Joshua KatzmanMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joshua Katzman

Joshua Katzman
Joshua Katzman'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
16% Grandma's Boy (2006) The sex, fart, and pot jokes come so fast and furious that a white flag seems the most appropriate response. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 15, 2015
81% Kirschblüten - Hanami (Cherry Blossoms) (2008) This may lack the understated pathos of Ozu's somber masterpiece, but it's still a moving meditation on aging and loss, and Wepper and Elsner are unforgettable. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 30, 2015
No Score Yet The Godfather of Disco (2007) The film explores a fascinating subject: how the business acumen of gay white men -- many of them Jewish -- merged with the creativity of black street culture. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 23, 2015
85% Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) (2008) Del Toro's previous film, the complex, visually arresting Pan's Labyrinth, demonstrated his growth as a filmmaker, and though the themes here aren't as profound, the striking set design and use of nonhuman characters carry over. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 15, 2013
92% Vincere (2010) Carol Crivelli's soaring classical score heightens Bellochio's operatic tendencies. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 30, 2010
78% The Other Guys (2010) This is the fourth feature that Will Ferrell and writer-director Adam McKay have collaborated on, and once again they deliver laugh-out-loud if ultimately disposable comedy with mixed messages about arrested male development. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 20, 2010
73% Piranha 3-D (2010) This moderately entertaining popcorn thriller recaptures the B-movie spirit of such vintage schlockmeisters as Samuel Z. Arkoff and Roger Corman. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 26, 2010
51% The Switch (2010) This New York-based comedy directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck distinguishes itself with three-dimensional characters and an engaging storyline. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 20, 2010
41% The Expendables (2010) Borrows liberally from such male-bonding classics as Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, but offers not a whiff of the tragic fatalism and astute critique of machismo that inform those superior dramas. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 12, 2010
No Score Yet BattleGround: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge (2004) Add this engrossing and informative documentary by director Stephen Marshall to the growing list of films that reveal more about the war in Iraq than anything in the mainstream American news media. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 6, 2010
No Score Yet Back Soon (2007) The premise of two ostensibly straight guys falling in love is compelling, but writer-director Rob Williams cops out with some supernatural hokum about the dead wife channeling her feelings through the boyfriend. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 29, 2010
94% Katyn (2009) Andrzej Wajda has spent much of his long career dramatizing major events in Polish history, and this poignant feature depicts the circumstances surrounding the Soviet Union's massacre of thousands of Polish officers in the spring of 1940. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 18, 2009
76% OSS 117: Le Caire Nid d'Espions (OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies) (2008) This French comedy fondly lampoons both the popular French spy movies adapted from Jean Bruce's novels in the 1950s and '60s and the colonialist era they were set in. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 17, 2008
78% A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2008) As in most of Wang's films, a memorable cast of characters compensates for a serviceable plot. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 16, 2008
19% Righteous Kill (2008) This thriller by Jon Avnet is mostly by the numbers, and its surprise ending, though effective, feels somewhat forced. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 9, 2008
9% Bangkok Dangerous (2008) While the film includes several exciting, creatively shot action scenes, the drama is otherwise so shopworn that the violent climax is a relief. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 8, 2008
20% Passengers (2008) The surprise ending isn't as shocking as those of Jacob's Ladder or The Sixth Sense -- two stellar examples of the genre -- but it's still dramatically potent. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 30, 2008
25% Filth and Wisdom (2008) Madonna, making her directorial debut, aims for the romping irreverence of Richard Lester's 60s comedies, and though she lacks the formal control to pull it off, this is a charming mess. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 23, 2008
55% Battle in Seattle (2008) One strength is Barry Ackroyd's handheld-camera work, which deftly tracks the action but still captures the disorientation of those engulfed by the mayhem. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 26, 2008
30% Nights in Rodanthe (2008) This romantic stinker is one of those films in which every plot development becomes a life lesson and every gesture is weighted with significance. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 26, 2008
15% Hounddog (2008) A bewildering slice of southern gothic hokum, it suffers from a weak script, proving that old saw about actors being only as good as the lines they're given. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 19, 2008
69% Last Stop for Paul (2006) This engaging, mostly improvised no-budget feature is based in part on Mandt's experiences, its loose narrative structure developing by chance as the duo encounter an assortment of characters on the road. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 19, 2008
76% Outsourced (2007) A sweet if predictable variation on the premise of the ugly American, redeemed by Hamiton's dry performance, some nice comic turns by the Indian supporting cast, and a droll script by Jeffcoat and George Wing. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 29, 2008
82% The World's Fastest Indian (2005) This compelling fact-based story is [Donaldson's] best effort in years. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 6, 2008
91% Shotgun Stories (2007) ... here there's also an undercurrent of biblical revenge that lends the narrative a sense of violent menace and an almost continuous tension. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 6, 2008
19% Thunderbirds (2004) There's enough special effects razzle-dazzle to distract the average ten-year-old, but the script by William Osborne and Michael McCullers is stilted and humorless -- a little camp might have helped. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 18, 2008
92% Grizzly Man (2005) Like so much of Herzog's work, both narrative and documentary, this is an engrossing look at obsessive behavior gone terribly awry. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 29, 2008
65% The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) Pairing Jackie Chan and Jet Li would seem like a slam dunk, but this big-budget martial arts drama, which borrows liberally from The Wizard of Oz, is something of a disappointment. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 18, 2008
39% The Favor (2008) This accomplished and economical debut feature (2006) is refreshingly free of gimmicks, focusing squarely on the hero's awkward attempts to forge a relationship with the petulant teenager. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 11, 2008
98% The Devil Came on Horseback (2007) Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg chronicle his burgeoning activism in the face of the U.S. government's indifference as the government of Sudan works systematically to eradicate black Africans from the region. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 4, 2008
61% Them (2007) First-time directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud have crafted a highly effective horror film that combines a plausible narrative with accomplished use of sound and image. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 3, 2008
24% Fierce People (2005) Director Griffin Dunne, working from Dirk Wittenborn's adaptation of his own novel, pounds away at the analogy between the inherent cruelty of the tribal rituals of the Iskanani and those of the well-heeled. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 3, 2007
20% Death Sentence (2007) This graphically violent film suffers from cursorily developed characters whose primary function is to advance the creaky plot. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Dec 3, 2007
40% Dedication (2007) Actor Justin Theroux makes an impressive directorial debut, aided by David Bromberg's mordantly funny dialogue. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 5, 2007
32% Freshman Orientation (2007) John Goodman has a nice turn as a queen with a heart of gold. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 28, 2007
41% December Boys (2007) Though familiar as an old shoe, this is straightforward and well told. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 21, 2007
37% Sydney White (2007) While the film's premise is shamelessly hokey and Joe Nussbaum's direction is at best pedestrian, props are due the young cast, especially Bynes, whose can-do optimism seems genuine if ultimately overdone. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 21, 2007
7% Silk (2007) Francois Girard's adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's novel is a visually arresting period piece, set in the 1860s, that addresses memory and loss. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 14, 2007
13% Mr. Woodcock (2007) Under Craig Gillespie's uninspired direction, the humor eventually settles into stale, familiar pratfalls. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 14, 2007
86% In Between Days (2007) Kim keeps dialogue to a minimum and provides the barest of story arcs, using a handheld camera to probe subtle shifts of emotion in her nonprofessional actors. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 7, 2007
96% Deep Water (2006) Osmond and Rothwell's depiction of his unraveling is an exquisitely structured drama. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 7, 2007
14% Underdog (2007) The TV show was mildly subversive, with humor that children and adults could enjoy on different levels, but the movie strives for a blander, family-oriented middle ground. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 6, 2007
76% Sunshine (2007) Boyle's spiritual and metaphysical musings intertwine neatly with his pop sensibility, imbuing this with an art-house intelligence without diluting its summer blockbuster appeal. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 20, 2007
82% Amu (2006) In Shonali Bose's tightly constructed debut feature (2005) a young Indian-American woman from Los Angeles returns to Delhi for the first time since childhood to visit her relatives. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 25, 2007
96% Triad Election (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai) (2007) As in the first movie, To deftly references the Godfather trilogy, examining the moral equivocation and shifting alliances among various syndicate members. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 24, 2007
83% Ciudad de Acero (2007) Set in a decaying industrial town in downstate Illinois, writer-director Brian Jun's gritty first feature is a heartfelt portrait of a fractured working-class family. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 7, 2007
6% Underclassman (2005) This is geared toward the preteen set, but director Marcos Siega proves inept at executing the most basic dramatic and comedic setups, and Cannon's mugging and preening quickly grow tiresome. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 6, 2007
No Score Yet Isabella (2006) A melancholy look at a hybrid culture on the verge of major change. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 9, 2007
5% Supercross (2005) Like the drive-in classics of Roger Corman and Samuel Z. Arkoff, this develops the principal characters and conflicts with just enough depth and keeps the narrative moving at a brisk pace. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 8, 2007
41% Everyone's Hero (2006) This computer-animated baseball adventure espouses a shopworn moral about persevering against long odds, but there's still plenty to recommend it, including memorable characters, solid storytelling, and accurate period detail. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 15, 2006