Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I'm a Chicago-based Latino film critic that has been passionate about film for well over a decade. I'm also a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. I'm interested in prose above all and hope that my writing is valued for both its critical insight and wit.
Publications: Chicago Cinema Circuit

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
64% Mister America (2019) As a self-contained piece of satire, it's a modest accomplishment. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
80% A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle) (2019) It becomes an examination of characters who gravitate toward thoughts of what's missing and lost... - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
63% The Mountain (2019) What you do get out of the film is a denial of closure, a refusal to provide the answers... - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
76% The Death of Dick Long (2019) It's easy to ridicule, sure, but it ends up becoming surprisingly more complex than its Nickleback-laced soundtrack would suggest. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
84% Ad Astra (2019) There's freedom in the kind of honesty that Gray expresses and as a result Ad Astra sings. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
88% Hustlers (2019) The likability of the ensemble does much of the heavy lifting here... - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2019
24% The Goldfinch (2019) ... a film not cerebral enough to be interesting nor thoughtful enough to be emotionally moving. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2019
63% It Chapter Two (2019) I really like what It Two is about, I just hate how it goes about it. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
70% Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2019) Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! is another example of the quote unquote documentary filmmaker peddling his brand of Gen-X whining as cultural and critical complaint. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2019
97% American Factory (2019) It's here where American Factory is at its most riveting, where Fuyao's Chinese upper-management attempts to suppress a union vote. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
88% Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) [Brittany Runs a Marathon] possesses some notable virtues worth unpacking. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2019
77% Skin (2019) Skin ends up paying lip service, skimming past the messy mechanics and symptoms of hate. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) As you'd imagine, [Toy Story 4 will] mean a lot of things to different people, but most vitally, it just plain means something. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
56% The Dead Don't Die (2019) Jarmusch is speaking the language of the disenchanted; the language of a generation prone to skimming over specifics. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
82% Total Recall (1990) Adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, Verhoeven's backdrop of competing alien factions.... and ruthless capitalists informs something even more broad: when every waking moment is a nightmare, sometimes it's best to retreat to our dreams. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
No Score Yet The Last to See Them (Gli ultimi a vederli vivere) (2019) I found Summa's stylism to lend itself to evocation over provocation. The Last to See Them is thoughtful in a way that could not be anticipated. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) On a purely visual level, it's incomprehensible and meaningless with every scene involving these kaijus set to Biblical on the rain scale. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
97% Booksmart (2019) The good will that Wilde and her coterie of writers build, along with the integrity and commitment of all the film's performers, manages to steer the film through its rockiest passages. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
89% Saint Frances (2019) ... if the creases show, it's [Ramona Edith] Williams' doe-eyed, aw-shucks performance that will likely iron this out for audiences. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
70% Pink Wall (2019) ...while there were several passages throughout that I nodded in recognition, there's simply a self-consciousness to its design that makes most of Pink Wall a disingenuous disappointment. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
75% Olympic Dreams (2019) ... the kind of American independent film that captures your attention at its moment and then quickly fades out of your memory after its end credits scroll. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) There aren't many films that can suggest John Ford and D.W. Griffith in one scene and follow that up with a sequence involving a knife thrown directly to the groin, but Parabellum impossibly does. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
68% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) No human of a certain age, even with the credentials that (Bill) Nighy possesses, can utter the word "Pokémon" without it sounding a little embarrassing. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
73% Teen Spirit (2019) It's sloppy, embarrassingly indulgent, and operates more like a music video than a feature film. And for those reasons I, irrationally, really enjoyed [Teen Spirit]. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
66% Peterloo (2019) Leigh's mammoth ambitions limit the creative will of his filmmaking. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
94% Mike Wallace Is Here (2019) Mike Wallace is Here is so compulsively watchable that it's easy to forget that you've seen a dozen documentary films like it before. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
88% The Infiltrators (2019) ...a shallow film on a group's activism that doesn't seem to understand that true horror does not need reenacting - we're living it. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
96% Hail Satan? (2019) ...an uneven film, one that seems to value the puckishness of the Satanic Temple's leaders rather than the intricacies by which the religion (hopes to) operate as a true oppositional force. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
100% Knock Down the House (2019) For better or worse (mostly better), AOC ends up hijacking Knock Down the House. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
90% Shazam! (2019) Shazam! ended up being exactly what I needed when I needed it. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
93% Us (2019) Us is most persuasive when compressed, when we're observing its concerns through the retina of Nyong'o performance. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
92% Fighting with My Family (2019) .... intended for generic uplift that sacrifices specifics for something safe and anodyne. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 24, 2019
79% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Everybody Knows stands out as Farhadi's most interesting film to date. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2019
69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) ... banally imagines death as a series of jump scares or pithy one-liners intended to yank out a laugh. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
84% Don't Blink - Robert Frank (2016) Israel possesses a formal acuity that's refreshing for a documentary filmmaker - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
96% The Salesman (Forushande) (2017) Even if Farhadi rarely leaves me impressed with his visual capacities, the depths of his dramatic intuition are second to none. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story (2015) Cantu, as a figure, is magnetic enough to digest the film without much protest, but Schwartz' inability to discriminate between valuable content and its opposite fails its subject. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
96% The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä mies) (2017) The film is drained of any particular vitality - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
88% Christine (2016) This is my first experience with Campos and I'm completely taken aback by his formal IQ. Every frame is richly composed, informed by careful decisions that reflect the self-doubt of his characters - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
96% After the Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku) (2017) After the Storm, Kore-eda's latest, is his most accomplished work yet, possessing the sort of weary-eyed clarity into the fears and anxieties that plague dreamers who have failed to blossom from the promise of their youth. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
93% Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2017) Yet the material, with its narrative propelled by the trial's eventual verdict, never amounts to anything especially substantive. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
74% Staying Vertical (Rester vertical) (2017) Guiraudie's attempts to complicate the cliché by steeping his surrealist content through a realist lens are not quite as adventurous as it seems. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
92% Sieranevada (2016) You'll be immediately struck by Puiu's realism and capacity to replicate the exact lulls and tempo of conversation between the familial. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
92% Raising Bertie (2017) Byrne and DP/Producer Jon Stuyvesant capture Bertie with a tangible sense of what makes the community tick, punctuated by a tactile languor that is reminiscent of David Gordon Green's George Washington. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
92% Maquinaria Panamericana (2016) Paso, in his debut feature, displays an acute visual sensibility and a remarkable sense of sound - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Malaria (2016) Set in Tehran, Parviz Shabbazi's Malaria offers a unique vision of Iranian culture that nestles between the middle ground of Jafar Pahani's metaphysical musings and Asghar Farhadi's decidedly grounded moral puzzles. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
100% Harmonium (Fuchi ni tatsu) (2017) Fukada reigns in the performances for something more eerie and contained, relying on the cumulative effect of subtle gestures to create something so unexpectedly leveling and terrifying. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
91% Certain Women (2016) It's a tender film that understands adult behavior in a remarkably astute way. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
97% Aquarius (2016) The film is centered on Sonia Braga's unimpeachable performance, the best of the year, in a role that you'd imagine someone like Gena Rowlands' would've taken in the 70s and early 80s - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
94% Little Sister (2016) Clark's study on nostalgia is periphery to how his study on the cumulative contradictions that shape and define our worldviews. - Chicago Cinema Circuit EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019