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 92% 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
95% 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 97% 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
90% The Great Buddha+ (2017) 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 92% 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
85% 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 85% 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
75% 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
21% 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
100% Bisbee '17 (2017) 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
87% 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
69% 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 40% 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 24% 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 95% 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
94% 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
60% 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
75% 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
56% 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
85% 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
85% 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
92% 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
56% 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
18% Father Figures (2017) This lightweight comic road movie is unhurried and eager to please. Most of the characters are live-action cartoons, though all of them are treated sympathetically.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
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
100% 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
70% 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
91% 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
87% 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
59% 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
92% 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
67% 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
92% 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
76% Never Steady, Never Still (2018) British actress Shirley Henderson uses her soft voice and tiny frame to great effect.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017