Big Screen Movie Reviews

Trailer for War Dogs could use a fleabath

Stoner comedy poised to give pot smokers a bad name

The unpleasantness began even before Neighbors 2 hit the screen. The trailer for War Dogs screamed, “From the Director of The Hangover Series!” My face grew cold, and I started bawling. When Jonah Hill’s traditionally ...

Hollywood hotheads compete in The Anger Games

Ten angry men: George C., Kirk, the Duke, Jack, Bobby D., Ray Burr, Robert Ryan, Clint, Lee Marvin, and Moe

From the mind of the working-class Chuck Workman comes another kaleidoscopic array of clips strung together as only this smart aleck can. The idea had been growing in my brain for some time. True farce. ...

Love & Friendship brings out anything but

Whit Stillman’s stillborn wit?

One film, two critics and a world of disagreement. Lickona hung on every turn of the page in Whit Stillman’s variation on Jane Austen, Love & Friendship, while Marks wanted to tear out a row ...

Nice try, Mr. Black

This week’s openings: The Nice Guys, Dragon Inn, and more

Well, drat. A tough week at the movies: I managed to miss the screening for Love & Friendship, so my membership in the Whit Stillman enthusiast society has been temporarily suspended. But I hope to ...

Fiddlesticks flips Flip in first color cartoon

No croaking over this animated delight

For those unaware, almost a decade of my life was spent teaching animation history, affectionately dubbed “cartoons for credit,” at Chicago’s Columbia College. It’s not unusual to find me popping in a thematically paired seven-minute ...

Dragon Inn, guaranteed to out-Marvel any of the major blockbusters

Eunuch vs. children

For the first 15 years or so of my life, I was weaned almost exclusively on English-language movies. At the time, a Taiwanese martial arts epic (badly dubbed or otherwise) would not have ranked high ...

What happens when bodies clash

An interview with A Bigger Splash director Luca Guadagnino

A Bigger Splash tells the story of Paul and Marianne — he’s a filmmaker recovering from a suicide attempt, she’s a rock star recovering from damaged vocal chords — and their quasi-reluctant hosting of old ...

Reel Kids Summer Movie Series returns

Three months of family films for a dollar a head

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It’s a long way down, and no, there is not always room at the top

High-Rise leads a slow week at the movies

At its worst, an aggregator like can be horribly reductive, mashing delicately constructed critical confections into a sort of uniform sludge for easy consumption. Sort of like Patton Oswalt’s account of KFC’s bowls. (Language ...

Celebrities and their political candidates

A facetious look at how stars size up Decision 2016

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! You can’t choose a political candidate without first knowing which celebrities champion which cause. Here are a few of your favorite luminaries — and Stephen Baldwin — with their ...

Ballard’s building breakdown

Crucible for change

High-Rise, adapted from the novel by J.G. Ballard, begins as its story ends — with the handsome, introspective lead character (Tom Hiddleston) picking through the rubble of a broken building, finding a dog, bringing it ...

You never forget your first

What was the first DVD you purchased?

Having resisted the costly conversion to higher-quality, dual-sided aluminum LaserDiscs, and with thousands of titles already committed to miles of polyethylene VHS ribbon taking up half the apartment, I was reluctant to make the switch ...

Movie Madness with Scott Marks

Kensington-Talmadge Community Association dinner May 19

Last year’s presentation at the presumptive Kensington Video farewell dinner met with such little negative response, the good folks at the Kensington-Talmadge Community Association have invited me back as their guest speaker at this year’s ...

What does it profit a man if he should gain a million clicks but lose his soul?

This week’s openings: Captain America, Tale of Tales, and more!

The good readers at are once again accusing me of whoring for clicks by giving only one star to a highly anticipated blockbuster. It’s happened a number of times before, most notably with Star ...

Let’s talk movies

A pair of Hitchcocks highlight county-wide screening series

Ralph DeLauro, former curator of the Central Library’s long-running (31 year) and highly popular Film Forum screening program, returns with a series of Film Discussion classes. Times, locations, and admission prices vary. The (mostly) daytime ...

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