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NEW THIS WEEK
Us 5
Triple Threat 1
Ramen Shop rate me!
Hotel Mumbai rate me!
Sunset (2019) rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
29-Mar Beach Bum, The
29-Mar Dumbo (2019)
29-Mar Screwball
29-Mar Unplanned

DVD RELEASES
19-Mar Mary Poppins Returns  
19-Mar Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse  
26-Mar Aquaman  
26-Mar Border  
26-Mar Columbus  
26-Mar If Beale Street Could Talk  
26-Mar Second Act  
26-Mar Stan & Ollie  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Arctic 5
Us 5
If Beale Street Could Talk 4.86
Stan & Ollie 4.5
Wandering Earth, The 4.29

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Integrity 1
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi 2
Everybody Knows 3
Furie 3
Kid Who Would be King, The 3.18

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Trishna 3.71
2 Days in New York 3.15
Burn 4
All In (La suerte en tus manos) 5
Marvel's The Avengers 4.3
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
I Am Divine 4
Ip Man: The Final Fight 4
Bad Film 4
Burning Buddha Man, The 3
Halley 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Touch of Sin, A 5
Square, The (2013) 5
Armstrong Lie, The 4.14
Missing Picture, The 4
Oculus 2.8
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.56
Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The 3.6
Only Lovers Left Alive 4
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 5
Alan Partridge 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Northwest 4
Book Thief, The 3
Despite the Gods 4
Blinding Sunlight, The 3
Heli 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Swiss Army Man 4
Lobster, The 3.63
Love & Friendship 4.46
Life, Animated 5
Antibirth 4
MORE MOVIES

2016 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
MORE MOVIES

2016 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Embers 4.14
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) 1
Native (2016) 5
Skyquake 2
400 Days 1
MORE MOVIES

2018 Slamdance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Human Affairs 5
Circus Ecuador 5
MexMan 4
My Name is Myeisha 4
MORE MOVIES

2018 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Summer of '84 3.86
You Were Never Really Here 4.5
Tully (2018) 4
Searching 3.88
Madeline's Madeline 3.5
MORE MOVIES

2018 SXSW Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
World Before Your Feet, The 4
Hereditary 3.21
First Reformed 5
Prospect 4
Unfriended: Dark Web 1
MORE MOVIES

2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Bodied 5
Eighth Grade 4
Madeline's Madeline 3.5
On Chesil Beach 3
Leave No Trace 4.63
MORE MOVIES

2018 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Relaxer 2
Body Melt 4.59
Montreal Dead End 3
Cinderella the Cat 3
Rough Draft, A 2
MORE MOVIES

2018 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Climax 4
Old Man & the Gun, The 4.63
Burning 5
Widows 3.33
Roma (2018) 3.7
MORE MOVIES

2018 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ash Is Purest White 1
Burning 5
Cold War (2018) 4
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The 4.07
Favourite, The 4.75
MORE MOVIES

2018 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Green Book 3
Widows 3.33
Favourite, The 4.75
Can You Ever Forgive Me? 4
Overlord (2018) 3.8
MORE MOVIES

2018 Fantastic Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Cam 5
Halloween (2018) 3.33
Donnybrook 1
Burning 5
Border 5
MORE MOVIES

2018 AFI Fest MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Mary, Queen of Scots (2018) 4.13
Destroyer 3.14
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The 4.07
Favourite, The 4.75
Vox Lux 2
MORE MOVIES

2019 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Apollo 11 5
MORE MOVIES

2019 South by Southwest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Apollo 11 5
MORE MOVIES

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EFC STATS
Movies Listed: 31854
Total Ratings: 248561
Total Reviews: 28140
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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
2019 Oscar Predictions: Let's Get It Over With.
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Films I Neglected To Review: Ow--Quit It!
Films I Neglected To Review: "Close, Noomi. Close."
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Film Festivals of the World
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WGN Radio's Movie Reviews Podcast (w/ Nick Digilio, Erik Childress & Collin Souter)
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LATEST REVIEWS
CROSSING, THE (2018)
"One country, two systems, even for kids in high school."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It will be interesting to see where rookie director Xue Bai goes from "The Crossing" in large part because it exists on several different sorts of lines. The story straddles the line between genre movies and coming-of-age tales without tipping too far in either direction and the setting itself is quite deliberately neither here nor there. It's a sure-handed debut that doesn't try to tell a universal story but handles the spots where it bumps into limitations well." (more)
US
"The Doppelgängers Are All Here."
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "With his 2017 debut film, “Get Out,” writer-director Jordan Peele created a wild and audacious blend of horror and social satire that found him clearly tipping his hat to his artistic influences while at the same time spinning off into new and original directions. The result was a sensationally effective work that had the one-of-a-kind success that few filmmakers ever achieve, especially on the first project—raves from critics and audiences alike, a worldwide gross of over $250,000,000 and a much-deserved Oscar for Original Screenplay. The downside to all of this adulation is that it left Peele facing something more terrifying and soul-destroying than anything that he had created in”Get Out”—the task of trying to come up with a follow-up that could come close to the massively high expectations that he was now up against. This is not hyperbole on my part—when I sat down at the packed preview screening of his new film, “Us,” you could feel a genuine sense of excitement and expectation from the attendees, even the jaded people in the press rows, over what Peele had in store for them this time around." (more)
NUMBER 37
"I don't think there have been quite THAT many unofficial remakes!"
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2018 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Number 37" is basically an uncredited remake of "Rear Window" set in an unsavory Cape Town neighborhood, but that's not exactly a bad place to start if the goal is to make a decent thriller, and while the result may not be a classic, it clears that bar. Maybe this version is not as inventive as the things that inspired it, and there's really not a beat that you can't predict once the basics have been put into place, but it does find an approach to the material that makes it worth a new pass." (more)
CAPTAIN MARVEL
"A.K.A. Marvel’s Mid90s"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Having sat through pretty much every superhero saga that has hit the big screen over the last couple of decades—it is hard to imagine that there was once a time when such films were few and far-between—I have come to realize that, at least to my eye, most examples of this particular genre tend to fall into one of three categories from a quality perspective. There are the undeniably good-to-great ones that offer thrills, laughs and excitement even to those viewers with no real prior knowledge of the comic books that they came from—films like the original “Superman,” the Christopher Nolan Batman films and such recent triumphs as “Wonder Woman,” “Black Panther” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” There are the one that are noisy, nonsensical duds that offer viewers nothing more than the sight of oddly costumed people whomping the crap out of each other while some form of CGI armageddon rages around them—I won’t list any specific examples but as I am not one especially partial to the genre as a whole, my list is probably a lot longer than yours. Finally, there are the ones that may not be particularly great but which contain an element or two that is so genuinely inspired that one shudders to think of what it might have been like without it—the casting of Jack Nicholson as The Joker in “Batman” and of Robert Downey Jr. as “Iron Man” are perfect examples of this. After all the [i]sturm und drang[/i] surrounding its production over the last few months, largely inspired incel twerps waxing wroth over the very notion that those female-type people that terrify them so might actually deserve a place at the pop culture table, it seems a little odd to report that the highly anticipated “Captain Marvel” also falls into the latter category. The movie as a whole is nothing particularly special—it is okay but there is little to it that you haven’t seen before—but there are a couple of things it has going for it, chiefly the presence of Brie Larson in the title role, that keep it moving along and have you leaving the theater thinking that it is better and more satisfying than it really is." (more)
HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U
"Doing It To Death"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "When the original “Happy Death Day” came out in 2017, it was obviously better than most of the horror schlock ground out by Blumhouse Productions over the last few years but not quite good enough to fully recommend. The conceit of the film—a goofball fusion of “Groundhog Day” and your standard-issue college campus-based mad slasher exercise—was certainly intriguing but the screenplay never quite lived up to the promise of the premise as it grew a little repetitive at times (and not just in the intentional ways) and didn’t quite stick the ending. At the same time, however, it was made with a lot of style and a refreshing sense of humor that stressed the absurdity of the whole situation over endless sprays of blood and, best of all, it contained an undeniably winning and hugely entertaining performance from relatively unknown actress Jessica Rothe in the central role. It was a miss, I suppose, but it was the nearest of possible misses and when the news was announced that a sequel was being hustled into production after its predecessor proved to be a big hit, I found myself actually looking forward to it despite the fact that rushed sequels to horror films, especially ones with stories that don’t seem to obviously lend themselves to the franchise treatment, usually leads to artistic doom. Happily, “Happy Death Day 2U” is far more than just a lazy bit of hackwork hoping to exploit the goodwill engendered by its predecessor to squeeze a few more bucks out of the gullible. Instead, this is a smashingly entertaining film that retains all the stuff that worked the first time around while improving on the stuff that didn’t quite click. The end result is so good that even if you missed the first one, there is still a pretty good chance that you will have a blast here." (more)
ARCTIC
"Survival is straightforward, but satisfying."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There's often not a whole lot to say about this sort of survival adventure, especially if it's pulled off as well as "Arctic" is. You admire the difficult conditions, note how well the star communicates what's going on in his head with looks and body language, maybe try and find some other theme, and eventually decide that to a certain extent, the movie defies analysis because it's about a visceral experience. It can seem either very easy or like an impossible bit of alchemy because it feels like something anyone could do given the right location, and it's hard to pin down what makes a given attempt great." (more)
HIGH FLYING BIRD
"Soderbergh Holds Court"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "“High Flying Bird,” the latest film from Steven Soderbergh, may be set within the world of professional basketball but it is by no means a “sports movie” in any traditional sense—outside of a couple of dribbles on the court, the focus on this engrossing, dialogue-heavy drama is on the game behind the one be played out on the court that generates billions for those running the show but which leaves most of the actual players out to dry." (more)
TITO AND THE BIRDS
"High Flying Birds"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "There is no doubt that this weekend will find millions of parents taking their children to the multiplex to go see “The LEGO Movie 2” and I have no problem with that—it is smart, funny, visually dynamic and manages to live up to the expectations set by its equally impressive predecessor. That said, here is hoping that a few of those parents will realize that it will almost certainly be around for a few weeks and instead elect to take the kids to “Tito and the Birds,” a new animated feature from Brazil that may not feature characters that will turn up on T-shirts and video games but which does tell a story that will engage both younger and older viewers alike." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

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by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "Finding Steve McQueen," "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," "Madonna and the Breakfast Club," "Transit" and "Wonder Park."" (more)
A GUIDE TO THE 2019 EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL: WEEK TWO
by Peter Sobczynski
"An overview of some of the notable titles on display during the second week of Chicago's European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center." (more)
A GUIDE TO THE 2019 EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL: WEEK ONE
by Peter Sobczynski
"A look at some of the films screening as part of the first week of the 22nd European Union Film Festival, a month-long program unspooling at Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center." (more)
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'BULLSHIT! IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE THE BEST PART OF YOU RAN DOWN THE CRACK OF YOUR MAMA'S ASS AND ENDED UP AS A BROWN STAIN ON THE MATTRESS.'
- Hartman, Full Metal Jacket
 
 

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