Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,216 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 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Lowest review score: 0 Evita
Score distribution:
5216 movie reviews
  1. Koreeda was inspired by his guilt over having neglected his own parents, and the story is remarkable for the quiet, seemingly casual way he depicts the fallout of bitterness and grief.
  2. It's as slick as anything you might find on the Discovery Channel, and the snippets of 3-D computer animation are too cool for words.
  3. Powerful and haunting.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The movie's searing conclusion left me numb and overwhelmed.
  4. As this wonderful adaptation reminds us, Dickens endures mostly because of his characters.
  5. Thomsen's transformation from easygoing entrepreneur to ruthless executive is so engrossing I didn't pick up on the story's chilling Freudian subtext until very near the end.
  6. First-rate agitprop about the ruthlessness of South African apartheid, directed by Euzhan Palcy (Sugar Cane Alley) and adapted from Andre Brink's novel by Palcy and Colin Welland. The relentless plot is effectively set up and expertly pursued, and Hugh Masekela makes some striking contributions to Dave Grusin's musical score.
  7. To my knowledge there's no one anywhere making films with such a sharp sense of contemporary working-class life -- but for the Dardennes it's only the starting point of a spiritual and profoundly ethical odyssey.
  8. While it's easy to imagine an infinite number of bad courtroom comedies based on this scenario, this 1992 movie turns out to be wonderful—broad and low character comedy that's solidly imagined and beautifully played.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dworkin unobtrusively uses small moments to build an engrossing story of courage and hope most narrative films can't match.
  9. Like the first movie this is unassailable family entertainment, with a gentle fairy tale for kids and a raft of mildly satirical pop-culture references for parents.
  10. Departing from a masterful manipulation of space, Lang transforms the futuristic city of the title into a field of dreams centered on death and sexuality.
  11. Though the metaphysical overtones of the screenplay are sometimes awkwardly handled and Eastwood's direction of actors (other than himself) is occasionally uncertain, this was one of the better American films of 1985.
  12. A quantum leap in ambition from "Hard Eight" and "Boogie Nights" and is, to my mind, much more interesting.
  13. Perhaps the most remarkable thing here is Thornton's nuanced performance, but the film has other rare virtues: all the characters are fully and richly fleshed out (with some unexpected turns by John Ritter and singer Dwight Yoakam), and the story's construction is carefully measured.
  14. Neil LaBute delivers his most interesting and powerful film to date, though it's also his most unpleasant and disturbing.
  15. Arcand's fondness for the good old 60s can be cloying, but despite an uneven cast, he finds a tonal balance between sentimental and cynical that keeps the conversations real and heart wrenching.
  16. Ten
    The film offers a fascinating glimpse of the Iranian urban middle class, and though it eschews most of the pleasures of composition and landscape found in other Kiarostami films, it's never less than riveting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Absorbing, beautiful documentary.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a lyrical heartbreaker that skirts most love-story cliches and is brave enough to be as inconclusive as the characters.
  17. The first Ang Lee film I've seen that I've liked without qualification.
  18. Todd Phillips is no artist, but his lowbrow comedies (Road Trip, Old School) always hit the mark because they're so psychologically true: the superego tries to control the id, but the id gets drunk and barfs all over it. Hilarious.
  19. It's easy to suspend disbelief and embrace this historically creative fiction, whose clever relationship to what's known and what's unresolved is part of what makes it so intriguing and so romantic.
  20. Brutally honest and brilliantly acted.
  21. That rare sequel that surpasses the original.
  22. Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture) has made an electrifying picture.
  23. Unprecedented in its intellectual ambition, this is endlessly stimulating; it probably tries for too much, but it shames many other contemporary essays that try for too little.
  24. In its own quiet way this is an astonishing film, both as a medical detective story that sustains taut interest over an extended running time and as a piece of cinema combining unusually resourceful acting and direction. If any movie of recent years deserves to be called inspirational--a much-abused term that one hesitates to revive apart from exceptional circumstances--this one certainly does.
  25. For all its minimalism, Tsai Ming-liang's 81-minute masterpiece manages to be many things at once.
  26. For once a comedy in the Animal House school that knows what it's was about: the vulgarity of the gags matches the vulgarity of the subject, and this 1980 film becomes a fierce, cathartically funny celebration of the low, the cheap, the venal—in short, America. Most of the time, I didn't know whether to laugh or shudder, and I ended up doing a lot of both. It was Steve Martin who said, “Comedy isn't pretty,” but it's Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the writer-directors here, who prove it; this is the Dawn of the Dead of slapstick.

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