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
4/5 42% The Ultimate Playlist of Noise (2021) Going further with a more challenging accomplishment, its big heart proves that life without sound is still beautiful too. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2021
3/5 53% If Not Now, When? (2021) Bass and Good's film is an uncommon movie that tempers the illusions of automatic bliss. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2021
3/5 77% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) Brazen and bonkers at every turn, Chloë Grace Moretz is exponential girlpower. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
4/5 76% Pieces of a Woman (2020) Written with reverberating pain by Kornél Mundruczó's collaborator Kata Wéber, "Pieces of a Woman" is unshy with its heavy crisis. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
5/5 98% One Night in Miami (2020) Regina King envisions a crossroads that is not only a meeting of the minds and a confluence of talents, but a collision of souls. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
3/5 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Maybe it is enough of a victory that Wonder Woman is not the problem of a "Wonder Woman" movie. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
4/5 96% Soul (2020) Be ready for hard swallows, brow rubs, and exasperating "well..." sentence starters that follow the life-and-death questions being played with freely. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
4/5 92% Sylvie's Love (2020) Being anachronistic is a compliment not a hindrance. It would be disappointingly out of place if this movie was anything less than properly rooted right where it is as a pseudo-time capsule. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
4/5 98% Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) There is a precarious pendulum of friendly diatribes and combative challenges between the traveling band members with volcanic performances. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
2/5 72% Greenland (2020) We still have an action hero getting lucky like an action hero too often does. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/5 87% News of the World (2020) It's grit without grittiness, and there's a place for that in the western genre where not everything has to kick like 100-proof frontier whiskey. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
5/5 91% Promising Young Woman (2020) The predicament of self-examination will be which condition of shock you're carrying as you come down from the buzz of this movie. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2020
2/5 87% Black Bear (2020) Levine's film feels like two unfinished concepts squished together for the sake of dropping a twist in the middle. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
3/5 59% All My Life (2020) This approachable and endearing romance stockpiles the smiles to brighten all the trials and tribulations that follow. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
3/5 40% Wander (2020) A screwy little movie saved by committed performances. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
1/5 28% Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Shanley, the talent involved, and the host nation itself are all better than this near drivel. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
5/5 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) Humanity rightly becomes the beautiful and ruminative zenith of "The Midnight Sky. " - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
3/5 91% Luxor (2020) This movie is about the undercurrents within the flow of people, even if they are standing next to a mighty river. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
4/5 82% Mank (2020) Fincher gets it. He's crafted a tribute of "balls recognizing balls." - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
4/5 89% Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) Remove the pigeon-holing label to welcome a new holiday favorite worthy of elated appreciation from any viewer. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
3/5 46% Fatman (2020) What to my wondering eyes did appear, this flick turned into something wholly unexpected, yet still with the meaty side of the lurid. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
3/5 83% Proxima (2019) This is a personal journey of carrying her weight in one place and her responsibility in the other with detachment looming. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
4/5 91% Run (2020) Chaganty and Ohanian's new film is an entwined illustration of that balance between show or tell. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
2/5 83% Happiest Season (2020) The movie earns worthy pride for its willingness and openness to hug out a daunting task. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
4/5 32% Superintelligence (2019) As dippy as all of this may sound and transpire, there are undeniable streaks of kindness bigger than terabytes. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
5/5 96% Sound of Metal (2020) Speaking of stillness and silence, there is a tremendous weight of heart and profundity found in the difference between those two states in this film. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
3/5 96% Nomadland (2020) The film and its main character have the same range of stamina and lethargy. Unvarnished prestige too has its limits. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
3/5 83% Freaky (2020) This mashup of body swap comedy cliches and high school horror tropes turned out to be an artery-bursting romp. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2020
4/5 91% The American President (1995) What makes both Douglas's president and the movie itself victorious classics is the combination of edge and enchantment. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
4/5 45% Dead Presidents (1995) There is a ballsy honesty in presenting such an inevitable fall from grace with splattered style. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2020
2/5 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Just like the first yuck fest, the sequel smashes reality and fiction together with splattered eggs on all the faces involved. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
3/5 39% Rebecca (2020) Where Ben Wheatley distills Daphne du Maurier's preeminent gothic themes is with beguilement through beautification. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
3/5 46% A Rainy Day in New York (2020) Even the most cultivated retro Millennial you could ever concoct or discover couldn't and wouldn't talk like Woody Allen. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
3/5 86% On The Rocks (2020) While valuable for that level of challenging exploration to put dour on top of delight, that is a trajectory where charm exceeds its limits, and ours, to a degree. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2020
4/5 68% The Glorias (2020) Call this respectful hero worship and the most traditional if you must, but what's left (political pun intended) is well-earned pride. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2020
5/5 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Every clash of differences only tightens the cohesions of their unified cause and thickens the performances and, for a Sorkin film, you can bet every syllable is measured to millisecond for maximum effect. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
1/5 28% Antebellum (2020) When the swerves hit, preposterousness obliterates cleverness. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2020
3/5 87% Cuties (Mignonnes) (2020) If you don't like what you see of these errant kids left to their own wiles and devices, your gut is accurate and working. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2020
3/5 60% Blackbird (2020) Sarandon's eyes and gestures are always moving and always telling a story. Like Jack Nicholson, she is a master of physical ambiance and unspoken ticks. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2020
2/5 81% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) Every exploration of regret, fragility, and the human spirit needs a compass and this film's one is as dead as a door nail. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2020
4/5 73% Mulan (2020) Niki Caro brings the cultural ballad from a prior place of uneven song-and-dance lip service to a proper epic of empowering sweep where actions speak louder than words. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
3/5 70% The One and Only Ivan (2020) The movie can stand proud for doing its source inspiration justice in a softly affecting and entertaining way. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
4/5 80% Get On Up (2014) A biopic that dares to put a few extra wrinkles and curves into its narrative. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
4/5 73% Killing Them Softly (2012) With a sharp and brutal edge of discourse and humor, this is a crime film that trades action for conversation. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
4/5 84% Lake Michigan Monster (2018) Every braided shoestring of DIY indie filmmaking swings a proverbial kitchen sink of derring-do flair on the end of it. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
3/5 49% Made in Italy (2020) More than doors are going to be unlocked and more than floorboards are going to be hammered out between the two amid the idyllic Italian cypresses. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
2/5 19% The Tax Collector (2020) This whole salacious scene may be Ayer's bread-and-butter, but he's cut this same content so many ways that it's not pulpy or titillating anymore. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
3/5 76% Summerland (2020) Respectfully pensive in many places and proud in many others, Jessica Swale's film has difficulty transitioning meshed tones among the heartstrings. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
4/5 88% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) Once in a great while, the energies of talent and material align where heralded thespians seemingly hold court over an entire film and not merely individual scenes. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
3/5 19% Endless (2020) Whimsical romance set to ethereal piano may appear to be the forefront, but the sense of sorrow is appreciably very real. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020