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 11% Freddy Got Fingered (2001) What most people find merely loathsome attacks a way of life that's all grim resentment & games of retaliation. Exaggerated nonsense, but it wrangles dark & significant laughs from the perils of presuming the worst in people and indulging vengeance. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2021
3.5/5 45% Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021) Thankfully, the screenwriters have streamlined Tom Clancy's often unwieldy source novel into a sleek, 100-minute textbook extraction of material that matters. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan delivers an electrifying portrait of a man on fire. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2021
3/5 18% Assassin's Creed (2016) Might be the best video-game adaptation there is. Certainly neck-and-neck with "Resident Evil: Extinction." There's a purity to how it doesn't pretend to characterize beyond narrative aims. It's 13% closing credits. It's kind of glorious, really. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2021
2.5/5 21% Thunder Force (2021) Ben Falcone's direction makes Adam Sandler water carrier Dennis Dugan distinctive by comparison and Octavia Spencer looks like she'd rather be making any other movie. Props for amusing villain side gags and an enjoyable role for Jason Bateman. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2021
4.5/5 97% Defending Your Life (1991) What Albert Brooks may have lacked for a large-budget realization of his conceptual comedy, he made up for with trenchant, sad, relatable and ultimately hopeful notions. A far cry from the punkish provocations of his early days but no less powerful. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2021
4/5 82% Nobody (2021) The Nordstrom Rack version of John Wick. The shared tailors don't traverse outside tradition. But this fits just fine. And there's a great surprise sewn into the sleeve with the pleasure of watching reed-thin Bob Odenkirk persuasively pummel people. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2021
2.5/5 49% Coming 2 America (2021) Crackles to life when characters cooperatively clap back at claustrophobic thinking boxing them in. But the rehashed jokes congeal into mush like a sack of Big Micks under a dying heat lamp, and it's more a multimillion-dollar mimicry than a movie. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
2/5 67% The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2021) Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Whose new film exists to pimp spinoff TV? Uh ... yeah. Incessant flashbacks to toddler times that set up an ancillary TV series pad what could be called "Bob & Star Go to Vista Sub Par." - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2021
3/5 13% Nothing but Trouble (1991) A calamity by most objective measures. At best a paltry comedy. And yet ... AND YET ... the relentlessly repugnant energy here ceases to desist while you're watching and continues to persist long after you've stopped. A perversely fascinating bomb. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2021
1.5/5 37% Cherry (2021) Caps-lock filmmaking of the most frustrating order. It's like a 2000s music video about substance abuse masquerading as a film of substance, the stage version of "American Idiot" without chemistry, camaraderie or a point beyond "Drugs ... WHOA, bro!" - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2021
3.5/5 68% Ali (2001) The director's cut is the best but any version of Michael Mann's film makes it clear: The rope-a-dope was something Ali perfected outside the ring, cobbled together as a combination move inside only after he reconciled himself to his singular status. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2021
4/5 79% I Care a Lot (2021) A black-hearted, scrappy and entertaining thriller with a surplus of surprises and a fierce, feral and fearless turn from Rosamund Pike. You won't care a lot about anyone, but you'll relish its rip-roaring recognition of their roles in the world. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2021
3.5/5 67% Red Dot (2021) The idea that things are bad but you could be in these folks' shoes is the basis for all controlled-fear cinema. "Red Dot" contorts that notion in an unsettling and unsparing fashion you won't soon forget, winter, spring, summer or fall. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
3.5/5 79% Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) More bong rip than "Bridesmaids," co-writers and co-stars Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have delivered a slight delight that's overlong and uneven but still a welcome respite from this supernaturally long winter slog. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2021
4/5 68% A Glitch in the Matrix (2021) As thoughtful as it is playfully constructed, Rodney Ascher's must-see high-concept documentary ultimately looks at how people wrestle with loneliness, isolation and trauma and don't always win those clashes. It's an empathetic, energetic success. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2021
2/5 88% Below Zero (2021) Not a bad cross-up of "Con Air" and "Assault on Precinct 13" on paper and director Lluís Quillez generates decent atmosphere on a limited budget. But there's also paucity in the script, which builds to disappointing revelations and limp subtext. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2021
1.5/5 45% The Little Things (2021) This driftless, feckless tomfoolery is unfit for mention in the same breath as 1995's "Copycat," let alone the other 1995 serial killer movie it's desperately mimicking. But in the spirit of dropping a hint: This is, at best, more like 1.75. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2021
2/5 75% #LIKE (2019) An auspicious lead turn by Sarah Rich and a thoughtful first-act exploration of grief and hopelessness among people far too young to experience either emotion veers too hard into vengeance territory that feels more like posturing than provocation. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2021
2/5 78% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) The best that can be said is that it's not the most shameful thing a Landis has done with a Twilight Zone idea. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2021
4/5 74% Finding Forrester (2000) Is Gus Van Sant embarrassed by this film? It's been a reasonable question ever since its first frame flickered on the screen, although it would be an unwarranted response for an imperfect but invigorating inversion of the comforting beats you expect. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2020
4/5 92% Frank (2014) Not to be outdone by her brother, Maggie Gyllenhaal also has a quirky, tough-to-pin-down film featuring an enigmatic costumed character named Frank. This "Frank" burrows into the artistic conflict between commodifying pain into a persona. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2020
2/5 88% News of the World (2020) To call this a dad movie is to be inappropriate to your dad, who's almost certainly too cool to do anything other than doze off during this dry, dust-choked bit of boredom for all involved. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
2/5 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) Concerns itself more with connection and communication than volume and wonder, which Clooney definitely favors over the usual sci-fi genre trappings. But its half-hearted transmission collapses into static over a squawky, short-circuiting connection. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
3/5 95% Soul (2020) Beautifully animated. Some truly galaxy-brain New York jokes. But the ending is thematically troublesome in a way that betrays Pete Docter's usual confidence in his ideas. It's the first time we've seen his concept and execution get a bit crossed up. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
2/5 14% Red Planet (2000) Establishes an amusingly nasty pecking order once it reaches the surface and even morphs into "Predator" for a hot minute. But it generally bears the anonymous aesthetics of an assembly-line product and is the uglier of 2000's dueling Mars films. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
2/5 25% Mission to Mars (2000) Swerves into irreversible stupidity down the stretch, generally plays like a half-formed prequel to "Ancient Aliens," and ends like a Disney ride version of "Ad Astra." But Brian De Palma's hand is all over the sustained tension of the second act. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2020
2/5 31% Superintelligence (2019) Everything you need to know about "Superintelligence" is in the name of the Mexican restaurant where Melissa McCarthy and Bobby Cannavale share a meal. Mas o Menos. "So-so." Nothing more, nothing less. A not entirely unpleasant time-wasting romcom. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2020
3.5/5 63% The Informer (2020) A thriller shipped with familiar parts but also a flair for character work and consequences that come from codes rooted in carnage. It lays its charges well amid a minefield of mistrust, triggering displays of power both vulgar or barely visible. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2020
3.5/5 88% The Reflecting Skin (1990) Seth's descent is one into a very American imagination of violence - defined less by actions he takes than those he allows to happen, cheap thrills that yield disastrous consequences. Sound akin to anything toward which we're teetering these days? - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2020
3.5/5 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Sacha Baron Cohen isn't so naive to believe cheekiness alone will cut with clarity now. Through Tutar and her pursuit of independence, this sequel reminds us strong women are the future we need - and the one we will get if only we don't mess it up. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
3/5 33% Stephen King's 'Sleepwalkers' (1992) A suitably bloody romp about oedipally incestuous werecats who thrive on virginal energy and a smart, sensitive and stealthy satire of groups like the Moral Majority -who were as prolific and profitable in the 1980s as Stephen King himself. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2020
4.5/5 46% The Way of the Gun (2000) We can still smirk at the flashy mechanics of "The Usual Suspects" and justly so. But "The Way of the Gun" leaves us a little more stone-faced and somber, contemplating all we've denied ourselves because we feel somehow incapable or unworthy. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
1/5 11% The Watcher (2000) Had Keanu Reeves gotten litigious, everyone would still remember the lawsuit. No one is still talking about "The Watcher." Well, almost no one. Instead, the stream remained serene. The air remained pure. The breeze, like the man, remained cool. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
5/5 82% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) You might throw up your hands at it. That's OK. "Not for everyone" is a kind way to describe Charlie Kaufman. But his latest internalized work often erupts into wonder or terror anyone can understand -whether perpetually together or forever alone. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
4.5/5 84% Darkman (1990) The shadows grow longer, the edges wear sharper and the wounds run deeper than any superhero film at the time. It's a masterpiece of beauty, terror, heartbreak and excitement cobbled together through renegade means. Victor Frankenstein would approve. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
3.5/5 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Easily the franchise's busiest installment. But it's resonant and rooted in the sort of age, experience and wisdom that its architects could have only accrued over the last 30 years: It's not about always saving the day but always pointing the way. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
2.5/5 92% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) Iannucci still hasn't figured out how to move effective melancholy into his milieu. At least he's trying something different than the endless "Emmas" and perpetual "Pride & Prejudices." A swing-and-a-miss that leaves a refreshing, cool breeze. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
2.5/5 48% Unhinged (2020) Further entrenchment into the mania so many of us are trying to move beyond in some meaningful measure. And yet not a bad movie as much as one that unwisely bit off more than it could chew and then had even more larded on its representational plate. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
4.5/5 94% The Freshman (1990) Marlon Brando delivers six-minute sonatinas of send-up and sincerity. He keeps things light but also from tilting over into something ephemerally broad like, say, "Mickey Blue Eyes,"a perfectly enjoyable comedy but a piffle next to this perfection. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
4/5 80% The Old Guard (2020) A thrilling, moving story about immortality -one that understands the strain ofemotionalcomorbidity, illustrates how kindness and conscientious choices truly reverberate and features Charlize Theron burying battle axes in bad people. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
2/5 79% Greyhound (2020) Modest thrills, but its eventual home on Apple TV+ makes sense. This narratively non-caloric rah-rah is the closest thing Tom Hanks as superstar has made to a VOD castoff and represents his most homogenized hosanna to World War II heroism yet. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
3/5 80% The Beach House (2020) Dry ice, disgusting prosthetics, dynamic cinematography & diabolical hopelessness that threatens to erase the barrier between screen and reality. Sometimes it's all you need for a good, old-fashioned horror movie, and "The Beach House" fits the bill. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
1.5/5 15% Desperados (2020) The frantically foul stuff stands out as the most odious aspect, but it's also a disappointingly facile exploration of female friendship from screenwriter Ellen Rapoport and director LP. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
3/5 81% Fantasia 2000 (2000) If "Fantasia" represents the "2001: A Space Odyssey" of Disney animation, consider "Fantasia 2000" its "2010" - a workmanlike sequel that still has stunning moments but hardly approaches its forefather. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
4/5 74% Backdraft (1991) Objectively, this is an overlong and overheated piece of work. But Ron Howard's visually stunning spectacle nevertheless feels human in its messiness and, for all its indulgence, memorably tactile and urgent in its conveyance of lives jeopardized. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
1.5/5 40% Irresistible (2020) An awfully naïve and tepid response to America being stripped for parts from a guy who staged a Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. The most persuasive argument here? Jon Stewart skedaddled when he did because he no longer had much worth saying. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
2/5 63% Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) Imagine if Will Ferrell allowed the World Figure Skating Championship executive board to approve the gags in "Blades of Glory" or if NASCAR exerted more brand-management control over "Talladega Nights." It approximates the tepid tone of this tie-in. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
4/5 92% Da 5 Bloods (2020) Not Spike Lee's most focused or fully realized wellspring of wrath for racial wrongdoing. But the topical conclusion is a cage-rattler - establishing a purposefully discordant lament for places and people who have only known loss and lethality. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
1/5 3% Battlefield Earth (2000) Nothing so entertaining, albeit in none of the right ways, should scrape WOAT status. It's not even one of the 10 worst films from 2000, a distressingly dunderheaded year for movies in general after one of the best ever. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2020
2.5/5 65% The Lovebirds (2020) Another case of comic overachievers doing all they can with an underwritten script. Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae try, but the film is more interested in forcing them to confront generic guys with guns than the specific malaise of a relationship. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2020