Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,325 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 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Kundun
Lowest review score: 0 National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
Score distribution:
5325 movie reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The emptied-out characters strive for a transcendence they'll never quite reach, and so does the film.
  1. In place of romance there are numerous talky espionage scenes that make the movie feel like one of those labyrinthine cold war pictures from the 60s.
  2. Sam Rockwell plays the brother, and in his handful of scenes he skillfully tracks the character's slow decay from cocky loudmouth to thoroughly beaten man; Swank, delivering her usual spunky turn, suffers badly by comparison.
  3. Lacks the toughness of Eastwood's best work.
  4. Thomas Hardy it's not, but as far as middlebrow British romances go, better this than "Love Actually."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is deeply felt, poetic filmmaking, though the unrelentingly dour tone isn't for everyone. [18 Oct 2012, p.41]
    • Chicago Reader
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film preserves many of Ellis's amoral one liners (best delivered by Malkovich and by Richard Dreyfuss as one of the villains), though as in much of his writing, the fun is discolored by a profound cynicism.
  5. At their best, the Jackasses combine low-brow humor with delectable absurdity (one of my favorite gags from Jackass: The Movie had a guy creeping up on a cougar while dressed as a giant mouse), but here it's almost pure punishment.
  6. The period details are so exact they're occasionally distracting, the use of gospel music at the end is questionable, and director Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers) shows a surer hand in the track sequences than the domestic scenes. Still, there's no denying this movie has heart.
  7. The movie relies on the notion that postponing sex heightens arousal, but its lovers aren't any better matched post-coitus than they were before.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A fairly standard coming-of-age story, but the peripheral wackos keep it from feeling too pat. The film inhabits that elusive space between sanity and insanity, where most of life takes place.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    What it doesn't have is the first movie's primal understanding of patriarchal violence and feminist rage, as both moral horror and exploitation gold. As a result, this is a much easier movie to watch.
  8. The maternal triangle is pretty well handled too, giving a good sense of where Lennon came by all that exuberance and melancholy.
  9. "American Casino" and Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" offered more striking images of the human wreckage, but Ferguson is more successful at nailing the perpetrators in New York and their gullible accomplices in Washington.
  10. The founding of Facebook becomes a tale for our times in this masterful social drama.
  11. The language has been changed to English, of course, which is the only real reason this movie exists; the story development, desolate tone, and key set pieces are mostly copied from the original movie, which in turn was based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
  12. The end result is more like a supermarket on Saturday afternoon. The content is engaging, though.
  13. The setup for this Oliver Stone drama keeps its iconic villain so far removed from the financial action that he seems like a dog tied up outside a restaurant.
  14. As a cautionary tale about the perils of nation building, this is both creepy and provocative, but director Rodrigo Cort├ęs blows it in the last few minutes with a rushed ending that feels like a cheat after all the escalating tension.
  15. Bitchy cheerleaders and swimming pool catfights are just two of the tedious cliches propping up this brittle comedy.
  16. 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.
  17. The result, though clearly flawed, is passionate and ambitious, celebrating that long-gone era when a book of verse could spark a revolution in consciousness.
  18. This documentary about the public education crisis isn't as smart or rigorous as Bob Bowdon's shoestring production "The Cartel," which arrived in town earlier this year and quickly vanished. But the new movie is still an admirable exercise in straight talk.
  19. The paltry theme is that we can't predict the future, but I spent part of the time calculating how many more feeble movies Allen will make, based on his productivity rate (one per year), his batting average (four duds for every success), his current age (74), and his father's longevity (Martin Konigsberg lived to be 100). Are you ready for 20 more remakes of "Manhattan"?
  20. Director Will Gluck (Fired Up!) shows wicked comic timing and uncommon warmth in an overworked genre.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The great cinematographer Tak Fujimoto has the time of his life on this low-budget horror feature, playing with dolly shots, abrupt zooms, and negative space inside the widescreen frame, and the fun is infectious.
  21. This second feature doesn't resonate with nearly as much power, but its suspenseful story of two generations of career criminals in the city's northerly Charlestown neighborhood has a similarly haunting quality.
  22. There are some creepy chuckles to be had from this allegedly true account of a hip, young New York photographer.
  23. Making his feature directing debut, Hoffman shows considerable generosity toward the other players, which was probably a good idea given his own listless performance as the mumbling title character.
  24. You don't have to get too far into Kazuo Ishiguro's brilliant 2005 novel Never Let Me Go to realize it's hopelessly unfilmable.

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