Ben Sachs Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ben Sachs

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

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
5% Just Getting Started (2017) The climactic 20 minutes of Just Getting Started are so lazily directed that I wondered why Shelton bothered trying to put action into the movie at all. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2017
No Score Yet Rogers Park (2018) The sympathetic performances, understated direction, and thematic emphasis on lower-middle-class unhappiness all reminded me of British filmmaker Mike Leigh.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2017
No Score Yet Trzecia Czesc Nocy (The Third Part of the Night) (1971) A sustained nightmare about societal and personal breakdown, it presents one man's descent into madness during the Nazi occupation of Poland, though the story is hard to follow (perhaps by design).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
97% Coco (2017) This engaging Pixar animation plays magnificently with elements of Mexican folklore and fine art.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2017
80% The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) Director Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) maintains an oppressively cutesy tone-the film is as sweet and heavy as egg nog.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
68% Paradise (Ray) (2017) Black-and-white cinematography and minimalist sound design contribute to the bleak, austere tone, which befits the theme of survival in a morally bankrupt world.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
95% Human Flow (2017) The imagery encourages viewers to adopt a global perspective in considering the subject matter. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
80% My Friend Dahmer (2017) My Friend Dahmer is at its most provocative when it considers this dynamic between the exploiters and the exploited. In making Dahmer feel like a freak, did the boys push him over the edge into a murderous contempt for all people? ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
52% Jungle (2017) By presenting the characters as psychological abstractions, McLean makes the story feel universal. He wants you to ask whether you'd be capable of surviving an experience like this.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
90% Princess Cyd (2017) With great delicacy, Cone metes out details about his subjects through refined dialogue and everyday behavior; this is the sort of movie that makes you feel you've befriended the characters. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
71% Wonderstruck (2017) The longing for interpersonal connection, which is so central to Wonderstruck, reverberates throughout Haynes's work.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
71% Happy Death Day (2017) On another level, Happy Death Day is a low-key celebration of cinema. Landon and Lobdell revel in how their story could only happen in the movies, piling on preposterous complications with self-aware glee.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
91% The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017) Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki delivers his timeliest and most heartfelt film, mixing humor, pathos, and anger.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
94% On the Beach at Night Alone (Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja) (2017) Hong's visual style is deceptively simple, exposing the characters' emotional complexity, and the friction between his serious psychological concerns and his playful narrative generates a certain frisson.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
86% Never Steady, Never Still (2017) British actress Shirley Henderson uses her soft voice and tiny frame to great effect.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
41% The Mountain Between Us (2017) I was surprised by the film's shift from adventure story to romantic melodrama, and yet the turn feels natural. Everyday life more often resembles a melodrama than an adventure story.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
89% Only the Brave (2017) Director Joseph Kosinski makes effective use of the wide-screen frame (particularly in capturing the Arizona vistas), though he fails to build on any of the script's straightforward themes.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
95% The Florida Project (2017) Baker places no dramatic emphasis on any individual scene, granting a sense of wide-eyed wonder to major and minor events alike.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
78% Nobody's Watching (Nadie nos mira) (2017) Because the characterization is genial and superficial, the film feels too lightweight for a drama, but it's never funny enough to be considered a comedy.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2017
100% Unrest (2017) Director Jennifer Brea has ME herself, and she structures the film around footage from her own video diaries; these excerpts personalize the medical lesson and give the film an emotional core.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
15% Friend Request (2017) It's a film devoid of subtext, which is especially disappointing given that the subtext would have been so easy to incorporate.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
100% Time to Die (Tiempo de morir) (1966) [Gabriel García] Márquez and Fuentes treat the hero's atonement and friendships with great feeling, but there's a dark side to the film's poignancy, because the man's every encounter may be his last.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2017
100% Saturday Church (2018) The songs aren't very good and the acting sometimes borders on camp, but there's no denying his ambition or his concern for homeless youth. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2017
4/4 86% That Most Important Thing: Love (L'important c'est d'aimer) (1975) Shining through L'Important C'Est D'Aimer is a genuine sense that love enables us to transcend the most degrading experiences.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2017
82% I Dream in Another Language (Sueño en otro idioma) (2017) A relaxed pace and a gentle tone, allowing the themes of guilt and repressed longing to resonate, and his sympathy toward all the characters creates a winning sense of goodwill.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2017
29% Rebel in the Rye (2017) Fatally, the movie fails to convey the sympathy and imagination of Salinger's prose-instead characters simply state over and over again how brilliant he is.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2017
88% 4 Days in France (Jours de France) (2017) At nearly two and a half hours, the film feels a little overlong, but the acute sense of transience makes a strong impression.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2017
77% The Oath (2016) As in many other Scandinavian thrillers, the style is cold and austere, the content ugly and misanthropic. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2017
84% Beach Rats (2017) [With] this second feature, writer-director Eliza Hittman comes across as a milder. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2017
67% Footnotes (Sur quel pied danser) (2017) The performances, songs, and choreography are all charmingly low-key, giving the film a handmade quality that suggests pride in a job well done.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2017
49% The Glass Castle (2017) [Destin Daniel] Cretton wants to make an old-fashioned melodrama but fails to stylize the material in any compelling way‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2017
91% Good Time (2017) Not since Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void have I been so mesmerized by a film I found morally repugnant.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2017
40% The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) The tone is sophomoric and snide, the wisecracks are uninspired, and the action sequences lack dynamism and suspense.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2017
63% Little Murders (1971) Given our current culture of random violence, Little Murders feels eerily topical.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2017
38% Kidnap (2017) This is a superior genre exercise, unpretentious and formally controlled.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2017
94% Endless Poetry (Poesía Sin Fin) (2017) if you consider Jodorowsky's work excessive and mannered, you'll probably find this to be a slog.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2017
19% False Confessions (Les fausses confidences) (2017) Onscreen these devices seem stagey and awkward, and the pacing is slow and clunky.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2017
100% I Am the Blues (2015) This amiable documentary surveys small towns in Mississippi and Louisiana where aging blues musicians live and practice their art.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2017
100% Harmonium (Fuchi ni tatsu) (2017) Tadanobu Asano, who plays the ex-con, has rarely been better, and Kanji Furutachi and Mariko Tsutsui are heartbreaking as the husband and wife.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2017
92% Our Time Will Come (2017) Like most of Hui's films, Our Time's subtlety is entrancing, withholding big dramatic moments to consider everyday behavior. This strategy speaks to Hui's tremendous gifts of directing actors and establishing a sense of place.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
17% The House (2017) A dismayingly lightweight experience.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
100% Nowhere To Hide (2017) Sharif, who is intimately acquainted with most of the people he profiles, reveals his subjects' courage and humanity.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
78% The Beguiled (2017) The Beguiled is better directed than it is written... In its study of interpersonal rivalry and sexual tension, the film doesn't say anything that wasn't better articulated in Don Siegel's 1971 adaptation.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2017
59% Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge (2017) Karolina Gruszka is very good as Curie, conveying a mix of intelligence and romantic impulse; unfortunately no one else in the cast comes close to her level of investment.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2017
89% The Ornithologist (O ornitólogo) (2017) If nothing else, the film reminds one of how strange and beautiful existence can be.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2017
3/4 86% Okja (2017) To me the idea that it will be largely confined to people's living rooms seems absurd.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2017
74% Wakefield (2017) Uneventful and dull to look at, the film adapts a short story by E.L. Doctorow that probably should have stayed on the page.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2017
21% The Book of Henry (2017) This shift in genre is an ambitious gamble, and I don't think it plays out successfully.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2017
88% Maudie (2017) This Irish-Canadian drama tells the true story of Maud Lewis (played beautifully by Sally Hawkins).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2017
75% Beatriz at Dinner (2017) Screenwriter Mike White aims for social satire but doesn't have much to say about the erosion of kindness in the Trump era; he seems to think that planting a character like Beatriz in front of a stand-in for the president is enough.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2017