I'm the film editor for the Reader, where my writing on the arts has appeared regularly since 1996, and the author of The Lives of Robert Ryan, (Wesleyan University Press, 2015), a biography of the film noir legend and Chicago native. I'm also a member of the National Society of Film Critics, a five-time honoree in the awards of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, and, according to the website Vocativ, the most reliable movie critic in America. When I think about all the stuff I've published in the Reader, my head hurts, but a few pieces stand out: "Friends of Bill," about my visit with William S. Burroughs; "Out of the Wreckage," a personal reminiscence of novelist Richard Yates; "Ska's Lost Cause," about the racial history of Chicago ska; "The Pope Who Found Jesus," about the spiritual awakening of punk-pop musician Josh Caterer; and "Prove It All Night," a chronicle of the now-shuttered Lakeview Lounge that was anthologized in Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000.
Two of the year's best films, The Kids Are All Right and Dogtooth, address extremes of parenting.
by J.R. Jones | Jul 8, 2010
Reviled for his racist Civil War epic, film pioneer D.W. Griffith tried his hand at the American Revolution.
by J.R. Jones | Jan 27, 2011
The Dardenne brothers' latest grim look at the oldest commodity—the human soul
by J.R. Jones | Aug 13, 2009
by J.R. Jones | Dec 11, 2018
Two of the year’s best movies come rocketing out of Oakland, California.
by J.R. Jones | Jul 19, 2018
Ben Foster stars as a traumatized war vet living off the grid with his 13-year-old daughter.
by J.R. Jones | Jul 11, 2018
This true story of brothers separated at birth in the name of science hits like a thunderbolt
by J.R. Jones | Jul 5, 2018
Cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest returns to louse up the Black Panther era.
by J.R. Jones | Jun 21, 2018
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