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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Blade Runner
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
4,910 movie reviews
  1. "Heathers" may view teenagers more caustically, but this movie, incomparably better, actually delivers the goods.
  2. An enduring masterpiece--dark, deep, beautiful, aglow.
  3. Huston's performance is spellbinding. And the naturally lit digital cinematography (by Rose and Ron Forsythe) is both poetic and harrowingly intimate in depicting Ivan's impending death.
  4. Frightening, funny, profound, and mysterious.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A rapturously beautiful, lyrically dazzling work.
  5. It's hard to think of many more galvanizing definitions of what it means to be an American than Cho's volcanic self-assessments.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Every frame is dense with life, with children and animals running in and out, yet it's not messy. Instead it's highly focused--and something of a small masterpiece.
  6. An early voice-over segment about the Casbah itself, before Gabin makes an appearance, is so pungent you can almost taste the place, even though the filming was clearly done in a studio.
  7. The juxtaposition of liberal Jewish attorney Dershowitz (Silver) and von Bulow working together on the latter's defense makes for some engagingly offbeat drama, with some interesting insights into the legal process.
  8. The stylized physiques and movements of the characters in this exciting animated musical-romance-adventure are at once realist and fantastic.
  9. Maddin takes on his first commissioned feature--an adaptation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's production of Dracula--and succeeds brilliantly, making it his own while offering what may be the most faithful screen version to date of Bram Stoker's novel.
  10. Combines live-action and animation with breathtaking wizardry... Alternately hilarious, frightening, and awesome.
  11. This 2002 German documentary (in English) by Marta Kudlacek is the best portrait of an experimental filmmaker that I know.
  12. Masterpiece.
  13. Watts and Harring even turn out to be the hottest Hollywood couple of 2001. The plot slides along agreeably as a tantalizing mystery before becoming almost completely inexplicable, though no less thrilling, in the closing stretches--but that's what Lynch is famous for. It looks great too.
  14. Sharp, entertaining, and convincing--discursive, but with a sense of structure and control that Coppola hasn't achieved since.
  15. A film that might make you cry watching it is just as likely to give you the creeps thinking about it afterward, which is as it should be.
  16. This is truly a great film, recently celebrated at length in "My Voyage to Italy," Martin Scorsese's documentary about Italian cinema.
  17. Tarantino's mock-tough narrative--which derives most of its titillation from farcical mayhem, drugs, deadpan macho monologues, evocations of anal penetration, and terms of racial abuse--resembles a wet dream for 14-year-old male closet queens (or, perhaps more accurately, the 14-year-old male closet queen in each of us), and his command of this smart-alecky mode is so sure that this nervy movie sparkles throughout with canny twists and turns.
  18. The grafting of 40s hard-boiled detective story with SF thriller creates some dysfunctional overlaps, and the movie loses some force whenever violence takes over, yet this remains a truly extraordinary, densely imagined version of both the future and the present, with a look and taste all its own.
  19. Stylistically fresh and full of sweetness that never cloys, this is contemporary Hollywood filmmaking at its near best.
  20. Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes...and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since "Dr. Strangelove," as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what "The Shining" failed to do.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki perfects his trademark formula of deadpan humor and arctic circle pathos in this brilliantly ironic 2002 comedy.
  21. Smart, poignant, and utterly beguiling.
  22. Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.
  23. This brilliantly and comprehensively captures the look, feel, and sound of glamorous 50s tearjerkers like All That Heaven Allows, not to mock or feel superior to them but to say new things with their vocabulary.
  24. A ferociously creative 1985 black comedy filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention--every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.
  25. Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed.
  26. The effect is riveting and telling--not always realistic (none of the characters carry cell phones) but often enlightening.
  27. Ties everything together with a dazzling synthesis of pagan animism, heroic quest mythology, orientalism, Pre-Raphaelite imagery, 1950s sci-fi creature features, and Hollywood war epics.

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