Dave Kehr Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dave Kehr

Dave Kehr
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/4 71% Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) 'Gremlins 2'' is sloppy and inconsistent, just as it needs to be -- its bumptious, adolescent humor would wilt away if it were subjected to craftsmanship and mature reflection.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2020
3.5/4 92% Reversal of Fortune (1990) Irons' Von Bulow is easily the most attractive and entertaining movie heavy since James Mason`s villain in North by Northwest, a figure with whom he shares a taste for elegant homes and wry understatement.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2020
2/4 78% Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) ''Some Kind of Wonderful'' is a slight and forgettable film, but Hughes still has an eye for young acting talent.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2020
4/4 91% Something Wild (1986) It's not every day that someone goes Alfred Hitchcock one better, but in ''Something Wild,'' Jonathan Demme has done it.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2020
3.5/4 98% Paris Is Burning (1991) A rough-edged, talking- heads documentary, directed with skill if not polish by Jennie Livingston, that has found a topic almost unbelievably rich in cultural paradoxes and interpretive possibilities.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 18, 2020
1/4 71% Child's Play (1988) The filmmakers seem more than aware of the logical and dramatic deficiencies of their material, and so they flee to that last refuge of movie scoundrels: self-conscious campiness.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 14, 2020
90% Frenzy (1972) There's no sign of the serenity and settledness that generally mark the end of a career. Frenzy, instead, continues to question and probe, and there is a streak of sheer anger in it that seems shockingly alive.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
92% Family Plot (1976) [A] small masterpiece, one of Hitchcock's most adventurous and expressive experiments in narrative form.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 12, 2020
90% The Trouble with Harry (1955) Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 comedy has long been overshadowed by the masterworks that surround it, but it's a wonderful, fanciful film, the most optimistic movie he ever made -- a fairy tale among nightmares.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 5, 2020
81% Saboteur (1942) It doesn't really work this time, perhaps because of the weaknesses of the stars and the shapelessness of the chase plot, but there are wonderful asides on the equivalence of patriotism and paranoia and on the erotic fascination of guilt.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 4, 2020
80% Tsuma yo bara no yo ni (Wife! Be Like a Rose!) (1935) The complicated, innovative style poses metaphysical questions to match the moral issue -- Naruse's highly angled compositions and oddly accented editing constantly undermine his characters' place in the world.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2020
71% Lady on a Train (1945) Deanna Durbin [is] caught at that awkward stage when Universal seemed to have no idea what to do with the rapidly maturing girl who had been the studio's biggest star in the 30s.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
2/4 85% The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) Greenaway is never able to establish a real sense of evil and dread. No matter how monstrous their actions, his characters remain cartoons, which of course renders their actions much less disturbing, much more easily dismissed.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
25% The River (1984) Are there more farmer movies now than farmers?‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
100% The Inhuman Woman (L'Inhumaine) (1926) It actually registers today as a fascinating piece of period avant-garde chic with a fine sense of rhythm.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
86% Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) Wears thin as it plays on, devolving into familiar showbiz sentimentality.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2020
3/4 91% La Bamba (1987) Melodrama is inherently a broad genre -- one that projects inner psychological conflicts onto towering outside forces -- and in the overall thrust of his film, Valdez excels in conveying a world dominated by a gigantic, impersonal power.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
95% Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Moments of intense realism flow into passages of operatic extravagance; lowbrow burlesque exists side by side with the expression of the most refined shades of feeling.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
60% Malizia (1973) An undistinguished Italian farce.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
3/4 74% Candyman (1992) If Candyman doesn't live up to its potential, it does fulfill most of the Saturday night requirements. The action is swift, if excessively graphic, and Madsen proves a strong-willed, sympathetic lead.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
93% Klute (1971) As close to a classic as anything New Hollywood produced.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2020
74% The Fog (1980) It's a failure, but it's a failure in the right direction.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
3/4 100% Henry V (1989) There is a great deal of value in Branagh`s version, not least in his own lead performance as a soft, indefinite Henry who defines himself over the course of the play.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2019
89% The Cheat (1915) [The Cheat] remains interesting today not only for its gripping vulgarity but also for the spectacular innovations in dramatic lighting De Mille created with his cameraman, Alvin Wyckoff.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
92% Imitation of Life (1934) Director John Stahl was a notable visual stylist (although this film contains few of his characteristic flourishes) and was possessed of the prime asset of the melodramatist, the ability to take his material seriously and make it play.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2019
No Score Yet The Jazz Singer (1952) It's ragged and dull until the magical moment when Jolson turns to the camera to announce, "You ain't heard nothin' yet"-a line so loaded with unconscious irony that it still raises a few goose bumps.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2019
84% Spellbound (1945) ...beneath the facile trappings there is an intriguing Hitchcockian study of role reversal, with doctors and patients, men and women, mothers and sons inverting their assigned relationships with compelling, subversive results.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
2/4 56% The Dark Half (1993) As if to make up for the slack pacing, the violence seems unnecessarily garish and sadistic.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
2/4 51% Pet Sematary (1989) Reduced to its plot outlines, King`s work no longer functions; its meaning lies in the obscure tensions and anxieties that shape the fantasy, not in what happens, but why.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
1/4 0% Johnny Be Good (1988) Buried somewhere in the screenplay are some Robert Altman-esque satirical intentions, in which the wildly corrupt college football recruitment process is offered as a panoramic image of frenzied American venality.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
86% Deadline - U.S.A. (1952) Windy, self-righteous newspaper film, written and directed by Richard Brooks in a fair reflection of the way journalists think about themselves when they've had a few too many.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 24, 2019
No Score Yet Summer Storm (1944) George Sanders is superb as a weak, corrupt judge facing both his past and the specter of the revolution, and Edward Everett Horton contributes an extraordinary dramatic turn as a provincial count.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2019
94% The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L'albero degli Zoccoli) (1979) I found the film most successful when it left its tenant farm setting for a lovely, lyrical boat trip to the big city, the one moment of expansiveness in Olmi's otherwise hermetic narration. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2019
95% Wait Until Dark (1967) This 1967 thriller draws its effectiveness less from the intelligence of the direction (by Terence Young) than from the unbridled sadism of the concept.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2019
2/4 33% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) 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.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
No Score Yet La ville des pirates (City of Pirates) (1984) Ruiz is perhaps the only director to extend the play of fantasy to the level of form: his methods are as wildly imaginative as his subjects, and his films are games we play by trying to discover the rules. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
100% The Buddy Holly Story (1978) The plotting of this 1978 biopic is contrived, and director Steve Rash's feeling for Buddy Holly's time and place is virtually nil, but Gary Busey's performance is astonishing-less as an interpretation than as a total physical transformation.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
44% Quartet (1981) Ivory's interest is focused so completely on the period clothes and decor that the drama never surfaces.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
79% The Dark Crystal (1982) Jim Henson and Frank Oz... designed and directed this 1983 film, in which no human actors appear (except as crude long-shot doubles for the animated figures); it's a cute gimmick, but the puppets are so stiff and inexpressive that the film drops dead.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
56% Zoot Suit (1981) The staging is busy and clever, though it doesn't translate that well to film, given Valdez's tendency to cut the legs off his dancers.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 1, 2019
64% Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (1981) This "exposé" is too familiar and too sloppily filmed to shock anyone. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
No Score Yet Bizalom (Confidence) (1980) A perfect example of an intensely subjective cinema realized without a single overtly subjective shot.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2/5 43% Bad Boys (1995) Entertainment of the gratingly commercial, teeth-rattling variety is provided in Bad Boys.‐ New York Daily News
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
2/4 28% See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) ''See No Evil'' lurches from hip callousness to damp sentimentality.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 27% Over the Top (1987) It's a technique that gives new meaning to the term ''feeling had.''‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 51% Oliver & Company (1988) ''Oliver & Company'' is impoverished technically, and it is also impoverished emotionally.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
2/4 39% Road House (1989) What results instead is a monstrous hybrid-a grotesquely implausible, oversized character that thoroughly overshadows the poor actor himself.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
44% Teen Wolf (1985) Fox somehow survives on the sheer force of a pleasant screen presence, but those who remember The Shaggy Dog ought to stay away.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
31% I Come in Peace (1990) The deceptively straight-looking Benben, however, proves to be a wily scene-stealer with a very sharp sense of comic timing.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
1/4 21% Harlem Nights (1989) ''Harlem Nights,'' it's worth remembering, is a comedy, though as the body count piles up and entire reels go by without a joke in sight, it's also easy to forget.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019