Mother (Rona, madar-e Azim) (2018) Everything in this sensitively observed film... builds a sense of quiet desperation and ineluctable fate, culminating in an effect that is almost novelistic in terms of sweep, tone, and psychological depth. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2020
90% Arctic (2019) First-time feature director Joe Penna and his cowriter and editor Ryan Morrison skillfully exploit genre conventions, but suspense arises mostly from what fresh hells they devise for the hero to conquer, for conquer he must. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
54% A Dark Place (Steel Country) (2019) [Andrew] Scott here fascinates as a vulnerable yet remarkably resilient odd duck. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
44% The Wedding Guest (2019) In the end, the screenplay is the letdown, hewing too closely to generic convention. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
60% The Fall of the American Empire (La chute de l'empire américain) (2019) For those who prefer their larcenous high jinks leavened by a serious social conscience, this ebullient romp is just the ticket. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
97% Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable (2018) [Garry Winogrand] seems very much alive in Sasha Waters Freyer's richly detailed documentary. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) The movie's coda cements the overarching message of extolling heroism and the survivors' refusal to let terror define them. But that moral still rings a little hollow. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
88% Las Sandinistas! (2018) As fascinating as these women are, the film would have been stronger if a clearer timeline and more interviews with their male military colleagues had been included (although Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders pop up in archival footage). - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
No Score Yet Paternal Rites (2018) At times painful viewing, this brave, unsparing work ends in liberating catharsis. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2020
90% Echo In the Canyon (2019) Several of the talking heads and reminiscences were part of Jon Brewer's nostalgic documentary Legends of the Canyon: The Origins of West Coast Rock (2010), but Slater's film is slicker, better photographed, and more revealing. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2020
92% Searching (2018) Shot mostly with iPhones and GoPro cameras, the movie is visually drab and a little too gimmicky - ultimately it's a stunt, albeit an engrossing one. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2020
99% The Chambermaid (La camarista) (2019) [An] engrossing narrative feature debut by actor-turned-director Lila Avilés. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
54% Book Club (2018) Stale jokes and cringe-inducing sight gags punctuate this creaky romantic comedy. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2020
90% Rendezvous in Chicago (2018) After writer-director Michael Glover Smith's delectably layered Mercury in Retrograde (2017), this follow-up, a slender anthology film, disappoints. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2020
97% Carmine Street Guitars (2019) Experiencing this documentary without encountering any advance hype is like stumbling into the cozy Greenwich Village shop of the title: it's a ride down the rabbit hole to a world of unexpected and singular pleasures. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
No Score Yet Bigger Than Africa (2018) A documentary of near-epic scale. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
4/4 No Score Yet The Area (2018) An eye-opening saga of resistance. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2020
91% Eating Animals (2018) [A] hard-hitting documentary. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
97% Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) Strikingly original and immensely entertaining. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
100% Letter from Masanjia (2018) An example of documentary at its most aspirational. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
3/4 100% Chi-Town (2018) [Nick] Budabin doesn't ignore the threats on south-side streets, but his depiction of one admirable young man proves there's much more to the story. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
89% Wild Nights with Emily (2019) The supporting cast excels, with Amy Seimetz, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan, and Kevin Seal making the most of the well-tuned dialogue. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
52% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) Unlike Jon Favreau's insipid 2016 live-action retread... this live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic about a feral Indian boy reared by wolves teems with flesh, blood, and mud, conveying a true sense of danger and adventure. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2020
60% Fish Bones (2018) Writer-director Joanne Mony Park favors static long takes to recount the affair in reverse chronological order, but she doesn't yet have the skill to pull off what Harold Pinter did with Betrayal. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2020
98% Maiden (2019) [A] heartwarming documentary. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2020
55% The Commuter (2018) The film is hobbled by sloppy camera work, ludicrous fight scenes, hairbreadth escapes, and altogether too many suspects. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2020
59% Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2018) [A] handsome computer animation. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
38% The Leisure Seeker (2018) Finding any comedy in aggressive diseases requires a delicacy of tone absent from this plodding adaptation of Michael Zadoorian's novel. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2020
52% Tomb Raider (2018) Roar Uthaug (The Wave) directed; his work feels derivative of Steven Spielberg's first two Indiana Jones movies, though not half as entertaining. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
91% Love, Simon (2018) This beguiling romantic comedy offers a fresh take on the familiar premise of a high-schooler trying to fit in. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
72% The Happy Prince (2018) By turns melancholy, witty, brutal, and sensual, the film is distinguished by its artful weave of time and memory, and by Everett's uncompromising performance as Wilde during his final years. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
98% Tea With the Dames (Nothing Like a Dame) (2018) [A] cozy nonfiction film. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
49% Boundaries (2018) The father's chicanery is the brightest spot in a screenplay that makes the heroine a shrill stooge for everyone else's agenda as the protagonists bicker their way to self-discovery and mutual regard. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
89% Skate Kitchen (2018) An evocative meditation on skateboarding culture and nascent womanhood. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020
56% The Bookshop (2018) The ever-winsome Emily Mortimer glows as a struggling widow who opens a bookstore in her insular coastal town. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020
34% Kin (2018) Mostly works, despite some occasionally thudding B-movie dialogue. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020
82% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) The director's comparisons between Trump and Adolf Hitler are overblown, but it's useful to be reminded that demagogues and oligarchs do not, as he puts it, fall out of the sky. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020