Linda and Al Lerner

Linda and Al Lerner
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Linda and Al Lerner are members of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC) and the Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC). They have been reviewing film and covering film festivals for more than a decade. Al is a member of SAG/AFTRA. He was Sports Anchor/Feature reporter (ABC?s WLS-TV News-Chicago and radio personality/talk show host at WGN Radio, then syndicated on the USA Radio Network interviewing high profile entertainment, sports newsmakers to authors and politicians. Linda was Assignment Editor/Writer/Producer at CBS? WBBM-TV News (Chicago) and KNBC-TV news in LA. She wrote and produced movie and music features covering junkets for the Radio Network (60 stations nationwide) and Supervising Producer of a children?s musical special for PBS that won 3 Emmys.
Publications: Movies and Shakers

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
89% I Used to Go Here (2020) This plot is supposed to be awkward, and it is. Rey is an accomplished writer and director and includes some good punch lines. But some of the scenes seem unfinished and disconnected. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2020
90% Rebuilding Paradise (2020) Howard, drawn by the emotional stories of the residents who lost it all, shows their "cycle of grief" in great detail. With the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world now, this film is an odd parallel. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2020
61% Radioactive (2020) The best take away is that Marie Curie was a woman who didn't let gender stand in the way of her passion for science. But in spite of Rosamund Pike's excellent performance, this film does not light up the screen. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2020
100% Animation Outlaws (2020) Obvious from the tributes in this film that Spike & Mike inspired an incredible amount of experimentation by young animators expanding the world of animation. Think about it, Rick and Morty's brazen, gross comedy might never exist without Spike & Mike. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2020
No Score Yet Fat Fiction (2020) This is an eye-opening, thought-provoking film presenting effective evidence that a "no-fat or low-fat" diet may have been leading us to more diabetes and obesity for decades. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
94% Palm Springs (2020) With the help of Samberg, Milioti as Sarah, is able to acknowledge love and still be able to let go. This creates a moment that is full of sweet pathos that lifts this movie beyond a simple rom-com with sci-fi overtones. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
81% The Old Guard (2020) This is one sci fi, supernatural, super bloody, battle heavy film. Charlize Theron delivers her role with a vengeance as a fearless, immortal warrior, like a Mad Max plus! - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020
95% John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) Director Dawn Porter is meticulous in her biography of John Lewis' life and career focusing on his driven fight for civil rights and justice for all that hits at just the right moment. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2020
88% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) Seeing Deneuve and Binoche play off each other is scintillating and compelling. Kore-eda uses his skills to inject heart and humor in this absorbing film about family relationships. And that's The Truth. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2020
95% Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (2020) Woodhead interweaves comments from entertainers and critics who knew her and describe why they idolized her vocal gift. Music Critic/author,Michael Friedwald,adds an abundance of anecdotal detail about Ella, her enormous amount of talent and innate skill. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 1, 2020
40% Irresistible (2020) This film gets our vote. Writer/Director, Jon Stewart cleverly illuminates the influence of money on campaigns with raw, human comedy. Stewart incorporates so many issues. He tackles the hypocrisy of the divide in America all leading to money. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
87% The Trip to Greece (2020) Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have been on the road too long. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
95% My Darling Vivian (2020) Matt Riddlehoover details Cash's complete devotion to Vivian Liberto as the love of his life, until she wasn't. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
92% Da 5 Bloods (2020) There's humor, emotional depth, suspense and violence in a strong statement on race, politics and war. Though unplanned, this film could not have come at a more crucial moment. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 15, 2020
73% The King of Staten Island (2020) There aren't that many big laughs. But fortunately, the tide turns and Scott grows into his own tattooed skin. Throughout most of this film, Davidson is hard to like, but Apatow draws out heartfelt sentiment by the time the ink dries on his last tat. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2020
78% Judy & Punch (2020) This grim fairy tale turns Punch and Judy on its head in a dark comedy deftly addressing misogyny, injustice, grotesque crowd politics, isolation, domestic violence and, ultimately female revenge. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
77% Tommaso (2020) Dafoe's performance is, by far, the best aspect of this film. He finds a way to make every scene an interesting progression of his descent. The story arc takes the audience through the devolution of Tommaso. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2020
69% The High Note (2020) Even though it is filled with showbiz cliche's, Tracee Ellis Ross nails it as a legendary diva Grace Davis, and her personal assistant Maggie, (Dakota Johnson) fighting the mysogynistic music industry. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2020
65% The Lovebirds (2020) Not your best romcom, but Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae make this film a pleasant distraction. Both Nanjiani and Rae are enormously talented, but the comedy is not as funny as it should have been. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2020
25% Inheritance (2020) If you make it to the last act, the plot finally leads to a climax of sorts. But this patently absurd plot plays slow and dull. Bury this one. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2020
94% Come As You Are (2020) What a sweet, surprisingly funny buddy road trip of three men with disabilities hell bent on losing their virginity. This film is enlightening, respectful and smart. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2020
93% Becoming (2020) This former First Lady doesn't settle any scores here, following her mantra, "When they go low, you go high." The film is well constructed so that you'll understand what it's like to be with a political rock star on a high-powered book tour. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
46% Arkansas (2020) While Arkansas may have aspired to have some Coen Brothers or Quentin Tarantino-esque flavor, Clark Duke's first outing is an uneven, at times entertaining, and often exasperating, corn-pone crime-drama. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
81% How to Build a Girl (2020) Feldstein is sexy and sassy playing 16-year-old Johanna, but there are some flaws. Feldstein is relatable enough, though, in reality, much older, and her sweet, soft, not always spot-on English accent takes some getting used to. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
92% Working Man (2020) Here's a timely portrait of a man who just wants to keep working which is certainly relevant in this time of the Coronavirus Pandemic. First time Director Robert Jury took 10 years to write a film with grit and compassion - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2020
87% The Infiltrators (2020) At times this mashup of a docu-drama is a little confusing, but bares the desperation of immigrants still present today. Ibarra and Rivera have created a riveting piece of filmmaking that definitely grabs you. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
87% Deerskin (2020) "Clothes Make the Man" was never truer than this curiously, absurd French black comedy that holds your attention for 77 minutes. Quentin Dupieux (Rubber) makes a deerskin jacket a character in itself. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
65% Planet of the Humans (2020) Gibbs certainly knows his subject and he cares. But his delivery needed more energy to keep the audience engaged. Gibbs does not deliver the visuals and the information like Moore does, with humor and sarcasm. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2020
88% Selah and the Spades (2020) This stunning debut feature from writer-director Tayarisha Poe proves that Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's as true for dictators as well as for Selah Summers, a preppy high school crime boss à la Tony Soprano. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
43% Endings, Beginnings (2020) This film is kind of a structural mess, but it does showcase Woodley's dramatic talent. She adds a myriad of layers to this mixed up young struggling woman finally facing herself. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
98% Extra Ordinary (2020) Rose is adorably charming throughout and Forte is devilishly good playing a total wack job in this bizarro ghostly romp. This paranormal party has spirit. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
71% Butt Boy (2020) Cornack's Butt Boy is a boring character and the movie is slow and nasty. It's a little reminiscent of Jonah and the Whale, but decidedly more disgusting. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) This is not the most comfortable film to watch. At first, you might not get drawn in, but eventually, the young women in this film won't let you turn away. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
100% Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020) These past campers are an inspiration. The film shows how going to this camp not only changed their lives, but attitudes that continue to make life easier for others who have been marginalized way too long. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
89% Critical Thinking (2020) Leguizamo, as director, creates a chess game within a chess-game film. He manages to keep multiple story threads in play as he allows us to see the challenges each member of his team faces away from the chess table and then ties them all together - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
56% Resistance (2020) Venezuelan Writer/Director Jonathan Jakubowicz cast Jesse Eisenberg who steps up to the challenge playing the mime in this tense thriller as part of this powerful ensemble cast. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
100% International Falls (2020) Director Amber McGinnis, in her first feature, with Writer Thomas Ward creates some good character development, but the film has its flaws and is more a sarcastic look at comedy, with tragic overtones. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2020
77% The Banker (2020) Even though The Banker stars A-list actors, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Nicholas Hoult, this film about African American bankers in the 1960's is just not on the money. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2020
47% Run This Town (2020) This story of a rookie reporter tries to blow the lid on a mysogynist, racist, crackhead Mayor. But the script and its execution has its problems. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2020
85% Inside the Rain (2020) This movie is an off-beat romantic comedy focusing on a bi-polar young man who can't get out of his own way. Although engaging, sometimes, Writer/Director Aaron Fisher's script can't get out of its own way. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2020
91% The Invisible Man (2020) This film is relentless with a #metoo trope in that the director keeps showing Moss as Cecilia strong physically and mentally. What makes it white-knuckle-worthy is that you can't see her enemy, nor can she. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2020
37% Wendy (2020) This film is pure fantasy and can be very confusing. If you just come for the magical images and beautiful, youthful faces, it may keep your attention. The story does not follow through well and is not as engaging as Zeitlin's previous film. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2020
88% Onward (2020) Onward lacks the Pixar-worthy tech "Wow" and soul touching story of Up, WALL-E, or Inside Out. But, that said, this film is still better than most animated entertainment currently on the market. Eventually, it will touch your heart. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2020
87% Emma. (2020) Director Austin de Wilde's pace is a little choppy at first, with the score so loud, it overpowers the clever repartée. But once you get to know the personalities of these up-tight English characters, it becomes a fun romp. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 29, 2020
92% The Assistant (2020) Don't let the low key vibe betray the intense grip this movie has for any woman aspiring to make her way and succeed in any career. Writer/Director Kitty Green's first feature film is quiet, but powerfully loud. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
36% The Night Clerk (2020) Tye Sheridan, in an unusual role, plays Bart well as a tech savvy young man with Asperger's syndrome. The young actor obviously studied well and is convincing. But is this film? - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
39% The Song of Names (2019) The explanation of what the title (Song of Names) really means should have been a climax for this script, but it is a prelude to the final act that is unsatisfying; much like the whole film. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
82% Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2020) Robertson, mostly sitting alone, talks to the camera and it works, along with the archival footage and interviews with the iconic rock stars who credit the band with their inspiration and influence. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2020
38% Downhill (2020) This film is neither as funny, nor as picturesque as the original. We saw it at the Sundance premiere with Q & A with the Writer/Directors and cast who were more entertaining on stage than the movie was on screen. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
78% Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) Robbie has this anti-heroine's persona just right, doing disgusting deeds with a big grin. She's even cute! This is one colorful, bad ass female action adventure with an ensemble that will be fun to follow again. - Movies and Shakers EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2020