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 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Far from Heaven
Lowest review score: 0 National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
Score distribution:
4,910 movie reviews
  1. Smart, gripping, and untainted by the influence of Michael Moore, this muckraking 2008 documentary transcends anticorporate demonology to build a visceral but reasoned case against modern agribusiness.
  2. 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.
  3. It's a beautiful picture but very quietly so, and definitely not for the ADHD set.
  4. Its great distinction lies in re-creating an age when thoughts and feelings were to be carefully considered and precisely enunciated. The best costumers, set designers, and property masters can’t conjure up the mental and emotional spaces of a simpler era; that requires a filmmaker who knows the virtue of quiet, patience, and attentiveness.
  5. If you come to this expecting the philosophical depth and psychological detail of Tolstoy’s work you’re sure to be disappointed, but as an actors’ romp it’s delectable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The music sounds terrific, with Young's wizened expression and rheumy eyes belied by the storming intensity of his performances. Demme has said, "If you're not a Neil Young fan, don't waste your time," and that's really all you need to know.
  6. Some have suggested that the whole story, including the emergence of Mr. Brainwash, is an elaborate hoax engineered by Banksy to satirize the commodification of art. If so, it’s a brilliant one.
  7. The grand architecture of Milan and the icy rhythms of composer John Adams set the tone for this elegant Italian drama about the suffocating power of family, wealth, and tradition.
  8. A densely textured moral universe that makes good on his metaphoric title-and in this case, the animals are perfectly willing to eat their young.
  9. The notion that only whites can be racist barely survives this riveting 2009 documentary.
  10. Akin perfectly captures the antic pace, eccentric personalities, and fickle fortunes of the restaurant game, and his vision of the Soul Kitchen as an all-night bacchanal is irresistible.
  11. This moving documentary sidesteps the usual art-world debates over the authenticity and legitimacy of outsider work; instead director Jeff Malmberg simply immerses us in Hogancamp's world, just as Hogancamp immerses himself in the title town and its horrors.
  12. Alternately harrowing and humbling, this is a story of ordinary men whose compassion is tested in the cruelest, most profound fashion.
  13. Cinematographer Eduardo Serra underscores the sense of dread with a rich charcoal palette, and the outstanding CGI and 3D effects make the otherworldly threats more corporeal.
  14. His first feature in 21 years, this is also Monte Hellman's finest work, a hall-of-mirrors masterpiece about moviemaking with diversions more complex, and more enticing, than in the director's previous efforts (Ride in the Whirlwind, Two-Lane Blacktop).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's smart, energetic filmmaking that also makes for engrossing entertainment.
  15. Writer-director Jeff Nichols maintains a cagey balancing act for much of the movie, refusing to specify whether his protagonist is a prophet or a madman, yet in the end this doesn't really matter: the storm inside him is plenty real.
  16. This effort often manages to duplicate the magical pantomime of the era; a lovely scene in which Bejo drapes herself in the arms of a hung jacket as if it were a human lover could have come straight out of a Marion Davies picture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Might easily have been mawkish; instead it has a light comic edge and a dignity built on the fine characterization of Pauline.
  17. Catherine Keener is wonderfully weird as a vicious vice president of human relations, and Nicky Katt is brilliant as an actor playing Hitler in a stage play.
  18. Jensen's use of the conventions of documentary making -- and his undermining of them in ways both bold and subtle -- seems too canny and consistent for the form. Yet the harder I try to decide whether this is a documentary or a parody, the more I wonder why it matters.
  19. It's unclear whether this macho thriller does anything to improve the state of the world or our understanding of it, but it certainly sets off enough rockets to hold us and shake us for every one of its 99 minutes.
  20. An entertaining comedy-thriller directed with bounce (if not much nuance) by Barry Sonnenfeld.
  21. If you think 85 minutes devoted to a "difficult" French philosopher is bound to be either abstruse or watered-down middlebrow stuff, think again.
  22. All the uplift could easily get cloying, but director John Lee Hancock knows how to keep things in control, and the whole is surprisingly satisfying.
  23. Weir does manage to deliver the goods.
  24. One girl's melancholy (beautifully expressed by actress Kerry Washington) is a response to a fractured romance.
  25. Fortunately, this time around the Ivy League characters project less of a glib sense of entitlement, making them more fun to watch, and Stillman himself gives more evidence of watching rather than simply listening.
  26. An entertainingly offbeat blend of 19th-century science fiction and Hope and Crosby Road comedies.
  27. Timely and informative.

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