Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,910 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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 This Is England
Lowest review score: 0 I'm Still Here
Score distribution:
4,910 movie reviews
  1. 13 (Tzameti) might seem allegorical, but it’s too cynically concerned with what works as entertainment to offer larger truths about human existence.
  2. The word "raunchy" doesn't begin to describe this.
  3. Despite the resourcefulness of the two leads, the movie finally registers as much ado about very little.
  4. The remake begins with the same premise and appropriates the most striking visuals, grafting them onto a more explicable but equally dull George Romero-style doomsday scenario.
  5. This Spanish comedy showcases a gallery of popular actresses, but writer-director Manuel Gomez Pereira gives them nothing to work with aside from tiresome romantic complications.
  6. The plot of this character-driven drama is slender and the digital images rather muddy--apparently an impoverished indie feature can look bad and still not be very interesting--but to his credit, Thelemaque sticks to his minimalist turf. And the dogs are great.
  7. Keith is an awkward, galumphing presence, but he's more fun to watch than Kelly Preston as the girl's uptight mother.
  8. This interminable, poorly constructed drug thriller by writer-director Frank E. Flowers sat on the shelf for two years before winning a release.
  9. The U.S. vs. John Lennon isn't so much a history of Lennon's pacifism as a continuation of it, the last bed-in, so to speak, with contemporary figures like Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky on hand to connect Vietnam with Iraq, President Nixon with President Bush, and the FBI's spying on Lennon with the current administration's domestic surveillance.
  10. Director Niall Johnson struggles to find the proper tone: the serial murders aren't horrible enough to be funny, and the characters don't respond as if they're horrible at all. As a result the black humor thins into gray fog.
  11. The unfocused story is so bereft of any clear sense of period or location that the political melodrama sometimes seems to be taking place inside a cigar box.
  12. The cinematic debut of Chicago theater director Marc Rosenbush, this 2004 indie comedy is an irritating exercise in ham acting, metaphysical patter routines, and rim-shot-style comic editing.
  13. There's a great "Office Space"-style satire to be made about big-box stores screwing their working-poor employees, but Hollywood studios covet DVD rack space at those same stores, so instead we're supposed to get excited about which of these two idiots earns more gold stars.
  14. Mainly it's a shambles, though for once Williams gets to do what he's best at (his stand-up shtick), and the absurd story, no matter how carelessly assembled, keeps moving.
  15. Murphy seems either incapable of or uninterested in creating a recognizable world, so local comic effects count for everything.
  16. Despite the syncopated score and subtitled patois, this is just another "Scarface" knockoff, with the usual array of bling, booty, and ballistics.
  17. Feeble exercise in brain-teaser noir.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A soporific ghost story.
  18. I'm a fan of director Bob Odenkirk, but my high hopes for this comedy were dashed by screenwriters Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Michael Patrick Jann, all alumi of "Reno 911"!
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A pretentious, unfocused, and fussy mess, in which director Darren Aronofsky manages to make Hugh Jackman unattractive and unsympathetic… Even fans of Aronofsky's incoherent, flashy “Pi” and somewhat more coherent, flashy “Requiem for a Dream” will be scratching their heads.
  19. This is shocking only for its tepidness; except for some raunchy language, it's ready-made for basic cable.
  20. With its hypnotic pacing, blatantly nonsynchronous sound, clunky robot costumes, and graphic but unconvincing violence, the movie falls flatly between camp and art-house pretension.
  21. It exchanges the police subplot that gave the earlier film its steady pace for a lot of pointless backstory about the mother-fixated stalker.
  22. Even likable star Zach Braff can't salvage this clunker.
  23. The rationale behind this unattractive animated comedy, a U.S.-German coproduction, seems to be that since it can't create a fairy-tale world of its own, it might as well riffle through many of the more familiar ones, with particular emphasis on Cinderella's, pretending to deconstruct them with postmodernist glosses, adolescent wisecracks, and a few high-tech anachronisms.
  24. Good movie roles have generally eluded her (Agnes Bruckner), and she labors in vain to keep this big-studio horror confection alive.
  25. The cinematic equivalent of a tapeworm, this delivers few laughs beyond the initial chuckles of recognition. Seltzer and Friedberg (who also directed) have another script in development called "Raunchy Movie"; apparently one idea they haven't yet considered is "Watchable Movie."
  26. Based on this outing, writer-director Joe Carnahan (Narc) can't tell a story worth a damn--especially not a complicated mishmash like this one.
  27. Throughout most of her career Diane Keaton has shown sound instincts, so it's a mystery why she failed to sniff this false, brittle comedy out as a waste of her gifts.
  28. The video is heavy on actors and other showbiz types, and the self-centered Gurwitch doesn't distinguish between a factory worker laid off after decades on the job and an actor getting rejected during tryouts.

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