Ben Sachs

Ben Sachs

Agrees with the Tomatometer 66% of the time.

Ben Sachs's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Chicago Reader

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
18% Pixels (2015) "This amiable Ghostbusters knockoff is unusually competent for a Sandler comedy. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 23, 2015
70% Unexpected (2015) "This is modest and gentle but seldom sentimental; Swanberg and conscreenwriter Megan Mercier depict the challenges these characters face but take care not to let those challenges define them. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 23, 2015
2/4 54% Minions (2015) "I got tired of this joke before the movie ended, but I appreciate the gusto with which the filmmakers -- particularly Coffin, with his nimble vocalizations -- carried it out. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
No Score Yet Five Day Lover (1961) "The charming [Jean Seberg] adds a freshness to the creaky farcical complications. Her most attractive costar might be Paris itself, gorgeously rendered by Jean Penzer's sparkling black-and-white cinematography. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
No Score Yet Fidelio, Alice's Journey (2015) "The movie has as much to say about life in the globalized economy as it does about eroticism. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
28% The Ardor (2015) "Unfortunately the movie loses this supernatural vibe in the second half, settling into a rather literal-minded revenge tale, though like much Argentinian art cinema it makes effective and poetic use of the natural settings. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 16, 2015
97% Amy (2015) "Kapadia and King provide some worthy insights about the damaging effects of celebrity on psychologically fragile individuals. And the music is fantastic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
No Score Yet Von Caligari zu Hitler: Das deutsche Kino im Zeitalter der Massen (From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses) "The documentary's political observations may be dark, but Suschland's analysis of the films in question (which range from established classics to lesser-known titles) conveys a sense of wonder at the enduring power of movie magic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
94% Cartel Land (2015) "A worthwhile report on a pressing humanitarian issue. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
75% Jimmy's Hall (2015) "The portrait of Gralton and his comrades is so rich and heartfelt that one might easily overlook all the moralizing. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
21% Self/less (2015) "Tarsem Singh, who directed the eye-catching The Fall and Immortals, brings a comparable level of visual invention to this tale, though as usual his engagement with the material doesn't go very deep. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
85% The Tribe (2015) "The Tribe is a brilliant formal achievement that marks Ukrainian writer-director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky as a filmmaker to watch. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 9, 2015
13% The Strongest Man (2015) "Writer-director Kenny Riches lays on the whimsy pretty thick, and his sub-Jarmusch deadpan style (inert camera, intentionally flat line readings) adds another layer of affect to the story. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
90% A Borrowed Identity (2015) "Director Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree) balances an endearing nostalgia for the period -- particularly its counterculture -- with cutting observations of the minority experience " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
50% Closer To God (2015) "Unfortunately the result is dreadfully slow. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
26% Terminator Genisys (2015) "Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier pile on so many pulpy sci-fi conceits -- involving time travel, alternate realities, and the end of civilization -- that you might be carried along by the batty excess. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2015
81% Infinitely Polar Bear (2015) "Delivers an effectively heart-tugging family story without sentimentalizing mental illness. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 26, 2015
No Score Yet They Are We "This documentary about the Banta, an African tribe based in Sierra Leone, is a fascinating ethnographic lesson that also works as a mystery story. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 26, 2015
89% Dope (2015) "The movie is overly ambitious but never dull, and the ensemble cast is fun to watch. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 25, 2015
No Score Yet Kr├ísno "This 2014 Czech feature veers unpredictably from broad comedy to dark chamber drama and back again; the tonal changes don't always work, but the film keeps you on your toes. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 25, 2015
2/4 98% Inside Out (2015) "Inside Out, the latest Disney-Pixar coproduction, feels like a clever educational short stretched to feature length. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
96% Grand Central "[Grand Central] starts as a piece of gritty social realism and gradually evolves into an old-fashioned romantic melodrama, but Zlotowski maintains such strong control over the material that the change doesn't feel jarring. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
No Score Yet Pojedeme k mori (To See the Sea) "You're never sure if the hero is an ordinary mischief maker or a potential monster, and this ambiguity keeps the movie fresh and interesting. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
82% The Yes Men Are Revolting (2015) "As usual, the mood is genial and the anticorporate politics refreshingly blunt. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 18, 2015
No Score Yet The Rendez-vous of Deja Vu "If you aren't film literate, you're likely to miss about half the jokes, but film buffs may find this hysterical. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 15, 2015
92% Jauja (2015) "This fifth feature by the brilliant Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso is his first with professional actors and a period setting, yet it meshes thematically with his other work. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
No Score Yet N.O.I.R. "The dreamy stylization never distracts from the stinging community portrait. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
No Score Yet Njinga Rainha de Angola "The facts of her biography are so extraordinary that I didn't mind the pedestrian filmmaking, which reminded me of educational TV specials. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
No Score Yet Fair Play "This somber docudrama is nuanced in its handling of period and the central female characters, but its vilification of communist authority figures is so obvious that it occasionally comes off as condescending. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
60% Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) "The quiet stretches actually serve their purpose here, creating a sense of intimacy with the characters as opposed to simply marking time between the shocks. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 11, 2015
86% Wolf at the Door (2015) "Though a strong director of actors, Coimbra is significantly less assured as a visual stylist. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 4, 2015
No Score Yet The Icing "Hrebejk's graceful approach to film comedy feels ill suited to Kolecko's vulgar showmanship, which calls out for a brassier style. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 4, 2015
14% Aloft (2015) "The story doesn't add up to much, but the stark natural imagery and frank discussions of spiritual longing leave strong impressions. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 4, 2015
83% Tonnerre "This low-key psychodrama is light on narrative development but rich in observations of character " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 4, 2015
No Score Yet The Chambermaid Lynn (Das Zimmermadchen Lynn) "Writer-director Ingo Haeb has something odder and gentler in mind than the heavy psychodrama one expects. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 28, 2015
No Score Yet Mamele (Little Mother) (1938) "This 1938 comedy has the tragic distinction of being the last Yiddish-language film produced in Poland before the Nazi invasion, but it's also a fantastic showcase for Molly Picon. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 28, 2015
52% Saint Laurent (2015) "Saint Laurent comes across as a prisoner of his own genius, at once compelling and pathetic. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 28, 2015
76% Love at First Fight (2015) "This debut feature by French writer-director Thomas Cailley is the rare romantic comedy that's satisfying as genre entertainment but also inspires serious thought on pertinent social issues. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 28, 2015
86% L For Leisure "As someone who suffered through more poststructuralist theory in college than he would have liked, I had good fun watching this shaggy-dog comedy, though the arcane subject matter makes it an acquired taste. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
4/4 98% Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) "Even after two viewings, I feel as though I've only scratched the surface of Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller's action fantasy is astonishingly dense for a big-budget spectacle, not only in its imagery and ideas but in the complex interplay between them. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
50% On The Way To School (2015) "Though aimed at children, this 2013 French documentary is the sort of direct, expressive, and compassionate filmmaking that can be appreciated by anyone. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
75% The Lesson (2015) "The kinetic yet poker-faced filmmaking renders the narrative turns especially jolting. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 22, 2015
94% I'll See You in My Dreams (2015) "A nuanced lead performance by Blythe Danner anchors this better-than-average entry in the growing subgenre of light dramas about Baby Boomers learning to enjoy retirement. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
91% Slow West (2015) "Writer-director John Maclean insists at every opportunity that the American west teemed with brutality and that every positive myth about the region was built on a lie, yet he doesn't deliver this familiar revisionist history with much force. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
83% Animals (2015) "The couple's doomed romance feels familiar from numerous other films about addiction, and the movie is downright bad whenever it aspires to visual poetry. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
76% Good Kill (2015) "The bold, confrontational tone commands one's attention, and the cast -- which also includes Bruce Greenwood and Zoe Kravitz -- is superb. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2015
No Score Yet The People Vs. Paul Crump (2014) "The provocatively detached perspective that Friedkin brings to these violent scenes points ahead to his features Cruising and Rampage, and like the latter film, this asks viewers to think long and hard about the validity of capital punishment. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
No Score Yet The White City "This gains a bit of melodramatic verve only when the filmmaker character becomes sexually infatuated with an Israeli soldier, a subplot that plays like secondhand Gregg Araki. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
96% Iris (2015) "Maysles simply presents lots of other designers telling Apfel how brilliant she is, their testimony interspersed with pithy accounts of her past achievements. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
100% Cousin Jules (2013) "Focusing on archaic farming rituals to the exclusion of nearly everything else, the film has virtually no dialogue, but each sight and sound is monumental, communicating an entire way of life. " ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2015
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