Don Shanahan

Don Shanahan
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I'm the creator of Every Movie Has a Lesson. With my teacher background, I write my reviews as credentialed press in Chicago with the goal of teaching life lessons from the serious to the farcical. I'm also published on Medium.com for the MovieTime Guru site of AMI Publications, where I'm listed one of 50 Top Writers in the movie topic. I'm a new inductee into the Online Film Critics Society and also one of the directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, a recognized awards-voting body. Our mission is to bring our experiences, tastes, diversities, and audiences together with the push to share our passions and creativity in the effort to highlight the value and diversity found in both independent and mainstream films. I am also contributor on the Feelings Film Podcast where I write What We Learned This Week, a weekly editorial putting life lessons to industry news trends, and co-host their Connecting With Classics podcast highlighting films found on the AFI Top 100.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Mary Poppins Returns is the cinematic equivalent of a very pleasant British greeting. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
4/5 95% Us (2019) One's communal theater experience and entertainment value is addictively fed and your mind will race afterword, preserving the impact for even more internalization, compartmentalization, and surprise. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
5/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) With honor, the documentary team led by Todd Douglas Miller have now echoed this monumental achievement with an artistic one of their own. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
3/5 50% Finding Steve McQueen (2019) There was certainly a porch-rocker and beer-sipper of a story to be told with this one and we get that entertainment. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
2/5 29% Wonder Park (2019) Like the railed, ridden inventions it depicts, the movie has clever ideas and solid foundations, but too many hits of filmed friction slow the glee and weaken the poignant pillars attempted. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 79% Captain Marvel (2019) Let loose, as she does, and relish in the unbridled power of this new MCU entry that wrinkles the blueprint with fantastic feminine wiles. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/5 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) The final chapter celebrates the substance that has made this series triumph. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2019
3/5 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) The fitting melodrama is as ripped as the muscles being flexed. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/5 61% Then Came You (2019) Everything difficult and rough is softened by cheeky and easy charm. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2019
5/5 No Score Yet A Doctor's Sword (2015) Well-woven in structure, non-judgemental in its observation, and extremely respectful of peaceful goals, this documentary is a richly pristine and compelling chronicle and time capsule. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Donald in Mathmagic Land (1959) Efficient and effective for education through charm. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Dunning Man (2017) Precariously, at times, this movie balances somewhere between an urban drama and paperback crime novel. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Comfort (2017) Lu leans on simplicity over flash to keep this film rightfully earnest. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
5/5 97% Casablanca (1942) Stride after stride, scene after scene, moment after moment, everything comes together and everything is right. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 65% Capricorn One (1978) A good conspiracy thriller needs to make its scenario and setup believable to be effective, and this film nails that. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet BFFs (2014) These are two characters (and strong women) that speak their minds and flesh out real challenges with a brazen balance of humor and bravery. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 100% Beauty Mark (2017) Every part of this film that goes to an unsettling place or each opposing moment that shows glimmers of hope within disparity hinge on the light shining out of Auden Thornton's extraordinary performance. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 33% Beauty And The Beast (La belle et la bête) (2016) Bolder than its upcoming Disney-reimagined competition. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 94% Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders (2016) Far and away, this is a light, easy, harmless, and amusing love letter to squeaky clean family-friendly entertainment of a bygone era. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 80% Barry (2016) Biased and showy hero worship is rightfully absent for a solid biography slice. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet The Astrologer (2013) Along the same lines as trash versus treasure, one filmmaker's passion project is another man's vanity film. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
5/5 73% Coming Through The Rye (2016) Coming Through the Rye exudes a polish and a vibe that defines the film's wit and tone. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 82% The American Side (2016) Satisfying and a constantly engaging throwback detective story that surpasses its glitzy and more expensive Hollywood peers - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 No Score Yet The Middle Distance (2015) An easy story such as this doesn't need overindulgence. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
3/5 85% Embers (2015) Claire Carre moves past the concept to populate this story with rich characters and poignant developments that keep you guessing and help you invest in the fate of these characters. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
4/5 91% Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Kinetic pace, clever humor, retro soundtrack, and dazzling effects add up to a wholly entertaining experience. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
3/5 36% The Legend of Tarzan (2016) Throwback experience of intensity and thrills fitting for the classic hero. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
4/5 100% Bao (2018) It is incredibly encouraging to see a large creative hub like Pixar make strides towards domestic inclusions of diversity - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2019
4/5 86% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) ...a parade of entertaining animation surprises to go with all the underlying human complexion construction at work. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
3/5 83% Perfectos Desconocidos (2019) Thematically, its tagline statement is the lightning bolt of tension that charges this entire film. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
2/5 34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) As supremely talented as everyone involved is, the depth beyond the visuals is lacking. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
4/5 75% The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019) Punches with pulp and grinds gravitas rather than gore. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
2/5 37% Glass (2019) The monotony replacing ambition pushes viewers to be ready for washed-out despondency. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
4/5 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) Stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly recapture and remake that brand of magic with equal shimmer and shine calling upon more than enough art of their own. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
4/5 100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) Palpable and prodigious in accomplishment, this film can become a monument all its own. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
5/5 95% If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) Through its sights and sounds, this film is smashing and significant to present what is beautiful through all that is painful. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2018
3/5 66% Vice (2018) Hazy in some moments, hasty in others, and always provocative, Vice is easily the most polarizing film of the year. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2018
3/5 93% Bumblebee (2018) Plenty of loud-and-dumb still exists, but at least the pompous hubris and sophomoric fixations that fuel it are exchanged for those three missing elements of tone, character, and heart. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
4/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Royalty is merely dignified status. Heroes are revered legends. Cue the "why not both" gif and you've got Aquaman. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
4/5 No Score Yet When Jeff Tried to Save the World (2018) Not only has writer-director Kendall Goldberg fleshed out this excellent main character, she guides it through this plot with a matching sense imagination and earnestness. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 93% The Favourite (2018) The boredom and dryness still dominate to blast away chances for connection like buckshot through a targeted pigeon's feathers and flesh. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
5/5 96% Roma (2018) Viscerally and emotionally, this cinematic exercise of harrowing gratitude is a transcendent experience. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
4/5 60% Mercury in Retrograde (2017) Public musings and private confessions get louder and more pointed to observe the further Smith takes them. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
4/5 100% Rendezvous in Chicago (2018) Smith continues to create characters that look, act, and fit their narratives to a heightened degree. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
4/5 99% The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018) The Guilty is as smooth and taut of a 85-minute feature as you'll see, no matter the language. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
4/5 88% Born To Be Blue (2016) Presenting a career-best performance from Ethan Hawke, Born to Be Blue earns its place as one of the best jazz movies to grace the screen. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
4/5 84% Creed II (2018) Soaked in pugilistic blood, fervent sweat, and warranted tears, Creed II is comfortably ingrained big screen entertainment. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
4/5 91% Widows (2018) Widows wields an effeminate brawn and sly intelligence working to stoke a masterful slow burn. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
4/5 90% A Private War (2018) A Private War is the kind of movie that wears you down with increasing tension and toll in the effort to move and reforge your empathetic spirit. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2018
3/5 62% Outlaw King (2018) No matter what measures of warm blood and sweaty brawn is infused into Outlaw King, it is very difficult to find or create sizzle out of something balmy. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018