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
3/5 97% Nomadland (2020) The film and its main character have the same range of stamina and lethargy. Unvarnished prestige too has its limits. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 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. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2020
4/5 33% Superintelligence (2019) As dippy as all of this may sound and transpire, there are undeniable streaks of kindness bigger than terabytes. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2020
2/5 86% Happiest Season (2020) The movie earns worthy pride for its willingness and openness to hug out a daunting task. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
4/5 90% Run (2020) Chaganty and Ohanian's new film is an entwined illustration of that balance between show or tell. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
3/5 45% 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. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
4/5 92% Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) Remove the pigeon-holing label to welcome a new holiday favorite worthy of elated appreciation from any viewer. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 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. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 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 86% 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 40% 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 45% 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 69% 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 61% 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 74% 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 77% 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 87% 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
2/5 60% Project Power (2020) Now, at the peak of such anticipation, go back and remember the high concept movies you've seen that had very little beyond that one good idea. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2020
2/5 30% Dirt Music (2019) The titular melodies advertised to break down the melodrama blow away weakly with the wind. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2020
3/5 81% The Old Guard (2020) The narrative screws might not be the tightest, but its aim is deadly enough to draw you in. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2020
4/5 79% Greyhound (2020) Hanks propels this vehicle forward for swift and stunning authenticity and tautness. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
4/5 100% No Small Matter (2020) None of "No Small Matter" sounds inconsequential because it isn't. Anything less is antiquated thinking and this documentary pushes viewers forward from those misconceptions. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
3/5 40% Irresistible (2020) Stewart unleashes this cringing astonishment in a surprising movie that pulls your leg and also very rug right out from underneath you. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
3/5 99% Miss Juneteenth (2020) The worthy themes ring true for a positive and willing audience that can pause looking down on pageants and see the bigger preparatory importance. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2020
3/5 91% The Short History of the Long Road (2020) This is but a small jaunt of a bigger journey for this broken family led by an evolving Sabrina Carpenter. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2020
4/5 70% 7500 (2020) The cinematic creation of hemmed-in helplessness is shared by the viewer with unadorned rawness. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2020
1/5 50% The Departure (2020) Despite some style, too much torrid steam is off-screen and too little rancor coalesces and festers to truly shock. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2020
4/5 93% Da 5 Bloods (2020) With stern strength, the rants of old men give way to the treatises of ghosts. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
2/5 74% The King of Staten Island (2020) Judd Apatow's semi-biographical star vehicle for Pete Davidson is a collection of half-hearted beats and half-witted mischief. That's it. Just half. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2020
3/5 72% Becky (2020) "Girls" and "grisly" share five common letters where the extra "y" stands for "yowzers." - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2020
5/5 92% The Vast of Night (2020) The proverbial needle of its excitement amplification lands on a very nifty word: TINGLES. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2020
4/5 93% End of Sentence (2020) Rarely veering to hardest of hard or the ugliest of ugly, there is much homely wisdom to be had in Elfar Adalsteins' debut feature film. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2020
2/5 70% The High Note (2020) To love underdog moxie, or any moxie for that matter, you have to have it, and the flimsy Dakota Johnson doesn't. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2020
3/5 65% The Lovebirds (2020) The Lovebirds puts this frazzled breakup on blast with a dippy concert of calamity. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2020
2/5 48% Scoob! (2020) Mystery is the sorely needed trait for this appealing chance to start something fresh, young, and easy. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2020
3/5 40% Capone (2020) Creative courage emphasizes all of this foreboding filth over the flashy flair normally associated with this mythic mobster. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020