Lisa AlspectorMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lisa Alspector

Lisa Alspector
Lisa Alspector's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
36% Spice World (1998) A promotional tool that establishes its superfluousness simply by existing, this clumsy, smirking movie has a bitter soul. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 21, 2016
66% The Pillow Book (1997) One of the most accomplished chapters in Peter Greenaway's quest to turn movies into books, this may be the writer-director's metaphorical autobiography. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 2, 2016
81% X-Men (2000) Exciting mainly because anything can happen and does, the movie drags a bit as it approaches a climax set on top of the Statue of Liberty. But once there it revives. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 15, 2015
58% Flamenco (2014) This 1995 catalog of performances by various artists may represent the historical development of a rich and enthralling art form, but it's presented in such a clinical way it might as well be a list on a chalkboard. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 19, 2014
27% Lost in Space (1998) Time-travel cliches... dialogue that's neither self-mocking nor serious, and an ostentatious though not particularly exciting production design keep the movie from taking off. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 17, 2014
6% A Smile like Yours (1997) Kooky Joan Cusack can't provide sufficient comic relief in this incredibly naive attempt at schmaltz. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 22, 2014
8% Almost Heroes (1998) This 1998 comedy set in the early American west isn't unwatchable, just bad. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 15, 2014
5% The Avengers (1998) Neither elegant nor macho nor elegant-and-macho, Fiennes is terribly cast; Thurman at least provides the equivalent of a dressmaker's dummy on which to hang neo-mod fashions. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 8, 2014
58% Blast From the Past (1999) A stretched-out anecdote. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 21, 2014
75% Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) Chillingly beautiful cinematography makes the state's landscapes appear timeless as it sets the stage for a grim history. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 3, 2014
60% Dream with the Fishes (1997) A harangue on how ironic it is that men often attack one another verbally and physically as a way to get close. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 13, 2014
75% Ransom (1996) If Howard's direction were as stylized and self-aware as Corgan's music, Ransom might be something more than a shallow and unprovocative story of a vigilante with an Achilles' heel. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 22, 2014
97% Chicken Run (2000) The finale and a scene set inside the pie-making machinery prove that the Rube Goldberg formula is infallible, and the puns -- another staple of crossover animation -- range from "fowl" to "poultry in motion." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 4, 2013
80% The Boxer (1997) The screenplay of this 1997 feature, written by Sheridan and Terry George, demonizes one man to make some obvious points and allows Day-Lewis and Watson to talk up their characters' 14-year history more than demonstrate it. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2013
31% Hugo Pool (1997) I groaned my way through this black -- and blue -- romantic comedy and then decided I liked it. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 1, 2013
63% Kurt and Courtney (1998) This patchwork portrait is hard to look away from, partly because it exposes how one man rationalizes the dirty job of being a documentary filmmaker. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 14, 2013
89% 42 Up (1999) Their largely negative or only superficially positive responses make me feel guilty about finding the series so fascinating -- and should make the filmmakers feel even guiltier. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 14, 2012
65% Hideous Kinky (1998) The fusion of dream sequences and evocative landscapes makes the characters' feverish sense of living at the edge of reality contagious. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 27, 2012
74% Songcatcher (2001) Like the main character, it's stodgy and didactic -- and full of grace and surprises. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 24, 2012
72% In & Out (1997) Fast-moving and very funny. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 11, 2012
72% The Best Man (1999) Viewers who mistake the didacticism for stylistic weakness miss much of the point of this nicely toned movie. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 11, 2012
84% Meet the Parents (2000) Scenes that should have been uproarious are weaker than many of the movie's smaller moments, whose everyday humor isn't specific to the plot or characters. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2012
88% Shrek (2001) This romantic fantasy complicates the roles of beauty and beast, making it hard to guess what form a sensitive resolution will take. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 17, 2012
76% Black Hawk Down (2001) I also don't know how well this 2001 drama represents the events of October 3 and 4, 1993, though I can see that it represents them in a realist vein, referring to other war movies without becoming frivolous. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 8, 2011
78% Requiem for a Dream (2000) A staccato narrative parallels the experiences and hallucinations of a woman on drugs with those of her son and his friends. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 20, 2011
36% Scream 3 (2000) Tthe movie belabors the idea that it's the last of a trilogy rather than the third in a series. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 7, 2011
86% The Parent Trap (1998) This 1998 romantic comedy mostly bores with its cumbersome exposition and close-ups of trivial objects scattered throughout lackluster montage sequences. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 27, 2011
74% Tortilla Soup (2001) Only some of the characterizations exhibit subtlety, though most of the performances have considerable charm. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 27, 2011
69% You've Got Mail (1998) The coincidences that make the destined lovers' paths cross aren't contrived with much finesse, but the characters get in some decidedly clever lines. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 27, 2011
80% The Green Mile (1999) Much of the three-hour movie takes place in the prison, but the resonant characterization, expansive plotting, and judicious use of exterior locations and flashbacks turn the walls into windows. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 8, 2011
67% American Psycho (2000) The slick satire cleverly equates materialism, narcissism, misogyny, and classism with homicide, but you may laugh so loud at the protagonist that you won't be able to hear yourself laughing with him. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 28, 2011
97% The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (2000) Kempner's lighthearted yet not apolitical collage conveys how Greenberg's success as an athlete in the 30s and 40s contradicted an ethnic stereotype. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 16, 2011
49% Atlantis - The Lost Empire (2001) Visually imaginative and even persuasively spiritual, this animated adventure has some unusually complex villains and heroes, and some of the plot and dialogue transcends what's typical in movies intended for a broad or youthful audience. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 25, 2011
92% Election (1999) The treatment of this touchy material is impressive, neither gratuitous nor mincing, but this 1999 satirical comedy doesn't really go anywhere. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 24, 2010
91% Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) Drew Barrymore plays the complicated belle of the climactic ball and develops a convincing intellectually based friendship with the prince. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 16, 2010
60% Mystery Men (1999) The characters have been designed to make fun of themselves, disguising the craft of writer Neil Cuthbert and director Kinka Usher in getting us to laugh at them. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 15, 2010
100% World on a Wire (2011) It's astonishing that such painfully obvious themes can also be so painfully provocative. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 6, 2010
44% Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) I never stopped marveling at the thousands of individually delineated pores and hair strands of the heroine, but the thin story covering her acquisition of one wave after another while narrowly escaping death time and again is strictly for player one. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 12, 2010
80% Beautiful People (2000) Inventively examines bigotry, combining daring humor and hyperbole, dark realism and shining idealism. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 12, 2010
10% Wing Commander (1999) Excruciatingly earnest yet convictionless. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 7, 2010
42% Bean (1997) Rowan Atkinson's recalcitrant TV character is the hub of this 1997 feature that will disappoint fans and nonfans alike. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 7, 2010
19% The Beach (2000) A narrative that tries to juggle thriller elements, tons of pop culture imagery, and way too much philosophical baggage. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 6, 2010
44% The Basket (1999) Clunky and obvious. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 31, 2010
78% Barenaked in America (2000) Whatever secrets the musicians may be keeping, we've been tacitly urged to examine our reasons for wanting to know them. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 23, 2010
53% Bangkok Dangerous (1999) An audiovisually complex drama that's better than slick, though it feels pointless-another homage to a kind of filmmaking that's had more than its share. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 18, 2010
80% Bandwagon (1997) The band's perfectly mediocre pop (written and laid down by real musicians) accompanies a story that's both dramatic and hilarious. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 18, 2010
79% Office Space (1999) The gags about the daily grind and what happens when a drone forgets how to be submissive make for beautifully low-key satire. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 12, 2010
80% Marvin's Room (1996) The performances are overwhelmed by cinematography so gorgeous and distracting it makes the drama seem like just so much wheel spinning. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 8, 2010
23% Baise-Moi (2000) The mix of real sex and fake-looking violence in this 2000 French feature is curiously unprovocative. ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 8, 2010
31% Backstage (2000) An astonishing number of shots are less than two seconds long ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 5, 2010