AltWeeklies Wire

Chris Rock in a Hard Placenew

The comedian faces a classic African-American dilemma.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  04-26-2010  |  Reviews

The Bad Lieutenant Gone Wildnew

When I first read about Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, it was described as a sequel to Abel Ferrara's 1992 cult favorite about a drug- and gambling-addicted police detective in New York City. When I next read about it, it was described as a remake. Now that I've seen it, I can report that it's neither.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  11-23-2009  |  Reviews

'The Baader Meinhof Complex' Reveals a Journalist Who Went Over the Edgenew

The most complex character in the movie, the one who provides the viewer with an entry point into this hothouse of violent fanatics, is herself a journalist -- Ulrike Meinhof, a columnist for the left-wing magazine Konkret who stunned her family and colleagues in May 1970 by throwing in with a cadre of self-styled revolutionaries.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  09-14-2009  |  Reviews

'You, the Living': Everything's Funnier With Weltanschauungnew

Perspective is what separates the brilliant You, the Living, a Swedish import, from the mediocre The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, which Paramount snuck into theaters last week without any timely press screenings.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  08-24-2009  |  Reviews

The World's War, One Man's Battlenew

In Masaki Kobayashi's ten-hour World War II epic, the first casualty is compassion.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  05-18-2009  |  Reviews

'Harvard Beats Yale 29-29': For a Moment, Football Was the Worldnew

Forty years later, players remember the Harvard-Yale game of 1968 in the context of a nation in turmoil.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  02-23-2009  |  Reviews

Family, for Better or for Worse: Abdellatif Kechiche's 'The Secret of the Grain'new

Abdellatif Kechiche’s third feature is the slow-building saga of an Arab clan in the south of France.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  01-26-2009  |  Reviews

Gus Van Sant's 'Milk' is Itself a Political Actnew

Milk hits theaters amid a renewed debate over the place of homosexuals in American life. Whether the cause will help the film is anyone's guess, but there seems little doubt that the film will help the cause.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  12-02-2008  |  Reviews

In 'Let the Right One In,' the Suburban Setting is Part of the Scarenew

The juxtaposition of vampire lore and mundane reality is especially powerful in this Swedish import. Set in a dank suburb of Stockholm, it proves once again that horror stories can be even more frightening when exposed to a little daylight.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  11-24-2008  |  Reviews

Smart Guy Bill Maher Makes a Dumb Movie About Religionnew

Maher's first film project, Religulous, is a major disappointment because here, unlike on Real Time, he aims for laughs instead of insight -- and aims low.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  10-06-2008  |  Reviews

'The Lucky Ones': The War Over Therenew

The latest movie about Iraq vets is provocative -- but do Americans want to be provoked?
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  09-29-2008  |  Reviews

'Lakeview Terrace' is One of the Toughest Racial Dramas Hollywood's Seen Since Rodney Kingnew

By scrambling the typical power relationship Lakeview Terrace focuses our attention on power itself, and by plunging into the subject of black bigotry, still relatively taboo in mainstream movies, it gets us closer to the truth of bigotry in all its forms than we're liable to get watching another pious exercise in white atonement.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  09-22-2008  |  Reviews

'Frozen River' Manages to Play Economic Hardship for Suspensenew

If Frozen River is accurate in portraying how the other half lives, its most unpleasant truth may be that the other half often divides again, the top quarter exploiting the bottom quarter.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  08-18-2008  |  Reviews

'The Dark Knight': Batman for the 21st Centurynew

It's not just about good and evil anymore -- it's about order and chaos.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  07-21-2008  |  Reviews

'The Wackness': The Coming-of-age Story You've Heard Beforenew

Watching Jonathan Levine's funny, sincere tale of a Manhattan B-boy navigating an inappropriate relationship with his middle-aged shrink while falling hard for the man's stepdaughter, I kept wondering where I'd seen it before. Oh, The Graduate.
Chicago Reader  |  J.R. Jones  |  07-14-2008  |  Reviews

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