Chicago Tribune

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Jazz Singer (1927) Mae Tinee The picture has been cannily directed. finely staged, and splendidly photographed. The vitaphone is cunningly utilized in some of the scenes and you HEAR the star sing some of his best loved songs. EDIT
Posted Feb 24, 2021
Babes in Arms (1939) Mae Tinee There are, of course, setbacks and heartaches galore, but they fade and merge sweetly in achievement and one great, big, beautiful, patriotically inspiring finale. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2021
2.5/4 Test Pattern (2021) Nina Metz By contrasting two different nights out in Austin, writer-director Shatara Michelle Ford is doing something so canny in her debut indie feature "Test Pattern." EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
2/4 I Care a Lot (2020) Michael Phillips The acting's uniformly strong, and the script is distressingly weak. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2021
3/4 Saint Maud (2019) Michael Phillips The steady, screw-tightening accumulation of crises making up "Saint Maud" indicate a fully formed talent behind the camera. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2021
2/5 Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) Michael Phillips Wiig and Mumolo work so easily and smoothly together, you feel like an ingrate for not enjoying their efforts more in these script circumstances (especially since they wrote it). EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/4 Minari (2020) Nina Metz It's a wonderful cast all around, and it's especially thrilling to see how Yeun's career has progressed over the years... EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
2.5/4 Just Mercy (2019) Michael Phillips "Just Mercy" is solid, meat-and-potatoes docudrama filmmaking, if you don't mind a first-rate story of systemic injustice undercut by second-rate dialogue. EDIT
Posted Feb 11, 2021
Casablanca (1942) Mae Tinee Claude Rains, as a French captain whose sympathies do not jibe with his uniform of allegiance to Nazi rule, gives a grand performance. EDIT
Posted Feb 10, 2021
Wings (1927) Mae Tinee It is brilliant, poignant, and honest work, close copy of the tragic, flaming tapestry woven in the skies "over there." EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2021
Brewster's Millions (1914) Kitty Kelly Mr. Abeles did many funny things, and his performances were the only ones that elicited any chuckle. Between his humorous oases there were arid spots of desert dullness. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
3/4 Saint Frances (2019) Michael Phillips I do wish "Saint Frances" indulged in or two fewer getting-to-know-you montages. But I say that about most every movie that comes along, even the good ones. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2021
Merton of the Movies (1924) Mae Tinee It isn't so long before the film gains momentum -- and when it does it swings you right along with it. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
2/4 Bliss (2021) Michael Phillips I wish the results were better, and a lot stranger. Cahill's world-building has its moments, though. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
2.5/4 The Way Back (2020) Michael Phillips Affleck does a lot with a tailor-made role, by doing as little as his movie stardom will allow him. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2021
3.5/5 Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Michael Phillips "Judas and the Black Messiah" may stir the pot some, and I'm glad. The vividly wrought history feels like the present, and the actors seize the day. EDIT
Posted Feb 1, 2021
Imitation of Life (1934) Mae Tinee This adaptation of Fannie Hurst's novel dealing with race conventions lacks the original's pith, is awfully long, and does too much meandering. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
The Defiant Ones (1958) Mae Tinee If you have an open mind, and wish to understand and live at peace with your fellow man, you'll find it one of the finest pictures of this or any other year. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2021
Intruder in the Dust (1949) Mae Tinee Director Clarence Brown made the most of the authentic backgrounds and the townspeople as a supporting cast, and the Elm as a whole is engrossing and unusual. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2021
The Edison Minstrels (1913) Percy Hammond The kinetophone is an inspiring fillip -- not as impressive as looking at the stars. but a punch showing us how wonderful are some of the others of us. EDIT
Posted Jan 28, 2021
Stormy Weather (1943) Mae Tinee You don't have to be a hep cat to enjoy Bill Robinson's dancing, Cab Galloway's music, Lena Home's singing, dancing, AND acting, or the entertainment provided by other individuals and teams who are adept at making time pass pleasantly for audiences. EDIT
Posted Jan 27, 2021
2.5/4 Palmer (2021) Michael Phillips Timberlake and his cohorts keep this well-acted fraud honest. EDIT
Posted Jan 26, 2021
3.5/4 The White Tiger (2021) Michael Phillips "The White Tiger" keeps an eye on clarity while keeping the pace breathless. EDIT
Posted Jan 20, 2021
1.5/4 Locked Down (2021) Michael Phillips A movie shouldn't rely on Hathaway and Ejiofor to shell-game your attention away from the movie itself. EDIT
Posted Jan 13, 2021
3.5/4 One Night in Miami (2020) Michael Phillips Some of the writing remains explanatory first and dramatic second. But King, making her feature directorial debut, makes so many right decisions. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
2/4 Pieces of a Woman (2020) Michael Phillips This is difficult to say, given the trauma out of which it was born, but "Pieces of a Woman" is well-acted while also being pretty shameless (when it's not merely contrived) in its storytelling tactics. EDIT
Posted Jan 7, 2021
The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927) Mae Tinee Maria Corda makes a fascinating and credible Helen. Lewis Stone's Menelaus is a knockout. EDIT
Posted Jan 5, 2021
Convention City (1933) Mae Tinee The piece Is fast and because of clever acting, humorous In spots. But the average observer doesn't find wholesale inebriation an amusing sight -- and this film specializes in scenes depicting imbibers before, after. and while taking. EDIT
Posted Jan 4, 2021
Cat People (1942) Mae Tinee Photography and settings are effective, and the naturalness of the dialog issuing from such a murk of the fantastic is very impressive. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
Flaming Youth (1923) Mae Tinee The story? La la! You could write a better! EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2020
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) Mae Tinee It's not a pretty picture, but it packs a lot of punch. EDIT
Posted Dec 22, 2020
4/4 The Blues Brothers (1980) Gene Siskel The Blues Brothers is the year's best film to date; one of the, all-time great comedies; the best movie ever made in Chicago. All are true, and, boy, is that ever a surprise. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
Wattstax (1973) Gene Siskel It is a fine documentary in that it does, better than any popular music film with the possible exception of Woodstock, document a group of people, their music, how it came to be, and why they like it. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
2.5/4 Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Michael Phillips It's a moderately diverting sequel. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2020
4/4 The Joy Luck Club (1993) Gene Siskel Director Wayne Wang maintains a surprisingly hard emotional edge, not getting all fuzzy at the end. The film undoubtedly will speak to mothers and daughters of any nationality. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020
2.5/4 The Joy Luck Club (1993) Johanna Steinmetz [Director Wayne Wang ] shows an unexpected predilection here for soap operatic style. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020
2.5/4 Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) Gene Siskel Sweet Sweetback [is] a film that doesn't compromise. . Unfortunately, Van Peebles pays a price for not compromising. EDIT
Posted Dec 16, 2020
Cabin in the Sky (1943) Mae Tinee One of the most beguiling of fantasies brimming over with laughs and music and the sort of homespun pathos that's, so dear to all Americans. EDIT
Posted Dec 15, 2020
The Dragon Painter (1919) Mae Tinee It is art in acting; art in photography; art in direction; art in subtitle. It is as exquisite and complete a thing as I have ever seen on the screen. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Hypocrites (1915) Mae Tinee In the strength of her ideals [Weber] dares do things that a less idealistic person would make only crass, and she succeeds in producing a remarkably purity of impression with a considerable material instrument. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Tevye (1939) Mae Tinee Maurice Schwartz, beloved Jewish actor, gives a memorable interpretation in the title role. As Tevya, the dairyman, he is wise, kindly, tragical, philosophical, slyly humorous. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
What Do Men Want? (1921) Mae Tinee The picture is well photographed. The acting is all pretty fair. Miss Weber's intentions are of the best. Her trouble lies in trying to do so much that she never quite accomplishes what she sets out to perform. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
3.5/4 The Midnight Sky (2020) Michael Phillips This is easily Clooney's finest hour behind the camera since "Good Night, and Good Luck" 15 years ago. And it's one of his finest performances. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2020
1/4 Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) Michael Phillips The one success story of "Wild Mountain Thyme" belongs to Blunt, who has yet to give a poor or lazily considered performance. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
3/4 Let Them All Talk (2020) Michael Phillips he movie at hand is small, I suppose, and it may not be enough for some audiences. It's enough for me. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
2.5/4 The Prom (2020) Michael Phillips The material, wildly uneven in quality, went to work on my inner sap, even as my outer sap kept inching the chair further from the screen, to better approximate 8th row, orchestra section. EDIT
Posted Dec 9, 2020
The Darling of Paris (1917) Mae Tinee If you are a Bara devotee, you're not going to like the production, for it is far from being naughty, naughty. If you're a reader, you will be displeased by its lack of authenticity. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2020
Gentleman Jim (1942) Mae Tinee It's all around excellent entertainment and I hope you'll take it in. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2020
The Champ (1931) Mae Tinee The Champ may be hokum. but if so it's the sort of hokum that this old world of ours loves -- and needs. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2020
2.5/4 The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (1990) Michael Phillips It's a little better now. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2020