Nick Allen is an Assistant Editor at RogerEbert.com. He has been writing about film online since 2007, contributing to various publications including TheFilmStage.com, MovieMezzanine.com, HollywoodChicago.com, TheScorecardReview.com, and RogerEbert.com. His film reviews can also be found in your local library’s recent copy of Magill’s Cinema Annual. He has been a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association since 2010, and is a programmer for the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival. You can follow him on Twitter @nickallen_redux
Matt Fagerholm is an Assistant Editor at RogerEbert.com and is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. He
spent four years writing film reviews and interviews for HollywoodChicago.com and has contributed to a variety of publications
including Time Out Chicago, The A.V. Club and Magill's Cinema Annual. His writing/editing experience includes serving as Assistant A&E Editor at the Columbia Chronicle and a full-time writer at the Woodstock Independent. He is a monthly guest on Vocalo radio's The Morning AMp program, and is also the founder of Indie Outlook, a blog and podcast featuring exclusive interviews with some of the most exciting voices in modern independent filmmaking. Follow him on Twitter at @IndieOutlook and @mattfagerholm.
Don Shanahan is the creator/founder/blogger of Every Movie Has a Lesson. Don is former elementary school teacher who is now an instructional coach and a regular credentialed member of the Chicago press pool of film critics. With that background in education, Don stands by the mantra that has become the title of his website. He writes his reviews with the goal of teaching life lessons, from the serious to the farcical, found within every film. The primary goal of “Every Movie Has a Lesson” has been to offer in-depth, professional quality film reviews with the hook of education in mind for as many current mainstream and independent releases as possible each year.
on is also one of the founders and directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, an second, emerging, and recognized awards-voting body here in Chicago. Our members' mission is to bring our wide-ranging experiences, backgrounds, tastes, diversities, and target audiences together across both print and online platforms and publications with the push to share our personal assessments, commentaries, passions, and creativity in the vigilant effort to highlight the greatness and diversity found in both independent and mainstream films. Since 2018, Don is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society, the largest and oldest national body of online critics, and an approved Tomatometer critic on Rotten Tomatoes.
It is rumored that Patrick was conceived at a drive-in during a double feature of “It Came From Outer Space” and “Touch of Evil,” which may explain his movie review perspective. He was discovered for HollywoodChicago.com while wearing a tight sweater and sitting at the Woolworth’s soda fountain, or at least that’s how he likes to tell it.
Patrick McDonald (AKA The Über Critic) has been writer, editorial coordinator and film critic for eight years, and has been a member of the Chicago Film Critics association for seven years. He has made appearances on behalf of the film tour and general film topics on WGN Radio (semi-regular on the Bill Leff & Wendy Snyder Show), WFXF-FM (The Eddie Volkman Show), Fox32 News, WGN-TVMorning News and “190 North” on ABC7 in Chicago.
Follow him on Facebook at Pat Über-Critic McDonald and on Twitter @ubercritic.
Ian Simmons launched Kicking the Seat in 2009, one week after seeing Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia. His wife had proposed blogging as a healthier outlet for his anger than red-faced, twenty-minute tirades (Ian is no longer allowed to drive home from the movies). The Kicking the Seat Podcast followed three years later and, despite its “undiscovered gem” status, Ian thoroughly enjoys hosting film critic discussions, creating themed shows, and interviewing such luminaries as Gaspar Noé, Rachel Brosnahan, and Richard Dreyfuss. Ian is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. He also has a family, a day job, and an irrational fear of writing about himself in the third person.
Andrea Thompson is a writer, editor, and film critic who is also the founder and director of the Film Girl Film Festival. She is a member of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle and runs her own site, A Reel Of One's Own. She has no intention of becoming any less obsessed with cinema, comics, or nerdom in general.