Ben Sachs Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ben Sachs

Ben Sachs
Ben Sachs's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Chicago Reader

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
No Score Yet Handsworth Songs (2011) The mosaic-like structure... successfully conveys the unorganized resistance of minority groups against the overwhelming bigotry of the time.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2020
77% Essential Killing (2010) It's great screen acting, as [Vincent] Gallo expressively uses his body to make it part of the film's overall design.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 5, 2020
21% Seven Days In Utopia (2011) If the combination of Christian bromides and golf tips strikes you as a recipe for boredom, stay away.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
No Score Yet The Story of a Satellite (La Historia dun Satélite) (2017) Satellite feel less like a feature than an extended short film... Still, the movie conveys a distinctive sensibility, making one wonder what this directorial duo will come up with next.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2020
92% Journey's End (2018) Director Saul Dibb doesn't quite succeed in making the drama feel fresh, but this is a sensitive and handsomely performed adaptation.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2020
No Score Yet Call Center (2017) Generates good cheer through sympathetic characterizations and relatable workaday detail.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
90% No Date, No Signature (Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza) (2018) This Iranian drama is ultimately sunk by a flat visual style and an overly contrived plot.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
67% Pendular (2018) Murat's inventive visual compositions keep this watchable, as do the explicit sex scenes, which build upon the characterization in addition to generating erotic fascination.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
79% Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Jeannette l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc) (2018) The results are one of a kind and certainly not for everyone, but if you can get on its wavelength, you'll find much to appreciate.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2020
97% The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le grand méchant renard et autres contes) (2018) This is ideal viewing for young children, though animation fans of all ages should find much to admire.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
91% Summer in the Forest (2018) Well-intentioned but cloying.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
100% Directions (Posoki) (2017) No one actor appears onscreen for very long, but each performs with such intensity that the movie feels like one long, continuous scream.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2020
70% Buster's Mal Heart (2017) This peculiar indie drama scores points for originality and impressive performances, though it's elusive in its design and feels unsatisfying on the whole.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
42% The Upside (2019) Director Neil Burger, for his part, moves the story along fairly briskly, refusing to let the film's schmaltziness weigh it down. This is nothing remarkable, but it could have been a lot worse.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
79% The Day After (Geu-hu) (2018) A prodigious director of actors, [Hong Sang-soo] maintains a sense of spontaneity that renders the characters' behavior natural and relatable.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
97% The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018) This Danish potboiler is organized around a few nimbly executed plot twists, and like many similarly designed thrillers, it leaves the audience with little to think about once all the surprises have been revealed.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
91% Pop Aye (2017) The film's good cheer goes a long way.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
No Score Yet Casting (2017) The auditions are presented in thorough, painstaking detail, with lots of inside-baseball talk about the nature of acting; if you're into that sort of thing, I recommend Chantal Akerman's Les Années 80 (1983).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
100% Dede (2017) Director Mariam Khatchvani, who demonstrates a sure hand with actors and a taste for natural beauty.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2020
No Score Yet Dear Mom (Querida Mamãe) (2018) The stage origins show in all the worst ways... Still, the movie is fitfully insightful in depicting relationships between parents and children.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
No Score Yet The Best Thing! (2017) The amateurish acting can be distracting.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
84% Tom of Finland (2017) Director Dome Karukoski brings an oddly tasteful approach... But once Laaksonen achieves success and finds domestic happiness with a ballet dancer, the filmmakers don't have much to say about their subject.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 10, 2020
15% The Circle (2017) Director James Ponsoldt (who adapted the book with Eggers) barely develops any character besides Watson's, piling on narrative complications instead.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
97% Liyana (2018) Like Abbas Kiarostami's documentary ABC Africa (2001), the result is an unexpectedly joyous film about heavy subjects.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
No Score Yet Zahradnictvi: Napadnik (2017) As usual [director Jan Hřebejk and screenwriter Petr Jarchovský] are sly and knowing in their dramatization of a generation's views of love and sex.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
No Score Yet Keep Talking (2018) The emotional heart of the movie, though, lies in interviews with an adolescent Native American girl who finds empowerment in discovering the language and traditions of her ancestors.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
45% Everything, Everything (2017) Tepid melodrama.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
No Score Yet Weather House (2017) Directors Frauke Havemann and Eric Schefter create a visual style befitting Mark Johnson's minimalist script... The atmosphere feels grave even when the onscreen behavior looks silly, which is much of the time.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
No Score Yet Purge This Land (2017) As the sites accumulate, one becomes overwhelmed by how much of U.S. history is rooted in violence-this is ultimately more complex than it lets on.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
No Score Yet How They Got Over (2018) [A] lively, no-frills documentary.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
100% The Blood Is at the Doorstep (2017) [Director Erik] Ljung explores [Dontre Hamilton's] case history in moving detail.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
58% The Summit (La cordillera) (2017) The rhetoric is less compelling and the characters are less interesting.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
88% Don't Come Back from the Moon (2019) The results feel like a cross between a bad student film and an overlong Levi's commercial.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
No Score Yet Zahradnictví: Dezertér (2017) The second film of director Jan Hřebejk and screenwriter Petr Jarchovský's Garden Store trilogy (2017) is, to my mind, the best thing they've done in years.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
No Score Yet Blueprint (2017) It never overreaches... because director Daryl Wein (Lola Versus) and cowriter-star Jerod Haynes ground their social concerns in a precise character study.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2020
50% Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait (2017) A work of pure hype that feels like watching an overeager puppy lick the face of its owner.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
92% The Charmer (Charmoren) (2018) Alami's directorial style is line with the subtle yet suspenseful realism reminiscent of such contemporary Iranian filmmakers as Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman) and Majid Barzegar (Parviz, A Very Ordinary Citizen).‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
83% Cielo (2017) Even at just 78 minutes, it feels somewhat redundant and overlong. Still there are plenty of beautiful passages.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
89% A Ciambra (2018) This is a vibrant if familiar art-house drama, with rough-and-tumble camerawork, highly physical performances, and fly-on-the-wall observations that recall the films of Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
91% Maria By Callas (2018) The relative absence of gossip is refreshing in light of so many salacious documentaries about celebrities.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
76% Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez bronzer les cadavres!) (2018) A clever stylistic exercise, this French-Belgian coproduction will definitely hold your interest as it unfolds, but whether you'll remember it afterwards is another story. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
100% Good Luck (2017) The film feels less like a documentary than like a work of abstract expressionism, yet much beauty can be found in [director Ben] Russell's approach.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
No Score Yet The Red Soul (2017) [Director Jessica] Gorter suggests that Putin's strong grip on the public mind has a lot to do with Stalin's surge in popularity in the 21st century, though she makes this point with commendable subtlety.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2020
No Score Yet Tower. A Bright Day. (Wieza. Jasny dzien) (2017) A critics' darling in Poland, this debut feature by writer-director Jagoda Szelc displays an ambitious, elusive sensibility, though its most striking attributes feel recycled from other movies.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 6, 2020
100% The Wandering Soap Opera (La Telenovela Errante) (2019) The film hits on all of the director's favorite themes - paranoia, narrative intricacy, fleeting but meaningful friendships - and the surrealist humor is often riotous.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2020
90% Flesh and Blood (2017) A touching depiction of people trying their best despite overwhelming social odds.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
91% A Ghost Story (2017) The unconventional narrative structure seems more beguiling the more you think about it - this is a film designed to expand in your memory.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
95% The Flower (La flor) (2019) The film's very structure suggests a literary experiment... La Flor is an exercise in the pleasures of storytelling.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
No Score Yet IWOW: I Walk on Water (2020) IWOW was one of the less daunting things I've watched in the past week, though I don't write that to diminish Allah's remarkable accomplishment.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
No Score Yet Battle of Chile: Part 2 (La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas - segunda parte) (1977) Guzmán is a major figure that I'd neglected for too long...‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020