J. R. JonesMovie 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
92% 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
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
Posted Jan 19, 2017
75% 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
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
Posted Jan 19, 2017
79% 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
Posted Jan 12, 2017
90% 20th Century Women (2017) A fiercely inquisitive performance from Annette Bening buoys this otherwise pedestrian indie drama by writer-director Mike Mills. ‐ Chicago Reader
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
Posted Dec 28, 2016
95% 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
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
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
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
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
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
Posted Dec 15, 2016
83% The Brand New Testament (Le tout nouveau testament) (2016) [An] inventive comic fantasy. ‐ Chicago Reader
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
Posted Dec 8, 2016
79% Don't Call Me Son (Mãe Só Há Uma) (2016) Engrossing. ‐ Chicago Reader
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
Posted Dec 8, 2016
42% Office Christmas Party (2016) This yuletide comedy is more like a Secret Santa gift you don't want. ‐ Chicago Reader
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
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
Posted Dec 8, 2016
95% 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
Posted Dec 1, 2016
54% 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
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
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
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
Posted Dec 1, 2016
61% 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
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
Posted Nov 17, 2016
No Score Yet 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
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
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
Posted Nov 10, 2016
89% Loving (2016) Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are exceptional. ‐ Chicago Reader
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
Posted Nov 10, 2016
93% Sand Storm (Sufat Chol) (2016) The movie is like a study in prisoner psychology. ‐ Chicago Reader
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
Posted Nov 10, 2016
No Score Yet Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (Never Take Candy from a Stranger) (1960) Creepy. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 4, 2016
94% Gimme Danger (2016) Iggy Pop, the band's front man and the only member to graduate to a solo career, is a source of endless hilarity as he recalls the band's grungy beginnings and lurching journey through the music business. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 3, 2016
4/4 100% Tower (2016) Despite the grim topic, Tower offers moments of genuine hope in the acts of bravery and kindness that took place during the siege. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 3, 2016
86% Hacksaw Ridge (2016) The young soldier's pacifism was so profound and so truly lived that it neutralizes the director's characteristic bloodlust. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 3, 2016
2/4 90% Certain Women (2016) For the most part, these narratives lack the kind of tension between character and setting that have made Reichardt's quiet, modest, measured films so compelling. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 3, 2016
79% The Alchemist Cookbook (2016) The movie peaks at its midpoint with a chilling nocturnal encounter that blurs the line between hallucination and the genuinely supernatural; the rest of the movie pivots around it, but slowly. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 3, 2016
90% Doctor Strange (2016) McAdams costars as Strange's fellow surgeon and former lover, and her lively scenes with Cumberbatch are worth all the digital effects and then some. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 3, 2016
23% American Pastoral (2016) I haven't read the book, but I'm guessing Roth brought more nuance and authority to its story of a New Jersey family in the 1960s and '70s than McGregor and screenwriter John Romano have with this cultural cartoon. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 27, 2016
19% Inferno (2016) When the climactic chase has kicked into high gear, there's a striking scene of orchestra players performing on white platforms over what appears to be a pool of blood; the whole movie is like that, a combination of high culture and cheese. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 27, 2016
76% Kevin Hart: What Now? (2016) Hart delivers a solid set despite the massive crowd, and appropriately, the funniest material deals with his newfound fame. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2016
19% Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) The staleness of the premise begins to overtake players as easy and confident as Hamm and Galifianakis. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2016
94% The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (2016) Park seizes on the story's potent combination of larceny and taboo sexuality, and his steamy love scenes are enhanced by Seong-hie Ryu's sumptuous set decor. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2016
3/4 89% Do Not Resist (2016) Atkinson tracks the civil administration of this domestic buildup... The director also examines the gung ho police culture that encourages domestic militarization ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2016
79% Dancer (2016) Llike Amy, Asif Kapadia's profile of singer Amy Winehouse, the movie shows a young person being dragged into adulthood by his own outsize talent. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2016
100% Cameraperson (2016) Personal footage of Johnson's family and friends, woven into the documentary scenes, enhances the sense that any life is a series of amazements. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2016
95% Graduation (Bacalaureat) (2016) Graduation shares with [4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days] a sense of how personal morality can be misshapen by the institutions of an immoral society. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 13, 2016