Jonathan Rosenbaum Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
50% Fast Food Nation (2006) [An] angry and persuasive piece of agitprop...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
51% Death Becomes Her (1992) If there were something resembling genuine satire of human behavior beyond the simple pretexts for fancy special effects and relentless sadism, I might have found some of this funny.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
0/4 86% Mississippi Burning (1988) Unfortunately, the central narrative premise of Mississippi Burning sets up the FBI as the sole heroic defender of the victims of southern racism in 1964, which is more than a little disgusting. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
54% The Object of My Affection (1998) The mixture of sincerity and sitcom phoniness is bewildering at times, but on some level, I guess, the film works.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
57% I, Robot (2004) It's much more of an action flick than either Metropolis or Blade Runner, but there's a provocative and visionary side to this free adaptation of Isaac Asimov's SF classic that puts it in the same thoughtful canon.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
27% Event Horizon (1997) The pits.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
19% Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1994) Gus Van Sant adapts Tom Robbins's comic, countercultural novel of the 70s... and while the results are both cheerful and occasionally inventive, they can't hold a candle to his previous features.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
43% Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) Predictably slapdash but indefatigably good-natured and sometimes funny to boot.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
90% Overlord (1975) An interesting failure, this rarely seen 1975 English feature about World War II combines documentary and fictional elements, though they tend to undermine each other.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
44% Species (1995) In spite of all its unexplained and semiridiculous plot premises it works surprisingly well as a genre exercise, perhaps because, like Alien, it knows how to exploit misogynist biological and sexual anxieties for all they're worth.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2018
80% Dominick and Eugene (1988) The film's shameless efforts to reach for the jugular mainly land in bathos.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
No Score Yet Bluebeard's Castle (Herzog Blaubarts Burg) (1964) A particular standout, especially for its vivid colors and semiabstract, neoprimitive decor.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2018
95% The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) Not everything works equally well in this road movie, but writer-director Stephan Elliott keeps things watchable.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
No Score Yet Mix-up (1986) The intermingling of fiction and non-fiction produces many daring mixes and clashes.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2018
69% The Leading Man (1998) Maybe I'm just a sucker for backstage stories about theater people as well as for Thandie Newton, but this English picture kept me absorbed, happy, and occasionally amused despite its dubious details.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2018
81% Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli Spiriti) (1965) The results are unwieldy, uneven, and overlong to say the least.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2018
43% Le Casanova de Fellini (1976) As one of the late flowerings of the director's claustrophobic studio style at its most deliberately artificial, this is a memorable work, helped along by Nino Rota's music and Danilo Donati's Oscar-winning costumes.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2017
No Score Yet Inside/Out (1997) Art conceived as both adventure and confrontation, Inside/Out requires a certain amount of creative energy from the audience but grandly repays the effort.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
77% The Hunter (2012) What persists in both parts of the film is a snapshot of contemporary Iran with some of the precision, poetry, and despair that Ebrahim Golestan brought to Brick and Mirror in 1965, including the same horror of absurdist bureaucracy.‐ Cinema Scope
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2017
78% Last Flag Flying (2017) This has its moments, but it ends, like its characters, in sentimental confusion.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
99% Faces Places (Visages, villages) (2017) This delightful, digressive, breezy collaboration, staged to look more spontaneous than it possibly could be, celebrates and enhances both artists, repeatedly finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
50% Golden Years (Nos années folles) (2017) [Golden Years] is an exquisitely upholstered and mysteriously provocative period drama.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
100% Talking to Strangers (1988) The result of these procedures isn't a puzzle, but it does engage the spectator in a kind of game. The overall project of Talking to Strangers is existential.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2017
90% A Short Film About Killing (1988) Probably the most powerful movie about the death penalty ever made.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2017
100% Lola (1961) Jacques Demy's first and in some ways best feature, shot in exquisite black-and-white 'Scope by Raoul Coutard, is among the most neglected major works of the French New Wave.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2017
93% Once Were Warriors (1994) A gritty, powerful first feature by Lee Tamahori.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2017
95% Cold Fever (1996) Strange, often funny, and occasionally beautiful.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2017
27% Full Moon in Blue Water (1988) Funny and appealing, this is the kind of quiet and assured Hollywood movie that used to be more common in the 50s; the local flavor is caught perfectly, and every member of the cast shines.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2016
74% Empire of the Sun (1987) The pseudomystical vagueness that seems to be Spielberg's stock-in-trade stifles most of the particularity of the source.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2016
86% Dead Alive (1993) Ordinarily I don't care for this kind of thing at all, but something must be said for Jackson's endless reserves of giddy energy, which are clearly meant to be silly.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2016
100% The Phantom Carriage (1921) Multiple superimpositions and double exposures create ghostly effects in Victor Sjostrom's 1920 masterpiece.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2016
96% The Salesman (Forushande) (2017) As in A Separation, Farhadi privileges a woman's viewpoint without either sharing or exploring it.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2016
96% Paterson (2016) Like many of Jarmusch's best films, this keeps surprising us with its minimal, witty inflections, at once epic and small-scale.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2016
68% Antonia (Antonia's Line) (1995) I didn't much take to this humorless, Oscar-winning 1995 feminist fable.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2016
94% Howards End (1992) This is the apotheosis of Classics Illustrated filmmaking, aiming at nothing more than tasteful reduction, and the fact that it's done so well here doesn't mean that it's necessarily worth doing.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2016
78% Shirin (2009) One of Abbas Kiarostami's trickiest and most radical experimental works.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 12, 2016
86% Sign o' the Times (1987) Deftly and seamlessly integrating live performances in Antwerp and Rotterdam with thematically related interludes shot in his Minneapolis studio, Prince's 1987 concert film starts fairly effectively and builds steadily from there.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
29% The Struggle (1931) One of his most powerful and intensely felt works -- not merely a heartbreaking story and a portrait of the Depression at its grimmest, but a poignant summary of everything that Griffith could do with a camera.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2016
100% Paris Is Burning (1991) One emerges from this film not only with a new vocabulary and a fresh way of viewing the straight world but with a bracing object lesson in understanding what society "role models" are all about. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2016
91% The Big Picture (1989) [A] hilariously canny 1989 satire about contemporary filmmaking in Hollywood.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2016
4/4 95% Son of Saul (2015) Easily the most exciting new film I've seen over the past year.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2016
89% Cry, the Beloved Country (1952) Check it out.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2015
65% Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1993) What's exciting about this movie is a lot of loose details: frank girl talk about AIDS and birth control, glancing observations about welfare lines and the advantages of a boy with a car over one with subway tokens.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2015
100% Housekeeping (1987) The most impressive thing about this haunting fable is Forsyth's fluidity and grace as a storyteller.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2015
92% Before the Rain (Pred dozhdot) (1994) Striking and ambitious.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2015
69% The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) This is more skillful than inspired, with an image of the early west that seems largely borrowed from McCabe and Mrs. Miller.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2015
18% Another 48 Hrs. (1990) It's a minor pleasure to see Murphy slightly subdued. What seems more problematic is the virtual exaltation of Dirty Harry vigilantism, the storm trooper mentality and behavior on Nolte's part that the film breezily takes for granted ...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2015
98% E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Though marred by Spielberg's usual carelessness with narrative points, the film alternates sweetness and sarcasm with enough rhetorical sophistication to be fairly irresistible.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2015
87% Fresh (1994) This is kept alive largely through its first-rate performances, beginning with Sean Nelson's as the boy; Giancarlo Esposito is also a standout.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2015
No Score Yet Welfare (1975) One of Frederick Wiseman's strongest documentaries.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2015