Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
50% Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1981) This "exposé" is too familiar and too sloppily filmed to shock anyone. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
No Score Yet Bizalom (Confidence) (1980) A perfect example of an intensely subjective cinema realized without a single overtly subjective shot. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/5 42% Bad Boys (1995) Entertainment of the gratingly commercial, teeth-rattling variety is provided in Bad Boys. - New York Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 28% See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) ''See No Evil'' lurches from hip callousness to damp sentimentality. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 27% Over the Top (1987) It's a technique that gives new meaning to the term ''feeling had.'' - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 51% Oliver & Company (1988) ''Oliver & Company'' is impoverished technically, and it is also impoverished emotionally. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 38% Road House (1989) What results instead is a monstrous hybrid-a grotesquely implausible, oversized character that thoroughly overshadows the poor actor himself. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
44% Teen Wolf (1985) Fox somehow survives on the sheer force of a pleasant screen presence, but those who remember The Shaggy Dog ought to stay away. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
31% I Come in Peace (1990) The deceptively straight-looking Benben, however, proves to be a wily scene-stealer with a very sharp sense of comic timing. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
1/4 21% Harlem Nights (1989) ''Harlem Nights,'' it's worth remembering, is a comedy, though as the body count piles up and entire reels go by without a joke in sight, it's also easy to forget. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
37% Every Which Way But Loose (1978) Eastwood has the best double take in the business, there are some interesting glimpses of blue-collar LA, and the downbeat ending displays a genuine moral intelligence. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
2/4 35% Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) ''Buffy'' shuffles through a number of styles and approaches, from the satirical to the Grand Guignolesque, but never treats its material with much respect. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
7% Orca - The Killer Whale (1977) An incoherent blend of Moby-Dick, King Kong, and Jaws, hindered by what appears to be extensive reediting. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
2/4 26% Hook (1991) ''Hook'' never sets sail. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
2/4 41% Young Guns (1988) ''Young Guns'' is a very Dean-ish, sensitive delinquent melodrama disguised, for no good reason, as a western. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
27% The Amityville Horror (1979) [The Amityville Horror] begins with the promising premise of a haunted house in the suburbs (poltergeists in the barbecue pit?) and quickly degenerates into a display of pretentious camera angles. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
1/4 19% Mannequin (1987) There`s some solid talent here, but Gottlieb's overemphatic direction reduces them all to broad caricature -- the kind of crazed mugging that isn't often seen outside the boundaries of Saturday morning kiddie shows. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
3/4 38% Ishtar (1987) Ishtar is a good movie, but you can't help but wonder if, lurking somewhere in those cans of outtakes, there isn't a great movie, too. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
2/4 44% Twins (1988) For all of its geniality and gushing good will, Ivan Reitman`s ''Twins'' remains an advertising campaign in search of a movie. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
3/4 53% The Cable Guy (1996) The Cable Guy is a gutsy move on Carrey's part, suggesting a willingness to grow just where commercial good sense would say to stand pat. - New York Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2019
93% Rope (1948) Hitchcock liked to pretend that the film was an empty technical exercise, but it introduces the principal themes and motifs of the major period that would begin with Rear Window. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
62% The Bed Sitting Room (1969) One of [Lester's] best efforts, a remarkably sharp and deadly satire. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
93% A Woman Under the Influence (1975) Cassavetes makes the viewer's frustration work as part of the film's expressiveness; it has an emotional rhythm unlike anything else I've ever seen. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
98% The Right Stuff (1983) Philip Kaufman's 1983 film is an efficient and absorbing recapitulation of the main events of Tom Wolfe's book that still never succeeds in capturing the inner drives and ethics of the test pilots and astronauts - the "right stuff" never materializes. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
75% Images (1972) It looks complicated, but it's just confused (1972). - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2019
87% Straw Dogs (1971) [T]hough doubtlessly reactionary, Straw Dogs has the heat of personal commitment and the authority of deep (if bitter) contemplation. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
52% Death Becomes Her (1992) Insistently grotesque, relentlessly misanthropic and spectacularly tasteless, ''Death Becomes Her'' isn't a film designed to win the hearts of the mass moviegoing public. But it is diabolically inventive and very, very funny. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
1/4 39% Bloodsport (1988) The contest format is hopelessly repetitive and inert, the characters would seem underdeveloped in a comic book, and the restricted setting ensures that the action will never develop any real scale or velocity. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
2/4 50% Willow (1988) It takes forever for the story to get started, and once it does it holds few surprises. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
1/4 17% Dr. Giggles (1992) Though Coto demonstrates a fairly sophisticated film school technique, he is interested in his characters only as stick figures to be marched through a mechanical plot. There's no emotional connection, and without that, there can be no real suspense. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
1/4 80% Dominick and Eugene (1988) Dominick and Eugene is every bit as icky as its premise would suggest, and possibly even more so. The film is a heavy, clanging guilt machine that functions by systematically exploiting Nicky's handicap. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
56% Prince of Darkness (1987) ''Prince of Darkness'' is a real tour de force, and a welcome return. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
97% A Star Is Born (1954) Judy Garland gives everything she has as the young star on the way up; her performance is an emotional autobiography. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
100% A Star Is Born (1937) this 1937 William Wellman-David O. Selznick production (itself a partial remake of Cukor's 1932 What Price Hollywood?) is extremely watchable, not least because of the Technicolor portrait it paints of art deco Hollywood. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
4/4 93% Lady and the Tramp (1955) The quintessential American love story -- the one between the spoiled heiress and the spontaneous, fun-loving guy from the wrong side of the tracks -- has seldom been more elegantly and entertainingly told. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
No Score Yet Parsifal (1982) Edith Clever, miming to the voice of Yvonne Minton as the witch Kundry, gives a performance of great passion and authority-a brilliantly effective revival of silent-film acting techniques. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
No Score Yet Don Giovanni (1979) The visual context is ravishing, with a lighting scheme that builds from the understated and naturalistic to shocking contrasts of black and white. Meanwhile, the camera moves with a preternatural grace. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
100% Moses and Aaron (1975) Straub and Huillet's investigation of the medium is an important experience for anyone interested in the way film represents reality-or fails to. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
100% The Kid (1921) It was Chaplin's first full-length film, and the action is perhaps too episodic; he hadn't yet mastered the structural demands of the long form. But several of the episodes... are sublime. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
84% Beetlejuice (1988) Much as Joe Dante did in ``Gremlins`` and ``Innerspace,`` Burton delights in creating in live-action format the impossible effects of cartoons and comic strips. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
2/4 38% Beaches (1988) For all of its insistence on the open, even gushing, expression of feeling, Beaches finally seems a little bit sneaky. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
87% The Candidate (1972) Much of it has a pleasing air of accuracy. But Redford's inability to suggest any irony about himself finally sinks it -- it's the only sanctimonious satire you'll ever see. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2018
64% Independence Day (1996) Sonnenfeld has directed with gusto and precision from a vaguely plotted but often hilarious screenplay, and his view of Manhattan as a holding pen for intergalactic refugees has the touch of authentic experience fundamental to all great comedy. - New York Daily News EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
90% Lilies of the Field (1963) Well-meaning rot. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
82% The Shout (1979) [The Shout] is shrewd, imaginative moviemaking. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
100% El Dorado (1967) A very funny, very moving work, graced by the cinema's cleanest, most classical style. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
100% Fort Apache (1948) The nonlinear narrative, with its infinite digressions and asides, is designed less to tell a story than to present a world-a world dense in physical detail and fraught with moral challenges. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
80% Duel in the Sun (1946) There's no doubt that it goes too far in almost every direction-but that touch of obsession is exactly what saves - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
3/4 65% Home Alone (1990) Home Alone seems to be nominating itself as a Christmas classic [and] the film does go some way toward getting the job done. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2017
96% Touch of Evil (1958) Made in 1958, it was Orson Welles's last Hollywood film, and in it he makes transcendent use of the American technology his genius throve on; never again would his resources be so rich or his imagination so fiendishly baroque. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017