For 105 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 76% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 24% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 14.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gene Siskel's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Goodfellas
Lowest review score: 0 UHF
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 105
  2. Negative: 13 out of 105
105 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    All of the performances are first-rate; Pesci stands out, though, with his seemingly unscripted manner. GoodFellas is easily one of the year's best films. [21 September 1990, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    The beautiful title song, performed poignantly by the richly textured voice of Angela Lansbury, makes the case for all lovers to look past their partners' faults and into their hearts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    So what we have in the middle of Back to the Future, this seeming kids' movie full of screeching cars, special effects and lightning storms, is nothing less than an adult reverie. And if families could be persuaded to see this film together, it might touch off a long night of sharing between parents and children. [03 July 1985]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Ran
    The physical scale of Ran is overwhelming. It's almost as if Kurosawa is saying to all the cassette buyers of America, in a play on Clint Eastwood`s phrase, "Go ahead, ruin your night"--wait to see my film on a small screen and cheat yourself out of what a movie can be.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    What's so funny about Down and Out In Beverly Hills is not its moral imperative to appreciate life's simple, enduring pleasures. True, we get that message, and we appreciate it, but we already know that motto even if we don't live by it. No, what's funny is director Mazursky's extraordinarily fine eye and ear for capturing the way the wealthy residents of Beverly Hills walk, talk, dress and think.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    A joy to behold, a complex film that never loses either its sense of purpose or sense of humor. [7 February 1986, Friday, p.33]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Raiders of the Lost Ark is, in fact, about as entertaining as a commercial movie can be. What is it? An adventure film that plays like an old-time 12-part serial that you see all at once, instead of Saturday-to-Saturday. It's a modern "Thief of Baghdad." It's the kind of movie that first got you excited about movies when you were a kid.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    It's a superb, thoughtful drama that doesn't claim to be a documentary and shouldn't be judged as such. [22 Dec 1995, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    One of those rare films that communicates the exquisite joy of the moviemaking process. [7 October 1994, Friday, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Sarandon delivers one of her very best performances; her shock at encountering the wrath of the victim's family is registered beautifully. And Sean Penn, who for too long has suffered with the label of being a "bad boy," gives an Oscar-caliber performance.[12 January 1996, Friday, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Toy Story is a complete joy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    More than a great love story. It's both a lighthearted and deeply impassioned inspirational lesson about life. [4 April 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Sold as a romance, but actually is one of the funniest pictures to come out in quite some time. [15 Jan 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Mixing moments of genuine terror with offbeat comedy, writers Tom Epperson and Thornton have created a script that jumps along wih the energy of "In Cold Blood."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    What distinguishes The Deer Hunter most is its many rich characters and the size of its vision. This is a big film, dealing with big issues, made on a grand scale. Much of it, including some casting decisions, suggest inspiration by "The Godfather." [9 Mar 1979]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    There is only one problem with the excitement generated by this film. After it is over, you will walk out of the theater and, as I did, curse the tedium of your own life. I kept looking for someone who I could throw up against a wall. [8 November 1971]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    It balances bloodshed with charm, spectacle with childlike glee. It's a near flawless movie of its kind.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    A cornball adventure film about a dashing young explorer mixing with New York cafe society types. What a delightfully complicated fantasy film this is. What Woody Allen has done with The Purple Rose of Cairo is create a classic film about our love affair with fantasy. [28 Jun 1985, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    To miss this film is to cheat yourself and your family of a memorable moviegoing experience.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    What "M.A.S.H." did to service comedies, what "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" did to westerns, what "The Long Goodbye" did to detective pictures, The Player does the to Hollywood success story. [24 April 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    A shockingly powerful screed against racism that also manages to be so well performed and directed that it is entertaining as well. [30 October 1998, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    What is surprising is how well Spielberg captures the horror, moving his camera with the fury of a combat photographer on the run. [17 Dec 1993]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Filmed in black-and-white and shockingly well acted by De Niro, Raging Bull suggests that if you are looking for the source of evil in the world, you don't have to look any further than yourself. It's inside you or it isn't. And it comes out or it doesn't. [19 Dec 1980]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    Kubrick's contributions are his wit and his eye. The wit, too much at times, is as biting as in "Dr. Strangelove," and the production, while of another order, is as spectacular as in "2001." [11 Feb 1972]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    This is a sumptuous work, from its unconventional title sequence of a woman dancing hard in the streets to its provocative ending with conflicting quotes from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr .[30 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    The fans of their best work -- "Blood Simple, "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink" -- now can add Fargo to the list, pushing the Coens to the first rank of contemporary American filmmakers. [8 March 1996, Friday, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Gene Siskel
    I have written elsewhere that love stories seem to be in short supply these days, as they have been in the last decade of American movies. . . . But the hunger for love on the screen is there, and director Spielberg gives it to us in "E.T.," and because the lovers are a little boy and a little creature, we accept it. Of such simple concepts, timeless entertainments are made.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Dafoe manages to draw us into the mystery, anguish and joy of the holy life. This is anything but another one of those boring biblical costume epics. There is genuine challenge and hope in this movie. [12 Aug 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 42 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Whereas Stallone with "Rambo" is messing around with real places and real events, in Rocky IV we all know that this is pure Hollywood, pure fantasy. And very well made Hollywood fantasy, indeed.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Ron Howard's first-rate dramatic comedy Parenthood, with Steve Martin headlining a first-rate cast in a most clever script about the joy and pain of being both a parent and a child. [4 Aug 1989, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    A smart, funny and hip adventure film in a summer of car wrecks and explosions. [4 July 1997]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Witness" is both exciting and thoughtful.... And just as important to moviegoers, Witness is a genuinely gripping thriller. [08 Feb 1985]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    The film's strength is director Jim McBride's seemingly easy way of presenting us with a New Orleans that is more malevolent and intoxicating than the tourist trap that some think it to be.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Griffith gives the fullest performance of her career; Weaver, the most likable, even though she's the villain of the piece. Michael Nichols directs his best film in years. [23 Dec 1988, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Greenaway is a unique filmmaker in that he layers images upon one another in a single frame and doesn't require dialogue to make his films arresting. [18 Jul 1997]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    A three-hour delight… The movie generates much of its power by being so life-affirming at a time when people feel nervous about the future. [9 Nov 1990, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Mad Dog and Glory was directed by John McNaughton, who wisely lets many scenes run to the point of being uncomfortable, just like his characters are with each other. Everything about this movie seems fresh. [5 Mar 1993, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    The songs are joyful, and the plant is a foul-mouthed wonder when it begins to talk. Director Frank Oz deserves credit for staging a musical in classic form, creating nothing less than one of the year's most entertaining films. [19 Dec 1986, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    This middle portion of the picture becomes dangerously preachy, but just before we and Max are bored, director Miller returns Max to his roots, a screaming chase sequence through a desertlike Australian landscape.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    The Murder of Fred Hampton is a remarkable film in many ways. It keeps alive an incident which has become a symbol of repression to a lot of people.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    One minute into Saturday Night Fever you know this picture is onto something, that it knows what it's talking about. [15 Oct 1999, Siskel Years, p.6]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    William L. Petersen (''To Live and Die in L.A.”) gives another mesmerizing, seeming nonperformance as the brilliant agent on the trail of a serial killer who has murdered families in the South. [29 Aug 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Don't see Halloween in an empty theater on a weekday afternoon. See it on a weekend night in a packed house. Halloween is a film to be enjoyed with a boisterous crowd; it's an "audience picture," a film designed to get specific reactions from an audience at specific moments. With Halloween, the most often desired reaction is screaming. It's a beautifully made thriller -- more shocking than bloody -- that will have you screaming with regularity. Halloween was directed by John Carpenter, 30, a natural filmmaker and a name worth remembering. [22 Nov 1978]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    One powerful, mesmerizing thriller, a masterful exercise in controlling an audience's attention. [19 September 1986, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    It's a sweet, oft-told story, and Murphy and Hall add a number of very sharp supporting roles-hidden by makeup-to add spice to the general level of gentleness. [1 Jul 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Huston gives one of her very best performances as a strong lady who can con almost everyone but herself. Her manner on the screen in this picture and in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors'' marks Huston as the one contemporary actress who comes closest to having the power of classic female dramatic stars of years past. [25 Jan 1991]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    A better film about love delayed than "Sleepless in Seattle." It's funnier, more credible, more bittersweet and the characters are a whole lot brighter. Naturally, it won't be as big a hit. [18 March 1994, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Jack Nicholson's impressive, convoluted and moody sequel to Chinatown. [10 Aug 1990]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Natural Born Killers is visually complex and thematically simple. Mixing film and video, black-and-white and color, morphing and animation, Stone breaks visual ground here for a major studio release. [26 Aug 1994, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    The best teenage comedy since last year's "Risky Business."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Ethics aside, the filmmaking by DePalma is stylish and alternates between shocking surprise and hold-your-breath quiet.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Where the previous sequels have been mostly dour gun blasts, The Dead Pool is a thriller with wit and humor and tension. [15 Jul 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    Star Wars is not a great movie in the sense that it describes the human condition. It simply is a fun picture that will appeal to those who enjoy Buck Rogers-style adventures. What places it a sizable cut about the routine is its spectacular visual effects, the best since Stanley Kubrick's "2001." [27 May 1977]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Gene Siskel
    JFK
    Does JFK capture the truth? Possibly, in a poetic sense. Is it a compelling film? Most assuredly. [20 Dec 1991]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Rachael Leigh Cook, as Laney, the plain Jane object of the makeover, is forced to demonstrate the biggest emotional range as a character, and she is equal to the assignment. I look forward to seeing her in her next picture. [29 Jan 1999, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Days of Thunder, the latest Tom Cruise movie, which is a flimsy but nonetheless compelling story of a hot-shot amateur race car driver who wants to make it in the big-time world of championship stock car racing. Good writing by Robert Towne and a host of strong supporting performances complement the on-the-track visuals of director Tony Scott in giving us a sense of the leap of faith that is required by drivers at this level. [29 Jun 1990, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    A refreshing if obvious drama. [9 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Far and Away, a mildly old-fashioned romantic melodrama that has as many charming moments as embarrassing ones. Much of the charm is supplied by the earnest performances of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. [22 May 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    This film works so well simply because every moment of it is suffused with the joy a new baby brings into the world. Save for a needlessly mean comic shot at an Arab businessman, it couldn't be more appropriate for family viewing. [8 Dec 1995, p.D]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Our rooting interest is not for any macho act by Batman to save the city but for each character to achive some sort of emotional peace. That makes for a strange but refreshing action story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    F/X
    F/X turns into a dazzling series of deceptions that border on being so topsy-turvy that one almost becomes frustrated with being fooled. But the script of Robert T. Megginson and Gregory Fleeman managed to stay on the right side of credibility and good humor enough of the time so that some rather obvious plot holes can be forgiven.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    As entertaining as The Goonies finally becomes--and its last hour is mostly one pleasure after another--it's a shame that Spielberg, writer Chris Columbus and director Richard Donner felt the need to take the low road in terms of language. [7 Jun 1985, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    What no plot summary of Darkman can provide is how much director Raimi ("The Evil Dead") brings to the party. In addition to giving us a conflicted hero - more disturbed than Batman - Raimi fills every action sequence and even routine plot scenes with fresh images that reflect his Darkman's rage. [24 Aug. 1990]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    What this movie is about, and where it succeeds best, is the primordial level of fear. The characters, for the most part, and the non-fish elements in the story, are comparatively weak and not believable. [20 June 1975]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Part III has the more adult emotions of the original, and with the presence of Steenburgen it recalls the quality of her other fine time-travel romance, "Time After Time." [25 May 1990, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Pump Up the Volume, an exceedingly well-written teenager-full-of-angst melodrama about a high school student who operates a pirate radio broadcast that criticizes parents and teachers while revealing the turmoil of adolescence.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    What is undeniably good about Rocky V is that our working-class hero returns to the grimy neighborhood from which he sprang. Seeing a more slender, "street" Rocky is a refreshing change of pace from the muscle-bound champ of Parts 3 and 4. [16 Nov 1990, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    More of a physical achievement in moviemaking than a piece of storytelling, but I do recommend it on that basis. [15 January 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    A great movie? Hardly. Stallone as the next Brando? You've got to be kidding. A nice little fantasy picture? Maybe. That's the hype and reality of Rocky, the flatout schmaltzy saga of a Philadelphia club boxer who, on New Year's Day of our Bicentennial Year, gets a chance to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. . . .
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    A classic play has been reduced a decent movie. It's a shame it couldn't be as good as the play; it's a small pleasure that it's as entertaining as it is. [20 Dec 1985]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    The film would be funnier and more provocative if it took a stronger stand on one side or the other, but Howard chooses to hedge his bets, selecting an ending that celebrates brotherhood more than the strongly hinted- at notion that American workers would do well to get off their featherbedding backs.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    Not as worthless as you may have heard. [10 Sept 1993]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    A slightly more light-hearted version of the "Shine" story. [4 December 1998, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    The movie does command our attention because Hines and Baryshnikov, through their dancing, manage to create very real and living and hurting characters. [22 Nov 1985]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    The film works very well, providing lots of laughs, in its first half, setting up the Bill Murray character and his callousness. For a Christmas Eve special he wants to staple antlers on a mouse. [25 Nov 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Gene Siskel
    For a while, I resented the sexist, cruel behavior in the film, much of it revolving around the hazing of underclassmen. But gradually, I saw the movie turn into a brash expose of stupid adolescent traditions. [24 Sept 1993]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    Coppola has raised the stakes, promising the definitive version of the vampire story. What he has created, however, is fresh and original yet boring, an exercise more in art direction than storytelling. [13 Nov 1992, p. C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    There's a movie here, and there's a gimmick. The gimmick undermines the movie and the gimmick is attached to the wrong part of the movie. Other than that, Clue offers a few big laughs early on followed by a lot of characters running around on a treadmill to nowhere. [13 Dec 1985, p.38]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    [Cage] cracks wise throughout the third act and is almost entertaining enough to make this absurdly energetic movie recommendable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    Silverado is a completely successful physical attempt at reviving the western, but its script would need a complete rewrite for it to become more than just a small step in a full-scale western revival. [10 Jul 1985, p.5]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    As much as I admire the work of both (Roman) Polanski and (Jack) Nicholson, I found Chinatown tedious from beginning to just before the end. [15 July 1974]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    The stunt work and special effects are top flight; Schwarzenegger and the kid are just fine, but we can't help but want this film to stop kidding around and thrill us. [18 Jun 1993, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    We know exactly where this picture is going at all times. Holding our attention, however, is a cast of fresh talent among the trainees. [03 Jun 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    The story is full of good feelings, but as one sits there it all seems so predictable that you can't help but ask the point of it all. [27 Aug 1993, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 12 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    Tom Cruise does with bartending pretty much what he did with a pool cue in "The Color of Money." In other words, he shows skill at a con game while being less successful with the woman in his life. [29 Jul 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Gene Siskel
    Tarantino's debut directing job acknowledges the sloppiness and silences that are typically squeezed out of most crime films, but we get the point early on and the remainder is macho posturing. [23 Oct 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune

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