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
#778: Top 5 Trip Series Scenes / Trip to Greece
"Gentlemen, to bed!"
93 min
2
#777: The Dark Knight Trilogy (Nolan #4)
15 years after "Batman Begins," a reconsideration of Nolan's bleak, politically charged - and hugely successful - trilogy.
94 min
3
#776: Ghostbusters v Gremlins (8 From '84) / Be...
The battle of the '84 blockbusters and Davis in her biggest box office hit.
109 min
4
#775: Top 5 Moviegoing Experiences
Looking back at a lifetime of going to the movies.
88 min
5
#774: Nolan #3 - Insomnia / Blow the Man Down /...
Nolan's Alaska-set follow up to "Memento" and some promising new releases available online.
82 min
6
#773: Top 5 Things We're Streaming During Quara...
Classic sitcoms, vicarious travel and Miyazaki just some of the things helping us survive the shutdown.
93 min
7
#772: Never Rarely Sometimes Always / Nolan #2 ...
Eliza Hittman's 2020 Sundance hit—and Nolan's mind-bending breakout.
109 min
8
#771: Nolan #1 - Following / Bette Davis #2 - J...
Christopher Nolan's time-shifting debut and Davis at her best in William Wyler's fascinating 1938 drama.
93 min
9
#770: Purple Rain - Spinal Tap - Stop Making Se...
Two of the greatest rock movies of all time—and "Purple Rain."
74 min
10
#769: 1930s Starter Pack / Bette Davis #1 - Of ...
From King Kong to Fred and Ginger, 10 films you need to see from the '30s.
88 min
11
The Process: Guillaume Rocheron (1917)
Adam's conversation with "1917's" Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor.
19 min
12
#768: First Cow / Onward / Madness Sweet 16
Kelly Reichardt's latest is the film of the year so far. It will also make you hungry.
80 min
13
#767: Top 20 Films of the 2010s (Pt. 2) / Invis...
PTA. Wes. Malick. The Coens. Of course they made the cut. But who else?
117 min
14
#766: Top 20 Films of the 2010s (Pt. 1) / Madne...
The films that defined our decade.
112 min
15
#765: Top 10 Performers of the 2010s
The actors and actresses who defined the decade.
115 min
16
#764: Live in Chicago / Oscars / Birds of Prey ...
Celebrating 15 years of Filmspotting with Howard Hawks' "Rio Bravo."
132 min
17
#763: Top 5 Jeff Bridges Scenes / Starman (8 Fr...
He's The Dude. His Dudeness. Duder. Or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
112 min
18
#762: 2020 Oscars Special with Michael Phillips
Who will win, who should win – and the Academy's unfortunate omissions.
114 min
19
#761: 2020 Movie Preview
Looking ahead to Nolan's "Tenet," Villeneuve's "Dune," and whatever Elisabeth Moss is up to.
66 min
20
#760: Best Scenes of 2019 / Oscar Nominations /...
The funniest scenes. The most moving moments. The best needle drops. 
103 min
21
#759: (Pt. 2) Top 10 Films of 2019
The #1 films of the year – and some bickering about Tarantino.
132 min
22
#758: (Pt. 1) Top 10 Films of 2019
Bad bets, bad behavior and a couple of bad trips to space among the "outliers" in part one of the best of the year countdown.
137 min
23
#757: The Rise of Skywalker / Safdie Brothers (...
J.J. Abrams is back in the cockpit for a Star Wars finale four decades in the making.
80 min
24
#756: The Phantom Menace at 20 / 9 From '99 Awards
Defending Episode I.
91 min
25
#755: Little Women / Knives Out / A Beautiful D...
Greta Gerwig's vital and inspired adaptation of the Alcott classic.
79 min
26
#754: 2019 Golden Brick Nominees
Which overlooked films will compete for our 2019 award?
78 min
27
#753: Marriage Story / Top 5 Movies About Marriage
Spoiler: Divorce Story.
92 min
28
#752: Magnolia at 20 / Jojo Rabbit / The Report...
Frogs in the forecast.
98 min
29
#751: The Irishman / Contemporary Chinese #4 - ...
Scorsese's new gangster epic is a reflective and elegiac masterpiece.
79 min
30
#750: The Lighthouse / Contemporary Chinese #3 ...
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe lose their minds in the latest from Robert Eggers.
79 min
31
#749: Parasite / Pain and Glory / Contemporary ...
Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or-winner lives up to the hype.
77 min
32
#748: American Beauty at 20 / Contemporary Chin...
Will anyone come to the defense of 2000's Best Picture winner?
95 min
33
#747: Joker / Chicago International Film Festiv...
A split take on the year's most divisive film.
66 min
34
#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
35
#745: Top 5 Judy Garland Moments / Hustlers
Come on Get Happy, it's a Garland extravaganza.
109 min
36
#744: Eyes Wide Shut at 20 / Top 5 Kubrick Scenes
Revisiting Kubrick's kinky, controversial masterpiece on its 20th anniversary.
96 min
37
#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
38
#742: Being John Malkovich at 20 / Dietrich-Von...
Welcome to the 7 1/2 floor of the Mertin-Flemmer building.
106 min
39
#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
40
#740: The Nightingale / Dietrich-Von Sternberg ...
Jennifer Kent's follow up to "The Babadook" isn't quite horror, but it is horrific.
81 min
41
#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
42
#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
43
#737: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Top 10 Ta...
Why am I Mr. Pink?
111 min
44
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
45
#736: Midsommar / Top 5 Horror Movie Performances
Sweden is lovely this time of year.
111 min
46
FS Revisited: Top 5 Classic Rock Moments in Movies
Cue up "Sunshine of Your Love," Morrie the wig salesman just walked in.
63 min
47
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
48
#735: Top 5 Films of 2019 So Far
From space prisoners to underground doppelgangers, the best films of 2019 demand careful scrutiny.
94 min
49
#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
50
#733: The Dead Don't Die / Last Black Man in Sa...
The living dead(pan). Plus, Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails interview.
91 min
51
#732: Fight Club at 20 / Top 5 David Fincher Sc...
I am Jack's bro-tastic id.
111 min
52
#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
53
#730: Top 5 Films of 1979 / Alien
John Hurt's exploding chest turns 40.
118 min
54
#729: Top 5 Keanu Moments / John Wick 3
The Tao of Whoa.
92 min
55
#728: Chicago Critics Film Festival / Donen #4...
May's week-long CCFF doubles as a shortlist for potential Golden Brick candidates.
97 min
56
#727: Summer Movie Preview / Donen #3 - Charade
Spidey & Wick & Hobbs & Shaw. And Pikachu.
84 min
57
#726: Avengers: Endgame / Beyoncé's Homecoming ...
Can the MCU mothership stick the landing? (Non-spoiler and spoiler talk.)
98 min
58
#725: Her Smell / Donen #1 - On the Town
Elisabeth Moss smells like teen spirit in one of the year's best.
81 min
59
#724: Claire Denis / High Life / Madness Champ
Claire Denis loves your least favorite Wes Anderson movie.
79 min
60
#723: Top 5 Overlooked Films of the 2000s / Mad...
Maybe you missed Jack Black's Mexican wrestling movie?
118 min
61
#722: Dumbo / Final 4 Madness / Top 5 Movie Cir...
Big Top Tim Burton remakes the Disney classic.
84 min
62
#721: Us / Elite 8 Madness / Cassavetes #4 - Op...
Jordan Peele is not done scaring us.
117 min
63
#720: Transit / Sweet 16 Madness / Cassavetes #3
The director of 2014's "Phoenix" returns with a boldly enigmatic thriller.
97 min
64
#719: Captain Marvel / Rd. 2 Madness (Best of t...
Marvel's first female-led feature is also one its best.
90 min
65
#718: Filmspotting Madness (Best of the 2000s) ...
64 great films. Only one survives. Welcome to the Madness.
110 min
66
#717: Top 5 Movies About Suburbia (w/Jessica Ha...
Worse than a coven of witches? The 'Burbs.
89 min
67
#716: The Matrix / Top 5 Slow-Motion Scenes (Si...
Taking the red pill 20 years later.
101 min
68
#715: The Lego Movie 2 / Velvet Buzzsaw / Miss ...
Jokes and gender politics in the new Lego sequel.
69 min
69
#714: Glass / The Sixth Sense
That thing where your superpower is seeing dead people.
87 min
70
#713: 2019 Movie Preview / Oscar Nominations
The new movie year is all promise and possibility.
81 min
71
#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
72
Best of 2018: Ethan Hawke / Bo Burnham
Two of our favorite 2018 conversations.
59 min
73
#711: (Pt. 2) Top 10 Films of 2018
You can't have consensus without a little misguided dissent.
88 min
74
#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
75
#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
76
#708: Roma / The Favourite
Seeing the Fellini in Cuarón and the Kubrick in Lanthimos.
63 min
77
#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
78
#706: Q&A - Minding the Gap / Golden Brick Preview
2018's best skateboard movie. And maybe best movie period.
58 min
79
#705: Widows / Bohemian Rhapsody / Wildlife
Queen Viola. Queen Carey. And... Queen.
80 min
80
#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
81
#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
82
#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
83
#701: First Man / Top 5 Movie Flights
"La La Land" director Damien Chazelle brings down the volume for his Neil Armstrong biopic.
99 min
84
#700: A Star Is Born / Top 5 Movie Duets
Bradley Cooper dives into the deep end for his debut directing gig.
152 min
85
#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
86
#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
87
#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
88
#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
89
#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
90
#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
91
#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
92
#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
93
#691: Mission: Impossible - Fallout / Top 5 Tom...
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: listen to our "M:I - Fallout" review.
92 min
94
#690: Top 5 Films of 2018 (So Far)
Death, disillusionment, despair. Thank goodness for Rachel McAdams.
68 min
95
#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
96
#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
97
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
98
#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
99
#686: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom / Top 5 Mo...
Power Ranking the Chrises: Evans, Hemsworth, Pine and Pratt.
79 min
100
#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