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
3/4 88% Museum (Museo) (2018) Even after the story runs out, it's still a joy to watch.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/4 90% Monrovia, Indiana (2018) These are lovely images, but they leave a disturbing aftertaste. The final take away from Monrovia, Indiana, is that the town is a great place to be an inanimate object.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
4/4 95% Private Life (2018) Private Life [is] such an affecting-and ultimately devastating-work.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
3/4 61% The Oath (2018) One thing that's admirable about The Oath is that Barinholtz never apologizes.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
96% The Hate U Give (2018) The filmmakers understand their characters so thoroughly that the insights seem to grow organically from their experiences. This is American studio filmmaking at its finest.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
No Score Yet Volcano (2018) Unfortunately Bondarchuk doesn't have as much to contemplate as he lets on; the movie often disintegrates into superficial art-film moodiness.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
100% Too Late to Die Young (2018) In fact the film is so commanding in its presentation of social rituals and the natural world that it takes a while for the story to come into focus, yet for all the loping camera movements and narrative digressions, this never feels meandering. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
88% Rafiki (2018) It's hard to escape the feeling that the film is basically an extended public service announcement; Kahiu has few discernible goals apart from drawing attention to an important subject.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
85% Non-Fiction (2018) In terms of surface tone, this is one of the airiest things the director has made, though what it has to say about the Internet is as unsettling as Demonlover...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
78% The Good Girls (Las niñas bien) (2018) With this subtle drama about high-society social maneuvering, writer-director Alejandra Márquez Abella essentially transplants Edith Wharton's thematic concerns to Mexico City in 1982.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
88% Diane (2018) What he wants to explore is ultimately harder to define-call it the longing for transcendence that's always underpinned American life. His handling of time's passing is subtle and mysterious as well‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
80% Core of the World (2018) Meshchaninova doesn't have much to say about the character apart from this; once she reveals his true nature, the film doesn't really have anywhere to go.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
97% Blaze (2018) Hawke argues movingly that creative success has nothing to do with fame and everything to do with how an artist grows as a person and impacts the people around him.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
96% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) Directors Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler, and Jeff Springer emphasize their subjects' creativity and camaraderie, resulting in a upbeat, flavorful community portrait.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2018
1/4 87% Madeline's Madeline (2018) Letting the audience determine the meaning of her aesthetic choices, Decker shows little interest in creating meaning herself.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
2/4 84% The Wife (2018) Because the performances are so calculated, the emotional outbursts on which the story hinges fail to make a dramatic impact. And for a film about a novelist, The Wife conveys very little sense of what it's like to read or write.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
3/4 89% Araby (Arábia) (2018) Araby is unmistakably contemporary in its fashions, settings, and physical behavior; the similarities to the past seem found rather than manufactured.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2018
94% Good Manners (As Boas Maneiras) (2018) The tone grows increasingly delicate and sweet; in fact the film ends up feeling like a fairy tale. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2018
3/4 95% BlacKkKlansman (2018) Lee wants to explain how images in popular culture have social and political consequences-a vital message.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
4/4 No Score Yet The Lighthouse Keepers (Gardiens De Phare) 1929 (1929) Remarkably it doesn't feel at all disjointed: Grémillon shifts fluidly between styles, the film flowing like a piece of music.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
91% The Great Buddha+ (2018) The good cheer goes a long way in countering the knee-jerk cynicism, which grows tiresome well before the end.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
3/4 93% Angels Wear White (2018) Shooting largely with a handheld camera, Qu generates a jittery energy that makes the characters' stress palpable. This feeling escalates as the investigation closes in.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2018
86% Mountain (2018) This Australian nonfiction feature plays like a highbrow version of an IMAX nature documentary.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
3/4 86% Upgrade (2018) Upgrade's smooth turn into intellectual provocation may be the most surprising thing about it.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2018
No Score Yet Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi (A Scene at the Sea) (1991) Tethered to only the slightest narrative, the film evokes the experience of early love and disappointment in a manner both sharp and tender.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
74% Gemini (2018) Gemini feels like the first draft of a movie that could have been developed into something more resonant.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
19% Tyler Perry's Acrimony (2018) It's all very entertaining and dumb, the posh settings pushing the drama further into the realm of escapist fantasy.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
80% Unsane (2018) The formal playfulness may occasionally undermine Unsane's narrative tension, but it keeps the movie engaging on a visual level.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
100% Keep the Change (2018) Keep the Change may be a breakthrough in its focus on real people with intellectual disabilities, but it's especially commendable for providing positive examples of how the nondisabled can create inclusive environments for all.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
96% Bisbee '17 (2018) The film is rich and multifaceted, as Greene employs an array of styles (historical reenactments, direct cinema-style portraiture, musical numbers) to investigate the complex relationship between Bisbee's past and present. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
86% Thoroughbreds (2018) Thoroughbreds is delivered generally in a prim, flat style that recalls the films of Hal Hartley and Whit Stillman...Finley is interested in the dark corners of psychology where malice and desire converge, and he generates a surprising amount of tension.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
70% Happy End (2017) The film remains interesting, if not particularly eye-opening, until it reveals how the characters are related. Then it becomes the sort of sardonic chronicle of upper-middle-class discontentment that Claude Chabrol did better with less portentousness.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2018
1/4 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) The director not only fails to capture the childlike wonder of A Wrinkle in Time; she also reveals herself to be a terrible director of children.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2018
100% Pow Wow (2016) Pow Wow advances a curious, if somewhat detached perspective that befits an ethnographic study...the insights are sometimes wry and sometimes saddening, but always compelling.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
82% Early Man (2018) The story is thin, allowing little room for imaginative engagement, and the comedy uninspired. Early Man contains a nice anti-sexism message, but delivers it half-heartedly.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
94% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) It shows how thinking of a person in terms of his or her physical condition can have a harmful effect on that person, limiting his or her sense of self. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2018
3/4 23% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) The 15:17 to Paris shows that the 87-year-old director is still capable of surprises.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
14% Winchester (2018) This speaks to Winchester's overall failure of imagination-it's the sort of forgettable movie that could have been a memorable one.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
4/4 94% 24 Frames (2018) The chief pleasure of 24 Frames is how it attunes you to appreciate any movement, whether it's snow falling, waves crashing, or birds pecking the earth.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
67% Dodes'ka-den (Dodesukaden) (1970) Dodes'ka-den may be fanciful in its depiction of poverty, but this comes from a desire to humanize people marginalized by society.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
100% Paddington 2 (2018) The Paddington films preach a message of acceptance that's no less straightforward than that of The Shape of Water, encouraging viewers to share in the hero's tolerant worldview. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
95% The Breadwinner (2017) Children must grow up fast under such circumstances, and The Breadwinner derives its lasting sense of tragedy from its consideration of how they've been stripped of their childhood. There's a sad undercurrent to Parvana's fairy tale.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2018
64% The Polka King (2017) The Polka King is warm and sympathetic, avoiding easy jokes in favor of humane, character-driven humor.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
74% Mom and Dad (2018) The central joke of the film is that the plague only exacerbates violent feelings that parents already feel for their children. Taylor finds enough ways to tell that joke to sustain interest the remaining hour of the film.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
57% The Commuter (2018) The good cheer with which Collet-Serra defines the supporting players ameliorates The Commuter's nightmarish premise and draws viewers deeper into its spell.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
81% Un amour de jeunesse (Goodbye First Love) (2012) This film conveys the impermanence of youth by playing up another basic fact that movies take for granted: that the images you see in a theater are constantly disappearing before your eyes.‐ MUBI
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2018
86% Youth (Fang Hua) (2017) The film still generates a certain amount of fascination as it transforms into a melodramatic love story, though I missed the imagination and historical sweep that defined the first half.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
84% The Lovers (2017) The Lovers sustains a poignant tone that makes me choke up every time I watch it.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
91% The Shape of Water (2017) The movie's worldview is as easy to like as the protagonist and her friends, but del Toro lays it on so thick that there's no room for counterargument or even independent thought.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2017
55% The Greatest Showman (2017) Screenwriters Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon whitewash history at every turn, making Barnum a warm, paternal figure beloved by his sideshow performers, wife, and children. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017