UR Chicago Magazine

UR Chicago Magazine is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): John Esther, Mark Dujsik
Rating Title/Year Author
Little Sister (2015) John Esther As emotionally superficial as a Hollywood movie by the likes of Nancy Myers or Cameron Crowe. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
Angel of Nanjing (2015) John Esther Solid in its scope, this inspiring 64-minute documentary by co-directors/producers Frank Ferendo and Jordan Horowitz offers a portrait of a man who gives his best for others. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
Zoolander No. 2 (2016) John Esther A noisy, often nonsensical, unfunny enterprise with lots and lots of cameos from some of the culture industry's most recognized faces. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
Jim: The James Foley Story (2016) John Esther To the documentary's credit it makes it clear from the beginning that this will not be a sensationalized hagiography of the 40-year-old murdered journalist. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
A Good Wife (2016) John Esther Serbian actor Mirjana Karanovic makes an impressive debut as director and co-writer in A Good Wife, a film about personal and political cancer in current Serbia. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
The Innocents (2016) John Esther Offers a harrowing yet hopeful picture of what good women (and one man) can do when they do choose to rebel against patriarchal power. EDIT
Posted Jul 13, 2016
Uncle Nick (2015) John Esther It certainly is a funnier holiday film than most holiday films. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2016
Love (2015) John Esther The film offers a lot more than most films attempting to convey human interaction or attempting to understand human love and its intercourse with sex. It is certainly more honest than most films... EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2015
I Smile Back (2015) John Esther Holding the film together is Silverman's tour-de-force performance. Involved in every scene, her "serious" acting holds the film together. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2015
Heart of a Dog (2015) John Esther The documentary glides on with few lulls, even if one does squint during its brief moments of silliness. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2015
Experimenter (2015) John Esther The film seems to believe, and illustrate, that the best way to learn is while having fun (not getting punished with pain); and Experimenter is one very playful, enjoyable film. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2015
The Assassin (2015) John Esther Other than human nature, the film suggests there was nothing ugly to witness during this period in time. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2015
Coming Home (2014) John Esther This is politically-fueled melodrama of a higher order. EDIT
Posted Sep 10, 2015
Dragon Blade (2015) John Esther The film barely passes the entertainment mustard. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2015
The Second Mother (2015) John Esther The story about a young woman coming from "the outside" and entering a particular milieu and shaking things up is not entirely new, but there is enough skill here to make this film worth viewing. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2015
Digging for Fire (2015) John Esther It is not important that a film contain likable characters -- far from it. But when the filmmakers behind the camera seem to like those characters, or be too forgiving for their faults, this is what you get. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2015
Top Spin (2014) John Esther Peppering the trials, tribulations and training of the three athletes is some spectacular table tennis action. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2015
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) John Esther Few films this frank about teenage sexuality are found in American cinema. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2015
Chorus (2015) John Esther A gritty, emotionally honest (and draining) film about coming to grips with the horrors life can throw at you at any given moment. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Cronies (2015) John Esther The film skillfully blends gritty cinema and faux documentary interviews with the film's very skilled three leads. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Things of the Aimless Wanderer (2015) John Esther It does not take long to realize Kivu Ruhorahoza's film is something special. Well, different at least. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Eastern Boys (2013) John Esther The film tackles solidarity and solitude, economic class, language and lingering ages -- managing to remain engaging throughout most of its two hours-plus running time. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
The Hand That Feeds (2014) John Esther Members of the working and shrinking middle classes will have plenty to gain by investing in the price of a movie ticket to view this documentary. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Gemma Bovery (2014) John Esther A film that could only be made in a country where literature is widely consumed and considered worthy of one's time, this is an entertaining, smart film with strong performances. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Everything Before Us (2015) John Esther A highly enjoyable, smart, very funny, well written story about young people in love. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Blood, Sweat, & Beer (2015) John Esther Having watched this entertaining documentary, it is time for some delicious craft beer. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014) John Esther Nick Broomfield's excellent documentary reveals how violence toward poor black women works in collusion between the personal and the political silence of members in the community... EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
All Mistakes Buried (2015) John Esther This story about self/drug abuse would be nowhere as remarkable were it not for Trammell's performance and McCann and Chris Kursel's editing choices. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Lila & Eve (2015) John Esther So far, this is the worst film of 2015. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Grandma (2015) John Esther Quick, sharp and superior to the similar Juno, Grandma runs with fresh humor, biting satire, a little craziness and feminist politics EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
French Dirty (2015) John Esther Written and directed by brothers Wade and Jesse Allain-Marcus, the 72-minute French Dirty is a film brimming with realism and authenticity. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
One Cut, One Life (2014) John Esther A bittersweet testimony to documentary filmmaking, collaboration and camaraderie EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2015
Spy (2015) John Esther The movie is loaded with various sorts of humor, from the absurd, to the grotesque to the underhanded satire on spy films. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2015
Testament of Youth (2014) John Esther A high school historical lesson with lots of violence and little sex (how Hollywood), the real Vera Brittain may have been a educated pacifist, but her youthful optimism, in a historical context, comes off as grossly naive. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2015
Infinitely Polar Bear (2014) John Esther A warm, touching story about family, the film is not without its social merits. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2015
True Story (2015) John Esther 'True Story' reminds us to take anything we view with a grain a salt and a sneer of incredulous while truly appreciating those who do not lie... EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2015
An Honest Liar (2014) John Esther "An Honest Liar" illustrates a rare phenomenon in documentary: what it means to think, to believe and to challenge what our very own eyes see, and more to the point, do not see. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2015
5/5 Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border (2013) John Esther An intellectually impressive and refreshingly angry documentary. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2014
Wild (2014) John Esther 'Wild' is, surprisingly, a very entertaining film. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2014
Foxcatcher (2014) John Esther Simply put, this is well-done filmmaking with some extraordinary performances. EDIT
Posted Nov 14, 2014
The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013) John Esther The film rarely maintains an image for more than a few seconds. Everything must be rapid, colorful and artsy, but it is an intellectual sham. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2014
The Trip to Italy (2014) John Esther 'The Trip to Italy' is probably the most fun I have had at the movies so far this year. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2014
Life After Beth (2014) John Esther The film will no doubt have detractors in the mainstream press, but for those looking for something different, 'Life After Beth' rises above this somnambulistic summer of cinema. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2014
A Will for the Woods (2013) John Esther While the "green burial movement" does play a notable role here, the documentary's other strength is how it captures Clark coming to grips with his impending death. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2014
Around the Block (2013) John Esther 'Around the Block' may have its exasperating flaws, but it cannot be accused of not having its heart in the right place. EDIT
Posted Aug 1, 2014
Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014) John Esther Firefighters do some very important and dangerous work. Even though the characters in 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' are made of metal...that is clear at the movie's most elementary level. EDIT
Posted Jul 17, 2014
Citizen Koch (2013) John Esther Co-directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water) cohesively illustrate what happens when the bad financial powers-that-be cannot be stopped. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2014
A Coffee in Berlin (2012) John Esther Germany gets an updated look at the debris of its newest generation in terms of character, content, and concrete. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2014
Cesar's Last Fast (2014) John Esther An inspiring testimony to one of this nation's heroes. EDIT
Posted Apr 18, 2014
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) John Esther Or it could just be Jarmusch's attempt to bring to life the coolest couple of cinema ever. My Radiohead, are these vampires not hipsters to the nth power? EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2014