Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,104 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 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Enter the Void
Lowest review score: 0 Evita
Score distribution:
5104 movie reviews
  1. The payoff matters at least as much as the setup, and this story's secret is way too easy to guess.
  2. Larry Doyle and John Hamburg's script is full of holes, but this is still pretty damn funny--thanks mostly to Barrymore, who seems to be retracing Lucille Ball's trajectory from sex kitten to comedienne.
  3. This 'heartwarming' thriller refuses to distinguish realism from stylization, and much of the plot is a twisted mess of repetition and unpersuasive motivation.
  4. Friedkin does a superb job of serving up the well-appointed script by James Webb and Stephen Gaghan.
  5. John Boorman's 1981 retelling of the Arthurian legends is a continuation of the thematic thrust and visual plan of his Exorcist II, though the failure of that bold, hallucinatory, and flawed film seems to have put Boorman into partial retreat.
  6. Zuniga's support is winningly low-key.
  7. Ali
    What's lacking here is a sustained thematic focus -- at least five people worked on the script, including Mann, which may account for the absence of a clear through line -- though the spectacle and characters keep one absorbed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Where the narrative and characterization work, the visuals are lacking. Director Colin Trevorrow's digital cinematography occasionally resembles a YouTube video in mid-buffer, making the gorgeous and picturesque setting of the Pacific Northwest coastline appear bland and texture-less.
  8. The movie is fairly entertaining, but the high production values and shticky humor invert the dynamic of the show, which was played totally straight despite the fact that the sets were always threatening to fall down.
  9. Coming-of-age drama is pretty familiar stuff.
  10. Within the limitations of the genre, the film succeeds fairly well, with enough giddy sophomoric humor, stunning fights, titillating sex, and exotic sets and costumes to keep an audience entertained.
  11. Though there's a crime to be solved, a romance to go awry, and lots of trooper-police politics to elaborate on, the strangely drawn out pacing somehow feels fresh rather than oppressive.
  12. Inspired, self-referential animated musical.
  13. This has its moments, but don't expect many fresh insights.
  14. The key scene -- is typical of the film's fanciful narrative approach but also its grating pretentiousness.
  15. Unfortunately, Volcano is also faithful to Hollywood's legendary lack of originality.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Episodic and patchy, but well acted and heartfelt.
  16. This is brisk and fun to watch, thanks to the actors...But once you catch the main drift of the plot, it becomes awfully ho-hum.
  17. Martial arts hero Jet Li takes on all comers--with one hand in his hip pocket most of the time--in this absurd but breathlessly paced actioner.
  18. The film has no qualities beyond its formal polish--and its careful avoidance (or rather, displacement) of the moral and political issues involved can seem too crafty, too convenient.
  19. Diverting, energetic, and even reasonably satisfying, so long as you aren't looking for a real musical to take its place.
  20. The Coens do an efficient job of stamping their signature grotesquerie on sumptuous Beverly Hills and Las Vegas settings and ladling on gallows humor and malice, sometimes with the verve of early Robert Zemeckis.
  21. The drama is hampered by a vague screenplay that takes its sweet time explaining the characters' past and never specifies the nature of the boy's palsy and apparent retardation.
  22. The overall feel is phantasmagoric--pitched, like most of Maddin's work, in the style of a half-remembered late silent feature or early talkie.
  23. Harlin's arsenal of conceits and visual effects--pirouetting overhead angles, dancing trigonometry formulas, a pizza flavored with tiny human heads, a lot of fancy play with a water bed, and much, much more--keeps it consistently watchable and inventive.
  24. Sincere, capable, at times moving, but overextended, this picture is seriously hampered by its tendency to linger over everything--especially landscapes with silhouetted figures, and not excluding its own good intentions.
  25. Not at all bad for a toy commercial.
  26. Individually these elements are powerful, but they fail to mesh or collide with one another in any satisfying way, and the movie's score only exacerbates the problem.
  27. The formula works just fine on a more modest scale, without having to carry all the glittering casino sets and A-list movie stars.
  28. The auction makes for a pretty good hinge between the two narratives and, more importantly, allows Madonna to indulge her fetish for fine English things.

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