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
90% Moka (2017) The premise is hardly fresh, but screenwriters Antonin Martin-Hilbert and Frédéric Mermoud tease it out so gradually that you may find yourself hooked anyway.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2017
46% The Bad Batch (2017) This gaudy postapocalyptic adventure from writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour never stops moving, its heroine bouncing back and forth between the revelers and the flesh eaters, but it never really gets anywhere either.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2017
49% Rough Night (2017) Scarlett Johansson works overtime to salvage this dismal Bridesmaids knockoff, heavily informed by The Hangover and even Weekend at Bernie's.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2017
100% Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017) Bill Morrison, whose extraordinary documentary Decasia turned decomposing film stock into the stuff of avante-garde reverie, returns with another staggering journey into the past.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2017
79% The Hero (2017) Elliott invests his character with such authority that the movie resounds like a pair of bootheels.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2017
74% A Woman's Life (Une vie) (2017) Guy de Maupassant's first novel, about a trusting French noblewoman who follows her husband and then her grown son into financial ruin, gets a slow, sensual, impressionistic treatment from director Stéphane Brizé.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2017
85% Band Aid (2017) [The] glib, zinger-laden bickering is more wearisome than funny and never adds up to a believable relationship on the rocks.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2017
92% I, Daniel Blake (2017) Writer-director Ken Loach has been making movies about the British working class since the mid-60s, and this masterful dramatic feature proves that even after all these years he can still work himself up into righteous, white-hot rage.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2017
3/4 93% Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2017) Most good documentaries are powered by conflict, and you couldn't ask for a struggle more elemental or relevant to our time than the one chronicled in Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 25, 2017
80% Like Crazy (La pazza gioia) (2017) Sexy and grand, Tedeschi shines in the Cuckoo's Nest comedy of the early scenes, though the movie's anarchic spirit is sapped by the steadily mounting melodrama.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 18, 2017
71% Alien: Covenant (2017) Despite a few remnants of the earlier film's obscure genesis story, most of the action in Covenant plays like an elaboration on the original Alien (1979).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 18, 2017
86% The Lovers (2017) There's really only one joke here -- the 50-ish spouses are every bit as confused, horny, and insecure as kids themselves -- but the two gifted leads play it so gracefully that it sustains the entire movie. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 11, 2017
35% Snatched (2017) Schumer gets the best moments in the movie's first half as her character suffers various dating embarrassments; Ike Barinholtz gets them in the second as her geeky older brother.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 11, 2017
79% Chuck (2017) His fall and redemption are a little too familiar to carry the movie, but there's an odd hall-of-mirrors quality to all this: prone to quoting Requiem for a Heavyweight, Wepner is transmogrified into the movies himself.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 11, 2017
97% Burden (2017) This engrossing documentary profile of Los Angeles artist Chris Burden, who died in 2015, focuses mainly on his notorious performance pieces.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 11, 2017
85% Risk (2017) With the Snowden and Assange films, Poitras is truly reporting from the cusp of history, but such proximity to one's subject can be disorienting.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 4, 2017
85% My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2017) The animation set pieces scattered throughout the movie are frequently inspired, pulling in all manner of media and materials, and the backgrounds can be dazzling.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 4, 2017
92% Finding Oscar (2017) Directed by Ryan Suffern, this harrowing documentary focuses on the December 1982 massacre perpetrated by the Guatemalan military against the little village of Dos Erres, whose residents.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 4, 2017
51% The Dinner (2017) The premise for this chamber drama is inherently suspenseful, but not enough to sustain a movie so languorous that its chapters are demarcated by the various dinner courses, from aperitif to dessert. (After an hour I felt like loosening my belt.)‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 4, 2017
26% Unforgettable (2017) Heigl works overtime to humanize the resentful mom-her face is like an old-fashioned cash register with the prices popping up-but she's more fun to watch as the story grows ugly and violent, and she unleashes the demon within.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
89% Norman (Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer) (2017) For all the shining steel and glass, the movie has the old-world feel of a Jewish folktale, rooted not in a particular time or place but in the moral universe.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
86% Nise: The Heart of Madness (Nise: O Coração da Loucura) (2017) No less then seven screenwriters contributed to the script, which has its powerful moments but so deifies Silveira that the movie turns into a black-and-white struggle between a caring, enlightened woman and a cadre of hard-hearted, benighted men.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
No Score Yet La folle histoire de Max et Léon (2016) Eventually this tonal anachronism creeps into the story details... Possibly these are gags, but that uncertainty is the inevitable outcome of having no fixed perspective on your material.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
100% The Illinois Parables (2016) This accomplished essay film may focus on our state, but Stratman's real concern is state power in the larger sense...Connecting all this are sweeping aerial shots that capture the beauty of the plains without obscuring the blood spilled to claim them.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
59% Cezanne and I (Cézanne et Moi) (2017) The lifelong friendship between painter Paul Cézanne and novelist Emile Zola gets a sensitive but occasionally soapy treatment from French writer-director Danièle Thompson (Jet Lag).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2017
88% The Lost City of Z (2017) Writer-director James Gray stages all this with an impressive sense of narrative scale.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2017
67% Free Fire (2017) Wheatley and Amy Jump, his frequent screenwriting partner, can't afford to let the action flag for long, so the characters never amount to much more than their immediate tactical advantage or disadvantage.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2017
2/4 70% Gifted (2017) As scripted, Evelyn is too vicious to be persuasive, and Flynn undercuts her morally by stressing her lust for recognition.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2017
16% Queen of the Desert (2017) Bell was an extraordinary figure, tailor-made for a dazzling presence like Kidman, but Werner Herzog, directing his own script, unwisely structures Bell's story around her intimate relationships with men.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2017
100% Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (2016) This is the usual mix of talking heads and archival footage, but Fairhead also inserts detailed CGI sequences that vividly illustrate the technical issues unfolding.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2017
80% Colossal (2017) Hathaway is miscast in a snarky role that Anna Kendrick would have knocked out of the park, but the players are less important here than Vigalondo's talent for constructing a narrative room full of mirrors.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2017
70% American Anarchist (2017) [Powell] comes off as a tragic figure: a teacher haunted by his most spectacular lesson, and a man of learning who, where his own guilt was concerned, took care not to learn too much.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2017
46% Going in Style (2017) Braff races through the planning and execution of the robbery, probably because the original film's premise seems even more far-fetched in our modern security state.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2017
No Score Yet Death in the Terminal (2016) When the filmmakers conclude by running the video backward, you may be stunned at how quickly a public place can become a war zone and how easily victims can become victimizers.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2017
93% Obit (2017) Gould secures plenty of nuts-and-bolts detail about the reporting and writing process, which can range from novelistic use of detail to the prosaic but no less critical matter of confirming the death itself.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2017
94% Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened... (2016) More impressively, Price has incorporated the retrospective theme into his documentary with a second act in which the performers reveal the different directions life has taken them since they appeared in the show.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2017
60% The Zookeeper's Wife (2017) Once the Nazis roll in and shoot all the critters, the movie begins to feel like a budget version of Schindler's List and drifts away into the deep blue sea of Holocaust dramas.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2017
90% 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
45% 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
78% 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
46% 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
90% 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
88% 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
76% 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