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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‘Weiner’ doc looks at politician’s fall from grace

May 25 2016 | 5:52 pm - Political documentary “Weiner” is an epic, dramatic tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

Reel life: Catlow marks anniversary with local films

May 26 2016 | 10:01 am - Barrington’s historic Catlow Theater celebrates its 89th anniversary by hosting free showings of three movies made by local filmmakers beginning at noon on Saturday, May 28.

‘Maggie’s Plan’ a Woody Allen-esque look at absurdity of romance

May 25 2016 | 5:52 pm - Rebecca Miller’s “Maggie’s Plan” is like a vintage Woody Allen comedy about the absurdity of romance and too-educated New Yorkers struggling with what they want vs. what they need.

Fantasy of 'Alice' sequel overpowered by effects, realism

May 24 2016 | 4:28 pm - James Bobin's sequel to Tim Burton's “Alice in Wonderland” is a bloated project in which a speeding freight train of astonishing visual effects dominates a generic save-the-world plot and a cast of dull, drab characters.

Prospect Heights magician to appear on ‘Masters of Illusion’

May 23 2016 | 5:42 pm - As a kid growing up in Prospect Heights, Bill Cook was fascinated by “Masters of Illusion” on TV. Now, the magician is performing on the show, which airs on The CW.

'Neighbors 2' offers surprising mix of plot smarts, character stupidity

May 19 2016 | 7:02 am - Nicholas Stoller's “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” mixes funny gross-outs with a thoughtful story about accepting maturity and the drawbacks of equality.

Reel life: Every movie in film fest 'a bull's-eye'

May 18 2016 | 7:27 pm - Elk Grove Village film critic Erik Childress had this crazy idea to create a Chicago Critics Film Festival operated by movie critics. The fourth festival runs May 20 through 26 at the historic Music Box Theatre.

Gosling, Crowe two birds of a comic feather in 'Nice Guys'

May 18 2016 | 3:34 pm - The comic antics of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe bolster Shane Black's R-rated, sex-and-violence-soaked comic look at 1977 Los Angeles, “The Nice Guys.”

Who ya gonna call? Summer films blast onto screens

May 18 2016 | 12:42 pm - Summer movies have long been a mix of big-budget blockbusters, sequels, remakes and kid-friendly fare. Film Critic Dann Gire looks ahead to the season's hottest movies. Among them: "Ghostbusters," "Independence Day: Resurgence" and "The BFG."

Journalistic practices an afterthought in Jodie Foster’s 'Money Monster'

May 12 2016 | 10:59 am - “Money Monster” could have been an important movie about 21st-century journalism, but instead director Jodie Foster treats it as a routine thriller with shards of shrill humor and a tentative third-act moral epiphany.

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