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Film Review: ‘Hostiles’ with Christian Bale is a Big Bad Bore

CHICAGO – “Hostiles” is an exercise in prestige western boredom. It’s competently made, but its as lifeless as a scalped corpse on the prairie. It’s long on pretty western locales and impressive facial hair, but short on story, characters, or much of anything else to help keep your eyelids from closing.

Film Review: The Catholic Priest on the Road to ‘Calvary’


CHICAGO – The title of the film, “Calvary,” should have resonance to any guilty Catholic out there, and yet the loaded word can’t deliver the truth that the film seeks. Brendan Gleeson gives an astonishing performance as a conflicted priest, but the material he has to work with is not up to his portrayal.

6 Reasons You Can’t Miss the 2014 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – The Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) is a match made in Chicago heaven for those who treasure film 365 days a year. The Music Box Theater famously claims to be a year-round festival. By no coincidence, many of these Chicago critic guest hosts are such rampant moviegoers it’s like they’re trapped in their own perennial festival.

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of Sundance 2014

The instant-response nature of our media has forced a bizarre question on nearly every minute of the Sundance Film Festival — “Is it a GOOD year?” Journalists and festival goers talk in hushed tones about the first time they saw beloved Sundance films like “Clerks,” “Bottle Rocket,” “Winter’s Bone,” or “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and wonder if there’s anything this year to compare. Personally, I had a spectacular year.

2014 Sundance Diary, Day 5: Memorable Characters Descend on Park City

Exhaustion is settling in but the movies have been consistently good to great. Four movies in a row that variably thrilled or entertained me but definitely left with strong impressions of unforgettable characters. And one of them may be a masterpiece.

Film Feature: 10 Movies to Watch For From Sundance 2014

The Sundance Film Festival kicks off this Thursday night, January 16, 2014 and history tells us that one of your favorite films will premiere there. Last year, we covered the Sundance premieres of “Before Midnight,” “Upstream Color,” “The Way Way Back,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “We Are What We Are,” and many more. And Chicago Critics Film Festival hits “Stories We Tell,” “The Spectacular Now,” and “The Kings of Summer” premiered in Park City in 2013.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


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