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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Kundun
Lowest review score: 0 Untraceable
Score distribution:
4,911 movie reviews
  1. In one sense, this seemingly melodramatic plot premise is contrived, registering more as myth than as real possibility. Yet thanks to what the movie has in mind and especially what the actors bring to it, it's a lovely myth, one that has the ring of deeply felt truth.
  2. The script updates Ian Fleming's first Bond novel to a post-9/11 world and scales back the silliness that always seems to creep into the series; director Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro) contributes some superior action set pieces but keeps the camp and gadgetry to a minimum.
  3. Action-adventure pictures have a lamentable tendency toward mindlessness, but Edward Zwick's epic story has numerous virtues apart from suspense and spectacle.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Elegant, unabashedly theatrical, and packed with lush concert scenes and period-perfect costumes.
  4. The skillful Patrick Marber (Closer) adapted this gripping drama from a novel by Zoe Heller, and it's both literate and urgently plotted, with a voice-over from Dench that cuts like broken glass.
  5. "Weird but cool," as one character says -- yet the movie is also remarkably touching.
  6. Critics have faulted this 2005 British feature about the Rwandan genocide for focusing on a couple of white characters instead of the 800,000 Tutsis who were slaughtered, but such easy judgments miss the point entirely: this is a spiritual drama, not a political one, drawing a thick line between our good intentions and the selfish choices we ultimately make.
  7. Pedro Almodovar's 1995 comic melodrama seems in many ways his most mature work, in theme as well as execution.... Almodovar's control over the material and his affection for his characters never falter.
  8. Clint Eastwood's ambitious 1988 feature about the great Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker) is the most serious, conscientious, and accomplished jazz biopic ever made, and almost certainly Eastwood's best picture as well.
  9. This deserves to be seen and cherished for at least a couple of reasons: first for Joanne Woodward's exquisitely multilayered and nuanced performance as India Bridge, a frustrated, well-to-do WASP Kansas City housewife and mother during the 30s and 40s; and second for screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's retention of much of the episodic, short-chapter form of the books.
  10. Levinson's dialogue feels fresh and improvised, yet it hits its mark every time, and the performances he gets are complex and original (particularly from Mickey Rourke, who plays a lothario with a late-blooming conscience) - enough so that Levinson's occasional forced "cinematic" effects cause barely a ripple in the smooth, naturalistic surface.
  11. Taking off from the format of a typical teenage sex comedy, Brickman deepens the characters and tightens the situations, filming them in a dark, dreamlike style full of sinuous camera movements and surrealistic insinuations. Brickman found a tone I hadn't encountered previously - one of haunting, lyrical satire.
  12. Under the thoughtful direction of Guy Ferland - what emerges is solid and affecting.
  13. Not only Waters's best movie, but a crossover gesture that expands his appeal without compromising his vision one iota; Ricki Lake as the hefty young heroine is especially delightful.
  14. The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works.
  15. Cronenberg's follow-up to "A History of Violence" -- starring the same lead, Viggo Mortensen, in a very different part -- lacks the theoretical dimension of its predecessor, but it's no less masterful in its fluid storytelling and shocking choreography of violence.
  16. By focusing on Strummer and giving a fair amount of screen time to his years in the wilderness before and after the Clash, Temple arrives at a more poignant and mature statement of what this committed band was all about.
  17. This poses some tricky moral questions, and its troubling ambiguities rank a cut above the dubious uplift of "Schindler's List."
  18. Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture) has made an electrifying picture.
  19. Cluzet's brooding performance propels the movie, and writer-director Guillaume Canet, best known here for his own acting work in "Joyeux Noel" and "Love Me If You Dare," skillfully orchestrates the cascading revelations.
  20. Hammer overplays his indie hand with an abrupt and unsatisfactory ending, but his three leads are so credible that their aching, tongue-tied characters linger in the memory.
  21. Leigh pushes the story in a more interesting direction, asking whether people find happiness or simply will it on themselves.
  22. Sinister and beautiful, this mostly black-and-white animation from France culls the talents of six artists and designers.
  23. Despite all the horror and anguish, the film ends on a note of serene acceptance, deep gratitude toward the dead, and wonder at the unlikely miracle of life.
  24. This incredible but true story marks the first time Eastwood's signature themes have found expression in a woman's experience, and the absence of any distracting machismo only heightens his sense of helpless rage at the perpetual anguish of victims' families.
  25. Up
    Writer-directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson present hilarious insights into bird brains and canine psychology and treat thornier human emotions deftly.
  26. 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.
  27. Writer-director Cary Fukunaga keeps the story lean while peppering it with realistic details.
  28. After directing three Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi makes a masterful return to the horror genre.
  29. Provost and cowriter Marc Abdelnour explore the mutable boundaries between spirituality, naivete, genius, and madness, showing how the two outsiders and polar opposites cultivated a mutual understanding.

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