Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I have been covering arts & entertainment, as well as writing general features, for the past 13 years at various print outlets in Illinois and have been reviewing films since 1995.
Favorites:
BEST OF RECENT YEARS - There Will Be Blood, United 93, A History of Violence, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, About Schmidt, The Royal Tenenbaums, Traffic, American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan, L.A. Confidential, Sling BladeGUILTY PLEASURES - Deep Rising, Mouse Hunt, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, From Dusk Till Dawn, Jackass: The Movie, Road House, XXX
Location: Lafayette, IN

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 56% Weird Science (1985) Think of Weird Science as a Vanilla Sky for John Hughes. It's anomalous to his usual genre but analogous to the trials and tribulations found in his other work. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
1.5/5 22% The Kitchen (2019) The choppy, sloppy film too often asks its inherently feminist premise to prop up everything that transpires in place of legitimate character work. Of the many reasons it shouldn't miss, not even pulling the trigger is the most disappointing. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2019
2.5/5 57% Brian Banks (2019) Aldis Hodge and Greg Kinnear give everything to a movie that is never anything beyond what you'd expect. From its blah trajectory to its bland title -Turnover was RIGHT there - this plays like a dramatized two-hour 20/20. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
2.5/5 30% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Director Michael Chaves ramps up the Spielbergian flair in the final act, with a spookhouse run of more playful malevolence than perfunctory motion. But after two acts of overly telegraphed terror, you just don't fear the weeper. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2019
2.5/5 32% Double Impact (1991) Some slickly commendable action sequences and a great final fight between Jean-Claude van Damme and Bolo Yeung. But this often feels like it's eight hours long. Don't let that deter you from one of the year's finest making-of documentaries, though. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
2/5 32% The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019) It's like watching a cruise-ship entertainment director make do on a marine humanitarian vessel. Chris Evans will be fine, but he'll certainly have to do better than this Munich-ish cosplay that can't even reckon with the quandaries it poses. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2019
2/5 42% Point Blank (2019) This thriller's prefab premise is easily translated into any language or culture. For American audiences, the filmmakers were content to simply showcase an incongruously bouncy '80s soundtrack and an atypical Cincinnati setting. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
5/5 93% All the President's Men (1976) Removed from its topical urgency, it remains a vigorously entertaining pursuit of accuracy and accountability. Revisited, it's clear how much inspiration David Fincher took for Zodiac to depict investigative reporting and workplace dynamics. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
5/5 96% The Insider (1999) Michael Mann's least physically violent film feels no less ferocious -especially given the appetites with which corporations gobble up media today. Holding off barbarians at the gate is only noble until you must sell them the gate to fund the fight. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4.5/5 88% The Post (2018) For a film as far from Steven Spielberg's fantasy lands as possible, it's among his most visually deft-a smorgasbord of spatial and geometric symbolism to separate characters and, at times, minimize or magnify them in meditating on the here and now. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/5 77% Kill the Messenger (2014) Evokes the detailed energy and ennui of enterprise journalism, and thanks to Jeremy Renner's best performance outside The Hurt Locker, Webb comes across as a more meaningfully complex character than most comparable crusaders, real or imagined. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4/5 93% The Parallax View (1974) Often eclipsing visible light in vampiric shadow, it feels like a premonitory vision of America at its most dangerously divisive. Unsparingly depicted in an unbroken take, the conditioning video is among Alan Pakula's monuments to masterful tension. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3.5/5 90% Under Fire (1983) An incendiary film that transforms the pipe-dream assumption that Americans only intervene to do good into a pipe bomb. The less-interesting love triangle is a delivery system for a blunt, effective observation: War's only objective truth is death. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/4 86% The Quiet American (2003) A stylish, gauzy thriller and a character study of zeal and detachment that meet on an inverse scale of idealism. An intriguing, if not entirely harrowing, grapple with the idea that being human does not inherently mean being good. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4/5 77% Fletch (1985) As Chevy Chase's best starring vehicle, it inverts the novels' occasional darkness into a quick-witted quip machine. But that energy feels appropriately extemporaneous here in making defenses fall or hackles rise. Either way, Fletch gets the story. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/4 86% Top Five (2014) Big laughs and believable vulnerability. But it also has aged faster than Indiana Jones Nazis unable to spot the cup of a carpenter and relies on truly retrograde eye-rolling plot turns about reporters' motives. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
3/4 53% The Pelican Brief (1993) Not on par with Alan J. Pakula's preeminent paranoid cinema. But depicting a POTUS at odds with his FBI director and creating obstruction of justice concerns aligns it with Pakula's other preternaturally predictive potboilers. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1.5/5 75% Eyewitness (1981) Peter Yates' initially promising thriller becomes a turgid trifle that wastes its '40s-noir-in-'80s-fashion premise. The only thing more anemic than its mystery or social commentary? Hurt and Weaver's sexual chemistry. Film at 11, asleep by 11:30. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
4/5 51% The Interview (2014) Headlines strained to politicize the film. But it's merely a crass, caustic comedy whose point of view is to not let cultural coverage brainwash the best out of us - whether it involves human rights or celebrity hairpieces. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2/5 64% Street Smart (1987) Fact checkers will bail on this improbable, boring drama that deigns to make Christopher Reeve's character the hero even after he dangles his girlfriend as pimp bait. So should you, as Morgan Freeman's performance doesn't justify the casual racism. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1.5/5 36% Mad City (1997) A drama too timid to tackle its media machinations or manipulations with thoughtful talk. Dustin Hoffman is fine. John Travolta resembles the SNL version of Wolverine. Ultimately, it's a 2-7 off-suit hand bluffing an ace in the hole. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2.5/5 45% True Story (2015) A meditation on the mindset of fabulists like James Frey or Stephen Glass? A gripping psychological thriller? A takedown of every writer's dream about a memorable memoir? A good movie? On all counts, True Story rings false. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1/5 48% Bruce Almighty (2003) Spiritual enlightenment is served as a side dish to the main course of orgasm and orifice jokes. Steve Carell gets the film's only good scene, easily You-Tubed, with an on-air gibberish seizure. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
1.5/5 61% Truth (2015) Even if Truth hadn't opened in the same year as Spotlight, its superficial grandstanding about rigged systems and agendas would feel like a production staffed by understudies. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2/5 50% The Mean Season (1985) Nicely shot but thematically daft schlock about the line past which storytellers become the story. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2019
2.5/5 31% Anna (2019) The twists are less risible than in Atomic Blonde or Red Sparrow. But it's what the twists come to stand for that starts to make it feel like Luc Besson is trying to represent himself in court and be his own character witness. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2019
3.5/5 97% Toy Story 4 (2019) Enjoyable and energetic but hardly essential, this is a piece you could pluck from the Toy Story canon and never notice its absence. That's a far cry from the ways in which this franchise has always challenged itself to reach for the sky. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
1.5/5 32% Shaft (2019) Can ya bigot? - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
1.5/5 46% Murder Mystery (2019) No comedian stays great forever. But when you see how effective Adam Sandler can be when putting forth even a scintilla of skill, that's why these vending-machine movies - now complete with vending-machine titles - continue to rankle so much. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
3/5 90% I Am Mother (2019) Like Moon or Monsters before it, Grant Sputore's film is small-budget sizzle ahead of studio steak. Whether he can cut around fat better than others remains to be seen. While his debut is unambitious, it's at least artfully watchable. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
3/5 73% The Perfection (2019) The final act's bid for topicality falls flat, but up to that point, it takes entertaining hard-left hairpins into several lanes of horror. It's an effective, efficient nugget of nastiness. Just X out of Netflix's autoplay trailer as fast as you can. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
4/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) The first half is fulsome in its fury, with Wick at his most improvisational and the series at its most ingenious and invigorating. The rest is ultimately a bit more enervating than you'd hope, but you remain invigorated by where the saga could go. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
2.5/5 66% Wine Country (2019) A superficial Sideways cut with a better-behaved Bridesmaids is unambitious, but that's tempered by the true-life chemistry these comediennes share. Rachel Dratch and Paula Pell are the respective secret weapons that really make it go. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
2.5/5 31% The Intruder (2019) It's too long and the ending skunks intriguing ideas on manliness. But if you're watching this at all, you're here to see Dennis Quaid subvert his Stetson-sturdy charms into a sinewy monster who slobbers all over the screen ... and boy do you get it. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
2.5/5 34% Poms (2019) The jokes mostly bomb. Sadder and wiser beats carry it, along with a lack of disdain for younger characters. "Poms" knows people of any age are capable of petty behavior, but also prompted into better decisions by those who remain patient with them. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
2/5 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) A sequel that pulls time-and-a-half to carry all the corporate water the first one left at the bottom of a hill. To watch it feels like freebasing fifteen 5-Hour Energy drinks, and its message -play nice with siblings to get more LEGOs - is rancid. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
2/5 5% Movie 43 (2013) There is even money on a man with a gun just outside the frame at any given moment here ... except in "Happy Birthday," where Gerard Butler looks legitimately elated and excited to portray a pair of foul-mouthed, genital-mutilating leprechauns. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Endgame is not as tightly woven in its tapestry of tone as Infinity War and sometimes finds itself stuck between victory lap and valediction. A champagne problem, but it's one to which the Marvel honchos have found a thrilling solution. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
2/5 57% Pet Sematary (2019) More a feeble remake of Mary Lambert's superior 1989 adaptation than its own imaginative and febrile vision of Stephen King's novel, Pet Sematary is a safer, more perfunctory march toward a paterfamilias's pain and suffering. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
1/5 18% Dracula 2000 (2000) A milquetoast Matrix-y vampire movie that cobbles together a bunch of Scream franchise castoffs or wannabes, salvaged (if at all) by some suave charisma by Gerard Butler, playing Dracula in his major Hollywood debut. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
1.5/5 47% Dumbo (2019) It may as well be called When I See an Elephant Cry ... Every 10 Minutes and Preferably With Its Tears Reflecting Some Scary Fire. Nearly twice as long as the original, not even half as interesting, and generally loud, lumbering and exhausting. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/5 77% Hotel Mumbai (2019) The question with films like Hotel Mumbai isn't whether you want to watch them again. It's whether you want to watch them at all. Rarely has that been more difficult to discern, but it's a threnody worth hearing despite many discordant notes. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2.5/5 56% The Highwaymen (2019) Such displays of rural desperation are director John Lee Hancock's forté and it's his most visually elegant film yet. However lushly photographed, this one still takes too scenic a route to arrive at routine rumination on American cycles of violence. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
1.5/5 70% Triple Threat (2019) Rarely has a film failed so miserably at capitalizing on its raison d'etre as Triple Threat. Indefensible and infuriating, as if you bought ringside seats for Wrestlemania to see Roman Reigns and A.J. Styles circle each other for 75 minutes. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
2/5 38% The Dirt (2019) It's no surprise The Dirt is more #WeCrüe than #MeToo, but it sidesteps any controversial exploits that threaten to pop the balloon of fun. For all its faithful depictions of the Crüe lifestyle, it winds up as the same ol', same ol' situation. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
4/5 93% Us (2019) Superbly mounted dread, insistent escalation, elegantly sustained tension - a forest fire to Get Out's slow burn. Us is Jordan Peele's Jurassic Park, where a fear of monsters learning to open doors takes on chilling new meanings. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 73% Triple Frontier (2019) Director J.C. Chandor's go-big-or-go-home heist film finds its footing for a little while amid a perversely engrossing explosion of opportunity costs. But the rest of this mas-macho meathead stuff just seems simultaneously beneath, and beyond, him. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
1.5/5 85% The Hole in the Ground (2019) Given a surplus of sycophants like this one clinging to his coattails, perhaps Mister Babadook now regrets his sartorial choices. About as ambitious and memorable as its title, it feels like a Mad-Libbed ghost story gone south. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
3/5 89% Paddleton (2019) The improv structure on which Blue Jay soared here becomes a security blanket for Duplass & Romano to cling to their respective placid and peevish personas. But in time, Paddleton sneaks up on you and the actors make its wallop strong. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2019
2.5/5 70% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Writer-director Christopher Landon gets things off to a shiftless start and ends with a mean-spirited thud. In between, he finds his way to a sequel that has more frivolous fun than its predecessor and lets actress Jessica Rothe find another gear. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019