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
78% Beirut (2018) Gilroy paints a nuanced picture of the civil conflict in Lebanon, noting the U.S. and Israeli agendas at work and the inner tensions of the PLO, yet this information serves to clarify and accelerate the action.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
2/4 77% Chappaquiddick (2018) In the end Chappaquiddick will have to pass the same test as Kennedy's original version of the story-whether or not anyone will buy it. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
4/4 90% Lean on Pete (2018) Lean on Pete becomes a sort of American odyssey.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
94% 1945 (2017) This film adds to a growing list of Holocaust dramas and documentaries that move past the guilt of Nazi Germany to ponder the complicity of smaller communities in eastern Europe. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
1/4 73% Ready Player One (2018) Amid this special-effects maelstrom, Wade Watts never emerges as a character, and the taciturn Sheridan is in constant danger of being out-acted by his own avatar. Who can connect with a hero when he's just watching the story?‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
100% RBG (2018) A chronology of Ginsberg's subsequent victories shows how patiently and shrewdly she worked to establish the existence and pernicious effects of sex discrimination ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
80% The Other Side of Everything (Druga strana svega) (2017) This milestone turns out to be mainly a framing device, but inside that frame lies a family portrait rich in political history.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
91% The King (2017) Like the director's other projects, this is intelligent and ambitious, but the cultural insights are too familiar to merit yet another trek through Presley's troubled life.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
100% Devil's Freedom (La Libertad del Diablo) (2017) This one dares viewers to recognize the sad humanity of those who commit atrocities and the furious humanity of loved ones who thirst for revenge.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
3/4 100% Victim (1961) Victim may seem archaic. But even its compromises teach us something about the era that produced it.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
4/4 96% The Death of Stalin (2018) Iannucci may have turned Nury's somber novel into something of a goof, but he also takes a more complex view of Beria...Death of Stalin is a priceless political satir but what's really impressive is how hard it tries to fit Beria's story into the puzzle.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2018
100% It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012) Hertzfeldt's work is sometimes elusive in its simplicity, but it can be profound as well; with his humor, darkness, philosophical yearning, and insistence on drawing every line himself, he may be the only legitimate successor to Charles M. Schulz. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2018
100% The Hitch-hiker (1953) This hell-for-leather 1953 noir demonstrates Ida Lupino's facility with actors and flawless pacing. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2018
2/4 94% Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018) These images are more powerful than any of the characterizations, which are less complex than one usually finds in the director's work...The director may be a master at setting a mood, but his insights here don't cut especially deep.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
3/4 87% Annihilation (2018) Garland's version is a worthy mutation.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
89% Werewolf (2018) Her characters are a little too blank to sustain interest through an entire film, but this modest indie generates a haunting mood of 21st-century despair.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
3/4 81% The Party (2018) [Patricia Clarkson] has seldom been in a vehicle so witty and cerebral as Sally Potter's drawing-room comedy.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
96% Black Panther (2018) The identity politics provide a fresh spin to the genre's increasingly tedious narrative formula.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2018
2/4 81% Have a Nice Day (Hao Ji Le) (2018) Liu Jian plays all this out against a detailed physical, social, and economic landscape; in Have a Nice Day money has the power to create illusions and just as easily destroy them.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2018
3/4 95% Tehran Taboo (2018) Like no Iranian movie I've seen, Tehran Taboo reveals the routine hypocrisy of people who observe and even enforce a strict religious code but secretly indulge in the pleasures of the flesh.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2018
2/4 13% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) What a sorry state of affairs for moviegoers: all we want is a little coitus, but all we get is interruptus.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
2/4 89% The Insult (L'insulte) (2018) We may not be able to export democracy to the Middle East, but exporting Law & Order has been a piece of cake.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
3/4 74% In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) (2017) Kruger's performance is grueling, heart-rending.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
3/4 98% Jane (2017) Like so many women in pursuit of their studies, Goodall had to tolerate being studied herself. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
96% Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados) (2017) The drawing style bears no resemblance to Japanese anime, yet the narrative tone is remarkably similar, with cute and sinister elements held in suspension by a deadpan cool.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
51% Downsizing (2017) As the movie grinds on, Payne tries to steer it into a parable about climate change and the refugee crisis, issues that sit heavily on its flimsy, jokey premise.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
82% Molly's Game (2018) This is that rare instance of a filmmaker benefiting from his own self-indulgence. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
78% All the Money in the World (2017) Scott brings the ancient city's grandeur to bear on a story about the corrupting power of wealth, drawing fine performances from Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2017
2/4 85% Darkest Hour (2017) Darkest Hour invites viewers inside the heart and mind of a great leader but never really captures his deep rapport with the British people, which turned out to be one of his greatest political assets. Dunkirk takes a more populist approach.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2017
99% Lady Bird (2017) Gerwig finds a warmer part of herself when, unencumbered by any lab partner, she returns to her hometown with Lady Bird. One can only hope that, this time, she stays.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2017
52% Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), this affecting suspense film has been compared to the excellent Michael Clayton (by his brother, writer-director Tony Gilroy), though Roman is more eccentric.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
86% Brimstone & Glory (2017) [Brimstone] is lively, a colorful documentary.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
40% Justice League (2017) The movie is a clumsy steamer trunk of continuing story lines and returning stars .‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
85% Wonder (2017) Wonder levels the social playing field by widening its narrative frame to focus on Jack, Julian, and Miranda, each of whom hurts as much as Auggie and his family. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
No Score Yet The Public Image is Rotten (2017) Archival footage of Lydon in the bracing hostility of his youth contrasts dramatically with present-day interviews showing him domesticated, compromised, and happy in the wisdom that most of us learn to accept as compensation. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
No Score Yet All the Queen's Horses (2017) Despite this high-minded approach, however, the documentary's best moments are pure tabloid.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
77% Thank You for Your Service (2017) Hall takes a similarly lackadaisical approach to the facts in Thank You for Your Service, inventing characters and scenes as he tries to create a story arc moviegoers will recognize.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
100% Requiem for a Running Back (2017) This documentary about brain trauma in the NFL is largely anecdotal, but therein lies its power. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
28% Suburbicon (2017) The black characters are barely characters at all, and the murder mystery is a Hollywood hand-me-down.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
54% LBJ (2017) [LBJ] adds little to the cinematic understanding of Johnson's presidency already supplied.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
12% Geostorm (2017) The script, every scene of which you've seen 100 times already, ends with a sermon urging us to unite and salvage the future, though this rings hollow coming at the end of a $120 million exercise in sci-fi denial. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
80% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) Lanthimos's habitual tweaking of bourgeois values is diluted here by the familiar mechanics of the stalker plot, given a somber, arty staging and periodically goosed by the discordant strings of Hungarian avant-garde composer György Ligeti.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
8% The Snowman (2017) [The Snowman] is two hours of uninterrupted, snow-caked boredom.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
67% Wonderstruck (2017) The intersection point of the children's respective time lines is predictable and slow to arrive, but the movie is handsomely mounted like all of Haynes's work.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
77% Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) (2017) [Woodpeckers] is an emotional hothouse.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
95% 12 Days (12 Jours) (2018) One might say the film is illuminating in its opacity: one comes to it expecting bold insights into mental illness but leaves with a new appreciation of how invisible such illness can be.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
84% The Square (2017) The Square is an art installation outside the museum, a little zone in which "we all share equal rights and obligations," and that concept informs much of the film's satire.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
No Score Yet The Murder of Fred Hampton (2006) As a first draft of history, this is invaluable, though its topical relevance has hardly diminished. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
93% Chavela (2017) As this documentary by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi reveals, Vargas came by her tragic persona honestly.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
84% Loving Vincent (2017) The roiling landscape scenes betray the redundance of animating images that already sizzle with energy, but the portraiture works beautifully, especially because the actors who supply the characters' voices and visages are first-rate.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2017