Chicago Tribune

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/4 Toy Story 4 (2019) Michael Phillips While we all, as moviegoers, experience franchise and sequel fatigue on our own unpredictable timetables, this film brightens the summer without simply going through the motions. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/4 Men in Black: International (2019) Michael Phillips Thompson does here what Tommy Lee Jones did so well in the first "Men in Black"... By not overtly giving a rip about the demands or dictates of the franchise machinery clanking all around her, she lightens the load and keeps everything moving efficiently. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
2/4 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Dave Kehr The pleasures here are entirely cruel, with an unhealthy concentration on the suffering of the victims, on the thudding impact of various objects against their heads, on their howls of agony. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2019
2/4 La chute de l'empire Américain (2018) Michael Phillips Though jarringly violent at times, the film becomes a wash of low-keyed comic attitudes thrown into the works of a crime story. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
Fall From Grace (1990) Rick Kogan By trying to move down some video path of goodness, ''Fall From Grace'' is too even-handed to handle, and wastes along the way two splendid performances. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
1.5/4 Dark Phoenix (2019) Michael Phillips We get a film morose and dull, numbing in its body count, and seriously galling in its emphasis on aliens getting shot up with heavy automatic gunfire at close range. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
3/4 Double Lives (2018) Michael Phillips In barely disguised code, "Non-Fiction" operates as a wry analysis of Assayas' chosen profession as filmmaker. EDIT
Posted May 30, 2019
3/4 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Michael Phillips This is one franchise that doesn't feel fished out or exhausted or exhausting.The monsters, Toho studio classics redesigned but faithfully so, are pretty swell and monumentally destructive. EDIT
Posted May 28, 2019
Merrily We Go to Hell (1932) Michael Phillips "Merrily" packs an improbable number of narrative developments and tonal swings in a zippy running time. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018) Michael Phillips Pamela B. Green's documentary operates as an archival treasure hunt as well as a tribute to film preservation the world over. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
2/4 Houseguest (1995) Gene Siskel Sinbad is a genial soul and his goodwill remains untouched by the mostly amateurish Houseguest. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
3.5/4 Immortal Beloved (1994) Gene Siskel Music scholars have challenged the film's authenticity, but they cannot dispute the magnificent image-making by director Bernard Rose. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
2.5/4 Immortal Beloved (1994) Michael Wilmington It may be a cartoon. Yet, with Beethoven's compositions crashing and storming around him, it's a cartoon that has some dark, harrowing grandeur. EDIT
Posted May 23, 2019
2/4 Aladdin (2019) Michael Phillips The new material folds well enough into the existing material. Tragically little of this matters, because the musical numbers are staged and edited as if director Ritchie had never even seen a musical. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3/4 Booksmart (2019) Michael Phillips I like the general lack of meanness in "Booksmart." The party-all-night premise may be as old as the hills, but the script has been successfully finessed as a slice of the here and now, idealized but full of life. EDIT
Posted May 22, 2019
3/4 All Is True (2018) Michael Phillips "All is True" shows a better eye and a less fussy, more purposeful sense of rhythm and pacing than all but one or two of the Shakespeare adaptations Branagh has brought to the screen. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
3/4 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Michael Phillips This one's the best of the three so far. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
1.5/4 The Hustle (2019) Michael Phillips Whatever I said about "Ocean's Eight," I take it back; that was a paragon of wit compared to this movie. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
3.5/4 Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018) Michael Phillips Three different cinematographers worked on "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and yet the results feel like a single, sustained puzzle that comes together on its own terms. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
2/4 Together Alone (1992) Clifford Terry [A] competent yet limiting film. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
2/4 Tolkien (2019) Michael Phillips With a faint plop, "Tolkien" lands in the marshy middle ground of disappointment. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
2.5/4 Stockholm (2018) Michael Phillips The situation, as presented here, isn't unbelievable, exactly. It's just oddly dull. Hawke is not. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2019
3/4 Hail Satan? (2019) Michael Phillips It's a sly primer in homegrown grassroots activism. EDIT
Posted May 2, 2019
3/4 Poetic Justice (1993) Johanna Steinmetz "Poetic Justice" is thoroughly watchable. The director's script has bite, he is fluid with his camerawork and his eye and ear for details, particularly the details of female life, are superb. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
2.5/4 Street Fighter (1994) John Petrakis This is [Steven E. de Souza's] directorial debut, and while it shows promise, it is uneven. The film is way too choppy, and as a result we never get a chance to know the characters (except Bison). EDIT
Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/4 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Michael Phillips [E]xtravagant - and mostly very gratifying. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
3/4 Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) Gene Siskel So powerful and intoxicating is this kind of movie hero that when we see him operating in a flaw-riddled movie like ''Rambo'' we realize that heroic action can override almost any script. EDIT
Posted Apr 17, 2019
2/4 Super Mario Bros. (1993) Mark Caro Like their video-game counterparts, co-stars Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo somehow manage to weave their way past threatening obstacles and escape with their dignity. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2019
3.5/4 High Life (2018) Michael Phillips The production design, the shimmering, evocative Stuart Staples music, everything blends together. EDIT
Posted Apr 15, 2019
3.5/4 Diane (2018) Michael Phillips "Diane" affords Martin, Parsons and company the chance to do honest, low-keyed work with material worth the effort. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982) Lynn Van Matre Unfortunately, while the movie does a good job of capturing the tedium and frustration of life on the road for a struggling band, the majority of the rest of the film is neither believable nor funny. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
4/4 Amazing Grace (2018) Michael Phillips Her voice could lift people straight out of their seats in jubilation; her vocal flourishes and deep readings of the simplest, most elemental lyrics remain incomparable. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
4/4 Ash Is Purest White (2018) Michael Phillips This is one of Zhangke's peak achievements: pure cinema, and a story of the underworld unlike anything you've seen before. EDIT
Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/4 The Best of Enemies (2019) Michael Phillips I like this movie, especially now, because it puts a premium... on finding compromise and resolution the hard way: by getting to know your ideological adversary, and then doing something about what needs doing. EDIT
Posted Apr 4, 2019
2.5/4 Shazam! (2019) Michael Phillips To paraphrase Jack Lipnik, the studio head in "Barton Fink": It has heart. And we need more of that in motion pictures. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2019
2.5/4 Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Michael Wilmington This third installment is so loud, fast and full of chases that watching it is like being abandoned on a set of roller coaster tracks. You're definitely not bored, but you're not necessarily pleased. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
2/4 Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) Gene Siskel Watching Die Hard 3 is like moving along a conveyor belt with shocks applied to your brain every 10 minutes. It wore me out -- and this from a critic who actually put Die Hard 2 on his "10 Best" list five years ago. EDIT
Posted Apr 1, 2019
2/4 But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) Monica Eng But I'm a Cheerleader fizzles out of fresh ideas early on. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2019
0.5/4 Billy Madison (1995) John Petrakis Billy Madison is a textbook example of a half-decent idea that never got developed beyond the "lying around drinking beer and making jokes with your buddy" stage. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
1/4 Billy Madison (1995) Gene Siskel The latest entry in the American cinema's investigation of dumb-and-dumber heroes. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
1/4 The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) Gene Siskel The only attempt at stretching the wooden characters involves middle daughter Jan being teed off at perfect older sister Marcia and throwing a few fits. We smile the first time. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2019
2/4 Bad Boys (1995) Michael Wilmington Haven't we seen this all before? Four or five dozen times? EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 Bad Boys (1995) Gene Siskel These are two high-energy, likable performers, and yet long passages unwind in which they are terribly boring because they are working without much of a script. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2019
1.5/4 Empire Records (1995) Mark Caro If Clerks were written by TV hacks, it might feel something like this. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
1/4 Empire Records (1995) Gene Siskel A lousy comic drama about the efforts of some independent record store employees to maintain the integrity of their business. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
2.5/4 The Innocent (1993) Gene Siskel A convoluted but not very credible spy story about Cold War intrigue in Berlin in 1955. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/4 The Run of the Country (1995) Gene Siskel A wonderful coming-of-age story. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/4 Seven (1995) Gene Siskel Worth seeing if you can look past the gruesome details. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
3/4 The Stars Fell on Henrietta (1995) Gene Siskel We know exactly where this film is headed, but director James Keach tells a slightly darker story than you might expect and delays the inevitable to the point of genuine entertainment. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019
2/4 Showgirls (1995) Gene Siskel Is it sexy? Not when you're laughing. EDIT
Posted Mar 28, 2019