Filmspotting: Reviews & Top 5s

“...affable, insightful film analysis since 2005."–NY Times / New + classic reviews and top 5s. Also on WBEZ Chicago.

TV & Film
Film Reviews
Film History
101
#755: Little Women / Knives Out / A Beautiful D...
Greta Gerwig's vital and inspired adaptation of the Alcott classic.
79 min
102
#754: 2019 Golden Brick Nominees
Which overlooked films will compete for our 2019 award?
78 min
103
#753: Marriage Story / Top 5 Movies About Marriage
Spoiler: Divorce Story.
92 min
104
#752: Magnolia at 20 / Jojo Rabbit / The Report...
Frogs in the forecast.
98 min
105
#751: The Irishman / Contemporary Chinese #4 - ...
Scorsese's new gangster epic is a reflective and elegiac masterpiece.
79 min
106
#750: The Lighthouse / Contemporary Chinese #3 ...
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe lose their minds in the latest from Robert Eggers.
79 min
107
#749: Parasite / Pain and Glory / Contemporary ...
Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or-winner lives up to the hype.
77 min
108
#748: American Beauty at 20 / Contemporary Chin...
Will anyone come to the defense of 2000's Best Picture winner?
95 min
109
#747: Joker / Chicago International Film Festiv...
A split take on the year's most divisive film.
66 min
110
#746: Ad Astra / Top 5 Steppenwolf Member Movie...
"Ad Astra" is best film of the year, the most visually arresting talk therapy session, or both.
90 min
111
#745: Top 5 Judy Garland Moments / Hustlers
Come on Get Happy, it's a Garland extravaganza.
109 min
112
#744: Eyes Wide Shut at 20 / Top 5 Kubrick Scenes
Revisiting Kubrick's kinky, controversial masterpiece on its 20th anniversary.
96 min
113
#743: IT Chapter Two / Fall Movie Preview
Set 27 years later, has the IT sequel grown up enough to be more than just a gross-out carnival ride?
84 min
114
#742: Being John Malkovich at 20 / Dietrich-Von...
Welcome to the 7 1/2 floor of the Mertin-Flemmer building.
106 min
115
#741: Where'd You Go, Bernadette / Dietrich-Von...
Queen Marlene, and Richard Linklater brings his trademark emotional complexity to the adaptation of a bestselling comic novel.
85 min
116
#740: The Nightingale / Dietrich-Von Sternberg ...
Jennifer Kent's follow up to "The Babadook" isn't quite horror, but it is horrific.
81 min
117
#739: The Blair Witch Project at 20 / Dietrich-...
Two decades later, is the seminal found footage horror movie a genre classic or a dated relic?
100 min
118
#738: Hobbs & Shaw / Top 5 Fast & Furious Moments
Good chemistry, great action and new collaborators help to elevate the new Fast & Furious spin-off.
90 min
119
#737: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Top 10 Ta...
Why am I Mr. Pink?
111 min
120
Interview: Riley Stearns ("The Art of Self-Defe...
Adam's conversation with the writer/director of the new dark comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg.
28 min
121
#736: Midsommar / Top 5 Horror Movie Performances
Sweden is lovely this time of year.
111 min
122
FS Revisited: Top 5 Classic Rock Moments in Movies
Cue up "Sunshine of Your Love," Morrie the wig salesman just walked in.
63 min
123
FS Revisited: Pulp Fiction / Top 5 of 1994
In honor of Pulp's 25th anniversary, a revisit of our 2012 Sacred Cow review.
58 min
124
#735: Top 5 Films of 2019 So Far
From space prisoners to underground doppelgangers, the best films of 2019 demand careful scrutiny.
94 min
125
#734: Toy Story 4 / Top 5 Toy Story Scenes w/Gr...
Blank Check's Griffin Newman joins Adam in the Filmspotting playroom for the best play date ever.
132 min
126
#733: The Dead Don't Die / Last Black Man in Sa...
The living dead(pan). Plus, Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails interview.
91 min
127
#732: Fight Club at 20 / Top 5 David Fincher Sc...
I am Jack's bro-tastic id.
111 min
128
#731: Booksmart / Top 5 Female Friendships
The winning friendship at the center of the new teen comedy inspires a rich Top 5 topic.
84 min
129
#730: Alien at 40 / Top 5 Films of 1979
Happy birthday, John Hurt's exploding chest.
118 min
130
#729: Top 5 Keanu Moments / John Wick 3
The Tao of Whoa.
92 min
131
#728: Chicago Critics Film Festival / Donen #4...
May's week-long CCFF doubles as a shortlist for potential Golden Brick candidates.
97 min
132
#727: Summer Movie Preview / Donen #3 - Charade
Spidey & Wick & Hobbs & Shaw. And Pikachu.
84 min
133
#726: Avengers: Endgame / Beyoncé's Homecoming ...
Can the MCU mothership stick the landing? (Non-spoiler and spoiler talk.)
98 min
134
#725: Her Smell / Donen #1 - On the Town
Elisabeth Moss smells like teen spirit in one of the year's best.
81 min
135
#724: Claire Denis / High Life / Madness Champ
Claire Denis loves your least favorite Wes Anderson movie.
79 min
136
#723: Top 5 Overlooked Films of the 2000s / Mad...
Maybe you missed Jack Black's Mexican wrestling movie?
118 min
137
#722: Dumbo / Final 4 Madness / Top 5 Movie Cir...
Big Top Tim Burton remakes the Disney classic.
84 min
138
#721: Us / Elite 8 Madness / Cassavetes #4 - Op...
Jordan Peele is not done scaring us.
117 min
139
#720: Transit / Sweet 16 Madness / Cassavetes #3
The director of 2014's "Phoenix" returns with a boldly enigmatic thriller.
97 min
140
#719: Captain Marvel / Rd. 2 Madness (Best of t...
Marvel's first female-led feature is also one its best.
90 min
141
#718: Filmspotting Madness (Best of the 2000s) ...
64 great films. Only one survives. Welcome to the Madness.
110 min
142
#717: Top 5 Movies About Suburbia (w/Jessica Ha...
Worse than a coven of witches? The 'Burbs.
89 min
143
#716: The Matrix / Top 5 Slow-Motion Scenes (Si...
Taking the red pill 20 years later.
101 min
144
#715: The Lego Movie 2 / Velvet Buzzsaw / Miss ...
Jokes and gender politics in the new Lego sequel.
69 min
145
#714: Glass / The Sixth Sense
That thing where your superpower is seeing dead people.
87 min
146
#713: 2019 Movie Preview / Oscar Nominations
The new movie year is all promise and possibility.
81 min
147
#712: Scenes of the Year - 2018 Wrap Party
The laughs, the tears, the rhapsodies and the shallows that made 2018 such a memorable movie year.
112 min
148
Best of 2018: Ethan Hawke / Bo Burnham
Two of our favorite 2018 conversations.
59 min
149
#711: (Pt. 2) Top 10 Films of 2018
You can't have consensus without a little misguided dissent.
88 min
150
#710: (Pt. 1) Top 10 Films of 2018
Indie horror, broad comedy and, yes, Marvel, all among the "outlier" picks in part one.
97 min
151
#709: If Beale Street Could Talk / Into the Spi...
Barry Jenkins' follow-up to "Moonlight" has the lush romanticism of "In the Mood for Love."
78 min
152
#708: Roma / The Favourite
Seeing the Fellini in Cuarón and the Kubrick in Lanthimos.
63 min
153
#707: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs / Creed II /...
The 15th best film the Coens have ever made. Or maybe the 12th best. Possibly higher.
73 min
154
#706: Q&A - Minding the Gap / Golden Brick Preview
2018's best skateboard movie. And maybe best movie period.
58 min
155
#705: Widows / Bohemian Rhapsody / Wildlife
Queen Viola. Queen Carey. And... Queen.
80 min
156
#704: Suspiria / Top 5 Uses of Color
Luca Guadagnino's remake of the Dario Argento cult horror classic, plus the most striking uses of color in movies.
90 min
157
#703: New On Netflix (Hold The Dark, Private Life)
New films from Jeremy Saulnier ("Blue Ruin" "Green Room"), Tamara Jenkins ("The Savages") and more.
86 min
158
#702: Halloween ('78) / Halloween ('18)
A Sacred Cow review of the John Carpenter classic and thoughts on the new Carpenter-approved sequel directed by David Gordon Green.
67 min
159
#701: First Man / Top 5 Movie Flights
"La La Land" director Damien Chazelle brings down the volume for his Neil Armstrong biopic.
99 min
160
#700: A Star Is Born / Top 5 Movie Duets
Bradley Cooper dives into the deep end for his debut directing gig.
152 min
161
#699: Lost In Translation 15th Anniversary / Th...
Sofia Coppola's 2003 film gets the Sacred Cow treatment, plus Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly in Jacques Audiard's English-language debut.
83 min
162
#698: Lawrence of Arabia / Top 5 David Lean Mom...
Lean's 1963 Best Picture-winner is a complicated take on hero worship and a thrilling showcase of the director's bold filmmaking.
88 min
163
#697: The Predator / Burt Reynolds Tribute (Del...
Long reduced to a couple of infamous scenes, "Deliverance" is also a prescient ecological nightmare - and it made a star of the late Burt Reynolds.
79 min
164
#696: Ethan Hawke Interview / Top 5 Hawke Moments
Ethan Hawke's advice for raising daughters - and some movie talk, too. Plus, a look at the prolific actor's best screen moments.
125 min
165
#695: Minding the Gap / Madeline's Madeline / A...
Thoughts on two highly-acclaimed new indies, plus "John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection" and "Night Comes On."
97 min
166
#694: Crazy Rich Asians / Top 5 Things We've Le...
Representation and "Crazy Rich Asians," plus /Filmcast host Dave Chen joins for takeaways from a decade-plus talking about movies
109 min
167
#693: BlacKkKlansman / Top 5 Spike Lee Shots
Spike Lee is in top form with his latest, offering a chance to consider some favorite moments in the director's thirty-year career.
105 min
168
#692: The Dark Knight 10th Anniv. / HBO's Sharp...
A debate about Christopher Nolan's landmark film and its status as the best superhero movie ever.
105 min
169
#691: Mission: Impossible - Fallout / Top 5 Tom...
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: listen to our "M:I - Fallout" review.
92 min
170
#690: Top 5 Films of 2018 (So Far)
Death, disillusionment, despair. Thank goodness for Rachel McAdams.
68 min
171
#689: Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade) / Top 5 Struggl...
The stand-up comic and first time director talks with Adam about his acclaimed new coming-of-age movie.
123 min
172
#688: Sorry to Bother You / Top 5 Worst Movie J...
From circus freaks to dancing footballs, this week's Top 5 is an eclectic mix of lousy ways to make a living.
119 min
173
FS Revisited: The Terminator / Top 5 Films of 1...
A classic Filmspotting Fight, with Adam and Josh doing battle over James Cameron's seminal sci-fi thriller.
73 min
174
#687: Top 5 Women in Westerns / Damsel
Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska star in the oddball new western from the Zellner Brothers ("Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter").
80 min
175
#686: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom / Top 5 Mo...
Power Ranking the Chrises: Evans, Hemsworth, Pine and Pratt.
79 min
176
#685: Incredibles 2 / Top 5 Pixar Performances ...
3 out of every 5 Pixar characters have made you cry. In our Top 5 anyway.
90 min
177
#684: Top 5 Classic Rock Moments in Movies
Is it possible to listen to "Sister Christian" and not think of "Boogie Nights" and a coked-up Alfred Molina?
65 min
178
#683: Almost Famous / Steven Hyden
Golden God or mediocrity? A Sacred Cow review of Cameron Crowe's ode to '70s rock.
100 min
179
#682: Solo: A Star Wars Story / Paul Schrader /...
Is a Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs and Han and Chewy's meet-cute enough to make a movie?
108 min
180
#681: Lord of the Rings 15th Anniversary / Top ...
Reconsidering Peter Jackson's landmark trilogy a decade and a half after "The Return of the King."
102 min
181
#680: Tully / Top 5 Too-Real Parenting Moments
Another strong Diablo Cody/Jason Reitman collaboration inspires an introspective Top 5.
106 min
182
#679: Summer Movie Preview / You Were Never Rea...
A pimp, the Pope and a PBS legend are all subjects of questions Adam and Josh have about the 2018 summer movie season.
90 min
183
#678: Avengers: Infinity War / Top 5: Filmspott...
For the better - and the worse - "Infinity War" offers more of the same.
73 min
184
#677: Lean on Pete / Top 5 Horse Scenes
"45 Years" director Andrew Haigh is back with another acutely observed character drama.
109 min
185
Minnelli Marathon Awards - The Garlands
Live from Jim Henry's Paradise, it's the Best of the Minnelli Marathon Awards.
51 min
186
#676: A Quiet Place / Top 5 Quiet Scenes / FS M...
The new Emily Blunt-John Krasinski horror movie inspires a Top 5 featuring memorable scenes from Kubrick, Hitchcock, Coppola and Spielberg.
96 min
187
Minnelli Marathon #6 - Some Came Running
Michael Phillips joins Adam for "one of the great adaptations of a truly lousy book."
42 min
188
#675: Ready Player One / Top 5 Movie Homages / ...
Tarantino, Spike Lee and Pixar all make appearances on this week's Top 5. Plus, Spielberg's fun, flawed new creation.
115 min
189
Minnelli Marathon #5 - Lust for Life
Everything about Vincente Minnelli's Van Gogh biopic is as bold and striking as one of the artist's paintings. And it mostly works.
31 min
190
#674: Isle of Dogs / Top 5 Wes Anderson Scenes ...
Stunningly animated and expertly voiced, Wes Anderson's latest is his most political - and the film of the year (so far).
95 min
191
#673: Unsane / FS Madness Elite 8
"The Crown's" Claire Foy loses her mind in Steven Soderbergh's new psych ward thriller.
56 min
192
Minnelli Marathon #4 - The Band Wagon
Minnelli's '53 musical with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse is one of guest Michael Phillips' favorites. Will Adam and Josh make it "Triplets"?
49 min
193
#672: Miller's Crossing / FS Madness Sweet 16
After getting bounced from the Best of the '90s Filmspotting Madness tourney, the Coen Brothers' third feature gets the Sacred Cow treatment.
82 min
194
Minnelli Marathon #3 - The Bad and the Beautiful
Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner are brilliant in Minnelli's cynical Hollywood melodrama.
39 min
195
#671: A Wrinkle in Time / Filmspotting Madness ...
Ava DuVernay's adaptation of the sci-fi/fantasy classic is as trippy and apocalyptic as "Annihilation." But, you know, for kids.
78 min
196
Minnelli Marathon #2 - Meet Me in St. Louis
Minnelli's beloved, Judy Garland-starring sophomore effort fails to fully charm at least one Filmspotting host.
29 min
197
#670: Annihilation / FS Madness (Best of the '90s)
Adam and Josh work through Alex Garland's latest mind-bender and kick off the show's 4th annual March Madness-style tourney.
137 min
198
Minnelli Marathon #1 - Cabin in the Sky
Incredible turns from Eddie Anderson, Ethel Waters and Lena Horne help Vincente Minnelli's feature debut overcome its racial characterizations.
40 min
199
#669: Titanic / Top 5 Overlooked '90s Movies
Adam and Josh split on their revisit of the James Cameron disaster epic and recommend some overlooked '90s movies from Campion, Lee, Sayles and more.
101 min
200
#668: Black Panther / Top 5 Superhero-Director ...
"Black Panther" praised, plus superhero projects for Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, Ana Lily Amirpour and more.
116 min