Jonathan Rosenbaum Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
57% Absolute Power (1997) Clint Eastwood as producer-director-star strikes out in a rather slack thriller that oddly recalls a couple of Hitchcock's lesser movies, To Catch a Thief and Topaz.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2020
71% Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) Solid, agreeable entertainment, this basically consists of plentiful gags and lighthearted satire spiked with Dante's compulsive taste for movie references...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2020
78% Edge of Seventeen (1999) The actors mainly come across as movie types rather than characters, and despite the obvious sincerity of the project, deja vu seems written into the conception.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
97% The Celluloid Closet (1996) Lively and absorbing.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 28, 2020
86% Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) (2018) [Claire Denis's] skill in framing her protagonist's various trysts, moods, and dialogues, sometimes even setting them to music, is matchless.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
29% Golden Years (2016) For better and for worse, the mysteries remain unsolved and what prevails is Téchiné's elliptical tragic poetry about unfathomable human behavior.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
90% Morocco (1930) This 1930 feature was Josef von Sternberg's first American film with Marlene Dietrich, and some purists might declare it the best; certainly the visual exoticism is thick enough to taste.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2020
81% Liar Liar (1997) Pretty funny, at least during those moments when it doesn't turn into goo.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
82% Daisy Miller (1974) The first and perhaps the final question to be asked about Peter Bogdanovich's adaptation of Henry James' novella is just why he chose to embark on it.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
92% Family Plot (1976) A marvellously fluid light comedy with scarcely a slack moment.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 17, 2020
64% Selena (1997) Gregory Nava's 1997 biopic about the Mexican-American pop star Selena Quintanilla Perez... is typical of the genre's excesses, but I enjoyed quite a bit of it, in large part because of the energy and charisma of Jennifer Lopez in the title role.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
56% Swing Kids (1993) If it seems that kitsch of this kind is a less than ideal way to teach history, it's still infinitely preferable to Reagan's Bitburg pieties.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
No Score Yet About Baghdad (2004) This collectively made video documentary is by far the most comprehensive account I've seen of how Iraqis view the U.S. war and occupation.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
80% The Innocent (L'innocente) (1979) Visconti's last film strikes me as arguably the greatest of his late works apart from The Leopard -- a withering autocritique of masculine vanity and self-delusion.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
79% ABC Africa (2002) The most accessible film to date by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020
No Score Yet Aaltra (2003) I saw this alleged crowd-pleaser around the time it came out and can barely remember it now.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2020
80% Family Life (1971) Grim and harrowing.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
98% The Godfather, Part II (1974) The magisterial pace of the sequel begins to flag about halfway through... But the performances establish continuities of their own, and the acting throughout sustains a much higher level of assurance.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2020
92% Matador (1986) One of Almodovar's better features, although, like many of the others, it partially plays the role of popularizing stronger stuff, and resorts to some contrived plot devices in order to fuse its diverse story elements.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
100% Numero Deux (1975) Situates the loss of memory and the birth of signification on the same dark and slippery but fertile terrain-a factory-landscape where anything becomes possible.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
85% Enemies, a Love Story (1989) Thanks to a superb cast, much of the complexity and nearly all the poignancy of Singer's conception is well served.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2020
65% Wild At Heart (1990) Perhaps the major problem is that despite Cage and Dern's best efforts, Lynch is ultimately interested only in iconography, not characters at all.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2020
No Score Yet Nina Simone: Love Sorceress (1998) Letzgus's 1998 French documentary of a 1976 concert by the late singer is hampered by a few distractions, but the event being documented is so riveting and so eccentric in its own right that it hardly matters.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 21, 2019
86% Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen) (2005) It adds up to more than the sum of its parts, but you may not realize it for a day or so.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
93% Monster in a Box (1992) ...his powers as a writer and performer certainly hold one's attention. Incidentally, more than five dozen names appear in the credits of this one-man show.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
75% I Live in Fear (Ikimono no kiroku) (1955) I persist in finding it among the most memorable: eerie, troubling, and haunting. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
45% The Way of the Gun (2000) A lot of uninteresting and unpleasant people torture, abuse, and fire guns at a lot of other uninteresting and unpleasant people, in a repulsive, interminable would-be crime thriller by writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
33% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) The filmmakers stick like glue to the formula of the original: a little boy from a well-to-do family left on his own is threatened by low-life working-class crooks whom he repeatedly foils and tortures, and upscale property values prevail.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
67% Together Alone (1993) The frank conversation moves from AIDS to sexual etiquette to homosexuality versus bisexuality to lengthy accounts of former relationships, and the writer-director and actors generally do a fine job of keeping us interested (1990).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
34% Poetic Justice (1993) After a deceptively funny and offbeat beginning, the movie keeps restarting; each new start shows some promise, and Singleton's talent never really deserts him-but the parts don't come together to create a unified story.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
100% A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold (2018) Existing below the radar is largely what A Bread Factory is about, so it's unsurprising that Wang often chooses to focus on characters who are very old or very young.‐ Artforum
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
86% To Live (Huo zhe) (1994) His film grows progressively in meaning and resonance as it develops. Highly recommended.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
32% In the Cut (2003) I still consider this the best (which also means the sexiest) Campion feature since The Piano, featuring Meg Ryan's finest performance to date and an impressive one by Mark Ruffalo.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 1, 2019
45% The Cell (2000) If you thought virtual-reality thrillers and spin-offs of The Silence of the Lambs had run their course, guess again.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2019
28% See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) This tasteless, formulaic, mainly unfunny, but otherwise harmless romp was scripted by five people and is served up like meat and potatoes by hack director Arthur Hiller.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
48% Zardoz (1974) Probably John Boorman's most underrated film-an impossibly ambitious and pretentious but also highly inventive, provocative, and visually striking SF adventure.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
21% Harlem Nights (1989) The plot exposition gets laborious in spots, the period flavor is only occasional and approximate, and the direction tends to be clunky, yet the strong secondary cast helps to take up some of the slack.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
No Score Yet One Way Boogie Woogie/27 Years Later (2005) Though it's not on the same level, it's a poignant and fascinating companion piece.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
37% Ishtar (1987) This Elaine May comedy was the most underappreciated commercial movie of 1987. It isn't quite as good as May's previous features, but it's still a very funny work by one of this country's greatest comic talents. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
2/4 28% Hook (1991) Spielberg's Neverland carries undeniable charm and depth. The problems start when we're asked to accept its two-dimensional residents as anything other than tourists on a forced march through its various nooks and crannies.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2019
42% Vanilla Sky (2001) I now find Cruise tolerable only when he's in a movie that undercuts or ridicules his narcissism--as Eyes Wide Shut did and as this movie does even more noticeably. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
85% The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) It's as if Greenaway had all this artistry, including his own, at his disposal and created nothing but a dead piece of meat, for no reason in particular--unless it's to express his contempt for his audience.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2019
100% Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) It makes for a good old-fashioned inspirational story, absorbing and pointed.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
50% Fast Food Nation (2006) [An] angry and persuasive piece of agitprop...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
52% Death Becomes Her (1992) If there were something resembling genuine satire of human behavior beyond the simple pretexts for fancy special effects and relentless sadism, I might have found some of this funny.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2019
0/4 83% Mississippi Burning (1988) Unfortunately, the central narrative premise of Mississippi Burning sets up the FBI as the sole heroic defender of the victims of southern racism in 1964, which is more than a little disgusting. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
53% The Object of My Affection (1998) The mixture of sincerity and sitcom phoniness is bewildering at times, but on some level, I guess, the film works.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
56% I, Robot (2004) It's much more of an action flick than either Metropolis or Blade Runner, but there's a provocative and visionary side to this free adaptation of Isaac Asimov's SF classic that puts it in the same thoughtful canon.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
27% Event Horizon (1997) The pits.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
19% Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1994) Gus Van Sant adapts Tom Robbins's comic, countercultural novel of the 70s... and while the results are both cheerful and occasionally inventive, they can't hold a candle to his previous features.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018