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
3.5/4 94% Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más) (2018) In his vivid depiction of the characters' daily lives, which slowly becomes immersive in spite of the detached camerawork, Méndez Esparza invites us to share in their perspective. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
No Score Yet Rainbow: A Private Affair (Una questione privata) (2017) It's one of the Tavianis' best. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
85% The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) (2018) The film showcases Kore-eda's skillful sense of characterization and ethical inquiry, asking viewers to think long and hard about the meaning of justice.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
96% Roma (2018) This has plenty to say about class relations too, but what's most impressive about it is how the Mexican writer-director-cinematographer-editor transforms even his political observations into the stuff of big-screen spectacle.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
83% Bitter Money (Ku Qian) (2016) It confirms that Wang is perhaps the most important nonfiction filmmaker anywhere in the world.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
100% Ash Is Purest White (2019) [Ash] moves fluidly from naturalism to melodrama to tell an epic story of a wayward, romantically frustrated woman over roughly 15 years.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
96% Zama (2018) This blackly funny-and ultimately haunting-examination of colonial history is thoroughly characteristic in its brilliant manipulation of physical space.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
No Score Yet L'enfant secret (1982) Despite being formally unusual, it's always emotionally accessible if not emotionally overwhelming. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
4/4 67% The Mule (2018) The Mule thrives in teasing ambiguity...For decades now, Eastwood has been one of the great interrogators of American social mores.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
2/4 59% Vox Lux (2018) Vox Lux is undone by its self- righteousness...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
67% The Great Pretender (2018) Self-delusion is the principal subject of this short, acerbic comedy by Nathan Silver.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
3/4 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Kore-eda is at his best when he's suppressing his sentimentality, not when he's indulging it, but like his characters, fans of this inspired filmmaker must learn to take the good with the bad.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
97% People's Republic of Desire (2018) In this thematic emphasis, Wu points to the hollowness of a lot of Internet culture-his subjects are bound by a desire to lose themselves in a fleeting sense of fame.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2/4 100% The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows (2018) More amusing than inspired; my favorite works in the program provided me with momentary delight rather than lasting astonishment. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3/4 95% Burning (Beoning) (2018) The film paints vivid portraits of three distinct characters and inspires sympathy with a bewildered protagonist; moreover, it depicts a particular social milieu in such a way that one comes to see it as existing beyond the subjects' control.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
2/4 63% Outlaw King (2018) Outlaw King might be summarized as one big lapse in good sense for David Mackenzie.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 75% Dovlatov (2018) Dovlatov takes the novel approach of dramatizing just six days in the protagonist's life. And where traditional biopics devote at least some time to the subjects' creative achievements, Dovlatov is concerned exclusively with the hero's failures.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3/4 90% 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 84% 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 94% 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
97% 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
89% 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
86% Non-Fiction (2019) 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
80% 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
95% 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
97% 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 86% 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
88% 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 87% 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
73% 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
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
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