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
1.5/5 35% Shaft (2019) Can ya bigot? - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2019
1.5/5 38% 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 91% 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 74% 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 76% 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 57% 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 67% 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 39% 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 94% 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 72% 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 88% 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 92% 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 69% 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
3/5 90% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) It's like Lion if Lars von Trier made it. The two turns from the child actors at its center are supernaturally strong, but it becomes too didactic for its own good. Overall, it's a well-meaning film that's too insistent in the wrong areas. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
2.5/5 44% The Prodigy (2019) Jeff Buhler's screenplay introduces morally thorny exploitation ideas about comfort, class and who deserves to survive late in the game. But it's too little, too late for a film smack dab in the middle of the curve as homicidal-creeper kid movies go. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
4/5 63% Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) If a Superman movie, and Dan Gilroy's creative certitude, had to fall apart for a bit, it's a small price to pay for a generously gory, outlandishly funny satire like Velvet Buzzsaw -more of a piece with Gilmore's other work than it may seem. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
2.5/5 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) An astute, aggressive inquisition of art as a bureaucratic cudgel gives way to boringly doomed romance -doled out in webisode-sized chunks. Cold War is a gorgeous film to gaze upon, but it's ultimately eye-catching jetsam floating downstream. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2019
1.5/5 21% Polar (2019) Essentially, Polar offers only enervating, empty provocations, lacking patience or purpose for any of its attempts at black humor to land. Mads Mikkelsen is all muscle and sinew here, but his flavor gets lost in a movie over-marbled with fat. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
3/5 93% Stan & Ollie (2019) An agreeable, amiable period-piece biopic dotted with just enough slapstick. It's a story of ascending to fame on someone else's terms, charting a descent on your own conditions, and how, sometimes, unexpected laughter can sustain us in sour times. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
2.5/5 39% Close (2019) Close feels like a shrewdly curated algorithmic "Watch Next" sibling to Netflix's hit import series Bodyguard. It's slightly more than that, just enough to be a passable time-waster even though its lack of ambition is a hindrance. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
1/5 37% Glass (2019) Glass betrays the elegant narrative of Unbreakable and James McAvoy's command performance from Split. Pedantic, dreary, dunderheaded, as bloodless as its ideas and lethally verbose. It is the worst possible sequel outcome. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
1.5/5 74% Destroyer (2018) Nicole Kidman puts forth a valiant effort to get you to care. But she's trapped in yet another third-tier, all-you-can-eat nihilism buffet - 2018's model of boring, boilerplate bad-cop thriller you'll forget by the time they put out the next platter. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
3/5 49% Escape Room (2019) Enjoyably intense if not intensely enjoyable. You could do worse on the first weekend of January. (The makers of Escape Room sure have.) Never quite finds that code for the exit door but, much like the real deal, still a fun time regardless. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3/5 11% Holmes and Watson (2018) Smart about how it's stupid, the comedy suggests an embrace of remorseless logic will only rot your soul and friendships. Yeah, it's a movie in which John C. Reilly lactates, but it also says more than you'd expect about the milk of human kindness. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
1/5 63% Bird Box (2018) Save a reasonably suspenseful scene at the midpoint, "Bird Box" is a jacuzzi-fart indulgence of the same mealy-mouthed, meat-headed morality debates about the world's end that you'd find in any given "The Walking Dead" moment. At least it's shorter. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
1/5 82% Ben is Back (2018) It's a hunk of garbage that cheaply and casually diminishes America's silent opioid crisis by loudly shouting up the very worst ideas on how to address it. In doing so, it marginalizes addiction and makes melodramatic mockery of a very real problem. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
3/5 33% Welcome to Marwen (2018) Zemeckis follows what interests him rather than what incentivizes him and his professional touch here makes it easy to shake off any grudges. His playful craftsmanship is still in full view. For the first time in a decade, so are his inconsistencies. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2.5/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) In all, you wonder if Rourke should have let two tremendous actresses simply read their letters to one another, with light dramatization as necessary. Alas, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie should be running the film but instead the film runs them. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3.5/5 61% Vox Lux (2018) A doom-laden, dark-humored pop-culture allegory. You could translate the title as either "the voice of light" or "light voice." Either reading works here for a movie that's not that deep, but that's still got some damn snappy satirical choreography. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
2/5 92% Maria By Callas (2018) A documentary presupposing a surfeit of advance knowledge on its subject, "Maria by Callas" is too niche to appeal to anyone outside of the infinitesimal intersection of opera and archival aficionados. It's a diva wrapped in an aria inside an enigma. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
2.5/5 91% Mirai (2018) There certainly are some lovely moments and imaginative animations in Kun's mind-bending journey to find the confidence and conviction to truly become Mirai's big brother. But Mamoru Hosoda never quite hits the dizzying heights to which he aspires. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
2/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) Jason Reitman's turgid political treatise wants us to think it's depicting character assassination as tragic as mortal ones at the Ambassador Hotel or Dealey Plaza. It's just a misguided misfire that feebly tries tracing a path to our present moment. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
2.5/5 78% Green Book (2018) Unwilling to reckon with America's past or present in any meaningful way, "Green Book" is largely a "my black friend" movie. And for all the masterful pauses, emphases and gestures at their command, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali can't save it. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
3/5 94% CAM (2018) The screenplay for "Cam" understands that our path from outlet to obsession and perhaps obliteration can be as quick as the speeds we're pulling down. Forget the attempts at explanatory horror. These moments are the ones worth tipping with your time. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
3.5/5 81% Overlord (2018) A blitzkrieg bop of blood and bullets, "Overlord" is the best kind of movie monstrosity - scratching and clawing a new airway whenever its current scenario starts to suffocate, all the way to a rip-snorter ending that's hungry like the Wolfenstein. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2018
2.5/5 71% The Happy Prince (2018) Rupert Everett's mostly handsome movie never quite shifts out of a languorous dies irae for a depleted soul. It hits a gear and stays there. To describe it using one of Wilde's quotes: "The world becomes a picture you can look at but never touch." - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/5 63% Outlaw King (2018) Aiming for something more primal and less prestigious than "Braveheart" while hoping to retain the power, "Outlaw King" winds up merely passable. Score one for Netflix's algorithm, though, to pop up something original after a "Braveheart" search. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
3.5/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) A tad too safe and sanitary. But it's still a generously acted story of faith, identity and the survival instincts inherent to both - and one reinforcing the power of respectful honesty to recognize some transgressions are simply not ours to bear. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
4.5/5 65% The Beyond (...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà) (1981) The very thesis here is that viewing life as more than a linear path from birth to death - no matter how joyous or sad - is just a more comfortable form of entropy. And what happens when even that system is erased? This is pure horror brilliance. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
3/5 88% The Night Comes For Us (2018) However energetic, most set pieces blend together like a daisy chain of entrails. Brawls in a butcher shop and paddy wagon stand out. Only a final fight gets at a more grandiloquent Guignol. More testicular trauma than its forerunners, less cojones. - Midwest Film Journal EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2018