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 22% Into the Ashes (2019) There is plenty of heat to burn and brand from a calmer temperature of cinematic coals. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2019
5/5 100% The Farewell (2019) One of the most entertaining and freeing film experiences of recent memory. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2019
3/5 55% The Lion King (2019) The shininess is an undeniably impressive and redeeming feature to a lack of implemented originality. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
4/5 71% Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2019) The light produced by this documentary matches the inspirational shine of the subject herself. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2019
4/5 94% Wild Rose (2019) Shouts of anger and tirades of tears fuel the fights and the vocals churning from Jessie Buckley. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2019
4/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) All of this is a downright blast and a big screen feast for a summer movie season that has burned more cinematic food on the grill than it has properly served. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2019
4/5 63% Yesterday (2019) Brush off the eye-rolling salt and you will find beaming smiles of sugar. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Two in the Bush: A Love Story (2019) With proud maturity and still plenty of passion, Two in the Bush presents an honest tale of such a three-wheeled romance. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
4/5 100% In Reality (2018) With biting personal commentary and high creativity to bend and break the tropes of romantic comedy, do-it-all talent Ann Lupo has crafted something entirely unique. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
2/5 98% Toy Story 4 (2019) Despite the immense talent, the traits and choices lack being truly worthwhile. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
2/5 22% Men in Black International (2019) Tessa and Chris might glow like radium, but Men in Black: International is an inert gas, fleeting and faint. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
4/5 92% Starfish (2019) The mental maelstrom of Starfish is eerie, imaginative, and highly impactful. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
4/5 89% Plus One (2019) Every moment to cringe and every moment to cherish swirl together with very appealing zest. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
1/5 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) When you watch this new movie and actually miss the gaudy theatrics of X-Men: The Last Stand because it at least tried, that's a very surprising and telling thing. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
3/5 91% Always Be My Maybe (2019) The catchy chemistry of the movie comes from the whip-smart writing and performances of the two leads. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2019
4/5 91% The Biggest Little Farm (2019) What would look like a capricious and half-hearted whim fit for a green reality show on basic cable and turns the the documented endeavor something ambitious, important, and miraculous. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
2/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Bad quippy comedy, nonsensical plot trappings, and unimportant character inclusions are the true weaknesses that defeat these monsters. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
2/5 56% Aladdin (2019) The surface is sadly where the effectiveness ends. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
3/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Swelling enough from its redundancies, this symphony of gunpowder and gumption will satiate your summer thrills just fine. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 19, 2019
4/5 100% Still Human (2018) Director Oliver Siu Kuen Chan's debut feature is the epitome of the genuinely genteel washing crassness away. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Trained (2018) Yuri Rutman's spare yet sizzling short film tantalizingly begs many questions. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
3/5 92% Disneynature: Penguins (2019) Penguins presents this apprehensive newbie with education and entertainment combined together. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
5/5 48% Clara (2019) This combination creates an intimate and daring film experience that enraptures as easily and as powerfully as it fascinates. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) All of the prodigious forethought and fortitude has paid off. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
4/5 50% Stuck (2019) When they sing to each other, they sing to us. What they sing about speaks about all of us. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
4/5 45% Mary Magdalene (2019) This film honors the magnitude of its subject with virtue of its own. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
4/5 66% Storm Boy (2019) From production craft to the thematic storytelling of inspiration, the movie carries a simple sweetness that deserves an audience. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
3/5 59% Breakthrough (2019) Good believers love divine challenges and so does this movie. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
3/5 61% The Public (2019) The debate balance of this brouhaha of hubris and sentiment favors the rightly idealized and positive. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2019
1/5 48% MacGruber (2010) MacGruber fails where every single Saturday Night Live skit-turned-movie, save for Wayne's World, has failed. They take something that is funny for five minutes and think it can be funny for 90 minutes. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
3/5 46% Dumbo (2019) Dumbo has the attitude and the expansion of story that does enough to gain reverence around the little awestruck wonders we may already know are coming. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
4/5 91% Shazam! (2019) Zany is the bullseye of Shazam! and, boy, is that all kinds of satisfaction. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2019
2/5 79% 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 94% 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 52% 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 34% 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 78% 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 60% 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