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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Music-infused 'Morris' a winning coming-of-age celebration

Aug 24 2016 | 9:06 pm - A fresh and spontaneous father-son dynamic supplies Chad Hartigan's winning coming-of-age movie “Morris From America” with dramatic and comic booster rockets.

Taut home invasion thriller ‘Don’t Breathe’ will leave you breathless

Aug 24 2016 | 5:30 pm - The taut home invasion thriller “Don’t Breathe” achieves levels of perverse dread and unrelenting threat missing from most PG-13 suspense tales of similar theme.

‘Don’t Breathe’ director: ‘I like to provoke’

Aug 24 2016 | 7:05 pm - Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire hits “Don’t Breathe” director Fede Alvarez with five questions, plus looks at movie-related events for next week.

'Southside With You' a sweet take on Obamas' first date

Aug 24 2016 | 11:47 am - Richard Tanne's engaging romance “Southside With You” details the revealing first date of Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson in 1989 Chicago.

‘Kubo’ animator uses an artist’s eye and a mathematician’s mind

Aug 22 2016 | 11:33 pm - Suburban native Mike Laubach’s job as an animator requires an artist’s eye and a mathematician’s mind. He creates the computer programs that control such elements as facial expressions or fur rippling in films like “Kubo...

Mount Prospect teen's 1976 disappearance still haunts family, cop, reporter

Aug 22 2016 | 10:21 am - Forty years ago, 14-year-old Barbara Glueckert left her Mount Prospect home and vanished. Police believe she was murdered, and a police officer who knew Barbara when they were kids continues the search for her body.

Exotic ‘Kubo’ gives us a Knight to remember

Aug 18 2016 | 6:08 am - Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire pitches five animated questions to “Kubo and the Two Strings” director Travis Knight, then fills us in on the week’s film notes.

Jonah Hill’s bravado compensates for dumbed-down narration in ‘War Dogs’

Aug 17 2016 | 11:34 am - Jonah Hill brings on the sleaze for comic “War Dogs,” but Miles Teller’s voice-over narration all too often tells us what we already know.

Simon Helberg gets 'Big Bang' out of acting

Aug 11 2016 | 6:18 pm - Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire hits “The Big Bang Theory” star Simon Helberg with five questions, and provides the latest film notes.

'High Water' marks keenly observed modern western

Aug 10 2016 | 6:48 pm - “Hell or High Water,” a keenly observed Wild West tribute starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine, boasts a highly detailed, character-driven narrative about two pairs of men on opposite sides of the law.

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