Jonathan Rosenbaum

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
(Photo Credit: Claude Medale/ Contributor/ Corbis Entertainment /Getty Images)

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
85% The Apple (1999) A comic, lyrical, and "politically incorrect" poetic docudrama so acutely focused in its characters and ethics that it can afford to be relaxed about them, all the more remarkable coming from a director still in her teens. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2021
86% Bhaji On the Beach (1995) The overall style is realist, though there are a few fleeting fantasy interludes that don't work very well. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
88% Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) The various twists seem needlessly spun out and implausible, although Martin is allowed to show off his brand of very physical comedy to some advantage, and Miles Goodman contributes a pleasant score. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2021
95% Insomnia (1998) It's nice to see a genre film from abroad for a change, but I would have preferred one with an interesting character or two, not to mention a livelier plot. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
86% Ruby in Paradise (1994) The tempo is slow and dreamy, but the flavor is rich, and it lasts. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
86% The Joy Luck Club (1993) At once fascinating for its detailed lore about Chinese customs and legacies and very moving in its realization, the film builds into a highly emotional epic about what it means to be both Chinese and American. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2020
85% The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) Though the basic brains-versus-beauty tension suggests a female variation on The Nutty Professor, this is a softer version of the dilemma than Jerry Lewis offers-easier to take and easier to forget. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
90% Gilda (1946) Hayworth, whether she's performing "Put the Blame on Mame" (dubbed by Anita Ellis) or just being her glamorous self, was never more magnificent. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2020
82% Stand and Deliver (1988) An unexpected triumph. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
90% City Slickers (1991) A diverting if bumpy ride... - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2020
63% The Devil's Advocate (1997) At half its present length it might make an OK midnight camp item. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2020
80% Hard Eight (1996) This first feature by writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is impressive for its lean and unblemished storytelling, but even more so for its performances. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2020
35% The Adventures of Pinocchio (Les aventures de Pinocchio) (1996) It's a very pleasant version, less cruel and nightmarish than Disney's cartoon predecessor, lacking a fairy godmother, and probably closer to Carlo Collodi's original story in other respects as well. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
57% Absolute Power (1997) Clint Eastwood as producer-director-star strikes out in a rather slack thriller that oddly recalls a couple of Hitchcock's lesser movies, To Catch a Thief and Topaz. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
71% Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) Solid, agreeable entertainment, this basically consists of plentiful gags and lighthearted satire spiked with Dante's compulsive taste for movie references... - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
78% Edge of Seventeen (1999) The actors mainly come across as movie types rather than characters, and despite the obvious sincerity of the project, deja vu seems written into the conception. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
97% The Celluloid Closet (1996) Lively and absorbing. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
86% Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) (2018) [Claire Denis's] skill in framing her protagonist's various trysts, moods, and dialogues, sometimes even setting them to music, is matchless. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
29% Golden Years (2016) For better and for worse, the mysteries remain unsolved and what prevails is Téchiné's elliptical tragic poetry about unfathomable human behavior. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
86% Morocco (1930) This 1930 feature was Josef von Sternberg's first American film with Marlene Dietrich, and some purists might declare it the best; certainly the visual exoticism is thick enough to taste. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2020
82% Liar Liar (1997) Pretty funny, at least during those moments when it doesn't turn into goo. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
75% Daisy Miller (1974) The first and perhaps the final question to be asked about Peter Bogdanovich's adaptation of Henry James' novella is just why he chose to embark on it. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
92% Family Plot (1976) A marvellously fluid light comedy with scarcely a slack moment. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
65% Selena (1997) Gregory Nava's 1997 biopic about the Mexican-American pop star Selena Quintanilla Perez... is typical of the genre's excesses, but I enjoyed quite a bit of it, in large part because of the energy and charisma of Jennifer Lopez in the title role. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
56% Swing Kids (1993) If it seems that kitsch of this kind is a less than ideal way to teach history, it's still infinitely preferable to Reagan's Bitburg pieties. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
No Score Yet About Baghdad (2004) This collectively made video documentary is by far the most comprehensive account I've seen of how Iraqis view the U.S. war and occupation. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
79% The Innocent (L'innocente) (1979) Visconti's last film strikes me as arguably the greatest of his late works apart from The Leopard -- a withering autocritique of masculine vanity and self-delusion. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
79% ABC Africa (2002) The most accessible film to date by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020
No Score Yet Aaltra (2003) I saw this alleged crowd-pleaser around the time it came out and can barely remember it now. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020
80% Family Life (1971) Grim and harrowing. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
96% The Godfather, Part II (1974) The magisterial pace of the sequel begins to flag about halfway through... But the performances establish continuities of their own, and the acting throughout sustains a much higher level of assurance. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2020
92% Matador (1986) One of Almodovar's better features, although, like many of the others, it partially plays the role of popularizing stronger stuff, and resorts to some contrived plot devices in order to fuse its diverse story elements. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
100% Numero Deux (1975) Situates the loss of memory and the birth of signification on the same dark and slippery but fertile terrain-a factory-landscape where anything becomes possible. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
85% Enemies, a Love Story (1989) Thanks to a superb cast, much of the complexity and nearly all the poignancy of Singer's conception is well served. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
67% Wild At Heart (1990) Perhaps the major problem is that despite Cage and Dern's best efforts, Lynch is ultimately interested only in iconography, not characters at all. - Sight & Sound EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2020
No Score Yet Nina Simone: Love Sorceress (1998) Letzgus's 1998 French documentary of a 1976 concert by the late singer is hampered by a few distractions, but the event being documented is so riveting and so eccentric in its own right that it hardly matters. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2019
87% Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen) (2005) It adds up to more than the sum of its parts, but you may not realize it for a day or so. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
93% Monster in a Box (1992) ...his powers as a writer and performer certainly hold one's attention. Incidentally, more than five dozen names appear in the credits of this one-man show. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
75% I Live in Fear (Ikimono no kiroku) (1955) I persist in finding it among the most memorable: eerie, troubling, and haunting. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
46% The Way of the Gun (2000) A lot of uninteresting and unpleasant people torture, abuse, and fire guns at a lot of other uninteresting and unpleasant people, in a repulsive, interminable would-be crime thriller by writer-director Christopher McQuarrie. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
34% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) The filmmakers stick like glue to the formula of the original: a little boy from a well-to-do family left on his own is threatened by low-life working-class crooks whom he repeatedly foils and tortures, and upscale property values prevail. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
67% Together Alone (1993) The frank conversation moves from AIDS to sexual etiquette to homosexuality versus bisexuality to lengthy accounts of former relationships, and the writer-director and actors generally do a fine job of keeping us interested (1990). - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
34% Poetic Justice (1993) After a deceptively funny and offbeat beginning, the movie keeps restarting; each new start shows some promise, and Singleton's talent never really deserts him-but the parts don't come together to create a unified story. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
100% A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold (2018) Existing below the radar is largely what A Bread Factory is about, so it's unsurprising that Wang often chooses to focus on characters who are very old or very young. - Artforum EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
86% To Live (Huo zhe) (1994) His film grows progressively in meaning and resonance as it develops. Highly recommended. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
33% In the Cut (2003) I still consider this the best (which also means the sexiest) Campion feature since The Piano, featuring Meg Ryan's finest performance to date and an impressive one by Mark Ruffalo. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
45% The Cell (2000) If you thought virtual-reality thrillers and spin-offs of The Silence of the Lambs had run their course, guess again. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
28% See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) This tasteless, formulaic, mainly unfunny, but otherwise harmless romp was scripted by five people and is served up like meat and potatoes by hack director Arthur Hiller. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
47% Zardoz (1974) Probably John Boorman's most underrated film-an impossibly ambitious and pretentious but also highly inventive, provocative, and visually striking SF adventure. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
21% Harlem Nights (1989) The plot exposition gets laborious in spots, the period flavor is only occasional and approximate, and the direction tends to be clunky, yet the strong secondary cast helps to take up some of the slack. - Chicago Reader EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019