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
1
#879: Top 5 Movie Summers / Elvis / Lightyear
Everything you want from a great summer movie season.
73 min
2
#878: Cooper Raiff (Cha Cha Real Smooth) / Hust...
An award winner at Sundance, Raiff's sophomore effort co-stars Dakota Johnson.
112 min
3
#877: Top 5 Films of the Year So Far / Keaton M...
Consensus on 2022's best film and Keaton Awards live.
115 min
4
#876: Top 5 Movies For Graduates
Nothing bought, sold, or processed.
94 min
5
#875: Top Gun: Maverick / Steamboat Bill, Jr. (...
Permission to buzz the tower.
62 min
6
#874: Men / The General (Keaton #4)
Brainy sci-fi specialist Alex Garland gets biblical.
76 min
7
#873: Summer Movie Preview
10 questions about the summer movie season.
62 min
8
#872: Spider-Man at 20 / Doctor Strange in the ...
Maguire, Dunst, Dafoe - and that kiss! A look back at Raimi's influential Spidey movie twenty years later.
76 min
9
#871: The Northman / Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keat...
Robert Eggers' bold and bloody Viking epic.
89 min
10
#870: Top 5 Nicolas Cage Performances / Unbeara...
The best of Cage with "Age of Cage" author Keith Phipps.
114 min
11
#869: Everything Everywhere All At Once / Face/...
Michelle Yeoh in the multiverse.
84 min
12
#868: A Conversation with Kogonada (After Yang)...
How to keep mystery in your own creation, the story behind "After Yang's" thrilling title sequence, and more.
89 min
13
#867: Apollo 10 1/2 / Top 5 Linklater Scenes (2...
A space age boyhood.
88 min
14
#866: Top 5 Hitchcockian Movies / Charlie McDow...
Guilt, Blondes, and Mommy Issues. Movies inspired by the Master of Suspense.
108 min
15
#865: Oscars Special / Master / Madness Sweet 16
Who will win, who should win—and who should have been nominated.
90 min
16
#864: After Yang / Madness Rd. 2
Kogonada's followup to "Columbus" is bold, brilliant, and gently provocative.
82 min
17
#863: The Batman / Our Hospitality (Keaton #2) ...
Matt Reeves brings the goth to Gotham City.
92 min
18
#862: Buster Keaton #1–The Shorts / Filmspottin...
A quartet of Keaton two-reelers kicks off the Buster Keaton Marathon.
69 min
19
#861: Kimi / Encanto
Reviews of Soderbergh's new tech thriller and Disney's Oscar-nominated phenomenon.
75 min
20
#860: Top 5 Sondheim Screen Moments
The legendary composer/lyricist's 50 years in the movies.
108 min
21
#859: The Godfather at 50
Coppola's '72 masterpiece is perfect and here's why.
81 min
22
#858: 2022 Movie Preview
Top 5 questions about the new movie year.
84 min
23
#857: Best Scenes of 2021 / Golden Brick Award
Opening Scenes. Funniest Scenes. Moving Moments. Music Moments.
110 min
24
#856: The Matrix Resurrections / The Tragedy of...
A split on the new "Matrix" and raves for Joel Coen's Shakespeare solo effort.
85 min
25
#855: Top 10 Films of 2021 (Pt. 2)
The consensus best films of the year with Dana Stevens (Slate) and Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune).
127 min
26
#854: Top 10 Films of 2021 (Pt. 1)
The outliers.
76 min
27
#853: Best Performances of 2021 / Licorice Pizz...
Twenty great '21 movie performances and the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson and Guillermo del Toro.
93 min
28
#852: The Power of the Dog / Campion Oeuvre-vie...
The triumphant return of Jane Campion.
91 min
29
#851: West Side Story / Red Rocket
Spielberg aces his musical directing debut and the latest from Sean Baker ("The Florida Project").
77 min
30
#850: House of Gucci / tick, tick... BOOM! / Sp...
A holiday review roundup and our favorite overlooked films of the year.
76 min
31
#849: Passing / Eternals / Bright Star (Campion...
Rebecca Hall's directing debut is a showcase for stars Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson—and for a gifted new filmmaker.
85 min
32
#848: Last Night in Soho / In the Cut (Campion #6)
Edgar Wright's time-hopping nod to giallo films; Jane Campion's misunderstood erotic thriller.
71 min
33
#847: The French Dispatch / Rushmore (Sacred Co...
Wes Anderson's latest may require a second look.
110 min
34
#846: Dune / Holy Smoke (Campion #5)
Denis Villeneuve's long-awaited adaptation is massive and richly imagined; Kate Winslet stuns in Jane Campion's oddball 1999 outback drama.
71 min
35
#845: No Time To Die / Lamb / The Portrait of a...
Craig's long-delayed farewell to Bond; Campion's follow-up to the "The Piano."
96 min
36
#844: The Piano (Campion #3) / Chicago Int'l Fi...
Jane Campion's bold and brilliant Oscar-winning third feature.
91 min
37
#843: Titane / An Angel at My Table (Campion #2)
Julia Ducournau's Palme d'Or-winner is an ultra-violent provocation.
91 min
38
#842: Casino Royale at 15 / Sweetie (Campion #1)
Daniel Craig's thrilling debut as a 'blunt instrument' Bond.
84 min
39
#841: Top 5 Films of 1971 / The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Happy 50th to Wonka, Shaft, Harold and Maude, and Alex and his droogs.
94 min
40
#840: The Card Counter / Wong Kar Wai Marathon ...
Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish in the latest from Paul Schrader ("First Reformed").
88 min
41
#839: Fall Movie Preview / Shang-Chi / Candyman
10 questions about the fall movie season.
73 min
42
#838: In the Mood for Love at 20 / Nine Days / ...
Loneliness, desire and playacting in Wong Kar Wai's 2000 masterpiece.
93 min
43
#837: Annette / Respect / Happy Together (Wong ...
"Like it or not, it's a real movie." Guest critic Michael Phillips joins Josh for a review of Leos Carax's "Annette"
83 min
44
#836: The Green Knight / The Suicide Squad / Fa...
David Lowery brings his cinematic obsessions to an ancient Arthurian legend.
83 min
45
#835: Pig / Old / Chungking Express (Wong Kar W...
"Truffle pig revenge tale" is the kind of late period Nic Cage picture you've come to expect, except for one thing: it's good.
71 min
46
#834: Top 5 Beach Scenes / Days of Being Wild (...
War, romance, betrayal, escape, the realization that humans destroyed themselves in a nuclear holocaust. It all happens at the beach.
100 min
47
#833: A Clockwork Orange at 50 / Roadrunner / A...
Kubrick's divisive masterpiece still provokes a half century after its '71 debut.
105 min
48
#832: Black Widow / Summer of Soul / No Sudden ...
Natasha Romanoff finally gets her own chapter in the MCU.
106 min
49
FS Revisited: Raiders of the Lost Ark / Top 5 F...
That time Michael Phillips bad-mouthed "Raiders."
72 min
50
#831: F9 / Top 5 Fast & Furious Moments
That's a lot of quarter-miles.
96 min
51
#830: Pixar's Luca / 7 From '76 Awards / The Sp...
What Pixar's latest lacks in ambition it makes up for in modest charm.
99 min
52
#829: In The Heights / Car Wash (7 From '76)
Jon M. Chu’s ecstatic, over-the-top adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical.
108 min
53
#828: Undine / Harlan County U.S.A. (7 From '76)
The latest from Germany's Christian Petzold ("Transit") is a romance haunted by history.
78 min
54
#827: A Quiet Place Part II / Top 5 Quiet Scenes
What happens when movie characters stop talking?
94 min
55
#826: Summer Movie Preview / Shiva Baby / "The ...
Summer movies are back. We've got questions.
91 min
56
#825: The Underground Railroad / White Heat ('4...
Barry Jenkins adapts Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel for the small screen.
80 min
57
#824: Top 5 '70s Movie Moms / Wrath of Man / Ne...
Complicated moms for a complicated decade.
101 min
58
#823: Together Together / Oscars / The Lady Fro...
Ed Helms and Patti Harrison make an unlikely connection in the new comedy from Nikole Beckwith.
75 min
59
#822: Oscars Special with Michael Phillips
Who will win, who should win—and the Academy's unfortunate omissions.
112 min
60
#821: Rocky (7 From '76) / Detour ('40s Noir #4...
Stallone's beloved underdog story is impossible to resist. Except when it's not.
91 min
61
#820: Godzilla ('54) vs. Kong ('33)
Which classic monster movie reigns supreme?
82 min
62
#819: Oscars Homework (Pieces of a Woman / U.S....
Catching up with Best Actress nominees Andra Day and Vanessa Kirby.
76 min
63
#818: Network (7 From '76) / Oscar Nominations ...
45 years later, our screens may have changed, but Sidney Lumet’s Oscar-winning media satire still stings.
110 min
64
#817: Top 5 Movie Meals / WandaVision / The Tru...
Prawns, Sushi, Alligator and Ramen are on the menu. And bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.
94 min
65
#816: Taxi Driver (7 From '76) / This Gun for H...
Scorsese's grimy urban masterpiece turns 45—and is timely as ever.
100 min
66
#815: Top 5 Anthony Hopkins Performances / The ...
Some actors would have been forever defined by a role like Hannibal Lecter. Not Hopkins.
101 min
67
#814: The Silence of the Lambs (30th Ann.) / Ma...
Three decades after its historic sweep of the Oscars' top prizes, Jonathan Demme's film remains the gold standard for prestige pulp.
81 min
68
#813: Judas and the Black Messiah / The Letter ...
Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are electric in the new biopic about slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.
79 min
69
#812: All The President's Men (7 From '76) / Ma...
Alan J. Pakula's Best Picture nominee remains a thrilling marriage of craft and ensemble acting.
85 min
70
#811: 2021 Movie Preview
We have so many questions about the new movie year.
81 min
71
#810: Best Scenes of 2020 / Golden Brick Award
The movie moments that made us laugh, cry, dance and sing.
98 min
72
#809: News of the World / Wonder Woman 1984
The new Tom Hanks western from Paul Greengrass is both a throwback—and unusually timely.
59 min
73
#808: (Pt. 2) Top 10 Films of 2020
In a year that was mostly cancelled, auteurs delivered.
143 min
74
#807: (Pt. 1) Top 10 Films of 2020
Movies to remember in a year to forget.
96 min
75
#806: Best Performances (and More) of 2020
Adam and Josh talk through their ballots for the 2020 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.
104 min
76
#805: Top 5 Frances McDormand Performances / No...
Biting, funny, ferocious, there is no one like Frances McDormand.
82 min
77
#804: Mank / Ma Rainey's Black Bottom / Sound o...
Thrilling star turns from Oldman in Fincher's latest—and from Boseman and Davis in "Ma Rainey."
77 min
78
#803: 2020 Golden Brick Nominees / The Nest
Eleven titles from emerging directors who are vying for this year's Golden Brick Award.
95 min
79
#802: Stranger Than Paradise (8 From '84) / Wol...
The best performances, scenes, and surprises from the great movie year 1984—and Jim Jarmusch's '84 indie hit.
98 min
80
#801: Dune (8 From '84) / Twin Peaks Pilot (30t...
What remains of David Lynch in the director's '84 attempt to adapt the Frank Herbert sci-fi classic?
82 min
81
From Chicago, this is Filmspotting.
1 min
82
#800: Fall Movie Preview / Daughters of the Dus...
10 questions about what remains of the 2020 movie year.
114 min
83
#799: Top 5 High-Concept Horror / Bad Hair / Th...
You know it's high-concept when you can fit the plot right into the title.
86 min
84
#798: On the Rocks / Borat 2 / Seven Beauties (...
The latest from Sofia Coppola plays like a spiritual sequel to "Lost in Translation."
78 min
85
#797: American Utopia / Trial of the Chicago 7 ...
David Byrne's ecstatic new concert film, the latest from Aaron Sorkin—and what to see at this year's CIFF.
89 min
86
#796: Top 5 Mozart Moments in Movies / Amadeus ...
Miloš Forman's Best Picture-winning biopic inspires a consideration of Mozart at the movies.
106 min
87
#795: Dick Johnson Is Dead / Wanda (Overlooked ...
Director Kirsten Johnson's inventive send-off to her aging father is "a miracle of a film."
71 min
88
#794: Top 5 Landscapes as Characters w/Gregory ...
The esteemed art photographer joins Adam and Josh for a conversation about the movies that bring landscapes to vivid life.
115 min
89
#793: The Nest / Antebellum / Jeanne Dielman (O...
Director Sean Durkin returns with his first film since "Martha Marcy May Marlene"—and Chantal Akerman's '75 masterpiece.
97 min
90
#792: Top 5 Ennio Morricone Scores / Once Upon ...
The man who invented the sound of the spaghetti western.
116 min
91
#791: Tenet / I'm Thinking of Ending Things / F...
Got new Nolan. Got new Kaufman. Need new brain.
91 min
92
#790: Personal History of David Copperfield / D...
More evidence that Dev Patel needs to be a huge star—and Vera Chytilová's Czech New Wave classic.
64 min
93
#789: Barbara Kopple / Ida Lupino + Maya Deren ...
The two-time Oscar-winning director is back with the new doc "Desert One."
88 min
94
#788: She Dies Tomorrow / Boys State
Plus thoughts on Kris Rey's "I Used To Go Here" and Beyoncé's "Black Is King."
77 min
95
#787: Dunkirk (Nolan #8) / Nolan Awards
Reconsidering the 2017 Best Picture nominee—and Nolan, ranked.
94 min
96
#786: Kelly Reichardt / First Cow
The director of "Meek's Cutoff" and "Wendy and Lucy" talks about casting John "Cookie" Magaro and the influence of Satyajit Ray.
63 min
97
#785: Interstellar (Nolan #7) / Palm Springs / ...
Love in the time of quantum physics—in Nolan's sci-fi epic and in the new Andy Samberg comedy.
81 min
98
#784: Hamilton / The Old Guard / The Cotton Clu...
The Broadway phenomenon comes to the small screen.
81 min
99
#783: Top 5 Films of 2020 (So Far) / Inception ...
The best of an unusual year (so far) at the movies—and a split take on Christopher Nolan's 2010 mind-bender.
123 min
100
#782: Jaws (45th Anniversary) / Power Ranking S...
The technical brilliance - and bracing relevance - of Spielberg's early masterpiece.
102 min