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
89% Raw (2017) This gruesome French horror flick (2016) functions more as a mystery than as an action film, with an endless drip drip drip of revelation that gradually exposes a terrifying world behind the everyday.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
48% Song to Song (2017) This is the one with Ryan Gosling, and like Terrence Malick's two previous dramas it's a gauzy, improvised affair that looks like a photo essay out of Architectural Digest and regards its gorgeous, murmuring actors as if they were statuary.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
76% T2 Trainspotting (2017) Bad sequels try to re-create the original movie; good ones explore its narrative consequences. That's certainly the case with T2.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
100% Truman (2017) This Spanish-Argentine drama (2015), set in Madrid and framed by a four-day visit from the actor's witty old friend (Javier Cámara), is pitch-perfect, its comic drollery rooted in character and its awkward, poignant good-byes credibly staged.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
39% Wilson (2017) Craig Johnson, coming to this project from his indie success The Skeleton Twins, can't find the heart in this fractured, disappointed family.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
100% Uncertain (2017) The most interesting of them by far is Wayne... the filmmakers follow him on numerous midnight expeditions to take down a giant beast called Mister Ed, but the real night terror turns out to be Wayne's remorse for the crimes he's committed. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2017
100% Tickling Giants (2017) Like Rosewater, Tickling Giants acknowledges that political satire carries much higher stakes under a repressive regime.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2017
94% Ethel & Ernest (2016) At times the movie threatens to melt into a pool of bulldog nostalgia, but it's rescued by a wealth of authentic social detail, especially as the young couple keep a stiff upper lip during World War II.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2017
89% Irreplaceable (Médecin de campagne) (2016) Professional insight was exploited more profitably in his breakthrough feature, the biting Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor (2014), than in this sensitive, faintly smarmy romance.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2017
100% Behemoth (Bei xi mo shou) (2017) Straddling the line between art film and documentary, Behemoth takes as its ostensible subject the pollution of the planet-but it also explores the pollution of the soul.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2017
89% Land of Mine (Under Sandet) (2017) Ham-fisted though the drama might be, this 2015 Danish-German production will almost certainly keep you awake, not least because every few scenes some poor kid is getting blown to bits through fear, incaution, or plain bad luck.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2017
27% Fist Fight (2017) Screenwriters Van Robichaux, Evan Susser, and Max Greenfield raise the satirical ante with a nicely jaundiced view of the school, which is underfunded, riven by office politics, and teetering on the brink of anarchy.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2017
78% Kong: Skull Island (2017) For no reason I can fathom, except perhaps the classic-rock tunes desired for the soundtrack-the story takes place in 1973, when the Vietnam war is winding down and President Nixon is being driven from office.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2017
33% The Last Word (2017) Director Mark Pellington and first-time screenwriter Stuart Ross Fink lack Weitz's sense of taboo-busting mischief, opting instead for the more mundane strategy of unearthing hidden heartache.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2017
100% My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) (2017) The movie can be funny and heartbreaking at once-Zucchini's only keepsake of his mother is an empty beer can-though in the end what registers most is the children's resilience when "there's nobody left to love us."‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2017
99% Get Out (2017) Jordan Peele makes his directing debut with a horror movie that sticks closely to genre convention even as its ribbing of white liberals hardens into a social point. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2017
79% Personal Shopper (2017) What gives the story its spooky resonance, however, is a confluence between the unmoored exploration of the protagonist's spiritualism and the international rootlessness of the model's world.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2017
71% The Sense Of An Ending (2017) The melodrama alone conveys the writer's conviction that even in old age one's understanding of life can be swept away in an instant.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2017
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
82% 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
97% 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
92% 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
77% 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
83% 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
80% 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
88% 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
93% 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
82% 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
80% Don't Call Me Son (Mãe Só Há Uma) (2016) Engrossing.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 8, 2016