J. R. Jones Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

J. R. Jones

J. R. Jones
J. R. Jones's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Chicago Reader

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/4 80% Dying Laughing (2017) The movie kicks off poorly, with a battery of familiar conceits from big stars.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2017
35% The Great Wall (2017) Its epic imagery - the rows of soldiers, the rain of spears, the surging forces - is undercut by the Saturday-matinee cheesiness of the concept.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2017
84% A United Kingdom (2017) The film grows... dully instructional.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
100% Starless Dreams (Royahaye dame sobh) (2017) The movie is striking for its glimpses of violent offenders from squalid homes lapsing into the silliness and vulnerability of childhood.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
89% Alle Anderen (Everyone Else) (2010) Maren Ade has created a minutely detailed portrait of people so exclusive they wind up excluding each other.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2017
100% 2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animation (2017) The odds-on favorite to win this year's Oscar for best animated short film is Alan Barillaro's Piper... I'd hate to be one of the other animators... especially since most of them have better films in competition.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2017
94% The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge) (2017) This is one of those animations that creates a world so beautiful the characters need only wander around in it.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2017
91% The Lego Batman Movie (2017) A movie of endlessly hurtling momentum, this is Mad Max: Fury Road for five-year-olds, and not nearly as much fun as snapping those bricks together.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2017
84% Julieta (2016) Almodóvar makes a game effort to replicate Munro's complex, nonchronological storytelling, though the three tales don't hang together as well as one might hope.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2017
No Score Yet Panique (Panic) (1947) [A] crackerjack mystery.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2017
98% Moonlight (2016) An intimate and haunting drama.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2017
98% I Am Not Your Negro (2017) Peck may not be able to get inside the spiritual struggle that made Baldwin such a complex figure, but I Am Not Your Negro, with its frequent reminders that there are still two Americas, proves that Baldwin's writing has lost none of its currency.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2017
25% The Comedian (2017) Director Taylor Hackford pitches this film as a drama with comic moments, but De Niro is too loud and overbearing to be funny.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2017
93% Toni Erdmann (2016) Comedies are supposed to be short, but this German farce... succeeds by virtue of its endlessness-like its hero, an aging piano teacher and irrepressible joker, the movie keeps bugging you and bugging you until you can't help but laugh.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2017
75% Split (2017) Three teenage girls are held captive in a grimy building somewhere by a madman with 23 personalities, but at least they aren't trapped in a theater watching this exercise in tedium from vaunted master of surprise M. Night Shyamalan.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2017
79% Evolution (2016) Hadihalilović maintains a dank, spectral mood, and she's admirably disciplined in her slow revelation of what amounts to a gynocentric nightmare.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2017
82% They Call Us Monsters (2017) The project's genesis may seem opportunistic, yet it allows Lear to investigate the circumstances surrounding the teenagers' crimes, and their personal stories... raise vexing questions about how the justice system should treat teenage killers. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
100% Peter and the Farm (2016) The farm is hardly thriving, but it yields a bumper crop of despair.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
76% A Street Cat Named Bob (2016) This dramatization... plays like a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, touching lightly on serious social issues before turning into a Cinderella story.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
82% The Founder (2017) Kroc comes off as a greedy scoundrel, a bit like the comic hustlers Keaton played in the 80s, and the character's unpleasantness makes this biopic a tough burger to swallow.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2017
81% Patriots Day (2017) At its core lies a clear and hugely suspenseful timeline of the bomb plot and the four-day manhunt for the perpetrators.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2017
89% 20th Century Women (2017) A fiercely inquisitive performance from Annette Bening buoys this otherwise pedestrian indie drama by writer-director Mike Mills.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2017
100% Things to Come (L'avenir) (2016) This French drama gives Huppert a brilliant, Rousseau-quoting character to play around with, and she saunters through the role, finding fresh moments in every scene.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2016
93% Fences (2016) Wilson's play is such an extraordinary social statement, its bitter patriarch rivaling Willy Loman in the greatness of his smallness.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
92% Hidden Figures (2017) A distaff counterpart to The Right Stuff, this exuberant, inspiring drama tells the fact-based story of three black women who strove for upward mobility -- both professional and atmospheric.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2016
100% National Bird (2016) The three subjects' personal stories don't really add up to a coherent critique of drone warfare, but their various experiences allow Kennebeck to attack the subject from multiple angles.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2016
93% La La Land (2016) The musical numbers are distinctly Minnellian in their sense of lovers being swept away by the whirlwind of their mutual regard.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2016
3/4 98% Long Way North (Tout en haut du monde) (2016) Smart, exciting, and sharply characterized, this French-Danish animation is family entertainment of the highest order.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2016
93% Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016) Though conceived as a humanitarian statement, the movie wouldn't be as memorable or challenging without its quotidian aspect.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2016
83% The Brand New Testament (Le tout nouveau testament) (2016) [An] inventive comic fantasy.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2016
80% The Academy of Muses (La academia de las musas) (2016) The film is demanding, intellectually voracious, and reminiscent of Last Year at Marienbad in its brittle aestheticism.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
79% Don't Call Me Son (Mãe Só Há Uma) (2016) Engrossing.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
81% Kate Plays Christine (2016) The movie has been praised as a genre-bending experiment, though it's more like a bottom-feeding exploitation movie masquerading as an art film. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
41% Office Christmas Party (2016) This yuletide comedy is more like a Secret Santa gift you don't want.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
89% Jackie (2016) Natalie Portman is flawless as a string of pearls, and Peter Sarsgaard lends valuable support underplaying Robert Kennedy, but the ghoulishness of reenacting the assassination for the millionth time overwhelms the film's pretended merits.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
70% Miss Sloane (2016) The movie shares with other mainstream political dramas an easy notion of Washington as a hopeless cesspool of sellouts, paybacks, and heinous personal betrayals.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016
96% Seasons (Les saisons) (2016) Jacques Perrin's stunning nature film teems with life and death, working its way from the end of the Ice Age to the present and from the bottom of the food chain to the top.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
55% Rules Don't Apply (2016) Beatty's vision of showbiz corruption is hardly novel, but as a writer and actor, he's created the most wistful and complex portrait of Hughes I've ever seen.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
91% Always Shine (2016) [Takal has] created two characters with distinctly different approaches to femininity, but these are hard to separate from the women's habitual self-regard.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
93% Being 17 (Quand on a 17 ans) (2016) The screenplay is marred by clumsy foreshadowing and other contrivances, but Téchiné and Sciamma have tapped into something genuine: the deep confusion at the dawn of sexuality.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
23% Bad Santa 2 (2016) The whole series is based on the notion that no one is any better than his worst impulse.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
62% Allied (2016) Zemeckis is a master of the big, broad Oscar-bait drama, and he makes the most of a well-constructed screenplay by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises)‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2016
73% Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) The dull special-effects gloss of a fantasy blockbuster only throws [Fogler's] charming performance into greater relief. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2016
100% Afterimage (Powidoki) (2017) Andrzej Wajda, one of Poland's greatest filmmakers, closed out his long career with this unusually personal and despairing biopic of the avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
94% Creepy (Kuripi: Itsuwari no rinjin) (2016) What this Japanese thriller lacks in mystery it more than makes up for in suspense and psychopathology.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
No Score Yet Keep In Touch (2016) Kretchmar and his coscreenwriter, Michael Angelo Covino, have trouble incorporating all the flashbacks they need to explain their hero, but they know how to turn unexpected incidents into a cascade of misfortune.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
89% Loving (2016) Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are exceptional.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
No Score Yet 90 Degrees in the Shade (1965) The sharply fatalistic conclusion proves that noir, though American in origin, flourishes anywhere the good are punished.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
94% Sand Storm (Sufat Chol) (2016) The movie is like a study in prisoner psychology.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
94% Arrival (2016) Villeneuve draws on Close Encounters of the Third Kind for his portrayal of scientists and soldiers groping for answers and, more generally, of the celestial playing out in highly personal terms.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016