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 Howl's Moving Castle
Lowest review score: 0 Event Horizon
Score distribution:
4,911 movie reviews
  1. It's a damning indictment of a national disgrace, but it also reveals the incredible faith and resilience of people who have nothing to rely on but themselves.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Streep and Hoffman are pitch-perfect, and Amy Adams is also superb as a young nun caught up in the conflict.
  2. Given the movie's slow, careful development, I was hardly prepared for the cold-sweat suspense of the last half hour.
  3. Extraordinary 2008 French drama.
  4. Visually witty, flawlessly played romantic comedy.
  5. Such is the extraordinary achievement of The Hurt Locker: it has the perspective of years when those years have yet to pass.
  6. This drama about an obese, illiterate black teen in Harlem practically guarantees some emotional uplift. But when it arrives, eventually, its authority is unimpeachable, so deeply has director Lee Daniels (Monster's Ball) immersed us in the depths of human ugliness.
  7. An explosive but scrupulously journalistic drama about the radical group that terrorized Germany for nearly 30 years.
  8. A quantum leap in movie magic; watching it, I began to understand how people in 1933 must have felt when they saw "King Kong."
  9. The result is an instant classic. The material allows Anderson to neutralize the most irritating aspects of his work (the precociousness, the sense of white-bread privilege) and maximize the most endearing (the comic timing, the dollhouse ordering of invented worlds).
  10. This 2005 masterpiece by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov transforms the story of Emperor Hirohito at the close of World War II into a melancholy meditation on power and its loss.
  11. The only person who seems to understand the angry teen is mom's new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender of Hunger), though their friendship oscillates between intimate and vaguely creepy.
  12. Captivating, mesmerizing, spellbinding.
  13. Director Juan José Campanella weaves together two love stories--between the victim and her husband, and the investigator and his former boss (Soledad Villamil)--and creates some masterful set pieces; his breathless chase through a packed soccer stadium is a marvel of choreography and top-notch CGI.
  14. Holofcener's work is often classified as comedy of manners, but at her best she trades in something much more resonant--the comedy of mores. Here she dives into the fascinating matter of why some people impulsively give and others compulsively take, and how people are taught to second-guess and quash their own generous impulses.
  15. Directors Turner Ross and Bill Ross IV, brothers and native sons of Sidney, find poetry in images of the mundane.
  16. Like the best kids' entertainment, this creates a daffy little world all its own.
  17. Dogtooth, a bizarre black comedy from Greece that won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2009 Cannes film festival, involves a conventional middle-class family--mom, dad, teenage son, two teenage daughters--that turns out to be warped beyond belief.
  18. Though The Kids Are All Right sometimes smacks of political correctness, Cholodenko succeeds brilliantly in making her little clan seem completely run-of-the-mill.
  19. Michael Cera elevates deadpan to an art, starring as a slacker turned action hero in this wildly inventive comedy that's one of the most vivid and spirited adaptations of a comic book since Spider-Man--and one of the hippest since Ghost World.
  20. Samuel Maoz drew from his own war experiences to write and direct this searing drama, which ranks alongside "Platoon" and "No Man's Land" as an antiwar statement and recalls the claustrophobic despair of "Das Boot."
  21. French director Gaspar Noe has kept a pretty low profile since his 2002 drama "Irreversible" notorious for its brutal nine-minute anal rape scene. But this epic, psychedelic mindfuck confirms him once again as the cinema's most imaginative nihilist.
  22. The founding of Facebook becomes a tale for our times in this masterful social drama.
  23. I haven't seen the shorter version, but I would hate to lose one moment of the gripping 66-minute sequence-really the heart of the movie-in which Carlos plots and executes his spectacular 1975 raid on the meeting of OPEC ministers in Vienna.
  24. Bridesmaids is hilariously funny, but what makes it exhilarating is how boldly it defies that conventional wisdom about what men and women like.
  25. A sense of reconciliation is Malick's great accomplishment in The Tree of Life, affording us equal wonder at grace and nature alike. 
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For all its references to defeat, however, the movie still conveys a sense of rapture with the process of image-making, if not necessarily filmmaking.
  26. When the interrupters do succeed, the results can be riveting.
  27. The real protagonist of Moneyball, however, is Beane himself, played with great charisma by Brad Pitt. (With this movie and "The Tree of Life" competing against each other, Pitt could wind up cheating himself out of an Oscar this year.)
  28. The movie he (Wenders) went on to make with her Tanztheater Wuppertal is more than an elegy; his meticulous use of 3D endows the performances with a corporeality and intimacy hitherto unseen in a dance film.

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