Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,911 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Pump Up the Volume
Lowest review score: 0 Suddenly
Score distribution:
4,911 movie reviews
  1. At first I thought this was a Michael Haneke knockoff, but it's more depressing and less edifying than most of those narrative experiments, which is why I eventually tuned it out.
  2. Spike Lee's fans have learned to take the bad with the good, but this is pretty damn bad.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This live-action feature actually has less of a pulse than the puppet version.
  3. Every eerily tranquil shot, weirdly elliptical scene, and peculiar line reading contributes to a mood of detachment rather than creeping dread.
  4. Dumb.
  5. Like the gods, the trading cards are capricious, with ever-changing rules and strategies so intricate that only Yu-Gi-Oh-ologists will fully enjoy this adventure.
  6. Aside from a few good zingers the humor is crude and homophobic, and you could drive an ATV through the holes in the plot.
  7. A lot of effort appears to have gone into the glitzy period re-creation, but this is mainly a tearjerker.
  8. This is one dull party.
  9. Not a fraction as scary as George Romero's low-budget "Night of the Living Dead." Fans of the first installment will probably like this too--it's essentially the same movie, plus helicopters and lots of flying glass.
  10. Slapdash plot, paper-thin characters, misogynist undertones, and mechanical crosscutting are all soft-core standbys.
  11. If Sayles had persuaded me he knew anything about Bush, his background, or his entourage that isn't already well-known, I might have felt more like laughing.
  12. Breillat's mix of dramatic skill and feminist intimidation has cowed plenty of critics in the past, but no political agenda could redeem this movie's joyless pedantry.
  13. Predictable outrage.
  14. The story--written by Brian Helgeland and directed by Richard Donner--was just dumb.
  15. Has the spiritual and emotional depth of a Hallmark card.
  16. The moody images and Michael Nyman's score aren't enough to salvage this banal 1997 science fiction story.
  17. Its paper-thin characters turned into caricatures by egregious hamming, this 1996 Japanese comedy-drama about shy ballroom dancers is sentimental goo and downright interminable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    In Private Parts Stern is clearly presenting a sanitized version of his story--he had control over every aspect of the film and vetoed more than half a dozen scripts before choosing the one that pleased him--in an attempt to reach a whole new level of stardom.
  18. This teen romance doesn't have a single authentic moment.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Even the always radiant Linney can't save this misbegotten film.
  19. More concerned with attitude than character and too moralistic to be much fun.
  20. In any normal year this dire comedy would be the undisputed lump of coal in our psychic stocking, but with "Surviving Christmas" still in theaters it's a close second.
  21. Awkward storytelling and spotty exposition reduce it to a string of rude shocks--not even the eventual denouement provides a lucid enough account of where this is all coming from.
  22. This caper movie starts off as enjoyable guff before turning strictly formulaic and winding up as unenjoyable guff.
  23. Tedious mockumentary.
  24. One very sick and messed-up movie.
  25. Director Bruce Beresford -- not intending to be funny but succeeding wildly.
  26. Too much plot and too much faith in special effects and adolescent humor doom this "Babe" wannabe.
  27. Writer Barry McEvoy and director Barry Levinson might want to brush up on the use of metaphor.

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