Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,161 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 Pina
Lowest review score: 0 The Flintstones
Score distribution:
5161 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The task of dramatizing this proved too difficult for Niels Arden Oplev when he directed a Swedish adaptation in 2009, but as Fincher demonstrated in "Social Network," he knows how to make information technology eerily seductive. Unfortunately Larsson's salacious plot elements - mass murder, Nazism, and the like - feel just as shallow as they did in the earlier version.
  1. As usual with the series, the movie combines a plot line a toddler could understand with gadgets that would baffle an engineering Ph.D.
  2. Like the earlier film, this one has an airless quality, much of the action taking place in the hushed and colorless offices of "the Circus." But whereas the dank tone of "Let the Right One In" served to heighten the moments of poignance and shrieking horror, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy begins to seem phlegmatic after a while.
  3. Never really delivers on that promise, mainly because its scenes of two brilliant men discussing the nature of the subconscious can't compare with Cronenberg's visual rendering of that subconscious in earlier movies.
  4. I found this sequel more tolerable than Sherlock Holmes (2009), though I'm not sure whether it's actually better or I've just accepted the putrid idea of turning Arthur Conan Doyle's brainy detective into just another quipping action hero.
  5. Even with the bar lowered, this seems appallingly bad, a lazy assortment of weak punch lines, sentimental music cues, and trite situations.
  6. As with many R-rated studio comedies, the transgressive humor isn't nearly as offensive as the phony sentiment that's supposed to redeem it, supplied here in stale scenes of the sitter bonding with his little charges.
  7. Documentary maker Edmon Roch spins a zippy yarn of Pujol's improbable exploits from archival footage, talking heads, and clips from classic espionage dramas.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rife with earthy details and poetic associations, the movie often advances like a daydream.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you can tolerate the overbearing music (think John Williams at his most manipulative), this is relatively painless, thanks to a lighthearted tone and some energetic lead performances.
  8. Whether the character is supposed to be a stand-in for Cody, who grew up in the western 'burbs of Chicago and has since won an Oscar, is more than I can say, but the movie suffers from the sort of self-pitying fog that can envelop a writer when he dives into his own malaise.
  9. This is jammed with cliches but completely engrossing, in the manner of a movie ardently in love with its own bullshit.
  10. Actor John Turturro follows his charming and colorful travel documentary "Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy" (2009) with this assured and freewheeling look at the music of Naples (2010).
  11. Among the other characters are an African-American TV writer (Kali Hawk) who hates black people and a widower (Erik Palladino) who stumbles onto a kidnapping case. The latter development provides the film with a denouement that's dramatically valid if overly neat.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The leads are the whole show, and the understated visuals give them room to make the material their own. But none of the other characters is all that fleshed out (Eddie Marsan, as the woman's cruel husband, hasn't got much to do), and despite having shot the entire film on location, Considine never establishes much sense of place.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Most of the film feels recycled from sexually explicit art movies dating back at least to "Last Tango in Paris" (1972) and continuing with movies like Patrice Chéreau's "Intimacy" (2001) or Götz Spielmann's "Antares" (2004). With nothing new in its characters, settings, or themes, Shame has little to offer except McQueen's style, which does little to elucidate anything around it.
  12. Fortunately for the company, Largo turns out to be a formidable knife fighter in the corporate sense; fortunately for this sleek, empty thriller, he turns out to be a formidable knife fighter in the street sense too.
  13. This male weepie is ridden with cliches (Farina's character tends to a pigeon coop on his roof, for God's sake) and climaxes with a predictable act of self-abnegation.
  14. There's nothing here about Monroe that we haven't been told a thousand times already: she was sexy, she was troubled; she was warm, she was selfish; she took pills, she lit up the screen.
  15. The plot, though, is recycled from the Vince Vaughn comedy "Fred Claus" (Santa's duties are assumed by a goofy relative, in this case son Arthur) and the old Rankin-Bass special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Arthur goes on a rogue expedition with a couple other misfits).
  16. Unfortunately, this comeback movie, a labor of love for mush-headed screenwriter and star Jason Segel, errs on the side of sweetness and nostalgia; except for a few good zingers from balcony dwellers Statler and Waldorf, there isn't much here for mom and dad.
  17. Scorsese transforms this innocent tale into an ardent love letter to the cinema and a moving plea for film preservation.
  18. 3
    Tykwer manages to negotiate this incredible coincidence without much trouble, though the movie slows to a crawl in its second half.
  19. Alexander Payne has won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay (Sideways), but you'd never guess that from this clumsily written drama: characters keep explaining things that their listeners would already know, and the first couple reels are so thick with expository voice-over that you may think you're listening to a museum tour on a set of headphones.
  20. This never rises above the level of a plodding sword-and-sandal adventure, peopled with chiseled young beauties and bored industry hacks. Singh is a talented and eccentric visual artist with no creative future in the movie business.
  21. I'd have preferred less personality stuff and more hard information about the current technical and commercial challenges, but if polishing these guys' egos is the only way to make them do the right thing, then so be it.
  22. This agreeable French comedy wears its class consciousness on its sleeve but functions primarily as bourgeois light entertainment.
  23. Apocalyptic visions are nothing new in cinema, but they're almost always epic in scale; Von Trier's innovation is to peer down the large end of the telescope, observing the end of the world in painfully intimate terms.
  24. Herzog's wrenching interviews with the victims' relatives, may not turn anyone against capital punishment, but they're gripping nonetheless. Incidentally, the spiritual inquiry Herzog aims for here has already been rendered onscreen, in Steve James and Peter Gilbert's powerful documentary "At the Death House Door" (2008).
  25. The one mystery Black and Eastwood can't solve is Hoover's love life - perhaps because the solution is too simple to be believed.

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