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 Rushmore
Lowest review score: 0 The Heartbreak Kid
Score distribution:
4,911 movie reviews
  1. A clarion call for freedom and collective action both hopeful and energizing, it qualifies as a generational statement as Rebel Without a Cause did in the 50s, but without the defeatism and masochism. Not to be missed.
  2. 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.
  3. This 2005 masterpiece by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov transforms the story of Emperor Hirohito at the close of World War II into a melancholy meditation on power and its loss.
  4. As with the earlier movie, this one turns in on its own morality like a Möbius strip, endorsing kindness by practicing slaughter, and pulls us along for the ride. Detractors will call its reasoning ridiculous, and they'll be right - though I doubt that will bother Goldthwait, who makes a living being ridiculous.
  5. When the interrupters do succeed, the results can be riveting.
  6. Directors Turner Ross and Bill Ross IV, brothers and native sons of Sidney, find poetry in images of the mundane.
  7. 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.
  8. This powerful South African drama turns on the debut performance of young Presley Chweneyagae as the hood, and it's magnificent: a stone-faced killer in the opening scenes, he becomes an open book as the story progresses, as frightened, confused, and needy as the baby he drags around town in a shopping bag.
  9. Both sad and darkly funny, the film is so sharply conceived and richly populated that it often registers like a Frederick Wiseman documentary, even though everything is scripted and every part played by a professional... This is only the second feature of Cristi Puiu, who claims to have been inspired by his own hypochondria, but he's already clearly a master.
  10. The movie gradually deepens from odd-couple comedy into Catholic-themed drama, but it remains marvelously funny throughout. Instead of hitting the easy notes of black humor, McDonagh skillfully modulates between broad character laughs and the men's piercing anguish as the story nears its bloody conclusion.
  11. Three Times, one of the peaks of his (Hou Hsiao-hsien) career, may be your last chance to see his work inside a movie theater.
  12. Holofcener's work is often classified as comedy of manners, but at her best she trades in something much more resonant--the comedy of mores. Here she dives into the fascinating matter of why some people impulsively give and others compulsively take, and how people are taught to second-guess and quash their own generous impulses.
  13. Werner Herzog is a stranger in a strange land as soon as he gets out of bed in the morning: in this travelogue of Antarctica, his perverse curiosity and zest for the harshest extremes of nature transform what might have been a standard TV special into an idiosyncratic expression of wonder.
  14. he Diving Bell and the Butterfly fuses experimental techniques with a highly accessible and sometimes humorous narrative; it’s deeply personal yet universal in its humanism.
  15. A film so rich in ideas it hardly knows where to turn. Transcendent themes of love and death are fused with a pop-culture sensibility and played out against a midwestern background, which is breathtaking both in its sweep and in its banality.
  16. This is a masterwork by Ousmane Sembene, the 81-year-old father of African cinema and one of Senegal's greatest novelists.
  17. A grand-style, idiosyncratic war epic, with wonderful poetic ideas, intense emotions, and haunting images rich in metaphysical portent.
  18. Writer Petr Jarchovsky and director Jan Hrebejk collaborated on the formidable "Up and Down" (2004), and this 2006 feature, which takes its title from a Robert Graves poem, is equally impressive for its mastery, intelligence, and ambition in juggling intricate plot strands and memorable characters.
  19. Filmmakers Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, and Nicole Newhman do a superb job of telling this neglected story in vivid detail.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A masterpiece, one of Michelangelo Antonioni's finest works. (Review of Original Release)
  20. Yes
    Beautifully composed and deftly delivered, it becomes the libretto to Potter's visual music, creating a remarkable lyricism and emotional directness.
  21. 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.
  22. A Chayefsky movie isn't hard to identify, but I think it's safe to say that these days a Charlie Kaufman movie is even more recognizable.
  23. The songs don't advance the narrative lyrically so much as follow the two characters' uncertain relationship through the slow realization of their themes; in particular a scene in which they first jam together in the back room of a music store is a gem.
  24. Dogtooth, a bizarre black comedy from Greece that won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2009 Cannes film festival, involves a conventional middle-class family--mom, dad, teenage son, two teenage daughters--that turns out to be warped beyond belief.
  25. Its special effects are used so seamlessly as part of an overall artistic strategy that, as critic Annette Michelson has pointed out, they don't even register as such, and thus are almost impossible to trivialize, a feat unmatched in movies.
  26. This is truly a great film, recently celebrated at length in "My Voyage to Italy," Martin Scorsese's documentary about Italian cinema.
  27. Possibly the most daring and honest drama about sexuality I've ever seen.
  28. Haggis's dialogue is worthy of Hemingway, and the three leads border on perfection.
  29. Given the movie's slow, careful development, I was hardly prepared for the cold-sweat suspense of the last half hour.

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