Dann Gire

Film Critic
  • Phone(847) 427-4530
  • Emaildgire@dailyherald.com
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Dann Gire came to the Daily Herald in 1975 and has held positions of government reporter, crime reporter, Metro reporter (assigned to the Cook County Criminal Courts), and film critic on the Features staff. He has served as the newspaper's film critic for 32 years.

Gire worked as the station's film critic at Chicago's Fox TV News from 1988 to 1991, and for four weeks this summer, contributed film critiques for CBS Chicago's "Monsters and Money in the Morning" TV news program.

From 1984 to 2006, he served as an adjunct faculty member at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, teaching classes in drama, novels and short stories, film and literature, introductory journalism, mass communications and feature writing. From 2000 to 2006, he also became the faculty adviser to the Harbinger newspaper at Harper College. He was fired from both positions after a dispute with a Harper vice president over censorship issues at the paper. He subsequently gave testimony for the Higher Education committees of the Illinois Senate and Illinois House to promote passage of the Illinois College Campus Press Act that would make political firings of college newspaper staffs and faculty advisers illegal. The act became law on June 1, 2008.

Gire has taught journalism in the communications department at Aurora University since 2008. He also has been assisting professor Heidi Schlumpf in launching the university's first online newspaper, the Aurora Chronicle, in the fall of 2010.

Gire is the president and a founding director for the Chicago Film Critics Association, a nonprofit organization with charitable and educational goals. He wrote the organization's ethics code and founded the group's Zappa Committee charged with monitoring First Amendment violations against filmmakers and recommending responses to those violations.

He has won the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism (like the Chicago version of the Pulitzer Prize) six times. He has also won awards from the Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, The Associated Press, and other journalism organizations.

Every fall, Gire delivers a keynote presentation at the Embarras Valley Film Festival through his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University in downstate Charleston. It was at EIU that he taught his first college course in communications in 1975. He has been a member of the school's Journalism Advisory Council, as well as Harper College's Journalism Advisory Committee (until 2006).

Gire holds bachelor and master degrees in communications from Eastern Illinois University. He also served as sports editor, photography editor and co-editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the Daily Eastern News.

He is married to Peggy Gire, a longtime music teacher in Schaumburg District 54. They have two daughters: Lauren Elaine Taylor, currently on tour as Rizzo in the national Broadway production of "Grease," and Morgan Gire, who recently served as assistant director for the independent film production "Molly's Girl."

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How Ray Kroc movie 'The Founder' replicated suburban sites in Georgia

Jan 18 2017 | 6:31 am - The suburban home, country club and restaurants where Ray Kroc created his McDonald's empire are all part of “The Founder,” which opens Friday. But all filming was done in Georgia. Take a look at how the standins live up to the originals.

Keaton cooks up manic portrait of Arlington Heights' Ray Kroc in 'The Founder'

Jan 18 2017 | 4:52 pm - He proclaimed himself the man behind McDonald's. But in “The Founder,” Arlington Heights' Ray Kroc, brilliantly played by Michael Keaton, comes across as a ruthless businessman.

Gire recalls Gene Kelly interview on ‘Singin’’ co-star Debbie Reynolds

Jan 12 2017 | 5:54 pm - Gene Kelly said his “Singin’ in the Rain” co-star Debbie Reynolds “lies terrible” about her grueling dance rehearsals with him and Donald O’Connor, according to a 1985 interview with Daily Herald film critic Dann...

Thin characters, dumbed-down script stall ‘Monster Trucks’

Jan 11 2017 | 6:08 pm - “X-Men” star Lucas Till teams up with a slimy octopus/shark mashup creature in the kids’ fantasy “Monster Trucks,” a dumbed-down live-action cartoon with thin, generic characters.

Affleck takes himself too seriously in ponderous ‘Night’

Jan 10 2017 | 11:44 pm - “Live By Night” packs in plenty of period action, but the director (Ben Affleck) and the screenwriter (also Affleck) have a big problem in their leading man (again, Affleck).

Brotherly advice pushes Wheaton native toward opera career

Jan 10 2017 | 12:35 am - Wheaton native David Govertsen’s trombone skills at Glenbard South High School couldn’t get him into colleges. Then his brother Steve suggested he switch to singing. David now sings opera at the Lyric and teaches voice at the College...

Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ not golden, but a paradox of passion

Jan 04 2017 | 7:09 pm - Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play montonous priests in Martin Scorsese’s passionate paradox “Silence.”

Life lessons, dark fantasy fuse in wondrous 'A Monster Calls'

Jan 04 2017 | 12:10 pm - Young Lewis MacDougall's full-bore, honest and wounded portrait of a boy in crisis trumps spectacular visual effects in A.J. Bayona's enchanting fantasy “A Monster Calls.”

Carpentersville opera singer nominated for two Grammy Awards

Jan 03 2017 | 6:33 am - Carpentersville native and opera singer Lucy Schaufer, who put out an album named for her hometown, is nominated for two Grammy Awards.

‘La La Land,’ ‘Moonlight’ cap Dann Gire’s top 10 for 2016

Dec 26 2016 | 12:32 pm - Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire releases his annual top 10 best movies of the year. And it’s a tough call between Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” and Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight.”

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