Current Film Reviews

  • Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
    Rating: 2.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – The animation in Pixar Studio’s latest feature ,“The Good Dinosaur,” is nothing short of extraordinary. At times throughout the film, the images looked like they came right out of National Geographic, and I truly couldn’t believe i was watching animation. However, this delightful animation is in service to an undistinguished prehistoric buddy comedy that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of “The Flintstones.”

  • Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
    Rating: 4.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – This is what happens when passionate filmmakers come into a known movie project – with an obvious love for the previous stories and characters – and create a new chapter that both evolves and honors its source. “Creed” does all of that, and gives the beloved Rocky Balboa one more time in the spotlight.

  • Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
    Rating: 3.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – This has to be what the filmmakers intended when they split the final book of the “Hunger Games” series into two films. While “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” was all set up, Part 2 doesn’t just lead up to a huge climax.

  • Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
    Rating: 3.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – The tradition of the holiday party gets a workout in “The Night Before,” as three friends take a Christmas Eve walk through the environs of New York City, and make their merry journey an unforgettable night of libation enhancement, magic moments and yes, the Holiday Spirit.

  • Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
    Rating: 4.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – “Spotlight” is a movie which aspires to greatness and oftentimes just about gets there. It’s a movie that is thoroughly confident that the process of journalism and a great story provides all the excitement it needs to grab an audience’s attention. And what a great story it is.

  • Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
    Rating: 4.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – In the art of film, the best way to approach a based-on-truth story – where the outcome is well known – is to create a point-of-view vision for the narrative. The story of “The 33,” the trapped miners from Chile who were rescued with worldwide attention, is a prime example of that vision.

  • Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
    Rating: 3.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – They didn’t screw it up, and that is good. Eschewing modern conventions or typical animation pop culture jokes, “The Peanuts Movie” honors its source (Charlie Brown and the gang) and its creator, Charles M. Schultz, in a joyous and nostalgic celebration.


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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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