Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2.5/4 55% Immortal Beloved (1994) It may be a cartoon. Yet, with Beethoven's compositions crashing and storming around him, it's a cartoon that has some dark, harrowing grandeur. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
2.5/4 52% Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) This third installment is so loud, fast and full of chases that watching it is like being abandoned on a set of roller coaster tracks. You're definitely not bored, but you're not necessarily pleased. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
2/4 42% Bad Boys (1995) Haven't we seen this all before? Four or five dozen times? - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
21% Harlem Nights (1989) If he's going to confine himself to bad movies like "Harlem Nights," it's probably better that he writes and directs them himself. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
66% The Blob (1958) A hungry glob of protoplasm from outer space goes on a rampage in this cretinous thriller, which has a totally undeserved reputation as a horror classic. - Isthmus (Madison, WI) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2019
3/4 43% Space Jam (1996) Its timing is blessed. Its audience is guaranteed. Its technique is spectacular. And it has two co-superstars almost universally admired and liked. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
19% Mannequin (1987) It's as if the film makers had the aspirations of classy old-style Hollywood hacks, but not their tricks: They don't know in which dummies the gold is buried. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
41% Young Guns (1988) Though it pales beside such antecedents as Arthur Penn's "The Left-Handed Gun" or Sam Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid," it has a slick, smoky vigor. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
44% Twins (1988) "Twins" starts with an overblown fairy-tale quality that seems as if it should work. But, by the finish, the movie collapses on the shoulders of the stars. It works because they both showed up and delivered the goods and kept their end of the deal. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
3/4 No Score Yet Face (2005) Face takes a subject that might have drowned in sentiment and treats it with humor, keen vision and a hard (but not callous) edge. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2019
3/4 87% Swingers (1996) "Swingers" doesn't really add up to much -- except a good time. But it's smart, funny and cute. With all that going for you, who needs to be money? - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2019
3.5/4 91% Pickup on South Street (1953) While applauding the patriotism of his low-lifes, Fuller powerfully evokes a '50s world of brutality, compromise and redemption. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
4/4 93% Nashville (1975) Altman's great kaleidoscopic ensemble comedy-drama about a frenzied few days in country music's capital, with an unlikely, quirky, explosive crowd of musicians, hangers-on and politicos all converging on a fateful concert crossroads. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
2.5/4 92% Spider Baby (1968) [Spider Baby is] one of those lurid, macabre, amusingly exaggerated B-horror movies beloved by the psychotronic/Joe Bob Briggs crowds. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
4/4 100% Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped) (1957) Bresson's [film] is both the most realistic and the most poetic of jailbreak films. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
4/4 98% The Searchers (1956) [The Searchers is] Ford's greatest western, with John Wayne as the relentless adventurer Ethan Edwards. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
4/4 94% Lancelot of the Lake (Lancelot du Lac) (1974) The whole film is shot in compellingly austere colors and a rapt gaze sweeping downward from the sky and ending, horrifyingly fixed on armored bodies lying in the mud. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
3/4 No Score Yet Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart (1998) The film's strengths lie in the interviews. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
2.5/4 No Score Yet Sex Change (Cambio de Sexo) (Forbidden Love) (1977) The young Victoria Abril gives a star-making performance as a sensitive Spanish youth convinced he is a woman trapped in the wrong body. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/4 79% Gigi (1958) With Louis Jourdan as the bored playboy, Maurice Chevalier a delight as the ageless Gallic rake and Leslie Caron radiating her sunny gamin charm as Gigi. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/4 94% Contempt (1964) "Contempt" transports us back to another era: an early '60s world in which the classicism of the past...is juxtaposed with the emptiness and ennui of modern culture. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3.5/4 87% Jackie Brown (1997) A twisty comedy of betrayal and greed. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
4/4 94% Barry Lyndon (1975) The wonderfully dry and witty narration is from Thackeray, delivered by Michael Horder. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
3.5/4 100% Drifting Clouds (1996) [Kaurismaki] distinctive, austerely hip, deadpan bleak viewpoint is back again in "Drifting Clouds." - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019
73% Sleepless in Seattle (1993) "Sleepless in Seattle" (citywide), a real charmer, is a romantic comedy about an ultimate long-distance relationship. Emphasize "romantic." Emphasize "comedy." It delivers both. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
80% Bird (1988) In this movie and its hot, fast bursts of bop, Charlie Parker gets a fitting elegy. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
1.5/4 57% The Craft (1996) What can you say about a movie that seems to have been conceived like a trailer and written in exclamation points and gets stolen by the cinematographer? - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2018
57% The Dark Half (1993) King's story is full of zingers, all aptly visualized by Romero. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
58% Prince of Darkness (1987) John Carpenter seems to be hovering between cold-eyed mechanical fear-making and horror camp. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
4/4 92% Gone With the Wind (1939) "Gone With the Wind" offers the kind of big, rich, opulent experience the movies are in a unique position to offer but seldom do. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2018
45% Deep Impact (1998) Why isn't it scarier? Maybe its targets are too scattered, its final impact too shallow. Maybe director Mimi Leder couldn't locate the right overall tone. And maybe the two writers simply don't take the story very seriously. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2018
7% Wild Orchid (1990) If Wild Orchid were a little bit sillier, it might classify as a minor classic of howling camp. As it is, the movie is pseudo-swanky, chic and sappy. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
27% Lionheart (1991) The scriptwriters, first-time director Sheldon Lettich (Sylvester Stallone's collaborator on "Rambo III") and Van Damme himself, dream up the worst things that could possibly happen. Then they try to kick their way out of them. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
3.5/4 83% Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki) (1989) [Takeshi Kitano is] scary, hilarious and, in a strange way, touching. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
3.5/4 94% 3-4x juugatsu (Boiling Point) (1990) [Takeshi Kitano is] scary, hilarious and, in a strange way, touching. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
3/4 93% Once Were Warriors (1994) The howling raging energy of the prize-winning New Zealand film Once Were Warriors rushes at you, hits you like a smack in the face. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2017
3.5/4 95% Cold Fever (1996) Like Iceland itself, Cold Fever may seem a trip most audiences initially will reject -- as too distant, too strange, too icebound. They're wrong. Once seen, this cold, feverish wonderland is never forgotten. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2017
23% Captain Ron (1992) Captain Ron is a movie about trapped suburbanites who break out into romantic seas, but it never really leaves suburbia... Like the Cap'n himself, this movie guzzles up its dreams and ignores the busted engine. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2016
98% The Vanishing (Spoorloos) (1988) The appalling, horrific climax of The Vanishing will haunt your mind long after this film is over. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2016
3/4 68% Antonia (Antonia's Line) (1995) It glides so easily over a multitude of events and characters that we're never jarred; Antonia and Bas make a winning alternative-community grandma and grandpa. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2016
85% Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986) If most movies today are doomed to be sure-fire, presold properties--with ideas leached from our recent TV or cinematic past--let's hope they're all as good at the game as "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2016
81% Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country (1991) There are weaknesses here--especially when the climax becomes too packed and chaotic, and the goodby over-hasty. But Meyer and Flynn get a fullness back into the characters. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2016
3/4 83% Jerry Maguire (1996) I like Crowe's movies; I mostly enjoyed this one. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2016
54% Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) In almost every respect, Bogus Journey is better than the original: more imaginative, more opulent, wilder and freer, more excitingly visualized. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2016
82% Total Recall (1990) If the movie sometimes seems overwhelmed by its budget and its legendary third-act problems, it's still entertainingly raw and brutal, full of whiplash pace and juicy exaggeration. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2016
3.5/4 66% The Pillow Book (1997) Greenaway is a dedicated aesthete and sensualist who creates his own little worlds of cruelty, delight and artistic trickery. With tremendous brio and skill, he cuts his patterns into our minds, tickling our skins with his brush. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2016
86% Sign o' the Times (1987) As a concert film, judged from the music, Sign O' the Times is near the top. As a movie -- carrying inside it the embryo of other movies -- it's not fully satisfying. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
4/4 97% Schindler's List (1993) With seemingly effortless grace and skill, Schindler's List balances fear and exaltation, humor and horror, love and death. It evokes, superbly, a time of savagery and grief, and the inexplicable, stunning compassion that rises within and against it. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2016
2.5/4 58% Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Does this work? Is it worth the trouble? Not really. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2015
3/4 78% GoldenEye (1995) James Bond, the British spy with a taste for the high life and a license to kill, comes back in surprisingly hardy and supple form. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2015