Dann Gire

Film Critic
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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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Dann Gire's TWO holiday season movie lists

Nov 26 2015 | 6:40 am - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" tops Variety's predicted box office winners, but what is critic Dann Gire looking forward to?

Reel life: Oakton Pop-Up film fest earns a sequel

Nov 25 2015 | 4:32 pm - Michael Glover Smith created such a popular film festival at Oakton Community College last year that they're doing it again next week.

‘Wonders’ is a nearly real look at a beekeeping family

Nov 25 2015 | 4:18 pm - Hyper-realistic drama "The Wonders" could pass for a documentary about a family of Italian beekeepers in rural Tuscany.

'Frankenstein' remake a monstrous mess

Nov 24 2015 | 7:25 pm - Even the Hoover Dam couldn't supply enough electricity to bring the dead material in "Victor Frankenstein" to life. So the incoherent drama stumbles about, never finding its footing.

Pixar's 'Dinosaur' a heartwarming comedy

Nov 25 2015 | 9:13 am - Give those Pixar people an apatosaurus on the back for the wonderfully animated prehistoric comic drama "The Good Dinosaur," a sweet tale of a dino and his boy.

Holiday films offer a whale of a season

Nov 25 2015 | 9:10 am - Yes Virginia, there are other holiday films besides "Star Wars" coming in the next few weeks. Dann Gire looks ahead to "In the Heart of the Sea" and many others.

‘Hallow’ has the right ingredients, but the recipe might be off

Nov 19 2015 | 11:33 am - "The Hallow" packs all the right ingredients for a creepy collision of science and superstition ... but maybe it's a bit too much.

Characters are too cold to care about in 'Altered Minds'

Nov 19 2015 | 11:34 am - Psychological drama "Altered Minds" afflicted with emotionally inaccessible characters.

Gire: Lawrence brings 'Games' to a graceful end

Nov 18 2015 | 12:29 pm - Long. Convoluted. Yet, curiously satisfying. Read Dann Gire's review of “The Hunger Games” franchise's final film.

Bryan Cranston elevates political biopic ‘Trumbo’

Nov 11 2015 | 5:09 pm - Jay Roach’s Hollywood biopic “Trumbo” lapses into simplicity and awkward flourishes, but its core message — everybody loses when people are demonized for their politics — couldn’t be more relevant.

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