Leah Pickett

Leah Pickett
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
100% Charm City (2018) Filmmaker Marilyn Ness gains extraordinary access to her subjects and apparently their trust.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
82% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Dafoe fully commits to his performance, as does Schnabel to the painter's vision and humanity. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 25, 2018
38% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) The Crimes of Grindelwald feels hollow and disconnected, like it could have been made by anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Rowling's wizarding world.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
81% Boy Erased (2018) Kidman delivers a delicate and nuanced performance as usual, while Edgerton's take on the manipulative head therapist is disturbingly accurate.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
88% Love, Gilda (2018) It's Radner's voice-especially when describing her struggles with food, fame, and men-that shines brightest. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
37% Hunter Killer (2018) The film is largely uncontroversial, save for a climax that could double as an advertisement for the Navy and America itself.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
76% Black '47 (2018) The movie sits in a murky place between appropriately weary historical drama and a more nimble action-Western hybrid, spurred by an outlaw's revenge‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
98% Science Fair (2018) The milieu is intense, the stakes are high, and the science prodigies themselves are fascinating. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
4/4 97% I Am Not a Witch (2018) Nyoni presents one dazzling set piece after another.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
76% M.F.A. (2017) Francesca Eastwood takes after her father, Clint: she's magnetic and convincing as a vigilante, despite her character's implausibly quick switch from wallflower to assassin‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
65% Bitch (2017) The father is unsympathetic, the kids are uninteresting, and the sister-in-law is unnecessary, so the mother's absence from her own story becomes glaring. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
No Score Yet Ice Mother (2017) Director Bohdan Sláma refuses to infantilize or condescend to his elderly characters.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
90% The Wound (Inxeba) (2017) A stunning debut from South African filmmaker John Trengove, ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
96% Ava (2018) Foroughi's visual storytelling is impressive.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
46% Porto (2017) The actors lack chemistry; their romantic connection feels like lust amplified by loneliness.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
90% Tokyo Idols (2017) With this fascinating and troubling documentary, Kyoko Miyake investigates the Japanese phenomenon of very young female pop singers, known as idols, who cater to a passionate fan base of grown men.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
100% Mr. Roosevelt (2017) Wells limns an authentic portrait of a rapidly gentrifying city, down to the thirtysomething cohorts of loafers and tech yuppies who vie for the same turf.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
55% Bobbi Jene (2017) The access Smith grants Lind is remarkable.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
58% The Strange Ones (2018) This unnerving and frustratingly opaque drama focuses on a teenage boy who distrusts his own memories and present reality. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
89% Ginger Snaps (2001) The sharp feminist narrative makes up for the admirable but underwhelming werewolf makeup and other practical effects.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
95% Félicité (2017) The meandering narrative has a lyrical quality consistent with the many musical numbers.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
88% The Desert Bride (La Novia del Desierto) (2018) In this low-key Argentine drama, a live-in maid from Chile (the spellbinding Paulina García) faces a new chapter in life.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
97% Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2017) López's fable has already drawn comparisons to Pan's Labyrinth, but has a phantasmagoric energy and modern urgency all its own.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
No Score Yet Another Story of the World (Otra historia del mundo) (2017) The question of who controls the historical, and thus political, narrative is one that Latin Americans have been grappling with for decades; for Americans, this comedy may have a new relevance.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
95% Who We Are Now (2018) Though similar in plot to the 2006 indie Sherrybaby, this Brooklyn-set drama owes more in tone and style to the searing character studies of John Cassavetes. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
78% The Last Suit (El último traje) (2018) Argentine actor Miguel Ángel Solá is convincing as the haunted protagonist.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
No Score Yet The Train of Salt and Sugar (Comboio de Sal e Açucar) (2016) The most effective scenes involve the main characters, a young nurse and a conscience-stricken lieutenant, calling out the hypocrisy inherent in the more brutish soldiers' actions.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
No Score Yet Aim for the Roses (2016) Bolton's confluence of highbrow and lowbrow elements is inelegant at times, but also the basis of this film's untidy appeal.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
41% Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti (2018) Deluc and his three cowriters acknowledge the postcolonial thorniness of the situation, yet they fail to explore it.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
85% The Gospel According to André (2018) Novack follows Talley's lead, but at a polite distance.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
100% Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) (2018) Refreshingly, Simón's take on the "summer that changed everything" movie is delicate and unsentimental, earning an emotional response simply by exploring how a child interprets loss from the child's perspective and at the child's pace.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
100% On the Seventh Day (En el Séptimo Día) (2018) A winning slice-of-life drama‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
86% 3100: Run and Become (2018) Rawal widens his scope beyond ultramarathoners in the 2016 race to include other groups who value running as a spiritual exercise.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
18% A Happening of Monumental Proportions (2018) This ensemble film has a slight edge to compensate for its blaring score and comedic misfires.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
65% American Chaos (2018) [Stern's] goal with the film is not to argue or to condescend but to listen. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
70% The Apparition (L'apparition) (2018) Overlong and unconvincing in the end.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2018
98% The Cakemaker (2018) Natural performances from Kalkhof and Adler root the melodrama in genuine pathos. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2018
36% Blue Iguana (2018) Hajaig and his actors understand how juxtaposition can be endearing. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
82% Juliet, Naked (2018) The narrative holds interest...for its meaningful reflections on midlife crises, fandom, and Gen-X nostalgia. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
B- 65% The Maze Runner (2014) Sure, the movie is derivative and ends on a somewhat sour note. But following a long line of tepid popcorn flicks in 2014, The Maze Runner is more notable for what it does right than what it does wrong. ‐ Consequence of Sound
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
D 51% The Zero Theorem (2014) It's a satire that's not sharp enough, an allegory that's not powerful enough, and it's all wrapped up in a garish dystopian bundle with nothing to say that hasn't been said before.‐ Consequence of Sound
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
74% What If (2014) Goes for the heartstrings, not the jugular. And perhaps that's just as well; optimism, even the romantic kind, is underrated.‐ Consequence of Sound
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
67% The Year of Spectacular Men (2018) Given that the most affecting love stories involve the sisters and their mother, the few scenes with this close-knit trio are the film's highlights.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
53% A Kid Like Jake (2018) But the filmmakers seem to hold back from other confrontations, and their subplots involving the boy's pushy grandmother (the great Ann Dowd) and a brittle client (Amy Landecker) of the therapist father ultimately fizzle.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
77% Lu Over the Wall (Yoake tsugeru Rû no uta) (2018) Unfortunately, Yuasa and cowriter Reiko Yoshida stay at surface level with the narrative. ‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
1/4 34% I Feel Pretty (2018) The most damning aspect of this movie, more damning even than its pandering or blatant commercialism, is how deeply unfunny it is.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
4/4 89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) You Were Never Really Here amounts to more than a Taxi Driver for our time. Despite the obvious homage, this is a Ramsay film, rooted in the Glaswegian auteur's feverish, kaleidoscope style.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
100% On Her Shoulders (2018) Director Alexandria Bombach avoids the details of Murad's brutal captivity, showing instead the intense pressure and responsibility the 23-year-old feels as a spokesperson for her people.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
1/4 11% Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Freed appeals to women's biological urges-to secure a protective mate, to nest, to procreate-and depends on them leaving their brains at the theater door.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
75% Mom and Dad (2018) Cage and Blair, both giving their best performances in years, revel in the black comedy and social satire while also giving emotional weight to the parents' resentment, toward the kids and each other.‐ Chicago Reader
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2018