Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 No Score Yet 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 Sep 14, 2020
2.5/4 63% Grumpy Old Men (1993) They're two saints of sarcasm. And they work their magic here with only the flimsiest sitcom structure to support them. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
70% Free Willy (1993) There's something to be said for fairy tales--when they're done with breadth and emotion. At its best, "Free Willy" jumps that barrier. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 4, 2020
82% Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) [T]here's a sense in which all these recent one-against-a-hundred cop and war thrillers represent the gaudy degeneration of the great tradition of the American action movie: substituting hardware for atmosphere... - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2020
4/4 90% Los Olvidados (1952) A savage, beautifully wrought portrayal of Mexican juvenile delinquency and a harsh indictment of the society that fosters it. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2020
3/4 80% Hard Eight (1996) It's done with such intelligence and feeling, and such a brilliant cast, that it grips our attention from first shuffle to last bet. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2020
3/4 57% Absolute Power (1997) "Absolute Power" wanders. Yet, the movie is worth seeing simply because of Eastwood's presence, his (and Green's) camera, his excellent cast. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
71% Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) It's an infernally funny mass entertainment: the Dream Machine snapping at its own tail. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
87% Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) (1992) It tells a dark, sad, horrific but heartening story in sweet, gleaming images that tickle ribs, quicken senses and awaken hungers. There's just one word for it: Scrumptious. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
0.5/4 19% Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) Why Whoopi took up the habit here is a mystery-unless she's tired of this part and wants to make sure there won't be any more "Sister Acts." - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2020
43% Committed (2000) Neither the characters nor situations are as sympathetic or funny as writer-director Lisa Krueger seems to think. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2020
31% Casual Sex? (1988) If the script is dubious, the direction matches it. The cast is less directed than exploited. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2020
4/4 71% Clockers (1995) In many ways, it's better than the book it's taken from: tighter, tauter, with a deeper vein of sadness opening underneath. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
86% Tremors (1990) It's a zippy melodrama for small-town America and small-towners at heart: well-executed kitsch for audiences that will still be amused at the notion that the bugs are getting so big, they'll drag us all down. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2020
3.5/4 85% Emma (1996) Paltrow carries it all as lightly as a breeze on Highbury hills. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
3.5/4 97% Sense and Sensibility (1995) This movie, made with love and wit, reminds us how much charm, liveliness, passion, good sense--and sensibility--Jane Austen provides. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
100% Henry V (1989) If Olivier gave us the glint of sunlight on armor and the wind roaring through the pennants and flags, Branagh gives us the rot, the mold, the wounds and the crusted blood underneath. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
2.5/4 24% A Thousand Acres (1997) Despite the golden promise of the cornfields, its crops are barren. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2019
76% Hamlet (1990) It's not at all a bad film. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
3.5/4 84% Dolores Claiborne (1995) It's rare to see a pop best seller come out this well in the movies. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
21% Airborne (1993) Instead of telling a story, the filmmakers follow an outline (or, in this case, an in-line). - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
No Score Yet Johnny Be Good (1988) "Johnny Be Good," a would-be satire on the excesses of big-time college football recruiting, is so bad that the NCAA might consider using it as punishment for coaches who violate regulations. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
2.5/4 56% 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 59% 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
68% 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
21% 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
43% 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 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 92% 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 90% 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 94% 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% A Man Escaped (Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut) (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 95% 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 81% 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 93% 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 91% 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
75% 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
83% 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 55% 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
58% 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