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 90% Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) The proverbial pitch that we would laugh off becomes the jumping-off point for a unique and original comedy. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
3/5 85% Win It All (2017) One film that defeats the mumblecore flaw of open-ended aimlessness. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
4/5 58% Legends of the Fall (1994) Every wisp of wind carries some timbre of a guttural growl of passion. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
5/5 96% Marriage Story (2019) Few films go in between and beyond decision points to show the fractured orbits and restarts of continuing life with heart and honesty. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2019
5/5 96% Little Women (2019) Every fiber and morsel of this movie swells with this sense of spirit to embed radiance in resiliency. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2019
4/5 51% The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) Stiller's remake succeeds in a wondrously entertaining and affecting way. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
5/5 97% Knives Out (2019) There's nuance dripping like venom from thirsty fangs all over the performance stage of Johnson's cinematic charade. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
4/5 65% Lady and the Tramp (2019) This restraint of creative prudence is what defines its humble disposition and winning achievements. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
4/5 92% Ford v Ferrari (2019) This is a thrilling race of arrogance as much as it is one of high-performance automobiles. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2019
5/5 97% Knives Out (2019) There's nuance dripping like venom from thirsty fangs all over the performance stage of Johnson's cinematic charade. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2019
3/5 96% The Irishman (2019) The meandering pace of what all transpires reverberates with a slender essence no better than a hospice bedtime story. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
3/5 21% Playing with Fire (2019) John Cena is cut with cuteness and has all the charm necessary. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
0/5 20% The Dog Lover (2016) Poorly constructed with grossly misplaced performances and intentions. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2019
4/5 52% John Carter (2012) This misunderstood and reverent spectacle was a victim of youthful ignorance more than bad marketing - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
4/5 91% Starfish (2019) The mental maelstrom of Starfish is eerie, imaginative, and highly impactful. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
5/5 48% Clara (2019) Grounds solemnity and sweetness into complicated love within a rare area of science fiction - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
3/5 83% Drinking Buddies (2013) You are torn between pining for the attractive non-couple to get together or you are rooting against the mess that could happen. Either way, you're hooked. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
4/5 60% The Last 5 Years (2015) There is a sincerity and a lack of sarcasm overall that makes these two and their story approachable and devoid of extra fluff or cliche. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2019
5/5 79% Jojo Rabbit (2019) Gusto meets gravitas in one of the most oddly poetic and beautifully brazen movies you may ever see. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
4/5 67% Miss Virginia (2019) The striving spirit is stirring and the capacity for empathy towards its causes is formidable. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2019
2/5 91% The Lighthouse (2019) There is not enough compelling story, mystery, or perversion to fill or overwhelm this eerie environment. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
2/5 26% Gemini Man (2019) The literal cinematic equivalent of "chasing your own tail" - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
5/5 69% Joker (2019) Joaquin's poisonous performance is maniacally mesmerizing. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
3/5 100% The Man Who Wanted to Fly (2019) The sentiment of The Man Who Wanted to Fly is infectious, so enjoy the smile on your face. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Cumar: A Galway Rhapsody (2019) Each chapter is an anecdote to the soul of the people. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 80% Auggie (2019) Tantalizingly bounces your comfort level between intimacy and voyeurism. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
4/5 82% The Untouchables (1987) All of it sizzles with cigar smoke mixing with spent gunpowder and lament. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2019
4/5 84% Ad Astra (2019) An accomplishment of contemplative science fiction that is felt in your core as much as it pours wonderment in your eyes. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2019
2/5 24% The Goldfinch (2019) Anything that lingers feels extraneous at best. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2019
3/5 83% Official Secrets (2019) Righteous treatment to a worthy story and builds a stoic thriller by layering its merits with an eye for accuracy. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2019
3/5 16% Simply Irresistible (1999) Enjoy all the flights of fancy and let yourself lap up all the cuteness possible. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2019
3/5 81% Europa Report (2013) Methodical and intelligent science fiction makes Europa Report a sharp movie. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
3/5 48% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) Neurotically charming, yet misshapen in many ways. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2019
5/5 95% The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) The kind of experience that makes one rethink how their own story is going. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2019
4/5 89% Blinded by the Light (2019) The sprightly emotions on-screen cannot help but target and trigger your own matching passion. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
5/5 90% Luce (2019) There is a feverish anticipation of who's going to turn, who's going to crack, who's going to fall, and who's going to rise. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2019
3/5 60% Brian Banks (2019) Offers a patient and earned dose of victory that feels awfully nice and hopeful for this day and age. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
4/5 95% Medium Cool (1969) Still rings with relevance and importance today as much as it did 50 years ago. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
2/5 30% The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019) Chooses star-vehicle bravura over the historical plight that really matters - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3/5 53% The Lion King (2019) The shininess is an undeniably impressive and redeeming feature to a lack of implemented originality. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
4/5 90% Always Be My Maybe (2019) The catchy chemistry of the movie comes from the whip-smart writing and performances of the two leads. - 25YL (25 Years Later) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet Surviving Confession (2019) A trying yet damn interesting jaunt through prickly pressures and uncomfortable themes. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2019
3/5 59% Astronaut (2019) Softly chooses sentiment over spectacle. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2019
3/5 85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) A dippy mix of sunny sauntering and tiresome puzzlement. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
4/5 60% The Last 5 Years (2015) Catchy at one moment and then poignant in the next to match the shifting narrative. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
5/5 92% Searching (2018) A heart attack of a brilliant film that preys upon every parent's fears in this current digital world. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
5/5 92% Southside With You (2016) Enamors and enchants you often to forget that the two main characters are the future President and First Lady of the United States of America. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
5/5 86% A Monster Calls (2017) Earns every unflinching ounce of its emotional draw as one of the most profoundly emotional films. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
5/5 97% Lucky (2017) Continuously unearths affecting ways of making cantankerous endearing. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019
5/5 68% Wonderstruck (2017) Haynes's prevailing theme of identity, and heavy sense of heart infused into a family film is nothing short of a beautiful revelation. - Every Movie Has a Lesson EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 21, 2019