Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,281 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 4.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Avatar
Lowest review score: 0 The Back-up Plan
Score distribution:
5281 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) generally avoids the elaborate exterior shots and special effects that dominate high-concept blockbusters.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Makes a powerful statement about the plight of unwanted children. But it also incorporates elements of melodrama, film noir, and even the fairy tale that engage our empathy and confirm the Dardennes' great compassion.
  1. Even as a hagiography, though, it's pretty interesting: Fishbone predated-and outlived-the early 90s "alternative" boom that provided it with a brief marketing hook, yet the band truly embodied alternative music's underground ideal, challenging listeners of all races and musical persuasions.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) seem to be after the gentle irreverence of David Gordon Green's buddy flick "Pineapple Express," but without his sensitivity and attention to character the movie quickly grows monotonous.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    January Jones shoulders the thankless part of Cage's often imperiled wife.
  2. There are some funny scenes in which the two brothers spy on the wife, who may be having an affair, but the movie's climax is a badly contrived attempt to ratify Jeff's notion of personal destiny.
  3. If the project was intended to enlarge the comedian's audience, it may be a wash: for every prospective Ferrell fan who can't understand English, there must be an existing one who can't understand subtitles.
  4. Her (Westfedlt) directing debut is a funny and emotionally credible.
  5. Pederson has no smoking gun that connects Nashi to dirty tricks or violence, but there are plenty of both swirling around Moscow.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unlike Stanton's memorable animation features, this is surprisingly devoid of humor or winning characterization, though the special effects are fantastic.
  6. Being taken under Apatow's wing may have been a big career break for writer-director David Wain, but this lacks the sharp personality of some of his earlier movies.
  7. Film noir has seldom been so blanc.
  8. Their inexperience with thrillers is evident here in the cluttered exposition at the beginning and wholesale revelations at the end. In the middle, though, there's a pretty suspenseful stretch.
  9. The rudimentary 2-D animation doesn't allow for much character nuance, and the story isn't exactly fresh. But directors Fernando Trueba (Calle 54), Javier Mariscal, and Tono Errando conjure up some vibrant set pieces.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This structure persuasively depicts combat and recovery as two sides of the same struggle, and Dennis strengthens his argument by maintaining a constant perspective throughout: the camera is always within a few feet of the subject.
  10. This documentary about Crazy Horse, the legendary Parisian nude cabaret, is so warm, colorful, and sensuous that it seems like a real anomaly for the highly disciplined filmmaker.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This doesn't lack for crazy charm, particularly when Nicolas Cage (in his go-for-broke Bad Lieutenant mode) and Ciaran Hinds (playing the devil) try to out-weird each other with broad, even cartoonish performances.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pulses with feeling for childhood and nature and develops a surprising amount of suspense considering it takes place around a single suburban home.
  11. Donzelli, a busy actress in France, directed this drama from a script she wrote with Elkaim, which may explain why the parents become the center of the movie while the ostensibly suffering boy never takes shape as a character.
  12. A heart-wrenching performance from Brenda Blethyn sustains this 2009 drama by French writer-director Rachid Bouchareb.
  13. Robert Wieckiewicz is good as the conflicted protagonist, but the most valuable player here is cinematographer Jolanta Dylewska, who turns in handsome work even though most of the action transpires in inky blackness.
  14. Harrelson returns in Moverman's second feature playing a similar character, a bullheaded LAPD officer whose long career with the force is unraveling amid a succession of brutality complaints, and although the role offers the same macho quotient as the earlier one, it's counterbalanced in this case by funny, observant scenes of his gyno-centric home life.
  15. Pine, who expertly approximated William Shatner in the Star Trek reboot, seems to have picked up some of the actor's air of self-serious buffoonery, and it suits him well; as Witherspoon's best pal, late-night TV comedian Chelsea Handler holds down what might be called the Nora Ephron part, dispensing an endless stream of bawdy man jokes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As pulp sci-fi this Fox release is pretty good, but it's also commendable for its sensitive depiction of adolescent behavior: even the bullying scenes avoid the caricature of most studio films.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The interviewees are good storytellers--particularly the eccentric research scientists who tested the effects of nicotine on rats in the early 80s--and the editing keeps their stories moving at a lively pace.
  16. This has some currency as ethnography, showing how tribal and interpersonal matters mesh with sports mania, but it remains a formidably dull account of an inherently exciting pastime.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like Walter Benjamin, Bonello associates this insularity with both innocence and the 19th century; and when, in the final sequence of House of Pleasures, he dispenses with the security exuded by these subjects, the effect is like being shaken violently out of a dream.
  17. The auction makes for a pretty good hinge between the two narratives and, more importantly, allows Madonna to indulge her fetish for fine English things.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Espinosa never conveys any sort of perspective on the material, as Scott does through his obsessive attention to production detail; the stylization feels empty, distracting from whatever simple pleasures the routine plot (involving double agents and stolen microchips) might have delivered.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Most of the time it plays like the movie adaptation of a Land's End catalogue, making monogamy seem essential by associating it with high-end interior design.

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