Midwest Film Journal

Midwest Film Journal is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Evan Dossey, Nick Rogers
Rating Title/Year Author
4/5 Us (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
2.5/5 Triple Frontier (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
Captain Marvel (2019) Evan Dossey A flawed but compelling introduction to Marvel's newest hero. EDIT
Posted Mar 6, 2019
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) Evan Dossey Touching - the right kind of movie to show in school. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
Arctic (2018) Evan Dossey A well-realized but standard survival tale. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2019
1.5/5 The Hole in the Ground (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2019
3/5 () Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
2.5/5 Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2019
3/5 Capernaum (2018) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Evan Dossey Not complex enough to be engaging; not simple enough to be exciting. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2019
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Evan Dossey Lord Business was Right, and the more we accept that fact, the easier it is to understand why "The Lego Movie 2" just doesn't hit the mark. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
2.5/5 The Prodigy (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
3.5/5 Abducted in Plain Sight (2017) Sam Watermeier It's the kind of thriller you can curl up with on a cold, cloudy afternoon. Watch it with a loved one so you can have someone to turn to in disbelief. EDIT
Posted Feb 7, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) Evan Dossey High Flying Bird flies high with a tight script, strong performances and reliably excellent direction from retiree Soderbergh. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018) Evan Dossey Sam Eliott's "Old Soldier" story has more going for it than a catchy title. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2019
Miss Bala (2019) Evan Dossey Not much going for "Miss Bala." EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2019
4/5 Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2019
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2018) Evan Dossey If you're looking for a movie that proves there are still interesting indie films with compelling stories, tension and production values, get to it. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2019
2.5/5 Cold War (2018) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2019
1.5/5 Polar (2019) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Jan 24, 2019
3.5/5 Winchester (2018) Sam Watermeier A deliberately paced drama sprinkled with elegantly spooky elements rather than gory spectacles and jump scares. It plays like a vehicle for Vincent Price or Peter Cushing. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
5/5 The Post (2017) Sam Watermeier A sharp period piece that cuts through the core of contemporary American conflicts. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
4/5 Book Club (2018) Sam Watermeier Each star makes their character's fear and frustration our own as they timidly traverse the battlefield of love. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
2/5 Vice (2018) Sam Watermeier The film is supposed to feel like a punch to the gut, but nothing about it is particularly surprising except for Christian Bale's transformational turn as Dick Cheney. EDIT
Posted Jan 23, 2019
3/5 Stan & Ollie (2018) Nick Rogers 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. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2019
Doragon bôru chô: Burorî -- Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018) Evan Dossey For this "Dragon Ball" novice, "Broly" presented a gorgeously animated good time. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Bionicle: Mask of Light (2003) Evan Dossey I know more about Bionicle than I do the bible. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Fyre (2019) Evan Dossey A slick documentary that never feels focused on the right part of the story. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Saban's Power Rangers (2017) Evan Dossey A fun reboot of a now-classic franchise EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Baby Driver (2017) Evan Dossey A uniquely stylish blockbuster EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) Evan Dossey A glorious run-on sentence of a movie. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Only God Forgives (2013) Evan Dossey Refn's return to form; an odd, exploitative, and arousing work. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Lawless (2012) Evan Dossey Not quite as great as Hillcoat & Cave's previous collaborations, but still a strong analyzation of damaged and violent men. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Pontypool (2008) Evan Dossey An all-time great zombie film. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Alien Contamination (1980) Evan Dossey Sometimes boring, sometimes gory, but what a great soundtrack. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Kuroneko (1968) Evan Dossey An eerie and gorgeous horror film EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Dredd (2012) Evan Dossey An immaculate vision of MegaCity1 EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Event Horizon (1997) Evan Dossey A movie where the contours of the cut ideas are more interesting than what ended up on the screen. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Logan (2017) Evan Dossey Destruction in the face of death - the superhero Western we've all been waiting for. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
A Ghost Story (2017) Evan Dossey A movie designed to make you feel by a writer-director too afraid to simply let you. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
Io (2019) Evan Dossey A collection of sci-fi tropes that don't amount of anything new. EDIT
Posted Jan 19, 2019
It (2017) Evan Dossey Too reliant on jumps to ever feel scary EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Beach Rats (2017) Evan Dossey Quiet & contemplative. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
mother! (2017) Evan Dossey Too overt to feel meaningful EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Evan Dossey A perfect follow-up film that expands the themes of its predecessor for a new century. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Woodshock (2017) Evan Dossey The term "woodshock" is one used to describe the sense of disorientation someone feels when lost in the woods. At the very least, the Mulleavys commit to crafting a movie where the audience feels lost. Most audiences will. Not always for the better. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Keepers of the Magic (2016) Evan Dossey A loveletter to cinematography, but also a great primer for those unfamiliar with some of the most unsung heroes of cinema. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Visages, villages (2017) Evan Dossey Pure kindness and empathy at the heart of this biographical portrait. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Suspiria (1977) Evan Dossey A beautiful bright fantasy that lives off its aesthetic. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019
Geostorm (2017) Evan Dossey As delightfully dumb as you'd expect it to be. EDIT
Posted Jan 18, 2019